These original banana split recipes were once used by ice cream parlors to make delicious frozen desserts, and now they are yours to enjoy.
Everyone remembers eating their first banana split, and you're sure to remember eating these. They're so easy to make and with all-natural ingredients, so they are good for you too.
The Dispenser's Formulary or Soda Water Guide (1915)
Slice a banana in two. Place a spoonful of vanilla ice cream in the center, and top off with maraschino cherries, and pour cherry syrup over it. Price, 15 cents.
Slice a good ripe banana in halves lengthwise, and place the pieces flat side down on an oblong hand-painted china plate; between the slices put a scoopful each of vanilla ice cream and chocolate ice cream; over one of these pour some chipped pecans and over the other, some pineapple fruit.
Place a cherry on each side of the molds of ice cream and top off with whipped cream. On top of the cream put a few fresh pecan meats. Price, 20 cents. (Willie Burch)
Peel and split a banana and place the pieces on an oblong glass or fancy china dish. On the sliced banana place a scoopful each of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry ice cream.
Over all, sprinkle a few chopped nutmeats and a little rich fresh strawberry dressing made by mashing the strawberries in granulated sugar.
Top each cone of ice cream with a dash of whipped cream and a large strawberry or cherry. A good seller at 20 cents.
For this homemade banana split recipe, peel one banana, slice in two lengthwise and lay the slices parallel on a plate; place a ball of vanilla ice cream on one end of the slices; place over the banana crushed fresh strawberries and over all pour a thick marshmallow creme, then put a red maraschino cherry on a toothpick on the ice cream.
The ball of ice cream represents the head of the comet, while the two slices of banana represent the tail. This dish should bring 15 cents. (C. Ray Wait)
Peel and split a banana and lay the halves on a small oblong dish. On this put a scoopful of strawberry ice cream, and a similar quantity of coffee or vanilla ice cream.
Over each cone of ice cream put a little whipped cream, sprinkle with macaroon crumbs and top with a cherry. Price, 20 cents.
For this homemade banana split recipe, use a long dish and put a small ladle of ice cream at each end. Then cut half of a banana into four thin slices lengthwise.
Put two of the pieces on the dish in an outward V-shape between the two molds of ice cream, and then place a slice of sweet orange around the entire dish in each of the vacant places, or four all told.
Pour over this an ounce of cherry wine syrup and a sprinkle of nuts; top off each mold with whipped cream and a red cherry. Price, 20 cents.
Wash one dozen large, ripe bananas and then split the skins "carefully" lengthwise on one side only, and remove the fruit.
Next, cut up six of the bananas in a mixing bowl, add one cupful of ground pecan nut meats, one-half cupful of shredded coconut, one pint of maple nut ice cream, and mix all well together.
Then take a spoon and refill the banana skins with the mixture, molding it so that the cut edges of the skins will meet when filled; then place the bananas (sundaes) thus made in an ice cream cabinet to freeze and keep hard.
To serve, place one of the stuffed banana skins on a plate, put a scoopful of whipped cream on the side, sprinkling over it lightly a little ground cinnamon; serve with a spoon, glass of water, and a napkin.
The author states that "the beauty of this homemade banana split recipe is that it has the customers guessing until they open the banana skin and find it loaded with a delicious dessert." Sells for 25 cents. —Harry G. Frame
On a banana split dish place, a sound ripe banana which has been sliced lengthwise. Place on one end a scoopful of vanilla and strawberry ice cream, and on the other a scoopful of vanilla and chocolate ice cream. Over the whole pour sufficient lavender dressing, prepared as follows:
Marshmallow topping, 1 pint; raspberry (or strawberry) syrup, 4 ounces; grape juice, 1 dash; shredded coconut, 2 ounces, and sufficient simple syrup to bring the dressing to the proper consistency (for pouring).
Color the mixture the desired shade by means of red and blue coloring, both of which may be had in certified food colors. Red cherries may be used on top with, but the lavender marshmallow will carry out the color scheme to better advantage.
The author writes as follows concerning his homemade banana split recipe:
The name came to me by reason of the fact that one of our patrons, a very popular Southern girl, blossomed out in a very becoming attire of lavender. Her frequent appearance at the fountain in this garb helped to draw attention to the sign I had in mind.
To promote the specialty, I took a 22 x 28 gray card, on the right side of which I pasted a picture of a Lavender Lady cut out of lavender colored paper.
The headline to the wording was "Coming," and in smaller letters, "to be a great favorite. She's brand-new, sweet, and attractive. You'll miss a great treat if you do not meet her." Price, 20 cents. —B. C. Archibald
For this homemade banana split recipe, place in an oblong glass dish one split banana, flat side up. Use three scoopfuls of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry ice cream.
