This old-fashioned Southern Sweet Potato Pie recipe has a silky sweet potato filling, warm spices, and a buttery, flaky crust. Top it off with whipped cream for a traditional pie that’s perfect for Thanksgiving!
Why You’ll Love This Southern Sweet Potato Pie Recipe
- Sweet Potato Pie Is Better Than Pumpkin Pie. THERE. I said it. While some pumpkin recipes are dynamic and delish (like this Pumpkin Pecan Cobbler), most traditional, back-of-the-can pumpkin pie recipes are rather meh. Sweet potato pie, on the other hand, is exquisite. It has a creamier texture and a more complex flavor than pumpkin pie.
- The Ingredients are Simple. One thing I love about many Southern dessert recipes (like Buttermilk Pie) is the use of pantry ingredients. Sweet potato pie’s custard filling is made of freshly cooked sweet potatoes (no cans here!), evaporated milk, eggs, butter, and basic spices.
- Make-Ahead Friendly. You can make sweet potato pie a day or two in advance, making it perfect for Thanksgiving and other busy holidays.
- Whipped Cream. I finish this pie with a thing of dessert beauty: real-deal whipped cream (that would also be delish on this Pecan Pie Cobbler). No plastic tubs! No cans! I also have a yummy marshmallow cream variation for you sweet potato pie with marshmallow lovers.
5 Star Review
“We loved this even more than pumpkin pie! It’s so silky and the spices are perfect! This will be a tradition for us now on.”— Maggie —
How to Make Sweet Potato Pie
- Pie Crust. A buttery, flaky, and perfectly golden pie crust is an essential part of a delicious pie. (This Darn Good Whole Wheat Pie Crust is my go-to recipe; make Chocolate Pecan Pie with the extra pie crust!)
- Sweet Potatoes. Give this pie undeniable autumn flavor right from the start. Their natural sweetness is well suited to desserts like Sweet Potato Cookies and Sweet Potato Brownies, and they make the pie filling rich and velvety.
- Spices. A blend of cinnamon, allspice, and ginger—the perfect sweet potato spice trifecta.
- Evaporated Milk. For an extra creamy texture, this recipe includes evaporated milk. While many sweet potato pies call for condensed milk, the two are not the same. If you turn this into a condensed milk sweet potato pie recipe instead, it will not turn out.
- Bourbon. The secret ingredient for sweet potato pie! Its smooth, buttery flavor is lovely with sweet potato pie. If you prefer to make your pie without bourbon, simply use extra vanilla extract. (Love bourbon? Try these Bourbon Balls next!)
- Pure Vanilla Extract. For the best-ever old-fashioned sweet potato pie, use the real deal—it’s worth it.
- Cook the Sweet Potatoes. Cut the sweet potatoes into chunks. Simmer until tender.
- Mash. Measure 2 cups for the recipe.
- Make it Delicious. Add the brown sugar, spices, salt, butter, and half of the evaporated milk.
- Simmer. Mash to combine and cook on the stove until dark and fragrant.
- Mix. Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining wet ingredients.
- Finish the Filling. Whisk the wet ingredients into the sweet potato filling.
- Puree. To make the pie super smooth, use an immersion blender to puree the filling (you can do this now, or earlier in the recipe).
- Finish. Bake sweet potato pie for 10 minutes at 375 degrees F, then reduce the heat to 325 degrees F and continue baking until cooked through; about 50 minutes. Serve at room temperature with whipped cream. ENJOY!
- To Store. Sweet potato pie should be kept in the fridge, tightly covered, and can last about 5 days. Let come to room temperature prior to serving.
- To Freeze. Yes, sweet potato pie can be frozen! To freeze, tightly wrap your cooked and cooled pie in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and store in a freezer-safe storage container or ziptop bag for up to 3 months. Let the pie thaw for at least 12 hours in the refrigerator before serving.
Meal Prep Tip
Cook the sweet potatoes, mash them, and measure out the two cups needed for the recipe up to 3 days in advance. You can also add the butter, sugar, spices, and evaporated milk to the potatoes. Refrigerate the mixture in an airtight container before you’re ready to finish and bake the pie.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Immersion Blender. No more messy transfer to the blender.
- Pie Crust Shield. Protects your sweet potato pie crust from over-browning and burning.
- Ceramic Pie Dish. This would look beautiful served on a table!
