Cracker Barrel Banana Pudding

The Cracker Barrel Banana Pudding reminds you of home, creamy homemade vanilla pudding, with fresh bananas, crunchy vanilla wafers.  Serving traditional banana pudding in individual Mason jars is the perfect way to upgrade your banana pudding. This will soon become one of your family’s favorite desserts.

two mason jars filled with Cracker Barrel Banana Pudding

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Homemade Banana Pudding

This easy classic banana pudding is cold, creamy, lightly sweetened, and with a bit of crunch. Cracker barrel banana pudding is a favorite way for many diners to top off their meals at the restaurant. But you can make a homemade banana pudding of your own, which is, dare I say, maybe even better than the original. Well, if not better, then undoubtedly much, much cuter.

Why this Banana Pudding Recipe is the Best

The presentation of this recipe definitely increases the adorability factor by serving up the old-fashioned banana pudding in small mason jars for convenient single-portion servings. Enjoy this southern banana pudding at your family gatherings.

You can prepare the homemade banana pudding beforehand, and they will keep covered in the fridge for a day or two with no problem. That makes this recipe a perfect party dessert or an ideal afterschool snack.

Cracker Barrel Banana Pudding Ingredients

Here’s a list of what you need to make this old-fashioned banana pudding recipe:

  • Sugar – this is for the sweetness of the pudding
  • All-purpose flour – this is what thickens this pudding
  • Whole milk – whole milk will give you the best flavor
  • Eggs – I make this recipe with large eggs
  • Butter – you can use either salted or unsalted butter
  • Cream cheese – you can use either full fat or low fat cream cheese
  • Vanilla extract – this adds an extra layer of flavors to your dish
  • Vanilla wafer cookies – I love the Nabisco Nilla wafers
  • Heavy whipping cream – don’t use milk for this recipe, the full fat cream will help you store the pudding for an extra day or two.
  • Bananas – use ripe, but not overly ripe bananas, you want them yellow with only a few brown spots
ingredients needed for banana pudding: bananas, milk, and more

Treat the Bananas Like the Stars They Are

You can’t have a really good banana pudding without truly amazing bananas. When making this recipe, use ripe, but still firm, bananas. This will help you to create a contrast in textures between the smooth homemade pudding and the vanilla wafers.

One problem you may run into when making banana pudding ahead of time is that the bananas will tend to turn brown. Bananas start to brown as soon as they come in contact with the air.

Help prevent this from happening by placing a kitchen towel on the counter and gently tapping the bottom of the mason jar as you make the alternating layers of vanilla pudding, vanilla wafer crumbles, and sliced bananas. The tapping will force out any trapped air and help to stop oxidation.

Leave the sliced bananas off the top of the pudding until just before serving. When you do add them, help slow down the browning by lightly brushing each banana slice with lemon juice.

How to Make Banana Pudding from Scratch

  1. Make the vanilla pudding: In a heavy large saucepan combine sugar, flour, and milk. Cook and stir continually over medium heat until the mixture is thickened and bubbly, then for an additional two minutes.
  2. Place egg yolks in a small bowl and beat them until they are lighter in color.
  3. While whisking constantly, drizzle a cup of the hot pudding mixture slowly into the egg yolks.
  4. Slowly stir the egg yolk mixture into the remaining pudding and cook until it just begins to bubble, stirring constantly.
  5. Add butter, cream cheese, and vanilla. Stir with a rubber spatula until the mixture is smooth.
  6. Pour the pudding into a large bowl and place plastic wrap on the surface of the pudding. Chill the pudding by placing it in the refrigerator leave it in there until the pudding until it is cool.
  7. Make whipped cream by whipping heavy cream and sugar until stiff peaks form.
  8. Break vanilla wafers into small mason jars.
  9. Slice the bananas and place a few slices in each jar, you want a nice layer of banana slices on top of the broken vanilla wafers.
  10. Add a pudding layer on top of the bananas.
  11. Repeat adding vanilla wafers, bananas, and pudding twice.
  12. Top with whipped cream and garnish with banana slices, a vanilla wafer, and vanilla wafer crumbs.

Cooking and Serving Tips For Cracker Barrel Banana Pudding

Stay away from the store-bought vanilla pudding. Preparing pudding from a box may be easier, but it won’t taste fabulous. Making vanilla pudding from scratch isn’t quick, but it is well worth the time and effort. It’s easy to make homemade pudding, I bet one bite of this pudding, and you won’t buy a box of pudding again.

