The Best Old Fashioned Buttermilk Pie Recipe

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There’s something so magical about handwritten recipes on index cards, faded over time and splattered with love and obvious overuse. My first kitchen memory is making this special dessert with my grandma.

I was way too short to reach the countertops, so she would lovingly hand me a large mixing bowl and wooden spoon, allowing me to follow along while she made her old-fashioned buttermilk pie. It was one of her favorite recipes and she had the family’s biggest sweet tooth — something I absolutely inherited from her. I vaguely remember being told that this particular recipe came from the kitchen of a famous chef many generations ago, but no one is really sure of its origin.

The best part about this recipe is anyone can handle making it, as it takes very little skill. Grandma’s recipe card is very sparse when it comes to the directions: “Fold in egg whites last” is as far as it goes — but don’t worry, I’ll break it down for you. This recipe makes two pies.  One for you and one to share — or not.

Buttermilk pie is an old-school simple recipe that everyone loves. I’ll make this recipe a million more times, and every time I’ll think of my grandma’s sweet smile and love of desserts.

The Best Old Fashioned Buttermilk Pie Recipe


  • 2 sticks butter, melted
  • 3 cups sugar (I know it sounds like a lot, but remember: it’s two pies.)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons flour (love the word heaping — 3 tablespoons is more accurate)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups buttermilk*
  • 7 eggs, separated

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cream together melted butter and sugar until they are light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add vanilla and egg yolks; beat until combined. Add flour. You want it to just barely thicken the batter — this is going to be a runnier batter than you would expect.

Reduce speed on mixer to low and slowly add buttermilk. Be careful; sometimes I get overzealous and end up wearing some of the buttermilk.Once everything is fully incorporated, fold egg whites in by hand until just mixed.

Pour pie mixture evenly into two pie pans and bake for, according to grandma, “almost an hour.” I usually check on my pies around the 48-minute mark. You want to make sure it doesn’t jiggle in the center. Let cool and enjoy! Personally I prefer mine chilled.

*Kitchen hack: Make your own buttermilk! I rarely buy buttermilk even though it can be used in pancakes, cookies, or even sweeter pasta dishes. It's easy to know how to make it at home with a few ingredients most people already have. Simply add one tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar for each cup of milk and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes. When it's slightly thickened, it's ready to use. It won't be quite as thick or tangy as the store-bought kind, but it makes a perfect substitute.

Tags: Quick Recipe Ideas, Desserts

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Written By

Amber Love Bond

Amber Love Bond is a Miami-based hospitality and lifestyle writer that’s always on the go and searching for her next adventure. See Full Bio

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