Southern Buttermilk Pie

5 from 2 votes

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Southern buttermilk pie has a smooth, velvety texture and the perfect blend of sweet and tangy flavors. This classic Southern dessert is simple to create, easy to make ahead, and sure to please. Serve with whipped topping or ice cream for a scrumptious treat!

side view: a slice of buttermilk pie on a plate with whipped cream and a fork

Today’s recipe for buttermilk pie makes a satiny smooth dessert with a flavor profile that is a little sweet, a little sour, and oh-so-delicious. This simple dessert has roots all the way back to Colonial America, where enterprising cooks were working with what they had available — often in surprisingly tasty ways!

In case you don’t know, buttermilk is a byproduct of butter production. Early settlers in the Southeast (usually farmers) quickly saw the value of this nutrient-dense liquid and began incorporating it into recipes. Recipes like this buttermilk pie recipe quickly caught on, and today they are enjoyed all over the country.

closeup: a slice of buttermilk pie on a plate with a dollop of whipped cream to the side

For more ways to bake with buttermilk, check out my Buttermilk Biscuits, Apple Buttermilk Muffins, and Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Scones.

overhead: ingredients needed for this buttermilk pie recipe

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Pie Crust – If you want to make your own crust, check out my Pecan Pie recipe for instructions. Otherwise, a frozen pie crust will work just fine. 
  • Butter – Gives the dessert a buttery richness. Be sure to have the butter at room temperature before starting. 
  • Sugar – Sweetens the recipe and balances the tangy flavor of buttermilk. 
  • Flour – Regular, all-purpose flour is all you need. 
  • Eggs – Add richness and help hold the pie filling together.
  • Buttermilk The star player in this recipe, buttermilk gives the pie its creamy, custard-like texture as well as its signature tanginess. 
  • Lemon Juice – Adds a brightening dash of sour citrus flavor. 
  • Vanilla – Adds an earthy sweetness that enhances and harmonizes the other flavors. 
  • Topping A simple cinnamon sugar topping adds the final touch of warmth and sweetness.
pouring buttermilk pie batter into a prepared pie crust

Tip From Kevin

Uses for Buttermilk

Buttermilk is a versatile ingredient in home cooking. Its tangy, acidic nature makes it a fantastic addition to a variety of dishes. In baking, it contributes to moist, tender textures in cakes, muffins, and biscuits. It’s a key player in classic Southern fried chicken, as a buttermilk soak imparts flavor and tenderness to the meat. Buttermilk can also be used in salad dressings, smoothies, and marinades, enhancing flavor and creaminess while adding a delightful tangy twist to your culinary creations.

side view closeup: buttermilk pie in a pie dish with the center showing

How to Make Southern Buttermilk Pie

  1. Prepare to Bake. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Transfer your pie crust to a 9-inch pie pan, pinching the edges. Do not prebake the crust. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar for the topping and set aside.  
  2. Make the Filling. In a large mixing bowl, beat the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Add the flour, eggs, and salt, beating again to combine. Next add the buttermilk, lemon juice, and vanilla, and stir to incorporate. The mixture will look curdled, so don’t be alarmed. 
  3. Bake the Pie. Transfer the filling into the pie crust and place the pan on the center rack of your oven. Bake for 55 minutes. You want the top of the pie to be fluffed up and golden brown. 
  4. Turn Off the Heat. Open the oven door, turn off the heat, and let the pie to cool and set in the warm oven for 5 minutes. The top will evenly deflate, and the filling may be slightly jiggly. 
  5. Sprinkle on Topping. After that, remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the top with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Let the pie cool completely before diving in. Serve alone or with whipped cream.
a slice of buttermilk pie on a white plate with whipped cream and a fork on either side

Share this recipe on Pinterest!

Love this recipe? Share it with the world on Pinterest.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between buttermilk pie and chess pie?

Both are incredibly popular desserts from the American Southeast with a few key differences. 

For starters, chess pie may or may not contain buttermilk. It can get its tangy flavor from vinegar or lemon juice mixed with milk. Chess pie also contains cornmeal in the filling, giving it a firmer, grainy texture with a subtle crunch. 

Buttermilk pie, on the other hand, contains real buttermilk as its signature ingredient and has no cornmeal. It is known for its creamy, custard-like texture and delightfully tangy flavor.

Can I make this buttermilk pie recipe ahead of time?

Definitely! This buttermilk pie recipe is actually even better after it has had time to cool and set. 

Once the pie is cooked and cooled, place it in an airtight container or wrap it tightly, then stash it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The pie is tasty when chilled but, if desired, take it out 15-30 minutes before you want to serve and let it come to room temperature. 

Freezing your pie is also an option. Simply cool completely, wrap tightly, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Why is my buttermilk pie runny?

The first and most obvious question when your pie comes out runny is: Did you cook it long enough? Make sure that your oven is properly calibrated and preheated, and that you keep the pie baking until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Jiggly is fine, but runny is no good. 

Secondly, make sure to let the pie cool completely. It will thicken and set quite a bit as it cools, so have a bit of patience. 

Make sure that all your ingredients are properly measured and that any cold ingredients have been brought up to room temperature before mixing. Avoid overmixing as well. Being too rough with the batter will affect the consistency and can lead to runniness. 

And finally, make sure that you choose a thick, high-quality buttermilk. Buttermilk that is too thin is a surefire way to get a runny buttermilk pie!

a slice of buttermilk pie on a white plate with the center showing
Still Hungry?

Subscribe to my Newsletter, follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube for all my latest recipes and videos.

Southern Buttermilk Pie

5 from 2 votes
Sweet and tangy buttermilk pie is a classic Southern dessert that features a rich and creamy filling in a tender, buttery crust.
Servings: 8
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 55 minutes
Total: 1 hour 10 minutes



  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Place pie crust in a 9-inch pie pan and pinch edges. Do not pre-bake. In a small bowl mix the Topping cinnamon and sugar, set aside.
  • Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the flour, salt and eggs. Beat again until combined and pour in the buttermilk, lemon juice and vanilla. Stir to incorporate, mixture will look curdled.
  • Pour filling into pie crust and bake on center shelf for 55 minutes and top is puffed and golden. Open the oven door and turn off heat. The pie filling should deflate evenly and may be slightly jiggly. It will set as it cools.
  • Remove from oven after 5 minutes and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the top. let cool completely. Serve with whipped cream, optional.


Use my go to pie crust as in my Southern Pecan Pie recipe or a frozen pie crust.


Calories: 283kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 95mg | Sodium: 306mg | Potassium: 93mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 494IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 1mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: Desserts
Cuisine: Southern
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
titled image (and shown): Southern buttermilk pie


Whether in the kitchen or on the grill, you’ll find me cooking American favorites with a love for BBQ, Mexican and Tex Mex. I’m passionate about making tasty food because life’s too short to be bland!

Free Bonus
5 Secrets to True Tex Mex
Essential recipes & tips for delicious Tex Mex cooking!

email image

Explore More

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Wow. I’ve never heard of a buttermilk pie. I’m definitely going to make it n try it out. My father used to love buttermilk n just drink it out of the carton. I’ve never accuired the taste but anxious to try this recipe. Thanks Dawn.