On either side of the chocolate ice cream place a Nabisco® wafer for the forward wings of the air ship, and in the strawberry ice cream stick an upright Nabisco® wafer to represent the tail piece of the machine.
On the chocolate ice cream place a red cherry to represent a man riding in the air ship.
Between the scoopfuls of ice cream sprinkle crushed cherries and pineapple, and top with chopped pecans and whipped cream. "Has sold very well to students of the University at 20 cents," writes the author of the homemade banana split recipe. —M. C. Thurber
On either end of a fancy plate place lettuce leaves so that the half of each protrudes over the side. Take an ice cream cone, carefully break it apart to simulate a "lobster shell."
Lay the shell in the middle of the plate, and then with a No. 10-to-the-quart disher put in a mound of one-half strawberry and one-half vanilla ice cream, placing the cream partly on the shell and partly on one of the lettuce leaves.
Cut a maraschino cherry in two and lay the hemispheres on cream so as to make two "eyes." To represent the "mouth" employ a whole cherry.
Take half a banana, slice down the center, and use the two pieces thus formed to make the "claws," laying them in the corners of the shell on the side of the ice cream.
Then take two Nabisco® wafers and lay them crossed on a lettuce to constitute a side "lunch" for the salad. Sells for 20 cents.
The author says the Lobster Delight takes about two minutes to prepare if the cones are ready made into shells and the lettuce is ready for use. —Morris Bialac
Procure a number of rather large nice ripe cantaloupes. Cut one of them in two, lengthwise.
Then cut one of the halves into strips of about two and a half or three inches in diameter across the middle. Cut a slice off the bottom of the pieces so that they will lie flat.
Place two of the pieces side by side on a fancy china plate, putting on each piece a small ball of peach ice cream. Over these pour a ladleful of fresh crushed pears, and between them put two red maraschino cherries.
The author says that by having a number of cantaloupes cut up, one can prepare this sundae in a very short time. Price 15 or 20 cents. —Victor Johnson
For this homemade banana split recipe, instead of a banana, take a cantaloupe, remove the rind, and then slice lengthwise into ten parts; place two of the slices lengthwise in an oblong dish and a scoopful of vanilla ice cream in the center.
Then pour on a ladleful of fresh pineapple fruit, adding a spoonful of walnut meats and whipped cream; place Nabisco® wafers, one on either side of the ice cream, and top off with a red cherry. Can be served for 10 or 15 cents. —Gus V. Schall
Small, ripe cantaloupe (or musk melon), cut lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and fill cavity with ice cream (vanilla generally used); sprinkle with powdered sugar to taste. Price, 15 cents.
On a six-inch plate place one scoopful of vanilla ice cream. Over this invert half a small ripe cantaloupe, which has been peeled, taking care to hide all of the ice cream.
Now arrange four slices of banana at regular intervals around the cantaloupe, and top with whipped cream and a cherry. The author states that this is "a sure winner at 20 cents."
In a round dish of about 4 inches in diameter, place half of one cantaloupe (small muskmelon) and in the center of the melon place a ball of ice cream.
On one side of the ice cream put crushed peaches and on the other crushed strawberries. Top off with whipped cream and a cherry. Price, 15 cents. —Donald Strauss
Select small, sweet, and very ripe cantaloupes. Press all the ripe portion after rejecting the seeds through a sieve.
To each two quarts of pulp and juice add one pint of orange juice, one pint of grape juice, and one-half pint of lemon juice. Sweeten this with three pounds of sugar. Let stand until a thick syrup has formed.
Color with a little green and amber coloring. Freeze, and when the mixture has begun to stiffen fold in the stiffly beaten whites of two eggs and one pint of whipped sweetened cream. Pack in freezer and let stand four hours. Price 15 cents.
In catering for the public taste for novelties in the sundae line, ice cream parlors gradually elaborated the original sundae idea of ice cream plus a flavor syrup into a more complicated and fancier dessert.
The first of these fancy fountain desserts to win popularity — and retain its popularity — was the banana split.
Back in 1904, David Strickler, a young soda fountain operator in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, is said to have invented the world's first "banana split" recipe.
Strickler placed three scoops of vanilla ice cream on a split banana and garnished it with chocolate syrup, marshmallow topping, chopped nuts, whipped cream, and a red maraschino cherry. It cost only ten cents and was an instant hit with customers.
Soon, the word got around and other soda fountain operators began making banana splits, and the novel sundae evolved into its classic formula:
One scoop each of chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla ice cream on a split banana with a garnish of three different syrups, chopped nuts, whipped cream, and the essential red maraschino cherry with its stem.
Over the years, splits became more elaborate. You will find some very fancy creations among the homemade banana split recipes above, such as the Lobster Delight.
The use of other fruits aside from bananas in splits, notably cantaloupes, was introduced in the later 1900s. Today, the banana split still reigns as the King of the Sundaes!