Make your own whipped cream. Topping your banana pudding with homemade whipped cream is the only way to go. If you have an electric or stand mixer, making your whipped cream is fast.

  1. Pour one cup of cold heavy whipping cream into the bowl. Then add two tablespoons of confectioner sugar and a few drops of vanilla extract.
  2. Run the mixer at medium-low for about 3 minutes until soft peaks form.
  3. Increase the mixer speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form.

Add the finishing touches. Just before serving, place a large dollop of whipped on top, a few slices of banana, and a light sprinkling of cinnamon sugar. Nut lovers can top with a few cracked walnuts.

two servings of copycat cracker barrel banana pudding

How to store leftover banana pudding

After serving up your banana pudding, you may have some leftover, for best results you will want to store any leftover pudding in an airtight dish in the refrigerator. This classic recipe tastes just as good the next day.

Is your sweet tooth craving more desserts? Try these recipes:

Top Cracker Barrel Copycat Recipes

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two mason jars filled with Cracker Barrel Banana Pudding

Cracker Barrel Banana Pudding

The Cracker Barrel Banana Pudding reminds you of home, creamy homemade vanilla pudding, with fresh bananas, crunchy vanilla wafers.
5 from 12 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Banana Pudding, Cracker Barrel copycat recipe, Cracker Barrel Recipes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 723kcal


Vanilla Pudding

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 4 beaten egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream whipped
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Banana Pudding

  • 48 vanilla wafers
  • 2 large bananas



  • In a heavy saucepan combine sugar, flour, and milk.
  • Cook and stir continually over medium heat until the mixture is thickened and bubbly.
  • Cook and stir for an additional two minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Place the egg yolks in a small bowl and beat them well, until pale and lighter in color.
  • Drizzle 1 cup of the hot pudding mixture slowly into the beaten eggs, whisking constantly while adding the pudding.
  • Slowly add the egg yolk mixture into the pan with the remainder of the pudding, stirring constantly.
  • Cook the mixture until it just begins to bubble, stirring constantly.
  • Add butter, cream cheese and vanilla. Stir until all of the ingredients are well incorporated.
  • Pour the pudding into a bowl and place plastic wrap on the surface of the pudding.
  • Refrigerate the pudding until it is cool.

Whipped Cream

  • Place 1 cup of heavy whipping cream into a bowl with 1 teaspoon of sugar.
  • Using either a whisk or a mixer, beat the whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate if not using immediately.

Assembling the Banana Pudding

  • Break vanilla wafers into 6 mason jars.
  • Cut bananas into slices and place 4 or 5 slices of bananas into each jar.
  • Add a couple of tablespoons of pudding on top of the bananas.
  • Repeat 2 more times with adding vanilla wafers, bananas, and pudding to each jar.
  • Top with whipped cream.
  • Garnish with banana slices, vanilla wafer, and/or vanilla wafer crumbs if desired.


  • The plastic wrap is placed over the cooling pudding to keep a skin from forming on top of the pudding. 
  • Allow pudding to cool to room temperature before preparing individual puddings. 
  • You could swap the vanilla wafers with shortbread cookies like Lorna Dunes. 


Calories: 723kcal | Carbohydrates: 84g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 223mg | Sodium: 348mg | Potassium: 427mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 53g | Vitamin A: 1285IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 192mg | Iron: 1mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Clarissa

    5 stars
    My Favorite recipe to use. I did find my pudding splitting when I added my Vanilla Extract so I add the Vanilla Extract to my beaten egg yolks and cream the butter and sugar together and that fixed the problem for me.

  2. Jenny

    5 stars
    This was seriously such a hit! They turned out so so cute… and like mentioned before- not too sweet but so perfect! Thanks! I will definitely be making this again!

  3. Erin

    5 stars
    We loved this recipe and found it very easy to make! The best part is that it’s rich but not too sweet. Thanks so much!

  4. Nancy

    5 stars
    This was awesome, I’ve never made banana pudding before, but my granddaughter wanted it for her birthday, so we made it together and used small mason jars. It was so good! I will definitely make it again!

5 from 12 votes (6 ratings without comment)

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