My Favorite Pecan Pie Recipe

My homemade pecan pie is classic and simple with an unexpected dash of cinnamon. It’s the perfect combination of sweet and salty– after one bite you’ll taste why it’s my favorite!

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

Today I’m bringing one of my classic recipes back to life with a new video and plenty more recipe success tips. I posted this recipe exactly 4 years ago!

Pecan pie is the classic sugary dessert without which no Thanksgiving is complete. It’s as traditional as pumpkin pie and as wonderfully rich as apple pie. Growing up, my family’s Thanksgiving dessert table always included (and will always include) my late grandmother’s old fashioned pecan pie recipe. It’s a true honor to share her recipe and I hope this recipe lives on forever in her memory.

How to Make Pecan Pie

As far as Thanksgiving pies go, this is one of the easiest. There’s no pre-baking the crust or pre-cooking the filling. Grandma, though no longer with us, always knows what’s best! Here’s an overview of the process.

  1. Make the pie crust. As always, use my favorite homemade pie crust.
  2. Roll out the pie crust. You’re aiming for a pie dough circle 12 inches in diameter. Carefully place the dough into a 9×2 inch pie dish.
  3. Spread the pecans inside pie crust.
  4. Whisk together remaining ingredients. Pour over pecans.
  5. Bake. I like to place a pie crust shield on top of the pie edges to prevent them from browning too quickly. If you find the whole pie is browning too quickly, tent a piece of aluminum foil over the whole pie.
  6. Slice and serve. The pie is delicious warm or at room temperature. Top with whipped cream, ice cream, and/or a sprinkle of cinnamon-sugar.

Pecan Pie Video Tutorial


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

What Makes This My Best Pecan Pie Recipe

This is my tried-and-true recipe and here’s why:

  • Simplicity. There are only 8 ingredients in this remarkably simple filling (including salt, cinnamon, and vanilla extract) so the flavors truly shine.
  • The best pie crust. We’re talking mega flaky, mega buttery, and mega delicious. This is the one and only pie crust recipe I use. It’s been passed down through generations and stands the test of time. Here’s my recipe for all butter pie crust if you’re interested.
  • No pre-baking needed. The buttery pie crust has a wonderfully flaky texture, but still stays perfectly intact as the pie bakes and cools. Some recipes require you to pre-bake the pie crust before pouring in the filling, but I don’t find that necessary. We can skip that step by simply baking the pie on a lower oven rack.
  • Incredible texture. 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 with a dash of cinnamon, melted butter, and vanilla. This is my favorite pecan pie recipe for obvious reasons!

Pecan Pie Filling Ingredients

Since it’s made with few ingredients, it’s imperative to use high quality nuts and spices. I genuinely love Diamond of California pecans and McCormick pure vanilla extract (though homemade vanilla extract is excellent too). For the BEST pecan pie filling, use these ingredients:

  1. Pecans: Can’t prepare this filling without pecans!
  2. Eggs: Eggs hold the filling together.
  3. Corn Syrup: Sweetens and helps prevent crystallization while the pie bakes. I prefer dark corn syrup for intensified flavor. See below if you’re interested in pie without corn syrup.
  4. Brown Sugar: There’s 1 and 1/2 cups of sugar in this pie, including the brown sugar and corn syrup. Typically this pie has around 2 full cups, but I find that much too sweet.
  5. Salt + Butter + Vanilla Extract: Each give pecan pie its traditional flavor.
  6. Cinnamon: Cinnamon adds an extra layer of flavor! I don’t see many pecan pies with cinnamon– so thank you, grandma, for giving me the opportunity to present a slightly unique pecan pie on our Thanksgiving tables.

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

How to Make Pecan Pie Without Corn Syrup

The most common question here is: can I make pecan pie without corn syrup? My answer was always: yes, but the filling won’t really set or it won’t taste like pecan pie. So… no, you can’t. Until I tried maple pecan pie!

Corn syrup is the glue that holds this filling together. Thicker than other liquid sweeteners, corn syrup works with the eggs to help ensure your pecan pie filling will set. The problem is that more and more modern bakers are looking for an unrefined substitution for the corn syrup. When creating my recipe for pecan pie without corn syrup, my goal was to find a solution to not only find a corn syrup substitute, but to guarantee the filling will SET and TASTE DELICIOUS.

Taking a note from my brown butter pecan pie bars, I reached for pure maple syrup. This is a thinner liquid than corn syrup, but has the most remarkable flavor, as you know. The bars recipe calls for tempering the eggs, but I wanted a no-fuss filling that skipped the extra steps. Entire the magical ingredient: 1 tiny Tablespoon of flour. Simple, delicious, and pure flavors give us a maple infused + buttery sweet + deliciously thick slice of pie. I know you’ll love my maple pecan pie variation too.

