How to make southern sweet potato pie from Grandma's recipe box. Simple and easy, old-fashioned, family favorite Thanksgiving dessert from scratch.
This delicious southern sweet potato pie recipe is one I'm sharing from my grandmother's recipe box (though I've tweaked it just a bit). The recipe card actually has my Aunt Jennie's name written at the top, along with a date from 1980.
As a little girl, we would often visit family in Texas, including my Great Aunt Jennie. Aunt Jennie was one of a kind, and it was always fun going to see her.
While I've never been a huge fan of sweet potatoes, I do love me some good old-fashioned sweet potato pie… And apple crumble pie and classic pecan pie and caramel custard pie, yum!
Add a dollop of whipped cream on top, and you've got a very yummy holiday dessert.
This southern style sweet potato pie is super easy to make, and it doesn't require a ton of ingredients. But unless you're using canned sweet potato, be sure to cook your sweet potatoes beforehand and have them ready to go; I prefer to cook my sweet potatoes in the Instant Pot.
Also… Sweet potato casserole with marshmallows is just as much a holiday staple as sweet potato pie.
WHERE CAN I FIND THE ACTUAL RECIPE CARD?
If you’d rather skip all of my baking tips, important info for this recipe, and similar recipe ideas – and get straight to the recipe – just scroll down to the bottom, where you’ll find a printable recipe card with a longer how to video.
DOES SWEET POTATO PIE TASTE LIKE PUMPKIN PIE?
Sweet potato pie is basically a sweet potato custard pie. So, yes, it's a lot like your classic pumpkin pie, only it's made with sweet potatoes.
It has the same look, a similar taste (personally, I think it's better than pumpkin pie), and a very similar texture.
INGREDIENTS YOU'LL NEED:
- Pie crust
- Sweet potato purée
- Flour (all-purpose flour OR a cup for cup gluten-free flour)
- Salted butter
- Evaporated milk
- Vanilla extract
Keep in mind, all of the ingredient amounts you’ll need are in the printable recipe card below.
KITCHEN TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT YOU'LL NEED:
Stand Mixer or Hand Mixer with Mixing Bowl
Glass Measuring Cup – for measuring out liquids.
Pie Shield or Aluminum Foil – to keep the edges of your crust from burning.
Baking Tester – Check whether your pie (or cake) is done.
Wire Rack – for cooling the pie.
Coffee Maker with Coffee – Some of my favorite memories are dessert with my grandmother. She always loved a hot cup of coffee with her pie.
HOW TO PREP FRESH SWEET POTATOES FOR PIE
You can either boil, pressure cook, or bake the sweet potatoes.
If you decide to boil or pressure cook the sweet potatoes, you'll need to wash and peel them before you cook them. If you decide to bake them, you can bake them in the skins, and then remove the skins after they've cooled.
Then just purée the sweet potatoes in a blender or with an immersion blender to get them ready for pie. You'll want a smooth, creamy texture to your sweet potato purée.
To make the whole process easier, I usually just pressure cook the sweet potatoes in my Instant Pot, then peel them and mash them up, right in the pot, with my immersion blender.
HOW TO MAKE SOUTHERN SWEET POTATO PIE
Before you get started, just make sure you've got your mashed sweet potatoes and an unbaked pie crust ready to go. Let's talk about the crust and the filling…
MAKING THE PIE CRUST:
If you prefer a traditional roll-out crust, this pie crust is the way to go. If you want to keep it easy, try making this easy no-roll pie crust.
MAKING SWEET POTATO PIE FILLING:
- Using a mixer, mix together the sweet potato purée, eggs, flour, sugar, softened butter, evaporated milk, and vanilla extract.
- Add in the salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg, whipping the mixture until it's blended well. You may need to scrape the sides of your mixing bowl and mix again.
Then just pour the batter into your prepared, unbaked pie shell.
Bake according to the instructions in the recipe card below. Then allow the pie to cool on a wire rack.
