This homemade sweet potato pie is sweetened solely with dark brown sugar and flavored with warm fall spices, so you already know it’s good. Served with fresh whipped cream, this dessert definitely deserves a spot on your Thanksgiving menu.
Here’s Why You’ll Love This Sweet Potato Pie
- Similar to this pumpkin pie recipe (and we all know how good that is!) but with a more substantial texture
- Creamy, rich, and dense sweet potato filling
- Solely sweetened with dark brown sugar
- Packed with flavor thanks to butter, vanilla extract, and our favorite fall spices
- Baked in a flaky pie crust and paired wonderfully with homemade whipped cream or salted caramel toppings
- Perfect make-ahead dessert, freeing precious oven and counter space
This is our take on sweet potato pie. This pie is a Southern classic and for a true Southern sweet potato pie recipe, I encourage you to check out the Homemade Sweet Potato Pie on Divas Can Cook.
What is the Difference Between Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Pies?
If you’ve ever made my pumpkin pie, you’ll notice we use many of the same ingredients in this pie, but varying quantities of each. Why? To obtain a slightly different texture.
- Pumpkin pie = pudding/custard-y.
- Sweet potato pie = denser, more substantial
Let’s review the power players in homemade sweet potato pie.
- Sweet Potatoes: Can’t have sweet potato pie without sweet potatoes! Use about 1 pound.
- Heavy Cream + Butter: Both butter and cream add flavor and guarantee a smooth and creamy texture. Make sure you are using room temperature butter.
- Brown Sugar: Brown sugar pairs perfectly with the natural sweetness of sweet potatoes.
- Flour: A touch of flour thickens the filling.
- Eggs: Eggs provide the pie’s structure.
- Fall Spices: The cozy combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger creates an elevated flavor profile.
Overview of the Steps
- Make pie dough. I recommend preparing your pie crust ahead of time. When wrapped tightly, you can refrigerate it for up to 5 days and freeze it for up to 3 months. Having pie crust ready to go is a big time saver around the holidays. (And any time, who am I kidding?) This recipe only uses 1 pie crust, so if you make the homemade recipe, you’ll have 1 more for another pie recipe such as French silk pie, a quiche, or turkey pot pie.
- Boil potatoes. Boil the sweet potatoes until the skins are loose and the potatoes are super soft, about 45-50 minutes.
- Roll out pie dough. Roll out the pie dough, then carefully tuck into your pie dish. Trim the excess dough, then flute the edges.
- Prepare potatoes. Peel off the skin– which slides right off because the potatoes have boiled, then cut into large chunks and place into mixing bowl. I recommend mashing your sweet potatoes BEFORE beating in the other ingredients so you can begin with a totally smooth and creamy base. No lumps, no stringiness!
- Make filling. Add remaining filling ingredients to the sweet potatoes. Beat until smooth, spread into prepared pie crust, and brush the edges of the crust with egg wash.
- Bake. This pie will take about 1 hour in the oven, until the center is *mostly* cooked through– it will jiggle a little in the center. Cool for at least one hour before serving– this makes it easy to cut through and gives the flavors more time to mingle.
- Serve. Top with homemade whipped cream, pie crust acorns (see recipe note), or even salted caramel. You could also serve it with the topping from this pecan pie cheesecake. The brown sugar notes in both this pie + that topping pair wonderfully!
How to Freeze This Pie
Sweet potato pie is a wonderful dessert to make ahead of time. Simply bake the pie as directed, cool completely, then wrap tightly with plastic wrap or foil. Place in a freezer-safe zip-top bag or airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to serve, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before slicing.
Can’t get enough sweet potatoes? Try sweet potato casserole or candied sweet potatoes next. And if you’re looking for more Thanksgiving dessert inspiration, here are all of our favorite Thanksgiving pies.Print
Brown Sugar Sweet Potato Pie
- Prep Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes (includes pie dough chilling)
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Total Time: 7 hours (includes cooling)
- Yield: one 9-inch pie
- Category: Pie
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
The most flavorful brown sugar and cinnamon spiced sweet potato pie!
- 1 unbaked Flaky Pie Crust (what I used) or All Butter Pie Crust*
- egg wash: 1 large egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon (15ml) milk or heavy cream
- 1 lb sweet potatoes (about 2 medium)
- 6 Tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) packed light or dark brown sugar (I prefer dark)
- 1/2 (120ml) cup heavy cream
- 2 large eggs
- 2 Tablespoons (15g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- optional for serving: whipped cream
- Pie crust: I like to make sure my pie dough is prepared before I begin making this pie. Make pie dough the night before because it needs to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before rolling out (step 3).
- As the pie dough chills, start the sweet potatoes: Place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan. Cover them with water, then bring to a boil on the stovetop. Boil for 45-50 minutes, or until super soft. During this time, begin step 3.
- Roll out the chilled pie dough: On a floured work surface, roll out one of the disks of chilled dough (use the 2nd pie crust for another recipe or freeze). Turn the dough about a quarter turn after every few rolls until you have a circle 12 inches in diameter. Carefully place the dough into a 9-inch pie dish. Tuck it in with your fingers, making sure it is completely smooth. To make a lovely thick edge, I do not trim excess dough around the edges. Instead, fold the excess dough back over the edge and use your hands to mold the edge into a nice thick rim around the pie. Crimp the edges with a fork or use your fingers to flute the edges. Brush edges with egg wash. Chill the dough in the refrigerator or freezer for at least 15 minutes as you work on the filling– this helps prevent the crust from shrinking.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).
