Sweet Potato Pie
Homemade sweet potato pie features a creamy filling made with mashed sweet potatoes, evaporated milk, and warming spices, all nestled in a flaky pie crust. This is the perfect alternative to pumpkin pie during the holidays!
Pumpkin pie’s southern cousin, homemade sweet potato pie can be found on most dessert tables in the South during the holiday season. A good sweet potato pie has a smooth and creamy filling that’s flavored with warming spices and rich brown sugar, and this recipe ticks all the boxes.
Although boiling and mashing the sweet potatoes requires more effort than simply scooping pumpkin puree out of a can, the extra work required to make this recipe is worth it.
For a truly show-stopping dessert, I like to top my sweet potato pies with either whipped cream, meringue, or marshmallow fluff!
The ingredients you’ll need for the sweet potato pie are all fairly basic and easy to find at your local grocery store. Below is a quick overview of what you’ll need to make the sweet potato pie filling and crust.
- Pie crust: I used my homemade pie crust recipe, but cut it in half to make just one. You can feel free to use a store-bought pie crust if you prefer.
- Sweet potatoes: You’ll need 1 and 1/2 pounds of sweet potatoes for the filling, which is equal to about 3 medium sweet potatoes.
- Butter: Always use unsalted butter when baking pies since the amount of salt in salted butters can vary between brands.
- Sugar: Both granulated sugar and brown sugar sweeten the pie filling. I used dark brown sugar for some extra molasses flavor. If you only have light brown sugar on hand, then you may use that instead.
- Flour: Just a few tablespoons of all-purpose flour help thicken and bind the filling together.
- Spices: Ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt flavor the filling.
- Evaporated milk: Make sure to use evaporated milk here and not sweetened condensed milk! Sweetened condensed milk is much thicker and sweeter and will be far too sweet for this pie.
- Eggs: Two eggs help bind the filling together. Bring them to room temperature before starting this recipe.
- Vanilla extract: I prefer using pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.
How to Make Sweet Potato Pie
To make homemade sweet potato pie, you want to start by partially baking your pie crust. If you’re not familiar with how to do this, I have a full post all about how to blind bake pie crust.
While this is an extra step, it does help to ensure that the bottom of your pie stays crisp and doesn’t turn out soggy.
Once the crust has been partially baked, you can move onto the pie filling:
- Cook the sweet potatoes: Place sweet potato cubes into a medium pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and bring the water to a simmer, cooking until they are fork tender.
- Mash the sweet potatoes: Once the sweet potato cubes are soft enough to pierce with a fork, you can either mash them really well or blend them up in a food processor.
- Whisk together the filling: To the mashed sweet potatoes, mix in the cubed butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt until well combined. Do this while the potatoes are still warm.
- Whisk the evaporated milk, eggs, and vanilla into the mixture.
- Bake the pie: Transfer the sweet potato mixture into the pre-baked pie crust and smooth into an even layer. Bake at 350ºF until set, then remove the pie from the oven.
- Chill the pie: Let the pie cool completely on a wire rack at room temperature. Once fully cooled, cover tightly and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours.
How Long Should You Bake Sweet Potato Pie?
After pre-baking the pie crust and adding the filling, the pie will need to bake for roughly 45 to 55 minutes at 350ºF. You’ll know the pie is ready to come out of the oven when the edges are set but the center still has a slight jiggle to it.
Can This Recipe Be Made in Advance?
Yes! In fact, for the best sweet potato pie I recommend making this recipe the night before you plan on serving it. The pie needs to chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours before it’s ready to be sliced and served, but chilling it overnight is even better.
Does this pie need to be refrigerated? Yes, since this pie has a custard filling it needs to be refrigerated. It will last up to four days.
Can you freeze sweet potato pie? Yes, you can freeze the entire pie or individual slices for up to three months. Wrap it in a couple layers of plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn. When ready to eat, thaw overnight in the fridge.
- I recommend using fresh sweet potatoes instead of canned yams for the best flavor.
- Make sure to use evaporated milk to make the filling, not sweetened condensed milk. They’re two different milk products.
- If the edges of the pie crust begin to brown too much in the oven, cover the edges lightly with foil or top with a pie crust shield. Do not place the foil over the entire pie, only the edges.
More Holiday Pie Recipes You’ll Love!
Sweet Potato Pie
For the pie crust:
- 1 pie crust homemade or store-bought
For the filling:
- 3 medium sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes (1 ½ pounds; 680 grams)
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature and cut into small pieces (70 grams)
- ¾ cup packed light or dark brown sugar (150 grams)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (50 grams)
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (23 grams)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup evaporated milk (one 5-ounce can)
- 2 large eggs at room temperature and lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- To prepare the pie crust: Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C).
- Roll the pie crust dough out to about 12 inches in diameter and transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate. Gently fit the dough into the dish and decorate the edges. Refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes while the oven preheats and to give the dough time to relax.
- Prick the bottom of the pie crust with a fork to prevent bubbling. Line the pie dough with parchment paper or foil, making sure to cover the bottom and the sides, then fill with pie weights. If you don't have any pie weights, dried beans or dry rice work well too.
- Bake with the pie weights at 400°F (204°C) for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, remove the parchment paper (or foil) and the pie weights. Return the crust to the oven and bake for another 5 minutes or until the bottom of the crust looks dry.
- Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly while you prepare the filling. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (180°C) .
- To prepare the filling: Place the cubed sweet potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and bring the water to a simmer. Cook the sweet potatoes for 20 to 25 minutes or until fork tender.
- Drain the sweet potatoes and transfer to a large bowl. Mash the sweet potatoes in the bowl using a fork or potato masher. Alternatively, you can place them into a food processor and pulse until smooth. You should end up with about 2 ½ to 2 ¾ cups of mashed sweet potatoes.
- While the mashed sweet potatoes are still warm, mix in the cubed butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt until well combined. Then, whisk the evaporated milk, eggs, and vanilla into the mixture until fully combined.
- Scoop the sweet potato mixture into the partially baked pie crust and smooth it out into one even layer.
- Bake at 350°F (180°C) on the middle rack for 45 to 55 minutes or until the top of the pie is set. If the edges of the pie crust begin to brown too much, cover with foil or top with a pie crust shield.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Once fully cooled, cover tightly, and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours.
- Decorate the top of the pie with whipped cream, meringue, or marshmallow fluff.