October 12, 2022| By

Sweet Potato Pie Recipe

Prep Time: 1 hr 20 mins
Cook Time: 35 mins
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This southern sweet potato pie recipe is a family recipe that has been passed down for generations! It has a all butter flaky homemade pie crust and a smooth and creamy brown butter sweet potato filling that will literally melt in your mouth!

This sweet potato pie recipe is the perfect pie for holiday meals and is a classic dessert for any Sunday dinner!

Love sweet potato recipes? Try this sweet potato pound cake with cream cheese frosting, sweet potato cornbread, and Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole.

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sweet potato pie in a pie pan with slices cut into it.
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I confidently stand behind this when I say that this is the best sweet potato pie recipe you'll ever make! This recipe is my great grandmother's recipe and has been sought after by many! It is the epitome of soul food.

I cannot tell you how many times I've made this and folks call and text me begging for the recipe. It's one of those great recipes that everyone loves. Here's the hint - the secret ingredient is love, just as my grandma would always say.

Think traditional sweet potato pie meets sweet potato casserole. It's a delicious pie filled with a buttery and smooth sweet potato mixture with brown butter and wonderful warm spices and baked in a flaky buttery crust.

This will be your new favorite sweet potato pie recipe, I can guarantee it.

It's a traditional dessert that's perfect for any special occasion any time of the year, but especially during the holiday season. Thanksgiving dinner is not complete without this old-fashioned sweet potato pie.

What You'll Need

pieces of sweet potato pie slices on silver plates.

Ingredients for Grandma’s Old Fashioned Sweet Potato Pie Recipe

A few simple ingredients go a long with my grandma's sweet potato pie recipe. It's my favorite pie recipe because it only requires pantry staples. Also, you'll need a 9-inch pie dish for this recipe.

Buttery Pie Crust

If using a store bought pie crust, skip these ingredients.

  • Cold Butter - I use salted butter because I love a flavorful pie crust. If you prefer unsalted butter, you can absolutely use that. Also, make sure that your butter is cold, this is what makes that flaky pie crust!
  • All purpose flour
  • Cold Water - make sure that the water is ICE water COLD. This helps to keep the butter cold and prevent the pie crust from becoming soggy.
  • Spices - yes, we're using spices in the pie crust! Every bite of this pie has flavor, including the crust! You'll need a little cinnamon and nutmeg. These spices go so well with the sweet potato flavor.
  • Sugar - to sweeten the crust a little bit!

Sweet Potato Filling

  • Sweet potatoes - you'll want to use fresh sweet potatoes as opposed to canned sweet potato puree for this recipe. The sweet mashed potatoes give this pie it's smooth custard-like texture. Sweet potato puree has a bit more water so it doesn't thicken as nicely in the oven.
  • Brown Butter - the browned butter adds a caramel nutty flavor. It's quite simple to brown butter, but has the best flavor. Check out how to make brown butter, I also provide more details in the recipe card.
  • Brown Sugar - light brown sugar and dark brown sugar both work well here. Dark brown sugar has a deeper molasses/caramel flavor, so I tend to use that most often. Use whichever you prefer!
  • White Sugar - for added sweetness.
  • Spices - ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground ginger, and ground cloves give this pie a lot of flavor.
  • Evaporated milk - evaporated milk adds creaminess to the texture of sweet potato pie without curdling while baking. It's an ideal choice when baking a custard pie.
  • Vanilla Extract - for added flavor.
  • Large Eggs
  • Flour - this thickens the filling.

