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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
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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


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





  • 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


  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.


  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. absolutely delicious…even those that didn’t care for pumpkin pie, loved this pie!

  2. This was the best sweet potato pie our family and friends have ever eaten. Doubled the recipe for 2 pies, not a crumb left. I’m using those extra NC sweet potatoes to put 4 pies in the freezer.

  3. That was the best I’ve ever made. I made 2 of them and both were eaten quickly. Yay Thanks Sally

  4. I’ve made this pie several times; my grandson asks for it every time he is coming over. I challenge you to try these two adjustments. Bake the potatoes until tender instead of boiling; the caramelization is next level. Use a graham cracker crust. Sally’s recipe is the perfect for everything else, as usual.

  5. I made this for a friend of mine for his birthday. His grandmother used to make him and his brothers sweet potato pie and he hadn’t had one in years. I was very short on time when I made it so I did use canned sweet potatoes and store bought crust. EVERYONE at the party LOVED it!!! My husband and I had never had a sweet potato pie before and we decided we like it much better than pumpkin pie! Next time I am going to use your pie crust and fresh sweet potatoes. Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes with us. I have already picked out about a dozen (more like three dozen) more recipes that I will try next!

  6. I made this recipe the other night ( sweet-tooth cravings) and it was a big hit with the family! Seems to be a ‘forgiving’ recipe also because I ‘eyeballed’ a couple of the ingredients and it was still perfect! Oh I used a graham cracker crust because that’s what I had on hand and it was delish. I was worried about baking that type of crust so I lowered the temp just a bit and covered the edges with aluminum foil and it was fine. I think I’ll try baking the sweet potatoes next time! But the recipe is a keeper!

  7. Took the recipe and turned it on its head. The best part of the pie is the filling by far the pastry is a vessel to hold the goodness. I roasted the potatoes for maximum sweetness thus cutting the sugar in half, used the evaporated milk as it is tradition. The spices were the same, fresh ground.
    Here comes the twist, i added some flour, baking powder and soda. I now have a stiff batter almost like a cookie dough but half as firm. I have a cast iron pan that has 8 small semicircle cutouts in it. Oiled them up baked them in the oven and BOOM… Sweet potato fritter things. Delish, your recipe was a good inspiration for innovation

  8. My first pie ever and it was great! Thank you Sally! Your pie crust recipe worked great!

  9. My family LOVES your sweet potato pie recipe! I baked the potatoes, they were so sweet. It seems the butter content is fairly high. I will try it again with a little less butter.

  10. Perfectly delicious! I like it more than pumpkin pie. I’ve made this a few times and it’s always great! Sometimes I have to protect the filling before I bake, so that I can finish making the pie! One time I didn’t have enough ingredients so I did 1/2 pumpkin/squash and 1/2 sweet potato and it turned out pretty good. Another time I made it by roasting the potatoes with the spices and a light drizzle of black molasses, then I used a little less sugar but baked it with candied pecans on top, and it was also great. But this recipe is perfect as is! Thank you so much for making, recording, and sharing this wonderful recipe!!

  11. My husband wants a sweet potato pie for Thanksgiving this year. I have tried several of your recipes and they always turn out great! I found this recipe and want to can’t wait to make it. I have a question about the spices used. Can I use pumpkin pie spice in place of those?

    1. Hi Julie- we haven’t tested it, but can’t see why not! Happy baking!

  12. Delicious! My daughter said this is her new favorite pie! (She requested that I make 2 next time!) I used baked sweet potatoes and followed everything else exactly. It was perfect! The flavors remind me of pumpkin pie meets pecan pie (minus nuts if course). Thank you.

  13. So…. you don’t have to blind bake the crust on this? I’m making it this weekend and want to be sure. I love all of your recipes, this one looks like it’ll beat the pie I made last year hands down.

    1. Hi Nancy, No need to blind bake this crust before adding the filling. The whole pie will bake long enough for the crust to bake through. Happy baking!

  14. Howdy! Although I have not made the pie, I would love to try the filling in turnovers? Would it work or be too thin? Your thoughts on this appreciated.

