Why have just one ice cream flavor when you can have all three? This Neapolitan Banana Ice Cream cake is a creamy, decadent dessert for any occasion! Vegan & gluten-free.
I have to say, I may have outdone myself with this banana ice cream cake. #humblebrag
But LOOK AT THEM LAYERS! Seriously, whoever came up with the idea of Neapolitan ice cream is a genius. I’ll take three flavors of ice cream deliciously melted together, thank you very much.
I have to be honest though – I used to hate Neapolitan ice cream. I feel like that’s a general theme with my recipes – “I used to hate XXX, but now I looooove it!”
First off, I didn’t really like that many chocolate things. Chocolate ice cream wasn’t for me – vanilla was (and always will be) my jam. The only way I actually liked chocolate was 1. chocolate frosting on yellow cake, and 2. chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. (PS we gotta get a recipe for that on the blog…)
I also didn’t like strawberry ice cream, or really any fruit-flavored ice cream. Like, can I just have the fresh fruit with vanilla ice cream on the side? Ugh, what a complicated adolescent.
Now I’m all like, ayyyyy let’s get these flavors all mixed & melty and eat ’em up. I don’t discriminate against flavors. Equal opportunity ice cream eater over here👏🏼
Since we ain’t got time for turning on our ovens to bake dessert during this hot season, lettuce embrace all the no-bake dessert options. I’ve already got a few on the blog (chunky monkey ice cream and blueberry froyo!!!), but the idea of an ice cream cake came to me like a dream. I had to make it happen.
For you AND for me. I wish I could share a slice with you right now!
You know what’s super duper magical about this ice cream cake? It’s made out of BANANAS. And COCONUT MILK. Aka real ingredients that’ll keep your body satisfied and happy. Of course, there’s a time and a place for extra decadent vegan ice cream (insert: cashew milk snickerdoodle), but frozen bananas can make magic, too. And it couldn’t be easier!
I used a springform pan for this, but I think you could also use a 9×13-ish casserole dish. Use what you have!
We start with an easy crust of nuts, dates, and oats, then we top it with a chocolate banana ice cream layer, a vanilla banana ice cream layer, and finally a strawberry banana ice cream layer. Then melted chocolate goodness and fresh strawbs because we’re *extra.*
It goes without saying that this melts quick, so you’ll want to serve it immediately after taking it out of the freezer. But my bet is that it won’t really last long in a crowd anyways. Just guessing.
Who’s ready for some CAKE? 🍰🍰🍰
Neapolitan Banana Ice Cream Cake (vegan & gluten-free)
Why have just one ice cream flavor when you can have all three? This Neapolitan Banana Ice Cream cake is a creamy, decadent dessert for any occasion! Vegan & gluten-free)
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 3/4 cup almonds (or nut/seed of choice)
- 1 cup pitted dates
- 1–2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
- 5 bananas, frozen
- 1 cup coconut cream or full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight*
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
- 1 cup strawberries, frozen
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)
- Fresh strawberries for topping (optional)
- In a food processor or blender, add oats. Pulse until a flour forms. Add almonds, dates, and 1 tablespoon applesauce. Pulse until a stiff dough forms, adding 1 more tablespoon applesauce if needed.
- Press the dough evenly into the bottom of a springform pan. Place in the freezer while you make the first ice cream layer.
- For the chocolate layer: In the food processor or blender, add 2 frozen bananas, 1/4 cup coconut cream, cocoa powder, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Blend until completely smooth. Scoop the ice cream on top of the crust and spread evenly. Freeze for at least 30 minutes, or until the top is firm.
- For the vanilla layer: In the food processor or blender, add 2 frozen bananas, 1/2 cup coconut cream, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Blend until completely smooth. Scoop the ice cream on top of the chocolate layer and spread evenly. Freeze for at least 30 minutes, or until the top is firm.
- For the strawberry layer: In the food processor or blender, add 1 frozen bananas, 1/4 cup coconut cream, frozen strawberries, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Blend until completely smooth. Scoop the ice cream on top of the vanilla layer and spread evenly. Freeze for at least 30 minutes, or until the top is firm.
- Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between. Drizzle the chocolate over the cake, then freeze until hardened.
- When ready to serve, top with strawberries and serve immediately. It melts fast!
*You have to refrigerate the coconut cream or milk overnight so that the cream solidifies at the top of the can. You want to use that solid white cream for this recipe and save the milky liquid for another use. I usually use Trader Joe’s canned coconut cream or full-fat coconut milk.
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