Banana Split Surprise Cake

This is a sponsored review from BlogHer and Kraft.

Banana Split Surprise Cake ~ Get your eating pants on; this is a fork-to-mouth, plate-clearing addiction! This three-story cake has two layers of banana flavored cake with a surprise cheesecake-centered layer dressed up with a funfetti effect.  Caught between those layers is a light banana cream frosting, and finishing it off (like a traditional banana split) is chocolate drizzling, sprinkles, and maraschino cherries.

Banana Split Cake

Banana Split Surprise Cake

As a self-taught baker sometimes concept to reality can be a complete bust; others times things come out as expected.  And then there are the occasions when the results even exceed my expectation.

This Banana Split Cake fell somewhere between the latter two, depending on who in my group of friends you poll. Expectations for this cake were high since it’s a recipe I created for Kraft’s Philadelphia Cream Cheese in honor of the RWOP contest.

I wanted to create something worthy enough to be featured alongside the other recipes in the RWOP recipe community. You’ll find everything from fast and easy to show-stopping recipes that will pretty much leave you inspired to get baking and/or cooking. Hit the jump and take a look around and you’ll quickly see what I mean. When you’re done come back and share what you’ve bookmarked. And don’t forget to check out what these other participating bloggers created.

A few notes:

  • Advance preparation: The frosting can be made up to five days in advance and refrigerated, then brought to room temperature for frosting. The cheesecake can be made up to one day in advance. The cake can be made fully assembled a day ahead of time.
  • Keep cake layers cold for easy frosting.
  • If you do not have a springform pan for the cheesecake, line a cake pan with foil and leave a one inch overhang for easy removal.
  • To create the soft yellow frosting, I used Ateco’s yellow food coloring. The amount you add to create color may vary depending on the brand you use, so add only a few drops at time and check it.

Banana Split Cake Bakers Royale Panel1

Banana Split Surprise Cake

Banana Cake Preparation: Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter one 9×2-inch cake pan and then lightly dust with flour.

Banana Cheesecake Preparation: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter one 9×2-inch springform pan and then lightly dust with flour.


Banana Cake:

  • 14 tablespoons of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • ½ confectioner sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed bananas
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Banana Cream Frosting:

  • 5 large egg whites
  • 11/2 cup sugar
  • 4 sticks unsalted butter, diced and softened
  • 1/2 cup mashed bananas
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon vanillas extract
  • 5-8 drops of yellow food coloring (this amount may vary depending on the brand used)

Banana Cheesecake:

  • 1 lb Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
  • ½ cup confectioner sugar
  • ¼ cup  granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup of mashed bananas
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons non-pareils


Banana Cake:

  1. Add butter into a a stand mixer bowl, and with a paddle attachment beat the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Sift both sugars together and then gradually add to the butter, mixing  until combined. Add eggs in one at a time and continue to mix to combine.
  2. In separate bowl, sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside. In another bowl add mashed bananas, sour cream, and vanilla mixing to combine.
  3. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients and alternating with the banana mixture into butter mixture in three parts. Mix well after each addition and scrape down bowl as needed.
  4. Pour finished cake mixture into cake pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool cake on a wire rack.

Banana Cheesecake:

  1. Add Philadelphia Cream Cheese in a stand mixer bowl, and with a paddle attachment beat cream cheese on medium speed until smooth – about 2 minutes.  Add sugar and mix until combined. Add eggs in one at a time and mix until just combined, making sure to scrape down bowl between each addition. Add mashed bananas and mix to combine. Add vanilla extract and mix to combine. Pour 1/3 of the mixture into the pan and sprinkle non-pareils on top; repeat this two more times. Do not stir as the non-pareils will streak and melt.
  2. Bake at 500 degrees for ten minutes, then lower temperature to 250 degrees. To bring down the oven temperature quickly leave the door slightly ajar for 10 minutes. Close the oven door and bake for another 50 minutes. Remove cake from oven and rest on cooling rack.

