Banana Pudding Icebox Cake with layers of creamy banana bliss is a classic no-bake dessert taking this summer by storm.
I’ve taken traditional Southern banana pudding and mixed it up with a traditional icebox cake for our favorite party dessert of the summer. It’s a no-cook, practically no-effort recipe ~ just whip it, stack it, chill it, devour it!
did you know?
Banana pudding is a classic Southern dessert that you may associate with Nilla Wafers, but the origins of banana pudding predate the era of packaged cookies! Originally the dessert was prepared with layers of angel food, sponge, or pound cake and I’ve harkened back to this tradition in my banana pudding icebox cake recipe.
ingredients for banana pudding icebox cake
- heavy cream
- for whipping. Look for a cream with at least 36% fat content. You’ll find the fat content right on the label.
- confectioner’s sugar
- it melts into the whipped cream with no graininess. And powdered sugar contains a little cornstarch, which helps stabilize the whipped cream.
- pound cake
- you could use angel food cake, sponge cake, or, yes, even Nilla Wafers!
- your bananas should be ripe, but they don’t need to be over-ripe.
- vanilla extract
- banana extract , optional
- you likely don’t have this in your pantry and that’s ok, you can skip it. If you’re planning ahead and want to purchase it, you’ll find options here.
pipe or dollop your whipped cream, either works!
This is a causal dessert and there’s no reason you have to add a fancy piped topping. It will look just as luxurious if you swoop the whipped cream with the back of a spoon. For this photo shoot I whipped a little extra cream to make an added piped layer, which is optional.
how to keep banana slices from turning brown
Dip the banana slices in an acidic solution to inhibit browning. Lemon juice or commercial Fruit Fresh works well for this purpose. The acid helps slow down the enzymatic browning process. You can either lightly brush the slices with lemon juice or briefly dip them in a bowl of diluted juice (1 part juice, 2 parts water) or Fruit Fresh. Note: I didn’t bother to do this for the banana slices inside the cake, they are fine if they get completely covered in whipped cream because no air can get to them. But I did want to be sure my garnish slices stayed fresh looking.
banana pudding icebox cake variations
- Store bought angel food cake can be used instead of pound cake.
- Modern banana puddings are made with Nilla Wafers. You can substitute those for the pound cake. You can also use other cookies like graham crackers or shortbread cookies.
- You can use vanilla pudding for your layers instead of whipped cream, and save the whipped cream for the top. You can use boxed cook and serve, or instant pudding. For a special treat use my homemade Kentucky Bourbon Vanilla Bean Pudding. Yum.
- Double the recipe for a 9×13 pan.
- If you’d like to make your whipped cream more stable, consider adding a packet of Whip It, which will help your whipped cream maintain its creamy texture longer.
- No Bake Key Lime Parfaits
- Strawberry Icebox Cake
- Lemon Icebox Pie
- Salted Caramel Pot de Cr?me
- Mint Chocolate Pudding Pots
- No Bake Strawberry Cheesecake Recipe
- Strawberries and Cream Pots (no bake)
Banana Pudding Icebox Cake
- 9×9 baking pan
- 1 store bought pound cake, loaf style, mine was 14 ounces.
- 2 cups heavy cream. Note: whip an extra cup of cream for a total of 3 cups of cream if you want to add a piped layer to the top like I did. You will need to increase the sugar and flavorings a bit in this case.
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp banana flavoring, optional, you can buy it here.
- 3 large bananas
- lemon juice or Fruit Fresh, optional
- banana slices
- toasted cake crumbs*
- Slice the pound cake into 1/4 – 1/3 inch slices. Add one layer of pound cake to the bottom of your baking dish. If your slices don't fit perfectly, break them to fit and completely cover the bottom of the dish, in a single layer.
- Whip the cream with the sugar and flavorings, until it holds stiff peaks. Don't over-whip.
- Slice the bananas, slicing them one at a time so the slices don't start to turn brown. Arrange a layer of banana slices over the pound cake.
- Spread a layer of whipped cream over the bananas.
- Repeat this with a new layer of cake and bananas.
- Top with whipped cream.
- Optional: if you made extra sweetened whipped cream you can pipe a decorative topping on your icebox cake.
- Garnish the top with a few extra banana slices and the toasted crumbs, if using. I like to dip my garnish banana slices in lemon juice or Fruit Fresh to keep them from turning brown.
- Refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours until ready to serve. Once chilled you can serve this in slices, or you can scoop it out with a spoon.