Buttermilk Pie (With Cornmeal)

I’ve been staring at my great-grandma Blanche’s buttermilk pie recipe, scratching my head at the two cups of sugar. That seemed like way too much!

But when I mentioned it to some folks who know their Southern desserts, they just nodded knowingly.

Yep, that’s buttermilk pie alright,” they said.

So I decided to trust the recipe and give it a go.

Now, if you’ve never had buttermilk pie before, you might be wondering what the heck it is. It’s basically a custard pie made with – you guessed it – buttermilk. 

Here’s where it gets a bit confusing though. Grandma Blanche called it “buttermilk chess pie” in her recipe.

So are chess pie and buttermilk pie the same thing?

I’m honestly not sure.

It’s not too sweet, which makes it perfect for those who prefer desserts on the less sugary side.

Don’t let the buttermilk scare you off – this pie is downright delicious. The custard is sweet with just a hint of tang.

It’s great on its own, but you could dress it up with some fruit, nuts, or syrup if you want. It’s often served at Thanksgiving, but I say enjoy it anytime!

Why you’ll love Buttermilk Pie 

This pie is a crowd-pleaser. Its unique flavor combination of tangy buttermilk and sweet custard will have everyone asking for the recipe.

It’s incredibly easy to make. With just a few simple ingredients and steps, you can whip up a delicious homemade dessert in no time.

This pie is perfect for any season. It’s comforting in the winter, refreshing in the summer, and just right for spring and fall gatherings.


Don’t overmix the filling. Stir just until the ingredients are combined to avoid incorporating too much air, which can lead to a puffy, less creamy pie.

Let the pie cool completely before slicing. This allows the custard to set properly, giving you clean, picture-perfect slices.

If the crust starts to brown too quickly while baking, cover the edges with aluminum foil. This will prevent burning while allowing the filling to cook through.

The Ingredients


Buttermilk is the star of this show. It gives the pie its signature tangy flavor and helps create a smooth, creamy texture. If you can’t find buttermilk, you can make your own by adding a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to regular milk.


The cornmeal adds a subtle texture and earthy flavor to the pie. It also helps thicken the filling and gives the pie a beautiful golden color. Use finely ground cornmeal for the best results.


Eggs are crucial for binding the ingredients and creating the custard-like texture. They also add richness to the filling.

How to Make This Buttermilk Pie

Prepare the crust

Roll out your pie crust and fit it into a 9-inch pie dish. Crimp the edges and refrigerate while you prepare the filling.

Mix the filling

Whisk together eggs, sugar, melted butter, and buttermilk. Add flour, cornmeal, and vanilla. Stir until just combined.

Bake the pie

Pour the filling into the prepared crust. Bake at 375°F for about 45 minutes, or until the filling is set and lightly golden on top.

Cool and serve

Let the pie cool completely on a wire rack. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

What to Serve With Buttermilk Pie


  • Use a graham cracker crust instead of traditional pie crust for a different texture
  • Replace some of the sugar with honey for a unique flavor
  • Try using lemon zest instead of vanilla for a citrusy twist


  • 9-inch pie dish
  • Mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Measuring cups and spoons


Can I make this pie ahead of time?

Yes, you can make this pie a day in advance. Store it in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.

How long does buttermilk pie last?

This pie will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Cover it loosely with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.

Can I freeze buttermilk pie?

While you can freeze buttermilk pie, the texture may change slightly upon thawing. It’s best enjoyed fresh or within a few days of baking.

Buttermilk Pie (With Cornmeal)

Print Recipe
Course Dessert
Keyword buttermilk, pie
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8 slices


  • 1 9- inch pie crust
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place pie crust in a 9-inch pie dish.
  • Whisk eggs, sugar, melted butter, and buttermilk in a bowl.
  • Add flour, cornmeal, vanilla, and salt. Stir until just combined.
  • Pour filling into the crust. Bake for 45 minutes or until set.
  • Cool completely before serving.


For a firmer texture, refrigerate the pie for a few hours before serving.