Banana Cream Frosting:

  1. Combine egg whites and sugar in a bowl placed over simmering water. Bring mixture to 150 degrees F while whisking constantly.
  2. Transfer mixture to stand mixer bowl, fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on medium speed until mixture cools and doubles in volume.
  3. Add butter in one piece at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition. The mixture may appear clumpy and almost curdled-looking but this is normal. Keep mixing and it will become even and smooth again. Add bananas and mix to combine. Add salt and vanilla and mix to combine. Add 2-3 drops of food coloring at a time and mix to combine before adding in more drops. Continue until desired color is achieved.


  1. Cut cake evenly in half horizontally. Place bottom side of cake down and evenly spread a layer of frosting on top. Place cheesecake layer on top and press it down slightly into the frosting. Spread second layer of frosting on top of cheesecake. Place second cake layer on top and press it down slightly, then spread remaining frosting on top and all over sides. Finish frosting to preference.

*To finish like the picture, take a small icing spatula or butter knife and drag diagonally from bottom to top. Pipe rosettes on top, drizzle melted chocolate on top, and finish rosettes with a maraschino cherry on top. Sprinkle jimmies and nonpareils on top.

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  1. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    Looks super delicious Naomi!! I love the cheesecake surprise centre, what a great idea and a lovely surprise to find as you bite into the cake. Beautifully decorated too!

  2. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonPam says

    Looks yummy!

    In the recipe for Banana Cream Frosting, bananas are not in the ingredient list but the directions call for adding bananas.
    What is the measurement for bananas in the frosting?

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      Naomi replied: — May 23rd, 2011 @ 1:46 pm

      Hi Pam-I’ve added the measurement to the recipe, it 1/2 cup mashed bananas. Thanks for letting me know. Naomi

  3. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    You hit the nail on the head with implementing a concept to reality. This is nothing short of amazing!!!

  4. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    That looks so incredibly sinful and delicious!! I love the banana cheesecake addition in the middle. My only fear is that I would never be able to make it nearly as pretty as you did.

  5. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonLindsey @ Hot Polka Dot says

    This looks so flippin delicious I don’t even know where to begin! I adore the surprise cheesecake layer!

  6. Avatar for Naomi Robinsonmeglamb says

    I am making this tonight for my boyfriends birthday tomorrow! I just got tiny little springforms so I think I’m going to make a few minis!! can’t wait to see how they turn out! :)

  7. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonMrs. D says

    For the cake batter, you wrote ½ confectioner sugar and I’m assuming it is 1/2 CUP of confectioner sugar right?

    Thank you.

  8. Avatar for Naomi Robinsonsaskia says

    it looks awesome! i’m from germany and have on little question:
    did you mean with sour cream that sour cream like eg which you eat with baked potatoes or normal cream only sour?

  9. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonAmanda says

    Tried this recipe for my neices birthday, thank you so much, i got positive feedback from the adults. The kids…not so much. Probably because the frosting isn’t what they’re used to on a cake. Next time, to please the whole crowd, I’ll use a standard buttercream.

    Warning: Baking the cheesecake at 500 burned the top. Because itwas hidden, it wasn’t big deal, but the rest of the cheesecake baking took much less than noted in the recipe. Like an entire 30 minutes less. Be careful here!

  10. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonJudith says

    I made your cake and was not quite sure if everything has worked out, as the cake was still a bit too moist and crumbled. As well, my decorating skills are far far away from yours and finally, it looked a bit weird BUT it tasted so great! We ate it yesterday and I think I’m still full :)
    Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  11. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonLetitia Stocker says

    What a great concept! My daughter (5 years tomorrow) wanted a birthday cake with bananas, I am using your recipe but changing decorations to suit a girl who loves bananas & pink. The hidden cheese cake layer is bright pink & I think I will decorate with strawberry, blueberry & bananas. Thanks xx