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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. This is the same crust you can use when making mini pecan pies too!
  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. Salted caramel would be great, too!

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, turkey pot 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. If you love this one as much as me, try my pecan pie cheesecake next. Talk about a texture lover’s dream!
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 and serving with a big dollop of whipped cream.

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 810 1x
  • 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

Scale

Crust

  • 1 unbaked Flaky Pie Crust (what I used) or All Butter Pie Crust*
  • egg wash for pie crust: 1 large egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon milk or heavy cream

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

Reader Questions and Reviews

    1. I made this pie using dark corn syrup and dark brown sugar. I also used Salted Caramel Crown Royal Whiskey instead of vanilla. Gosh was this good. It was not overly sweet like the recipes usually are. When I eat pecan pie I want to have pecans not filling. This recipe had pecans . I’ll have to remember what I did.
      Thanks

    2. This recipe is SO good… and easier than I thought it would be. I’m in my 40s and divorced and learning to really cook for the first time. I decided to make this for my boyfriend for our couples Christmas Eve; he LOVED it and had seconds.

      I brought the leftovers to Christmas at my mom’s (she’s half Italian and a decent cook in her own right). She loved it as well! I’m enjoying a piece as we speak.

  1. I thought the pecan filling was outstanding hitting the perfect note of sweetness. The pie crust which was just like my mom used to make was wonderfully flaky. However, I have grown to prefer the flavor of an all butter crust. I found a Pate Brise (pie dough) recipe at scheckeats.com which was as flaky as Sally’s with a buttery flavor. A little sugar gave the crust a nicely balanced flavor. (I have never used the Scheck Eats sight before.) so I have now found the perfect pecan pie for me. Thank you Sally.

  2. This was an excellent recipe once I replaced it with cane syrup. You absolutely can make a pecan pie without corn syrup and it’s even better. Just take sugar and water and a little bit of cream of tartar bring it to 240° and then let it cool. It’s the same consistency as corn syrup and sets the same without the sickly sweet taste.

    1. Runny filling always means it is not cooked. Cook until the filling is fairly firm to the touch and you don’t see it jiggle when you move the pie. Don’t blame the recipe, since every oven can differ.

  3. This one didn’t work for me. I felt as if there were too many pecans and not enough filling. I had to use an unreliable oven, so the filling got thick and bumpy-looking. Even ignoring the texture that was likely an old oven, I felt it needed more depth of flavor. Thank you anyway for the recipe.

  4. This is phenomenal! Turned out great and was easy to make. This will be my new go-to pecan pie.

  5. This came out runny and overly sweet. Any suggestions on how to fix this for next time?

    1. Hi Simone, you could try reducing the sugar, but the pie may not set up correctly without the full amount. An extra pinch of salt can help cut sweetness.

  6. I don’t typically like Pecan pie but my husband loves it so I made this recipe for Thanksgiving this year. I trust Sally’s recipes generally and that trust paid out BIG TIME. I LOVED this pie, I’m pretty sure I ate more of it than my husband did. I used about 1/2 cup less pecans and light corn syrup because that’s what I had, and it came out phenomenal. Great recipe!

  7. Hi Sally, I’m based in Europe and it’s hard to get corn syrup. Can I use Golden Syrup (British) instead?
    I know you have a Maple Syrup recipe equivalent but it’s also hard to get decent maple syrup where I live. The Golden Syrup is thicker than Maple Syrup. I’m just not sure what corn syrup is and its thickness.

    1. Hi Liz, golden syrup should be okay in a pinch, but we haven’t tried it ourselves to be sure of the outcome. Let us know if you give it a try!

      1. Thank you for replying @Lexi . I tried the recipe with Lyle’s Golden Syrup (too difficult to get corn syrup where I live) and it seemed to work. Very tasty pecan pie and my ‘judges’ gave it a thumbs up.

      2. Lexi, I lived 8 years in Germany and just returned to the U.S. Our expat community of missionaries was almost 1500 in number. Online, we shared all of our recipe questions and adaptations. Golden Syrup was what we used for pecan (or walnut) pies and also for anything that called for molasses. While it doesn’t have the taste of corn syrup or molasses, it has the same properties.

  8. I made this pie for a diabetic friend, and substituted 1/2 cup swerve brown sugar substitute for the brown sugar. Is there any sort of diabetic friendly substitute for the corn syrup?

  9. Love this! Super easy to make (used a premade crust) and even pecan pie loving friends agreed that it was fantastic! I used an extra cup of pecans – 1.5 cups of raw pecans and 2 cups of roasted and salted pecans. It didn’t taste sickly sweet like most pecan pies do. Perhaps it was because I used salted pecans?

    1. Hi Darlene, it sounds like a combination of the salted pecans and the additional cup of pecans total that contributed to the less sweet taste. Glad it was a hit!

  10. Thanks so much for this recipe! I have used it several times! This last time, I used it as tart filling and worked great as well!
    Perhaps those who find it runny aren’t baking it long enough? Never had a problem with runny, it always sets up beautifully!

  11. I didn’t like this pie. The best pecan pie recipe is on the back of the karo syrup bottle. I just wanted to try something different but it turned out way too sweet. My hubby won’t eat it so now $12.00 of pecans go down the drain.

    1. Hi Roni! We haven’t tested an egg-free version of this pie but let us know if you do!

  12. Can I totally disregard the corn syrup and increase brown sugar ..I have pecan tassies recipe that has pecans eggs , brown sugar and vanilla for filling ..would that work just the same?

