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

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


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’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.

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) 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!

263 Comments

  1. Tamra L Griggers says:

    Can you use regular sugar instead of brown?

    1. Absolutely, but you’ll lose some flavor. I fear the filling might not be as thick so try adding 1 Tbsp of flour along with the sugar/other ingredients.

    2. If I only use pecans for top instead of top and crust does it change baking time?

  2. Jeffrey Collins says:

    Makes two crusts? Missed that gem. Well I’m gonna have a thicker crust.

    – 1st timer

  3. Thelma Pillepich says:

    I made this pie as part of today’s Thanksgiving dessert. Everyone loved it-including me! And pecan pie is one of my favorite desserts. This recipe will be one of my ‘go to’ recipes.

  4. This pie was amazing. The only thing is that it was runny what can I do so it can set

    1. I has the same problem wonderful taste but didnt set great …would love to try again..did u find a solution ?

    2. I use to have the same runny issue too. To bake a firm pecan pie you need to gently mix in the eggs completely. Beaten or whipped eggs will not set and form a custard. I add my eggs last and my pies bake perfectly. Hope this helps!

  5. When I made this for the first time, my family absolutely loved it. However, I made it a second time and followed the basic ingredient list. The list advises 1/2 cup of brown sugar and did not catch it until after being told that it wasn’t as sweet as the first time. In the walk through process, it advises 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar versus 2 cups. I would suggest on getting this updated for the future! Otherwise, this recipe has become my new fave! Thank you for sharing!!!

    1. Hi Ashley! This recipe is exactly the same as it has always been. 🙂 The 1 and 1/2 cups of sugar referenced in the post refers to the total amount of sugar in this pie filling including brown sugar and corn syrup.

    2. Hi Sally, your site is my go – to when I need something to cook up for the fam. I tried the pecan pie today but unfortunately it did not set. The top is nice and crisp but it was an unpleasant sight when I tried to slice it. The taste is great though.

  6. I used this recipe for Thanksgiving this year. Pecan pie is a must for my brother-in-law. When he tasted it he said, “Ooh, I like that you put cinnamon in it. Most people don’t do that!” It was a big hit!

  7. Christine Rado says:

    I tried your pecan pie recipe. I made both your pie crust recipe an d pie filling. I first read all comments and watched your video. My husband said it was the best pecan pie he ever had ! The filling was perfect and the crust was flaky ! So glad I started reading your blog ! Thanks it was delicious !!

  8. Melanie Willcutts says:

    Delicious! I make my crust from a Williams-Sonoma recipe. This filling is delicious and easy.

  9. Sharon Hopfinger says:

    First of all I love your recipes!!!! But for the first time I had a recipe from this sitethat did not turn out as expected. I gave it only 4 stars for easiness and taste. I followed your recipe to a T and it did not set. The taste was fabulous but runny. Can you tell me what I did wrong.

    1. My first time making pecan pie and it turned out fabulous! The compliments I received included ones from my mother in law.
      I made the pie with the Flaky pie crust, exactly as called for. Really very easy, I have always been intimidated by this type of a pie- not any more.

  10. Best pecan pie recipe ever. I use Lyle’s syrup instead of corn syrup and I think that brings it over the edge. I also use a combo of tiny chopped pecans from my food processor and bigger pieces. Twice now I have added 20% more to the filling which is so easy as I use grams. Perfection! My family thanks you.

  11. Shd we need to toast the pecans before using in this ?

    1. No need to toast them prior to using in this pecan pie recipe.

  12. Hi Sally

    I made this recipe from scratch and it was super easy and especially the crust was delicious. I do have issue, the filing tasted and had the consistency of scrambled eggs…

    1. Hi Emma! It sounds like the filling was over-baked. It should be gooey and sweet, but not curdled like scrambled eggs.

      1. Lawana Shellu says:

        Make sure the butter has cooled before adding to ingredients.

  13. Hi Sally,
    I wanted to make this pie as my sister’s Christmas present but can’t seem to find corn syrup anywhere near where I live in Australia can I substitute glucose syrup instead? I’m worried about the maple syrup option changing the flavour too much.

    1. Hi Morgan, Glucose syrup should work but I also have a wonderful recipe for maple pecan pie without corn syrup that you might want to try!

  14. Hi Sally! My boss asked me to make her a very large pecan pie for Christmas Eve – 12″ instead of 9″. Any tips for converting the amount of filling/suggested bake time? Thanks!