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Chill Your Beaters and Bowl. When whipping cream, put your mixing bowl and the beaters from your electric mixer in your freezer or refrigerator first; the colder they are, the fluffier the cream.
- Know When Sweet Potato Pie Is Done. When your pie is ready, it should wiggle slightly in the center (a little like Jell-O). If it swooshes or moves like a wave, your pie needs more time in the oven.
- Keep the Crust From Over-Baking. If the crust begins to brown more quickly than you would like, shield it with a pie crust shield, then keep on baking until the pie’s center is set.
- Cover the Cracks. I find sweet potato pie rarely cracks (unlike pumpkin). And if it does? That’s what the whipped cream is for!
- Stock Up on Disposable Pie Pans. While they may not be as pretty as your grandmother’s pie pan, I like to bake pies that I intend to freeze or gift in disposable aluminum pie pans. This leaves your “pretty” pie dish available for other recipes you may need it for (like this Sweet Potato Quiche).
Sweet Potato Pie
For the Filling:
- 1 9-inch pie crust Store-bought or your favorite recipe (try my Whole Wheat Pie Crust)
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar packed
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter (about 1/2 stick)
- 1 1/4 cups 2% evaporated milk, divided (about 10 ounces)
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon bourbon or 2 additional teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes optional, for serving
For the Whipped Cream:
- 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 (7-ounce) jar marshmallow cream for marshmallow variation only
- Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.
- To prepare the filling, scrub and peel the sweet potatoes. Then, dice into large, 3-inch chunks. Place chunks in a large pot and cover with cool water. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium. Let simmer until the potatoes are tender and pierce easily with a thin knife, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes into a colander, transfer back into the pot, and mash. Measure out 2 cups, which is the amount that you need for the pie, and reserve any extra for another recipe.
- To the same pot, add the brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, salt, butter, and 5 ounces (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons) of evaporated milk. Place the pot on the stove and cook on low for about 5 minutes, mashing the potatoes further as they cook.
- To make the silkiest possible pie, use an immersion blender to puree until totally smooth; you may also transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor. Once the mixture is smooth and smells very fragrant, remove from the heat and let cool in the pot.
- While the sweet potato mixture cools, whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (5 ounces) of evaporated milk, granulated sugar, eggs, bourbon, and vanilla extract, in a separate bowl until totally smooth.
- Carefully pour the egg mixture into the warm sweet potato mixture and stir until evenly and smoothly combined.
- Remove the crust from the refrigerator, pour the prepared filling into the pie crust, and then gently place the pie dish on a baking sheet. Bake the pie for 10 minutes at 375 degrees F, then reduce the heat to 325 degrees F and continue baking until cooked through; about 50 minutes. Check the pie periodically. If the crust is browning more quickly than you would like, shield it, then continue baking as directed. When the pie is ready, remove, and let cool completely.*
- Finally, prepare the whipped cream (see notes for marshmallow variation). Place the cream in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.** Begin beating on low, then slowly increase the speed to high, beating just until soft peaks form. Add the vanilla. Beat on high, scraping down the sides of the mixer a few times, until a loose whipped cream forms. The cream should be harder than soft peaks but not as stiff as hard peaks. Serve the pie at room temperature, with whipped cream.
- *TIP: To test a sweet potato pie for doneness, lightly wiggle the baking sheet. If the center of the pie has a pronounced, wavy jiggle, it needs additional time in the oven. If the center of the pie has a lighter, more structured jiggle, it’s done. Remove from the oven, place the pie dish on a wire rack, and let cool.
- **TIP: When whipping cream, put your mixing bowl and beaters in your freezer or refrigerator first; the colder they are, the fluffier the cream.
- FOR MARSHMALLOW WHIPPED CREAM: Beat the cream in a cold mixing bowl until soft peaks form. Beat in the marshmallow cream and vanilla and continue beating on medium-high speed, scraping down the bowl a few times, until a soft, fluffy mixture forms (it won’t be as stiff as stiff peaks). Serve with pie.
- TO STORE: Gently cover your pie and store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Let come to room temperature prior to serving.
- TO FREEZE: Bake your pie as directed in a disposable aluminum pie pan (leaving your pie dish available for other recipes). Tightly wrap your cooked and cooled pie in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and store in a freezer-safe storage container or ziptop bag for up to 3 months. Let the pie thaw for at least 12 hours in the refrigerator before serving.
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