Brown Sugar Sweet Potato Pie

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! It sits atop a buttery homemade pie crust and is a true Southern favorite. This definitely deserves a place on your Thanksgiving menu!

sweet potato pie

I’m thrilled to introduce pie week and I have so many new pie recipes to share! Let’s dive right in, beginning with my best sweet potato pie– a recipe I’ve never shared on Sally’s Baking Addiction, until now. sweet potato pie

The Best Sweet Potato Pie Around

This is the most flavorful, tender, and delicious sweet potato pie I’ve ever had. I hate to say it’s “mashed potato pie”… but it kind of is! Obviously there’s no place for gravy, but you get the point. 🙂

Here’s Why I Love It (and why you will too)

  • Similar to my pumpkin pie recipe (and we all know how good that is!) but a lot more 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 my flaky pie crust
  • Perfect make ahead dessert, freeing precious oven and counter space

Classic sweet potato pie is often overlooked because of its equally orange counterpart: pumpkin pie. While pumpkin pie will forever hold a place in our hearts, I believe there’s also room on the table for sweet potato pie. Especially this sweet potato pie.

sweet potato pie filling pictures

Sweet Potato Pie Vs Pumpkin Pie

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.

Ingredients in Sweet Potato Pie

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 your butter is proper room temperature.
  3. Brown Sugar: Brown sugar sets this pie apart from other sweet potato pies and 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. What a line-up of ingredients!
  7. Vanilla Extract: Vanilla is a must in sweet potato pie! Try using homemade vanilla extract.

sweet potato pie filling

How to Make Sweet Potato Pie

Easy, I swear. There’s no need to pre-bake this crust. I found it unnecessary and, quite frankly, a waste of time! Most of your effort is spent preparing the filling, especially if your pie crust is prepared ahead of time.

  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 Video Tutorial


sweet potato pie filling in pie crust

How to Freeze Sweet Potato 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

This brown sugar sweet potato pie is buttery and mega flavorful, holding it’s own on the dessert table!

More Non-Pumpkin Thanksgiving Desserts

Print

Brown Sugar Sweet Potato Pie

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 6 hours (includes cooling)
  • Yield: 8-10 servings
  • Category: Pie
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

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


Ingredients

  • homemade pie crust (full recipe makes 2 crusts– see note)
  • 1 lb sweet potatoes (about 2 medium)
  • 1/2 cup (115g) 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 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
  • pinch of salt
  • egg wash: 1 large egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon (15ml) milk
  • optional: whipped cream

Instructions

  1. The crust: Prepare my pie crust recipe through step 5.
  2. 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. On a floured work surface, roll out one of the discs of chilled dough. 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 9×2 inch pie dish. Tuck it in with your fingers, making sure it is smooth. Use a small paring knife to trim excess dough off the edges. Flute the edges. Set aside.
  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. Allow to cool until easy to handle. Slice the potatoes into a couple large chunks, then place into a mixing bowl.
  6. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the potatoes on medium-high speed until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients (down to the egg wash, don’t add that!) and beat on high speed until smooth and combined. Spread filling into prepared pie crust. Brush the edges of the crust with egg wash.
  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. After 30 minutes and if desired, place a pie crust shield on top of the pie to prevent the edges from over-browning.
  8. Place the pie on a cooling rack and allow to cool for at least 1 hour at room temperature before serving. The pie will slightly deflate as it cools; this is normal. Decorate with whipped cream or pie crust acorns (see note). 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; the flavors are even better on day 2– cover tightly and store in the fridge. The pie crust dough can also be prepared ahead of time and stored 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 overnight in the refrigerator before using.
  2. Special Tools: KitchenAid Hand Mixer, Pastry Blender, Rolling Pin, Pastry Brush, Pie Crust Shield, Eat Dessert First Fork
  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

Homemade sweet potato pie! Made with dark brown sugar, 2 sweet potatoes, and cinnamon spice. Thanksgiving pie recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

189 Comments

  1. Hi
    Love your recipes! I was happy to find a recipe that doesn’t use evaporated milk, because I can’t find that in the country I live in. I am hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for a group of friends from my host country so that they can experience and hopefully enjoy one of our best American holidays. Since I also can’t find pumpkin, I decided to make sweet potato pie. Would it work with canned sweet potatoes? I’m not sure I can find fresh. Thank you

    1. Hi Tamara! That sounds like so much fun! I actually haven’t tried this sweet potato pie with canned sweet potatoes. Mashing the canned sweet potatoes then using in the recipe may work. Let me know if you try it.

      1. Canned sweet potatoes certain,my work! A great shortcut.

  2. 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.

  3. If you have too much filling is there another recipe I can make with it?

    1. You can try baking a few mini pies on the side with a graham cracker crust or extra pie crust!

    2. Should I cook in the oven sweet potato’s after I peel them and before I puree them?

  4. Linds, Half and half, doesn’t come near to what heavy cream does for taste.
    I did it once in pumkin pie. I was not happy. I would not do it again. I would try sweetened condensed milk and extra butter (3/4 cup) and an extra egg, as a substitute. And maybe a couple extra tablespoons of flour to thicken. That is what I would try instead of half and half. You will have about half a cup more filling, but you should be able to manage that.

