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

Print

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. 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. 

    1. Oh my! So awesome! This is the best pecan pie I’ve ever made. So many others are sickenly sweet and this one is perfectly sweet and delicious. Thank you for this wonderful recipe.

  2. Was so excited to make this pie as pecan pie is my favorite. I followed the recipe. Let it cool. My pie did not set up. I guess I should of baked it longer? It puffed up sprang back in the middle.  This why I don’t bake.

  3. Hey Sally!
    I want to make a pecan fried pie – do you think that I could cook the pecan pie filling on the stove until it gets thick and then let it cool before putting in the pie dough and frying it? I know a pecan pie filling usually cooks and sets while baking in the oven so I’m thinking maybe I can do this on the stove top? Any suggestions would be appreciated 🙂

    1. Oh gosh, I have no clue! I’ve never done it before so I’m not comfy giving a recommendation. It’s worth a try though– and let me know how it goes.

  4. The first time I made exactly as directed.  So delish!  I’ve always liked pecan pie but can find it cloying? Too sweet?? Not sure but just something made pecan pie less then perfect…till now!  Baking it again right now but omitting the cinnamon this time.  Just a tweak per family preference but again, you’ve totally nailed a good pecan pie recipe.  Many thanks!

  5. This recipe looks DELICIOUS. I’ve used your pie crust several times, and it never fails! I’m making desserts for a cocktail party next weekend, and I’d like to make pecan bars, since it’s good finger food. Do you think I could make pecan bars with this recipe? If so, what size pan would you recommend baking them in? Thank you!

    1. Sure could. I’d use an 11×7 inch baking pan. 9×13 would be too big and a 9-inch will make the bars a little too tall.

      1. Thank you! Just bought the ingredients yesterday. 🙂 Does it matter if it’s aluminum or glass? I have both so I’m wondering which one would be better for baking this recipe.

  6. Sounds wonderful. I do have a question. What size bag of pecans should I purchase? Also, I understand that I layer the bottom of the pie crust with pecans and once the ingredients is poured over the pecans do I then place pecans on the top and how much? I did not see this mentioned.
    Thanks,
    Jim

  7. Hello! I am new to the baking world, but I made your blueberry peach pie and it turned out perfect! I can’t wait to try this out.

    One silly question, do you layer pecans on the crust, pour the filling, and then add another layer of pecans? Or do you just do the single layer on the crust before your pornthe filling? 

  8. Dear Sally,
    This recipe looks INCREDIBLE, as does everything you create. Quick question though- a couple of weeks ago I made your Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars (so indescribably amazing it can’t be adequately put into words) – and was wondering if the same shortbread crust recipe could be used in this pecan pie, and if so would I have to double it, pre bake it a little, etc.

    Thank you so much for being my go-to whenever I need a recipe for…anything really. I spend wayyyy too much time on your website looking for recipes, and all have blown me away!

  9. Hi, Sally!  First of all, let me start by saying: thank you, thank you, thank you!  I have been using your recipes for about a year now and have never been disappointed.  I have learned so much by reading your recipes and baking tips.  I have a question.  I overwhelmed myself slightly last year during the holidays by baking and cooking everything in 1-2 days so I am trying to prepare better this time.  So my question is- what are the steps to freezing pies successfully?  

    Thanks again, you are amazing!

  10. Hi Sally,

    I live in the UK and am desperate to make a pecan pie, especially for my birthday coming up. After trying many of your cookbook/ blog recipes, I really want to try this one however I cannot find Corn Syrup anywhere here!! 🙁

    Would I be able to replace this with maple syrup or golden syrup at all?!

     Thank you xxxx

  11. This is the first regular pecan pie that I’ve actually enjoyed. And when I mean “regular”, I mean one with no chocolate or caramel added. I find most pecan pies to be overly sweet, which is why I usually make a variation with chocolate and/or caramel in it. Your recipe was perfectly sweetened. I really liked the flavor, and I loved the hint of cinnamon in it. This was easy to make and delicious.

  12. Hi Sally,

    Big fan! Your blog has opened my baking world so much! I have become know as pie girl in my family thanks to your blog. I’m totally fine with that. I’m also cookie girl among my friends and family. Anyway, I’ve been assigned to make pies for my family’s Thanksgiving. My mother is allergic to pecans, so I was wondering if it would be ok to make this with walnuts. I know it’s ok for cookies and breads, but was not sure about this pie. Any advice?
    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Sara!

