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Buttermilk Pie is a classic pie recipe well loved for generations in my family. A custardy pie that comes together quickly and easily with a light texture and a slight tangy flavor.

Buttermilk Pie | ©addapinch.com

Similar in texture to a Chess Pie, the Buttermilk Pie uses simple ingredients found in most southern kitchens. It has a delicious, yet sweet and tangy taste, with a light texture and feel. I love to make it for special family suppers and holiday desserts. It’s an impressive, yet simple to make pie that everyone enjoys!

Buttermilk Pie

I use buttermilk in so many recipes, especially in baking, but it really shines in this delicious, yet oh so easy pie. But, if you aren’t a buttermilk lover, don’t fret, this pie doesn’t taste like buttermilk. Buttermilk pie has a tender, tangy texture that just works perfectly in a good, flaky pie crust.

Buttermilk Pie | ©addapinch.com

Buttermilk Pie Variations

Buttermilk pie can have so many variations, add pecans to the top, a dollop of homemade whipped cream, or a drizzle with a bit of blackberry syrup when serving. But honestly, there is just nothing better than a slice of this pie and a cup of coffee or a glass of sweet tea.

Buttermilk Pie | ©addapinch.com

This pie makes a great addition to the holiday dessert buffet with its light, comforting taste.

I’m not calling it a light as in low-calorie pie, I’m just saying it tastes light. It doesn’t have a heavy texture or taste and you usually don’t feel “stuffed” after eating it.

Buttermilk Pie | ©addapinch.com

Just look at that flaky pie crust and the golden top of this amazing pie! It’s so impressive to serve to guests for a special dinner and always a hit on holiday dessert tables.

Buttermilk Pie | ©addapinch.com

Can You Use Graham Cracker Crust for Buttermilk Pie?

As an option, you can make this with a pre-baked graham cracker crust. Just follow the directions for making my Simple Graham Cracker Crust Recipe. Pre-bake your crust according to the directions for Baked Graham Crust. Once the pie ingredients are mixed, pour into the pie crust and bake the pie for 45-50 minutes.

Since it is so easy and quietly elegant, it really makes the perfect pie to serve anytime though. No need to save this beauty just for the holidays.

Buttermilk Pie | ©addapinch.com

Here’s my Buttermilk Pie recipe. I can’t wait to hear how you love it.

4.92 from 46 votes

Buttermilk Pie Recipe

Dessert 55 mins

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Servings 8
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch
Buttermilk Pie is a classic, traditional pie in the south. Buttermilk Pie is a custardy pie that comes together quickly and easily.

Ingredients  

  • 1 (9-inch) Pie Crust Recipe, unbaked
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup butter melted
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • pinch of salt

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350º F.
  • Mix together eggs, granulated sugar, flour, butter, buttermilk, vanilla, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt until well-combined. Pour into the unbaked pie crust and bake for 45-50 minutes until set and golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool prior to slicing.
  • Store in the refrigerator.

Notes

Optional Pre-baked Graham Cracker Crust:
Follow directions for Baked Pie Crust in the Simple Graham Cracker Crust Recipe. Set aside.  Once all ingredients for pie are mixed, pour into the pie crust. Bake  45-50 minutes or until set and golden brown. 
 

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Robyn xo

Southern Buttermilk Pie Recipe - Buttermilk Pie is a classic pie recipe well loved for generations in my family. A custardy pie that comes together quickly and easily with a light texture and a slight tangy flavor. // addapinch.com

From the Add a Pinch recipe archives. Originally published in 2013.

Pies / Tarts / Cobblers Recipes

Robyn Stone

..where I share sweet, savory and southern recipes, as well as home and garden tips and tidbits of travel.

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Recipe Review




Comments

  1. Buttermilk is like a family member…it’s always here!! It was a staple in our Frigidaire while growing up. My daddy would drink it and mama used it for baking. Mine doesn’t always get used but when it starts to feel heavy I toss it and buy some more! It’s a visual comfort item…it warms my heart to see that waxy cardboard quart of buttermilk sitting in my “icebox”.
    Thank you for sharing the recipe ~ Buttermilk Pie is a Southern classic and I use my Mama Prestwood’s recipe to make mine. I never got to taste hers but I know that my pie is still carrying on a family tradition.

