National Banana Split Day is celebrated annually on August 25th!
Classically served in a long dish, called a boat, a banana is cut in half lengthwise and laid in the dish with scoops of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream placed in between. The strawberry ice cream is complimented with pineapple topping, chocolate syrup is poured on the vanilla ice cream and strawberry topping covers the chocolate ice cream. Crushed nuts, whipped cream and maraschino cherries garnish the entire boat.
Today, there are many variations to the classic banana split.
The banana split was invented by a 23-year-old apprentice pharmacist in Latrobe, Pennsylvania in 1904. David Evans Strickler enjoyed inventing sundaes at the store’s soda fountain. The first “banana-based triple ice cream sundae” sold for 10 cents which was double the cost of all other sundaes.
Enjoy this “tried and true” Banana Split Cheesecake recipe:
1 cup packaged chocolate cookie crumbs (such as Oreo)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon butter or stick margarine, melted
3 (8-ounce) blocks fat-free cream cheese, softened
1 (8-ounce) block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1 (8-ounce) carton low-fat sour cream
1 ½ cups sugar
1 ½ cups mashed ripe banana
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1/3 cup canned crushed pineapple in juice, drained
1/3 cup strawberry sundae syrup
1/3 cup chocolate syrup
¼ cup chopped pecans, toasted
16 maraschino cherries, drained
Preheat oven to 325°.
To prepare crust, combine first 3 ingredients in a bowl; toss with a fork until moist. Press into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray.
To prepare filling, beat cheeses and sour cream at high speed of a mixer until smooth. Add 1 1/2 cups sugar, banana, flour, and vanilla; beat well. Add eggs, 1 at a time; beat well after each addition.
Pour cheese mixture into prepared pan; bake at 325° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until almost set. Cheesecake is done when the center barely moves when pan is touched. Remove cheesecake from oven; run a knife around outside edge. Cool cheesecake to room temperature. Cover and chill for at least 8 hours. Top each serving with 1 teaspoon pineapple, 1 teaspoon strawberry syrup, 1 teaspoon chocolate syrup, 3/4 teaspoon pecans, and 1 cherry.
On this warm day, celebrate National Banana Split Day with a nice cold banana split boat and don’t forget the cherry on top!