      My mom makes a pie with walnuts (I’m not at all a fan of walnuts but she loves them to the moon) and the filling is very similar (doesn’t have cinnamon in it and there is a little less sugar.) You also might want to make sure the walnuts are just a little more evenly chopped too. My mom’s bake time is about five minutes less, but as always keep your eyes on the prize, as all ovens are different. Good luck!

  13. I would love to try to make this pecan pie for Thanksgiving this year. I was wondering if I could possibly bake this pie ahead of time and freeze it? I want to have all the desserts done before Thanksgiving so my oven is free for the turkey and such. Any words of advice or experience to share?

  14. Hi Sally!

    I’ve seen some other comments with the same question, but I’m a little confused when it comes to adding the pecans. In your pictures, it looks like there’s an additional layer of almost whole pecans on top, with the roughly chopped nuts underneath. Did you add a layer of nuts to the top that wasn’t included in the recipe? If so, did you add these for the whole baking time, or for only a portion?

    1. Hi Chelsea! Sorry for any confusion 🙂 I did not add a layer of nuts to the top. The top nuts aren’t as roughly chopped as the ones below the, you’re right, but I find that the larger pecans rise to the top. So no need to add any additional layers.

  15. Hi Sally! I have made more of your recipes than I can count over the past few years, loved everything!

    I’ve been married for 13 years and just yesterday found out my husbands favorite pie is pecan pie. I’ve never made one before so I obviously came to check your site first! Anyway, you mentioned that this recipe only has 1 and a half cups of sugar, but I don’t see the 1 cup of sugar listed in your ingredients. . .I’m not sure if I’m just missing it or you don’t actually use/need it. Hmmm, help me out, I’m planning on using this recipe next week! Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Elisabeth! Good question. 1 cup of corn syrup and 1/2 cup of dark brown sugar. That’s what I’m referring to when I say 1 and 1/2 cups total 🙂

  16. Ok…I’ll start by saying I’ve never enjoyed pecan pie. But my BF loves it so I was on the hunt for a decent recipe, of which there are many with no 2 alike. I never liked the “sugar gel” layer that the pecans floated on. But this recipe…OMGah! I couldn’t get enough! Absolute perfection! No nasty “sugar gel” only candied tender pecans. I use all crisco but butter flavored. It’s a bit too flaky so I’m going to use your half and half version next time. I made tarts in muffin tins and baked 35 min. Now this is my favorite pie! My sons also went wild! Thank you so much, this is what pecan pie was destined to be.

  17. If you can find it, brown rice syrup is an excellent substitute for corn syrup! It is less sweet which is perfect for me!
    Other than being less sweet I really couldn’t tell any difference at all between rice & corn syrup. I feel like the flavor of the pecans is more pronounced with the less sweet rice syrup. I highly recommend trying it if you can find it.
    If you live in a metropolitan area with a significant Asian population you should be able to find it. One store in my area even has an organic one sometimes.
    I haven’t looked, but I bet you could order it online…

    I also use an unrefined, minimally processed sugar and some molasses instead of brown sugar, and it’s wonderful.

    A dash of salt also helps bring out the flavor of the pecans.

  18. I am looking for a pecan pie recipe that doesn’t have all the what I call goopy stuff on the bottom. From the pics this one does not. Can you tell me if it does or not?

  19. This recipe looks perfect and classic! Do you think the filling would work for bars, too? I love your pecan pie bars but miss the classic flavors! Thanks!

  20. I’ve never made a pecan pie before, but it was requested by someone as I was getting ready for my annual Thanksgiving pie baking marathon. So I scoured the internet and your recipe seemed like a. the easiest and b. had LOTS of pecans. Since I had never made a pecan pie before. I made a sample for the gentleman to make sure it was what he was expecting. He said it was the best pecan pie he’s ever had and ordered two more! Now I am adding this to my list of go-to recipes! May I add it to my blog with a direct link to your recipe?

    1. I’m so happy the pecan pie was a massive hit! You can definitely use one of my images and link to this recipe. I ask that you do not republish the recipe unless you change something and write it in your own words. Does that make sense? Thank you so much for your willingness to share!

  21. Hi Sally-
    I love so many of your recipes and I’d love to make this pie for Thanksgiving, but was wondering if you have ever added bourbon to the recipe? I love that flavor and think it might work nicely here. What do you think? At which stage would you add it?

    1. Hi Nicole! You absolutely can add bourbon to this pecan pie recipe. I 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.

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