A Southern Classic: Banana Pudding in Portable Cups – perfect for your next picnic!
There’s just something about picnics that help us to make wonderful, life lasting memories. Looking back over the years, I have such great memories that come to mind when I think of picnics.
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When I was a kid, my father worked for a company that was very family-oriented. Every Christmas, all of the kids would come in one door and get in a long line. At the end of the line was “Santa,” waiting to have a chat with every single child.
After speaking to him, the kids would then go around the corner to discover the entire lobby of the main building filled with toys, wall to wall. Every kid would go home with their pick of a toy that day. Even though I don’t celebrate Christmas anymore, it is still a nice memory.
But in the summer there was always a huge company picnic. Our town had a river that ran right through the middle of it and there was a big park that the company actually owned and would host all sorts of events there.
For the company picnic it was a day of fried chicken and potato salad, water gun fights and friendly games of softball. I remember the pride I felt when I was old enough to join in on the softball game and play alongside my dad on his team.
When I became an adult the picnics continued for our growing family. Though the company changed from “the company” to army companies – the joys of summer, fun and friends remained the same.
One year we had a company picnic held at our commander’s home. They had rented one of those giant blow-up slides that you set up in the grass. Well, it was summer in North Carolina and was of course hot as can be.
Suddenly one of the soldiers had a great idea and ran up the stairs with the water hose. Instantly the fun had gone to a whole new level. The 25 foot slide was now a water slide – and there weren’t just kids going down it, but soldiers flying down it on their bellies and crashing into the mud, laughing as they went.
It was such a great day. Of course hours later, half of the backyards around were completely flooded, but no one cared. It was a blast, and a time we will never forget.
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Another very memorable picnic that I had the joy of being part of, was a church picnic up in Alaska. Of course you always have a great selection of salads, grilled meats and wonderful desserts at any picnic. But this being an Alaskan picnic there were great recipes highlighting the wild game that is so prevalent up there – salmon pasta salad, halibut tacos, moose burgers …and even maktak.
I have talked about maktak before, but in case you are wondering, maktak is bowhead whale (and also spelled muktuk.) How many times in your life can you say that you had the opportunity to eat whale at a picnic?
Down here in Alabama, our picnics tend to be much tamer in their ingredients, but the memories and fun are universal.
I love to share cool desserts at picnics and a great way to serve those desserts is in jars. The jars can be stuck down in a cooler or tub of ice and require no serving spoons. You just grab a jar and dig in.
To Make Homemade Banana Pudding You Will Need:
- vanilla extract
- vanilla wafers
- whipped cream
- banana chips
- caramel sauce
- half pint mason jars (or glass serving bowl)
How to Make Classic Banana Pudding
To begin, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt in a saucepan. Whisk these together.
Pour in milk and turn the stove on to medium heat. Stirring continually, bring the mixture up to a gentle boil, and let it bubble for one minute.
Add in vanilla extract, bourbon and butter.
Whisk until it is all mixed in. Remove it from the heat and set aside for now.
Cut the bananas into thin slices. Place a few vanilla wafer cookies in the bottom of your jars.
Next place a few banana slices on the cookies.
Spoon some of the pudding over the top.
Repeat the layers until you have about an inch of space at the top.
Cover the jars with the lids and refrigerate overnight.
When you are ready to serve these at your picnic, top them with a dollop of whipped cream, a drizzle of caramel sauce and dried banana chips. Enjoy!
When you are ready to serve these at your picnic, top them with a dollop of whipped cream, a drizzle of caramel sauce and dried banana chips… if you like.
Of course, if you are serving this at home, you can layer this in a pretty glass serving bowl instead of the mason jars.
Either way, this is the best banana pudding you’ll ever make!
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Banana Pudding Cups
- 1/2 c sugar
- 3 Tb cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 c milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 Tb bourbon
- 1 Tb butter
- 2 bananas
- 2 c vanilla wafers
For Topping (Optional)
- whipped cream
- banana chips
- caramel sauce
- To begin, in a saucepan combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Whisk these together.
- Pour in the milk and turn the stove on to medium heat. Stirring continually, bring the mixture up to a gentle boil, and let it bubble for one minute.
- Add in the vanilla, bourbon and butter. Whisk until it is all mixed in. Remove it from the heat and set aside for now.
- Cut the bananas into thin slices. In your jars, layer vanilla wafer cookies and banana slices, then spoon some of the pudding over the top.
- Repeat the layers until you have about an inch of space at the top.
- Cover the jars with the lids and refrigerate overnight.
- When you are ready to serve these at your picnic, top them with a dollop of whipped cream, a drizzle of caramel sauce and dried banana chips.
Nutritional information is auto-generated and the accuracy is not guaranteed.
This post was originally written in 2015, and updated in 2023.