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!

Pecan pie is the classic sugary dessert without which no Thanksgiving is complete. It’s as traditional as pumpkin pie and as devilishly 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 today and I hope this recipe lives on forever in her memory.

We’ve got a lot of ground to cover, so let’s dive in!

How to Make Pecan Pie

This is truly the easiest pie you will EVER make. It’s my late grandmother’s recipe. Grandma, though no longer with us, still knows what’s best. My saving grace especially when it comes to pie.

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 onto pecans.
  5. Bake. I place a pie crust shield on top of the pie to prevent the edges 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 and a sprinkle of cinnamon-sugar.

Pecan Pie Video Tutorial

Now let’s watch how this classic Thanksgiving dessert comes together in just a few simple steps.

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. It’s old-fashioned, yet never out of style. 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 even better). 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. Typically this pie has around 2 full cups, but I find that much too sweet. I love using dark brown sugar in this pie recipe.
  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.

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

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 Classic 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

  • Homemade Pie Crust (my recipe makes 2 crusts; you can halve the crust recipe or freeze the 2nd half)
  • 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 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 recipe through step 5.
  2. After the pie crust has chilled, adjust the oven rack to the lower third position and preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
  3. Roll out the chilled pie crust onto a lightly floured surface. Remember, when rolling out the chilled pie dough disc, always use gentle force with your rolling pin. Start from the center of the disc and work your way out in all directions, turning the dough with your hands as you go. Roll it out into 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.
  4. The filling: Spread pecans evenly inside pie crust. Set aside. Whisk the eggs, corn syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, melted butter, salt, and cinnamon together in a large bowl. Once completely combined and thick, pour evenly 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 and a sprinkle of cinnamon-sugar if desired. Cover and store leftover pie 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. 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.
  3. Source: Grandma’s filling & pie crust. ♥

Keywords: pecan pie

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

190 Comments

    1. I was thinking the exact same thing! Because half the battle is stunning visual appeal ~ gotta have the gorgeous plates. For as long as I’ve read your blog, I haven’t made your homemade crust yet! That is about to change. Pronto. Because I need to good crust for my chicken pot pies! And how I will I were your neighbor, Ha, Kevin can bring over mediocre pies anyday, hehe. And I’ll make you a pumpkin centerpiece. 

  1. Sally a few weeks ago you mentioned you were gonna post this. I have been waiting sine then with anticipation. So freakin excited to make this. BTW, tomorrow I am making you famous chocolate cake, ginger white choc cookies, and the rolo bars from your new book. I really have to see if I can fit this in with tomorrow! 😛

    I love you so much.

  2. I haven’t made a pecan pie in ages–I think this might need to be one of the desserts I bring to Thanksgiving! I love that you bake ahead of time and freeze – I need to remember to do that this year so I don’t show up to the grocery store the week of Thanksgiving and wonder why they are all out of pecans, lol. You live and you learn!

    1. I think the substitution for dark brown corn syrup is to use 3 parts light corn and 1 part molasses. At least that’s what I found once when I didn’t have dark brown syrup.

  3. OMG finally!! I’ve been looking for and testing the perfect pecan pie recipe. Can’t wait to try yours hopefully it will be the one 😀

  4. You definitely cannot mess with pecan pie. Taking out the corn syrup is like taking the peanut butter out of a Reese’s. Against the divine plan and all that.
    I’m glad you found your best recipe! Honestly, pie tasting sounds like a fun way to spend the day, but I’m sure it gets frustrating.

  5. Hi Sally .
    Can i use maple syrup instead of corn syrup ? and if yes do i have to adjust the amount of liquid/sugar ?
    thank you for your wonderful recipes, always a winner…
    Nathalie 

  6. I can’t wait to give this a go. I’ve never made a pie, but I want to make something extra special this year for thanksgiving as we currently live in The Netherlands. I’ve been searching for supplies ever since I saw this recipe was coming up. Thanks for sharing your grandma’s recipe and all the others! I always come here first when I want to bake now

  7. Grandmas ALWAYS know best, especially when it comes to baking. Whenever I veer from my grandma’s tried and true recipes and end up with an epic fail, I always think about how she would probably bop me on the head (and then give me a huge hug) for thinking I knew better haha. This pie looks FANTASTIC, Sally! Pecan pie is definitely a weakness of mine 🙂

  8. I have been waiting forever for you to post a pecan pie recipe! Thank you!!! I can’t wait to try this (this weekend)
    Question- have you tried a version with Chocolate Chips? I have one I make every year, but I always find I have issues with getting it to set and not be super runny.

