Homemade Sweet Potato Pie

This Sweet Potato Pie recipe is made with fresh sweet potatoes, subtly spiced, has a layer of brown sugar baked onto the crust, and gets a little kick from bourbon. All you need is a dollop of whipped cream

A slice of sweet potato pie with whipped cream and crushed pecans.

Growing up, there were always two pumpkin pies sitting on my aunt’s stove, ready to serve up after we had cleared the plates from Thanksgiving dinner. We were always a big group, but aside from my grandma’s legendary walnut pillow cookies, that was our go-to dessert. This (sadly) means that I had never tasted sweet potato pie until adulthood, and had no idea what to expect.

I was able to strip the mystique away and came away with this recipe I absolutely love. It’s definitely more of a pumpkin pie feel than a casserole structure, but with a slightly different flavor. A little more depth and a little more hearty than pumpkin, it is a great way to get pumpkin-lovers to try something new!

For a sweet potato dish that isn’t cloyingly sweet, is bursting with fresh flavor, warm spices, and a little kick, this sweet potato pie is the answer to Thanksgiving prayers. Whether you serve it in place of or alongside a pumpkin pie, guests will love that traditional, old-fashioned flavor. But no need to wait for a holiday; this beautiful pie needs no special occasion to grace your table!

Ingredients for sweet potato pie prepped and labeled.

How to make sweet potato pie

This pie comes together much like any other custard-based pie (fairly simple whisking of the ingredients), with the addition of cooking and mashing the sweet potatoes before making the custard. No canned, candied yams here!

  • First, prepare the pie crust as describe in depth below, and partially bake it. You can easily start this process a couple of days ahead of time and keep the dough in the refrigerator.
  • Next, we work on the filling! Cook the sweet potatoes, then mash them with the butter.
  • Once the butter is incorporated, you’ll whisk together all of the other filling ingredients (eggs, sugar, nutmeg, salt, bourbon, molasses, vanilla extract, and milk), then gradually whisk that mixture into the mashed sweet potatoes. A beautiful orange custard is born!

Mixing custard ingredients for sweet potato pie.

Mashing and mixing the sweet potatoes for pie filling.

  • Sprinkle dark brown sugar over the bottom of the pie crust for an added depth of flavor (trust me!)
  • Pour the custard into the pie shell and bake!

Filling a pie shell with sweet potato pie filling.

  • Once it is cooled and ready to serve, you can offer it as-is, or with a dollop of homemade whipped cream on top (how could you not!?). I’ve become very partial to this whipped cream recipe; it’s really nicely sweetened and pipes exceptionally well. It’s become my go-to!

Overhead photo of sweet potato pie cut into slices with whipped cream and crushed pecans.

Baking notes and tips

  • I use and recommend this pie plate. It’s versatile, easy to clean, and works year-round.
  • You can substitute my all-butter pie crust or your favorite pie crust recipe (or store-bought!) for the one listed below.
  • While cooking the sweet potatoes in the microwave is quick, you can also cook them in the oven if you prefer (400 degrees F for 40 to 50 minutes).
  • You can decrease or omit the bourbon entirely.
  • Before serving, sprinkle cinnamon or crushed pecans on top of the whipped cream if you’d like!

Overhead photo of sweet potato pie with two slices removed.

Sweet potato pie problems? Here are some simple fixes!

  • Is your pie cracking? This is from the eggs in the custard overcooking. When you pull the pie out, that custard continues to do its thing. Baking it on the bottom rack, and following instructions completely will help avoid that. (Of course – adding extra whipped cream to hide the cracks works too!)
  • Make sure your sweet potatoes are fully cooked to be sure the pie cooks evenly and well.

Pie plate with slices of sweet potato pie.

Storage, make-ahead & freezing tips

  • Be sure to allow the pie to cool to room temperature before serving so that it sets up correctly. This is hard but it’s the main reason people’s pies fail!
  • You can prepare this pie a day in advance and keep it out at room temperature. Once cooled completely, cover loosely with foil.
  • If making more than a day in advance (or if you have leftovers), cover the pie with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
  • You can freeze the whole pie – allow to cool completely, then wrap the pie tightly in plastic wrap, then in aluminum foil, and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then serve cold, at room temperature, or place in a 300-degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes to warm, if desired.
  • To freeze leftover slices, simply wrap each one individually in plastic wrap, place in a freezer-safe ziploc bag or airtight container and place in the freezer for up to 2 months. Follow the thawing/serving/reheating instructions for a whole pie, above.

Slice of sweet potato pie on white plate.

Ready for more delicious recipes like this one? Check these out!

I would absolutely love it if you made this sweet potato pie for dessert (for the holidays or ANY day!); if you do, please stop back and leave a rating and let me know how you liked it! ENJOY! 😍

Sweet Potato Pie

Servings 8 to 10 servings
Prep 25 minutes
Cook 1 hour 10 minutes
refrigeration /resting 1 hour 50 minutes
Total 3 hours 30 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Michelle
This Sweet Potato Pie recipe is subtly spiced, has a layer of brown sugar baked onto the crust, and gets a little kick from bourbon.

