Fourth of July Buttermilk Pie

Classic American buttermilk pie, fancied up a bit with red, white, and blue (raspberries, whipped cream, and blueberries).

  • Yield: Makes 8 serving pieces.


  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted (half a stick)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust
  • 1 cup cold, heavy whipping cream
  • 20-30 raspberries (or half as many strawberries, halved)
  • A handful of blueberries


1 Preheat oven to 325°F. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs, then beat in the sugar and lemon zest until well combined. Beat in the flour and melted butter. Beat in the vanilla and buttermilk.

2 Pour filling batter into an uncooked pie shell (frozen is fine). Bake at 325°F for approximately 50 minutes, or until the center of the custard has just set (can still be a little wiggly). Remove from oven and let cool. The custard may puff up a bit in the oven; it will deflate as it cools.

3 Whip the chilled cream until it holds stiff peaks. Once the pie has cooled to room temperature, spread the whipping cream over the top of the pie. Arrange the raspberries and blueberries in a decorative pattern on top of the whipping cream.

Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve.

Click on the comments you'd like to print with your recipe. Grayed out comments will not print.


  • Becca

    Any suggestions for a pie crust, or will any standard crust recipe work? I actually – unusually – have buttermilk just sitting forlornly in the fridge, and can’t wait to try this this weekend!

    I used my standard all butter pie crust, and froze it (helps keep the sides from sinking down when you cook it). Love that crust. ~Elise

  • Amy

    You didn’t sweeten the whipped cream? I’m assuming the buttermilk filling and berries make it sweet enough.

    I stumbled across your blog a few weeks ago and am really enjoying it – thanks!

    The buttermilk filling is quite sweet, definitely no need to sweeten the whipped cream. ~Elise

  • Cindy S

    The whipping cream doesn’t have to be sweet as well?

    Nope, it’s just mortar for the berries. And the pie is sweet enough on its own. ~Elise

  • Tina

    This looks wonderful! I love custard pies in general, but I bet this would make a great coconut custard pie (with a little adjustment of the sugar). I have a large stockpile of coconut waiting to be used, so I think I’ll be trying it out this week! Also, the Amish bakers in our area make fruit custard pies (cherries or berries baked into the custard); this recipe would make a great base for those too!

  • Robin

    Is this like Chess pie?

    Hmm. Had to look that one up (see Wikipedia on chess pie). Yes, it appears to be quite similar. ~Elise

  • Espahan

    OMG! You have my secrete pie recipe. I’m kidding. This was one of my kids favorite pies when they were at home. I got the recipe from an adopted grandmother back in the fifties. I am so glad to see this pie resurrected. Truth be told, I had forgotten all about this pie until two months ago when I was going through my old recipe files. I decided to bake it for company. Everyone raved over it. I’ve made it three more times. My pie has 1 less egg, 1 stick butter, 3 tbl flour and 1 tsp lemon juice. I use Edna Lewis’s pie crust for lemon pie.

  • JohnS

    Fun to make, this pie was a huge hit with my family. I know I didn’t wait until July 4th, but who knows, another one may appear on the 4th… The strawberries and blueberries in the fridge worked perfectly. Thank you, Elise!

  • Gordon

    That pie was quite simply – the best.
    So easy to make and the result is terrific!
    The texture is almost cheesecake-like, and there’s just enough lemon on the back side that it is a joy to eat.
    Thank you for this slice of heaven ;)

  • Katie

    Hi Elise,
    Quick question: I’ve used a tablespoon of white vinegar in a cup of regular milk as a buttermilk substitution for many recipes. Does the substitution differ enough from real buttermilk that it wouldn’t work for the pie? I’ve never heard of buttermilk pie and don’t know how buttermilk-y it is. Thank you, as always!


    Hi Katie, the pie doesn’t taste particularly buttermilk-y; it’s more like a basic custard. So I think it may just work with that substitution, though don’t hold me to it. I haven’t tried it that way. ~Elise

  • olivia

    Hi, love the sound of this pie and would like to make it at the weekend. I don’t have any buttermilk though, is there anything I could use to replace it?

    The classic substitution for buttermilk is to add 1 Tbsp of lemon juice or white vinegar to a cup of milk. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. I haven’t tried this recipe using a buttermilk substitute though. If you make it this way, please let us know here how it turned out. ~Elise

  • Olivia

    I made it with the replacement of milk and lemon for the buttermilk and this turned out wonderfully. I put strawberries and redcurrants on top (freshly picked from the garden) and it looked beautiful and the taste was to match! Thanks so much! I will be making again soon!