    1. Hi Letty, We have not tried using this in turnovers but you can certainly try. You can take a look at the video above to get a good visual of the consistency of the filling before it’s baked. Let us know if you try it!

  15. This recipe is incredibly delicious, a couple of Thanksgivings ago we discovered that my daughter was allergic to pumpkin so we tried this instead, and it was a huge hit. It’s now our favorite pie! Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  16. I have already baked sweet potatoes in the freezer. About how many cups do you think 1 pound is?

  17. Hi Sally,
    I was wondering if canned coconut milk could be used instead of heavy cream? I know and love the richness of heavy cream, but am trying to see if I can use what I have on hand and have lots of canned coconut milk!

    1. The same amount of full fat canned coconut milk should work in a pinch! Shake it up before opening and using.

      1. Hi Sally! Any other non dairy alternatives to heavy cream? Love your carrot cake recipe, by the way!

      2. Hi Rachel, 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.

  18. My son is allergic to dairy. I already purchased a frozen crust that is dairy free, but I’m wondering if I can I substitute coconut oil for the butter and coconut cream or evaporated coconut milk for the heavy cream?

    1. Hi Kim, We haven’t tried either of those substitutes so I’m unsure of the results other than the obvious flavor change. Let us know if you try it!

  19. Hi – and Happy Thanksgiving! Is the filling supposed to be thick? I just made this recipe & wanted to be sure I didn’t do something wrong. Smells amazing as I’m scooping it into the shells and I’m hoping that I didn’t screw it up somehow. Thanks!

    1. The filling is slightly thick. For a good visual you can see the video above (the filling being poured into the crust is right at the 40 second mark).

  20. Hi Sally, made the pie for Thanksgiving. Made two one for my family and a friend. Turned out really good. Everyone loved it, even my uncle who’s not big on desserts. The whole house smelled divined as it was baking in the even. And all the ingredients married together beautifully which made the pies taste wonderful. Can’t wait to make it again. Thank you so much! I enjoyed it.

  21. The recipe calls for two eggs, and egg wash is used. Is one egg for the wash, or do both go in the filling? This recipe is unique and I plan to make it tomorrow!

    1. Hi Robin, you’ll need three eggs total for this recipe — 1 for the egg wash + 2 for the filling. Let us know how you like it!

  22. I’ve never used brown sugar before, but I will from now on. This pie was so delicious that it was gone in less than an 30 minutes and there were only two people for dinner. It was wonderful. Thanks

  23. Absolutely delicious! We baked our potatoes so they got some caramelization and made our own crust. We added a touch of cardamom since it is a household favorite. My daughter and I have now made this recipe 4x and have given some of them away as gifts, it’s always an absolute hit. Thank you!

  24. I made the pie and crust for Thanksgiving and it was Delicious. My husband hauled sweet potatoes right before the holidays. Even my cats ate some. First time for everything! Making another pie tonight. A good friend said it was the best pie and crust. thanks Sally

  25. Do you blind bake the crust before adding the filling? Sometimes I use pre-made crusts and sometimes I make my own.

  26. Mine is baking in the oven right now and the smell is just divine! I used coconut sugar as substitute because i’ve been wanting to see what’s the fuss about and was surprised with the added flavor from it! I do not have ginger and clove but still tastes good, will definitely add those to next time. Also, i halved the measurements as i wanted to try it first and still waiting for it to finish baking. Thanks Sally!

  27. How should I turn these into mini pies, like your mini pumpkin pies, or hand pies, like your apple hand pies?

    Thank you ahead of time!

  28. I baked this pie for Thanksgiving dinner as my daughter, who is on a low FODMAP diet, cannot eat pumpkin. She had many misgivings about sweet potatoes, but my family is originally from south Texas and Louisiana, and I knew from experience that sweet potato pie is very good. The family loved the pie, and my daughter raved about it. This recipe is a winner, and it is going into my low FODMAP, everything from scratch, recipe file.Thank you so much, Sally!

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