5 from 3 votes

Buttermilk Pumpkin Streusel Pie

buttermilk pumpkin streusel pie | ZoeBakes photos by Zoë François

I discovered Sister Pie by Lisa Ludwinski and this Buttermilk Pumpkin Streusel Pie, on Instagram, where I find so much great inspiration. One of the first things I discovered about Lisa and her bakers is that they dance in the kitchen. These are my people! This pie cemented my admiration. It is all the things I love in a pumpkin pie and more. The pumpkin filling is not too sweet, because of the tang of buttermilk and it is combined with a crunchy streusel made with pepitas and buckwheat. It is a combination of traditional and uniquely Sister Pie. If you have the good fortune of being in Detroit, you should visit their shop, but until then, get the book, it’s a gem.

Lisa generously shared the recipe with us below.*

Do you have pie questions or need to troubleshoot your recipe? Check out my guide on how to make pie crust.

buttermilk pumpkin streusel pie | ZoeBakes photos by Zoë François
buttermilk pumpkin streusel pie | ZoeBakes photos by Zoë François

Top the pie with the caramel (optional) and whipped cream!

buttermilk pumpkin streusel pie | ZoeBakes photos by Zoë François
buttermilk pumpkin streusel pie | ZoeBakes photos by Zoë François

You can use pumpkins or other winter squash in the recipe. They lend different flavors and textures. Don’t feel confined by the can.

Buttermilk Pumpkin Pie with Streusel with a slice cut out

Buttermilk Pumpkin Streusel Pie

This pie is all the things I love in a pumpkin pie and more. The pumpkin filling is not too sweet, because of the tang of buttermilk and it's combined with a crunchy streusel made with pepitas and buckwheat. From Sister Pie: The Recipes and Stories of a Big-Hearted Bakery in Detroit by Lisa Ludwinski
5 from 3 votes
Course: Dessert
Author: Lisa Ludwinski


Buckwheat Pepita Streusel Topping

  • 1/2 cup (67g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (35g) buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 cup (27g) pepitas, toasted
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (55g) brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, chilled

Pumpkin Pie Filling

  • 1 (15 oz) can 425g pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) buttermilk at room temperature (I used full fat, but skim is good too)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp dark maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp (28g) unsalted butter, melted I used browned butter, because I had it and it sounded tasty, but you can use straight up butter
  • 2 tbsp fine yellow cornmeal “fine” is crucial or the texture will come through
  • 3/4 cup (165g) brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 9-inch crust see notes
  • 1 egg, beaten for brushing crust

Maple Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp dark maple syrup

Bourbon Caramel Sauce (Zoë's addition to the recipe – optional)

  • 1 cup (200g) sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) water
  • 1 tsp corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp bourbon



  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the flours, cinnamon, sugar, and salt. Cut the butter into the flour mixture, using a pastry cutter and your fingers, until it disappears. Add pepitas. Spread over the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 25 minutes or until browned and no longer looks wet. Cool until ready to use.

Pumpkin Pie Filling

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, buttermilk, eggs, syrup, melted butter, cornmeal, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and ginger. Pour into the blind baked pie shell and paint the edge of the crust with the egg wash.
  • Bake the pie for about 50 minutes or until the sides start to puff and the middle is set, but still slightly wobbly. Cool the pie for 15 minutes then add the streusel topping to the pie and cool completely, about 3 hours. The pie will be easier to cut once completely cool or refrigerated.
  • Whip the heavy cream and maple together until soft peaks. Pipe or plop over the pie!

Bourbon Caramel Sauce

  • Carefully place the sugar in a pan, avoiding the sides. If the sugar crystals cling to the side of the pan, then drop back into the cooking sugar solution, they will start a chain reaction and you may create rock candy instead. Adding a bit of invert sugar (corn syrup), which doesn’t crystallize, helps prevent this.
  • Add the water, corn syrup and salt to the center of the pan. Cook the sugar solution on high. Only touch the sugar in the center, to make sure it’s all submerged in the water, then DO NOT TOUCH or stir until caramelized.
  • Then just sit back and wait, but keep an eye on it. Once the sugar starts to caramelize it can no longer crystallize, so it’s safe to stir it. You want to stir so it can caramelize evenly.
  • Once it is dark and is smoking, turn off the heat and quickly whisk in half the cream. Then the other half. It will sputter and may even seize a bit, but it will melt again, so don’t worry. Stir in the bourbon. You may need to turn the heat on low if you have a hard chunk of caramel. Strain in case there are any lumps. The caramel will thicken as it cools.


Pie crust recipe. My Emile Henry Pan is a bit deeper than the traditional glass or metal pans, so I made 1 1/4 times the recipe for the crust and the filling. Blind bake the crust. Blind baking details: After the dough is in the pan and you’ve frozen it for at least 15 minutes, fill with pie weights, bake at 350°F for about 20+ minutes or until it is golden brown on the edge and set (dry looking in the middle).
You can watch me make caramel sauce in my brownies Instagram video.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

*“Reprinted with permission from Sister Pie, copyright © 2018. Published by Lorena Jones Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House.”

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3 thoughts to “Buttermilk Pumpkin Streusel Pie”

  1. I will be making this but using a biscoff and candied ginger crust by choice.
    Is there any part I can make a day ahead?
    Perhaps the filling? Streusel? Caramel?
    Also, if I increase it by 50%, what would be the baking time?
    Thank you for any thoughts.

  2. 5 stars
    Delicious! I made this for a fall dinner party and the guest comments were over the top. The layers of goodness can’t be beat, and the pumpkin filling was mousse-like, airy, tasty and yummy. The streusel amped it up another level. I will use this topping on other desserts, same with the caramel.

    I baked it for nearly an hour longer, at 350 for 1 hour and 50 minutes. I may have misread the directions, but it turned out perfect. This all started with buttermilk I had to use. Thank you Zoe!

  3. 5 stars
    I made it yesterday and it’s the best pumpkin pie ever and I don’t even like pumpkin pie. I’ll make this for Canadian Thanksgiving whenever I feel like it getting some pumpkin. Thank you so much for sharing, Lisa, and for posting, Zoe!

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