Tips

  • To save time, use a store bought pie crust! You'll want to get a 9 inch pie crust so keep that in mind!
  • Make sure that the boiled sweet potatoes have come to room temperature prior to adding the ingredients to make the sweet potato pie filling. If the potatoes are hot, it'll cook the eggs and the filling will be lumpy. No good.
  • To make your sweet potato filling extra smooth, press them through a fine mesh sieve. This takes some time but it's worth it! (See the recipe card for more details)
  • Do not add your sweet potatoes to a food processor. They'll become gluey from overmixing! When you boil sweet potatoes, the starch in the potatoes swells. When you blend them after boiling, they'll release too much starch. You'll end up with a gummy filling as opposed to a smooth and creamy sweet potato pie.
  • For best results, I recommend using fresh sweet potatoes for this recipe as opposed to canned sweet potato puree. The canned puree tends to have more water in it which prevents filling from thickening up while baking.
  • I recommend using a potato ricer for this recipe to get the potatoes nice and smooth. This is a "nice to have", not mandatory! A potato masher works just fine.
  • Make sure that the pie weights completely fill the pie pan to the top of the pie crust. You can also use uncooked rice or uncooked beans. Just don't use them to cook after.

How to make Black Folks Sweet Potato Pie

Make the Pie Crust From Scratch

If using store bought pie crust, skip this step!

  • First thing, combine cold butter, flour, salt, sugar, and spices in a large mixing bowl. Pinch flour and butter together until butter is incorporated into the flour. You can also use a food processor.
  • Create a well in the middle of the bowl. Slowly begin adding cold water to the flour mixture, start with one tablespoon at a time. The dough should not be wet, it should be crumbly and shaggy. (see photos below)
  • Turn dough out onto a well floured work surface and press pie dough together until a cohesive dough forms. Wrap in plastic wrap and allow the dough to sit in the refrigerator for an hour.
pie dough wrapped in plastic wrap.

Make the Sweet Potato Pie Filling

  • While the pie dough is resting in the refrigerator, peel and cut sweet potatoes into chunks. Boil the sweet potatoes in a large pot until fork tender. In a separate pan, brown the butter and allow it to cool.
  • Once the sweet potatoes have finished cooking, drain and add to a large mixing bowl. Mash the sweet potatoes and allow them to cool completely. Be sure to remove any stringy fibers from the sweet potato flesh.
  • Add the brown sugar, vanilla extract, brown butter, evaporated milk, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg ginger, cloves, and a pinch of salt and mix together. Then add eggs and mash together until eggs are fully incorporated.

Blind Bake the Pie Crust

pie crust in a pie pan.
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Roll the pie dough out until it's about a ¼ inch thick. Place into a pie pan and trim off any excess pieces that don't fit into the pan. If you'd like to crimp the pie crust edges, do so here.
  • Polk holes in the bottom of the crust so that air bubbles do not form while baking.
  • Add parchment paper to the pie pan and add pie weights to the unbaked pie crust and place in the preheated oven for 17-20 minutes, until the edges of the crust is golden brown.
  • Remove the pie weights from the pie shell and continue to bake for another 12-13 minutes, until the bottom of the pie is golden brown.

Bake the Pie

sweet potato pie recipe in a pie pan.
  • Add the sweet potato filling to the pie pan. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for 35-40 minutes, until the center of the pie is slightly jiggly.
  • Allow your baked sweet potato pie to cool completely on a wire rack.

Serve

a slice of sweet potato pie on a plate.

To serve, I added a little brown sugar meringue on top. When I was a little girl, my grandma would put marshmallows on top of the pie, but I like to put a twist on this family recipe by adding a meringue instead. You can also top with whipped cream.

(Tip: add the meringue topping only after the pie has cooled completely. If the pie is warm, the meringue will melt) To make the brown sugar meringue topping, use a hand mixer / electric mixer to whip the egg whites. Start on medium speed then increase to high speed and add the cream of tartar. Continue to mix for another minute then slowly begin to add brown sugar. Whip until glossy and then add vanilla extract.Whip until glossy and pipe on top of the pie. Pro tip - use a torch to brown the meringue for those gorgeous browned streaks!

Dollop a little ice cream on a pie plate and serve this delicious homemade sweet potato pie for everyone to enjoy!

How to Store Sweet Potato Pie

You can store any leftover pie in the refrigerator in an airtight container or covered with plastic wrap for up to 5 days. You'll want to store this without the brown sugar meringue as meringue tends to become syrupy after sitting for a while.

