I’ve never made banana splits before you guys, isn’t that ridiculous?
We were watching a movie recently and, I don’t even remember which one it was now, but there was a scene in an old-fashioned diner. You know, classic Americana, 1950’s, juke boxes, poodle skirts…. you get the picture. In the scene they brought out this big and beautiful banana split and none of us could help wanting to dive into the screen at that point. I realized immediately that a banana split was lacking in my repertoire of recipes and I knew that I had to fix this major problem as soon as possible. I didn’t want to make just any banana splits though, they had to be epic and loaded with all the goods.
There was a time when ice cream topped my list of favorite treats, actually it still might if I had to choose. Does anyone else go through food phases though? I went through this huge ice cream phase in my early teens where I just wanted it every night, and I pretty much did have it every night. I know, super healthy right? This was in between my Lucky Charms fling and my die-hard romance with trader joe’s frozen orange chicken, oh and their jojos! I used to eat way too many of those addictive things.
Anyway, I wanted to make homemade ice cream for these banana splits on my agenda because a great ice cream recipe has been something I’ve struggled to create. Most of the problem is that I could really use a bigger ice cream maker. The one that I have works alright I guess, but the capacity is tiny, and um, if you could see how many ice cream lovers there are in my house you’d understand that it’s sort of a depressing uphill battle to even attempt keeping up with demand. #lifepriorities
Okay, so I’m really excited to share this whole recipe with you, but especially the ice cream. I’ve already been making it so much because it’s been a huge hit with the gang. One of the best parts is that you can just make the same basic vanilla recipe and then decide what flavor you want it to be. For example, in this recipe you divide it three ways and add something different to each portion for your peanut butter, chocolate, and Reese’s cup flavors.
It does take a little time from start to finish but it’s very simple to make. Oh, and of course if you want you can make it even easier and you can just choose one flavor to try. Also, then there is always the option to use store-bought ice cream if what you’re really wanting is just a quickie banana split. What you can’t get anywhere else though, is the fresh and hot caramelized bananas that are what this whole thing is about.
These completed banana splits are maybe a little over the top even, but that’s why they are perfect for sharing and they’ll be sure to impress the guests and please just about any crowd. I’m thinking these need to be on the menu for the guy’s Superbowl night too.
Chunky Monkey Caramelized Banana Split Sundaes (Vegan+GF)
If you thought a basic banana split couldn't get better, you've got a huge (delicious) surprise coming your way!
Homemade Ice Cream:
- 3 1/2 cups coconut cream *see note
- 2 1/2 cups plant-based milk
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 1/2 cups granular sugar
- dash of salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
~For the peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter:
- ~For the chocolate:
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
~For the Reese's:
- 1/2 cup vegan peanut butter cup pieces **see note for recipe
- 4 - 6 medium slightly under-ripe bananas sliced in half lengthwise
- 4 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- dairy free hot fudge sauce or chocolate syrup
- Sweetened non-dairy whipped cream
- Peanuts roughly chopped
- vegan semi-sweet dark chocolate chips or chunks
- Maraschino cherries
Homemade Ice Cream:
Pour the cornstarch into a medium glass bowl and set aside. Whisk together the cream, milk, and sugar in a medium saucepan and place over low heat. Bring the mixture almost to a boil, but not quite. You just want it hot. Scoop about 1 cup of the mixture into the cornstarch bowl and quickly whisk together very well until smooth. Add the mixture to the saucepan and reduce heat to low. Simmer, while stirring for a few minutes longer until the mixture begins to thicken slightly then remove from heat and add the vanilla and a dash of salt. Divide the mixture into 3 equal portions of about 2 cups each. Add the peanut butter to one, and the cocoa and sugar to the another and stir until smooth, leaving one plain vanilla. Pour each flavor into sealable containers and allow them to cool for at least 30 minutes, then cover and place in the fridge to get completely chilled, at least 4 hours. Once the mixtures are cold, follow the instructions from your ice cream machine for churning them into ice cream, starting with vanilla, then peanut butter, then chocolate so there's no need to clean it out after each flavor (for the peanut butter cup ice cream add the peanut butter cup pieces once the ice cream is finished freezing). Scrape the finished ice cream back into sealable container and store in the freezer for at least 1 hour until solid enough to scoop.
Melt the coconut oil in a medium skillet over medium low heat and stir in the salt and brown sugar. Gently stir as the mixture starts to bubble and darken, about 3 minutes. Place the bananas, flat side down, in the pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the banana starts to get a little bit soft and the sugars have caramelized with the juices. Remove from heat and scoop the bananas onto plates or banana split dishes and spoon any of the extra syrup over them.
Scoop a generous amount of each ice cream flavor onto each serving dish and top with desired amount of hot fudge sauce, chopped peanuts, chocolate chips, whipped cream, and a cherry on top! Serve immediately.
*If you have trouble finding coconut cream at your local grocery store it's completely fine to use full-fat coconut milk and scrape the cream off of the top. Just be sure that it's cold enough to separate.