My Favorite Pecan Pie Recipe

Classic and simple with a dash of cinnamon, melted butter, and vanilla. This is my favorite pecan pie recipe for obvious reasons! 

Classic and simple with a dash of cinnamon, melted butter, and vanilla. This is my favorite pecan pie recipe for obvious reasons!

First, I have a new post up on my photography blog this week. Come be amazed at the magnificence that are the redwoods in sunny CA. Second, I have a book signing tonight! I was in Baltimore this past Sunday, NYC this past Wednesday, and I’m in Baltimore again today. I’m often asked how I can handle all of this travel? One word: caffeine. But seriously… chatting with all of you, seeing how much you love my blog and recipes… seriously makes every single second worth it. I also go to bed at an embarrassingly early hour every single night. #old

Now, let’s talk pie. Pecan pie. The classic, the forever, the sugary dessert without which no Thanksgiving is complete. As traditional as pumpkin pie, as deliciously chewy as chocolate chunk cookies, as devilishly rich as apple pie.

My friends, let me present you with my late grandmother’s old fashioned pecan pie recipe. Because this recipe should live on forever in her memory.

Classic and simple with a dash of cinnamon, melted butter, and vanilla. This is my favorite pecan pie recipe for obvious reasons!

I’ve been consumed in pecan pie recipe testing for nearly two months. Any day I’m home in the kitchen, I’m working on perfecting this timeless recipe. Pie Determination: it’s a thing. And it’s dangerous. Also, slightly manic.

Take a walk down recipe testing lane with me, won’t you? I tried pecan pie without corn syrup. It was dry and gross. I tried it with more pecans and less eggs. Why did I do that? Then I tried it with more eggs, less pecans. Scrambled egg pie, anyone? Ummmm that test pie is erased from my mind forever.

I tried pecan pie with maple syrup, a little bourbon, and even a pinch of nutmeg. Sort of good, but not the classic dish I craved. Now I have 6 pies in my refrigerator and none of them are my definition of pie perfection. “Kevin, please take these mediocre pies, oh god except for the scrambled egg pie, to the neighbors please.”

Classic and simple with a dash of cinnamon, melted butter, and vanilla. This is my favorite pecan pie recipe for obvious reasons!

For such a simple pie (pecan pie is truly the easiest pie you will EVER make), why was I overcomplicating things? It wasn’t until pie number 7 until I turned to grandma’s classic. Grandma, though no longer with us, still knows what’s best. That woman. My saving grace! Especially when it comes to pie.

Don’t mess with the filling ingredients.

All classic pecan pie favorites inside this pie, like Diamond of California pecans. Mama baking addiction and my grandma never, ever used a brand of nut besides Diamond of California in their baking. And in what crazy amazing world do I get to be Diamond’s brand ambassador? Pinch me.

There’s 1 and 1/2 cups of sugar in this pie. Typically you’ll find pecan pies have anywhere around 2 full cups. I find that much too sweet. I use the dark varieties of both corn syrup and brown sugar, compared to light corn syrup and light brown sugar; I do this merely for intensified flavor. And I suggest you do as well! 3 eggs hold the filling together, while vanilla extract, melted butter, and a small dose of ground cinnamon provide flavor. I don’t see too many pecan pies with cinnamon– so thank you, grandma, for giving me the opportunity to present a slightly unique pecan pie on my Thanksgiving table. And to all my readers!

Classic and simple with a dash of cinnamon, melted butter, and vanilla. This is my favorite pecan pie recipe for obvious reasons!

Not only is this remarkably simple filling inspired by one of my grandmothers’ pecan pie recipes, the homemade pie crust is her own as well. A couple months ago, I wrote a very long post dedicated to this pie crust recipe. Why the ingredients work, the particular method, and all my tips and tricks to perfecting it.

Your Thanksgiving pie crust savior, if you will.

The buttery, flaky pie crust has a wonderfully crumbly texture yet still stays perfectly in tact as the pie bakes and cools. Some pecan pie recipes require you to pre-bake the pie crust before pouring in the filling, but I do not find that necessary. I skip that step by simply baking the pie on a lower oven rack.

The pecans on top get all toasty while the nuts underneath have a melt-in-your-mouth chewy texture. The pecan’s flavor and texture, paired with the flaky homemade pie crust, the filling’s vanilla, butter, and cinnamon… it all just makes this my favorite pecan pie recipe. Classic and simple.

Classic and simple with a dash of cinnamon, melted butter, and vanilla. This is my favorite pecan pie recipe for obvious reasons!

I made about 3 or 4 of these pies the past couple of weeks to freeze for the upcoming holidays, so that’s why you see two different pie dishes in this post.

Let me know if this pie graces your Thanksgiving table!

My Favorite Pecan Pie Recipe

This is my favorite pecan pie recipe for many reasons. A little cinnamon, vanilla, melted butter, toasty pecans, homemade flaky crust... I could go on and on. Classic and simple, traditional and sweet.

