Buttermilk Pie Recipe

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A classic Southern dessert, this buttermilk pie recipe creates a creamy, dreamy, and delicious pie that has a perfectly sweet yet rich taste.

Bite of buttermilk chess pie on fork.

Here is a classic Southern recipe for you. This buttermilk pie recipe is simple yet delicious, with our beloved buttermilk as the headlining ingredient. I’ll save a slice for y’all 😉.

Buttermilk pie origins are believed to have come from Europe and were brought over as people settled in the South, specifically in Texas where buttermilk tended to be inexpensive. Made with basic ingredients, it was made popular in times when money was scarce. It was common in the Great Depression, similar to our water pie.

Those basic ingredients mentioned include pantry essentials like flour, sugar, and vanilla extract, plus some eggs, buttermilk, and butter. Fortunately, it’s a relatively easy Southern dessert to bake. You just need to slowly mix the ingredients together, place them in a pie crust, and wait for them to bake.

This old-fashioned buttermilk chess pie recipe has a creamy and light custard-like texture with a slightly smooth tangy flavor that just melts in your mouth. Enjoy a slice of your buttermilk pie with some fresh berries, whipped cream, or even ice cream if you’re feeling indulgent. There’s nothing better than a slice served with a cup of coffee or a glass of sweet tea.

Okay, let’s bake a pie that’s a true Southern tradition. Enjoy this creamy dreamy pie as soon as you can and you will grinnin’ like a possum eatin’ a sweet tater!

Ingredients for buttermilk chess pie recipe.

Recipe Ingredients

  • Sugar
  • Buttermilk
  • Vanilla
  • Eggs
  • All-purpose flour
  • Unsalted butter (softened at room temperature)
  • Lemon juice
  • Cinnamon (not required if you don’t like or don’t have cinnamon)
  • Unbaked pie shell (I am using my mix-in-the-pan pie crust recipe here but you can just buy one if you like).

How To Make Buttermilk Pie

Homemade pie crust in a pie dish.

First, place either your store-bought pie shell or your homemade pie crust in a pie dish/pie pan.

Place butter and sugar in mixing bowl.

Then, it’s time to make this buttermilk pie recipe.

Place your butter or margarine in a large bowl with the sugar.

Beat butter and sugar until fluffy.

Beat until light and fluffy.

Add buttermilk to mixing bowl.

Add in your buttermilk (and lemon juice if you have it).

Add flour to mixing bowl.

Next, add your flour.

Add eggs and vanilla to mixing bowl.

And in go the eggs and vanilla extract.

Mix buttermilk pie ingredients together well.

Mix that up well.

Pour mixture into pie crust.

Pour this buttermilk mixture into your unbaked pie crust (or pie shell).

Sprinkle buttermilk pie with cinnamon.

Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Bake buttermilk pie until golden brown.

Bake for about 40 minutes, or until golden brown.

Remove from the oven and allow the pie to cool completely before transferring it from the pie plate to a wire rack.

Note: This buttermilk pie will be a little jiggly in the middle but as it cools it will set.

Close-up of slice of buttermilk chess pie with berries and icing sugar.

I prefer to serve mine cold.

This has a very simple and light taste, so it’s perfect to serve with berries or fruit.

It’s also pretty if you sprinkle each slice with a little confectioner’s sugar as I did in this photo.


  • Store leftover buttermilk chess pie in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. I like mine cold, but if you’d prefer you can reheat it in the oven or the air fryer.
  • Southern buttermilk pie also freezes wonderfully. Store in a freezer-safe container for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge before enjoying.

Recipe Notes

  • I’ve never made this pie with Swerve but you can substitute that for the sugar.
  • Substitute the cinnamon for nutmeg or use a pinch of both to add extra flavor to your pie.
  • If you want to increase the lemon flavor, add a tablespoon of lemon zest as well.
  • You can also spike your custard pie with two tablespoons of the whiskey of your choice if you like, such as bourbon or rum. It isn’t traditional but it IS delicious.

Recipe FAQs

What do you serve with buttermilk pie?

Serve a slice of Southern buttermilk pie with a simple dusting of confectioner’s sugar and fresh berries like blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries. Alternatively, drizzle with raspberry or blackberry syrup or substitute the berries for chopped nuts like pecans. You can also serve it with a dollop of homemade whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce drizzle. YUM

What is the difference between chess pie vs buttermilk pie?