    1. I haven’t, actually! I’m going to encourage you to try adding chocolate chips to this pie as it is– maybe 2/3 cup? It doesn’t sound like many chocolate chips but I feel that would be the perfect amount.

      1. I made it last night with the chocolate chips. OMG it’s absolutely amazing! It was just enough chocolate and The cinnamon really adds so much to the pie! thanks I have a new go to pie for the Holidays!!!

  9. I have an embarrassing confession – I have never baked a pecan pie before.  Tried a few and they were so sweet that it turned me off pecan pie baking totally.  Now seeing this recipe I ave a very compelling desire to make it.  Since I can not put something I have not tried before on the Thanksgiving table, I will definitely give this pie a trial run (or two).

  10. You say “there are 1 and 1/2 cups sugar in this pie” in your description, yet when you list the ingredients it only says 1/2 cup dark brown sugar in the ingredient list. Are you counting the 1 cup corn syrup in the total sugar amount? Would love to try this pie, but want to make sure I have the ingredients correct. I’m a new cook/baker.

  11. PECAN PIE IS MY FAVORITE!!! YES!!! I think I’m going to drop everything and make this today. But do you need pure vanilla extract or can you use imitation? Does it make a difference?

  12. I’m so excited you posted this!  My grandma’s pecan pie was one of my favorite things she baked and I don’t think she left her recipe with any of us, so I’m sure yours will be a great substitute!

    My mom is trusting me with the pie for Christmas day dessert this year (yikes, no pressure!) so I think i’ll have to do this one. 🙂 

  13. why were you trying to reinvent the wheel in the first place?  Pecan pie is pecan pie, don’t mess with what works in the name of blogging.

  14. I may have to try this! I LOVE pecan pie, but hate the kind that are all jelly-like with a light layer of pecans floating on top.  I haven’t had pecan pie in years because of that. This doesn’t appear to be that way. Thanks Sally!

  15. How would walnuts do in this as I am allergic to Pecans? And how would using light brown sugar or 1/2 light brown sugar and the other 1/2 dark brown sugar?

    1. I always suggest making the recipe as is first and then making adjustments as needed. There will be a difference in texture as well as taste (obviously) with reduced sugar.

  16. Yes yes yes!  I went through the exact same process with my grandma’s pecan pie recipe!  I saw so many recipes that sounded interesting, but when I tried tweaking the classic, it never lived up to expectations.  Save the chocolate and bourbon and whatever else for another dish – pecan pie is best when it’s simple!

  17. Hi Sally,

    Thank you for the recipe I am going to give it a go. Especially the pie crust as I usually cheat but am super keen to make this (even have two piedishes).  My question though I am from Tasmania and I can’t get corn syrup what could I use instead. 

    Heather

    1. Heather, 
      I use brown rice syrup instead of corn syrup in pecan pie and it turns out great! It’s a great alternative if you are allergic to corn products or can’t find it. Good luck! 

  18. Oh heavens, so many Thanksgiving pies! I’m definitely making your apple pie with chai spices for Thanksgiving; we’ll have to see if I can convince my mom or my soon-to-be MIL if they’ll let me squeeze another pie onto the already overstuffed dessert tables (I’m often told that I’m making too much. I’m already on the docket to make two ducks, a risotto and a vegetarian baked ziti for Thanksgiving, as well as a number of desserts).  But this will be in the back of my mind for Christmas!

    1. I’m ALWAYS told that I make too much but hey. at least there’s a ton of leftovers to enjoy for the following few days, right?

  19. Sounds delicious. What does the butter add besides calories? I make my moms recipe which is similar, but has 1 C white sugar and no butter. It’s been my favorite, but I’m anxious to try yours with the cinnamon and less dark sugar. Love your blog!

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