| | |

Southern Sweet Potato Pie Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

This southern sweet potato pie has a buttery smooth, silky texture and a harmonious blend of vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. It’s an easy soul food dessert that uses a store-bought pie crust to save time. Serve it warm with a dollop of whipped cream!

Alright, ya’ll, let’s talk about this amazing sweet potato pie! It has a smooth and velvety filling that practically melts in your mouth and a flaky, buttery store-bought crust that is quick and easy. Vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg are the perfect trio and infuse this pie with a warm and cozy flavor that’s simply perfection.

Here’s a pro tip: serve it warm with a generous dollop of whipped cream on top. Trust me, it’s the ultimate holiday pie that’ll have everyone at the dinner table going back for more.

Ingredients

  • store bought pastry pie shell (preferably deep dish)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 4-5 medium sweet potatoes)
  • 1/2 cup condensed milk, sweetened
  • 1/2 cup of light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large large eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt (1/8 teaspoon if using any other type of salt)
  • 1 pinch of ground cloves
  • fresh whipped cream, for serving

Recipe Notes & Variations

Bake or boil sweet potatoes for pie: Many people agree that roasting sweet potatoes intensifies their natural sweetness and flavor. However, if you are short on time you can boil the sweet potatoes instead.

Sugars: This recipe uses granulated sugar in addition to light brown sugar. Some people prefer to use one or the other. We like adding brown sugar in addition to granulated sugar for a deeper, molasses-like flavor.

Dairy: We use condensed milk for a creamy pie texture. However, you can also use milk or half-and-half. The more fat in the dairy, the richer the pie will be. We have not tried using full-fat canned coconut milk, but it may be an acceptable dairy-free alternative.

Adjust to your taste: Sweet potatoes can vary in sweetness, so tasting the filling before baking is recommended. You may want to tweak the amount of sugar and spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.) to your liking. Some people also like to add allspice or ground ginger for a subtle note of spice.

Avoid overbaking: Sweet potato pie will firm up further as it cools, so don’t cook it too long or else it will dry out.

Baking Instructions

  1. Prepare the Pie Shell: Follow the baking instructions on the package for your store-bought pastry pie shell. Note that some pie shells may require pre-baking while others do not.
  2. Bake the Sweet Potatoes (Recommended): Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C). Thoroughly wash the sweet potatoes in cold water to remove any dirt or debris. Pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels.
  3. Use a fork to poke several holes all over each sweet potato. This helps steam escape while baking and prevents them from bursting. Place the sweet potatoes directly on the oven rack or on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil to catch any drips.
  4. Bake for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the size of your sweet potatoes and your oven’s temperature. To check for doneness, insert a fork into the center; it should slide in easily when they’re done.
  5. Once the sweet potatoes are cooked, remove them from the oven and let them rest for a few minutes. This allows them to cool slightly and makes them easier to handle. Once cooled, carefully remove the skin of the sweet potato. The skin should easily peel away from the flesh. You can also slice the sweet potato lengthwise and use a spoon to separate the skin from the flesh.
  6. Reduce Oven Temp: Reduce your oven temperature to 350°F (175°C).
  7. Prepare the Filling: Transfer the cooled sweet potatoes to a large mixing bowl. Add milk, sugars, eggs, butter, vanilla, spices, and salt to the mixing bowl. Whisk the ingredients together until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  8. Fill the Pie Shell: Pour the sweet potato pie filling into the prepared pie shell. Use a rubber spatula to evenly spread the filling within the shell.
  9. Bake the Pie: Place the pie in the preheated oven. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the edges are set, the top is golden brown, and the center is mostly firm and only slightly jiggly.
  10. Cool the Pie: Remove the baked pie from the oven and allow it to cool at room temperature for one hour. This cooling period helps the filling set, making it easier to slice.
  11. Slice and Serve: Once the pie has cooled, slice it into desired portions. Serve it warm and top with a dollop of whipped cream for extra deliciousness.

How to Boil Sweet Potatoes for Pie

  1. Peel and chop the sweet potatoes into evenly sized chunks or cubes, about 1 to 1.5 pounds.
  2. In a medium-sized stockpot, place peeled and chopped sweet potatoes, covering them with about 6 to 8 cups of water.
  3. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, and cover the pot with a lid.
  4. Let the sweet potatoes simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes or until they become tender. You can check for doneness by inserting a fork into a piece; it should go in easily when they’re done.
  5. Once the sweet potatoes are tender, drain the water using a colander and allow the potatoes to cool completely.
  6. Prepare the filling according to recipe instructions (see step 4 above).

Recipe Tips & Tricks

  • Selecting Sweet Potatoes: Choose fresh, firm sweet potatoes for the best flavor and texture in your pie. Also, select sweet potatoes that are similar in size to ensure even baking. This helps them cook through at the same rate.
  • Testing Sweet Potato Doneness: Use a fork to check for doneness. If the fork easily slides into the center of the sweet potatoes, they are ready.
  • Efficient Cooling: Allow the sweet potatoes to cool for a few minutes after baking before handling. This makes it easier to peel away the skin without burning your hands.
  • Pie Shell Tips: Follow the instructions on the store-bought pastry pie shell package. If pre-baking is required, make sure to do so for the specified time to prevent a soggy crust.
  • Smooth Filling: Whisk the sweet potato pie filling ingredients thoroughly to ensure a smooth and well-incorporated mixture. This contributes to a creamy texture in the finished pie.
  • Proper Oven Temperature: Be attentive to the oven temperature adjustments. A higher temperature (425°F) is for baking the sweet potatoes, and it should be reduced to 350°F for baking the assembled pie.
  • Serving Presentation: For a polished presentation, slice the pie into even portions. Serve warm or at room temperature, and consider topping each slice with a dollop of freshly whipped cream just before serving.
  • Make-Ahead Option: Consider making the pie a day in advance for the flavors to meld. Refrigerate it overnight and bring it to room temperature or warm it slightly before serving.
  • Flavor Variations: Feel free to experiment with spices or add a touch of citrus zest to the filling for added complexity.