    1. thanks alot by sharing us your knowledge in cooking i love it most the buttermilk pie .
      Love yah

  2. 5 stars
    I use my Nana’s recipe – okay, my daughter uses it because they were very close and Nana taught her how to cook. This is also my birthday pie (I don’t have cake) that I have had for the better part of my 50 years on earth. It’s a great dish, isn’t it?

    1. It was what my brother always asked for instead of a birthday cake too! Now living in Indiana, people have tried to tell me shoo-fly “is the same,” but noooooo it’s not.

  3. My mom and I shared a slice of buttermilk pie with strawberries on top at East Side Cafe in Austin a few years ago. It was unbelievably sweet, rich, gooey, delicious, and the strawberries added a nice tart contrast. It’s never something I’ve tried to make at home, but now that might change!

  4. 5 stars
    Oh yeah, buttermilk pie is a southern favorite. This brings back memories of my southern to the core aunt’s fabulous pies. This looks great. Pinning!

  5. Buttermilk is always in our fridge, such a tasty “secret ingredient” in so many of my dishes, cakes, and pies….glad to see it is getting a little more time in the spotlight, especially with “Southern” cuisine being so popular. It’s about time the rest of y’all caught on….haha! Fun Fact: Buttermilk was the name of Dale Evans’ (Mrs. Roy Rogers!) horse…just sign me “showing my age” but still loving buttermilk!

  6. 5 stars
    My mom used to make this pie all the time and when I was younger I swore up and down that I hated it because of the buttermilk. All those years of wasted freshly baked buttermilk pie! So sad 🙂

  7. As a Northerner, I was late to the buttermilk pie game, but I am fully on board since being introduced a few years ago. Better late than never? Gorgeous pie, Robyn!

  8. Lovely pie and the addition of lemon must make it even better. I have always made the bisquick version where it makes it’s own crust, Impossible Pie recipe. I love it when my strawberries are ripe to add as a topping.

    1. Joyce..I have the Impossible Pie recipe..this reminded me of it….I love it because it makes its own crust….Everybody loves it & its so easy!! I make mine in the blender & just pour into pie plate!!
      Dee

  9. Oh, Robyn! You’re killin’ me with those forkful closeups! This pie looks sensational. Perfect for the holidays!

  10. Northern girl here, but I’ve been making buttermilk pie for ages from my Indiana Historical cookbook. It calls for butter the size of a walnut. No vanilla, less sugar, and 3 egg yolks baked in a cornmeal pie crust. I have not made the crust. It
    is very good and enjoyed by all. I pinned your recipe to try.

    Vicky

  11. I have never heard of buttermilk pie. It looks wonderful like a creme brûlée or a custard. So easy, I think I will make this for thanksgiving!

  12. I am baking this right now!!!! Looks fabulous! Can’t wait to dig in. Not sure if I can wait until tomorrow =) I am not sure if anyone else in my family will eat it. We are also having pumpkin and apple, so I guess that just means more pie for me!!!! Yum!

  13. 5 stars
    Hello Robyn.

    I made this pie for Thanksgiving for family. It was so simple because of the way you explained it step by step. It is beautiful. I will let you know how everyone likes it. Thanks again and Happy Thanksgiving:)

  14. 5 stars
    Hello Robyn. Just as I thought this was a great addition to my family’s Thanksgiving dinner. I sprinkled chopped pecans on top of the pie and you know pecans add to so many different things. My mom and sisters said that it was very, very melt in your mouth good. Thanks again.

  15. 5 stars
    robyn,

    a friend passed on her b-pie recipe several years ago and i made it for my wife and me. similar to yours except (a) 2 cups sugar (gagarama sweet!) and (b) no lemon. naturally, it was somewhat overpowering.

    looking for a different approach, i stumbled upon yours. oh, my! perfect in every way. the lemon renders it so elegant and light yet nicely balanced. i’ve now begun to look at your other recipes to see if this nice touch is everywhere. thank you for loving cooking and for bringing creativity to it.

