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Salty Pretzel Banana Pudding Ice Cream Cake – everyone’s nostalgic and loved banana pudding, recreated in the form of yummy vanilla ice cream cake. The crust is made up of salty pretzels mixed with sweet Nilla wafer cookies, then baked, chilled, and layered with creamy vanilla ice cream plus additional honey-toasted crumbs. A topping of fresh bananas, vanilla cream, and more of those addicting salty cookie crumbs finish the cake off.

Salty Pretzel Banana Pudding Ice Cream Cake Cake |

It’s slowly becoming ice cream season with lots of spring weather in New York this week. Plus sunshine and warmth in Miami today, I am so excited!

For the longest time I’ve wanted to share a banana pudding recipe, but two reasons have always steered me off the banana pudding path. The first is that I don’t love the idea of using a boxed pudding mix. Most traditional, more retro recipes, use box pudding. If I do ever end up creating banana pudding, it needs to be SIMPLE. A boxed pudding mix would take care of that, but I just don’t love their ingredient list. So I’ll keep working on a solution.

Salty Pretzel Banana Pudding Ice Cream Cake Cake |

The second reason I have yet to share banana pudding is simple, I don’t want to simply recreate a recipe that’s already on the internet.

But Easter is this Sunday! And I wanted to share a banana pudding type of dessert. And that’s when I thought, “Well, a banana ice cream cake could be really fun!”.

Salty Pretzel Banana Pudding Ice Cream Cake Cake |

I made this cake before heading out of town and I’ve been looking forward to sharing it ever since. I love this simple cake, and I love that it reminds me of my Nonnie and her 6 ingredient Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Cake.

She’d make that ice cream cake all the time, especially for warm weather holidays or whenever we’d spend time with my grandparents in Florida. It’s still one of my family’s favorite cakes. I make it often too!

Salty Pretzel Banana Pudding Ice Cream Cake Cake |

Here are some details

Start with the crust. A mix of salty crushed-up pretzels and Nilla wafer cookies, which are a staple in every banana pudding recipe.

The crust is baked in a springform pan. At the same time, I bake a separate pan of crumbs up along with some honey. We’ll use these crumbs for sprinkling over the cake.

Salty Pretzel Banana Pudding Ice Cream Cake Cake | halfbakedharvest.comBake the crust and then let it cool so the cream doesn’t melt into the crust.

Take a container of vanilla ice cream, I like the Tillamook old-fashioned vanilla. Then layer it onto the bottom of the crust.

Salty Pretzel Banana Pudding Ice Cream Cake Cake |

Add half of the toasted loose crumbs from earlier, and freeze. You only need to freeze this layer for 20 or so minutes.

While that first layer freezes, mash a few ripe bananas and swirl them with vanilla, plus some honey. Mix in more vanilla ice and then take that banana-swirled ice cream and spread it out over the cake. Freeze again, but this time freeze until totally frozen!!

Salty Pretzel Banana Pudding Ice Cream Cake Cake |

To finish the cake, layer with sliced bananas, cream, and then, the salty-sweet cookie crumbs!

Slice and enjoy every last creamy, banana-filled bite. It’s sweet, heavy on the ice cream, swirled with banana, honey, and vanilla, and has just the right amount of salty cookie and pretzel crunch on the bottom. The perfect balance of sweet and salty that leaves you longing for another bite.

It’s a real show-stopper!

Salty Pretzel Banana Pudding Ice Cream Cake Cake |

Looking for more ice cream cake recipes? Here are a few to try:

Strawberry Pretzel Ice Cream Cake

Coffee and Fudge Ice Cream Cake

Swirled Berry Ice Cream Butter Cake

Triple Layer Chocolate Fudge Ice cream Cake

Nonnie’s 6 Ingredient Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Cake

Lastly, if you make this Salty Pretzel Banana Pudding Ice Cream Cake Cake, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Salty Pretzel Banana Pudding Ice Cream Cake

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 6 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories Per Serving: 469 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.