How to Freeze Pecan Pie

Pecan pie is a wonderful dessert to make ahead of time. Simply bake the pie as directed, allow it to completely cool, 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.

I made about 3 or 4 of these pies the past couple of weeks to freeze for the upcoming holidays– they freeze and thaw beautifully! No one ever realizes they aren’t freshly baked.

More Thanksgiving Pie Recipes

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My Favorite Pecan Pie Recipe

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 hours
  • Yield: serves 8-10
  • Category: Pie
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

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

Crust

Filling

  • 2 and 1/2 cups (250g) coarsely chopped pecans (a very rough chop!)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup (240ml) dark corn syrup*
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or 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

Instructions

  1. The crust: Prepare my pie crust through step 5.
  2. After the pie dough chills, adjust oven rack to the lower third position and preheat to 350°F (177°C).
  3. Roll out the chilled pie crust onto a lightly floured surface. Remember, when rolling out the pie dough, always use gentle force with your rolling pin. Start from the center and work your way out in all directions, rotating the dough with your hands as you go. Roll it out into a circle 12 inches in diameter. Carefully place the dough in a 9×2 inch pie dish. Tuck it in with your fingers, making sure it’s smooth. For a beautiful edge, as shown in the video above, fold the overhanging 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. Again, you can see me do this in the video above. Brush the edges with egg wash. (To help guarantee a beautiful edge, I always chill the shaped dough in the pie dish for 10 minutes in the refrigerator or freezer before filling.)
  4. The filling: Spread pecans evenly inside pie crust. Whisk the eggs, corn syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, melted butter, salt, and cinnamon together in a large bowl until combined. Pour 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 or ice cream.
  7. Cover and store leftovers at room temperature for 1-2 days or in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: 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 until ready to assemble the pie. You can also make the pie dough 1-5 days in advance since it needs to chill. If you want to bake the pie 1 full day in advance, bake it as directed, allow it to completely cool, then cover tightly and keep at room temperature until ready to serve the next day. Baked pie freezes well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before serving.
  2. Special Tools (affiliate links): Pastry BlenderRolling PinGlass Pie Dish or Ceramic Pie Dish, Pastry Brush
  3. Pie Crust: Both linked pie crust recipes make 2 crusts. You only need 1 crust for this pie, so freeze the 2nd half for another use.
  4. Corn Syrup: You can use light corn syrup instead. I have no substitution suggestions yielding the same texture, moisture, and flavor. Corn syrup is a must in traditional pecan pie. For a variation without corn syrup, try my maple pecan pie.

Keywords: pecan pie, thanksgiving

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

192 Comments

  1. I just took my pie from the oven after 45 minutes, and it looks beautiful! Smells fabulous. I used light brown sugar and light corn syrup, as that was what I had. I also toasted the pecans before putting them in the pie crust. Fingers crossed, guests like my endeavors!

    1. I recommend unsalted, but that depends if you like salty sweet or not. Using salted will give you a lovely saltier/sweet pecan pie.

    1. Haha thank you, I figured it out like ten mins after posting this and was looking at the kayro syrup bottle , felt like an idiot but I made this for my boyfriend, pecan pie is his all time favorite and in Maine it’s not very common so I had never made it even tried it before. But I’m so glad I found your recipie, I was so nervous about making it because everybody kept saying it was simple to make but the simple things are usually the easiest to mess up lol. But he loved this recipie, I’m so glad I went with yours I think the little less sugar and the little bit of cinnamon makes it so much better. I saved this for future reference. He’s so happy to not have to eat store bought every time he wants some lol.

  2. I made this pie yesterday. Although I’m not a fan of pecan pie my husband said it was the best one he’s ever had! I will definitely make it for him again.

  3. I made this for Thanksgiving at the request of one of my guests – my first pecan pie ever! I followed directions exactly and must admit it was disappointing. My initial thought was that there are too many pecans and not enough filling. The ratio just seemed off to me (not that I am a pecan pie expert, but remembering ones from my youth and trying to compare to that). I asked for opinions from others, and everyone agreed it was not too sweet (a good thing), but that it did indeed have too many nuts. I may make it again but will definitely decrease the amount of nuts I put in. I’m thinking decrease the pecans by 1/2 to 3/4 cup and see what happens since the filling is good.