    Good to know that it worked with the substitute, thanks for sharing! ~Elise

  • Paula

    Made this yesterday using frozen pie shell and it was so quick and easy. Delicious enough to eat without the whipped cream and fruit (I had that on the side for those who wanted it). Loved the hint of lemon. Thank you Elise, I’m so enjoying your site.

  • Kim M

    Pie looks and sounds so good. The pies are in the oven now. I needed 2 pies so I doubled the recipe, I ended up with 3 pies. I thnk the Deep dish crust is needed.

  • Amy

    I just finished making this pie, and had my first slice (even though it is 11 a.m.!). It is simply perfect!! It is not too sweet, which I love, and you can really taste the buttermilk. I used wild raspberries that grow in my yard, and the tartness perfectly complimented the rest of the pie. Thank you Elise!! I am sure this will be a 4th of July hit with the family, if I can convince myself to share!

  • KarinGal

    I made FOUR of these pies over this holiday weekend (we had quite a few parties/people to visit), and each one was met with rave reviews. Even my friend who never eats dessert because the choices are usually too sweet for her had two helpings. Thanks for another great recipe.

  • Stacey S

    Made this past Saturday and it was a hit! Thanks Elise!

    I didn’t have the lemons on hand but I had an orange…. it added just the right flavor of citrus! It was just so light; perfect for a hot, humid Louisiana afternoon…

    I also had just placed all my summer berries in the freezer so they were my garnish in frozen form. By the time the pie was served they had thawed just enough to taste fresh!

    I will definitely repeat this dessert!

  • amanda

    I made this for the 4th and it was lovely! It turned out so beautifully golden on top that it could have been sold in a bakery – thanks for the recipe!

  • Lien

    I made this for the first time on Saturday for a evening symphony park event (I made the pie in the morning and added the topping and fruit before the event) – Before I could even dish out all the pieces for the 1st round – empty plates were coming back for the 2nd round!

    It was delicious and it looked amazing too! Thanks for the recipe!

  • Jenine

    I made it for the 4th and Loved it too. My variations: Used plain lowfat yogurt instead of buttermilk; sweetened the whipped cream a little; topped mostly with huge blackberries. So so good. I’ll make it next summer when the berries are in and I’m ready to eat my share of butterfat.

  • Michelle

    Wow! I made this for my husband and my father and they both loved it! Thanks for all your great recipes.

  • DLA in OKC

    Made the pie for the Fourth, and it was just delicious! My five-year-old granddaughter loved helping me place the berries on top. One t-i-n-y sliver left… hope it lasts until I get home!

  • Jodi

    I made this for a 4th of July get together & thought I’d have some to take home. Didn’t happen. Had a lot of buttermilk left so made another just for us. I added the zest of two good sized lemons, which is probably a lot more than a tsp making the pie nearly lemon meringue tasting. This is much easier than lemon meringue so it will become my go-to pie. I did, also, just slightly sweetened the whipped cream & added a dash of vanilla. Also used a top quality deep-dish frozen crust. Just perfect.

  • Jessica

    I saw this recipe and tried it because of the picture! It was so simple to make; in fact while the first was cooling I made a second one.

  • Julie Harlan

    Thank you for this and all your great recipes. I made this for the 4th of July and it was a big hit; everyone loved it including me! – Thank you!

  • Jessica

    I’m new to making pies and wanted to try this but with a graham cracker crust instead. However, all the recipes I’ve seen so far with crumb crusts involve baking them first and then adding a filling as opposed to filling than baking. Do you think that it would work with an unbaked graham cracker crust instead of a regular pie crust?

    Hi Jessica, your guess is as good as mine. ~Elise

  • B. Halliwell

    I used a graham cracker crust and it was quite good.

  • Gary Braden

    I made TWO of these pies over 4th of July. They were awesome!!


  • Courtney

    I finally got around to making this pie after weeks of putting it off. OMG. Best. Pie. Ever. Thanks!

  • Katy Reid

    This may just be my favorite recipe, ever!

  • lynn @ the actor's diet

    i love the sound of buttermilk pie!!! happy 4th.

  • Jen

    Hi! I have a question about the amount of pie crust used in this recipe – do you use only one of the discs you formed in the pie crust recipe or both? Because the second one is used for a top crust there. Should I just use half of the ingredients then? I would love to try out this wonderful recipe, but am a bit confused about that… :) thanks for sharing all these delicious recipes!

  • rorie88

    Delicious and creamy pie, loaded with berries. I add 1/2 cup blueberries to the filling and 1/2 tsp of vanilla to the cream topping. Really, this is one of the best berry pies I have made. :)

    • Elise

      I’m so glad you liked it Rorie! Love the addition of blueberries to the filling and vanilla to the cream topping.