The Best Cherry Cobbler (Made With Buttermilk)


This modern “a cup a cup a cup” cobbler recipe makes the best cherry cobbler (with buttermilk) that you will ever eat.

the best cherry cobbler with buttermilk

                       Image: Iris O’ Brien

Cherry cobbler is a perfect summer dessert.

What better time to make a cherry cobbler than the summer? Fresh cherries are in season (albeit briefly), making it the perfect time to make this with fresh sweet or sour cherries. The July 4th holiday is another great reason to make a lovely dessert featuring beautiful, bright red fruit. In my opinion, this is the best cherry cobbler recipe anywhere.

A new version of the “one cup” cobbler.

Those of us 50 or older almost all know of “one cup cobbler” or “a cup a cup a cup” cobbler. It is an  old-fashioned recipe that is as simple as it gets. The basic recipe called for with one cup of flour, one cup of sugar, and one cup of milk. There was a stick of butter and then the fruit. Back in the day, most “one cup cobbler” recipes called for canned fruit. We know better today, so please resist the urge to open a can. It isn’t the same:-)

The modern twist on one cup cobbler.

 Although  “a cup a cup a cup” cobbler was good, a few updates have made it better. First, fresh fruit is used when possible, followed by frozen. Canned fruit is a no-no to most modern cooks. Lemon juice and zest are another option, adding a bit of acid that rounds out the flavor. Buttermilk is my favorite update to the old recipe (which called for regular milk or sweet milk depending upon how old you are lol). Rich, tangy buttermilk makes a much more flavorful cobbler crust.

Use fresh or frozen cherries for this cobbler.

Although cherry season is here and gone in a flash, it is worth buying them to make this fabulous cobbler. If you don’t want to use fresh cherries, frozen is your next best option. In Cook’s Illustrated tastes tests, the frozen cherries rated “best” were the Cascadian Farms Organic Sweet Cherries.

How do you pit cherries?

The easiest way to pit cherries is with a cherry pitter; I link to a few good ones below. You can also use a straw. Here’s how.

  • Insert the straw or decorating tip into cherry where the stem was attached.
  • Push through until you make contact with the pit.
  • Continue pushing until the pit pops out.

the best cherry cobbler with buttermilk

               Image: Iris O’ Brien

What baking dish do you use for cherry cobbler?

Don’t use a pie plate for this cobbler; it won’t be large enough.  I use a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. If you don’t have one this size or similar, use the largest skillet you have. A cast-iron skillet will work beautifully, preferably one that’s 12 inches in diameter. I share some favorite baking dishes below.

What are the best ways to serve cherry cobbler?

I like to put cherry cobbler (or any cobbler) in small bowls. Since we always make our cobblers a la mode, bowls are better for holding melted ice cream. Below are some bowls similar to the ones I have and love.

How do you store leftover cherry cobbler?

Because this cobbler contains buttermilk, I always refrigerate leftovers. There are many cooks who leave cobbler out even if it contains buttermilk (or milk), and I think this is probably perfectly safe. I just err on the side of caution. Since the cobbler reheats beautifully, refrigerating it does not affect it adversely.

Use alternate flours in this cobbler.

If you don’t have self-rising flour, you can use plain all-purpose flour. If using plain, just add 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder + 1/2 teaspoon salt to it and toss to blend it in. The cobbler crust can also be made with all-purpose gluten-free flour. You can also use 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour.

the best cherry cobbler with buttermilk

               Image: Iris O’ Brien

Substitute other fruit for cherries in this cobbler.

You can substitute 4 cups of just about any type of fruit for the berries. Blackberries and peaches work beautifully in this recipe. In fact, my absolute favorite version is this fresh peach cobbler; it is outstanding!!!

Vanilla bean ice cream? Yes, please!

The only thing that can make any cobbler better is vanilla bean ice cream.  Why have just cobbler when you can have cobbler a la mode? My favorite store-bought brand is Bryer’s Natural Vanilla. My favorite homemade vanilla ice cream is my father-in-law’s recipe here. It is SO delicious, and it requires no eggs or custard. I think it tastes just like Chick-Fil-A ice dream:-)

I hope you enjoy this recipe. If you make it, please leave any thoughts, tweaks, or suggestions in the comments below. As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Be blessed, and stay savvy!!!

the best cherry cobbler with buttermilk

The Best Cherry Cobbler is Made With Buttermilk

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

The best cherry cobbler (made with buttermilk)!


  • 4 cups fresh pitted cherries
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup self-rising flour (see notes)
  • 1 cup buttermilk


Preheat oven to 375˚ F.

Melt butter in 13 x 9 baking dish in the oven as it preheats. Remove and set aside.

Combine cherries, lemon juice, lemon zest, and 1 tablespoon sugar; set aside.

Combine flour and 1 cup sugar; toss to combine. Add buttermilk; stir until just moistened.

Pour batter over melted butter in baking dish; do not stir.

Spoon cherry mixture over batter; do not stir.

Sprinkle remaining 1 tablespoon sugar over cherry mixture. Bake 35 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.

Serve with ice cream, if desired.


To use plain all-purpose flour, add 1 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add it to the plain flour and toss to combine.

Nutrition Information
Yield 10 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 183Total Fat 10gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 25mgSodium 269mgCarbohydrates 23gFiber 2gSugar 11gProtein 3g

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