  • 1. Line a 9 inch springform pan with parchment paper. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350°.
    2. In a food processor, pulse the pretzels and Nilla wafer cookies into fine crumbs. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture holds together when pinched. Press half of the crumbs into the bottom of the springform pan, spread the remaining crumbs out on the baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tablespoon honey. Bake 5-8 minutes, until toasted.
    3. Scoop 3-4 cups of vanilla ice cream out onto the cooled crust. Flatten/spread into a mostly even layer. Sprinkle with half of the loose pretzel/cookie crumbs. Freeze for 30 minutes.
    4. Mash 2-3 bananas in a bowl with 2 tablespoons honey, 2 teaspoons vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Add 2 cups vanilla ice cream and gently swirl together. Spread onto the vanilla layer. Freeze for 30 minutes more.
    5. Before serving, use an electric mixer to whip the cream with 1-2 tablespoons honey, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and a pinch of salt until soft peaks form.
    6. Remove the cake from the freezer. Use the parchment paper to lift the cake out of the pan. Top with sliced bananas, whipped cream, and the remaining crumbs. Slice and enjoy immediately.
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Salty Pretzel Banana Pudding Ice Cream Cake Cake |

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  1. Any chance you have a video of you making this? I’m an anxious baker and love the visual aids of a video. Making this in a couple days, super excited. Thank you for sharing your recipe 🙂

  2. This salty pretzel banana ice cream cake was amazing! It was easy to make and my family all loved it! I can’t wait to make it again!

  3. This is so easy and fun to make, the taste is just perfect we all loved it.
    I just had one problem where the crust got stuck on the spring form although I have put wax paper under it.
    We ate the cake without the crust, the crust was soo hard and stuck underneath all the goodness 🙁

  4. I made this ice cream cake just today for work. Everyone who tried it commented on its sweetness juxtaposed against its saltiness. I will definitely make this again!

  5. This looks amazing and I am planning on making this for my Mom’s birthday. I have two questions though. First, what can I use as a substitute for Nilla wafers? We no longer have these in Canada. Second, could I use vanilla frozen yogurt instead of ice cream? We have some lactose intolerant people in our family and yogurt is easier on their tummys 🙂 Thank you!

    1. Hi! You could use graham crackers or any other vanilla type cookie you can find! And vanilla frozen yogurt should work well! xT

  6. 5 stars
    Made this for my grandson’s birthday…such a big hit! Delicious! (Followed directions exactly and it worked perfectly)

    1. Hey Kelley,
      Fantastic!!🍒🍉 I appreciate you making this recipe and sharing your comment, so glad to hear it was a winner! xx

  7. Super easy to make, although I think my hubs mixed and mixed and mixed some more the 2nd layer of ice cream with honey, bananas, vanilla, and pinch of salt. That layer was extremely hard when it came out of the freezer and while cutting. I re-read the recipe and it says.. Gently stir those items with the 2 cups of ice cream. Would over stirring cause the 2nd layer to be extremely hard? Like break your plastic fork hard when trying to eat it.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Lynn,
      Love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it and your comment! Sorry to hear this! I probably wouldn’t use a plastic fork for this recipe:) Have a great Wednesday! xx

  8. Quick question. Can I do whip topping ahead of time or does it taste even better right before? We have to travel about 30 minutes and I’ll need put in freezer cooler. I’m talking to someone else’s home.

    1. Hi Angie,
      That will be just fine for you to do! Let me know how this cake turns out for you, I hope it’s a hit! xT

  9. Hi! There isn’t any parchment paper in the photo above the recipe showing the crust and scoops of vanilla ice cream. Will it work without it?

    1. Hi Lisa,
      So I just line the bottom of the springform pan with parchment paper:) Let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love this recipe! xx

  10. How long does it usually take to completely freeze? Do you have to thaw any in order to cut it? Do you wrap it up to store leftovers in the freezer?

    1. Hi Cathy,
      All of the instructions can be followed as written and that will account for all of the freezing times. You do not need to let it thaw before cutting. Yes, I would cover with plastic wrap or keep leftovers in an airtight container. I hope this helps! xx