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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.

slice of sweet potato pie with whipped cream

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
  • 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.

sweet potato pie filling ingredients and sweet potato pie filling with a hand mixer

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.

  1. Sweet Potatoes: Can’t have sweet potato pie without sweet potatoes! Use about 1 pound.
  2. Heavy Cream + Butter: Both butter and cream add flavor and guarantee a smooth and creamy texture. Make sure you are using room temperature butter.
  3. Brown Sugar: Brown sugar pairs perfectly with the natural sweetness of sweet potatoes.
  4. Flour: A touch of flour thickens the filling.
  5. Eggs: Eggs provide the pie’s structure.
  6. Fall Spices: The cozy combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger creates an elevated flavor profile.
sweet potato pie filling in a glass bowl

Overview of the Steps

  1. Make pie dough. I recommend preparing your pie crust ahead of time. When wrapped tightly, you can refrigerate it for up to five days and freeze it for up to three months. Having pie crust ready to go is a huge time saver around the holidays! (And any time, who am I kidding?)
  2. Boil potatoes. Boil the sweet potatoes until the skins are loose and the potatoes are super soft, about 45-50 minutes.
  3. Roll out pie dough. Roll out the pie dough, then carefully tuck into your pie dish. Trim the excess dough, then flute the edges.
  4. 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!
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Serve. Top with homemade whipped cream, pie crust acorns (see recipe note), or even salted caramel.
sweet potato pie filling in pie crust
sweet potato pie in ceramic pie dish

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.

sweet potato pie slice
sweet potato pie slice on a white plate
Print
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slice of sweet potato pie on a white plate

Brown Sugar Sweet Potato Pie

  • Author: Sally
  • 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 1x
  • Category: Pie
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

The most flavorful brown sugar and cinnamon spiced sweet potato pie!


Ingredients

Scale

Crust

Filling

  • 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

Instructions

  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  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.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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).
  8. Cover leftovers tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Notes

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 Questions and Reviews

  1. LOVE LOVE LOVE this pie. I think the heavy cream makes the texture and taste of the pie filling especially yummy. It is a nice change from the standard pumpkin pie. For the sake of complete honesty, I do admit substituting a 1/4 cup of lard for a 1/4 cup of the shortening in the pie crust. Pie crust is usually a challenge for me but this recipe worked very well. Thanks for all your wonderful recipes and have a happy Thanksgiving!

  2. I just made this for Thanksgiving; it was my first time making sweet potato pie. OH MY GOODNESS! Definitely not the last time. Thanks for an amazing recipe! 

  3. I made this for Thanksgiving and it was delicious!  I’ve never had sweet potato pie but it tasted similar to pumpkin pie which I love. It was so easy to make and so delicious. Thanks Sally!

  4. Hi Sally! Could you use frozen pie crust and maybe let it thaw out some before adding the filling and then baking? The kneading and rolling out would be difficult for me. Love so many of your recipes!

    1. You can use store-bought frozen, yes! Let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using.

  5. This was an excellent pie! I don’t care for sweet potatoes, but I know they are so nutritious. I’ve made your recipe about four times and is been absolutely superb everytime. I used coconut sugar and all the spices I use for pumpkin pie; cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice and cloves. I made it gluten-free and no one guessed. Next time I’m going to try for a sugar-free version using maple syrup. Thank you!

  6. Sally – Would it be okay to bake the potatoes instead (until they are fork-soft)? The pie looks delish and I’ve never made a sweet potato pie before.

  7. Hi Sally, 

    Is it possible to put your Apple Crumble Pie streusel on top of this? Im in love with your streusel! 

  8. Hi! I made this pie again for Thanksgiving….and, again, it got rave reviews! One family member said that all he wants for Christmas is this pie. 🙂 So, I’d like to make it for him. Do you think it would be okay to make it a few days in advance? Thanks for your help…and the amazing recipe!

    1. Absolutely– a couple day sin advance is perfectly fine. Keep it covered in the fridge and you can set it out to warm up to room temperature or serve cold.

  9. Hi! Do you think half and half could be substituted for the cream? I have the half and half but no heavy cream. Thanks!

    1. Hi Linds, heavy cream will produce the creamiest and richest filling but in a pinch, half and half may be substituted.

  10. Fantastic! If you want classic sweet potato pie this is the ONE. It has tons of sweet potato flavor but is not bland at all. We have been through quite a few different online recipes and this is hands down the best. It has to be the ginger and the bown sugar.

  11. I made this 2 days before Thanksgiving and refrigerated. We ate it yesterday and it was the bomb! So much better and more flavorful than any pumpkin pie I have ever made or eaten. This has definitely earned a spot on my yearly Thanksgiving menu!!

  12. Used the filling in deep fried hand pies – DELICIOUS! My husband is now trying to convince me to make these for Thanksgiving!
    Also, didn’t have cream so I used french vanilla coffee creamer instead. Not sure what it was supposed to be like but this was great!

