Banana Split in a Jar


I came up with this recipe when I realized I had some bananas on the verge of going bad. I can’t remember the last time I ate a banana split, but I love the combination of fruit flavors. And the whipped cream. And the fudge. And the ice cream.

And I wondered why I hadn’t had one in so long. But, of course, banana splits can be a bit of a hassle to put together. You gotta have all the stuff. Then I thought–banana split in a jar!!!

I searched around online, wondering if such a thing already existed–because surely I couldn’t be the only one to come up with this idea. I found several recipes that were called banana split, but they weren’t really. Some included cocoa or chocolate liqueur, and they generally combined only strawberries and bananas. Where was the pineapple? AND THE CHERRIES? You can’t have a banana split without maraschino cherries. I didn’t find a single recipe that included all the fruit flavors that make up a classic banana split. Also, I didn’t like the idea of the addition of the cocoa or chocolate liqueur in the jar with the fruit. I knew that would make the mixture dark, which didn’t sound appealing, plus the chocolate syrup isn’t a big deal to put on the ice cream, nor is the whipped cream. Most of us have chocolate syrup and whipped cream in our refrigerators on a regular basis. The hassle in putting a banana split together is all the fruit.

So I created a recipe combining all four of the traditional banana split fruits, ready, able, and willing to go on top of a bowl of ice cream. Just add chocolate syrup and whipped cream!

Don’t know how to can? See How to Can: Hot Water Bath Method.

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How to make Banana Split in a Jar:

2 cups mashed bananas
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 cups crushed strawberries
1 1/2 cups crushed pineapple
1 cup halved maraschino cherries
1 package powdered pectin
5 cups sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
optional: 1/2 cup banana rum (or dark rum)

Mix lemon juice into bananas immediately after mashing to retain the fresh color then combine all the fruit and the pectin in a big pot.

Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Add sugar (and a dab of butter to reduce foaming).

Bring to a rolling boil; boil hard one minute. Remove from heat and add nuts and rum (if using).

Ladle into jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Process in a boiling water bath 15 minutes. (This is actually my pressure canner, which I’ve started using also for boiling water bath canning. I don’t tighten down the lid as in pressure canning, of course. I just set the lid on top. I like the rack better in my pressure canner.)

Serve over ice cream with whipped cream and chocolate syrup! How easy is that?

This also makes a great spread on toast or topping for pancakes or waffles, pound cake or cheesecake, and everything else you can think up. I love the combination of fruit flavors in this. The red from the strawberries really takes over the coloring in the jar, but the banana flavor comes through with a tease of pineapple and a fun shot of cherries. When I give this to Georgia, she’s gonna eat it with a spoon right out of the jar.

If you don’t like any of the specific classic banana split fruits, of course you can leave it out and increase the other fruits, or replace it with something else. If you don’t like walnuts, use pecans, or no nuts at all. I added banana rum because I had it. You could use another rum, or leave that out altogether.

I started out thinking I wouldn’t use pectin, that I’d just simmer until it was a thick but pourable consistency. At the last minute, I chickened out, thinking it would be thinner than I wanted. Just tossing that thought out there if you want to give it a try. I decided I preferred more of a conserve or jam consistency so I used the pectin.

This recipe makes about 9 half-pints. I made a couple batches, some in half-pints, some in family-size full pints. I see holiday gifts!

And ice cream. I see a lot of ice cream.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on October 9, 2010  

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42 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 10-9

    Oh man that looks good!!! What a great idea. Hmmm….I want a banana split now!

  2. 10-9

    Yum! I love to can and special things like this make the necessary items worth the work!

  3. 10-9

    that looks simply heavenly!!! :devil2: :devil2:

  4. 10-9

    OMGosh! That looks and sounds so great! I want a banana split!!

  5. 10-9

    Genius! It’s so great to come up with a completely new recipe. It looks delicious and it’ll be a hit! Have a lovely weekend!

  6. 10-9

    Looks really good!

  7. 10-9

    It’s only 7:35 a.m., but I want a Banana Split–NOW! Thanks for this recipe.

  8. 10-9

    It’s beautiful! And this type of recipe is one of my favorites kinds – one that can made canned pretty much year round. Perfect addition to a Christmas gift basket of ice cream toppings! Woohoo! Blue Ribbon winner Suzanne! :shimmy:

  9. 10-9

    What a great idea. You are very adventuresome to try caning bananas!

    Now how about a great mincemeat recipe…bet Georgia has one.

    I made some last year by just adding this and that and really liked it. I am getting ready to try to do it again but would love a really authentic old recipe.

  10. 10-9

    what a great idea!

    just one question. i have a really strong aversion to grocery store canned pineapple. would i be able to use fresh pineapple that i’ve crush myself in this? i know pineapple is one of those things you have to be careful with in gelatin desserts, but what about with pectin?

  11. 10-9

    I used fresh pineapple, some leftover that I’d frozen in chunks. I put it through the food processor to crush it (made it kinda pulpy, really). Fresh tastes so much better.

  12. 10-9

    glenda, I’ll ask her!

    Re the bananas, notice there’s a lot of lemon juice in this recipe.

  13. 10-9

    I could have used some of that for my French Toast this morning!Yum!

  14. 10-9

    Banana Split in a JAR – that is pure genius! :hungry:

  15. 10-9

    And I thought I was done canning fruit for the year! Gotta go to the grocery store now. Looks great!

  16. 10-9

    I’m pretty sure I just fell in love :heart: This is going on top of my homemade yogurt :D

  17. 10-9

    We need some more canning books with recipes we can trust. The USDA has me paranoid. Maybe in your spare time, you could write one for us :) I want to do some variations to recipes or make up my own but I am not sure what is safe. I know the lemon juice is what would make this safe for canning but how do you determine how much to use?