    Even if you have to leave some left over and make a pudding in a sauce pan, to have a spearate little snack.

    On the other hand, I don’t see why, if you can get half and half, why you can’t find heavy cream?

    That is my two cents worth!

  5. Love your recipes and easy thorough instructions. Prepared this sweet potato pie today and have a concern. The butter appears to have ‘broken’ in the mixture and no amount of mixing is blending in the little bits of butter. The butter had been room temp for a couple of hours. I used Challenge brand unsalted. Perhaps you can advise me on what I did to cause this.
    Appreciate your advice. Thanks.

    1. It’s no problem at all! It’s simply the varying textures and temperatures. The butter will melt as the pie bakes and the whole filling will taste uniform.

  6. Hey Sally, about how many cups of sweet potatoes should it be after being mashed?

    1. Hi Kathyann! You’ll have maybe about 2 cups, give or take.

  7. I am using a pre made pie crust so what ingredients am I using only for the filling? Please help lol thank you!

  8. 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.

  9. 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!!

  10. Hello
    I do have a silly question
    There are3 different types of potatoes. Garnet, sweet potato, Yam
    In your opinion, do they differ? Some people think the yam is a sweet potato
    Does it matter??
    Can you use these 3 different potato’s for a good pie? Example if I use the Garnet, do I need more sugar?
    I myself,…. love sweet potatoes, they are sweeter than the other 2
    Thank you and hope to hear back

    1. Not a silly question! Any type of sweet potato works. I typically use yams. I haven’t tried the pie with garnet. You can use 1 of each or 1 instead of the other with NO changes to the other ingredients in the recipe. It’s plenty sweet as is!

  11. Hi Sally! Although adding the spices separately is the way to go, I don’t have cloves (ground or otherwise) in hand. I was wondering, if I were to just use a ready-mix “mixed spice” (cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg) how much would I need to add? P.S. The ingredients on the bottle does not specify the ratio of spices.

    1. Hi Natasha! I’m really unsure because I’m not familiar with that exact product. You can try 1 and 1/2 teaspoons total.

  12. I don’t have any heavy cream or half & half, what can i use instead?

    1. Hi Chi! I highly recommend sticking to the recipe.

  13. susan snell says:

    is heavy cream an whipping cream different ?

    1. They are slightly different. Heavy cream has slightly more fat (at least 36 percent) compared with whipping cream (at least 30 percent).

  14. I made three pies when I doubled the recipe and the pies came out delicious and perfect. Glad I found this recipe

  15. Love your recipe. It’s perfect!

  16. In the photo it appears to have some sort of topping. Does it?

    1. Yes, I top this pie with whipped cream.

  17. Veronika Shewchuk says:

    Wonderful recipe! Great pie! BUT it took me 30 minutes to scroll though 150 photographs, long descriptions, explanations, advises and such…oh my! I just need ingredients!!! Reading and reading.. “Add remaining ingredients to the mashed potatos…””” WHAT remaining ingredients??? ok going back to the descriptions i guess…to find out which ones go to the crust which ones go to the filing…so time consuming…why so complicated??

    1. Hi Veronika, you can use the Jump to Recipe button at the top of the page. And the full recipe (ingredients and directions) is written out with detailed instructions at the bottom.

  18. 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!

  19. I’ve added vanilla spice egg nog instead of heavy cream it gives it another level of creamy.

  20. 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.

  21. 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!!

  22. 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.

  23. 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!

  24. Becky Corcoran says:

    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.

    1. Hi Becky, This is normal and often happens when the pie slightly deflate as it cools.

  25. Aquilah James says:

    Hi I’m going to use a store brought crust, is the egg wash still necessary? Or can I skip that step?

    1. I like to brush the crust–store-bought or homemade– with egg wash so the crust is golden and shiny– not dull. So it’s up to you if you’d like to use it.

  26. My granddaughter is lactose intolerant….bummer. Has anyone used lactose free milk instead of cream? I believe I am pushing the limit with using the half cup of butter. Also, I am making a granola crust, as some also have wheat allergies. Do you feel my baking frustration….?

    1. I’ve done a fair amount of dairy free baking for my vegan mother. I’d try subbing homemade cashew milk. Homemade because you can control the thickness. It’s pretty simple – not my recipe but here’s one: https://wholefully.com/cashew-cream-10/

  27. 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.

  28. 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?

    1. That should be just fine in this recipe.

  29. I’ve had a request to make this pie Chiffon style. Do you think the recipe will work by adding an envelope of gelatin and beating the egg whites separately and then blending them in?

    1. Hi Katie! I wish I could help, but that would require additional testing. Let me know if you try anything!

  30. Melissa Nieves says:

    I want to make this for thanksgiving. If I make the pie tomorrow night (Tuesday), will it still be good 2 days later on Thanksgiving?

    1. Absolutely! After it cools completely, you can cover and keep it in the refrigerator until Thursday morning. Then remove from the refrigerator so it can come to room temperature for serving.

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