Southern Buttermilk Chess Pie

This Southern Buttermilk Chess Pie is a classic…and it’s incredibly easy to make!

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This Southern Buttermilk Chess Pie is about a classic...and it's incredibly easy to make!A couple months ago (before the freezing temps moved in here to upstate New York), we took Robbie up to a wildlife park in the southern Adirondack mountains.  The park was a little less than an hour’s drive away, so it wasn’t too difficult of a trip.  (Robbie hates…I mean hates…traveling!)  Every weekend, we hunt for fun things to do in the area, and Laura stumbled across the Adirondack Animal Land.  The park is home to a huge variety of animals, and Robbie loved seeing them all up close and personal.  (On a side note, Robbie is now convinced that a kangaroo lives in our back hallway next to the washing machine.  We have no idea where this came from!)

This Southern Buttermilk Chess Pie is about a classic...and it's incredibly easy to make!Ok, so maybe he wasn’t as thrilled about seeing the canaries up close and personal.  A bird landed on his head in the canary cage, and he was a little less than pleased about that encounter.  I took my new camera along to grab photos of the adventure.  Sure enough, a deer in the petting zoo area of the park sneezed all over me and the camera.  Seriously?  How does that happen?  And if you’ve never seen a deer sneeze, trust me when I say it’s a big sneeze.

In addition to many live animals, the park has a number of displays for kids to explore.  One portion is a re-imagined version of Main Street in a wild western town.  Another portion depicts life on the farm.  (Never mind the fact that the ‘farmer’ looks more like a western gunslinger.)

Notice anything strange about this farm scene?  There’s cows…and pigs…and a rooster…and a Serta sleep sheep!?  The park must have gotten a deal on a used sleep sheep.  Hilarious!  All in all, though, our adventure was a success.  Even if Dad got sneezed on by a deer.

Fast forward several months, and we’re now just a few days away from Christmas.  Friends and family will be coming into town soon, and it’ll be a great chance to relax and enjoy their company here at the end of the year.  What are your plans for the holidays this year?  Are you hitting the road, or staying closer to home?  Either way, I recommend this Southern Buttermilk Chess Pie as a tasty dessert for the table!

This Southern Buttermilk Chess Pie is about a classic...and it's incredibly easy to make!Chess pies are a classic dessert throughout the southern United States, and they’re quite delicious.  In general, chess pies have a high sugar content, and they remind me of a sweetened custard.  Laura actually hates eggy dishes (i.e. quiche, spoonbread, etc.), but she loved this Southern Buttermilk Chess Pie.  Chess pies are typically quite easy to make, and this Southern Buttermilk Chess Pie is no exception.  The ‘batter’ is more of a liquid filling, so it does take a bit of time to bake in the oven, but the wait is well worth it.  Even the most novice of bakers can master this chess pie!

This Southern Buttermilk Chess Pie is about a classic...and it's incredibly easy to make!I actually prefer to eat chess pie cold, so I always bake this one up earlier in the day and then put it in the fridge until dessert.  But I’ve also seen chess pies served slightly warm or at room temperature.  No matter how you serve this one, I hope you enjoy it!  Cheers, friends!

This Southern Buttermilk Chess Pie is about a classic...and it's incredibly easy to make!

This Southern Buttermilk Chess Pie is about a classic...and it's incredibly easy to make!

Southern Buttermilk Chess Pie

This Southern Buttermilk Chess Pie is a classic…and it’s incredibly easy to make!
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Cooling Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 8 slices
Calories: 413kcal



  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Using a large bowl, add sugar, flour and cornmeal; stir until well combined.
  • Add eggs and buttermilk, stir until well combined.
  • Add melted butter, vinegar and vanilla extract, stir until well combined.
  • Pour filling into unbaked pie crust. Bake at 350°F for 70-75 minutes, or until filling is set.
  • Place pie on cooling rack to cool for at least 1 hour.
  • Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream and a pinch of nutmeg prior to serving.

Looking for more Southern buttermilk recipes?  These Southern Buttermilk Biscuits are my go-to biscuit when I make a batch for company!

This Southern Buttermilk Chess Pie is about a classic...and it's incredibly easy to make!

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    1. Haha! Yes, I must say that I’ve never had a camera sneezed on by a deer before. That was a first. 🙂 I hope you had a wonderful, pie-filled holiday, Dawn! Cheers to 2018!

  1. HA! FOR Real…I laughed out loud at the deer sneeze! I’ve been out of the kitchen for a bit but i see some yummy recipes that you posted and I think it may be time to tie the ol apron on once again! I sure hope you guys have a very merry Christmas!

    1. Hey there, Marla! Thank you so much for the kind words. 🙂 Definitely pull that apron out and get back into the kitchen. Now that the craziness of the holidays has dies down, it’s time for some serious comfort food to fend off this bitter cold weather. Oh, and getting sneezed on by a deer was a first…I’m not sure I laughed at the time, but I can laugh at it now! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting, my friend. Happy New Year!

