This easy Banana Split Trifle is not only a beautiful dessert but an extra delicious one! It’s the perfect recipe to make for a crowd!
This post is sponsored by Ibotta. All opinions are 100% my own.
I’m a big fan of all things banana. Whether it’s a batch of banana bread or my favorite banana pudding recipe, if I’ve got bananas lying around, you can bet I’ve got a dessert recipe up my sleeve! This banana split trifle is the ultimate dessert use of bananas. It tastes like an ice cream sundae, but even BETTER and it couldn’t be any easier to make!
BANANA SPLIT TRIFLE
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We all know that I love hosting parties. Whether it’s a backyard BBQ with neighbors, a potluck dinner with my family, or cocktails and apps with my girlfriends, I am always volunteering to play hostess.
Of course, any good hostess has her go-to recipes, right? I love sharing favorite dessert recipes with friends and family and this Banana Split Trifle really tops my list of most popular desserts ever. It’s got tons of layers of sweet fruits, silky pudding, and delicious vanilla cake. Not only does it look beautiful, but it tastes incredible.
So, I’m having a group of girls over for a spring gathering this weekend and I just knew that I had to make this easy banana split trifle recipe. But, I was running low on groceries (and time), so I hopped on my Ibotta app to order my ingredients and get some cash back with grocery pick-up.
I love Ibotta for SO many reasons. First (and most importantly) you get cash back just for buying things you already need! The other great thing about Ibotta? You can use it literally ANY way you shop. Whether you use the app in-store, for delivery or curbside pick-up, or even use the browser extension for your online shopping, you earn FREE money just for buying your everyday essentials. I always check my Ibotta app for the best deals before buying anything!
All offers were valid as of publish date. Don’t forget to check your app for details as offers change frequently and may not be available in all areas.
What is a trifle?
In simple terms, a trifle is dessert Heaven. Layers and layers of fresh fruit, crumbled cake, and decadent pudding, all displayed beautifully in a glass trifle bowl, you can’t go wrong with this layered dessert. You REALLY can’t go wrong with a banana split trifle!
Here’s what you should purchase (using Ibotta to get cash back, of course!) to make your own banana split trifle dessert:
Pudding – to get that custardy texture of the perfect trifle, you need some pudding! I use just plain old vanilla instant pudding (you know, the stuff from the box!). You’ll want it prepared according to the directions on the box before you start assembling your banana split trifle.
Cake – every good trifle has cake mixed into the layers of fruit. I prefer to use a box of yellow cake mix to make this easy banana split trifle recipe. However, you can also make a banana split trifle with angel food cake! Angel food cake will have more of a spongey texture than a traditional cake mix.
I personally love the soft, moist texture that a trifle made with cake has, but you can definitely make your banana split trifle with vanilla wafers if you prefer. The wafers give the same great vanilla flavor as the cake, but give your trifle a nice crunch for texture!
Fruit – the fruit layers of a trifle are what give it its beautiful color and fresh flavor. For a banana split trifle, you’ll obviously need bananas. You’ll also want strawberries, crushed pineapple, and maraschino cherries. (Because what banana split comes without a cherry on top!?)
How to Make a Banana Split Trifle
Before you’re ready to assemble your banana split trifle, you’ll want to have your cake baked and your pudding mixed. Once your cake is cooked and cooled, cut it up into bite-sized cubes and get ready to layer!
Grab your trifle bowl (or large glass bowl) and layer:
- First layer – cake cubes! Fill the bottom of your bowl with half of the small cake pieces.
- On top of the cake, spread half of your vanilla pudding.
- Next, layer half of your sliced bananas.
- Press the sliced strawberries around the side of the bowl and then spread the rest over the bananas.
- Next up – pineapple! Spread half of your crushed pineapple on top of the strawberries.
- Now comes the sundae toppings!! Spread half of the Cool Whip as your next layer. Then, drizzle half of the chocolate syrup and sprinkle half of the walnuts over the chocolate.
- Finish it off with all of your chopped cherries. (The whole cherries will be on the tippy-top of your trifle!)
- Now… REPEAT! Do the exact same order again minus the strawberries.
Top off your banana split trifle dessert with your whole cherries and you’ve got the most beautiful (and delicious) dessert!
Once the trifle is all layered in the bowl, place it in the refrigerator for 1 hour before serving.
Can you freeze trifle?
This banana split trifle recipe isn’t one that I’d recommend freezing for future use. I’ve found that it tastes its absolute best when it is fresh and made the day of. The main reason I wouldn’t recommend freezing a trifle is because of all the different layers that make it up.
Cake freezes differently than pudding, fruit freezes differently than cake, and so on. The different layers would defrost into mush and your beautifully prepared banana split trifle would just look blah. And nobody wants a blahhhh dessert, right?
Instead, make your trifle the day you want to serve it and save any leftovers covered tightly with plastic wrap in the fridge for 2-3 days!
Looking for some more delicious layered desserts? Try these other Real Housemoms favorites!
- Strawberry Dessert Nachos
- Snickers Chocolate Parfait
- Mississippi Mud Pie
- Banana Coconut Bundt Cake
- Lemon Blueberry Greek Yogurt Trifle
- more DESSERT recipes…
Tools used to make this Banana Split Trifle recipe
Open up your Ibotta app and use it to save money everywhere… even Macy’s!
9×13 Cake Pan: This baking dish is a must-have for any baker. I actually have 2 of them in my cupboard, so I’m always ready to make a cake!
Trifle Bowl: You can definitely use a large glass serving bowl for your trifle, but it just looks so darn pretty in a traditional trifle bowl! This bowl is also perfect for making a 7 Layer Salad and all kinds of layered recipes!
- 15.25 ounces yellow cake mix plus ingredients to prepare (1 box)
- 5.1 ounces vanilla instant pudding mix (1 large box)
- 3 cups milk
- 4 bananas peeled and sliced
- 2 cups strawberries hulled and sliced
- 20 ounces canned crushed pineapple drained
- 3 cups Cool Whip (1 tub)
- 1/2 cup chocolate sauce
- 1/2 cup walnuts chopped
- 25 maraschino cherries (10 chopped, 15 whole)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare the box mix according to package directions for a 9-inch x 13-inch pan. Bake and cool cake completely, about 1 hour.
- Cut cake into cubes and loosen from pan. Prepare vanilla pudding according to package directions using the milk.
- In the bottom of a large glass serving bowl or a trifle bowl add half of the cake cubes. Top the cake with half of the pudding, and half of the sliced bananas.
- Add the sliced strawberries around the edge of the bowl pressing them to the sides. (This makes the layer look pretty on the outside of the bowl.) Sprinkle the rest of the strawberries over the bananas.
- Add half of the crushed pineapple over the strawberries. Top the fruit with half of the Cool Whip, half of the chocolate syrup, half of the walnuts, and then all of the chopped cherries.
- Repeat the layers - cake, pudding, bananas, pineapple, Cool Whip, chocolate syrup, walnuts, and top it all off with the whole cherries.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerator for 1 hour. Keep chilled until ready to serve.