Dessert, Pies & Tarts

Buttermilk Pie: an Old Fashioned Southern Dessert

When I was a young child, our family lived in Savannah, Georgia.  One of the elderly ladies brought a buttermilk pie to share at a church event.  We loved this old fashioned Southern dessert so much that we asked her for the recipe.  Ever since, we’ve kept her handwritten recipe in our recipe box, and I used her recipe as the basis for my recipe.  I did change the margarine to butter.

person holding a forkful of buttermilk pie

If you’re not from the South, you might be wondering, “What is buttermilk pie?”  It’s a traditional Southern dessert made of pastry topped with a sweet custard.  Sounds simple, right?  That’s part of the reason why this pie is so popular; it’s really easy to make, and takes basic pantry ingredients.  The buttermilk gives this pie a slight tang, which provides more depth of flavor and makes it a definite crowd pleaser.

slice of buttermilk pie on a white plate

This old fashioned buttermilk pie recipe will teach you how to make a buttermilk pie that all your friends and family will love! 🥧😍 I encourage you to make this classic Southern dessert soon.

Looking for more delicious Southern pie recipes?  You’ll love these other classic desserts.

person holding a key lime pie slice of coconut cream pie on a white plate with a forkful of pie slice of pecan pie on a white plate with a fork

Quick and Easy Key Lime Pie: this tangy and delicious spring pie takes only 7 ingredients to make.

Easy Coconut Cream Pie: learn how to make your own creamy coconut pudding and easy whipped cream for this classic dessert.

Pecan Pie without Corn Syrup: this healthier version of pecan pie is packed with the nutty goodness of Southern pecans.

person holding a black fork and a slice of buttermilk pie on a white plate

Buttermilk Pie: an Old Fashioned Southern Dessert

  • Author: Emma
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Category: Pies
  • Cuisine: Southern


Buttermilk pie is an old fashioned Southern dessert that your family will love.  It’s a simple pie recipe with an easy homemade pastry crust and sweet egg custard filling—something your grandmother might have made.  You don’t need to be Paula Deen to make this indulgent Southern treat!


For the Pastry Crust

  • 1 cup + scant 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (170g)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled (87g)
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon water

For the Buttermilk Pie Filling

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled (58g)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar (267g)
  • 1 cup buttermilk (236 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (15g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Making the Pastry (10 minutes prep + 30 minutes chilling)

  1. Pour the flour into a medium bowl and cube the unsalted butter. Add the butter and a pinch of salt to the flour, then pinch the butter cubes and mix them with the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Add the sugar and egg and mix until a dough forms. If the pastry is dry, add a few drops of water at a time as needed.
  3. Gently knead the pastry a few times, then shape into a disc and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Chill for 30 minutes.

Making the Buttermilk Pie (20 minutes prep + 1 hour 10 minutes baking)

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F.
  2. Place the unsalted butter in a small saucepan and set over low heat until the butter has melted.  Set aside to cool.
  3. Roll out the chilled pastry on a lightly floured surface until it’s a little less than 1/8 inch thick.  Line a 9-inch glass pie plate with the pastry and trim off the excess pastry.  Decoratively crimp the edges as desired.
  4. Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl, then add the sugar and melted butter.  Whisk until everything is thoroughly blended.
  5. Stir in the buttermilk, flour, and vanilla extract until well combined, then pour into the pastry shell.
  6. Bake the pie at 325 F for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, until the top is a rich golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  If the top begins to brown too quickly, cover the pie with aluminum foil.
  7. Allow the buttermilk pie to cool on a wire rack before serving.


  • If you’re short on time, use store-bought pastry to shave 40 minutes off the total time.
  • If you’re baking the buttermilk pie in a metal pie plate, increase the baking temperature to 350 F and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

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