Bake up a Southern Sweet Potato Pie with crunchy pecan crumble topping this holiday season and watch it disappear right before your eyes! This Southern soul food dessert has just the right amount of brown sugar sweetness and a subtle hint of cinnamon.
Serve this old-fashioned sweet potato pie on your Thanksgiving table, and believe me, everyone will be begging for more!
Popular Thanksgiving Recipes
Need some inspiration for your Thanksgiving feast? Check out these favorites — Cider Roasted Turkey with Sausage Apple Stuffing and Cider Gravy, Broccoli Rice and Cheese Casserole, Bacon Wrapped Asparagus Bundles, Easy Cranberry Chutney, and Apple Crumble Pie.
Southern Sweet Potato Pie
I was on a mission last week to find an old family recipe for a friend and while sifting through my Mom’s treasure of hand-written recipes came across two for Sweet Potato Pie.
Although that’s not what I set out to find, I immediately knew that I had to make one of those pies! Thanksgiving is coming up, after all, and everyone needs pie… right?!
The sweet potato pie recipes were quite different. One called for folding whipped egg whites into the pie filling and had twice the amount of butter and sugar.
Since I intended to add a pecan crumble, I opted for the easier and less caloric version and didn’t miss the extra sugar one little bit! My verdict is that pumpkin pie has definitely met its match!
- Sweet potatoes — cooked and mashed
- Brown sugar
- White corn syrup
- Butter — in the pie and in the crumble topping
- Milk — may also use half and half or canned evaporated milk
- Vanilla extract
- Cinnamon — may also add a dash of nutmeg and ginger
- Kosher salt — to enhance all the flavors
- Refrigerated ready-to-bake pie crust — or homemade pie crust
- All-purpose flour — for the crumble
- Pecans — for the crumble
PRO TIP: Baking sweet potatoes in the microwave is the easiest and quickest way to make mashed sweet potatoes for this recipe.
How to make sweet potato pie from scratch
Start with fresh sweet potatoes, never canned or frozen. I prefer to bake my sweet potatoes instead of boiling them, so that they don’t absorb a lot of moisture during cooking.
- Line a pie plate with pie dough and flute the edges. Sometimes I make my pie crust from scratch, but a refrigerated ready-to-cook pie crust is perfectly fine.
- Cook and mash the 3 or 4 medium-size sweet potatoes to make 1 1/2 cups of flesh.
- Cream together the butter and brown sugar, then add the sweet potatoes, cinnamon, and salt.
- Whisk together the milk, white corn syrup, and vanilla, then combine with the potato mixture.
- Pour into the crust and bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees.
- Add the brown sugar pecan crumble to the top, then reduce the temperature and bake until done.
PRO TIP: Once the baked sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, split open and use a spoon or ice cream scoop to remove a flesh, then mash with a fork.
Selecting the best sweet potatoes
When you shop for fresh sweet potatoes at the market, opt for ones that are small to medium size with tight, unwrinkled skins and no blemishes or bruises. I personally prefer the sweet potatoes that are deep orange in color.
How to make pecan crumble
The crumble for this pie is very similar to one you’d find in sweet potato pudding or sweet potato casserole recipes.
- To make the crumble, stir together flour and brown sugar until thoroughly combined.
- Add chopped pecans and cold butter cut into small cubes. Use a fork or pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour mixture until a crumble forms. You may also use an electric mixer. Just make sure you don’t beat the mixture too long or you will end up with dough instead of crumble!
Does sweet potato pie need to be refrigerated?
Like other custard pies, sweet potato pie should be refrigerated. This pie will keep well for up to 4 days. The pie is delicious either cold or at room temperature.
To serve the pie at room temperature, remove it from the refrigerator about an hour before serving.
Can you freeze sweet potato pie?
A baked and cooled sweet potato pie may be frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw the pie overnight in the refrigerator when ready to serve.
Let’s bake a pie!
Serve Southern Sweet Potato Pie either cold or at room temperature, and add a dollop of freshly whipped cream for extra goodness.
- 1 unbaked refrigerated pie crust
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 large eggs, slightly beaten
- 1/3 cup white corn syrup
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans
- 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a 9-inch pie plate with the refrigerated pie dough and flute the edges.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the mashed sweet potatoes, cinnamon, and salt, mixing well.
- Next, add the eggs and mix until incorporated.
- In a measuring cup, whisk together the white syrup, milk, and vanilla and add to the potato mixture. Mix until smooth, then pour the filling into the unbaked crust.
- Bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees. Remove the pie from the oven and carefully sprinkle the crumble topping on top.
- Return the pie to the oven and reduce the temperature to 325 degrees. Continue baking for another 35 to 40 minutes, until the top is golden.
- In a medium size bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, salt, and pecans.
- Using a fork or pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture until crumbly.
Serve Sweet Potato Pie cold or at room temperature with a dollop of freshly whipped cream, if desired.
Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 392Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 93mgSodium: 314mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 3gSugar: 31gProtein: 6g
Sheila Thigpen, author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook, is a recipe developer, food photographer, and food writer. She spent 20+ years as a business manager in the publishing industry before she retired in 2018 to focus on her passions — cooking, photography, and writing. Living near the beautiful Smoky Mountains, Sheila and her husband have two adult daughters and two fine sons-in-law, are active in their church, love to travel, and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. Follow Sheila on YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!