This Buttermilk Pie recipe is a classic dessert that’s easy to make with simple pantry ingredients.

This pie has a sweet tangy flavor with a custard-like texture and is delicious served chilled or at room temperature.

Buttermilk Pie sliced in a pie plate

Why You’ll Love This Classic

  • It’s super easy to make.
  • It’s a bit different than the usual pies we serve but so flavorful.
  • This version has a slight lemon flavor from the juice but this recipe can be changed by adding extracts.
  • It needs to cool completely before serving making it the perfect make ahead dessert.

What is Buttermilk Pie?

Buttermilk pie is an American favorite originating from the southern states. It’s sometimes referred to as chess pie, or even sugar cream pie.  It’s has a vanilla flavor (or a slight hint of citrus if you use lemon juice).

The texture of buttermilk pie is similar to a thick custard a slightly caramelized top, so good! I have an old box of vintage recipes loaded with tons of classic desserts and that’s where this recipe came from.

ingredients for buttermilk pie

What’s in Buttermilk Pie?

You don’t need a lot of fancy ingredients to create something amazing and you’ll likely have everything you need on hand for this dessert.

BUTTERMILK Of course this pie has buttermilk but it can be made without it! We make a buttermilk substitute with milk (1 cup) and vinegar or lemon juice (1 tablespoon).

You can also mix plain yogurt or sour cream with water/milk until it has the consistency of buttermilk.

PIE CRUST For ease and speed, use a pre-made crust or make this Flaky Homemade Pie Crust if time allows. With a store bought pie crust, it’s ready to go in the oven in under 10 minutes!

FLAVOR This recipe calls for vanilla, lemon juice (fresh squeezed is best), and nutmeg.

Steps for Buttermilk pie

How to Make Buttermilk Pie

It’s so easy to make this recipe.

  1. Beat eggs until foamy. Add butter, sugar, and flour.
  2. Mix in the remaining ingredients until smooth.
  3. Pour into a pie crust and bake (per the recipe below.)

You’ll know it’s done when it has a browned caramelized sugar coating with a very slightly “jiggly” center. Insert a toothpick to make sure it comes out clean.

Buttermilk Pie batter being poured into crust

How to Store

Buttermilk pie should be stored in the refrigerator, and it tastes great chilled but can be set out to warm slightly before serving too.

This pie can be frozen. Freeze in double wrapped slices, or double wrap and freeze the entire pie. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight and serve warm or chilled with Whipped Cream or Easy Caramel Sauce.

A slice of Buttermilk Pie

Favorite Pie Recipes

Did you enjoy this Buttermilk Pie? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

Buttermilk Pie sliced in a pie plate
4.95 from 39 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Easy Buttermilk Pie

Buttermilk pie is an easy classic dessert made with simple pantry ingredients! The result is a deliciously comforting custard pie with a slightly caramelized topping. This pie will be one your family will request over and over!
Prep Time 7 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 52 minutes
Servings 8 slices

Ingredients  

  • 1 9 inch unbaked pie crust store-bought or homemade
  • 3 eggs room temperature
  • ½ cup butter softened
  • 1 ½ cups white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg freshly grated

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Line a 9″ pie plate with unbaked pie crust.
  • Beat eggs in a bowl until foamy. Beat in butter, sugar, and flour until fluffy.
  • Add remaining ingredients and mix until smooth.
  • Pour into prepared crust and bake for 45-55 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool completely before serving.

Notes

Of course this pie has buttermilk but it can be made without it! We make a buttermilk substitute with milk (1 cup) and vinegar or lemon juice (1 tablespoon).
You can also mix plain yogurt or sour cream with water/milk until it has the consistency of buttermilk.
PIE CRUST For ease and speed, use a pre-made crust or make this Flaky Homemade Pie Crust if time allows. With a store bought pie crust, it's ready to go in the oven in under 10 minutes!
 
4.95 from 39 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 400 | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 95mg | Sodium: 243mg | Potassium: 83mg | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 495IU | Vitamin C: 0.7mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American

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Sliced buttermilk pie with text
A buttermilk pie with text
Top image - a slice of buttermilk pie. Bottom image - buttermilk pie batter being poured into a crust with text.
A prepared buttermilk pie with text
Buttermilk pie with a title with eggs and a recipe card

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Comments

  1. Can you use sugar free sugar???? I know I will never get an answer since I’ve tried for ever with this site an many more others with different questions on recipes.

    1. Hi Linda, I haven’t tried making this pie with sugar-free sugar so I can’t be sure of the results but it should work. Some sugar-free sweeteners don’t caramelize the same so you may be missing the caramelized look on top though. You will have to let us know how it turns out!

    1. Hi Dawn, oh dear, we have not had that happen before when we’ve made this pie, so I’m not sure how it’d turn out. I’d suggest mixing it really well to see how it combines.

      1. Mine curdled too. I should’ve known that it would happen since there was fresh lemon juice in it. Next time I would stick with extracts.5 stars

  2. Followed the recipe exactly and used real raw buttermilk – came out PERFECT! It was a hit at a dinner party and was fun to serve something unique. Absolutely love this Buttermilk Pie recipe!5 stars

  3. This pie was amazing.. I was cruising Pinterest and came across recipe and had all the ingredients.. gave it a try and WOW! Never even heard of buttermilk pie until now and I have told a million people since making it.

  4. I have used several of your recipes I find them very good I tend to look for your recipe when searching the internet. Thank you for always having a great recipe to go to.

    1. I haven’t tried it with a graham crust, the filling might be a bit wet for it. Let us know how it goes if you do try it.

  5. This was so good!  But I omitted the lemon juice. There’s no need to add it if using buttermilk as it was only added to the vintage recipe to sour the regular milk. The lemon juice could further sour/curdle the buttermilk. Otherwise, perfection!4 stars

  6. OMG!!!!! I’ve looked for this recipe for so many years, it was one of my Grandmothers “Secret” recipe’s she would make for “All Her Babe’s” when we didn’t expect it.
    All she would tell us is “it’s my Jeff Davis ” pie I made Just for You!”
    I love this Pie!!! And can’t wait to make and remake.
    Thanks so much for a Loving Memory and A Belly Full.5 stars