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Banana Split Trifle

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Indulge in the delightful fusion of your favorite classic dessert with a modern twist – the Banana Split Trifle. This easy-to-make treat combines the creamy richness of vanilla pudding and the natural sweetness of bananas, strawberries, and pineapple.

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It’s an innovative layered dessert that gives a nod to the traditional banana split sundae. This trifle recipe is not only visually stunning but also remarkably delicious. Whether you’re serving it at a summer picnic or a cozy family dinner, this delightful pudding-based dessert is sure to impress. Enjoy the mouthwatering combination of fruits, cake, and cream in every spoonful of this Banana Split Dessert Trifle.


banana-split-trifle

Banana Split Trifle Variations

There are many simple variations to this recipe if you’d prefer it to be a bit lighter, use an Angel food cake. If you’d like it to be chocolatey use a chocolate cake if you’d prefer to serve a richer dessert use brownies. If you’d like a lighter spring dessert, use white or yellow cake.

We tend to make this for Thanksgiving or Christmas and usually opt for pieces of brownies. The quick version of the recipe is listed below, but we recommend homemade vanilla pudding , if you have the time, be sure to let it cool completely before assembling your trifle dessert or the bananas will prematurely brown.

We absolutely do not recommend using a banana pudding mix for this recipe.

banana-split-trifle

How to Make Banana Split Trifle

You’ll Need:
1 9″x9″ Yellow Cake OR 1 loaf Angel Food Cake OR Chocolate cake OR a   Pan of Brownies
3 cups homemade Vanilla Pudding or 1 large box (5.1oz) Instant Vanilla Pudding (prepared as directed on box)
3 large bananas, sliced
1 1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1 1/2 – 2 cups chopped fresh pineapple (or 6 oz can of crushed pineapple, well-drained)
3 cups of homemade whipped cream or one 8oz container of Cool Whip
1 Jar Maraschino Cherries, diced
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup chocolate syrup

  1. Prepare the cake or brownies and make sure it’s completely cooled before assembling the dessert.
  2. Cut or tear the cake or brownies into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Prepare the vanilla pudding mix following the directions on the box. (If you’re using homemade vanilla pudding, be sure it’s cold first).

How to Layer the Banana Trifle

  1. Layer 1= In a trifle dish or large clear salad bowl add a layer of cake/brownie pieces.
  2. Layer 2= Add half of the pudding
  3. Layer 3= Add half of the sliced bananas
  4. Layer 4 = Add half of the sliced strawberries
  5. Layer 5= Add half of the pineapple
  6. Layer 6= Add half of the whipped cream (or Cool Whip)
  7. Layer 7= Add half the Maraschino cherries
  8. Layer 8= Drizzle with half of the chocolate syrup
  9. Layer 9= Add half of the chopped nuts

Repeat all these steps with the remaining ingredients in the same order. Cover the dessert and chill it for at least two hours, or until ready to serve.

The Secret to a Perfect Trifle: How to Prevent It From Becoming Soggy

Your trifle might become soggy due to a few reasons:

  1. Overly moist cake or brownies: If the cake or brownies you’re using are too moist, they can make the trifle soggy. Try to use a cake that is slightly dry to hold up against the moisture from the pudding and fruit.
  2. Not cooled completely: If the cake or pudding is still warm when you assemble the trifle, it can result in a soggy dessert. Make sure all components are completely cooled before assembling.
  3. Too much liquid from fruits: Fruits, especially fresh ones, can release juice into the trifle, causing it to become soggy. If you’re using canned fruits, ensure they are well-drained. For fresh fruits, you might want to macerate them (toss with a bit of sugar) and then drain off the excess juice before adding to the trifle.
  4. Sitting for too long: While trifles do benefit from being made ahead to let the flavors meld, leaving it for too long can cause the ingredients to break down and become soggy. It’s usually best consumed within 24-48 hours.

Remember, a trifle is meant to be somewhat soft and spoonable, but not wet or soggy.

5 Common Problems When Making Trifles and How to Prevent Them

1Soggy Layers: This can happen when the cake layer absorbs too much moisture from the fruit or custard layers. To prevent this, ensure your cake is completely cooled before adding it to the trifle, as a warm cake will absorb more moisture. Also, consider using denser cakes like pound cake or sponge cake which hold up better against moisture.

2Lumpy Custard/Pudding: Lumps can form if the custard or pudding isn’t whisked properly or cooked at the correct temperature. To prevent this, make sure to whisk continuously while cooking and cook over medium heat.

3Fruit Bleeding Color: Some fruits, like berries, can bleed color into the surrounding layers if they’re too ripe or crushed. To prevent this, use fresh, firm fruit and handle it gently to avoid crushing.

4Whipped Cream Deflating: Whipped cream can lose its volume if it’s overbeaten or if it sits out for too long. To prevent this, whip the cream until it just holds stiff peaks, but don’t overbeat it. Also, add the whipped cream layer just before serving the trifle.

5Unbalanced Flavors: A trifle should have a balanced combination of flavors, but sometimes one layer can overpower the others. To prevent this, taste each component separately before assembling the trifle to ensure they complement each other well.

