Buttermilk Pudding


Old fashioned buttermilk pudding, deliciously tart, sweet, and creamy.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Guest author Garrett McCord has been telling us about his buttermilk pudding for ages. He finally came over and made it for us recently. Outrageously good! ~Elise

Elise’s father is one of those people who has been known to drink buttermilk straight out of the glass. I think that’s, well, sort of gross. To me, buttermilk is a second string ingredient best left as a behind the scenes player. It should be the bridesmaid, never the bride.

That is, in most cases.

This is not one of those. Buttermilk pudding is something different entirely. A delicious and smooth pudding that elicits small moans of “Mmm,” and “Wow!” from those who try it. It’s just sweet enough, super creamy, with a sunny tang that teases you to keep taking bite after bite until, lo and behold, you’ve eaten the whole bowl.

Buttermilk Pudding Recipe

  • Prep time: 4 hours
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6


  • 2 teaspoons of powdered gelatin
  • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeded (or substitute 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract)
  • 2 cups of buttermilk
  • Jam or jelly to serve, optional


1 Mix the gelatin with 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl and set aside.

2 Put the cream, sugar, and vanilla bean seeds and pod (or vanilla extract if using) into a small saucepan over medium heat. Once the sugar has dissolved remove from heat and add the gelatin to the warm cream mixture. Stir until the gelatin has dissolved.

3 Once the cream has cooled to room temperature, add the buttermilk and stir. Strain through a fine mesh sieve to catch any bits of undissolved gelatin.

4 Pour the mixture into ramekins, about 1/2 cup per ramekin (the pudding is very rich). Cover the ramekins with plastic wrap and chill to set for at least four hours. Serve with your favorite jam, jelly, marmalade, fruit, or straight up.

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Garrett McCord

Garrett McCord is a professional writer and recipe developer whose work has appeared in many print and online publications such as Gourmet Live, Saveur, Huffington Post, Smithsonian, and NPR. Past clients also include numerous food companies, wineries, and distilleries. Garrett writes about cocktails on his website, Coupe de Grace.

More from Garrett


Got buttermilk? - New York Times article

Buttermilk Pudding with Raspberry Jam - Nami Nami

Showing 4 of 33 Comments / Reviews

  • Kay Shumway

    Buttermilk pudding is not a very appealing name for this elegant cream. We call it Russian cream. I make it with heavy cream and sour cream or yogurt. We serve it with fresh raspberries, blueberries or rhubarb sauce. We also make it in a large souffle dish and scoop out a serving when it has set. Covered, it will last for a week in the refrigerator. Our guests always ask for the recipe. I am often embarrassed to give it out as it is so rich and people are worried about calories and cholesterol. It’s always a winner however.

    Love that name! Also, the idea of a rhubarb sauce for this? Wow, I am all over that. ~Garrett

  • fermat

    Or there’s the lazy guy’s way….lol. Makes vanilla pudding taste like cheesecake. If you use cheesecake pudding mix it’s even more so. Top it with gingersnap cookie crumbs, cherry pie filling, chocolate sauce or other favorite cheesecake topping.


    1 (8 oz) carton frozen, light, whipped topping, thawed

    1 cup buttermilk

    1 (1 oz) pkg instant, fat-free, sugar-free, vanilla pudding mix

    Combine the whipped topping and the buttermilk and stir in the instant pudding mix. Spoon into individual dishes, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Yield: 8 Servings.

    Per Serving: 86 Cal; 3 g Total Fat (3 g Sat Fat); 10 g Carb; 1 mg Cholesterol; 178 mg Sodium ; 1 g Protein; 5 g Sugars. Exchanges: 1 Starch; 1/2 Fat.

    Tip: It is best to mix with a whisk or spoon, not a mixer. Easily doubles or halves and is freezable.

    Berry Special: Thaw & drain frozen fruit, or use fresh fruit. Use one package/pint per 8 Servings. Serve chilled.

    Hmm, I think I would use freshly whipped cream or maybe some egg yolks cooked into a custard. Not a fan of whipped topping, but this sounds really neat! ~Garrett

  • Margaret

    This sounds extra scrumptious, I think I will have to bookmark this place and come back when I have the same problem with extra buttermilk. What I have in the fridge now, awaiting execution, is half a small carton of heavy cream, any ideas for that? It always form a solid layer on top before I finish the carton, but I figure using the still-liquid part underneath is ok. I’m not killing myself, right?

    Um, I would check the expiration date. My test for milk and cream is the sniff-n-sip test – that’ll tell ya’. As for what to do with it? If it is good, make whipped cream and throw it over some fruit. Or buy some buttermilk for pudding. ;) Elise has some great recipes on this site that can use up the rest of your buttermilk easily! ~Garrett

  • Lynn

    I would love to have the recipe for the corn bread using buttermilk!

    I think Elise and I will have to investigate that recipe, Lynn. ~Garrett

  • Jess

    Hi, Garrett and Elise
    I love the idea of a recipe that features buttermilk in all her tangy glory! Thank you. And speaking of all things buttermilk, did you see this New York Times article from a few weeks back? “Got Buttermilk?”

    Hi Jess, Elise here. Hadn’t seen that article, but like it! Thanks for passing it along. Have added it to the links section under the recipe. ~Elise

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