Southern Sweet Potato Pie


Experience the nostalgia and warmth of Southern hospitality with Southern Sweet Potato Pie, a cherished dessert that embodies the essence of Southern culinary tradition. This iconic pie, with its velvety smooth filling and aromatic spices, has been a staple at Southern tables for generations, evoking memories of family gatherings and holiday celebrations. Join us as we explore the recipe, ingredients, and preparation methods for creating this timeless dessert that continues to captivate hearts and taste buds alike.

The History of Southern Sweet Potato Pie: Southern Sweet Potato Pie has a rich and storied history rooted in African American culinary heritage. Originating from the traditional cooking practices of enslaved Africans, sweet potatoes were transformed into a decadent dessert that quickly became a Southern favorite. Over the years, this humble pie has evolved into a symbol of comfort and tradition, cherished by families across the South.


For the Pie Crust:

  • 1 9-inch unbaked pie crust (homemade or store-bought)

For the Filling:

  • 2 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes (about 2 medium sweet potatoes)
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For Serving (Optional):

  • Whipped cream or whipped topping
  • Ground cinnamon or nutmeg for garnish


  1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Prepare the Pie Crust: Place the unbaked pie crust in a 9-inch pie dish, pressing it gently against the bottom and sides. Crimp or flute the edges as desired. Set aside.
  3. Cook and Mash the Sweet Potatoes: Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into chunks. Boil the chunks in water until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain and mash the sweet potatoes until smooth. Measure out 2 cups of mashed sweet potatoes and set aside to cool slightly.
  4. Prepare the Filling: In a large mixing bowl, combine the mashed sweet potatoes, beaten eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, melted butter, evaporated milk, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and salt. Mix until well combined and smooth.
  5. Fill the Pie Crust: Pour the sweet potato filling into the prepared pie crust, spreading it out evenly with a spatula.
  6. Bake the Pie: Place the pie in the preheated oven and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the filling is set and the crust is golden brown. To prevent over-browning, cover the edges with foil halfway through baking.
  7. Cool and Serve: Allow the pie to cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before slicing. Serve slices with whipped cream or whipped topping, if desired. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon or nutmeg for garnish.

Serving and Storage Tips for Southern Sweet Potato Pie:

  1. Serve at Room Temperature: Southern Sweet Potato Pie is best served at room temperature or slightly warm. Allow the pie to cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before slicing and serving to ensure the filling sets properly.
  2. Slice Carefully: When slicing the pie, use a sharp knife and wipe it clean between cuts to ensure clean slices. Serve each slice with a pie server or spatula to maintain its shape.
  3. Garnish Before Serving: Before serving, you can garnish each slice of Southern Sweet Potato Pie with a dollop of whipped cream or whipped topping. Sprinkle with a pinch of ground cinnamon or nutmeg for a decorative touch.
  4. Pair with Coffee or Tea: Serve slices of Southern Sweet Potato Pie alongside a cup of freshly brewed coffee or hot tea for a delightful dessert pairing. The warm flavors of the pie complement the comforting warmth of the beverage.
  5. Store in the Refrigerator: Store any leftover pie in the refrigerator to maintain its freshness. Cover the pie loosely with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent it from drying out or absorbing odors from the refrigerator.
  6. Consume Within 3-4 Days: For the best taste and texture, consume leftover Southern Sweet Potato Pie within 3-4 days of baking. While the pie will still be safe to eat after this time, it may begin to lose its freshness.
  7. Reheat Before Serving: If serving leftover pie, you can gently reheat individual slices in the microwave or oven until warmed through. Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream for a comforting treat.
  8. Freeze for Longer Storage: If you have more pie than you can consume within a few days, you can freeze individual slices or the entire pie for longer storage. Wrap the pie tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil before freezing to prevent freezer burn.
  9. Thaw Before Serving: When ready to enjoy frozen pie, transfer it from the freezer to the refrigerator to thaw overnight. Once thawed, reheat as desired or serve chilled, depending on your preference.
  10. Enjoy Every Bite: Whether served fresh from the oven or enjoyed as a leftover treat, Southern Sweet Potato Pie is a delightful dessert that brings comfort and joy with every bite. Savor the flavors and savor the memories shared with loved ones.

