Cracker Barrel Dumplings

Who doesn’t love a bowl of piping-hot Cracker Barrel dumplings? These pillows of starchy goodness so often hit the spot when you are looking for something that makes you feel full and warm.

Interestingly, these are actually served without chicken at the restaurant when ordered as a side dish. If you like, you can add some cooked shredded chicken and have your own homemade chicken and dumplings.

Homemade copycat Cracker Barrel Dumplings on a plate.

Cracker Barrel Dumplings

Southern dumplings aren’t difficult to make, and they can be put together rather quickly. This side dish doesn’t require a lot of different ingredients that you may need to go out and buy. But rather it has a lot of ingredients you already have in your pantry.

So if you are looking for an easy side dish from ingredients you already have on hand, this dumplings recipe may be the right one for you to try.

This homemade dumplings recipe is intended to be a side dish, so there aren’t a lot of extra items in it. This is a meatless recipe. If you have some leftover cooked chicken, it would be a great addition to the recipe.

Ingredients for Cracker Barrel Dumplings

  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Whole milk
  • Vegetable oil
  • Chicken bouillon cubes or chicken soup base
  • Butter
  • Sugar
Ingredients for homemade Cracker Barrel Dumplings

Ingredient Notes

After this recipe was developed, I switched to using soup base over bouillon cubes. It is my opinion that the soup base tastes better, it is a fact they often have less sodium.

So it is now my preference to use soup base in place of bouillon cubes.

How to Make Cracker Barrel Dumplings

  1. Mix flour, baking powder, salt, milk, and oil, until well blended.
  2. Transfer the dough to a floured surface.
  3. Knead the dough a few times.
  4. Divide the dough in half.
  5. Roll out one half of the dough.
  6. Cut the dough into pieces.
  7. In a large pot, combine the water and bouillon cubes.
  8. Boil until the bouillon cubes are dissolved.
  9. Add the dough pieces and cook until just about done.
    Homemade Cracker Barrel dumplings in a pot on the stovetop.
  10. Use a strainer to transfer the cooked dumplings to a bowl.
  11. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  12. Melt butter in a saucepan.
  13. Add flour and salt. Stir until thickened.
  14. Combine milk and sugar.
  15. Add the milk to the butter/flour a little at a time, stirring constantly.
  16. Remove the sauce from the heat.
  17. Add the cooked dumplings to the sauce.
  18. Dissolve the crumbled bouillon cubes in cooking liquid.
  19. Add bouillon liquid to the sauce and dumplings. Gently stir it in.
  20. Return the dumplings to the heat and simmer for a few minutes.
Homemade Cracker Barrel Dumplings and a fork on a plate.

Southern Side Dishes

Be sure to check out more of my restaurant sides and easy copycat recipes.

Homemade copycat Cracker Barrel Dumplings on a plate.

Cracker Barrel Dumplings

Cracker Barrel Dumplings can be made at home and they will taste so good. 
5 from 4 votes
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cracker Barrel Dumplings, Cracker Barrel Recipes, Southern Dumplings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 529kcal



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for kneading and rolling
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 quarts water
  • 3 chicken bouillon cubes or about 2 teaspoons of soup base


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk or whole milk
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes, crumbled or about 2 teaspoons chicken soup base
  • ½ to ¾ cup dumpling cooking liquid (from after dumplings have been cooked)



  • Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, milk, and oil, blending well.
  • Turn out the dough onto a floured surface.
  • Knead the dough four or five times.
  • Divide the dough in half.
  • Roll out one half of the dough to 1/8-inch thickness.
  • Cut the dough into 1 x 1½-inch pieces.
  • In a large pot, combine the water and bouillon cubes/soup base.
  • Boil until the bouillon cubes/soup base dissolve.
  • Cook half of the dumplings until just about done. Dumplings are done when they float up towards the top of the pot.
  • Use a strainer to remove them to a bowl and set aside.
  • Finish the other half of the dumplings in the same way.
  • Reserve the cooking liquid.


  • While the dumplings are cooking, you can start to prepare the sauce.
  • Melt the butter in medium saucepan.
  • Add salt and flour. Stir until thick.
  • Mix the sugar with the milk.
  • Add the milk to the flour mixture a little at a time, stirring constantly with a whisk until thick and smooth.
  • Remove the sauce from the heat.
  • Add the cooked dumplings to the sauce.
  • Dissolve the crumbled bouillon cubes in ½ cup of the cooking liquid.
  • Add bouillon mixture to the sauce and dumplings. Stir gently to combine.
  • Return dumplings to low heat and simmer until blended.
  • If the sauce seems too thick, gently stir in a little more cooking liquid.