You can also freeze the pie by slicing it and wrapping it in plastic wrap, then wrapping in aluminum foil, and placing in a ziploc bag. It'll last for 2-3 months. When that sweet tooth is calling and you're ready to reheat it from frozen, allow it to thaw then warm it in the oven for about 10-15 minutes at 325 degrees F.

Recipe FAQs

How do you thicken sweet potato pie filling?

You can add flour to thicken pie filling. If the filling is runny, it's likely that it hasn't been baked long enough. Try baking it for an additional 5-10 minutes then allow it to cool completely.

Where did sweet potato pie originate?

Sweet potato pie is the epitome of soul food! It was invented by George Washington Carver in the 1900s in the South.

Does sweet potato pie need eggs?

Yes! The eggs give the sweet potato pie filling it's custardy texture. It also helps to bind the ingredients together to give the pie a creamy texture.

More Pie Recipes

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Let's stay connected on social media and continue to cook together! Also, if you decide to make this recipe, please leave a star rating on the recipe card and leave a comment below! Tag @BritneyBreaksBread on Instagram and hashtag #britneybreaksbread so I can see your creations! I hope that you love this recipe as much as we do!

Black Folks Sweet Potato Pie Recipe

This sweet potato pie recipe is a flaky pie crust, smooth brown butter sweet potato filling that will in your mouth!
Serving: 12
Prep Time: 1 hr 20 mins
Cook Time: 35 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 55 mins
Calories: 345kcal

Equipment

  • Mixing Bowls
  • 9-inch pie pan
  • Electric Mixer , optional

Ingredients

Pie Crust

  • 1 ½ cups All Purpose Flour
  • ½ tsp Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp Nutmeg
  • 2 tbsps White Sugar
  • ¼ tsp Kosher Salt
  • ½ cup Salted Butter , cut into chunks
  • ¼ cup Ice Cold Water

Sweet Potato Filling

  • 3 cups Mashed Sweet Potato (about 3 large sweet potatoes)
  • ½ cup Salted Butter , browned (see instructions)
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • ¼ cup White Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp Ground Ginger
  • ¼ tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp Ground Cloves
  • cup Evaporated Milk
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ tsp Kosher Salt
  • ¼ cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 large Eggs

Brown Sugar Meringue

  • 3 Egg Whites
  • ¼ tsp Cream of Tartar , or lemon juice
  • 6 tbsps Brown Sugar
  • ½ tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Pinch of Kosher Salt

Directions

  • Cut butter into chunks and add back into the refrigerator. In a large bowl or food processor, combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, and salt. Whisk together.
  • Add chunks of butter into the flour mixture and pinch together until butter is fully incorporated into the flour and pea-sized morsels form. (If using a food processor, pulse until butter and flour come together to form pea-sized morsels).
  • Make a well in the center of the bowl and begin adding ice cold water a 1-2 tablespoons at a time. Mix until a shaggy dough forms.
  • Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and press any scraps together to form one cohesive dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for one hour.
  • While the pie dough is resting in the refrigerator, peel and halve the sweet potatoes. Boil the sweet potatoes in a large pot until fork tender. In a separate pan, brown the butter. Set aside and allow it to cool.
  • Once the sweet potatoes have finished cooking, drain and add to a large mixing bowl. Mash the sweet potatoes and add the brown butter, brown sugar, sugar, spices, and evaporated milk. Mix together until combined and allow them to cool completely. Be sure to remove any stringy fibers from the sweet potato flesh. (Optional step: press sweet potato mixture through a fine mesh sieve to remove any lumps and residual stringy fibers)
  • Then add in vanilla extract, flour, and eggs and mash together until eggs are fully incorporated.
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Roll the pie dough out into a 10-inch circle until it's about a ¼ inch thick.
  • Place pie dough into a pie pan and trim off any excess pieces that don't fit into the pan. If you'd like to crimp the pie crust edges, do so here. Freeze the pie for 20 minutes.
  • Polk holes in the bottom of the crust so that air bubbles do not form while baking. Add parchment paper to the pie pan and add pie weights to the unbaked pie crust and place in the preheated oven for 17-20 minutes, until the edges of the crust is golden brown.
  • Remove the pie weights from the pie shell and continue to bake for another 12-13 minutes, until the bottom of the pie dough is golden brown. Add the sweet potato filling. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for 35-40 minutes, until the center of the pie is slightly jiggly. Allow your baked sweet potato pie to cool completely on a wire rack.
  • (Tip: add the meringue topping only after the pie has cooled completely. If the pie is warm, the meringue will melt) To make the brown sugar meringue topping, use a hand mixer / electric mixer to whip the egg whites. Start on medium speed then increase to high speed and add the cream of tartar. Continue to mix for another minute then slowly begin to add brown sugar. Whip until glossy and then add vanilla extract.
  • Mix together add to a piping bag and pipe on top of the pie once the pie has cooled completely. Pro tip - use a torch to brown the meringue for those gorgeous browned streaks!

