This weekend I made a great buttermilk pie. Creamed butter/sugar add eggs / flour flavoring buttermilk and bake.

I want to reduce the calories. Is there a substitute that I can use with this custard like pie?

The recipe uses 1 stick of butter to 1 3/4 cups sugar

This is the complete recipe Buttermilk Pie

  • 1 3/4 C. sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 C.) room temp.
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 T. all purpose flour
  • 1 C. buttermilk
  • 1 9" pie shell, unbaked

Cream together the sugar and butter till well blended. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, until the mixture is nice and smooth. Add in the vanilla, salt and flour. Beat in the buttermilk until well combined. Fill the pie shell with the buttermilk mixture, just to the top of the shell. Bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour 10 minutes – Let rest before serving


2 Answers 2


Butter in this type pie is there to add "richness". It is possible to leave it out entirely and save about 800 calories, but it may not satisfy your definition of a good dessert. If you reduced the amount to 1/2 a stick (1/4 cup), you would reduce the total calories by about 400 and still have a very nice pie.

I would not recommend replacing the butter with a reduced calorie margarine or spread, as they contain water and other stuff that will not improve the pie.


Olive oil usually works the same way as what butter is supposed to do during baking. It definitely has lower calories.

  • 1
    This isn't a cake. It's a pie with a custard-based filling. Even if it will work in the custard, I'm not sure how you can say it's lower in calories... it is actually higher in fat by volume as it's 100% fat while butter is only 80%. Also, olive oil has an extremely strong flavor, which would greatly affect the final taste of the pie.
    – Catija
    Commented Aug 8, 2016 at 20:51
  • 5
    We do not discuss "health" here as it is largely subjective, so that part of your answer really isn't appropriate here anyway. All we can talk about is the factual numbers. Olive Oil is 14 grams of fat and 119 calories per tablespoon and butter is 12 grams of fat and 102 calories per tablespoon. I don't see how you can say that olive oil has fewer calories when the web clearly disagrees with you.
    – Catija
    Commented Aug 8, 2016 at 21:00
  • 2
    Fat is basically always 9 calories per gram, so substituting another kind of fat (olive oil or otherwise) will never lower the calories much. Butter is already a bit lower since it's partially water, as Catija pointed out. So if you want a substantial reduction, you'll have to go a bit farther afield.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Aug 8, 2016 at 22:05
  • 1
    @Jefromi : ... or you have to use chemically engineered fats like olestra and risk severe gastrointestinal problems.
    – Joe
    Commented Aug 8, 2016 at 22:33
  • 1
    @Erica I actually thought about that when I first commented and found that there are actually several recipes out there for olive oil custards... which, I admit, surprised me greatly. I don't know what they taste like or what their consistency is like but apparently, it is possible :D
    – Catija
    Commented Aug 8, 2016 at 23:56

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