    1. I’m so glad you loved the recipe, Henry, and thank you for your kind comment. I hope you enjoy many of the other recipes just as much.

      Thanks!

  16. 5 stars
    I was looking for ways to use up the buttermilk I bought for another recipe and stumbled upon this. Well, naturally I had to try it seeing as I am a native Louisianan and have a wicked sweet tooth AND had never had buttermilk pie. Can I just say…I ate the entire pie myself over the course of a week and have been dreaming of making another one ever since! Thanks for this recipe. It might be the perfect dessert!

    1. Hi Starr,
      I have never made this using cornstarch but not sure it would thicken as well as it does with the flour. Sometimes dishes containing butter or an acid like the lemon juice won’t thicken as well with cornstarch. Hope this helps!

  17. 5 stars
    I made the pie and used your crust recipe, it was amazing!!!! Soooo delicious! I’m 7 months pregnant and it definitely helped fulfill my buttermilk pie craving.

  18. I grew up in south but I have never made buttermilk pie. When I was visiting Louisville over the winter I had a wonderful chocolate buttermilk pie that I would love to recreate. I would love to try your recipe!

  19. I love the idea of this recipe. I have the flaky crust stuff in my freezer… is there any idea to make a puffy crust something or other instead of the pie crust? As you can tell I’m not really a baker. 🙂

  20. I made this pie last week and it was great, it doesn’t taste anything like the name. I just put another one in the oven.

  21. 5 stars
    Great recipe. I don’t think I have ever had buttermilk pie before, but this is quite tasty. I like the hint of lemon flavor in this recipe. I followed the pie crust recipe as well, but added a little sugar. I served this with homemade whipped cream and strawberries. Delicious!

  22. 5 stars
    Tried it today. My second time doing a pie. I was bit nervous how it was gonna turn out. I used spiced buttermilk instead of buttermilk and organic coconut oil instead of shortening for pastry. I baked it in aluminium cake tin. It turned gorgeous! <3 Loved the result! Kind of tasted like one of my childhood memories of Portuguese tart 😛

  23. Hi, Robyn!
    Last night, I made your buttermilk pie recipe (found on Pinterest). It was sooooooooooooo tasty, but very, very rich.
    So I was wondering – did you mean “1/2 c melted butter” or “1/2 c butter, melted”? Either way, it will remain on my “indulgence recipe list”. Thanks for sharing!
    Claud

    1. Isn’t it delicious?! We absolutely love it. Yes, it should be 1/2 cup butter, melted.

  24. I done this exact recipe, word for word. But, my boyfriend says it taste like a lemon pie. Any tips or suggestions to fix that?

    1. 5 stars
      Leave out the lemon zest for sure and then you can start cutting down on the juice. Some people don’t use any lemon in their buttermilk pie.

  25. This is a “keeper” says my husband! He loved the pie! Thank you for the recipe! Best wishes to you!

  26. 5 stars
    i remember my mom making a version of this for me when I was a little girl and it was my favorite pie for so long!

  27. 5 stars
    Robyn – This is so special to me – my youngest son (age 31) loves this pie and I told him just last night I would make one this weekend. My precious mother-in-law, who passed away last year at age 93 always made buttermilk pies. On the way to work this morning I pulled her recipe out of my recipe box to pick up the ingredients. I just saw this email with “Buttermilk Pie” in the subject line from you! Made me smile. Your recipe is like my mother-in-law’s except for no lemon juice or lemon zest. Thanks for always sharing such wonderful recipes.

  28. 5 stars
    Just put this in the oven. My pie plate is pretty large, so I doubled the recipe. Not sure if it will take a bit longer to cook, but I set the timer for 55 mins so I can assess it at that point. My great grandma use to make this when I was little. The first go round, I used the lemon and the zest. When I realized that I needed to make more for the size pie plate I have, I didn’t use lemon or zest. Let’s hope it turns out good. If so, it will be one of my additions to my holiday baking.

