This old fashioned Sweet Potato Pie recipe is a delicious alternative to pumpkin pie for the holidays. Fresh sweet potatoes and a cozy blend of seasonings create this irresistible holiday dessert.
There is no need to hunt down those cans of pumpkin purée this holiday season because this fresh Sweet Potato Pie should be on your menu. It is all about REAL fresh ingredients, it’s easy to make, and it is fabulous!
All the diehard pie lovers in this house are all about this pie. It has the most delightful dense, creamy texture and is infused with cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves to create that classic, down-home holiday flavor.
Another awesome component to this Sweet Potato Pie recipe is that it is best made a day in advance and refrigerated overnight. Get it out of the way and check if off the list!
Table of contents
- Sweet potatoes – See the section below for my tips on how to choose sweet potatoes.
- Butter – Melted and slightly cooled.
- Sugar – Both granulated sugar and dark brown sugar.
- Half and half
- Pure vanilla extract
- Spices – Ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves add that distinct holiday flavor.
- Pie crust – Either made from scratch or store-bought.
The Best Sweet Potatoes for Pie
Orange or red-skinned sweet potatoes like Red Garnet or Jewel are the best choice for baking. They both have a deep orange flesh and a moist, creamy texture. They may be labelled as “yams” at the store which can be confusing but they are actually sweet potatoes and they are the best choice for pies as well as your other traditional Thanksgiving sweet potato dishes.
Sweet potatoes can vary greatly in size so use the scale in the produce department to weigh them and be sure you have at least 1½ pounds. Sometimes one great big sweet potato can be enough but most likely you will need two.
The Best Pie Crust
I recommend making your own crust, if you’ve got the time, but a store bought crust will work just fine too. The instructions for a single crust pie pastry are on the recipe card below but for detailed step-by-step instructions check out my post for Easy Food Processor Pie Crust.
Your pie crust can be made a couple of days in advance to save you time on pie baking day.
How to Make Sweet Potato Pie
This is a quick overview of how to make this recipe. You’ll find detailed instructions in the recipe card at the end of this post.
Boil the Sweet Potatoes
- Place the unpeeled sweet potatoes in a large pot and add enough water so they are covered by at least 1-inch. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat, cover, and cook until the sweet potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife. Transfer sweet potatoes to a colander and rinse with cold water until they are cool enough to handle.
- Use paper towels to pull the skins off the sweet potatoes and pat them dry with paper towels. You don’t want a lot of excess moisture so be sure they are as dry as possible.
- Place the sweet potatoes in a large mixing bowl.
Make the Sweet Potato Pie Filling
- Mix the sweet potatoes until well mashed.
- Add the melted butter, the granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, half-and-half and vanilla and mix again to combine.
- Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.
Assemble and Bake
- Mix until smooth.
- Pour the mixture into the pie crust, smoothing the top with the back of a spoon.
- Bake as directed until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. The filling may be a bit puffed up but it will settle down as it cools.
Cool and Serve
Remove the pie from the oven and allow it to cool completely before transferring it to the refrigerator. Chill the pie for several hours or even better, overnight, before serving.
Although delicious all by itself, I can’t serve Sweet Potato Pie in this house without freshly whipped cream.
More Holiday Dessert Ideas You’ll Love
- Classic Pumpkin Pie
- Creamy Layered Pumpkin Dessert
- Old Fashioned Banana Cream Pie
- Easy Cream Puff Dessert
- Praline Pumpkin Pie
Sweet Potato Pie
9-inch Single Crust Pie Pastry
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, very cold
- 3 tablespoons shortening regular or butter flavored, very cold
- 1½ teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 to 4 tablespoons ice water
Sweet Potato Pie Filling
- 1½ pounds red or orange-skinned sweet potatoes, like Red Garnet or Jewel
- ⅓ cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- ½ cup half and half
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Freshly Whipped Cream
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
For the Pie Crust
- Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor. and pulse 4 or 5 times until combined.
- Cut butter and shortening into small pieces. Add to the flour and process about 20 seconds or until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Add the vinegar and 2 tablespoons water and pulse about 6 times. Add additional water a little at a time and pulse until mixture begins to hold together. You may not need to use all the water.
- Remove pastry from the food processor bowl, form into a ball and place it on a sheet of plastic wrap. Flatten the ball slightly with your hand and wrap the flattened pie pastry in the plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to two days.
- When ready to roll out, remove the pastry from the refrigerator and let it rest on the counter for about 10 to 15 minutes. Lightly flour a large board and using a rolling pin, roll the pastry out in a circle about ⅛-inch thick until it is large enough to fit your pie plate, with about 1-inch of pastry going beyond the rim of the plate. Press the pastry gently down into the plate and then evenly trim the edges to about ½-inch of the edge of the pan with a sharp knife. Tuck the top edge of crust over and under and crimp or flute the edges.
- Refrigerate until you are ready to add the filling.
For the Sweet Potato Pie Filling
- Place the sweet potatoes in a large pot and add enough water so they are covered by at least 1-inch. Bring to a boil over HIGH heat. Reduce the heat to MEDIUM, cover and cook until the sweet potatoes are tender all the way through when pierced with a sharp knife, about 30 minutes (this can take longer depending on the size of your potatoes). Drain and run under cold water until cool enough to handle. Use paper towels to pull the skins off the sweet potatoes. Allow any excess water to drain off and pat them dry with paper towels (potatoes should be as dry as possible). Place them in a large mixing bowl.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Using an electric mixer on LOW speed, mix the sweet potatoes until well mashed. Add the melted butter, the granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and half-and-half, and vanilla and mix again to combine. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt and mix again until smooth.
- Pour the mixture into the pie crust, smoothing the top with the back of a spoon. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees F and bake for an additional 40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
- Remove the pie from the oven and allow it to cool completely before transferring it to the refrigerator. Chill for several hours or even better, overnight, before serving.
For the Whipped Cream
- Use a metal bowl if you have one and place it and the metal beaters from your electric hand mixer in the freezer for about 30 minutes or more before starting.
- Pour the cream into the cold bowl, and using a hand mixer, whip it with the sugar until medium peaks form, about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Serve with freshly whipped cream. Store leftovers in refrigerator.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated using generic ingredients, and is an estimate not a guarantee. For more accurate results, please refer to the labels on your ingredients at home.