Ingredients:

  • Homemade Pie Crust (my recipe makes 2 crusts; you can halve the crust recipe or freeze the 2nd half)
  • 2 and 1/2 cups (250g) coarsely chopped Diamond of California pecans (a very rough chop!)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup (240ml) dark corn syrup1
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. The crust: Prepare my pie crust recipe through step 5.
  2. After the pie crust has chilled, adjust the oven rack to the lower third position and preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
  3. Roll out the chilled pie crust onto a lightly floured surface. Remember, when rolling out the chilled pie dough disc, always use gentle force with your rolling pin. Start from the center of the disc and work your way out in all directions, turning the dough with your hands as you go. Roll it out into a circle 12 inches in diameter. Carefully place the dough into a 9x2 inch pie dish. Tuck it in with your fingers, making sure it is smooth.
  4. The filling: Spread pecans evenly inside pie crust. Set aside. In a large bowl using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, whisk the eggs, corn syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, melted butter, salt, and cinnamon together in a large bowl. Once completely combined and thick, pour evenly over pecans.
  5. Bake the pie for 40-50 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned. After the first 20 minutes of bake time, I place a pie crust shield on top of the pie to prevent the edges from browning too quickly. You can also tent a piece of aluminum foil over the whole pie if it is browning too quickly. Remove finished pie from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely. The pie filling will settle as it cools.
  6. Slice and serve pie warm or at room temperature. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon-sugar if desired.
  7. Make ahead tip/Freezing: Pecan pie is a wonderful dessert to make ahead of time. You can get started by combining all the filling ingredients (except the pecans) one day ahead of time. Keep it covered tightly in the refrigerator. You can also make the pie dough 1-5 days in advance, since it needs to chill. To make the pie in full 1 day in advance-- after it cools, cover tightly and keep at room temperature. Baked pie freezes well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before serving.

Recipe Notes:

  1. You can use light corn syrup instead. I have no subtitution suggestions that work correctly yielding the same texture, moisture, and flavor. Traditional pecan pie needs corn syrup.

Source: Grandma's filling & pie crust. ♥

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Classic and simple with a dash of cinnamon, melted butter, and vanilla. This is my favorite pecan pie recipe for obvious reasons!

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. And if you want to follow along on my book tour, find me on snapchat: sallysbakeblog.

Upcoming Events!

Today! November 6th — Baltimore MD. 6-8:30pm. FREE candy cooking demo, book selling, and signing at Williams Sonoma in the Columbia Mall (10300 Little Patuxent Parkway Columbia, Maryland 21044)

November 8th — St Louis MO. 12-4pm. Book selling and signing at William’s Sonoma in Plaza Frontenac (1701 S Lindbergh Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63131)

November 9th — St Louis MO. 7-9pm. Presentation, book signing, and selling at Left Bank Books. Candy samples from Kakao Chocolate will be provided at this event.

November 14th – Chicago IL. 2pm. Candy cooking demo, book selling, and signing at America’s Sweets & Baking Show (yes, a show about all things dessert) at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center. This is a ticketed event. Click above for show details.

November 15th – Chicago, IL. 1-4pm FREE candy cooking demo, book selling, and signing at William’s Sonoma (Lincoln Park 1550 N. Fremont St. Chicago, IL 60622)

Later this month: Pittsburgh and Cleveland! Here’s the full book tour schedule. Remember, the first 25 people at each location get a free bag of Diamond of California nuts.

I’m working with Diamond of California to bring you today’s recipe!

My favorite pecan pie! This classic recipe is inspired by my grandmother. Click through for the recipe!

142 comments

  1. Oh my! How delicious! My Daddy’s birthday is this week and pecan is his fave…I was looking for the best pecan pie recipe and now I’ve found it. And Btw I absolutely love how the pie crust smelled while I was mixing it. Just wonderful.  Thanks for making my day. 

  2. Was so excited to make this pie as pecan pie is my favorite. I followed the recipe. Let it cool. My pie did not set up. I guess I should of baked it longer? It puffed up sprang back in the middle.  This why I don’t bake.

  3. Hey Sally!
    I want to make a pecan fried pie – do you think that I could cook the pecan pie filling on the stove until it gets thick and then let it cool before putting in the pie dough and frying it? I know a pecan pie filling usually cooks and sets while baking in the oven so I’m thinking maybe I can do this on the stove top? Any suggestions would be appreciated 🙂

    • Oh gosh, I have no clue! I’ve never done it before so I’m not comfy giving a recommendation. It’s worth a try though– and let me know how it goes.

  4. The first time I made exactly as directed.  So delish!  I’ve always liked pecan pie but can find it cloying? Too sweet?? Not sure but just something made pecan pie less then perfect…till now!  Baking it again right now but omitting the cinnamon this time.  Just a tweak per family preference but again, you’ve totally nailed a good pecan pie recipe.  Many thanks!

  5. This recipe looks DELICIOUS. I’ve used your pie crust several times, and it never fails! I’m making desserts for a cocktail party next weekend, and I’d like to make pecan bars, since it’s good finger food. Do you think I could make pecan bars with this recipe? If so, what size pan would you recommend baking them in? Thank you!