  13. This recipe is on point! I made it last Christmas & everyone wants it again this year especially my daughter! Must be the cinnamon! Thank you!!!

  14. I don’t see spot too put a pic.. did everything as directed all but bake my own pie crust, I used pillsbury pre rolled dough..but I did do a braid around the top, it looks great, i also may have chopped the pecans a little too much i didn’t leave much bigger peices .. I think it will make a fantastic edition to the Christmas Eve dinner

    1. Can I substitute the homemade pie crust with a store bought one without any modifications to the recipe?

  15. So…..I forgot the vanilla until the pie had only fifteen more minutes to bake. Aaaauuurrggghh. I added it then and couldn’t really mix in it, of course, but I tried to distribute it evenly and then mix it in a little. I won’t know how it tastes as we’re not planning to eat it until tomorrow, Christmas Day. Think it will be okay?

    Aaaarrrggghhh.

  16. This pie tastes delicious, I love the flavor, but every time I bake it, it is wayyy too runny. Even after adding 5-20 minutes to the original time, it is still extremely runny.

  17. My abuelo who is super picky and blunt about his comments on food actually liked this. He said “this exceeds restaurant quality.thia is very good. and I want you to know that I actually mean it because I’m very critical of my food “

  18. This is the recipe I use with a little less pecans. Total sugar in recipe is 1 cup. 1 cup of corn syrup is equivalent to 1/2 cup sugar.

  19. I made this for a holiday dinner–breaking the baking rule and not trying a recipe before “showtime”– but this was delicious and came out picture perfect! Thank you so much for all your great recipes!

  20. Sally can do no wrong in my eyes but this recipe was just average. I used the flaky pie crust and, while that was amazing, the filling just lacked flavor. Will perhaps use the same base and add some spice & maple syrup next time.

  21. I love Sally’s baking addiction and have been following her for approximately 10 years. This being said, I tried the pecan pie with the pie crust suggested in the recipe. I’ve made pecan pie before, but always thought the pie crust had to be blind baked so it would cook on the bottom. This recipe appealed because you didn’t have to blind bake. I had some pie crust that I had made the day before, but used Sally’s pie crust recipe( the one with shortening and butter.) I left the crust in the fridge for about 3 hours. It was still slightly soft, but started to roll it out anyway. The crust kept breaking down and tearing during the rollout, despite heavy flouring of my board and rolling pin. I finally gave up and used the piecrust I had in fridge from the day before. Was the dough not chilled enough, and that’s why this happened? The alternate pie crust rolled out fine. When I baked the pie, I put it on a baking sheet on the lower rack, not at lowest. The bottom crust was raw, inedible. The rest of the pie was delicious. Did the bottom not cook because of the cookie sheet directly under it? I would appreciate any advice for next time. Thanks, Sally,

    1. Hi Carol! We’re happy to help — pie crust can definitely be tricky. It sounds like the dough might not have enough liquid. We highly recommend at least 1/2 cup of ice water. If it’s cracking as you try to roll it out, moisten your fingertips with water and meld the dough back together as best you can. (As if it were play doh.) Sounds like your pie simply needed to bake longer to fully bake through. Thank you for giving this recipe a try!

  22. Well, looks like my pie came through the “forgot the vanilla” disaster okay, lol.

    Whether or not you would like this recipe depends on what you like or don’t like about pecan pie. It is much less sweet than traditional pecan pie. So if you have always thought that you would like pecan pie if only it weren’t so sweet, you would probably really like this pie recipe. If you have always loved pecan pie precisely because it is so sweet, you would probably not like this pie recipe.

    I’m in the second camp. This pie was fine for what it is supposed to be, a less-sweet pecan pie, but I missed the intense sweetness. I will give it three stars, the middle of the road, because it all depends on what you like.

    1. Hi Leah! We’re unsure of the best bake time, but you could halve the recipe (or reduce by 1/3) for a smaller pie dish. Let us know if you give it a try!

  23. Hello Sally,
    I just wanted to let you know that I made this pecan pie for My Husband for Christmas this year because he asked for his favorite type of pie. Well , he had high praise for your recipe. He told me this is the BEST pecan pie he has EVER had! Which he told me while eating EVERY slice he ate. The recipe was easy to follow. I used light brown sugar and light corn syrup and also toasted the pecans. It turned out great. Thank you so much for sharing your recipes. I have had the opportunity to try many of your recipes and they are all delicious.

    1. Hi Abbey, we are SO glad you and your husband enjoyed this pie! Thank you for sharing.

  24. I’m usually a lover of most Of the recipes on this site— I’m no stranger to making pies… Followed the recipe to a T— It looked fully baked on top but when I cut into it a few hours later, It was liquidy. Super disappointed and will use my regular pecan pie recipe next time.

  25. I just made this recipe and was pleased with the results. I did use Sally’s pie crust, which I love. When I make this again, I am going to try 16-18 oz of pecans. In larger slices I found the pie to be too nutty. Otherwise, I loved the flavors.

  26. As a southern boy at heart, I’ve baked my fair share of pecan pies, and this recipe is the best I’ve come across, bar none. The cinnamon adds an extra dash of depth and warmth. I also add a generous splash of good bourbon, for extra caramel-y flavour. Five stars!

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