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!

pecan pie

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


pecan pie slice

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’d like to try that instead. Both pie crust recipes yield enough dough for 2 9-inch pies. You can freeze the 2nd half or make another 1 crust pie such as this chocolate chess pie or my pumpkin pie.
  • 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.

pecan pie before baking

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 total sugar in this pie, which includes the brown sugar and corn syrup (1/2 cup and 1 cup). 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.

pecan pie

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.

pecan pie slice

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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pecan pie

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) shelled pecans (pecan halves)
  • 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: Very roughly chop the pecans– some whole, some lightly chopped is fine. 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 50-55 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, Pie Crust Shield
  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

220 Comments

  1. Hi there – this is likely a silly question but if I make the pie today and store it at room temperature will it still have that delicious “fresh pie” taste tomorrow?

    1. Hi Rose, pecan pie is an excellent choice to make ahead of time. It keeps well overnight. Cover loosely and keep at room temperature until ready to serve the next day.

  2. I’m not a pecan pie expert, but I think this recipe is amazing and very easy. The only adaptation I made was to use only 1 1/2 cups of pecans (roasted and salted). The baking time worked out exactly as the recipe describes. It was fully set and had a great consistency. I used Sally’s crust (which I use for all my pies), and despite rolling it out thicker than usual, the filling leaked under the bottom. I’ve read this is common with pecan pie and that an egg white wash might prevent it. I will definitely make this again!

  3. Hello! I tried out recipe and it tasted amazing! However, the filling was really liquid-y, although the top was very nice and solid. What do you think I could do to fix this? Thank you 🙂

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Audrey! The filling is supposed to be a little gooey, but it shouldn’t be liquid. Did you let the pie cool completely? A few extra minutes in the oven will be helpful if you try the recipe again.

  4. Can I use a shortbread/chocolate 9inch ready crust? I live in Rome and can’t find classic pie crust.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Daniela! That should be ok as long as the pre-made crusts are meant to be baked.

  5. Hi Sally!
    Absolutely LOVE your recipes! Thank you! I made this pie last year and we loved every bite, but it was a bit more on the runny side than I would have liked. Any advice on how to make the pie set better?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Christine! So glad to hear you enjoyed this pecan pie recipe. If the pecan pie isn’t setting, it may not have been cooked long enough — for next time, try just a few more minutes in the oven to make sure it is completely baked through. It’s also best to let the pie cool completely before slicing. Pecan pie is supposed to be a little gooey, so expect a soft filling. Hope this helps!

  6. Hi Sally! I’ve tried a few versions of pecan pies over time and while it’s always been tasty(your maple version is my favourite!) I’ve always had a problem that’s been consistent throughout.

    After they’re cool and set, all the recipes I’ve tried have the filling at the bottom with little to no pecans, whereas the pecans are always on top. It’s quite a clear separation and I always wondered why and if there is a way to have them be more uniform and homogenous throughout?

    I’ve tried adding a lot more pecans both chopped and halves to weigh it down, flour etc but nothing seems to work…

    1. Hi Fuiseh, thank you so much for trying the pecan pie recipes! The uniform texture issue is certainly common. What could help (and we haven’t tested this) is removing 1 egg from the recipe. Even just a little less moisture could help. The filling may not set as nicely, so whisk in 1 Tbsp of flour with the other ingredients. Let us know if you try these changes.

  7. Hi sally! Do you think I can make this into pecan pie cups? Do you think one batch of your all butter pie crust will be enough for 12 pecan pie cups? How do you suggest i roll out the crust for these cups – one big circle and then cut out mini ones or weigh a dough and roll it. out? Thank you so much! Already tried this recipe and it was a hit! just wondering if I could do it in cupcake size.

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Grace, Here is exactly how we make mini pecan pie tarts! We make them in a mini muffin pan, but you can make them in a standard size muffin pan as well – the bake time will be just a bit longer.

  8. Hi Sally – if you wanted to add bourbon to this recipe, would you omit anything? Going to try to make this on my Big Green Egg and do a smoked bourbon pecan pie.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Ashley! You absolutely can add bourbon to this pecan pie recipe. We recommend reducing the corn syrup by 2 Tablespoons (so 3/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons) then add 2 Tablespoons your favorite bourbon. Whisk it with the other filling ingredients.

