This Southern Sweet Potato Pie is the perfect Thanksgiving dessert. The sweet filling is perfectly spiced and will have you choosing it over pumpkin pie every time! 

For more delicious Thanksgiving dessert recipes, be sure to check out my Best Ever Chocolate Pecan Pie, Starbucks Copycat Cranberry Bliss Bars, and Pumpkin Cheesecake Sugar Cookie Bars.

a slice of sweet potato pie on a white plate with whipped cream on top

It doesn’t get much more classic and soulful than sweet potato pie.

While pumpkin pie tends to steal the show at Thanksgiving and Christmas, don’t forget about the quintessential southern sweet potato pie, which in my opinion totally outranks the former in its unique and flavorful taste.

two slices of pie on plates with forks

The History of Southern Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet potato pie actually originated among the African American slave community in the southern United States during the colonial time period.

While yams were a more traditional ingredient in African cooking, they were not readily available in the Americas. Sweet potatoes, on the other hand, were a native vegetable and in great supply in the south, especially compared to the more popular pumpkins in the north. Combining European baking techniques of the classic custard pie with the the expertise and traditions of the African American community brought forth the delicious, soulful sweet potato pie we know and love today. 

Ingredients for Southern Sweet Potato Pie

  • fresh sweet potatoes
  • unsalted butter
  • brown sugar
  • granulated sugar
  • eggs
  • heavy cream
  • all-purpose flour
  • lemon juice
  • vanilla extract
  • refrigerated pie crust
  • Spices: cinnamon, ground cloves, ginger, salt, nutmeg

ingredients for sweet potato pie

How to Make Sweet Potato Pie – Step by Step

Step 1: Cook the Sweet Potatoes

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Poke holes all over the sweet potatoes and place them on a microwave-safe place. Microwave for 5 minutes flipping the potatoes over halfway through. Poke a knife through the potato. If there is no resistance they are ready. If not, continue to microwave in 30-second intervals until soft. Let the potatoes cool to room temperature.

Step 2: Peel Sweet Potatoes

Remove the peel from the potatoes and place in a large bowl. Whip them with an electric mixer until smooth.

how to make sweet potato pie step by step

Step 3: Make the Filling

Add in the softened butter and mix until combined. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar and mix until smooth, followed by the eggs. Finally add the heavy cream, flour, lemon juice, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg, and mix until smooth and combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl if needed.

Step 4: Prepare Pie Crust

Place the pie crust into a 9 inch pie plate and crimp the edges. Add the filling and smooth out the top.

Step 5: Bake

Bake for 45-50 minutes until slightly set. The filling will be slightly jiggly, but it is ready when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean and a thermometer inserted in the center reads between 170-175 degrees. Allow the pie to cool to room temperature on a wire rack before slicing. 

pie on a white plate with whipped cream

Tips and Notes 

  • Cooking the sweet potatoes: This recipe will work with whatever method you choose to cook your sweet potatoes, whether boiling, baking, or using the microwave as I have given directions for.
  • Substituting pumpkin pie spice: you can substitute 1 1/2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice for the cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves, and nutmeg if you don’t have all of the spices listed on hand.
  • How long to bake sweet potato pie: bake your pie in the oven for 45-50 minutes until just slightly jiggly, and the internal temperature reaches between 170-175 degrees. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out mostly clean. Do your best not to overbake your pie in order to prevent it from cracking! See more information for this below.
  • Prevent the crust from burning. Make sure to cover the edges of your crust with foil before baking to prevent it from browning too quickly. I use this same tip when making my chocolate pecan pie.
  • How to store leftover pie: store any leftover southern sweet potato pie tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

How to Prevent Pumpkin Pie and Sweet Potato Pie from Cracking

The key to keeping your pies from cracking lies in not overbaking them. When a pumpkin pie or sweet potato pie has baked for too long, it will begin to crack around the edges first and then move into the center. To prevent this from happening here are a couple of tips:

