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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. Hi Holly,
      You are going to bake the crust for 5-8 minutes. Please let me know if you have any other questions! xT

  1. 4 stars
    I made it today. It was good! I would make it again. 🙂

    I have a 7″ springform pan that I use to make cheesecake in my Pampered Chef Deluxe Multi Cooker… so I cut the recipe in half.
    I would have used another banana in the ice cream/mashed banana layer for more flavor after frozen.
    The whipped cream was not very sweet, but it didn’t need to be. If you prefer a sweeter whipped cream, you could add a little more honey.
    The pretzel/Nilla wafer crust had a great taste.

    I wish I could share pictures of my finished product…

    Thanks for the recipe, Tieghan!
    You always have great ideas.

    1. Hey Christine,
      Happy Easter!! 🐰🐣🌈 Thank you very much for giving this recipe a try and sharing your comment, I’m so glad it turned out well for you! xT

    1. Hi Beth,
      Thanks for giving this recipe a try, sorry to hear it wasn’t as tall. Anything you may have adjusted or anything that I can help with? Let me know! xx

  2. Hello! I’m in the process of making this amazing-looking recipe right now but had a question. The ingredient list says “5 cups vanilla ice cream” just under the honey, but then lists “4 cups vanilla ice cream” later in the list. So, that would be 9 cups total right? But without reading super carefully, after pressing in the crumb crust, I proceeded to scoop 5 cups of vanilla ice cream onto the crust since that was the next ingredient on the list, but the instructions say that first ice cream layer is only 4 cups onto the cooled crust, and the other ice cream layer (with mashed bananas) only uses 2 cups of ice cream. So that’s only 6 cups total. Just wondering which we should go by — the ingredient list or the instructions? Thanks!

    1. Hi Gwen I made mine yesterday and used 4 cups then 2 cups for the second layer which was an exact half gallon of ice cream – and fit perfectly in my pan 🙂 hope that helps you decide to use maybe one cup of ice cream in banana layer? Good luck!! Mine is still in the freezer till tomorrow! Happy Easter!

    2. Hi Gwen,
      Thanks for giving this recipe a try! So sorry for any confusion, you are going to use 3 cups in step 3 and 2 cups in step 4:) It will be just fine using the measurements that you used too! I hope it’s delish! xT

  3. If making ahead of time, can I still make the whipped cream topping and freeze it? Obviously putting fresh banana slices on top when serving, but can the whipped cream freeze and still taste ok?

    1. Hi Marisa,
      I would wait to add the whipped topping until you are ready to serve, so just freeze through step 4:) I hope you love this recipe! xx

  4. The ingredients (ice cream) are off between the list and the recipe. I made it with the recipe amounts. Haven’t tried it yet as it is still freezing! 🙂

    1. Thanks so much for trying the recipe Melinda!! Sorry, I fixed the measurements! I hope it’s delish! xx

  5. I LOOOOOOOOVE banana pudding!!!!! I’m making this for my own birthday! OMG…CAN’T WAIT! May be best thing ever

    1. Hi Heidi,
      That will be just fine for you to do!! I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xT

    2. Did she ever answer the question about how much ice cream to use? I’m confused too and would like to make it.

  6. 5 stars
    Cake is amazing but recipe calls for 5 cups and 4 cups of vanilla ice cream, then instructions use only 6 cups total.

    1. I’m hoping to make this for Easter but I’m also confused about the amount of ice cream to use. Can you please confirm the correct amount ? Thank you!

      1. Hey Nina,
        Yes, sorry about that!! You are going to use 3 cups in step 3 and 2 cups in step 4:) Please let me know if you have any other questions! xT

    2. Thanks Krista!! Sorry about that, I fixed the recipe:) It’s going to be 3 cups in step 3 and 2 cups in step 4. I hope you love this recipe! xT

  7. 5 stars
    Haven’t made this, but my boys love banana pudding and ice cream so I will have to soon! I’m sure they will love it!
    Happy Good (Holy) Friday! Happy Easter Sunday!
    Matthew 28:6 “He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.”

  8. Wow that really sounds delicious. My family loves banana pudding, they should also love this. Gonna try it real soon. Thank you for the recipe.

  9. I am confused. The ingredients list says 5 cups and 4 cups of ice cream. The instructions mention 4 cups and 2 cups. So how much ice cream do I really need? Thanks for your help.

    1. Hi Naomi,
      So sorry for any confusion, I fixed the recipe, it’s 3 cups in step 3 and 2 cups in step 4. I hope you love this cake, let me know if you give it a try! xT

  10. It looks amazing! I don’t think we have wafer cookies in England. What do you suggest I can use instead? Thanks

    1. Thanks so much Alicia!! I would look for any simple, vanilla cookie that seem similar to the wafer:) Let me know if you have any other questions! xT

    2. I was wondering the same thing. Rich tea or digestive would work. But I think ginger nut might be even better.

  11. This sounds amazing! Wonder if you could come up with a salted caramel ice cream cake with NO chocolate.??? Mmmmm