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Buttermilk Pie Bars

Buttermilk Pie Bars
Buttermilk pie is great any time of year, but I especially like it during the summer. The pie is easy to put together and has a fresh, tangy flavor to it that goes oh-so-well with all kinds of summer fruits and berries. It is even easier when you put this pie into bar form. As with cheesecake, putting this pie into bar form makes it even easier to make and to serve.

These Buttermilk Pie Bars start with a shortbread crust. Like a shortbread cookie, the crust is substantial and not just an afterthought at the bottom of the pan, but it really helps give the custardy pie bars stability and makes each slice easy to handle. The topping is just like my buttermilk pie filling, firm yet tender and with a great buttermilk flavor that isn’t too sweet. As I said before, this makes it the perfect backdrop for fresh fruit or berries.

I kept the flavorings simple in the bars, using vanilla and nutmeg. These two spices often appear in buttermilk pies. If you want to give your bars a little twist, adding some lemon or orange zest into both the crust and the filling will add a new dimension to the bars, introducing yet another layer of flavor to this simple dessert.

Buttermilk Pie Bars
1/3 cup sugar (pref. vanilla sugar)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
2 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
2 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350F.
Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan (or used the Baker’s Edge).
Begin by making the crust. In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter, until smooth and fluffy. Working at a low speed, gradually beat in flour and salt until mixture is crumbly. Pour mixture into prepared pan and press into an even layer.
Bake for 15-17 minutes, until it just begins to turn golden brown.
While the crust bakes, prepare the filling.
In a large bowl, or the bowl of a food processor, combine all filling ingredients and whisk (or pulse) until mixture is well combined and very smooth.
When crust is done, pour the filling into the hot crust and return to oven.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until filling is just set. Cool bars on a wire rack. Chill before slicing.
Serve with fresh fruit.

Serves 16

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  • Margaret
    June 23, 2010

    I haven’t had a buttermilk pie in YEARS. this looks really good and very refreshing.

  • Paula
    June 24, 2010

    these bars looks so yummy and crispy!

  • CaSaundra
    June 24, 2010

    I’ve never heard of buttermilk pie–looks simple and tasty!

  • What a great way to use up my buttermilk! I think the idea of lemon in the crust sounds GREAT!

  • Joy
    June 24, 2010

    That looks great. I have never tried buttermilk pie. I have to try this.

  • thecandiedmango
    June 24, 2010

    I love buttermilk pie! Can this recipe be halved without affecting the final product?

  • jocelyn
    June 24, 2010

    thanks, i was looking for a way to use up my buttermilk! i think my butter was too warm, though, because when i mixed up the filling because there were specks of curdled butter in the mixture and when it came out of the oven there was a layer of melted butter on the top, eek!!! i used a paper towel to get the worst of it, but i’ll tell you how they taste when they finish chilling.

  • Bugaboo
    June 24, 2010

    My friend makes the most fantastic buttermilk pie, but I’ve never even though of it in bar form. Wow, this is a fab idea — thank you!

  • jocelyn
    June 24, 2010

    update: they have finished chilling and are AMAZING! the butter issue wasn’t a problem at all

  • Jeanne
    June 24, 2010

    Hmmm… I’ve never heard of buttermilk pie. I wish I was in your kitchen to try this.

  • Allison
    June 25, 2010

    This is such a great way to use leftover buttermilk!

  • William @ Nicaragua food
    June 27, 2010

    Truely an amazing recipe. Never tried buttermilk pie before but after having tried this I wish i had tried a long time ago 😉

  • deb
    July 4, 2010

    This was SOOOOO delicious. Made it today for our July 4th family bbq. There were 28 people here, so I didn’t want to bother with serving fruit on the side, so here is what I did…
    I whipped 2 cups of heavy cream (not sweetened- the bars are plenty sweet!!), and spread over the to of the bars in the pan. My 9 y.o. granddaughter and I then took blueberries, strawberries and raspberries, and made the American Flag on top- blueberries in upper left corner, alternating rows of sliced strawberries and raspberries. I wanted to take a pic to send you….hah. There is NONE left. I begged for everyone to save me just one piece….I had a one inch square. It was perfect, wonderful for a warm night. Trust me, this will be made again VERY soon! Thanks for the wonderful recipe!!

  • Ashley
    July 5, 2010

    I have a bunch of buttermilk in the fridge leftover and was trying to think of what to do with it. These bars are much more exciting than the bread I had in mind!

  • Ashley
    July 8, 2010

    Just made these last night and LOVE them. They’re so easy to make! I omitted the nutmeg and added a bit of extra vanilla. Thanks for sharing the recipe. 🙂

  • alizabeth
    September 5, 2010

    This is even better with homemade buttermilk. Since it has a little more tang to it. Next to try, buttermilk pound cake.!

  • Kate
    April 30, 2014

    These were a fabulous hit at the Great Steam Boat Race during the Kentucky Derby 2014. The flavors are so mild and the texture was moist and delicious! Believe me when I say you won’t be able to stop with just one bar. I highly recommend the recipe.

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  • […] have extra buttermilk in the fridge that I don’t know what to do with. I happened to see this recipe for buttermilk pie bars at one of these times, and was thrilled to see that it uses 2 cups of […]

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