This banana split fluff recipe is an easy dessert salad packed with pineapple, nuts, bananas, chocolate chips, maraschino cherries, and all your favorite banana split toppings.
Have you ever had fluff desserts like strawberry fluff, watergate salad, or snickers salad? The light and fluffy dessert salads are the kind of old-fashioned recipe you would find in old church cookbooks.
People love fluff recipes like this banana split dessert because they are delicious, great for feeding a crowd, and one of the easiest desserts ever. Simply dump all the ingredients into a big bowl, stir, and you are good to go.
They are perfect for picnics, summer parties, wedding and baby showers, the holidays, or any other occasion where people gather and would enjoy a tasty treat. But take my advice, you may want to double the recipe because this recipe is always a crowd-pleaser with many people coming back for a second helping!
While we typically enjoy this banana split fluff salad recipe as a dessert, it can also be served up as a side dish at a BBQ or potluck. It is essentially a fruit salad after all.
This section includes ingredient notes and substitution options. Get all measurements, ingredients, and instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this post.
- Cherry pie filling— I typically grab a can from the store but you could also use your own homemade cherry pie filling if you are feeling fancy. You could also swap for strawberry pie filling, if desired.
- Sweetened condensed milk— Add sweetness and creaminess. Be sure not to grab a can of evaporated milk by mistake–although they are often next to each other on the shelf they are not interchangeable.
- Cool Whip— While some fluff recipes call for cream cheese, this one doesn’t. It uses whipped topping (Cool Whip) instead to get the desired light and creamy texture. If you prefer you can use a store-brand whipped topping or make a homemade stabilized whipped cream to use instead.
- Sour cream— Use full-fat for the best flavor or light if you are trying to make it a bit healthier.
- Mini marshmallows— or for a pop of color try using colored marshmallows.
- Pineapple chunks— Adds a hint of sweet tangy flavor. Not a fan of pineapple? You can add a handful of shredded coconut instead.
- Bananas— Because it wouldn’t be a banana split dessert without bananas! While some recipes call for ripe bananas, for this recipe you want to use firm bananas.
- Walnuts— Add to the salad’s classic banana split flavor and give a nice bit of crunch. If you prefer you can substitute with chopped almonds or pecans or even leave out the nuts entirely.
- Maraschino cherries— Another essential banana split ingredient.
- Mini chocolate chips— Add just the right amount of chocolate flavor.
- Optional toppings— Chocolate syrup and additional Cool Whip, walnuts, and mini chocolate chips.
- Mixing bowl
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Rubberr spatula
- Plastic wrap
- Can opener
- Big spoon, for serving
How to make banana split fluff
This section shows you how to make the recipe with step-by-step photos and instructions. For the full printable recipe, see the recipe card below.
Step 1. In a large bowl, stir together the Cool Whip, cherry pie filling, sweetened condensed milk, and sour cream.
Step 2. Fold the mini marshmallows, pineapple chunks, banana slices, walnuts, maraschino cherries, and mini chocolate chips into the pink mixture.
Step 3. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or until ready to serve.
Step 4: Serve cold in either one large bowl or in individual bowls or glasses. Top with additional Cool Whip a drizzle of chocolate sundae syrup, and extra sundae toppings before serving, if desired.
Cover and store in the fridge for up to 3 days. Give the salad a stir before serving.
Tips and Serving Suggestions
- Make sure you drain the can of pineapple chunks before adding them to the salad. You do not want the pineapple juice watering down your dessert.
- Make a banana fluff sundae by topping individual servings with Cool Whip (or whipped cream), chocolate sauce, and sundae toppings. Don’t forget to add a maraschino cherry on top. You can even serve it in a waffle bowl if you like!
- Add caramel sauce or strawberry sauce in addition to the chocolate sauce for added decadence.
Banana Split Fluff FAQ
Fluff salads are best served fresh. But if by some miracle you have extra of this dream dessert you can freeze it in a freezer-safe airtight container for up to three months. However, freezing may cause some texture changes so I really recommend enjoying it within 3 days if possible. (Never a problem for us!)
Yes, you can make your banana split fluff dessert up to a day before you want to serve it. Just keep it covered in the fridge until ready to serve.
More delicious dessert dip and salad recipes
- 4 cups Cool Whip, thawed
- 1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie filling
- 1 ¼ cup sweetened condensed milk
- ½ cup sour cream
- 2 cups mini marshmallows
- 1 ¾ cup pineapple chunks, drained
- 2 bananas, peeled and sliced into ½ inch chunks
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped
- ¾ cup maraschino cherries
- ¼ cup mini chocolate chips
- Chocolate sundae syrup and additional Cool Whip, optional topping
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the Cool Whip, cherry pie filling, sweetened condensed milk, and sour cream.
- Fold in the mini marshmallows, pineapple chunks, bananas, walnuts, maraschino cherries, and mini chocolate chips.
- Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or until ready to serve.
- Serve cold in one large bowl or spoon into individual bowls or glasses. Top with additional Cool Whip and a drizzle of chocolate sundae syrup before serving, if desired.
Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Stir gently before enjoying.
Make a banana fluff sundae by topping individual servings with Cool Whip (or whipped cream), chocolate sauce, and sundae toppings. Don't forget to add a maraschino cherry on top.