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

429 Comments

  1. C
    Hi Sally! Can I use this filling on a shortbread base to make pecan bars. I know you have a separate recipe for it. But I really liked the filling of this one. Would it work?

    1. Hi Maria, I’m just seeing your comment/question now so my apologies on the delay. This filling would be a little too thin on a shortbread base to make pecan pie bars, but you can try modifying it. I would start by reducing the butter down to 2 Tbsp. Let the bars cool completely before attempting to slice.

  2. Hi Sally! I grew up in Texas, and have eaten a lot of pecan pie. One issue I’ve always had with homemade pie is that the nuts on the top get really sticky and hard to chew. That doesn’t seem to happen on store bought pie like Edwards, or pie from restaurants. Do you have any tips for preventing the pecans from getting too sticky?

    1. Hi Lauren! I know what you mean about the sticky top texture. Make sure that you’re baking the pecan pie long enough. This could even be 10+ minutes past the recommended time, depending on your oven. After cooling, the top is usually pretty set. If you want to try it, though, see if reducing the corn syrup down to 3/4 cup helps.

  3. I didn’t care for pie. I prefer more custard and less pecans. I used pie tin 9 and 11/16 inches. Next time I would use 1 cup of pecan halves!!

  4. Sally, being originally from Baton Rouge LA, Pecan pie has been a staple in my life for over 50 years. I’ve never thought about adding Cinnamon to my recipe, but will the next time I make mine. I do have 2 suggestions for you to think about. First, I carefully place and pattern my pecans on the top. I do this for 2 reasons, first I make some interesting shapes with them, but more importantly is that it allows me to have a distinct layer of filling that is not all nuts. You then have contrasting textures, the buttery and flaky texture of the crust, then the almost jam like texture of the filling and finally the crunch of the topping. The 2nd thing I might suggest and I am sure you have had this suggested before is adding 1/4-1/3 cup, depending on taste, of a smoky Bourbon like Jack Daniels. This imparts some contrast to the at times overwhelming sweetness that is Pecan pie. BTY just getting ready to try my hand at your Jalapeno Cheddar bread this afternoon, as it has been rising since yesterday. Yum, I cant wait.

  5. I accidentally left out the vanilla!! Is there some sort of vanilla drizzle I can put on top??

    1. I don’t think there is a vanilla drizzle but I bet if you serve it with Vanilla Bean ice cream no one will even notice.

  6. Your recipes never let me down! I made this at Thanksgiving. No time for handmade crust so I used store bought. It was delicious and gone by the next day. Thank you.

  7. Sally, I am so excited to try your recipe! Over the years I’ve used the pecan pie recipe found on the Karo bottle (or at least it use to be??) but never know from one time to the next if it is going to come out “set” or not. A soupy pie is still delicious but not the results I want 🙁 Having grown up in the south (Georgia) I’ve got to get his figured out!! Hope your recipe will be the answer to this problem or any other suggestions you might have would be appreciated!

    1. Hi Sally! I just made a pecan pie for fathers day. It came out great, looks just like yours on top but when I cut it it seems to have a lot of liquidy syrup inside still. What did I do wrong? Baked for 53 mins and pastry is cooked underneath so I’m not sure what happened with the syrup

  8. Very simple yet amazing recipe! My family lived it!

  9. Can you use a store-bought frozen crust? Are there any any alterations to the instructions? Like should I blind bake it before putting in the filling?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Elizabeth, You can use store bought frozen dough with no other changes to the recipe – thaw in the refrigerator prior to using. We don’t find it necessary to blind bake the crust but if you really want to avoid any possibility of a soggy crust, you can definitely partially blind bake the pie crust before adding the filling.

  10. Too many pecans in this recipe. Filling to pecan ratio was off.

  11. Terrific pecan pie! It’s the only recipe I will use now.

  12. I love Pecan Pie and this is the very best recipe I have come across. Thank you so much for the recipe and believe me I have it saved .

  13. Hi sally, Thank you for pecan pie recipe.
    Can I use half cup of maple syrup instead of 1 cup to make it less sweet.

  14. Hello
    So I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong but my pie came out runny 🙁 I placed it back in the oven for another 15 minutes and then again because first time back in the oven didn’t help. Is there anything I can add to make it set. The only thing I did differently was use light corn syrup which you mentioned was okay to do. The pie itself looks amazing! I used your recipe for the crust too 🙂

    1. Jaclyn Prince says:

      Same with mine 🙁 going to try putting it in the fridge to see if that helps! ‍♀️

    2. Mine was runny as well. Really disappointed because I had made it for company. Won’t use this recipe again as I followed it exactly as written right down to the baking times, etc.

  15. Can the corn syrup be replaced with molasses or honey?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      I suggest using this recipe for Maple Pecan Pie which uses maple syrup and no corn syrup!

      1. Thanks Stephanie for the quick response – I don’t have maple syrup either, would honey or molasses work better in this recipe or the maple recipe?

  16. Pecan pie is my favorite for holidays or Nytime. Thanks for recipe

  17. Great flavor!

    Not my favorite texture for a pecan pie. Like some other reviewers, I wanted more custard vs nuts. Even after reading that, I deviated for the recipe a smidge by forgetting to reserve my decorating pecans so mixed in the full 2.5 cups & realized my mistake so adding some extras for decoration on top after filling.

    I didn’t think that I have a deep pie dish, but I found this recipe created a 1/2 filled crust. I definitely need more practice crimping but appreciate the tips here!

    If I make another pecan pie, I’ll still add in the cinnamon like Sally suggests here but will likely try another recipe.

  18. Pie came out amazing and was very delicious.

  19. Your favorite pecan pie recipe is also my favorite! I have tried a LOT of pecan pie recipes over the years, but this one literally takes the cake! It’s so good that my husband requests this for his birthday instead of a cake. Thanks, Sally, for another winner.

  20. 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.

  21. 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!

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

      1. Yes they are, thank you for getting back to me so quickly
        DD

  24. Hi, the one I made turned out cracked on top, it expanded into a done in the oven and then slowly collapsed, but the crack was already formed, was wondering how to avoid this ?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Pecan pie will crack if over-baked or cooled too quickly. Does you oven run hot? We always suggest using an in-oven thermometer to ensure we’re baking at the correct temperature. Hope this helps!

  25. 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!

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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!

  29. 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!

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

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