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. First pie I’ve ever made and it was fantastic. Not too sweet. Loved the hint of cinnamon. I didn’t have unsalted butter so used what I had and left out the salt. Also used fresh pecans from our tree.

    1. Delicious! I just made it. I only made some changes. I messure 1 1/2 cup of pecans instead of 2 1/2. And maybe next time I would add 1/4 cup of , since I have a sweet tooth. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Hello, looks like the best recipe for me to try my first pie. Can I brown the butter? And my husband loves chocolate chips. Can I add the chocolate chips? How would I? If I wanted to make it less sweet. What do you suggest. I realize it is a different recipe at this point. I am hooked on yours! Thank you. ~mz~

  3. My pie did not set even though I cooked it for the allotted time, it’s completely cooled could I throw it back in the oven and home it will finish?

  4. My favorite pie for the holidays is pecan pie. Your recipe from your grandmother seems for your wonderful one and I hope to make it for New Year’s this year. Thank you for the opportunity to enter for a chance to win a SIGNED copy of your book with all those wonderful recipes in it! Happy holidays to you and yours and God bless all of you and me too! Sincerely stated, Marilyn G.

  5. I hope you seen this in time. Im using a frozen crust (I know what you’re thinking,but I can’t make crust to save my life.) My question is, can I use a deep dish crust or should I get a regular pie crust?

  6. I just took my pie from the oven after 45 minutes, and it looks beautiful! Smells fabulous. I used light brown sugar and light corn syrup, as that was what I had. I also toasted the pecans before putting them in the pie crust. Fingers crossed, guests like my endeavors!

    1. I recommend unsalted, but that depends if you like salty sweet or not. Using salted will give you a lovely saltier/sweet pecan pie.

    1. Haha thank you, I figured it out like ten mins after posting this and was looking at the kayro syrup bottle , felt like an idiot but I made this for my boyfriend, pecan pie is his all time favorite and in Maine it’s not very common so I had never made it even tried it before. But I’m so glad I found your recipie, I was so nervous about making it because everybody kept saying it was simple to make but the simple things are usually the easiest to mess up lol. But he loved this recipie, I’m so glad I went with yours I think the little less sugar and the little bit of cinnamon makes it so much better. I saved this for future reference. He’s so happy to not have to eat store bought every time he wants some lol.

  7. I made this pie yesterday. Although I’m not a fan of pecan pie my husband said it was the best one he’s ever had! I will definitely make it for him again.

  8. I made this for Thanksgiving at the request of one of my guests – my first pecan pie ever! I followed directions exactly and must admit it was disappointing. My initial thought was that there are too many pecans and not enough filling. The ratio just seemed off to me (not that I am a pecan pie expert, but remembering ones from my youth and trying to compare to that). I asked for opinions from others, and everyone agreed it was not too sweet (a good thing), but that it did indeed have too many nuts. I may make it again but will definitely decrease the amount of nuts I put in. I’m thinking decrease the pecans by 1/2 to 3/4 cup and see what happens since the filling is good.

  9. I’m making this and made the mistake of thinking the slightly melted/slightly solid butter would become more liquid when I mixed in the other ingredients… but alas, I am left with small butter chunks everywhere. I know they’ll melt well enough when I put it in the oven, but will it cause a problem and not be well enough mixed?

    1. No problem at all! It’s happened to me before too. It melts as the pie bakes and the filling tastes exactly the same. 🙂 Thanks for trying my pecan pie recipe!

  10. Love this pie. So easy and for a twist I added a hint of caramel . I also make make it into small tarts
    A big hit .
    Thank you

  11. Made this at Christmas for a family gathering, it was a major hit! Decided to make it again for new years since there were so many compliments. Thank you!

  12. Southern girl living in Canada, successfully substituted good quality maple syrup for corn syrup in this recipe. Gave it a lovely maple taste that goes so so well with pecans!

  13. While visiting the South from Germany, my boyfriend tried pecan pie. I decided to make some for him and his family. It was a big hit! I baked it for about 70 minutes as it just wouldn’t set. Thanks for the recipe!

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