    • Sure could. I’d use an 11×7 inch baking pan. 9×13 would be too big and a 9-inch will make the bars a little too tall.

      • Thank you! Just bought the ingredients yesterday. 🙂 Does it matter if it’s aluminum or glass? I have both so I’m wondering which one would be better for baking this recipe.

      • Either would be just fine for the bars 🙂

  6. Why is my pie so runny?

  7. Do you think you could make this with a shortbread crust?

  8. Sounds wonderful. I do have a question. What size bag of pecans should I purchase? Also, I understand that I layer the bottom of the pie crust with pecans and once the ingredients is poured over the pecans do I then place pecans on the top and how much? I did not see this mentioned.
    Thanks,
    Jim

  9. Hello! I am new to the baking world, but I made your blueberry peach pie and it turned out perfect! I can’t wait to try this out.

    One silly question, do you layer pecans on the crust, pour the filling, and then add another layer of pecans? Or do you just do the single layer on the crust before your pornthe filling? 

  10. Dear Sally,
    This recipe looks INCREDIBLE, as does everything you create. Quick question though- a couple of weeks ago I made your Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars (so indescribably amazing it can’t be adequately put into words) – and was wondering if the same shortbread crust recipe could be used in this pecan pie, and if so would I have to double it, pre bake it a little, etc.

    Thank you so much for being my go-to whenever I need a recipe for…anything really. I spend wayyyy too much time on your website looking for recipes, and all have blown me away!

  11. Am I missing the recipe on this page. I don’t see it anywhere. 

  12. Hi, Sally!  First of all, let me start by saying: thank you, thank you, thank you!  I have been using your recipes for about a year now and have never been disappointed.  I have learned so much by reading your recipes and baking tips.  I have a question.  I overwhelmed myself slightly last year during the holidays by baking and cooking everything in 1-2 days so I am trying to prepare better this time.  So my question is- what are the steps to freezing pies successfully?  

    Thanks again, you are amazing!

  13. Hi Sally,

    I live in the UK and am desperate to make a pecan pie, especially for my birthday coming up. After trying many of your cookbook/ blog recipes, I really want to try this one however I cannot find Corn Syrup anywhere here!! 🙁

    Would I be able to replace this with maple syrup or golden syrup at all?!

     Thank you xxxx

  14. This is the first regular pecan pie that I’ve actually enjoyed. And when I mean “regular”, I mean one with no chocolate or caramel added. I find most pecan pies to be overly sweet, which is why I usually make a variation with chocolate and/or caramel in it. Your recipe was perfectly sweetened. I really liked the flavor, and I loved the hint of cinnamon in it. This was easy to make and delicious.

  15. Hi Sally,

    Big fan! Your blog has opened my baking world so much! I have become know as pie girl in my family thanks to your blog. I’m totally fine with that. I’m also cookie girl among my friends and family. Anyway, I’ve been assigned to make pies for my family’s Thanksgiving. My mother is allergic to pecans, so I was wondering if it would be ok to make this with walnuts. I know it’s ok for cookies and breads, but was not sure about this pie. Any advice?
    Thanks so much!

    • Hi Sara!

      My mom makes a pie with walnuts (I’m not at all a fan of walnuts but she loves them to the moon) and the filling is very similar (doesn’t have cinnamon in it and there is a little less sugar.) You also might want to make sure the walnuts are just a little more evenly chopped too. My mom’s bake time is about five minutes less, but as always keep your eyes on the prize, as all ovens are different. Good luck!

    • Goodness yes! Walnuts, 1:1 ratio switch, are absolutely phenomenal in this pie.

  16. I would love to try to make this pecan pie for Thanksgiving this year. I was wondering if I could possibly bake this pie ahead of time and freeze it? I want to have all the desserts done before Thanksgiving so my oven is free for the turkey and such. Any words of advice or experience to share?

  17. Hi Sally!

    I’ve seen some other comments with the same question, but I’m a little confused when it comes to adding the pecans. In your pictures, it looks like there’s an additional layer of almost whole pecans on top, with the roughly chopped nuts underneath. Did you add a layer of nuts to the top that wasn’t included in the recipe? If so, did you add these for the whole baking time, or for only a portion?

    • Hi Chelsea! Sorry for any confusion 🙂 I did not add a layer of nuts to the top. The top nuts aren’t as roughly chopped as the ones below the, you’re right, but I find that the larger pecans rise to the top. So no need to add any additional layers.

  18. Hi Sally! I have made more of your recipes than I can count over the past few years, loved everything!

    I’ve been married for 13 years and just yesterday found out my husbands favorite pie is pecan pie. I’ve never made one before so I obviously came to check your site first! Anyway, you mentioned that this recipe only has 1 and a half cups of sugar, but I don’t see the 1 cup of sugar listed in your ingredients. . .I’m not sure if I’m just missing it or you don’t actually use/need it. Hmmm, help me out, I’m planning on using this recipe next week! Thanks so much!

  19. Help! how do i “set” the pecans in a store bought crust?

    • Hi, just spread them out on the bottom and then pour your filling on top. Basically, just dump them in there.

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