Here’s the thing… all buttermilk pies are chess pies, but you can’t classify every chess pie as a buttermilk pie. Confused? I got you! Southern chess pie has been around for eons and uses simple ingredients like flour, butter, sugar, and eggs, as well as cornmeal on occasion, which acts as a stabilizer.

So based on this description, this is a Southern buttermilk chess pie recipe. However, the main ingredient that differentiates the two pies is the addition of buttermilk. That acidic touch decreases the pie’s sweetness and changes its consistency. 

What is the difference between chess pie and regular pie?

The main difference between a Southern chess pie and a regular pie is that it has a custard filling made with flour, butter, sugar, and eggs. Regular pie fillings can be made with a variety of ingredients. Take fan favorite, pecan pie for example, which is made with eggs, butter, sugar, corn syrup, and chopped pecans.

What does buttermilk chess pie taste like?

This chess pie with buttermilk has a kind of light custard filling that’s sweet, creamy, buttery, and delicate.

Does buttermilk chess pie need to be refrigerated?

Yes, store your leftover butter chess pie in the fridge. If you don’t want to eat it cold, you can easily reheat it in the oven or air fryer.

You may also like these buttermilk recipes:

Buttermilk Congealed Salad

Buttermilk Lime Pound Cake

How To Make Buttermilk Biscuits

Buttermilk Peach Pie

Close-up of slice of buttermilk pie with berries and icing sugar.

Buttermilk Pie

A classic Southern dessert, this buttermilk pie recipe creates a creamy, dreamy, and delicious pie that has a perfectly sweet yet rich taste.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: buttermilk, pie
Servings: 4
Calories: 413kcal


  • 1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell or make your own with this recipe
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar can use Swerve
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • cinnamon for sprinkling over the top if desired


  • In a mixing bowl, cream the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy.
    1/2 cup butter, 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • Add in all remaining ingredients and mix your pie batter together until combined.
    3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 3 eggs, 1 cup buttermilk, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Pour this custard pie mixture into the unbaked pie crust or pie shell. Sprinkle cinnamon over the top, if desired. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Let cool and then store in the refrigerator.
    1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell, cinnamon for sprinkling over the top


Calories: 413kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!


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  1. 5 stars
    Phenomenal results using Bob’s Red Barn (?) gluten free flour alternative. This is now my go-to desert because it (with the Pat-in-pan pie crust) is so easy to make .. fun to say .. and remarkably impressive. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I absolutely adore this buttermilk pie with Pat in pan pie crust. You rock!!

  2. 5 stars
    I like that your instructions mention the amounts of the ingredients. It makes the recipe so easy to follow. All instructions should follow this example. Buttermilk pie- so much better than water pie! Thank you for this easy and interesting recipe.

  3. Oh how I love Buttermilk Pie! I have not had it in years. I miss watching Hee Haw with my Grandparents too.

  4. I Love Buttermilk pie & I Loved Hee Haw, There Were Nine Of Us, Every Saturday Night After Supper, My Daddy, Five Brothers & My Sister Went To The Living Room, Me & Mama Cleaned The Kitchen & We Would Go To The Living Room & Watch Hee Haw & Roy Clark, String Bean Were My Favorite & The Hotel, Empty Arms Hotel & They Rung The Bell, At The Restaurant Where I Worked For 35 Years, I Would Ring The Bell & Say ” Empty Arms Hotel, Lol.

    I Hope This Is Ok Christy, I Only Have Two Brothers Left Out Of Nine Family Members, My Baby Brother Just Found Out That He Has Cancer, Im Broken Hearted, But We Are Trusting In God To Heal Him, If Its His Will. Would Yall Keep Mark In Yalls Prayers. Thank You & God Bless Judy C Dent *

      1. Judy
        You have all my prayers for your brother as well and I also thought your story was The Canadian Foodie

    1. Hi Judy, I just received this recipe, and read your heartwarming story.
      Your comment was sweet and sad. I’m Sorry for you about your brother, Mark, having Cancer. I will Pray and ask Jesus to heal him and restore him to good health. Also to comfort You.

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