Notes

Tips
  • To save time, use a store bought pie crust! You'll want to get a 9 inch pie crust so keep that in mind!
  • Make sure that the boiled sweet potatoes have come to room temperature prior to adding the ingredients to make the sweet potato pie filling. If the potatoes are hot, it'll cook the eggs and the filling will be lumpy. No good.
  • Do not add your sweet potatoes to a food processor. They'll become gluey from overmixing! When you boil sweet potatoes, the starch in the potatoes swells. When you blend them after boiling, they'll release too much starch. You'll end up with a gummy filling as opposed to a smooth and creamy sweet potato pie.
  • For best results, I recommend using fresh sweet potatoes for this recipe as opposed to canned sweet potato puree. The canned puree tends to have more water in it which prevents filling from thickening up while baking.
  • I recommend using a potato ricer for this recipe to get the potatoes nice and smooth. This is a "nice to have", not mandatory! A potato masher works just fine.
  • Make sure that the pie weights completely fill the pie pan to the top of the pie crust. You can also use uncooked rice or uncooked beans. Just don't use them to cook after.

Nutrition

Calories: 345kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 508mg | Potassium: 208mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 5288IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Cakes, Pies, Tarts, Christmas, Dessert, Thanksgiving
Cuisine: African-American, American

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Recipe Rating




  1. 5 stars
    What luxurious flavors! Definitely an upscale flavor profile for our family. Your recipe opened my mind around our traditional foods and seasoning combinations. Trust & believe…your sweet potato pie recipe is Top Notch❤️ I also tried the apple filling hee hee🥰 Absolutely spectacular too!

    • I would stick to using a potato masher or potato ricer. You can use a stand mixer but you don't want to overmix the potatoes because they'll become gluey.

  2. 5 stars
    Listen - I'm really particular when it comes to my sweet potato pie and this recipe was popping! The filling was nice and sweet and the crust had so much flavor. This is the ultimate sweet potato pie.

  3. 5 stars
    Making pie crust from scratch always intimidates me but this one came out perfect. The filling was smooth and creamy with just the right amount of spice. Definitely making this again for Thanksgiving!

  4. 5 stars
    I test drove this pie for Friendsgiving in a couple of weeks and everyone was impressed! I can't wait to make it again. Thank you for making me look like a professional baker!

  5. 5 stars
    Wow! Wow! Wow! This is the best sweet potato pie I have ever had and my entire family agreed with me! We all enjoyed each bite! I had never made a sweet potato pie crust from scratch but this recipe gave me the confidence to. I lived the crust, loved the filling, loved the flavors and I will make this weekly throughout the holiday season!

  6. 5 stars
    Whew! This was THE sweet potato pie recipe that I didn’t know I needed! I tasted the love from every generation this recipe was passed down through! Thanks so much Britney! Looking forward to making it over and over!

  7. 5 stars
    Classic sweet potato pie recipe, just how my mom makes it! Can’t wait to make this for my in-laws this Thanksgiving.

  8. 5 stars
    I wanted to do a trial run of desserts before the holidays arrive, so I made the pie for some of my friends. Not only did I not have any leftovers people said it was as gorgeous as it was scrumptious.