Ingredients:

For the Pie Crust

  • cups
    all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1
    tablespoon
    granulated sugar
  • ½
    teaspoon
    salt
  • 6
    tablespoons
    cold unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch slices
  • ¼
    cup
    chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into 2 pieces
  • 2
    tablespoons
    vodka
    (cold)
  • 2
    tablespoons
    ice water

For the Sweet Potato Filling

  • 2
    pounds
    sweet potatoes
  • 2
    tablespoons
    unsalted butter
    (softened)
  • 3
    eggs
  • 2
    egg yolks
  • 1
    cup
    granulated sugar
  • ½
    teaspoon
    ground nutmeg
  • ¼
    teaspoon
    salt
  • 3
    tablespoons
    bourbon
  • 1
    tablespoon
    molasses
  • 1
    teaspoon
    vanilla extract
  • cup
    whole milk
  • ¼
    cup
    packed dark brown sugar

Directions:

  1. Make the Pie Crust: Process ¾ cups of the flour, the sugar and salt together in a food processor until combined, about 2 one-second pulses. Add the butter and shortening and process until a homogenous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 7 to 10 seconds (the dough will resemble cottage cheese curds with some very small pieces of butter remaining, but there should be no uncoated flour). Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula and redistribute the dough evenly around the bowl. Add the remaining ½ cup flour and pulse until the mixture is evenly distributed around the bowl and the mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses. Empty the mixture into a medium bowl.

  2. Sprinkle the vodka and water over the mixture. With a rubber spatula, use a folding motion to mix, pressing down on the dough until it is slightly tacky and sticks together. Flatten the dough into a 4-inch disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes, or up to 2 days.
  3. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll out on a generously floured (up to ¼ cup) work surface to a 12-inch circle. Roll the dough loosely around a rolling pin and unroll into a 9-inch pie plate, leaving at least a 1-inch overhang on each side. Working around the circumference, ease the dough into the plate by gently lifting edge of the dough with one hand while pressing into the plate bottom with other hand. Leave the overhanging dough in place; refrigerate until the dough is firm, about 30 minutes.
  4. Trim the overhanging dough to ½ inch beyond the lip of the pie plate. Fold the overhang under itself; the folded edge should be flush with edge of pie plate. Flute the dough or press the tines of a fork against dough to flatten it against the rim of pie plate. Refrigerate the dough-lined plate until firm, about 15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees.
  6. Remove pie pan from refrigerator, line crust with aluminum foil and fold back edges of foil to shield the fluted edge, and fill with pie weights or dried beans, filling the whole way up to the rim of the pie plate. Bake, leaving foil and weights in place until dough dries and lightens in color, 17 to 20 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and weights, cover the edges of the pie crust with a ring of foil, and bake until light golden brown, about 9 minutes longer. Remove pie plate from oven (keep the pie crust shield on), and reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F.

  7. Make the Sweet Potato Filling: Prick sweet potatoes several times with fork and microwave for 5 minutes; turn each potato over and continue to cook until tender, but not mushy, about 5 minutes longer. Cool 10 minutes.

  8. Halve each potato, and scoop the flesh into a medium bowl (discard skin); you should have about 2 cups of cooked sweet potato. While the potatoes are still hot, add butter and mash with fork or wooden spoon; small lumps of potato should remain.
  9. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together eggs, yolks, sugar, nutmeg, and salt; stir in bourbon, molasses, and vanilla, then whisk in milk. Gradually add egg mixture to sweet potatoes, whisking gently to combine.
  10. Heat partially baked pie shell in oven until warm, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle bottom of pie shell evenly with brown sugar. Pour sweet potato mixture into pie shell over brown sugar layer. Bake until filling is set around edges but center jiggles slightly when shaken, about 45 minutes. Transfer pie to wire rack; cool to room temperature, about 2 hours, then serve.

Recipe Notes:

  • I use and recommend this pie plate.
  • You can substitute your favorite pie crust recipe (or store-bought, if you must) for the one listed below.
  • While cooking the sweet potatoes in the microwave is quick, you can also cook them in the oven if you prefer (400 degrees F for 40 to 50 minutes).
  • You can decrease or omit the bourbon entirely.
  • I recommend my homemade whipped cream recipe for topping this pie.
  • You can prepare this pie a day in advance and keep it out at room temperature. Once cooled completely, cover loosely with foil.
  • If making more than a day in advance (or if you have leftovers), cover the pie with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
  • You can freeze the whole pie - allow to cool completely, then wrap the pie tightly in plastic wrap, then in aluminum foil, and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then serve cold, at room temperature, or place in a 300-degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes to warm, if desired.
  • To freeze leftover slices, simply wrap each one individually in plastic wrap, place in a freezer-safe ziploc bag or airtight container and place in the freezer for up to 2 month. Follow the thawing/serving/reheating instructions for a whole pie, above.
Nutritional values are based on one of 10 servings

Nutrition:

Calories: 413kcal
Fat: 17g
Saturated fat: 8g
Cholesterol: 113mg
Sodium: 256mg
Potassium: 402mg
Carbohydrates: 59g
Fiber: 3g
Sugar: 32g
Protein: 5g
Vitamin A: 13300%
Vitamin C: 2.1%
Calcium: 71%
Iron: 1.7%

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!

[Photography by Dee Frances]