Homemade Sweet Potato Pie
Grandma’s old fashioned sweet potato pie recipe is your new favorite Thanksgiving dessert! A smooth, creamy blend of roasted sweet potatoes, evaporated milk and warm spices fill a flaky homemade crust, all baked to golden perfection. Homemade sweet potato pie is a classic dessert during the fall months, and this version is the best I’ve ever had! Top with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for the ultimate Thanksgiving treat!
When Thanksgiving rolls around, there’s a couple of classic desserts that must be on the menu! I always serve my pumpkin dessert squares, pumpkin cupcakes, and this irresistible sweet potato pie. Believe it or not, I actually prefer it to a traditional pumpkin pie!
Put this and a pumpkin pie head-to-head in a taste test and this sweet potato pie comes out the winner every time! This pie is lusciously creamy, perfectly sweet and full of warm, cozy spices. This treat is sure to impress and earn you rave reviews from family and friends!
Sweet Potato Pie vs. Pumpkin Pie
While the two pies are definitely similar and also use many of the same ingredients, the texture is slightly different. Pumpkin pie has a more custard-like texture and sweet potato pie is denser. In my opinion, sweet potato pie has more depth and is a little more hearty than pumpkin pie. If you like pumpkin pie, you should give sweet potato pie a try this year. You’re sure to LOVE it!
Ingredients for Sweet Potato Pie
My recipe includes some secret ingredients that really make it special!
- Sweet potatoes. This recipe uses almost 2 cups mashed sweet potato. If you decided to use canned sweet potato, use that same amount and be sure to drain any liquid from the can.
- Butter. Use unsalted butter, so you control the salt
- Brown sugar. You can use light or dark, but I typically use dark because I love the delicious, rich flavor.
- Evaporated milk. Adds more of a creamy consistency than regular milk.
- Eggs. You’ll need 2 eggs to give the filling the perfect texture.
- Flour. A small amount of flour acts as a thickening agent in the filling.
- Vanilla. A must for a boost of flavor!
- Lemon extract. Sounds a little strange for a fall-flavored pie, but a small amount actually enhances the flavors of the sweet potato.
- Spices. The perfect blend of warm spices give this pie that cozy, fall flavor. We use cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger.
- Salt. Really brings out the sweet potato flavor!
Foolproof Oil Pie Crust Recipe
For this pie recipe I’m using an oil pie crust that comes from a VERY old Pillsbury cookbook. It’s the one my grandma most often used and now my mom uses. It’s made with oil, instead of butter or shortening, yet it is the flakiest pie crust ever. After tasting this pie, my husband actually commented on the crust and mentioned that he liked it better than most pie crusts because it was soft and flaky, not as hard as a normal pie crust. This crust is so tender that it almost just melts in your mouth when you eat it.
My favorite thing about using an all-oil pie crust is how super simple it is to make. It’s only 5 ingredients, you don’t need a food processor or pastry cutter, and there is no chilling required. You just mix the ingredients and pat the crust into the pie plate. In less than 5 minutes, you have pie crust that is ready to be filled and baked.
How do you make homemade sweet potato pie?
Sweet potato pie is made very similarly to a pumpkin pie and is one of the easiest pie recipes!
- Roast sweet potatoes. Wrap the sweet potatoes in foil and bake them for about an hour at 400ºF. Once they’re cooked and cooled enough to handle, the peel comes off very easily.
- Make the crust. While the sweet potatoes are roasting, you can prepare the very simple homemade crust recipe. It does NOT need to be baked before adding the filling.
- Combine filling ingredients. Use an electric hand or stand mixer to beat together all filling ingredients until smooth. Pour and spread filling into the unbaked pie crust.
- Bake. This pie recipe cooks for about one hour and until a knife comes out clean. Allow the pie to cool at least one to two hours before serving.
Tips for the Perfect Sweet Potato Pie
- Use baked sweet potatoes instead of boiled sweet potatoes for a richer, more concentrated flavor.
- Evaporated milk has a slightly caramelized flavor that is much preferred to using regular milk or cream.
- Cover crust edges with a pie ring or with foil to prevent over-browning. Check the baking pie after 30 minutes of baking to ensure the crust is not getting too brown, and if it is, cover it.
- If you prefer a cold sweet potato pie (I do!), allow the pie to cool completely and store (covered) in the fridge for about 2-4 hours or overnight. The flavors are even better the next day!
- Make ahead. This pie is the perfect make ahead dessert, freeing precious oven and counter space on Thanksgiving! Make the pie up to one day before serving and store, covered, in the refrigerator.
- Frozen pie shell or another favorite homemade pie crust may be used instead of the one listed in this recipe.
Sweet potato pie is a classic pie recipe, but there are plenty of toppings you can add to your pie to customize it to your tastes.
- Cool whip or whipped cream. My favorite! This is the most widely used topping. You can use freshly whipped cream, the aerosol can version, or even thawed whipped topping.
- Caramel sauce. Drizzle 1-2 teaspoons of caramel sauce over each slice.
- Marshmallow whipped cream. Marshmallow pairs perfectly with sweet potato! Mix equal parts marshmallow fluff with whipped cream. I would start with 1 cup, each.
- Ice cream. Not a traditional sweet potato pie topping, but SO delicious!
- Nuts. Add a sprinkle of chopped candied pecans or walnuts on top of the pie before serving.
Storing Leftover Sweet Potato Pie
Once your sweet potato pie is completely cooled, cover it or place slices into airtight containers and store it in the fridge for up to about 3-4 days. Enjoy straight from the fridge!
Freezing Sweet Potato Pie
You can freeze sweet potato pie before or after cooking it!
To freeze before baking. Make according to recipe instructions, then wrap tightly with plastic wrap or foil. Place in a freezer-safe zip-top bag or airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw pie completely before baking it.
To freeze after baking. Bake the pie as directed, cool completely, then wrap tightly with plastic wrap or foil. Place in a freezer-safe zip-top bag or airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to serve, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before serving.
More Thanksgiving Desserts
If you try this sweet potato pie recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.
Homemade Sweet Potato Pie
For the crust:
- 1 1/2 cups (188g) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 2 tablespoons milk
For the pie filling:
- 1 lb sweet potatoes, (about 2 medium)*
- 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar (I typically use dark)
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk from a can**
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract (optional)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- optional: whipped cream or Cool Whip for topping
- Wrap sweet potatoes in foil and bake for about 65 minutes at 400ºF. Alternatively, you can boil potatoes in skin for 40 to 50 minutes. Once cooked, allow potatoes to cool until you can easily handle them. Run the potatoes under very cold water. The skin should peel off easily.
- I like to make the crust while the sweet potatoes are cookng. For the crust, combine flour, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add oil and milk; mix well and pat in 9-inch pie dish, flutting edges if desired.
- Transfer sweet potatoes to a large mixing bowl. Add butter, sugar, milk, eggs, flour, vanilla, lemon extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and salt. Using an electric hand or stand mixer, beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth. Pour and spread filling into an unbaked pie crust.
- Bake at 350ºF for 55 to 60 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out mostly clean. Pie will puff up like a soufflé, and then will sink down as it cools. After 30 minutes of cooking, you can place a pie crust shield on top of the pie to prevent the edges from over-browning. If using the pie crust in this recipe, you shouldn't need to.
- Allow pie to cool on a cooling rack for at least 1 hour at room temperature before serving. Cover leftovers tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. If you prefer a chilled pie, allow pie to cool completely and store (covered) in the fridge for about 2-4 hours or overnight. The flavors are even better the next day!