Southern-Style Sweet Potato Pie
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Fluffy and flavored with brown sugar and autumn spices — this is a wonderful Southern sweet potato pie.
This sweet potato pie recipe comes from Mable Smith, a wonderful lady who has been a dear friend of my family for over 35 years. Originally from South Carolina, Mable is known for her Southern-style pies, which she bakes by the dozen to give away over the holidays. Her recipe calls for a store-bought frozen crust, which I think works perfectly well, but if you’d like to make your own, here’s my favorite pie crust recipe. The flavor of this pie improves over time, so go ahead and make it a few days ahead.
What You’ll Need To Make Sweet Potato Pie
How To Make Sweet Potato Pie
Step 1: Roast and Mash the Sweet Potatoes
Many sweet potato pie recipes call for boiling the sweet potatoes but in this recipe they are roasted. Roasting takes a bit longer but is completely hands-off, and you don’t have to worry about peeling or slicing them.
Simply poke the sweet potatoes with a fork five or six times and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast until very tender, about 1 hour.
Let cool, then scoop the pulp out of the skin into a medium bowl. Using a potato masher or fork, mash until smooth. (Feel free to roast the sweet potatoes several days ahead of time and store the flesh in an airtight container in the refrigerator until needed.)
Step 2: Blind Bake the Crust
Blind baking is the process of pre-baking a pie crust before a wet filling is added. It is always necessary when pies have unbaked fillings (such as cream pies) but I blind bake the crust for all of my pies, as it helps keep the crust crunchy. Different crusts will have different instructions for blind baking, so follow the instructions on the package. Once the crust is blind baked, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.
Step 3: Make the Sweet Potato Pie Filling
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or beaters), beat the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until the mixture is moistened and crumbly, about 1 minute.
Beat in the egg.
Then add the yolks, one at a time, until the mixture is creamy and smooth, a few minutes.
Add the vanilla, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger; beat until just combined.
Add 1¾ cups of the mashed sweet potatoes (use any remaining sweet potatoes for another purpose or discard).
Mix to combine.
Finally, add the evaporated milk.
Mix on low speed to combine. Don’t worry if the mixture has a grainy or slightly curdled appearance; that’s normal.
Pour the sweet potato filling into the pie crust and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.
Step 4: Fill and Bake the Pie
Place the pie on a baking sheet (for ease moving the pie in and out of the oven) and bake until the filling is set, 55 to 60 minutes. Set the pie on the counter and let cool completely before slicing, 2 to 3 hours.
Step 5: Whip the Cream and Serve
Up to 3 hours before serving, whip the cream on medium speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. When it starts to thicken, add the confectioners’ sugar. Continue to whip until it forms stiff peaks.
Before serving, slice the pie into wedges and top each slice with a dollop of whipped cream.
The pie can be made up to two days in advance, covered with plastic wrap, and stored in the refrigerator. The baked pie can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before serving.
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Southern-Style Sweet Potato Pie
Fluffy and flavored with brown sugar and autumn spices — this is a wonderful Southern sweet potato pie.
For the Pie
- 2 large sweet potatoes (about 2¼ pounds)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 3 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 1 9-in deep-dish frozen pie crust (no need to thaw) or homemade pie crust
For the Whipped Cream
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream, cold
- 2 tablespoons Confectioners' sugar
- Preheat the oven to 425°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
- Poke each sweet potato with a fork five or six times and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Roast until very tender, about 1 hour. Let cool, then scoop the pulp out of the skin into a medium bowl. Using a potato masher or fork, mash until smooth.
- Follow the instructions on the package (or homemade recipe) for blind baking the crust.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or beaters), beat the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until the mixture is moistened and crumbly, about 1 minute. Beat in the egg and yolks, one at a time, until the mixture is creamy and smooth, a few minutes. Add the vanilla, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger; beat until just combined. Add 1¾ cups of the mashed sweet potatoes (use any remaining sweet potatoes for another purpose or discard) and mix until incorporated. Finally, add the evaporated milk and mix on low speed to combine. Don't worry if the mixture has a grainy or slightly curdled appearance; that's normal.
- Pour the sweet potato filling into the pie crust and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Place the pie on a baking sheet (for ease moving the pie in and out of the oven) and bake until the filling is set, 55 to 60 minutes. Set the pie on the counter and let cool completely before slicing, 2 to 3 hours. Before serving, slice the pie into wedges and top each slice with a dollop of whipped cream.