  2. That trip sounds like you had a lot of fun, guys (Especially the canary part). And although I’m not a huge fan of custard-y kind of pies (While Andrey possibly won’t touch them at all), this Southern Buttermilk Chess Pie sounds and looks awesome, David! Now I see you’ve used some nutmeg…and I’m thinking that if you made the custard with eggnog, that would be even more amazing. Also, if you like this kind of pies, and you haven’t tried Fitir pie (Egyptian custard pie), try it – I made it once, and it was delicious!

    1. That zoo really was a lot of fun! The canaries landing on our heads was a unique experience for sure…although I don’t think Robbie cared for it too much. He got scared, so we had to take him out of the canary cage. We’ll try again next year…and maybe I won’t get sneezed on by the deer again! Hah! Hmmm…I like where you are going with the eggnog idea here, Ben. Laura doesn’t like eggy things, either, but she loved this pie! Now I need to go google Fitir pie. Thanks for the inspiration, and Happy New Year, my friend!

  3. Hahaha – that park sure must have gotten a deal on Serta sleep sheep! Those displays for kids must also be to amuse the adults that tag along! Though, dang – the deer sneeze on your new camera is bummer! There’s this place called the Pine Mountain Animal Safari here in GA, and Lil Shashi and I have been drooled on there by giraffe and zedonks – while that was nasty as drool with them is A LOT more than doggie drool, being sneezed on is way, way more nastier! Hope you didn’t have to send it off to get cleaned professionally – BTW – I had to check out your new camera and, dude, are you using this one for your food photos too?
    Getting back to this chess pie – I don’t think I’ve ever had a chess pie (shame on me seeing I’ve lived in the South for 25 years) but reading through your ingredients it kinda sorta reminds me of a custard pie – and I have had tons of those! Am bookmarking this to try soon.
    Hoping you, Laura and Robbie enjoy your family coming in and have a wonderfully merry Christmas, my Upstate NYC friend!

    1. You should’ve seen the look on our face when we were standing at that display and realized it included the Serta Sleep Sheep. Haha! I mean the rest of the park was cool, and I do appreciate the effort…but it was really quite odd. Wait. You’ve been drooled on by a zedonk? I don’t even know what that is, but it sounds rather unpleasant. Haha! This chess pie is probably another name for custard pie. What’s funny is Laura doesn’t like custard-y things, but she loved this pie. It really is quite tasty! 🙂 Thanks so much, Shashi!

  4. Robbie is looking so cute David. It seems you guys enjoyed a lottt.. Congrats on your new camera. BTW this is my kind of recipe, thanks for sharing!!! My best Christmas wishes to you and your family….

    1. Thank you so much, Puja! I agree that Robbie is looking mighty cute these days…and I think he just went through a growth spurt as he seems to be getting taller pretty quickly here. 🙂 I’m just now catching up after the Christmas break, but I hope you and your family had a wonderful holidays! Happy New Year, my friend!

  5. It sounds like you had such a fun little weekend excursion. Maybe the part with the deer sneezing on your camera wasn’t a highlight but it must have been interesting to see! If I come by for Christmas dinner will you have a slice of this pie waiting for me? I don’t care if it’s hot or cold, just give me a fork and I’ll be happy. Hope you guys have a wonderful Christmas!

    1. We did indeed have a fun excursion! We are always looking for weekend activities to entertain Robbie, although that’s a bit more difficult during these cold winter months. And getting sneezed on by a deer was definitely a unique experience. I can’t say that’s ever happened before…and it probably won’t ever happen again. (And I’m ok with that!) I’m just getting caught back up after the holidays, and I hope you had a great break. Happy New Year, my Arizona-soon-to-be-upstate-NY-friend. 😉

    1. You know, that’s a good question, Jeff. I’ve heard several theories over the years, but none of them really seem to ring true. So I have no idea why it’s called chess pie. But I do know I would devour a slice faster than you can say Checkmate. Hah! 🙂

  6. I usually steer clear of eggy desserts! But I love to try new things…and I have never heard of or had a chess pie!! It sounds rich and yummy! Would definitely try once! Robbie seems to have had fun at the park 🙂

    1. So Laura usually steers clear of egg-y desserts, too, Deepika. In fact, I was nearly certain she wouldn’t even try this chess pie when I made it. But not only did she try it, but she really enjoyed it! It’s a classic holiday pie. I’m just getting caught back up to speed after the holiday break, but I hope you and your family had a wonderful holiday. Happy New Year, my friend!

    1. I agree with you, Laura! Chess pie is one of my childhood favorites, and I hadn’t made it in a number of years…glad I pulled this recipe out! Do give it a shot. It’s really, really tasty! 🙂 Happy New Year to you, too, my friend!

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