It seemed only fitting to close out National Ice Cream Month with an outrageous ice cream dessert.  Enter this banana split ice cream torte.  I believe I first laid eyes on this at the tail end of last summer, and have been waiting ever since for the right time to finally give it a try.  Both playful and impressive at the same time, this dessert would be a welcome addition to any summer gathering.  You start with a Oreo cookie crumb crust and layer with sliced bananas, strawberry ice cream, hot fudge, vanilla ice cream and strawberries.  Then garnish it as you would a regular sundae with freshly whipped cream and nuts, and serve with crushed pineapple on the side.

Now, you can make this dessert as easy or as involved as you wish.  You all know me well enough now to know I prefer to do things the “hard” (homemade) way, so I used homemade strawberry ice cream, vanilla ice cream, hot fudge sauce (recipe to come), freshly whipped cream and fresh chopped pineapple.  Of course you can just buy these things pre-made from the store and save yourself some time.  Do whatever floats your boat.  It will be delicious either way.  I will point out that one advantage to using homemade ice cream is that if you use it straight out of the ice cream maker, it is the perfect consistency for spreading smoothly.  I made this in an 8-inch springform pan because I prefer a taller cake, but you can easily use a 9-inch pan…the layers will just be a bit thinner.  Whatever way you decide, definitely do make it.  And hey, if there is one upside to this smack-you-in-the-face heat we’ve been having, it’s that desserts like this just taste that much better.

  • Yield 1 8-inch torte


15 whole Oreo cookies
3 tbsp. melted butter
3-4 ripe bananas, sliced ½-inch thick
1 pint strawberry ice cream, softened slightly
1 cup hot fudge sauce, warmed
1 pint vanilla ice cream, softened slightly
10 oz. frozen sweetened strawberries, thawed and drained
Whipped cream, for garnish
Chopped walnuts, for garnish
Maraschino cherries, for garnish
Chopped or crushed pineapple, for serving


  • 01

    Line the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan with wax or parchment paper.  Place the Oreos in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until very finely ground.  Add the melted butter to the bowl with the cookie crumbs and pulse until evenly moistened.  Pour the crumbs into the bottom of the springform pan and press down firmly in an even layer to cover the bottom (not the sides) of the pan.  Lay the slices of banana over the cookie crust, fitting as many as you can into a single layer.  Add the strawberry ice cream to the pan and smooth in an even layer over the banana slices.  Cover and transfer to the freezer to chill until the ice cream is very firm.

  • 02

    Spread the hot fudge sauce over the strawberry ice cream and smooth with a spatula.  Return to the freezer until the fudge layer is firm, about 30 minutes.  Once the fudge layer is firm, spread the vanilla ice cream in an even layer over the top.  Cover and return to the freezer until the ice cream is very firm.

  • 03

    When you are ready to serve the torte, soak a towel in very warm water and squeeze out all the excess water.  Wrap the towel around the sides of the springform pan for about 30 seconds to help loosen them from the torte.  Carefully remove the sides of the pan.  Top with the thawed strawberries.  Garnish as desired with whipped cream, chopped walnuts, and maraschino cherries.  Let stand at room temperature about 15 minutes before slicing.  Serve with crushed pineapple.