Three things inspired this dessert recipe: my mom’s Eclaire Cake, this organic banana pudding I found at Sprouts, and my love of banana splits, of course. If you have ever had eclair cake, you might be familiar with how the graham crackers turn a little soggy from sitting in the pudding, and they take the place of the delicate puff pastry shells of a traditional eclair. The softened crackers fool the palate quite well. If you desire, graham crackers can be found gluten free. When you make this, you can use cool whip, but I used heavy whipping cream. Furthermore, fruit preserves or sundae toppings can be used in place of fresh fruit. Next time you’re in the mood for a banana split, but want to mix things up a bit… or you just don’t want your dessert to melt quickly in the heat, whip these up instead! Scroll down for recipe.↓
Prepare the ingredients for your parfait layers: banana pudding/whipped cream mixture, graham crackers and fresh fruit (or preserves). ↓
Next comes another layer of crumbled graham crackers, followed by another layer of pudding mix, a layer of pineapple, and a third layer of crumbled graham crackers. After the crackers, use a glass to gently press the mixture down a little.↓
For best results, store these in refrigerator for a few hours, so the crackers can soften. You can store them over night as well. When ready to serve, top each with a dollop of whipped cream and a maraschino cherry.↓
- 1- 3.4 oz. box banana pudding
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream*
- 6-8 whole graham crackers, crumbled (gluten free are available)
- 1 1/2 cup *strawberries, diced
- 1 1/2 cup *pineapple, diced
- few tablespoons sugar (for cream and fruit)
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 cup (or more) chocolate syrup
- whipped cream, for garnish
- maraschino cherries, for garnish
- chopped nuts (if desired, for garnish)
- Prepare pudding according to package directions. If cooked, allow to cool, with plastic wrap over the surface to prevent a film from forming on top of pudding.
- With an electric mixer, combine heavy cream with one tablespoon sugar and 1/2 tsp. vanilla. Whip until light and fluffy.
- When pudding is cool, add whipped cream and beat with electric mixer, once again, until well mixed and a little fluffy.
- Chop strawberries and pineapple and place in separate bowls. To each fruit, add a tablespoon of sugar and mix gently.
- Transfer pudding mixture into a frosting piping bag or large zip-lock-type bag. Cut a hole out of the corner of the bag.
- Prepare your work surface, with pudding/whip cream mixture, graham crackers and chopped fruit.
- Graham cracker crumbles,
- Pudding/whip cream mixture (pipe it in, then flatten and smooth with back of a spoon),
- Strawberries (spoon them in),
- Graham cracker crumbles,
- Pudding/whip cream mixture,
- Graham cracker crumbles (gently compress/flatten all layers down with the bottom of a glass),
- Pudding/whip cream mixture.
- Complete the layers with a healthy squirt of chocolate syrup.
- Place in refrigerator and let chill for at least four hours (or overnight), so the graham crackers will soften.
- When ready to serve, add a dollop of whipped cream and top with a cherry. (Top with nuts if desired). Serve immediately.
- Instead of whipping cream, you can use a small tub (8 oz.) of Cool Whip topping.
- Instead of fresh fruit, you can use preserves or sundae toppings.