I know pumpkin pie is all the rage around Thanksgiving, but if I had my druthers, Sweet Potato Pie would take top billing on the holiest of pie holidays.
Not only do I think sweet potato pie has a more interesting flavor, but I also find baking a sweet potato pie to be so much simpler than a pumpkin pie! If you’ve ever had a pumpkin pie fail to set up on you with two dozen of your closest relatives in the next room, you know the woes that pumpkin pies can bring. Thanks to the thicker and denser sweet potato, this pie is almost foolproof. Team sweet potato pie forever!
What kind of crust do I use for sweet potato pie?
For sweet potato pie, I prefer a traditional crust. The buttery flavor really highlights the sweet potato and lets the filling shine. You can make a pie crust from scratch—I promise it isn’t as hard as it sounds!—or use a store-bought crust. If you’re working with a gluten allergy or intolerance, our gluten-free pie crust is also a great choice.
I tend to put a little bit of whole wheat flour in my crusts for sweet potato pie, because the nutty flavor is such a nice complement to the sweet potatoes.
What is in the filling?
For the filling, you’ll need:
- Sweet potatoes
- Melted butter or coconut oil
- Milk or coconut milk
- Vanilla extract
- Ground cinnamon
- Ground nutmeg
- Granulated sugar
- Maple syrup
- Lemon juice
Use the coconut oil and milk if you want the pie to be dairy-free or to have a touch of coconut flavor. Otherwise, regular unsalted butter and cow’s milk work great.
How do I make your sweet potato pie recipe?
Let’s walk through the process for making this pie from scratch, step-by-step:
- If you are using homemade pie crust, get that mixed and chilling in the fridge. If you are using a store-bought crust, move on to step 2.
- Peel and chop up your sweet potatoes, and roast them in a 425°F oven until fork tender.
- Roll out your pie crust and arrange it in your pie pan.
- Now it’s time to make the filling! Blend the baked sweet potatoes with the other filling ingredients until smooth. Add the eggs at the very end, so they don’t scramble from the heat of the sweet potatoes.
- Pour the filling into the crust, and bake.
How do I know when the pie is done baking?
When you start to pull the pie out of the oven, watch the filling—is it all wobbly and jiggly? If so, stick that baby back in the oven! If it isn’t super wiggly as you pull it out of the oven, it should be done. To double check, you can insert a knife or toothpick about an inch from the center of the filling. It should come out clean if the filling is done!
The very center of the pie may still look a little wet or jiggly as you pull it out of the oven, and that’s okay! It will continue to set up as it cools.
Help! The top of my pie cracked!
In the future, there are two simple things you can do to keep the pie filling from cracking:
- Make sure you roast, or bake, your sweet potatoes. It may be tempting to steam or boil them to free up some oven space, but those cooking methods add too much moisture and will mess with the final texture of your pie filling. Stick those sweet potatoes in the oven!
- Let the pie cool slowly. When the pie is done, you’d think it was time to pull it out of the oven and let it cool on the counter. Stop right there! That quick temperature change can make the filling crack. Instead, turn off the oven, crack open the oven door, and let the pie cool in the oven until it’s about room temperature. Then you can move it to the counter to finish cooling.
The best trick in the book for a cracked pie? Whipped cream! Pipe on some beautifully fluffy clouds of whipped cream, and folks will be none the wiser.
Can I make vegan sweet potato pie?
It’s easy to swap out the milk and butter in this recipe for vegan alternatives, but the eggs are a bit trickier, since they play such a big role in getting the pie filling to set. We recommend checking out a well-tested vegan recipe for best results!
How long will this pie last in the refrigerator?
I’ve left sweet potato pie leftovers in my fridge for 3-5 days with no problems. I can’t guarantee it will last that long, though!
Can I prep any of my sweet potato pie in advance?
Absolutely! You can make the whole thing 2-3 days ahead of time and stash it in the fridge until it’s time to eat.
If you don’t have room for an assembled pie in your fridge, but still want to get a bit done ahead of time, that works too! You can prep the pie crust in advance, and keep one of the discs of dough in the refrigerator for a few days. You can also cook the sweet potatoes a day or two in advance.
Does this pie freeze well?
You can freeze this sweet potato pie, and get great results—as long as you defrost it very slowly. You’ll want to thaw it under cold temperatures (in the fridge) to prevent the filling from weeping condensation.