Serving Suggestions

Whipped cream is a classic choice for southern sweet potato pie. I love to top each slice with a dollop.

For the holidays, you can also lightly dust sweet potato pie with ground cinnamon just before serving to enhance the aroma and flavor.

Storage Tips

  • Cool to Room Temperature: After baking, allow the sweet potato pie to cool completely at room temperature. This typically takes about an hour.
  • Cover and Refrigerate: Once the pie has cooled, cover it tightly with plastic wrap or foil or transfer it to an airtight container.
  • Refrigerate: Store the sweet potato pie in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

Reheating

Reheat individual slices in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds on a microwave-safe plate. Alternatively, you can reheat slices in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for 10-15 minutes.

Commonly asked questions

Does the store-bought pie crust / pie pastry shell need to be pre-baked, and how do I determine if it’s necessary?

I used Marie Callendar’s Deep Dish Pie Pastry Shell, and did do a pre-bake. However, you should follow the package’s baking instructions if using a different brand; some shells may require pre-baking, while others do not.

How can I ensure the sweet potato pie filling is smooth and creamy?

Whisk the ingredients thoroughly in a large mixing bowl to achieve a smooth and creamy consistency.

How do I know when the sweet potato pie is done baking?

Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the edges are set, the top is golden brown, and the center is mostly firm with a slight jiggle.

Summary

Our Southern sweet potato pie is made with vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. It’s a convenient soul food dessert that saves time by using store-bought pie crust! Serve warm with a generous dollop of whipped cream and enjoy.

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Southern Sweet Potato Pie Recipe

  • Author: cooks with soul
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 1 pie 1x
  • Category: dessert, holiday
  • Method: oven
  • Cuisine: southern, soul food

Description

This southern sweet potato pie has a buttery smooth, silky texture and a harmonious blend of vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. It’s an easy soul food dessert that uses a store-bought pie crust to save time. Serve it warm with a dollop of whipped cream!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 store bought pastry pie shell (preferably deep dish)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 45 medium sweet potatoes)
  • 1/2 cup condensed milk, sweetened
  • 1/2 cup of light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large large eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt (1/8 teaspoon if using any other type of salt)
  • 1 pinch of ground cloves
  • fresh whipped cream, for serving


Instructions

  1. Prepare the Pie Shell: Follow baking instructions on package for store-bought pastry pie shell. Note that some pie shells may require pre-baking while others do not.
  2. Bake the Sweet Potatoes (Recommended*): Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C).
  3. Thoroughly wash sweet potatoes in cold water to remove any dirt or debris. Pat dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels.
  4. Use a fork to poke several holes all over each sweet potato.
  5. Place sweet potatoes directly on oven rack or on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil to catch any drips.
  6. Bake for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the size of sweet potatoes. To check for doneness, insert a fork into the center; it should slide in easily when sweet potatoes are done.
  7. Once the sweet potatoes are cooked, remove them from oven and let them rest for a few minutes. This allows them to cool slightly and makes them easier to handle.
  8. Once cooled, carefully remove the skin of the sweet potato. The skin should easily peel away from the flesh. You can also slice the sweet potato lengthwise and use a spoon to separate the skin from the flesh.
  9. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F (175°C).
  10. Prepare the Filling: Transfer cooled sweet potatoes to a large mixing bowl.
  11. Add milk, sugars, eggs, butter, vanilla, spices, and salt to the mixing bowl.
  12. Whisk the ingredients together until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  13. Fill the Pie Shell: Pour the sweet potato pie filling into the prepared pie shell. Use a rubber spatula to evenly spread the filling within the shell.
  14. Bake the Pie: Place the pie in the preheated oven. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the edges are set, the top is golden brown, and the center is mostly firm and only slightly jiggly.
  15. Cool the Pie: Remove the baked pie from the oven and allow it to cool at room temperature for one hour.
  16. Slice and Serve: Once the pie has cooled, slice it into desired portions.
  17. Serve warm or at room temperature and top with a dollop of whipped cream.

Notes

How to boil sweet potatoes for pie: Peel and chop the sweet potatoes into evenly sized chunks or cubes, about 1 to 1.5 pounds. In a medium-sized stockpot, place peeled and chopped sweet potatoes, covering them with about 6 to 8 cups of water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, and cover the pot with a lid. Let the sweet potatoes simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes or until they become tender. You can check for doneness by inserting a fork into a piece; it should go in easily when they’re done. Once the sweet potatoes are tender, drain the water using a colander and allow the potatoes to cool completely. Prepare the filling according to recipe instructions (see step 4 above).

Keywords: southern sweet potato pie, black folks sweet potato pie, sweet potato pie

20 Comments

  1. This southern sweet potato pie recipe really took me back to holidays spent with my family in South Carolina. I loved that your recipe includes roasted sweet potatoes and not the canned stuff. So delicious.

    1. Hey Marta! Roasted (or even boiled) is the way to go, definitely could not see myself using canned! Recipes that remind you of home/family is always a winner. -K

  2. This is a sweet potato pie you can definitely take to the cookout! I’ll be making this for Thanksgiving! It’s so good!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.