For the Whipped Cream
- Up to 3 hours before serving, whip the cream on medium speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. When it starts to thicken, add the Confectioners' sugar. Continue to whip until it forms stiff peaks. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Make-Ahead Instructions: The pie can be made up to two days in advance, covered with with plastic wrap, and stored in the refrigerator. Let the pie sit out on the counter for a few hours to come to room temperature before serving.
- Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The baked pie can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before serving.
- Per serving (10 servings)
- Calories: 371
- Fat: 17 g
- Saturated fat: 10 g
- Carbohydrates: 50 g
- Sugar: 33 g
- Fiber: 3 g
- Protein: 5 g
- Sodium: 167 mg
- Cholesterol: 126 mg
This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.
Is there anyway to have an approximate Cup amount for the sweet potato for this recipe.
I had leftover cut up yams from Thanksgiving that I froze so I now have no idea of their weight from raw.
Whoops, I see you have already answered this question from the person below. 1.75 cups.
I just had the same thing with the curdling occur when I added in the condensed milk. I think I know what the problem is: sweet potatoes have an acidity that reacts with the milk. I have seen this before when cooking them in regular whole milk. Maybe try cream or sweetened condensed milk instead and cut back on the sugar? I passsed the mixture through a sieve to see if that would help but it just made tinier curds. The pie is in the oven now. If it comes out granular and curdled, it’s going in the garbage. Not a texture that I want in my pie.
Hi Johnny, How did the pie look when it was done baking? I added some info to the recipe to let readers know it’s normal that the batter will take on a grainy/slightly curdled texture while you’re combining all the ingredients.
I haven’t made it yet but I know it will be great. My question is how much sweet potato should I have in cups from baking the potatoes or does it matter? I want to make sure that I have enough for the recipe. Thanks.
Hi Peggy, You’ll need 1.75 cups for the pie. If you have any left over, you can discard or use for something else. Hope you enjoy the pie!
My pies turned out wonderful!!
The picture showing the ingredients needed to make the sweet potato pie, has both brown and white sugar. But the recipe only calls for brown sugar. Is that correct? Thanks.
Hi Diane, The bowl that I think you’re referring to has salt in it. There’s another bowl to the right of the pie crust and that’s confectioners’ sugar for the whipped cream. Hope that clarifies!
I just made the sweet potato pie-I made the 1¾ C mashed sweet potatoes the day before. refrigerated and kept it out for a couple hours to have it come to room temp. Followed recipe exactly (read and re-read and read again) but batter curdled. I still put it in the oven but it doesn’t look anything like your pic or any other pumpkin pie recipe I have ever made in my 50+ years of baking. What could have caused this? I know sometimes batter can go grainy but once you add flour it comes back together. But not the case here.
Hi Jacquie, I’m so sorry you had trouble with this! It’s hard to say what might have gone wrong without seeing it — are you able to send me a photo of the pie at email@example.com?
All the little white specks evidently dissolved while baking-Pie was Delicious!
But, I did do some research and it was likely due to temp change. Butter, sweet potato pulp were at room temp, then eggs were cold (right from fridge) and evaporated milk then again room temp…. I can’t figure it out otherwise? Your recipes are always spot on, so I know that was not the case. Funny, I looked at this particular recipe video (usually I do not) and your pics and my bowl looked the same until the milk was added…
Pie is half gone…LOL
Glad they dissolved white while baking and that the pie turned out nicely! Also, good to know where they may have come from – based on what you’re describing, it sounds like that could’ve been the case. 🙂
I had the same problem, Jacquie. Fingers crossed that it comes out good like yours! 🤞 if it’s a dud, I still have an excellent pecan pie. I can live with that. : )
How is a recipe from South Carolina anything to do with Canada? It may be good, but as a Canadian from Manitoba, we ever had sweet potato anything growing up!
I have a question. My mother in law asked me to make a sweet potato pie, and she picked up some sweet potatoes for me. Unfortunately, she picked up the sweet potatoes that are white on the inside and not orange. Are yams the orange one or are they sweet potatoes? Because she picked up the ones that said sweet potatoes and they turned out to be the white ones. So, what potato should I use for this recipe technically?
Hi Ashley, I think there are a variety of yams, but most of them are white inside versus the orange flesh that sweet potatoes have. (Some grocery stores label both of them as sweet potatoes, but they are different.) For the best results, I’d use sweet potatoes with the orange flesh.
I want to make this as more of a pudding and skip the crust. Do you think I can get away with baking it same as the pie, or do you think I should make the extra effort of using a water bath? Thanks!
Hi Rosie, I haven’t tried it this way, but I think you could get away with it. Keep in mind that it will definitely be a firm pudding (and I think you can skip the water bath). I’d love to hear how it turns out if you try it!
