Southern-Style Gluten-Free Banana Meringue Pudding

Banana Meringue Pudding
Kimberly Vardeman / Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 8 mins
Total: 38 mins

Banana pudding is a classic dessert in the southern United States. The homemade gluten-free vanilla pudding takes about 30 minutes to prepare and is worth every minute.

Use either ready-made gluten-free vanilla wafers, gluten-free animal crackers or homemade vanilla wafers in this classic comfort food dish. You will need six 8-ounce custard cups or ramekins for this recipe.

This recipe is a gluten-free adaptation of "Banana Pudding with Meringue" which appears in The South - The Beautiful Cookbook by Mara Reid Rogers and Jim Auchmutey.


  • 2/3 cup sugar (cane)
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups light coconut milk (or milk)
  • 4 egg yolks (reserve egg whites for meringue)
  • 2 tablespoons dairy-free butter substitute (or unsalted butter)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 medium bananas (ripe, peeled and thinly sliced)
  • 30 gluten-free vanilla wafers (or about 30 gluten-free animal crackers)
  • 4 egg whites (room temperature)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup sugar (cane)
  • 6 8-ounce custard cups or ramekins

Steps to Make It

Prepare Pudding:

  1. Combine sugar, cornstarch, salt and coconut milk in a heavy saucepan and whisk to blend ingredients.

  2. Cook over medium heat, constantly whisking for about 6 to 8 minutes or until the mixture begins to thicken and bubble.

  3. Boil for 1 minute while continuing to whisk.

  4. Remove the pan from heat.

  5. Place egg yolks in a medium bowl and whisk to blend.

  6. Slowly drizzle 1/2 cup of hot pudding mixture into egg yolks while briskly whisking.

  7. Slowly drizzle the egg mixture into the saucepan with remaining pudding.

  8. Return pudding to medium heat and whisk constantly until the mixture begins to bubble, about 2 minutes.

  9. Remove from heat. Be aware to not overcook.

  10. Stir in dairy-free butter substitute or butter and vanilla extract.

  11. Preheat oven to 425 F / 218 C.

To Assemble Individual Puddings:

  1. Place 2 gluten-free vanilla wafers or animal crackers in the bottom of each custard cup.

  2. Use a measuring cup to pour 1/4 cup pudding into each custard cup.

  3. Top pudding with sliced bananas (about 5 slices per layer).

  4. Add another 1/4 cup pudding followed by another layer of bananas.

  5. Top with enough pudding to fill custard cups.

  6. Ring top of cups with cookies or animal crackers as pictured.

Prepare Meringue:

  1. Place room temperature egg whites and cream of tartar in a medium mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer and beat on high for about 2 minutes. The mixture will be frothy.

  2. With mixer on high, add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Beat until glossary and peaks form but don't over beat or meringue will be dry.

  3. Use a spoon to mound meringue on top of each pudding cup.

  4. Spread meringue out to edges of custard cup and make high peaks in the center.

  5. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 5 to 8 minutes or just until meringue is golden brown. Watch carefully to avoid scorching the meringue.

  6. Cool puddings on a rack for about 30 minutes.

  7. Serve warm or refrigerate and serve chilled.

  8. Enjoy!