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 35 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 35 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

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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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. Jefferson Davis Pie. Jefferson Davis Pie, a variation of the Southern Chess Pie, is one of the most rich and decadent pies you will ever eat. It is made up of dates, raisins, and pecans, spices, and an insanely creamy custard. If you remember your history, Jefferson Davis was the first President of the Confederacy.A4 stars

  2. Hi – I just made this and it came out *really* buttery. Like, I found myself wondering if I put in too much butter, since it was oozing out of the top, but I double-checked and I didn’t. I had to take a bunch of paper towels and use them to absorb the butter off of the top, like you might with a pizza. What did I do wrong?

  3. Over the holidays, I made fresh bread and homemade butter as gifts for neighbors. As a result, I had a bunch of fresh buttermilk…this pie fit the bill perfectly. Smooth and velvety, with homemade fresh taste. And my neighbors think I’m a culinary genius. Shhhh…don’t tell them.5 stars

      1. I’ve made other buttermilk pies and while it can look curdled it will bake and turn out just fine.

    1. I have only tried this as written. I do think that you could either omit the nutmeg, or try cinnamon as a substitute. I think it would still be delicious. If you try making the recipe without nutmeg, please let us know how it works out for you!

  4. Turned out picture perfect. I didn’t care for the lemon juice, Taste good.
    Will leave out next time I make it.

  5. Does anyone know if I use unbleached flour instead of all purpose flour would there be a difference? Thanks 

  6. Has anyone tried making this without the crust? Odd question, I know, but I have family members that hate pie crust and I have adapted a few recipes to make it work. Thanks. This does sound delicious.

  7. Your pie looks more solid and firm than mine was. Ours was tasty, but more custard like (closer to pumpkin pie). I baked for an hour and a clean toothpick inserted. I wonder if there are any hints?!

    1. Did you chill your pie well before serving? I chilled my pie in the refrigerator before serving which helps it to firm up.

  8. I love baki g pies especially these. It reminds me of baking with my Grandpa.He was a chef.in the Navy and came home and opened a Cafe.

  9. Holly, I too have an old family recipe box with three to four generations of recipes? It can be a challenge sometimes. I will have to try your Buttermilk Pie next to my Cottage Cheese Pie. After the Holidays will let you know the difference, if anything. Love your site, Thanks!

  10. I love buttermilk pie! I recently made a sweet cream pie and I know I would love yours! And I would kill for a vintage recipe box! My grandma never wrote anything down :( Happy Thanksgiving to you guys!

    1. Thank you! I’m definitely going to have to check out your sweet cream pie! My neighbor requested this as his birthday cake this year! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family too!