This is the PERFECT Sweet Potato Pie Recipe! It has become one of our family’s favorites, so I make it often. Thank you for your easy to follow recipes that always turn out fantastic!!!
Yum on YUM! I make sweet potato pie every year and always have to recheck the recipe. I found this recipe, made it and loved it! The spice combination and balance of 1 egg and 3 yolks is key! This is now my go to recipe! Thank you!
Another winner! Spice combo and quantity is perfect. I made this last night and ate a small slice this morning after breakfast with no guilt. It’s too good to feel guilty and my taste buds are too happy. This is by far my favorite recipe site. Thank you.
I have made this before with great success, but today for some reason the batter turned grainy. It all looked good and creamy until I dumped in the sweet potato, but as soon as the potato hit the egg/sugar/butter mixture, it lost its creaminess and there were grainy white specks throughout the batter. I decided to bake it anyway and although it tasted great, the texture was off. It was cooked through but still kind of watery.
Any idea what happened? This is such a great pie and has turned out so well before – I want to make sure I don’t repeat my mistake (whatever it was!).
Hi Cole, were the sweet potatoes still hot when you added them to the butter/sugar/egg mixture? From what you’re saying, it sounds like perhaps the eggs started to cook a bit giving the batter that grainy appearance.
Do you have a favorite store-bought pie crust?
Any chance I can use almond milk instead of evaporated milk? I’m dairy-free. I love all your recipes and easy ingredient lists. Lifesaver for cooking and cooking and cooking….. lol Thx!!
Hi K, So glad you like the recipes! I think you could probably get away with using almond milk here; just keep in mind that it may impact the texture of the filling. I’d love to hear how it turns out if you try it!
Have you ever made the recipe without cloves? I am quarantine cooking and do not have cloves.
Totally fine to skip the cloves, Jeff. If you have allspice, you can use that but if not, don’t worry about it. 🙂
making your sweet potato pie. Noticed in the picture looks like there is brown sugar as well as white put do not see white sugar in listed ingredients. Is white sugar used?
Hi Cindy, That’s Confectioners’ sugar for the whipped cream topping. 🙂
Officially has taken me from Pumpkin Pie fan to a Sweet Potato Pie Fan! This recipe is Amazing😍
Made this pie and the pie crust recipe here this weekend. Both are really good!
Could I robot coupe the sweet potato? Or will that make it gummy…? Going to make this tomorrow 🙂
Hi Eirene, As long as you don’t overmix, it should be just fine. Hope you enjoy the pie!
I’m not a fan of deep dish sweet potato pie. Could I use a regular frozen pie crust with these same measurements? Thank you in advance.
Hi B.R., You could but you definitely won’t be able to fit all of the filling in the pie shell. If you go that route, the cooking time will be less; I’m not exactly what it would be so just keep an eye on it.
I made the Sweet Potato Pie for my husband today
He enjoyed it very much “ It’s a winner”
My question has anyone made this pie with a graham cracker crust?
If so what were the results?
All the Best
Yes and it was perfect.
the recipe sounds wonderful and I want to try it. I have a garden full of very large butternut squash waiting to be cooked. Can I substitute the butternut squash? Thanks! beautiful website!The step-by-step photos are lovely!!!
Hi Jano, While I think it should work, I can’t say for sure as I haven’t tried it. I’d love to hear how it turns out if you make it this way! 🙂
Hi, Love all of your recipes! They always come out great!
When you say sweet potatoes do you use the pale colored ones or the orange potatoes. I saw both at the store ~ both say sweet potatoes but when I asked the clerk he said the dark skinned ones were yams and would be orange inside. Does it matter which ones you use?
Hi Ina, Yes, often times the names are used interchangeably, but they are different. You’ll want to stick with sweet potatoes (so the ones with the orange flesh). Hope that helps! 🙂
Can you use purple sweet potatoes in place of regular sweet potatoes?
Hi Kelly, I’ve never baked with purple sweet potatoes so I looked it up. Based on what I read, it sounds like it should work. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it!
I am surprised you do not give a weight or measurement for the sweet potatoes. The size can vary greatly. Given this is a dessert and not a savory dish, the amounts usually are more important to the success of the dish. That being said, I love your site and have been cooking so many of your recipes with great success.
Hi Claire, I agree — I just added the weight to the ingredients. Hope you enjoy the pie if you make it!
Thanks Jenn! I will give it a try! I love your site and I got your cook book too!
I made this for Thanksgiving and it was so good. My son loved it so much I had to give him the receipe on Christmas day.
Your sweet potatoes pie was way better than the pumpkin I made for Christmas.
Thanks so much.