  1. Use an oven thermometer. Ensuring that your oven is at the proper temperature is key to an even and thoroughly baked pie.
  2. Use the lower rack. Using the lower rack will ensure that your crust doesn’t burn while the filling is able to bake thoroughly. Don’t bake your pie on the top rack.
  3. Know when to take it out. Your pie will be completely baked when it’s just slightly jiggly in the center and domed around the outside edges, around 45-50 minutes of baking time. It might not look completely cooked in the center but remember that it will still continue to cook once you remove it from the oven while it is cooling. An oven thermometer inserted in the center of the pie should read between 170-175 degrees Fahrenheit.

an overhead image of a slice of pie taken out of a whole pie

How to Make in Advance

I love to make pies ahead of time, and this is a great pie to make in advance of your big meal. If made the day of, simply cover with both plastic wrap and aluminum foil once the pie has cooled and store on the counter top.

If serving within the next 3 days, cover your sweet potato pie with both plastic wrap and aluminum foil and store in the refrigerator.

a piece of pie on a fork

Can you freeze Sweet Potato Pie?

Yes you can definitely freeze a fully cooked and cooled southern sweet potato pie. Wrap your pie in multiple layers of plastic wrap and a layer of aluminum foil and store in the freezer for up to three months. Thaw your pie overnight in the refrigerator before serving. 

pie on a white plate with whipped cream

More Pie Recipes You Might Enjoy!

a slice of sweet potato pie on a white plate with whipped cream on top
5 from 4 ratings

Southern Sweet Potato Pie

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 55 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 10 mins
This Southern Sweet Potato Pie is the perfect Thanksgiving dessert. The sweet filling is perfectly spiced and will have you choosing it over pumpkin pie every time! 

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, 1 stick at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 9 inch refrigerated pie crust

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Poke holes all over the sweet potatoes and place them on a microwave-safe place. Microwave for 5 minutes flipping the potatoes over halfway through. Poke a knife through the potato. If there is no resistance they are ready. If not, continue to microwave in 30-second intervals until soft. Let the potatoes cool to room temperature.
  • Remove the peel from the potatoes and place in a large bowl. Whip them with an electric mixer until smooth.
  • Add in the butter and mix until combined. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar and mix until smooth, followed by the eggs. Finally add the heavy cream, flour, lemon juice, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg, and mix until smooth and combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl if needed.
  • Place the pie crust into a 9 inch pie plate and crimp the edges. Add the filling and smooth out the top.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes until set. The filling will be slightly jiggly, but it is ready when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean. Let the pie cool to room temperature on a wire rack before slicing. 

Notes

  • Cooking the sweet potatoes: This recipe will work with whatever method you choose to cook your sweet potatoes, whether boiling, baking, or using the microwave as I have given directions for.
  • Substituting pumpkin pie spice: you can substitute 1 1/2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice for the cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves, and nutmeg if you don't have all of the spices listed on hand.
  • How long to bake sweet potato pie: bake your pie in the oven for 45-50 minutes until just slightly jiggly, and the internal temperature reaches between 170-175 degrees. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out mostly clean. Do your best not to overbake your pie in order to prevent it from cracking! See more information for this below.
  • Prevent the crust from burning. Make sure to cover the edges of your crust with foil before baking to prevent it from browning too quickly. I use this same tip when making my chocolate pecan pie.
  • How to make in advance: If made the day of, simply cover with both plastic wrap and aluminum foil once the pie has cooled and store on the counter top. If serving within the next 3 days, cover your sweet potato pie with both plastic wrap and aluminum foil and store in the refrigerator.
  • How to store leftover pie: store any leftover southern sweet potato pie tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Freezing: Wrap your fully baked and cooled pie in multiple layers of plastic wrap and a layer of aluminum foil and store in the freezer for up to three months. Thaw your pie overnight in the refrigerator before serving. 
Cuisine: American
Course: Dessert
Calories: 426kcal, Carbohydrates: 50g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 24g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 92mg, Sodium: 291mg, Potassium: 268mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 28g, Vitamin A: 8677IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 54mg, Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Let me know! Mention @TheBelleoftheKitchen on Instagram or tag #BelleoftheKitchen.