Once your pie has cooled, I recommend chilling it overnight in the refrigerator before slicing into it. This is one pie that just gets better and better the next day and the day after that.
Once it's chilled, you can slice it, add a dollop of whipped cream, and you're all set to enjoy every bite, along with a glass of milk or a cup of coffee. Nothing like coffee to bring all the flavors full circle!
CAN I USE CANNED SWEET POTATO TO MAKE THIS PIE?
Yes, you can use canned sweet potato, which is certainly easier to do.
Though I still prefer to use fresh sweet potatoes for the flavor. They just require a little more prep work.
IS SOUTHERN STYLE SWEET POTATO PIE GLUTEN-FREE?
You can absolutely make it gluten-free by substituting a good cup for cup gluten-free flour for the all-purpose flour. And then also make the pie crust with gluten-free flour.
Also, be sure to check labels on any of the above ingredients, just to be safe, especially the spices you use.
HOW TO TELL WHEN SWEET POTATO PIE IS DONE
You can use a toothpick, table knife, or cake tester to see if your pie is done, but being that this is more of a sweet potato custard pie, you may still see a bit of residue on your tester. So this may not be an accurate way of telling whether or not it's done.
When you go to take it out of the oven, your pie should still be a little bit jiggly. If it's more than just a little jiggly, it needs more time in the oven.
It's a delicate balance between under-baking and over-baking when it comes to custard pie. On one hand, you don't want it to be uncooked in the middle; on the other hand, you don't want it to crack and be too dry.
The pie will continue to cook even when you take it out of the oven. As it cools, it will firm up; placing it in the fridge after cooling will help even more.
If you’re looking for more holiday recipes, you’ll find a whole slew of them on my lists of the Thanksgiving Recipes and the Christmas Recipes.
CAN YOU FREEZE SWEET POTATO PIE?
Yes, you can freeze sweet potato pie. Just make sure it's covered well so it doesn't get freezer burn.
You may also want to make it in a pie dish you don't plan to use again before you take the pie out of the freezer; or use a disposable aluminum pie plate.
The Kitchn has a great tutorial on how to freeze pumpkin pie with all sorts of helpful tips that would work just as well for sweet potato pie.
GET THE PRINTABLE SWEET POTATO PIE RECIPE
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Southern Sweet Potato Pie
- 2 cups sweet potato purée
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 cup cane sugar
- 1/2 cup salted butter softened
- 3/4 cup evaporated milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 single pie crust unbaked
- Using a mixer, mix together the sweet potato purée, eggs, flour, sugar, butter, evaporated milk, and vanilla extract.
- Add in the salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg, whipping the mixture until it’s blended well. You may need to scrape the sides of your mixing bowl and mix again.
- Pour the mixture into your prepared and unbaked pie crust.
- Bake the pie at 350° F for about 1 hour, or until it’s firm.
- Allow the pie to cool on a wire rack.
- Once your pie has cooled, I recommend chilling it overnight in the refrigerator before slicing it. This is one pie that just gets better and better the next day and the day after that.
- Once it’s chilled, you can slice it, add a dollop of whipped cream, and serve.
30 thoughts on “How to Make Southern Sweet Potato Pie”
I made this pie for Thanksgiving tomorrow. It turned out beautiful. I can’t wait to find out how everyone likes it. It fills a 9 inch pie pan perfectly.
Best pie I have eaten. Reminds me of my grandma!
That sounds amazing, Sandra!
Woke up early to make this pie. My brain was still sleeping and I accidentally halved the butter 1/4c vs 1/2c. It still turned out great. I used Chinese 5 Spice in addition to the cinnamon and nutmeg, and it worked really well. I think I’ll make this again for Xmas.
Jay, thank you! So good to know it still turned out. And that extra spice sounds delicious!
If using pre-made sweet potato purée…what should the amount/weight be to equal the whole potatoes called for?
Hi Desi, I would probably use about 3 to 4 cups of sweet potato purée.
Look so good – thanks for sharing!