Buttermilk Pie Recipe


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This Buttermilk Pie is a classic Southern dessert that’s both simple to make and incredibly delicious. Its creamy, custard-like filling, balanced with a hint of tanginess from the buttermilk, is all nestled in a flaky pie crust. The combination makes this pie a slice of heaven on a plate!

Buttermilk Pie

This Buttermilk Pie is simply delicious. Its thick and creamy, custard-like filling has the slightest hint of lemon. The buttermilk keeps the filling moist and adds the most incredible flavor. It’s baked in a flaky, buttery premade pie crust, which keeps the whole recipe super simple to make.

This pie recipe is an old fashioned, Southern dessert that’s perfect for any occasion. It’s similar to a chess pie, and some might even say it’s a cousin of the sugar cream pie. But what sets it apart is the distinct tangy flavor from the buttermilk, which beautifully balances the sweetness of the pie. It’s a dessert recipe that stands out in its simplicity and flavor.

One of the great things about this pie is that it’s quick and easy to make, making it perfect for busy days. You don’t need any fancy ingredients or complicated techniques to whip up this pie. It’s a straightforward recipe that anyone can follow, even if you’re not a seasoned baker.

Another thing I love about this pie is that it’s a great dessert for any season. While it’s a classic holiday dessert (I love serving it for Thanksgiving or Christmas), it’s also perfect for summer gatherings when served cold. Pair it with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and you’re in for a treat!

While you’re here be sure to check out this super popular recipe by Ree Drummond – Pioneer Woman’s Chocolate Pie. It has lots of 5 star ratings!


Granulated Sugar: Granulated sugar gives our buttermilk pie its delightful sweetness.

Unsalted Butter: The butter plays a crucial role in adding that creamy, rich flavor that we all love. I use unsalted butter so I can control the amount of salt in the pie.

Eggs: Eggs are great binders in baking. They help to set the pie and give it that beautiful custard-like texture. Always remember to whisk in one egg at a time for the best results.

All-Purpose Flour: Flour helps to thicken the pie filling. It ensures that your pie isn’t too runny and holds up well when sliced.

Buttermilk: Buttermilk lends its unique tangy flavor to the pie and creates a creamy texture that is simply irresistible.

Lemon Zest and Lemon Juice: Nothing like a little zest to liven things up! Freshly grated lemon zest and juice add a light, citrusy flavor to the pie that beautifully complements the richness of the other ingredients.

Pure Vanilla Extract: A splash of vanilla enhances all the other flavors in the pie. It’s a subtle touch that makes a big difference.

Fine Sea Salt: A pinch of salt is a secret weapon in desserts. It balances out the sweetness and brings out the flavors of the other ingredients.

Ground Nutmeg (Optional): A sprinkle of ground nutmeg can add a warm, earthy flavor to your buttermilk pie. It’s optional but highly recommended!

Premade Pie Crust: I’m all for making life easier. Using a premade pie crust saves time and guarantees a perfect, flaky crust every time. But if you’re feeling adventurous, feel free to whip up your own homemade crust.

Powdered Sugar (Optional): For those with a sweet tooth, a dusting of powdered sugar adds an extra touch of sweetness and makes your pie look like it’s straight out of a bakery window. This is optional, but definitely adds a nice finishing touch.

The labeled ingredients for buttermilk pie.

How To Make Buttermilk Pie

Combine Sugar and Butter: Begin by preheating your oven. Grab a medium mixing bowl and whisk together the granulated sugar and melted butter until well combined. (See the recipe card below for the full printable instructions.)

Adding sugar and butter to a large glass mixing bowl and mixing together until a thick paste is formed.

Add the Eggs: Now, whisk in the eggs. Remember to add them one at a time to ensure they are well incorporated into the mixture.

Adding one egg at a time until the mixture is incorporated.

Whisk in the Flour: Next, whisk in the flour until no clumps remain.

Adding flour into the egg mixture and stirring in.

Whisk in Buttermilk & Other Ingredients: Gradually pour in the buttermilk, whisking as you go. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla, salt, and nutmeg, and whisk until everything is combined.

Stirring in buttermilk, cinnamon and vanilla into the batter.

Fill the Pie Crust: Carefully pour your buttermilk pie filling into the pie crust.

Bake the Pie: Transfer your pie to the oven and bake until the pie appears set, both at the edges and in the center.

Pouring the pie filling into a premade pie crust then baking in the oven until golden brown.

Cool Before Serving: Once baked, remove the pie from the oven and allow it to cool to room temperature before serving. If desired, garnish with a dusting of powdered sugar for an extra touch of sweetness. See the recipe card below for the full written instructions, including ingredient amounts, and helpful tips, etc.

Garnishing the pie with multiple thin lemon wedges.