    1. Hi Lee,
      I hope you enjoy the pie – it’s one of our family favorites that I remember eating throughout the years. I’ve not doubled the recipe for one pie plate, so I’m not sure how much longer it should take to bake. Have a wonderful holiday! Thanks!

    1. Hi Debbie,
      I’ve never tried this pie with splenda, but I’d be interested to hear how it turns out if you try it. Thanks!

  29. Robyn, Can I use the substitute 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice plus enough milk to make 1 cup of buttermilk? I waste money buying a carton of of buttermilk.

    1. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it Kim, but my family and friends have enjoyed it for generations. Thanks!

    1. It’s a favorite in our family too, Thelma! Glad your family & friends enjoyed it too! xo

  30. 5 stars
    This is soooo good!!  I made it exactly to the recipe, except I didn’t have lemon zest.  We decided we like it best after it has been chilled for a long time.  Definitely a new favorite!  Thanks for sharing!  

    1. I’m so excited that you enjoyed it so much, Carol! It’s a family favorite too! Thanks! xo

  31. 5 stars
    Don’t hate me because I changed a little bit of the recipe. I made it with the lemon juice and zest and I love the brightness that it adds but I didn’t have lemons this time so I used fresh oranges and I liked this as well. I also made my own buttermilk from cream. Thank you for the recipe

    1. Sounds delicious, Renee! No hating here – I bet the brightness went well with this delicious pie! Thanks!

  32. 5 stars
    I have made this pie many times and my family loves it. It’s the first thing they ask for at holidays.

    1. It’s one of our family favorite pies too, Betty! I’m so glad to hear that your family requests it for holidays – thanks for letting me know! xo

  33. Whenever I bake a buttermilk pie the butter always pools in the middle while it’s in the oven. Is that normal?

    1. Hi Jadie,
      The butter should not be on top of pie. I have not ever had that happen when I make this pie. You’ll want to be sure to mix ingredients until butter is completely incorporated in mixture before putting in pie crust to bake. Hope this helps. Thanks!

  34. 5 stars
    I currently have this in the oven. I haven’t tried it cooked but I did taste the uncooked filling…wow delish! I can’t wait to try the finished product. I followed the recipe to the T. I did use a frozen deep dish pie crust.

    1. 5 stars
      Once cooked and cooled. This is amazing!!! Im actually making another one at I type this. Super yummy!! Thank you

  35. 5 stars
    My husband loves pecans so I used this recipe& added chopped pecansthat I had roasted into the pie mix.  Just delicious!  Thank you for the recipe.

  36. OHHH MY!!
    Finally, the Buttermilk pie recipe I have been looking for! Thank You! Thank You!
    I really LOVE Buttermilk pie. It’s my all-time favorite. Simple deliciousness. The one thing I don’t care for in many recipes I have made ..is when the sugar overpowers the buttermilk flavor, just making it a sweet pie. This recipe was complimented straight away for being able to actually taste the Buttermilk. Perfect perfectness. Definitely a keeper and I Thank You So Much for it.🥰

    1. 5 stars
      This recipe is the BEST! I swear its as good as my grandmother used to make. I rarely keep fresh lemons on hand so I usually skip the lemon zest and its perfect without it. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  37. 5 stars
    Made this tonight…easy as pie 🙄. Mixed all ingredients in a blender, usd 5/8 cup a Truvia Sugar Blend in lieu of sugar, but all else the same. Baked it in a deep dish crust for 45 minutes. It was set perfectly and golden on much of the top. After it cooled sufficiently I took a small wedge to taste. So delicious!

    1. Debbie, thanks for letting us knowhow you made this without sugar. I’m so happy it worked so well for you. xo

  38. I am making the pie but don’t know if it’s done! It is very wobbly but it has been almost an hour. Is it supposed to be wobbly? It is golden brown.

    1. The pie should have a slight jiggle but not a wet sloshy wobbly one when you shake the pan, Lily.

    2. Mine did that too. It looked like the butter had separated from the batter and floated to the top. What to do?

    3. Gloria, when a pie separates and has liquid pooling on top, it usually means it has baked too long and is overdone. The pie is done when it has a slightly drier look on top and is still a little jiggly in the center.

