Buttermilk Pie Recipe


5 from 32 votes
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This silky smooth buttermilk pie is the crowd-pleasing dessert you need for your holiday celebration! Not only is it incredibly easy to make, but every bite is as creamy and velvety as custard.

buttermilk chess pie.

Want a simple, no-nonsense pie for the holidays? There’s nothing better than my deceptively easy buttermilk pie!

If you love silky smooth pies as much as my family does (I’m talking to you, banoffee pie), then you’ll love this underrated Southern dessert. It has the most heavenly custard-like buttermilk filling surrounded by a flaky, buttery pie crust. Sure, it’s known for being a little old-fashioned, but it sure doesn’t taste like it.

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe highlights
  2. Ingredients needed
  3. How to make buttermilk pie
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Storage instructions
  6. Frequently asked questions
  7. More delicious pies to try
  8. Buttermilk Pie (Recipe Card)

Recipe highlights

  • A Southern treat. Buttermilk pie is an old-fashioned Southern dessert but it’s good enough to be popular worldwide.
  • Creamy and custardy. The velvety filling is what makes buttermilk pie so special. It’s silky smooth and rich with a golden brown, crackly topping, kind of like creme brulee.
  • The easiest pie. Unlike apple pie or pecan pie, buttermilk pie is a low-maintenance and foolproof dessert made from a handful of baking staples. Use a store-bought crust to make it even easier!

Include this pie on the menu for the best holiday ever! It’s always crowd-pleasing and pairs perfectly with these easy Thanksgiving and Christmas desserts as well.

Ingredients needed

All you need is a pie crust and a handful of baking staples to make this old-fashioned buttermilk pie:

  • Pie crust. Keep it simple with a store-bought crust or go all out with a homemade pie crust.
  • Buttermilk. You can buy a carton of buttermilk at pretty much any grocery store. Can’t find it? No problem! Make your own by mixing milk with lemon juice or vinegar.
  • Unsalted butter. Melted butter is key but make sure it isn’t too hot! Give it plenty of time to cool before making the filling.
  • Eggs. AKA the secret to the decadent filling. No substitutions, please.
  • Sugar. To sweeten every slice, of course.
  • Lemon juice. To brighten up the filling and balance each bite. I’ve tried it with fresh lemon juice and bottled juice and they both work.
  • Vanilla extract. For flavor.
  • Nutmeg. Ground nutmeg is fine, but grating fresh nutmeg tastes the best!
  • Flour. You don’t need much flour, so use what you have on hand or one that you like. I used generic all-purpose flour.

Find the printable recipe with measurements below.

How to make buttermilk pie

This foolproof pie comes together in 4 simple steps:

Step 1- Make the filling: Whisk the filling ingredients in a large bowl.

pie mixture.

Step 2- Bake: Pour the filling into the pie crust. Bake the pie until the edges are set but the center is still slightly jiggly.

buttermilk pie filling in pie crust.

Step 3- Let it cool: Let it cool at room temperature before chilling the pie for at least an hour or overnight.

Step 4- Serve: The next day, slice the pie and top it with whipped cream. Enjoy!

Southern buttermilk pie.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Do not overbake. You’ll know the pie is baked through when the top turns golden brown, the edges are set, and the middle jiggles slightly when you wiggle the pan. Remember, the pie will continue cooking as it cools down.
  • Cover the crust. Covering the edges of the crust with aluminum foil prevents it from browning or burning in the oven. I actually like to use a pie shield because it fits perfectly.
  • Play with the filling flavor. Make the pie sweeter with extra sugar, add more lemon juice or lemon zest for tang, or a pinch of salt to round out the flavors. If I’m making this strictly for adults, a splash of bourbon or whiskey is always welcome in this Southern pie, too!
  • Add a garnish. I typically serve this pie with just a touch of whipped cream, but when your sweet tooth is craving a little more, top the pie or slices with powdered sugar, fresh berries, crushed nuts, grated nutmeg, chocolate syrup, caramel, or cherry sauce.

Storage instructions

To store: The pie is best when it’s served the day after it’s baked or you can save the leftovers for up to 3 or 4 days. Keep the pie or slices covered and in the fridge until it’s time to eat.

To freeze: Wrap the cooled pie in a layer of plastic or aluminum foil, then freeze for 2 to 3 months. Let it thaw for a few hours on the kitchen counter before slicing and serving.

buttermilk pie.

Frequently asked questions

Is buttermilk pie and chess pie the same thing?

They’re similar, but not the same! Both of these Southern pies are made with a pie crust and custard-like buttermilk filling, but chess pie has one key difference: cornmeal. By adding cornmeal to the filling, chess pie takes on a gorgeous golden-brown color and slightly crispy texture.

Do you serve buttermilk pie hot or cold?

It’s up to you. I find that the filling has the most luxurious texture after it’s been left to chill overnight. However, if you prefer warm slices of pie, go ahead and serve it 1 hour after baking or reheat the slices in a microwave in 30-second intervals.

What does buttermilk pie taste like?

Buttermilk pie isn’t super sweet like a lot of other pies. It doesn’t taste overtly like buttermilk, either. Instead, it has a subtle tanginess that complements the light custardy filling while a hint of vanilla adds elegance to every bite.

More delicious pies to try

buttermilk pie recipe.

Buttermilk Pie

5 from 32 votes
This silky smooth buttermilk pie is the crowd-pleasing dessert you need for your holiday celebration! Not only is it incredibly easy to make, but every bite is as creamy and velvety as custard.
Servings: 12 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 50 minutes


  • 1 9-inch pie crust * See notes
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted and cooled
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour


  • Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
  • Whisk butter, sugar, eggs, and egg yolk in a large bowl. Add buttermilk, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and nutmeg. Finally, whisk in the flour.
    pie mixture.
  • Pour the filling into the pie crust. Protect the edges of the crust with aluminum foil or a pie shield.
    buttermilk pie filling in pie crust.
  • Bake the pie for 45-50 minutes, or until the edges are set but the center is still slightly jiggly.
  • Cool the pie for at least one hour. If you have time, refrigerate it overnight.
  • Once set, slice and serve.


* I used a store-bought 9-inch pie crust. You can make your own if you prefer. 


Serving: 1servingCalories: 262kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 3gFat: 14gSodium: 107mgPotassium: 68mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 24gVitamin A: 358IUVitamin C: 0.5mgCalcium: 39mgIron: 1mgNET CARBS: 33g
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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