Southern-Style Sweet Potato Pie Recipe

Ah, sweet potato pie — a close relative of pumpkin pie, though an often overlooked and under-appreciated one at that. If you like pumpkin pie, then there's no doubt that you'll enjoy sweet potato pie, especially when you follow recipe developer Catherine Brookes' Southern-style rendition. Unlike pumpkin, which is actually quite bland without the addition of spices, sweet potatoes have a wonderfully earthy, sweet, and starchy flavor all on their own. Cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg work together to highlight those flavors, leaving you with a perfectly rich, custardy pie that may have you putting that pumpkin pie recipe on the back-burner.

"I love the rich, soft texture, and combination of sweet and spicy flavors in this pie," Brookes says. "It's such a classic fall or winter dessert!" While we tend to associate sweet potato pie as a holiday dessert, there's no stopping you from whipping one up any time of year. And, sweet potatoes are accessible in most grocery stores year-round, so you'll never struggle trying to find these pie ingredients. Whether you want to whip up a cozy, warming dessert on a cold winter's night, or you just need to use up those sweet potatoes you bought weeks ago, this Southern-style pie recipe has you covered.

Gather the ingredients for Southern-style sweet potato pie

The ingredients list is pretty straightforward here — you'll need sweet potatoes, of course — about 500 grams worth once it's cooked and mashed up. Brookes finds that 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes provide enough bulk to get the job done here, but you can also go with a canned option. "Canned sweet potato or purée should also work well here," she notes. "The key is getting the sweet potato nice and smooth."

Aside from the sweet potatoes, you'll also need a premade 9-inch pie crust, or shortcrust pastry. As for the filling, you'll round it out with eggs, melted butter, sugar, vanilla extract, evaporated milk, cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, and salt. 

Par-bake the crust

First things first, get your oven preheating to 350 F. Then, roll out the pie crust across a 9-inch fluted pie pan, and gently push the crust into the pan. Cut off most of the crust's overhang, leaving just about 1 inch around the edge. Prick the bottom of the crust all over with a fork, which will help prevent the crust from ballooning when it bakes. Place a sheet of parchment paper over the crust, then add baking beans (uncooked rice or pie weights also work here) to the bottom. 

Pop the crust into the oven to bake for an initial 20 minutes, then pull it out, remove the beans and parchment paper, and bake for 7 more minutes. "Par-baking the crust before adding the filling ensures that it doesn't become soggy or undercooked," Brookes explains. This method is pretty standard when it comes to custard pies. Once the crust is done par-baking, use a knife to trim away any excess crust — be sure to do it while the crust is still warm. 

Cook and mash the sweet potatoes

Now, it's time to focus on the sweet potato filling. First, peel those sweet potatoes, and cut them into 1-inch chunks. Add the chunks to a pot of boiling water, and boil for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are nice and tender. Drain the water, then mash the sweet potatoes in that same pot. Make sure to mash them well — no one wants a chunky sweet potato pie. 

Finish the filling, and bake the pie

With the potatoes thoroughly mashed, add in the eggs, sugar, and melted butter, then beat well using a hand mixer or whisk. Add in the evaporated milk, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and vanilla extract, then beat once again until you have a smooth, cohesive filling. 

Pour the filling into the par-baked crust, then place the pie in the oven, allowing it to bake for about 55 minutes. You'll know that it's ready to go when the pie is set, and there's just a slight jiggle left in the middle. If the pie is still really jiggly, even at the edges, then it's not quite ready. Once you remove the pie from the oven, allow it to cool completely before cutting into it, about 2 to 4 hours — the pie will set even more as it cools, so premature cutting could result in a runny pie. 

Enjoy your Southern-style sweet potato pie

Once the pie is cooled, go ahead and slice into it, and serve as desired. While Brookes does note that "This pie would be great to serve for Thanksgiving or during the holidays," it would be unfair to our tastebuds to limit the confection to such a short timeframe. So whip this pie up for any occasion, big or small — and, when you serve up a slice, don't skimp out on the whipped cream. "It's also great served with ice cream, custard or crème fraîche," Brookes adds. 

Southern-Style Sweet Potato Pie Recipe
5 from 49 ratings
Pumpkin pie will be put on the back burner with this easy and savory Southern-style sweet potato pie recipe.
Prep Time
Cook Time
slices of sweet potato pie
Total time: 3 hours, 40 minutes
  • 1 9-inch pre-made pie crust
  • 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • ⅔ cup evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Optional Ingredients
  • Whipped cream
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Roll out the pastry, and lay it over a 9-inch fluted pie pan. Push the pastry into the base and up the sides so it closely lines the pan. Cut away any excess, leaving an overhang of approximately 1 inch. Prick the base all over with a fork.
  2. Place a sheet of parchment paper over the pastry, and fill with baking beans. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the parchment paper, and bake for a further 7 minutes.
  3. While the pastry is still warm, use a sharp knife to slice away the excess overhang, leaving a neat edge.
  4. Peel the sweet potatoes, and dice them into chunks approximately 1-inch thick. Add to a pot of boiling water, and cook for 20 minutes until very tender. Drain and mash the potatoes well.
  5. Add the sugar, eggs, and melted butter to the potatoes, and beat well to combine.
  6. Add the evaporated milk, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and vanilla extract, and beat again until smooth.
  7. Pour the mixture into the pastry pie base, and bake for 55 minutes, or until completely set. Leave to cool before slicing, between 2 to 4 hours. Serve with whipped cream or your favorite toppings.
Calories per Serving 301
Total Fat 17.2 g
Saturated Fat 9.1 g
Trans Fat 0.4 g
Cholesterol 61.3 mg
Total Carbohydrates 34.0 g
Dietary Fiber 1.4 g
Total Sugars 17.8 g
Sodium 197.6 mg
Protein 3.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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