  39. I’ve looked at other recipes and yours has good reviews.. but with lemon juice and added lemon zest, does it make it taste lemony.? Is it noticable? Or does it make it better? Just curious it it takes away from the buttery taste.

    1. Sierra, it does have a light lemon flavor. I think it makes it better but you can omit if you don’t want any hint of lemon.

    2. Tara, you can freeze buttermilk pie. Be sure to wrap airtight in foil or other freezer wrap or place in airtight container. Freeze up to 3 months. When you are ready to serve, allow the pie to thaw in the refrigerator.

  40. 5 stars
    love this and very simple and delicious had to make again the next day. Love the top when it comes out of the oven.

  41. 5 stars
    I made it once totally following your recipe. I’ve been baking 97% more than ever before and experimenting with the recipes. Ok, that was a warning. Here’s what I did,
    2/3 cup buttermilk
    1/3 cup dark rum
    1 tsp. vanilla paste
    1/2 tsp. fresh nutmeg
    Pinch of salt
    It was REALLY GOOD! I hope this doesn’t upset too many cooks! Thank you for the recipe.

    1. Kim, I have never added pecans to this pie but I have had comments from people who have added them. One added to the pie mixture and another sprinkle chopped pecans on top of the pie. Let me know if it works for you.

  42. Can I omit the lemon juice and lemon zest and add cinnamon? If I did that do you think I would need to add more sugar?

    1. Kelly, I’m sorry but I haven’t made this pie this way so I can’t tell you any adjustments you might need to make.

  43. I have someone requesting this for Thanksgiving. I’ve never had it though, is it typically served warm or can I make it the day before and store in the fridge?

  44. I did not have buttermilk so I made my own with 1 Tbsp vinegar + milk to make 1 cup. I added everything else the same as recipe called. The pie filling separated and looked curdled when I poured in pie crust. Is this normal? Or was the buttermilk substitute and lemon juice not the right combination?

  45. 5 stars
    This is a fantastic recipe and the accompanying recipe for Pie Crust is excellent as well. Freezing the crust prior to baking makes such a delicious flaky difference. I extended the cooking time a bit in order to get the golden brown color of the pie. Truly easy and truly delicious!!! Perfect for Christmas dinner or anytime!

  46. I want to make this pie. I know that I had it when I was very young but years have passed and now I want to make one.
    I had a slice at a restaurant recently and just fell in love with it. They topped it with real whipped cream. It was delish.

  47. I love buttermilk pie. My mom bake me one every Thanksgiving or for Christmas. Now I would start bake it myself.

  48. I was given this recipe years ago by a co-worker but it was made with orange juice instead of lemon. Very delicious.

  49. 5 stars
    Absolutely love this pie! I substituted half the vanilla for almond extract and use half brown sugar. I also recommend mixing the butter and milk while the butters hot so it doesn’t separate!

  50. 5 stars
    The easiest of three buttermilk pie recipes I’ve tried in a week, and my personal favorite. I used a homemade crust and tried a different mild flaky crust each time, none has gone poorly with it, so it is flexible. I expect a ready made flaky crust from the store would suit, too. I like that this recipe has much more buttermilk than others I’ve found. It doesn’t taste like a super sweet custard that happened to use buttermilk; it actually lets you enjoy some of the flavor, too.

  51. 5 stars
    EXCELLENT!!! I never made Buttermilk Pie before. I wanted a simple recipe. This one was perfect and so was the pie!!! I will make it again!!!

  52. 5 stars
    I’ve made this a few times. It’s easy and delicious. I bumped it up a couple of notches with the last one by substituting anise extract instead of vanilla and added a sprinkle of anise seeds. Soooo good!. I’m also a novice sourdough baker and tried my first homemade pie crust with it. The sourdough crust complimented the pie perfectly.

