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Lemon Buttermilk Pie

This Lemon Buttermilk Pie recipe features an extra twang due to the combination of lemon and buttermilk for the dreamy custard filling. Enjoy it with, or without, a dollop of fresh whipped cream for a citrus infused treat.

Lemon Buttermilk Pie

Easy Lemon Buttermilk Pie Recipe

What is buttermilk pie? First of all, it’s a classic dessert made all over the South. Buttermilk pies are basically custard pies made with a buttermilk base as opposed to using milk or cream. Buttermilk gives a nice sharp edge to the flavor, and they’re among some of the most beloved of Southern pies.  This lemon variation focuses a little more on the lemon flavor including lemon juice and fresh lemon zest. In a standard buttermilk pie often recipes do include a small amount of lemon extract however, this one takes it up a few notches.

Unbaked Lemon Buttermilk Pie on a sheet pan

Lemon Buttermilk Pie and Southern Chess Pie

What’s the difference between buttermilk pie and chess pie? You’ve likely heard of  or been lucky enough to enjoy a piece of chess pie. For comparison purposes, this lemon buttermilk pie has a more custard-like texture when compared to the texture of  lemon chess pie. You can serve it with or without a dollop of fresh whipped cream and a cup of coffee or hot tea. In the winter, the citrus flavor is a reminder that Spring is on the way and in the Summer, it’s sheer warm weather perfection.

How to Make the Best Lemon Buttermilk Pie Recipe

  • Ingredients you’ll need to make homemade Southern Lemon Buttermilk Pie: One 9 inch pie shell, granulated sugar, all purpose flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, eggs, butter, buttermilk, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla extract.
  • You can use a frozen pie crust, a refrigerated pie crust or a homemade pie crust to make this buttermilk pie. If you’d like to make your own, checkout my Flaky Pie Crust recipe.
  • Once filling the pie shell with the lemon mixture, it’s much easier to move it in and out of the oven if it’s on a baking sheet pan. Set the pie shell on a baking sheet before filling.
  • It’s important to give the baked pie ample time to cool and set before slicing. It’s best to cool the baked pie to room temperature then chill in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight before serving.
  • No buttermilk? You can make your own. to each one cup of whole milk add 1 tablespoon of white distilled vinegar or lemon juice. Allow to stand on the counter for 5-10 minutes then stir and proceed with the recipe. This also works for making other recipes using buttermilk.
  • Store this pie chilled in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Lemon Buttermilk Pie

More Southern Pie Recipes to Make

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5 from 1 vote

Lemon Buttermilk Pie

Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time55 minutes
Chill time55 minutes
Total Time1 hour 55 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: buttermilk-pie-recipe, lemon-buttermilk-pie, lemon-pie
Servings: 8 pieces
Calories: 400kcal
Author: Melissa Sperka


  • 1 9 inch unbaked frozen or homemade deep dish pie crust
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 Tbsp salted butter melted
  • 1 1/4 cup whole buttermilk (not fat free)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla


  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place the pie crust on a baking sheet.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients.
  • Add the wet ingredients, and mix with a hand mixer for 2 minutes until combined. Pour into the unbaked pie shell. Sprinkle the top lightly with additional nutmeg.
  • Bake for 15 minutes at 375°F, then lower the oven temperature to 325°F. Continue to bake for anther 30-40 minutes or until the center is set when gently shaken and the top is golden. Check the edges halfway through baking and cover the crust with aluminum foil to prevent over browning, if needed.
  • Chill for at least 6 hours or overnight thoroughly before slicing.


  • If using a frozen pie crust it isn't necessary to thaw the crust prior to filling.
  • It's important to give the baked pie ample time to cool and set before slicing. It's best to cool the baked pie to room temperature then chill in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight before serving. 


Serving: 1piece | Calories: 400kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 101mg | Sodium: 291mg | Potassium: 123mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 40g | Vitamin A: 357IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @melissassk or tag #melissassk!




  1. 5 stars
    I brought this cook book and I love it. Do you have a cook on Special Occasions (Christmas and Thanksgiving and Finger Foods

    1. Hi Julie, thank you so much for picking it up! I haven’t done a special occasions cookbook but, have many holiday recipes here on my site. I’ll consider it, thanks for mentioning.

    2. I only buy unsalted butter and your recipe calls for salted butter, plus your recipe also has salt listed as ingredient. Do I increase the salt portion ingredient and if so by how much?
      Thanks for responding

      1. Unsalted butter will work, you won’t need to increase the salt. 1/2 cup of salted butter typically has the equivalent of 1/4 tsp salt for future reference. It’s all about balance of flavor.

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