Variations of Southern Sweet Potato Pie:

  1. Pecan Streusel Topping: Add a crunchy twist to your sweet potato pie by topping it with a layer of pecan streusel before baking. Mix together chopped pecans, brown sugar, flour, and melted butter to create the streusel topping, then sprinkle it over the pie filling before baking for added texture and flavor.
  2. Maple Glaze Drizzle: Elevate the sweetness of your sweet potato pie by drizzling it with a homemade maple glaze before serving. Combine maple syrup, powdered sugar, and a splash of vanilla extract to create the glaze, then drizzle it over each slice of pie for a decadent finishing touch.
  3. Coconut Cream Layer: Add a tropical twist to your sweet potato pie by incorporating a layer of creamy coconut custard between the pie crust and sweet potato filling. Simply spread a layer of coconut custard over the bottom of the pie crust before adding the sweet potato filling, then bake as usual for a delightful flavor combination.
  4. Gingerbread Spice Infusion: Give your sweet potato pie a seasonal spin by infusing it with the warm flavors of gingerbread spice. Add ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg to the sweet potato filling for a cozy and aromatic twist on this classic dessert.
  5. Chocolate Swirl Swirl: Indulge your sweet tooth with a chocolatey variation of sweet potato pie by swirling melted chocolate into the pie filling before baking. Melt dark chocolate chips and swirl them into the sweet potato filling just before pouring it into the pie crust, then bake as usual for a deliciously decadent dessert.


  1. Can I use canned sweet potatoes for this recipe?
    • Yes, you can use canned sweet potatoes as a convenient alternative to fresh ones. Just be sure to drain and mash them before using in the recipe.
  2. Can I make the pie crust from scratch?
    • Absolutely! You can make a homemade pie crust using flour, butter, salt, and water. Alternatively, you can use a store-bought pie crust for added convenience.
  3. Can I use sweetened condensed milk instead of evaporated milk?
    • While evaporated milk is traditional, you can substitute sweetened condensed milk for a sweeter and richer flavor. Keep in mind that it may alter the sweetness of the pie.
  4. Is it necessary to peel the sweet potatoes before cooking?
    • Yes, it’s best to peel the sweet potatoes before cooking to ensure a smooth and creamy texture in the filling. However, if you prefer a rustic texture, you can leave the skins on.
  5. Can I make this pie ahead of time?
    • Yes, you can make Southern Sweet Potato Pie ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Simply reheat slices in the oven or enjoy them chilled.
  6. Can I freeze leftover pie?
    • Yes, you can freeze leftover Southern Sweet Potato Pie for longer storage. Wrap individual slices or the entire pie tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil before freezing. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating or serving.
  7. Can I use alternative sweeteners?
    • Yes, you can experiment with alternative sweeteners such as maple syrup, honey, or coconut sugar in place of granulated and brown sugar. Adjust the quantities to taste.
  8. Can I add nuts or raisins to the filling?
    • Absolutely! Chopped pecans, walnuts, or raisins can add texture and flavor to the filling. Simply fold them into the sweet potato mixture before pouring it into the pie crust.
  9. Can I make mini pies instead of one large pie?
    • Yes, you can use mini pie dishes or muffin tins to make individual-sized pies. Adjust the baking time accordingly, as smaller pies may cook more quickly.
  10. Can I serve this pie with savory dishes?
    • While Southern Sweet Potato Pie is traditionally served as a dessert, its sweet and savory flavors also pair well with savory dishes such as roasted meats or savory casseroles. Experiment with different flavor combinations to find your favorite pairing.


Southern Sweet Potato Pie is more than just a dessert—it’s a symbol of tradition, comfort, and love. With its rich history and irresistible flavors, this iconic pie continues to bring joy to tables across the South and beyond. Whether enjoyed during holidays, family gatherings, or everyday moments, Southern Sweet Potato Pie is sure to evoke feelings of warmth and nostalgia with each delicious bite.

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