    1. I’m glad you like this pie, Linda. I have never tried a sourdough crust or anise in the pie.

    2. Like I said, I’m a novice with sourdough and the texture of my crust needs a little improvement, but the flavor really works with the pie. I only discovered anise a few years ago. It’s an interesting flavor.

  53. 5 stars
    Made this pie several time. The easiest pie to whip up when needing a quick dessert at the last minute. Always a crowd pleaser.

  54. I’ve never made buttermilk pie before, so I have nothing to compare it to, but my guests who ate it said this recipe hit it right on. The recipe is definitely easy to make, but the bake time was short for me – closer to 65 minutes for me.

    1. Nicole, I’m not sure why the pie took that long to bake. The pie is done when it has a slightly drier look on top and is still a little jiggly in the center. I’m glad everyone liked the pie.

  55. 5 stars
    Hi, I am from Texas we had some really good southern butter milk pie. I looked at this recipe and it is exactly like my Aunt Roseleen’s recipe, only she put almond extract in hers. This always is a family favorite. Gave me some really good memories before my aunt passed away.

  56. I love this recipe!! Just made it and it’s already designated as my go-to. Doubled the recipe and used two deep dish pie crusts. The total baking time was 75 mins for me. A tip I have is to just keep checking it and not to take it out until it has the golden top. Don’t be afraid to bake it longer! It has a very nice flavor. The rich buttermilk and butter contrast with the sweet sugar and a crispy, beautiful top. I will reduce the sugar next time, though. It was a tiny bit too sweet. I added a bit of nutmeg and cinnamon, but left everything else as-is. I love this and thank you for sharing! (:

  57. A family favorite since I found this recipe. Easy and delicious. I note that the baking times vary widely, perhaps depending on the weather. In my oven, which is slow, it has been anywhere from 60 to 75 minutes to get lightly jiggly and dry enough on top to think it is done.

    1. Thanks, Jon. It is amazing how much the weather and humidity play a role in baking. I’m so thrilled this recipe is a favorite in your family.

  58. 5 stars
    Easiest Pie I’ve ever bakes and it was DELICIOUS! Everyone asked for more. Thank you so much for sharing ❤

  59. I’ve never heard of buttermilk pie, but I love using buttermilk in baking and I actually love to drink it straight, so I thought I would try it. It is HEAVENLY!!! So light and tangy, I absolutely love it! And easy too. What’s not to love? Since I am a low sugar kind of gal, I reduced the sugar to 3/4 of a cup; it was still plenty sweet, and set up fine. Just a tip for those wanting to reduce sugar. I’m serving it for Thanksgiving dessert tomorrow. Thanks Robyn!!

    1. I’m so happy that your first time making buttermilk pie was successful, Becca. I hope everyone loves it. Thanks.

  60. Just took it out of the oven and I ended up with a puddle of butter on top of my pie. What did I do wrong? Followed the recipe exactly I thought.

    1. Deb, I have never had that happen with my pies. Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature and that the melted butter is thoroughly incorporated into the other ingredients when mixing.

  61. 5 stars
    Robyn has the best recipes ! I use your chocolate cake recipe every time and it’s a winner every single time

    1. My Mom made buttermilk pie during depression years. This reminded me of her pies. She could make melt in your mouth pies. You brought back a good memory and a delicious recipe! Thank you, young lady❣️

    2. I’m happy this recipe brought back such sweet memories for you, Evelyn. Thanks!

  62. Best pie I’ve made so far!! Easy yummy and brought bake childhood memories!!
    My momma passed 4/29/21 & I do not have all her recipes ( the best were handwritten on index cards) so this just made my day & my heart happy!!! I’ll be making a couple buttermilk pies to share with friends & family at my mommas memorial this year!!!
    I can’t begin to …
    Thank you …
    enough for sharing!!!!

    1. I am so sorry for your mother’s passing, Jeanan. I am thrilled, though, that this recipe brought back such sweet childhood memories. I have many of my mother and grandmother’s recipes on this site that I hope you will enjoy just as much.

    1. Barbara, thank you for this question. I have now updated this recipe to include instructions for making it with a pre-baked graham cracker crust. Hope you enjoy!