- Drain the boiling water and run the potatoes under very cold water. The skin should peel off easily at this point. Cool for a few minutes until easy to handle. Slice the potatoes into a couple large chunks, then place into a mixing bowl.
- For the filling: Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment (or you can use a blender for this), beat/blend the potatoes on medium-high speed until smooth. Add the remaining filling ingredients (down to and including the salt) and beat/blend on high speed until smooth and combined. Spread filling into prepared pie crust.
- Bake for 55-60 minutes or until the center of the pie is only slightly jiggly. A toothpick inserted into the center of the pie should come out *mostly* clean. During bake time, if you find the edges of the pie crust are browning too quickly, apply a pie crust shield or a ring of aluminum foil to protect it.Remove finished pie from the oven. Place on a wire rack to cool completely or for at least 2 hours. The pie filling will sink and set as it cools. Decorate with whipped cream or pie crust acorns (see note).
- Cover leftovers tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: This a great pie to make 1 day in advance because the flavors are even better on day 2– after it cools, cover the pie tightly and store at room temperature until ready to serve the next day. If prepared 2 days ahead of time, cover and refrigerate the pie then bring to room temperature before serving. The pie dough can also be prepared ahead of time. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Baked pie freezes well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before serving. Prepared filling can be frozen up to 3 months, thaw at room temperature before using.
- Sweet Potatoes: 1 pound is usually 2 medium sweet potatoes. After pureeing or beating until mashed, you’ll have about 1 and 3/4 – 2 cups to use in the recipe. Anywhere around this amount is fine. You can use plain baked sweet potatoes if that’s easier, just make sure they’re soft enough to mash into a puree.
- Pie Crust Acorns: Since the pie crust recipe makes 2 crusts, you can use 1 for the pie and 1 for the decorative pie crust acorns. On a floured work surface, roll out one of the discs of chilled dough. Roll out into any shape you really want (doesn’t matter) and 1/8 inch thickness. Using an acorn cookie cutter, cut into shapes. Brush each lightly with the egg wash. Place onto a parchment paper or silicone baking mat-lined baking sheet and bake at 350°F (177°C) for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove and set aside to cool before decorating pie.
Keywords: sweet potato pie
Reader Comments & Reviews
I made 2 for Thanksgiving and will be making 2 for Christmas. My father loves sweet potatoes and I wanted something different to bake. He said this was the BEST pie he had ever eaten ( he’s 88 btw)! The only changes I made was I baked the potatoes and put the mix through the blender. It was like silk and absolutely delicious! Another great one, Sally. Thank you !!
This is my very first sweet potato pie, but I halved the sugar and butter the recipe calls for, and it is absolutely full of flavor. Will definitely bake again.
I was wondering if there was a way I could use this filling recipe for mini tarts with your shortbread crust? If so, do you have any recommendations for the bake time? Thank you!
Hi Delaney, you can certainly turn these into mini pies! We’d recommend following our mini pumpkin pie post as a guideline. The bake time should be similar with shortbread crust but we haven’t tested it. Let us know if you give it a try.
Can I use coconut milk as a substitute for the cream? I want to make this dairy free due to dietary restrictions. I plan to use a plant based butter as well. Thanks!
Hi Francie, We haven’t tested it but the same amount of full fat canned coconut milk should work in a pinch! Shake it up before opening and using, and obviously expect a slightly different flavor.
Love that your recipie uses brown sugar and heavy cream instead canned milk and white sugar. A couple of suggestions/tips I’d like to share – bake the sweet potatoes instead of boiling them! It keeps more of the nutrients AND the natural sugar of the sweet potato is so much more prominent than when using boiled potatoes! Lastly, don’t forget to remove the “strings” from the potatoes before adding all of your other ingredients (step 6). When you run your mixer into the sweet potatoes, do it a couple times and rinse the strings off your mixer blades. I love your recipies Sally and use them often! Making your apple pie and home made crust recipie for the holidays this year!
Could this pie filling be doubled if making multiple pies? Also should the cup measurement of the sweet potatoes be before or after adding the additional yummy ingredients?
Hi Lizz, for best taste and texture, we recommend making two separate batches rather than doubling. You’ll want 1 pound (or anywhere from 1 and 3/4 – 2 cups) of sweet potatoes before adding the other ingredients. Hope this helps!
I want to leave a picture but I can’t so I just say this.. this recipe was so good everyone ate the pie hot lol. They absolutely refused to wait for it to cool. This is my second weekend in a row making it.
Could I make this pie with the toasted marshmallows from your s’more brownie pie? If so, when would I have to add the marshmallows to get them well toasted? Thanks!
Hi Ellen! You could add marshmallows in the last few minutes of baking like we do with the brownie pie. Or you may love this sweet potato bourbon pie with homemade marshmallow topping!
Best sweet potato pie I ever tasted. It’s full of flavor and has a great consistency. I should have waited the recommended 2hours for the pie to cool, but my willpower failed me. Less than an hour into the cooldown time, my spoon was in the pie. I can’t wait to bake this recipe again.
Can I make sweet potato pie bars with this recipe? If so, how? Thanks in Advance. Love All Of The Reciepes That I’ve Used So Far. Looking forward to making more in the future. <3
Hi Brittney, We haven’t tested it but you can use this filling recipe and follow the assembly instructions for our pumpkin pie bars. Let us know if you give it a try!