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 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.

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!

231 Comments

  1. Hi Sally, I am an ardent fan of yours from across the pond. In your pecan pie recipe you talk about dark corn syrup. I am not sure what this is or whether I can get this ingredient here in the UK.  We have golden syrup and also black treacle (but this has a strong slightly bitter flavour). What do you suggest in place of corn syrup if I can’t get hold of it.   Would part golden syrup and part black treacle work?

  2. So great to meet you this week in NYC! This looks amazing and pecan pie is my boyfriends favorite!  Already ordered some pies from this amazing bakery in Boston (http://haleyhouse.org/what-we-do/bakery-cafe/) but I think I still need to make some sort of chocolate dessert for thanksgiving.  Anyway, thanks for the recipe!

    – Amy 

  3. I had the opportunity to taste this pie at your NYC book signing. You nailed this filling! Perfection! Definitely sweet but not so sweet you think you are going into a diabetic coma. Loved it! Pinned!

  4. I just wish pecans were easier to find in Romania. They are a rare bird over here and extremely expensive too so for now I can either substitute them or just wait till I can source pecans from somewhere.
    Delicious!

  5. Hi! I’ve never made a pecan pie in all my 42yrs until today 🙂 I just couldn’t pass this one up and had to try. Especially because I had everything for it except for the dark corn syrup, but I grabbed some yesterday. I finally took it out of the oven because it had been almost an hour and a half … It still looked a tab bit jiggly so I wanted to ask if that was normal or if I messed it up somewhere along the line! I followed the recipe. It filled up the pie shell very very full so maybe it took longer because it’s thick. It hasn’t cooled fully so I’m not yet sure of the end product. But I thought I’d ask for a bit more details on what the pie should look like and how jiggly it should or shouldn’t be by the end. That way I’ll be more educated next time I make it 🙂 thanks so much for the yummy looking recipe!!

  6. I have been searching for a lovely pecan pie recipe for years – I am so excited to try this!! Looks to die for!! Thanks Sally 🙂

  7. I always channel my inner “Mommom” whenever I need baking advice. I LOVE how she is your inspiration to baking because I can relate so much! I miss her more than anything, but it’s the memories which matter the most! This pie looks GORGEOUS. I’m sure even the pecan quiche tasted pretty good 😉

  8. I just wrote down all ingredients for pecan pie. I made your cherry pie, homemade crust and all!  My husband loved it!  So I am looking forward to making pecan pie for Thanksgiving. I will post pics on my blog. I live in Austin so planning on seeing you at Book People on the 4th!

  9. YES! Many years I have waited for a pie like this to appear…
    This pie will be the victory dance after the turkey trot on thanksgiving morning. 
    Safe travels on your book tour Sally, wish you were coming to Florida.

  10. This pie sounds delicious but have you tried America’s Test Kitchen Old Fashion Pecan Pie? Seriously the BEST homemade pie…no corn syrup. It’s made with maple syrup, molasses, and heavy cream among other goodies. Google it and it pops up all over from Pecan Pie lovers!! I think I’ll have to do a pie contest and do your pie and ATK’s. Happy Holidays from my baking kitchen to yours!!

  11. I’ve never tried making a pecan pie, but I do have a bunch of corn syrup I need to find a use for. I may just have to add this to my Thanksgiving menu (which is, at the moment, almost entirely desserts).

  12. I just made this as practice for thanksgiving- it’s very good. It tastes like Christmas. 
    When I make again I will roll the dough out a little wider so I have room to crimp, also I will put tin foil over the whole pie as the top browend up a bit too much.

  13. So easy and the flavor was amazing! Crude was soooo flaky! But it was slightly runny 🙁 I cooked for almost 1 hr (oven is odd). I only cut one slice to taste. Any way I could fix before I serve tomorrow?

  14. Hey Sally-

    Maybe a silly question here but…here it goes. My daughter an I or new to baking but we are enjoying. This is our first pie from scratch…crust is chilling…praying it goes well. Anywho…the directions say too spread  the coarsley chopped pecans onto the crust then pouring the filling over. This sounds fine , but every time I look at that beautiful pic it appears all of the pecans on top are whole or mostly whole. Do you place a pretty layer on top?