Banana Split Trifle Recipe Print Now

banana split trifle
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Banana Split Trifle

Budget101.com by Melissa 'Liss' Burnell
Delight in our Banana Split Trifle! This dessert is a feast for the eyes and the palate, featuring moist cake, ripe bananas, juicy strawberries, smooth pudding, and fluffy whipped cream.
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Prep Time 45 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dessert, holidays, Potluck
Cuisine American, British
Servings 12
Calories 177 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

Choose ONE of the following as the Base for your Trifle:
  • 1 9x13 Yellow Cake (OR)
  • 1 9x13 Angel Food Cake (OR)
  • 1 9x13 Chocolate cake (OR)
  • 1 9x13 Pan of Brownies
Filling Layers:
  • 3 cups Vanilla Pudding
  • 3 large bananas (sliced)
  • 1 ½ cups strawberries (fresh, sliced)
  • cups pineapple, diced (or 6 oz can crushed pineapple, well-drained)
  • 3 cups whipped cream
  • 1 jar Maraschino Cherries (drained, diced)
  • ½ cup walnuts (chopped)
  • ¼ cup chocolate syrup

Instructions
 

Prepare Cake/Brownie Layer

  • Prepare the cake or brownies and make sure it’s completely cooled before assembling the dessert.
    1 9x13 Yellow Cake
    1 9x13 Angel Food Cake
    1 9x13 Chocolate cake
    1 9x13 Pan of Brownies
  • Cut or tear the cake or brownies into bite-sized pieces.
  • Prepare the vanilla pudding mix following the directions on the box. If you’re using homemade vanilla pudding, be sure it’s cold first.

How to Layer the Banana Trifle

  • Layer 1= In a trifle dish or large clear salad bowl add a layer of cake/brownie pieces.
  • Layer 2= Add half of the pudding
    3 cups Vanilla Pudding
  • Layer 3= Add half of the sliced bananas
    3 large bananas
  • Layer 4 = Add half of the sliced strawberries
    1 ½ cups strawberries
  • Layer 5= Add half of the pineapple
    1½ cups pineapple, diced
  • Layer 6= Add half of the whipped cream (or Cool Whip)
    3 cups whipped cream
  • Layer 7= Add half the Maraschino cherries
    1 jar Maraschino Cherries
  • Layer 8= Drizzle with half of the chocolate syrup
    ¼ cup chocolate syrup
  • Layer 9= Add half of the chopped nuts
    ½ cup walnuts
  • Repeat all these steps with the remaining ingredients in the same order. Cover the dessert and chill it for at least two hours, or until ready to serve.

Notes

For this trifle recipe, you have the option to choose the type of base you prefer. You can select from either a Yellow Cake, Angel Food Cake, Chocolate Cake, Strawberry Cake or a Pan of Brownies. Please note that you should only choose one of these options, not all.
Recipe Size Alteration Note

If you altered the ingedients above by doubling or tripling the recipe, you may also need to change the pan/dish size and adjust the cooking/baking time.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 177kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 2gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 42mgPotassium: 233mgFiber: 2gSugar: 21gVitamin A: 145IUVitamin C: 23mgCalcium: 35mgIron: 1mgNet Carbs: 27g
Tried this recipe?Mention @Budget101com or tag #Budget101com!

Banana Split Trifle FAQ

What is a Banana Split Trifle?

A Banana Split Trifle is a layered dessert with pieces of cake, homemade or instant pudding, and toppings typically found in a banana split, such as bananas, strawberries, pineapple, whipped cream, cherries, walnuts, and chocolate syrup.

Can I make this Banana Split Trifle ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare it in advance. It’s actually recommended to let the trifle sit for a few hours or overnight to let the flavors meld together.

What’s the difference between a trifle and a parfait?

Both are layered desserts, but a trifle is traditionally a British dessert made with custard, sponge cake soaked in sherry, and fruit, while a parfait is a French dessert that layers cream, ice cream, or yogurt with fruit and/or granola.

Can I use a different flavor of pudding?

Yes, you can experiment with different flavors of pudding. The recipe usually calls for vanilla or cheesecake flavored instant pudding mix, but chocolate could be an interesting variation.

What kind of cake can I use for the trifle?

The choice is flexible – you can use yellow cake, angel food cake, chocolate cake, or even a pan of brownies. Angel food cake seems to be a popular choice.

Do I need to use fresh fruit for the trifle?

Do I need to use fresh fruit for the trifle? Fresh fruit is recommended for the best flavor, but you can also use well-drained canned pineapple if fresh isn’t available.

How do I prevent the bananas from getting brown and mushy?

Slice the bananas just before layering them into the trifle to prevent browning. Also, layering them between other ingredients can help keep them from getting mushy.

What size of trifle dish should I use?

For the given recipe, a trifle dish with a capacity of about 3 to 4 quarts (12-16 cups) should suffice.

Can I substitute Cool Whip for homemade whipped cream?

Yes, if you’re short on time or prefer the taste, you can use a container of Cool Whip instead of making homemade whipped cream.

How should I serve the Banana Split Trifle?

You can serve it chilled directly from the fridge. It makes a great dessert for parties or large gatherings due to its size.

What size cake is needed for this trifle recipe

The size of the cake needed for this trifle recipe would typically be a standard 9×9-inch cake. This size should yield enough pieces to create multiple layers in your trifle dish.

If you’re using brownies, a 9×9-inch pan of baked brownies would also work.

A 9×9 cake can yield approximately 9 cups when cubed. Remember, the goal is to have enough cake or brownies to layer with your other ingredients in the trifle dish.

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