  4. I’m making this and made the mistake of thinking the slightly melted/slightly solid butter would become more liquid when I mixed in the other ingredients… but alas, I am left with small butter chunks everywhere. I know they’ll melt well enough when I put it in the oven, but will it cause a problem and not be well enough mixed?

    1. No problem at all! It’s happened to me before too. It melts as the pie bakes and the filling tastes exactly the same. 🙂 Thanks for trying my pecan pie recipe!

    2. This is the best pecan pie I’ve ever made. So many others are sickly sweet and this one is perfectly sweet and has great texture. Thank you for this wonderful recipe.

  5. Love this pie. So easy and for a twist I added a hint of caramel . I also make make it into small tarts
    A big hit .
    Thank you

  6. Made this at Christmas for a family gathering, it was a major hit! Decided to make it again for new years since there were so many compliments. Thank you!

  7. Southern girl living in Canada, successfully substituted good quality maple syrup for corn syrup in this recipe. Gave it a lovely maple taste that goes so so well with pecans!

  8. While visiting the South from Germany, my boyfriend tried pecan pie. I decided to make some for him and his family. It was a big hit! I baked it for about 70 minutes as it just wouldn’t set. Thanks for the recipe!

  9. This and the crust were delicious. My first pecan pie! I used raw pecans. Should I use toasted? Would it make a difference. Also, I couldn’t get it to set even after extending the time. Any idea why for my second attempt?

    1. Hi Angela! You can use raw or roasted pecans. Raw would be best since you’ll be cooking them. Make sure you’re cooking the pie long enough so that it sets– it will set as it cools.

  10. Tried it today and So far so good. The only thing concerning me is that usually pies come out a bit jiggly and this one was perfectly set. Do you think it was overcooked? I have a thermometer in there and it was the right temperature. Just interested if it’s overcooked or just right.

      1. Sally, the pie was perfect. No issues at all. I have tried countless of recipes for the last 5 years and nothing has worked. I finally found its thank you!!!!!

  11. I had a lot of baking firsts with this pie—first time making homemade pie crust (Sally, your recipe was amazing and so easy), first time making pecan pie and first time eating pecan pie. This recipe did not disappoint on any front! I was a little worried about making pecan pie for the first time because of how it sets up while cooling. I don’t know why I was worried, your recipes always turn out and this was no exception! So easy and absolutely delicious!

  12. I have been making this pie every Thanksgiving since you first posted it! The cinnamon takes it over the top! I will never use another recipe now; it is perfect!

  13. Hi Sally,
    I am a LOOONNNGGGG time fan of your’s. I have pinned more of your recipes than anyone else’s. I love how you explain the why’s behind what you do.

    So, here is something I was surprised you didn’t do in your pecan pie recipe….lightly roast the chopped pecans. Yep, this is my grandmother’s secret to her famous “Karo Pecan Pies”. It brings out the flavor in those good little bites of pecans. Let them cool a bit before adding them to your pie.

    Yum!

    Keep up the baking! ❤❤❤❤

  14. I’m going to be making this for a Thanksgiving pot luck we are having at work. I am hoping to make it as a slab pie to feed a crowd. Any suggestions on increasing the filling? Since the crust recipe makes enough for 2 crust’s I know that will fit the 10×15 jelly roll pan, just wondering about the filling.
    You’re recipes always come out amazing so I really dont want to go to another site.
    Thank you!!

  15. I am a huge fan of your blog and only bake your recipes! Wanted to surprise my husband with his favorite- pecan pie. I followed the recipe exact and it came out with burnt crust (I covered after 20 min) and even baked it an extra 5 minutes. It seemed to set nicely but my husband cut into it and it was totally runny and raw crust on the bottom. I’m so sad. I put it back in the oven to try and salvage it, and it’s a little better. I’m so bummed!!!!!

    1. Hi Allie! Which oven rack are you baking the pecan pie on? I’m so sorry you’re having trouble with it setting. I always recommend a lower oven and baking until the crust appears golden brown (I suggest a glass pan for this) and center no longer jiggles. I’m also curious if you rolled the crust out too thick? And that’s why it’s not baking through on the bottom. Anyway, I hope you try it again sometime.

  16. Your pecan pie recipe was such a hit last night when I had my daughter and SIL over with one tweak, I used Lyle’s golden syrup. I would like to add more filling next time for a deep dish version, how would I alter the recipe as it wouldn’t be double. I use grams so maybe 20 or 30% more but ? for eggs and tsp.

  17. I have started using Lyle’s Golden Syrup instead of corn syrup in the past few years. I cannot tell the difference and I avoid GMO corn products.

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