  13. I loved the recipe, but a few family members thought it wasn’t sweet enough. Do you think adding a 1/2 cup of granulated sugar would ruin the recipe?

    1. Hi Keyla, I’m so glad you loved it! You can try increasing the brown sugar or adding a small amount of granulated sugar (I’d start with 1/4 cup) and seeing if that works better for your family.

  14. This recipe is amazing!!! I love the brown sugar; the cloves and ginger gives it a wonderful zing!!! For anyone out there wondering, I cheated and used regular store bought pie crusts! I used 2.5 pounds of sweet potatoes and kept the rest of the recipe the same and I get 3 regular pies (not deep dish pie crust, which you would have if you make the homemade pie crust and use a regular pie dish). If you want, you can add an additional 1/4 cup brown sugar and it will be divine. I’ve made this twice in a month and even cut the sugar and we still love it!!! Next time, I’m thinking of adding some pecans as a layer on top of the pie crust before adding the sweet potato filling. Great recipe!!

  15. I think the pie should be a little sweeter. Will adding extra brown sugar to sweeten the pie a bit more make the pie coloring darker? Can I add light brown sugar instead so as to keep the same color? Will adding the extra light brown sugar change the original flavor of the pie? How much extra brown sugar should I add?

    1. You can definitely try adding more light or dark brown sugar to the filling if you’d like. I haven’t tested with an additional amount.

  16. Great recipe and homemade crust recipe! This the first pie I’ve ever made – and your detailed instructions and pictures in both articles made it so easy! I grabbed Japanese sweet potatoes and didn’t realize they were not orange until they were fully boiled and I was past the point of no return. A lot less color but the pie still looked and tasted fantastic! Looking forward to adding this to my go-to dessert recipes. Thank you for making this so easy, I feel like a pie pro already!

  17. Hi Sally,
    I love your recipes and use them frequently! Yesterday I tried making a sweet potato pie for the first time. I used your recipe and it was delicious. However, there were hairline cracks on the surface of the pie. Is this to be expected? If not, how can I make the pie so that the surface turns out smooth with no cracks?

    Thank you for all of the recipes and cooking training you provide.

  18. Hello! Have used a couple other of your recipes before – excited to make this along with your home made crust this week for thanksgiving! But I was wondering about the pie crust decoration – why bake separately and then add after as opposed to baking with the pie? Would it make a difference? Planning on cutting out leaves and decorating

    1. Hi Jess! If you put the pie dough decoration on top of the wet filling before baking, they may sink or just stay soggy without baking through.

  19. Yum, I’m going to try this! Wondering though, I already have a 15oz can of pureed sweet potato in the pantry, do you think it would be an issue to use this instead of fresh?

  20. This is by far the best pie I have made. I followed the directions and it is delicious. Thank you for the recipe.

  21. Excellent recipe! I followed instructions to the tee… with the exception of a little more of the spices that were mention in the recipe. It was a hit!

  22. Love this recipe! This was my first time making a pie from scratch and I followed the recipe for the crust and the filling – no substitutions. It came out perfect – taste and texture were amazing. Sweet potato pie is my husband’s favorite pie and he couldn’t get enough of this one. Thanks for sharing this great recipe. Muah! Looking forward to more great recipes.

  23. I wanted to try my hand at something new for Thanksgiving. My partner and I prefer sweet potato pie to pumpkin pie, so this seemed like a no-brainer. I ended up using THREE of your recipes (pie, pie crust, and salted caramel) for the final pie and all three of them were amazing. Not only did he eat HALF the pie on his own, but I got teased about taking the leftovers home with me instead of leaving them at my mother-in-laws. Perfection!

  24. Thank you so much for making a recipe with grams and mills and Celsius and cream instead of condensed milk! I’m in Australia and it is everything I needed!

  25. Hi Sally, I made your sweet-potato casserole a few years ago and it was absolutely delicious. I thought I’d try my hand at this pie for Christmas but it sounds like it would be very sweet in comparison to the casserole. Would reducing the sugar content ruin the texture of the pie? How much would you recommend reducing with at first?

    Thank you for publishing such wonderful recipes!

    1. Hi Sara! I always recommend following the recipe as written for best results. However, you can try reducing the brown sugar down to 2/3 cup total.

  26. I made this for thanksgiving and it was delicious. Today I’m making it with an Oreo crust ( we couldn’t decide if we wanted chocolate or pumpkin so we decided to do both, sort of, but better).

  27. I have made it 2 days ago, here in the Netherlands. It was PERFECT. Such a beautiful recipe. Thank you!

  28. Been baking your recipes for years- all tried and true. Thanks Sally!

    We have a loved one who is gluten-free. Curious if the flour in this could be replaced? I hate the after taste that GF all-purpose flour leaves, but thinking to give it a try with almond flour… hoping it won’t ruin the texture!

    1. Hi Sarah, I’m so happy to hear that you have been using my recipes for so long!! Unfortunately I don’t have much experience with gluten free flour and haven’t tested this recipe with any flour alternatives. Let me know if you try it!

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