  18. 10-9

    This looks divine. I’d drown waffles in this.

  19. 10-9

    NIRVANA!!! :shimmy:

  20. 10-9

    Wow — great idea. This looks GREAT! Thank you, Suzanne!

  21. 10-9

    Oh my goodness, that looks so good! What a great idea! I haven’t had a banana split in ages. Thanks for the great recipe!

  22. 10-9

    FYI – bananas are a low acid fruit, as fruits go, with a pH of around 5 or so. Added to high acid fruits and adding additional acid (here, bottled lemon juice) compensates for the lower pH of the bananas. One of the best ways to experiment with customizing a similar recipe is to find something comparable that IS approved, then look into subbing your fruit choice for a fruit in that recipe. If your choice is lower in acid (higher in pH) than the one you are eliminating/subbing for, some acid needs added. Bananas aren’t a great choice for canning EXCEPT in a recipe like this yummy one Suzanne created where they are mixed with more attractive fruits. It’s more a cosmetic issue with bananas :lol:
    For water bath canning, the ‘magic number’ is a pH of 4.6 or lower.
    There are several pH lists online and they are great bookmark to have if you are a creative canner. Here’s one from Pick Your Own

  23. 10-9

    :bugeyed: :bugeyed:

    oops! Make that higher pH/lower acid of the bananas…..

    (where’s the red-faced icon! lol)


  24. 10-9

    I just made this, and it’s INCREDIBLE! I put 3 cups of sugar in instead of 5, but other than that, followed the recipe. I used frozen strawberries and canned pineapple. And then I used a little of the homemade chocolate syrup (like the Hershey’s in the little can we all remember). MMMMM!

  25. 10-10

    Love it, cant wait to try it. Very clever idea, I can see gift baskets in the future. Homemade and handmade stuff is so much better
    then store bought. So unique!

  26. 10-10

    Wow, this looks amazing!!! I love your blog!

  27. 10-10

    I now have several pints of this on my kitchen counter! Thank you for the recipe!!!!

  28. 10-10

    I absolutely LOVE your website. I stumbled upon it about a month and a half ago looking for advice on canning. Yesterday, I just baked my first loaf of bread ever after reading your recipes and instructions. I’ve canned 27 quarts of various soups/stews, my husband and I are planning a garden this spring. I have your recipes for Tex Mex Enchiladas and just made some chili powder. I got my tortilla press and am going to try it out next weekend. I’m hooked and I love it! I’m a born city girl, now living in a small town wishing I grew up on a farm. Hahahah!!

  29. 10-11

    Do you think this would work with the no sugar needed pectin?

  30. 10-11

    Rhonda, I have no experience with the no sugar pectin, so I really don’t know.

  31. 10-11

    Rhonda, Pomona pectin has instructions on how to convert recipes to no sugar recipes using their product (which uses calcium water to gel). Here’s their website

    And here is a link to the PDF that comes with their product


  32. 10-11

    Wow, I luv banana splits and don’t even think about making them at home. Looks YUMMY!

  33. 10-11

    Just took 5 & 1/2 pints out of the canner. The mix I couldn’t get into jars (about 1/4 cup) got cooled enough to taste and was promptly consumed.

    This stuff is great. Thanks Suzanne!!!


  34. 10-14

    after reading the recipe, i thought it sounded absolutely disgusting. (i don’t eat jams, preserves, etc) but i thought other people might like it so i tried it for xmas gifts. OMG….you have made a believer outta me! It is absolutely wonderful.

    I did cut the sugar down to 2 cups as I can’t eat lots of sugar and it was quite good. I did use the no sugar pectin. I have my second batch cooling on the counter.

    Consider me a convert. :)

  35. 10-14

    I made this and canned five pints, and it is wonderful, we have already had some over ice cream. Thanks so much for posting it. God Bless you and yours. Kay

  36. 10-24

    Made this today, turned out super good. though I think it had a little to much sugar for us! will reduce that a bit in the next batch. Super yummy though. My mom sends her thanks for posting this!

  37. 1-4

    This is absolutely fantastic. I gave it as gifts to my family for Christmas and they all loved it. I’ll be making another batch soon.

  38. 5-7

    UPDATE: Gave this out for Christmas and just today, I got a “I don’t think I properly thanked you for the ice cream topping” Knowing this fine person, it was really a “Do you have any more to give me???” :lol: Guess I best get myself busy again since the strawberries are fresh, and will make 2 batches this time…Thanks again Suzanne!


  39. 5-16

    I just made this! It’s wonderful! GENIUS!!!

  40. 7-26

    I just made a batch of this and it is wonderful. Thanks for a tremendous recipe. It will make great gifts if we don’t eat it all. :happyfeet:

  41. 8-31

    I’ve been thinking about this recipe since it was originally posted and I finally tried it. This is fabulous! Since a couple of people mentioned it was quite sweet, I used 3 cups of sugar and no/low sugar pectin. Before I stirred the pectin into the fruit, I mixed the pectin with 1/4 cup of the sugar. It worked just fine. Thank you, Suzanne!

  42. 6-30

    What a fun recipe! I can’t wait to try this. My favorite blizzard at DQ is the Banana Split Blizzard, for all of the reasons you mentioned. I love all the stuff together! I make my own chocolate syrup (wonder if you could can that since it doesn’t use any milk?) so this will be a great gift. Homemade chocolate syrup + banana split topping=good stuff! Thank for posting this great recipe!

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