Sweet potato pie is the southern alternative to pumpkin pie that you must try. This traditional Thanksgiving pie recipe will complete your holiday dinner!

sweet potato pie on a black plate with fork

Have you ever had sweet potato pie? It’s a classic southern dessert that is very similar to pumpkin pie but with a milder flavor and less in-your-face spices.

It shows up on our holiday table in place of pumpkin for at least one of our holiday celebrations along with pecan pie and chocolate chess pie, and my grandma’s coconut cake (yes we are dessert fans!)

Creamy and custardy, this pie combines silky mashed sweet potatoes with sugar, spices, eggs, and milk. The result is unbelievably delicious.

Whether you are new to baking or a seasoned pro, this is perfect for your needs. It is simple to make and virtually impossible to mess up.

You can make it the morning of your big meal or even a day or two ahead. And when you are ready to serve it, you can gently warm it up and serve it with homemade whipped cream, Cool Whip, or vanilla ice cream.

If you’re looking for some more amazing Thanksgiving and/or Christmas desserts try our pecan pie brownies, coconut sheet cake, and pumpkin bundt cake.

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ingredients for sweet potato pie

Ingredients You’ll Need

For this simple pie, you’ll need:

  • Deep dish pie crust – We use a frozen deep dish pie crust for our pies but if you want to use a store bought crust that looks a little fancier you can buy refrigerated pie crust and put it into a metal, glass, or ceramic deep dish pie dish. If have a pie crust recipe that you love, feel free to make your own! 
  • Mashed sweet potatoes – You’ll need to use about 2 to 3 large sweet potatoes so you have enough. I usually buy 4 to be sure and save any extras to add to my sweet potato casserole with marshmallows, or cranberry sweet potato casserole.
  • Salted butter 
  • Milk – For the best consistency, use whole milk.
  • Eggs – This helps bind the pie together as it bakes.
  • Sugars – You’ll want both white sugar and brown sugar.
  • Vanilla extract – This adds a bit of extra flavor.
  • Spices – You’ll need cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.
sliced sweet potato pie on black plates topped with cool whip dollops

Instructions

This beginner’s pie is super easy to make if you follow these steps.

Step 1 – Prep the sweet potatoes. To start, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add your unpeeled, uncut sweet potatoes. Cook at a steady boil for approximately 35 to 45 minutes or until they are fork tender and you can easily pierce the potato all the way to the middle.

Once the potatoes are fully cooked, drain the water and run the potatoes under cool water until you can safely handle them.

Cut the potatoes in half and gently press on the end of the potato to push it out of the skin. You can also cut a slit in the side of the potato and just peel off the skin.

Step 2 – Make the filling. Place the peeled sweet potatoes in a large bowl, add the butter, and mash it all together until the potatoes are as smooth as you can get them and the butter is fully melted.

Next, add the milk, eggs, white and brown sugars, vanilla extract, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Use a hand mixer to beat everything together until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

Step 3 – Bake the pie and serve. Pour the pie filling into the unbaked pie crust and then place in the pre-heated oven to bake for 50 to 60 minutes. 

You will know the pie is done when you can gently move the pie pan and the center just jiggles slightly (like jello) but doesn’t slosh back and forth.

Once the pie is fully cooked, remove the pie from the oven and let cool to room temperature. 

Top with homemade whipped cream (or Cool Whip), vanilla ice cream, or both and serve immediately.

Sweet Potato Pie slice on a black plate with black fork

Sweet Potato Pie vs. Pumpkin Pie

Sweet potato pie and pumpkin pie have very similar flavors since they both use similar spice blends. The main difference between them is the level of spice in each. Pumpkin pie spice, in general, has stronger spices like allspice and cloves mixed in along with the cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg used for sweet potato pie.

Sweet potatoes themselves have a similar flavor to pumpkin but it is also milder, and in my opinion, sweeter. I’m not a pumpkin pie fan (but I do love pumpkin pie dip and pumpkin bundt cake!) but I love sweet potato pie! 

How to Store It

Once you fully bake it, refrigerate the pie until serving. You can make this up to 4 days ahead of time and refrigerate it. 

Before serving, we suggest removing it from the fridge when you go to serve dinner to let the pie warm up a bit. If you’d like to serve it warm, you can reheat it in the oven at 325 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes or until warmed through. Before baking, cover with foil so that the crust doesn’t burn.

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Servings: 8
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 45 mins
Total Time: 2 hrs

Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet potato pie is the southern alternative to pumpkin pie that you must try. This traditional Thanksgiving pie recipe will complete your holiday dinner!
sweet potato pie on a black plate with fork
Print Recipe
4 from 1 vote

Ingredients

  • 1 9- inch Deep dish pie crust, unbaked
  • 2 cups Mashed sweet potatoes, approximately 2-3 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 ounces Salted butter
  • ½ cup Milk
  • 2 large Eggs
  • ½ cup White sugar
  • ½ cup Brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon Ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon Nutmeg

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add your unpeeled, uncut sweet potatoes. Cook at a steady boil for approximately 35-45 minutes, or until a fork can easily piece the potato all the way to the middle.
  • Once the potatoes are fully cooked drain the water and run the potatoes under cool water until they are cool enough to handle.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Cut potatoes in half and gently press on the end of the potato to push it out of the skin. You can also cut a slit in the side of the potato and just peel off the skin.
  • Place the peeled sweet potatoes in a large bowl and add the butter mashing together until the potatoes are as smooth as you can get them and then butter is fully melted.
  • Add the milk, eggs, white and brown sugars, vanilla extract, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Use a hand mixer to beat everything together until the mixture is smooth.
  • Pour the pie filling into the unbaked pie crust and place in the pre-heated oven to bake for 50-60 minutes. You will know the pie is done when you can gently move the pie pan and the center just jiggles slightly (like jello) but doesn’t slosh back and forth.
  • Once fully cooked remove the pie from the oven and let cool to room temperature.
  • Top with whipped cream and serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice, Calories: 341kcal, Carbohydrates: 47g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 63mg, Sodium: 197mg, Potassium: 199mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 28g, Vitamin A: 4978IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 56mg, Iron: 1mg
Nutrition Disclaimer: We are not certified nutritionists. Nutrition facts are an estimate and are provided as a courtesy. They are generated by an online API which recognizes ingredient names and amounts and makes calculations based on the serving size. Results may vary.
Author: Kat Jeter & Melinda Caldwell
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: sweet potato pie