Pro Tips

  • When whisking the eggs into the sugar and butter mixture, do so one at a time. This ensures a smooth, well-incorporated batter.
  • Be careful when transferring the pie to the oven as the pie crust will be quite full.
  • If you notice the crust browning too quickly while baking, cover it with a pie shield or some aluminum foil. This prevents the crust from burning while allowing the filling to bake properly.
  • Allow the pie to cool completely before slicing it. This will make it easier to cut and serve.

What Does a Buttermilk Pie Taste Like?

A buttermilk pie has a unique taste that’s hard to describe. It’s sweet, tangy, and creamy with a hint of citrus flavor from the lemon zest and juice. The crust adds a nice contrast with its flaky texture.

What’s the Difference Between Chess Pie and Buttermilk Pie?

While both buttermilk pie and chess pie are classic Southern desserts, they each have their unique characteristics. Buttermilk pie, as the name suggests, features buttermilk as a key ingredient, which gives the pie a slightly tangy flavor which is enhanced with the addition of lemon juice and zest. It’s creamy and has a custard-like texture.

On the other hand, a chess pie typically includes cornmeal in its filling as the thickener, which gives it a different texture. The taste is often sweeter and richer in comparison. Both pies are delicious in their own right, and it’s always fun to try making both to see which one you prefer!

An overhead image of a partially cut pie with multiple slices missing.

What Is a Buttermilk Pie Made Of?

A buttermilk pie is made of a few simple, yet delicious ingredients. At its core, it’s a mixture of buttermilk, sugar, eggs, and butter, often flavored with vanilla and a bit of lemon zest. This delightful concoction is then poured into a pie crust and baked until it sets into a creamy, custard-like filling. The result is a sweet and slightly tangy pie that’s absolutely irresistible!

Why Is My Buttermilk Pie Watery?

If you find that your buttermilk pie is not setting, it could be due to a few factors. It might not have been baked long enough, or the oven temperature could have been too low. It’s essential to ensure that the filling is set before removing the pie from the oven.

Another possible reason could be the buttermilk itself. If it’s too thin, it might make the filling watery. Always use high-quality, thick buttermilk for the best results. Also, baking your pie on the lower rack of the oven can help the bottom crust cook more effectively, which helps stop the crust from becoming soggy.

A slice of pie on a plate with a bite missing next to a fork.

Can You Freeze Buttermilk Pies?

Yes, you can freeze buttermilk pies. Once the pie has completely cooled, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil. It can be stored in the freezer for up to two months. When you’re ready to serve the pie, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and then let it come to room temperature before slicing.

How Long Does Buttermilk Pie Last?

Buttermilk pie can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. Just make sure to keep it covered to prevent it from absorbing other flavors in the fridge.

An overhead image of a partially cut pie garnished with lemon wedges and powdered sugar.

Should Buttermilk Pie Jiggle?

Yes, a properly baked buttermilk pie should have a slight jiggle in the center when you remove it from the oven. As it cools, it will continue to set and firm up. If the entire pie is still jiggling a lot, it might need a little more time in the oven.

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A Pinterest pin image with a picture of buttermilk pie, with title text at the top.

Pie Recipes

If you like this recipe, be sure to check out all of our other pie recipes. Some reader favorites are:

Yield: 8 servings

BEST Buttermilk Pie (Pioneer Woman’s Old-Fashioned Recipe)

The best buttermilk pie recipe.

Buttermilk Pie is a classic Southern dessert. Simple to make and incredibly delicious. Creamy, custard-like filling inside a flaky pie crust.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 3 large eggs + 1 egg yolk
  • 3 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
  • 9 inch premade pie crust
  • Powdered sugar for garnish (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.*
  2. To a medium mixing bowl, add the granulated sugar and melted butter. Whisk to combine. Next, whisk in one egg at a time until incorporated, then whisk in the flour. Pour in the buttermilk along with the lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla, salt, and nutmeg (if using). Whisk to combine.
  3. Pour the buttermilk pie filling mixture into the pie crust and bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes. The pie is finished baking when the edges are set and the center of the pie has a very slight jiggle. You may need to cover the crust with a pie shield or tent the pie with aluminum foil after about 25 minutes if you notice that the pie or crust is getting dark too quickly.
  4. Remove the pie from the oven and allow it to cool to room temperature (this will take about 2 hours). Before serving, garnish with powdered sugar.


*The Pioneer Woman’s recipe calls for a blind bake of the pie crust at 375 F for 10 to 12 minutes, but I didn’t find that this pie needed it. Feel free to add that step in if you’d like to follow that exact recipe.

The pie crust just barely holds the filling. Be very careful transferring it into the oven. You could also bake it on a rimmed baking sheet to prevent it from spilling over while transferring it. Even though it’s full enough to make transferring it difficult, it did not spill over while baking.

Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 398Total Fat: 19.7gCarbohydrates: 52.2gFiber: 0.6gSugar: 38.8gProtein: 3.8g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.


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Buttermilk pie is a wonderful dessert to serve at any gathering. The creamy, tangy filling paired with the flaky crust is sure to win over anyone who tries it.

The best buttermilk pie recipe.

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