    1. Hi Elle! I can’t say for sure off the top of my head, but 1.5x the recipe would be plenty assuming the pie dish is deep enough. The bake time will be only slightly longer.

  15. Roseanne Clapp says:

    Your pie impressed my pastor thank you for the recipe your all butter crust was so amazing

  16. glen sperling says:

    I’m visiting my family in the UK. Don’t have access to my recipes at home. This was brilliant!! Added some dark chocolate chunks and a splash of bourbon (cause, well, bourbon/chocolate ). Turned out amazing!! Thanks. Wish I could a pic!

  17. Daniel Parkinson says:

    Fantastically delicious flavor. Made this for my girlfriend (favorite dessert) and she loved it. One problem though, the innards never thickened. I went over the recipe again and I put everything in…..any ideas? Thank you!!

  18. Hey!!! Could you split this recipe in to mini 4” pies?

    1. I can’t see why not! You may have a little more filling than you need. I’m unsure of the exact bake time.

  19. Hi Sally! Thank you for your recipe! I’m wondering if I should use room temperature eggs or cold eggs? I want to thank you for your tips, you have helped me become a much better baker! I even starting to make my own recipes. Take care!

    1. Hi Qiana, The eggs should be room temperature. Here is why room temperature ingredients are important!

  20. Tenley Zumwalt says:

    I substituted the corn syrup with 1/4 cup black strap molasses and 3/4 cup agave and it was amazing. If your a molasses fan give it a shot.

  21. Winston millican says:

    Some of my best memories are in my grandma’s kitchen. Her recipe made 4 pecan pies at a time and she would pass them out to all the new residents of the community while inviting them to church. Thank you for promoting pecans! As a pecan grower, all the promotion we can get helps!

  22. I have made this pie multiple times and every single time it came out incredible! This time I want to make a smaller pie for my Mom. I was planning on halving the recipe but then saw that it for 3 eggs. I was wondering if I should do 1, 2 or try to do 1 1/2 eggs. How many eggs do you think I should I use if I halved the recipe?

    1. Hi Marcela! I’m glad you enjoy this pecan pie recipe! To halve 3 eggs, use 1 egg then crack a 2nd egg, whisk the yolk and white together, then measure and use half of the beaten egg.

    2. GAil Collins says:

      Did your filling set? So many are saying that is one caveat. How long did you bake it?

  23. Hi! Tried making the crust like what you said but they keep breaking as I roll them. I can’t even lift the dough up. Why is that?
    Can we knead the dough with our hands or we have to only use the food processor or the butter cutter when mixing flour, butter n shortening?

    1. Hi Anita, For all of best tips on pie crust be sure to read through my post Homemade Buttery Pie Crust and also watch the video in that post!

    2. I never knead pie dough, it starts to melt the butter and/or shortening, use a pastry blender. Also, use ice water. And if you put your dough in the fridge over night, then put a fine dusting of flour on each side before you roll it out you should not have dough that cracks. Hope that helps!

  24. Actually, I wasn’t the one who made this, my brother did, but I chose it for him because I trust all of Sally’s recipes. My brother is very VERY beginner and he made this pie SOOO good we almost finished it all in one sitting. So I will be trying this again!!

  25. This is THE BEST PECAN PIE RECIPE EVER!! I followed all of the directions and made no changes. The pie has a very deep flavor without being overly sweet. I used the all butter crust with it and that came out golden brown and flakey. Thank you so much!

  26. Great recipe! Honestly, the best one I’ve eaten.
    Couple things: even better with maple syrup (instead of corn). And it took me 80 min at 375F to bake all the way through.

  27. Paula Kreger says:

    I am a baking novice and followed your pecan pie recipe with tremendous success. Not only was my family shocked that I actually made a pie but they loved it and it got rave reviews. Your instructions were easy to follow and your tutorial was amazing. I have now made 2 pecan pies, maple pecan pie and apple crumble pie. Thank you for starting me on my own baking addiction!

  28. Absolutely loved this recipe 🙂 I live in Ireland and it is very hard to find corn syrup so I made my own corn syrup substitute using a recipe I found online, I didn’t quite make enough (I was short about 15grams) but I just used what I had. The result was amazing and my whole family absolutely loved it. I used your all butter pastry recipe and it went really well with the pie even if I did over knead it :\ thank you for a great recipe, will definitely be making it again!

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