Calories: 529kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 1363mg | Potassium: 430mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 460IU | Calcium: 251mg | Iron: 3.4mg

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. Janice Patrick

    5 stars
    Being a gluten free vegan I made a few tweaks but it came out delicious! If using gf flour remember to add a bit of xanthan gum or they will most likely fall apart in the boiling water. Thank you for the hard work you do to make these wonderful recipes for us!

  2. Kris

    5 stars
    Yes! Yes! Yes! Better than Cracker Barrel. My teenage daughter was craving CB dumplings, but I’m recovering from surgery and can’t drive. We found this recipe, put on some Christmas music, and went to town. Yum!!! Thank you.
    P. S. To the CB cook who said this is not the actual recipe. That’s not really what copycat recipes are. It’s the outcome you’re going for.

  3. Craig

    I am a backup cook for Cracker Barrel The recipe is way off off. We do not use vegetable oil other then to spray the kettles. And no butter is used in the recipe. There is no sauce made to create the dumping they cook in there own liquid’s

    • Jeanne

      My grandmother taught us to drop the dumplings in the boiling broth but it’s my understanding Cracker Barrel bakes the dumplings .

    • Edith

      5 stars
      These are Stephanie’s Copy Cat dumplings and the only ones I make; absolutely delish. Who cares if they aren’t exactly Cracker Barrel’s? I love them!!!

  4. Jamee

    My boys both agree that this is better than Cracker Barrel, but I used broth from a whole chicken carcass that I cooked down in the crock pot.

  5. bill

    As a shortcut and alternative to making dough, what do you think about using raw biscuits from a can or even flour tortillas? I know people who use one or the other.

    • Heids

      Bill….Biscuit dumplings offer a completely different taste and texture compared to a fresh rolled dumpling. Biscuit dough is like boiling bread dough vs the rolled dumpling which is like a fresh made large cut noodle
      As for flour tortillas honestly I shudder at the thought,but that’s just my personal opinion. Feel free to give it a try if you like,but personally you’d probably be better off just using bisquick dumplings (see recipe on side of the box) than flour tortillas

      • Mads

        Heids, THANK YOU so much for this comment! I’ve been tearing my hair out trying to figure out why the dumplings I’ve been making haven’t been the ones I thought. Although I haven’t been making biscuit dumplings, I make something similar hoping for the rolled dumpling texture. This may have just solved my dumpling dilemma, thank you!

  6. phil schelin

    This version of the dumplings will be used in a very old family recipe called ” Putsin ”
    from 18th century Quebec – chicken and dumplings where the strips are dropped into a very rich chicken soup. Thanks for the missing element.

      • krysten

        Hi I was wondering if I could replace the all purpose flour and baking powder for self rising? And if I did would it make a big diffrence? I’m hoping to make these for a side dish for thanksgiving dinner. Thank you so much for posting this recipe!

      • Chris

        i have used self rising flour and the only difference i seen was the dumplings came out a little thicker but they tasted the same.

    • Lora

      if you click print recipe on the toolbar that pops up on the left side of the screen it shows the full recipe like it used to be listed.

  7. MrsRobinCullen

    It says boil until bullion dissolves… How low should I turn it down for the rest the dumpling cooking…? Medium? Low? If you have any advice please tell me. Thanks.

  8. Jen haner

    Love these dumplings, I cook them a little longer, after reading some where having doughy problems. Tast great, will be making them again…

  9. Lisa

    Best recipe ever. Thank you thank you thank you! In this economy we can’t afford to eat out….but we can eat in! 🙂

  10. Amanda Harrod-Latinka

    If you add about a teaspoon to a cup of whole milk it mimics the flavor of buttermilk and saves some money if you want to use buttermilk. Let it sit for about an hour in the fridge before you use it.

    • stephaniemanley

      Amanda, I am going to give your suggestion a try. I love this idea. I know sometimes I hate to run out to the store to buy one thing.

  11. Steve

    I hope you realize that Cracker Barrel chicken and dumplings are from a bag
    As almost their entire menu comes from Sysco foods

    • stephaniemanley

      I appreciate your comments. Thanks. These are homemade dumplings and I hope you find they taste really good.

  12. Megan Burt

    p.s. dumplings cook pretty fast. My dumplings floated the whole time so I just cut one after they fluffed up a bit and peeked inside. Done and done.

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