    1. Made this pie yesterday. Absolutely delicious!! I used a store bought refrigerated 9″ pie crust, used light karo syrup and dark brown sugar, and only 1-1/2 cups chopped pecans. After I poured the pie filling over the pecans, the pie crust couldn’t have held another cup of pecans. The pecans and filling just “majically” mix together. Nothing extra to do! The cinnamon is definitely the “secret” ingredient that, in my opinion, makes this pecan pie the most delicious my roommates and I have eaten! And it is SO EASY.

  15. Hi sally,

    I decided id make pecan pie for thanksgiving tomorrow and first place i checked is your site 🙂 ive made your pi.pkin pie which was phenomenal so i dont doubt this oecan oie recipe will bea hit. My question is in regards to adding chocolate. At what step would you add the chocolate? Some recipes say to add it to the crust before pouring the filling, others mix into the filling before pouring into pie crust. What would you do? Or should i just play it safe and not add chocolate.

      1. I made it with the bittersweet chocolate chips that ghiradelli makes and it was heavenly. Thank you so much for a great recipe!

  16. Making this pie for tomorrow. The dough is chilling as I type this. One question, do you price the pie crust with a fork? I am a total pie novice, I’ve made your pumpkin pie before and looked like a pro to my friends and family, thanks! 

      1. Thanks so much! 
        Making 2 Great Pumpkin Pies and this Pecan Pie for tomorrow. Made your pumpkin cupcakes for my husband’s work potluck and they’re amazing! Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes! 

  17. Hi Sally! I made two of your pies for thanksgiving (pecan & apple crumble) and both turned out amazing! Not only did everyone rave about them, but they also came out looking beautiful (a major plus). This is all thanks to how precise & detailed you are in your recipes – you make the execution so easy! I can’t thank you enough! 

    Hope you had a wonderful thanksgiving & ate tons delicious food! 

  18. Sally,

    I made your Pecan Pie for Thanks Giving. Tasted wonderful but had the same problem that I’ve had with all past pecan pies I’ve made…They stick to the pie plate. What am I doing wrong ? Please help !

      1. I don’t know. I’ve tried putting butter on the plate also flour… still sticks. Should I try making a thicker crust?

  19. After not making pecan pies for many years, I made this one for Thanksgiving and it’s delicious!!!! Everyone loved it! I should have made two.

  20. Hi Sally,
    I made this for Thanksgiving. It was the first pecan pie I ever made. I’ve tried other pecan pies but this was the best one I have ever had. I will be adding this to my Thanksgiving menu and maybe even my Christmas menu also. Thanks for the recipe.

  21. Hi,

    I made this for Thanksgiving and everyone loved it!  Only complaint was not enough filling! Lol

    How do I make this with more gooey goodness under the pecans?

    Thank you for sharing this recipe!

    Sheryl

  22. Hello! Been wanting to make this ever since you published this post last month.  Any advice how I could substitute the 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon for another spice in order to accommodate for an allergy to cinnamon?  I never deviate from your instructions, so, I would love your advice! 

  23. Hi,
    I followed everything in the recipe except I used store-bought pie crust. I made it yesterday and put it in the fridge once it cooled n served it tonight. Mine turned out soupy once I cut the pie. The center was not gooey at all, but really soupy. What do u think I did wrong? 

  24. Hi Sally, 

    Great recipe, thanks for sharing!
    Cheryl, bake the pie until the internal temperature (center) has reached 200 degrees f. Also, don’t refrigerate! Cover with saran wrap AFTER it has cooled, and leave on the counter. I guarantee this will fix your soupy center.

  25. Oh my! How delicious! My Daddy’s birthday is this week and pecan is his fave…I was looking for the best pecan pie recipe and now I’ve found it. And Btw I absolutely love how the pie crust smelled while I was mixing it. Just wonderful.  Thanks for making my day. 

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