      1. Thank you! One last question, instead of all purpose flour for the flaky butter crust that is used here, am I okay to use cake and pastry flour or is AP better?

      2. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

        Hi Ashley, it’s best to stick with all-purpose flour here!

  9. Hi Sally! I have made this recipe dozens of times and it has never failed me. Everyone who has ever tried it absolutely loves it! One thing- how do you think I can incorporate caramel into this recipe to make it a caramel pecan pie? I’ve used your recipe for homemade caramel and I’ve got a jar in the fridge! Would I have to eliminate any of the pre-existing ingredients for this pie or just add a half cup of so of caramel? Thanks!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Amirah, We are so happy to hear you you enjoy this pie so much! Of course you can simply drizzle the caramel over the pie after it bakes. To use it in the pie you can try replacing some of the corn syrup with caramel, but we haven’t tested it so I’m unsure of the exact ratio to use. You can also try it in place of maple syrup in our Maple Pecan Pie, but again we haven’t tested it. Let us know what you try – it sounds delicious!

  10. Ok so my pie turns out really good but when I cut it it comes out into pieces how can I fix that?

  11. Hi Sally!Looking forward to trying this recipe this week- so far I have tried many cakes and cookies from your blog and they are always amazing!One question-if I make the pie 2 days in advance,what is the best way to reheat (oven, microwave?) it so it is warm and can be served with ice cream?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Beatriz, either works, but if reheating an entire pie it is easiest to warm in the oven to your liking. For individual slices, the microwave is probably easier. Hope you enjoy the pie!

      1. The recipe was so easy to follow and delicious, the taste and texture were perfect! Thank you for the clear explanations about how to make the pie crust!

  12. William Nelson says:

    Great pie, I made your crust for this as suggested. Flaky plus nice and sweet. Waited around 30 minutes after pulling it out the oven to cut it. It was a little wet, I’m sure the structure will be more sturdy tommorow. Appreciate the good recipe.

  13. Amber Gosnell says:

    Which is best to use in this recipe, light or dark brown sugar?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Amber, we usually use light brown sugar, but love the taste of dark brown, too- you can’t go wrong either way!

  14. My pie looks good overall but the filling came out tasting pretty eggy. Any idea why?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi William, It sounds like the filling was perhaps over-baked. How was the texture? It should be gooey and sweet, but not curdled like (or have the taste of) scrambled eggs.

  15. Too little pie filling for 9in pan. Not enough jelly texture. Could be sweeter.

    1. Agree. This recipe was not sweet enough. A good recipe and baked fine, just not at my level of sweetness.

  16. Hello,
    Would I need to modify this recipe if I were to make this in 3.5″ individual pie tins? What would the approximate bake time be?
    Thank you

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Jen! You can definitely use this recipe to make mini pies. You may have a little more filling than you need. We’re unsure of the exact bake time but watch them carefully and pull them out of the oven just before the filling is set (they will finish setting as they cool).

  17. This was great! Texture was spot on and crust came together beautifully. Have tried many pecan pie recipes in search for the perfect one and this is it. Thanks Sally!

  18. Fernanda Oliveira says:

    Hi Sally
    I made this pie and follow the recipe quite closely – I doubled the recipe and used 5 eggs instead of 6. As for everything else, I did not change including using dark corn syrup. It tastes good but it wasn’t as gooey as I had hoped…. any ideas as to overcome this? I love gooey pecan pie!
    Thanks

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Fernanda! The missing egg could help explain the lack of gooeyness. We recommend using the full amount next time!

  19. I don’t have a glass pie dish, could I adjust the recipe to use either ceramic or metal?

    Thank you!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Mai! You should be able to use a ceramic pie dish without any issue. Enjoy!

  20. This is my first time eating and making a pecan pie. The recipe worked out well but I found it had too many pecans despite having nothing to compare it too. My husband who has had pecan pie many times before agreed that less pecans is better.

    If I make it again I would use just 1.5 cups of pecans

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