Classic Sweet Potato Pie
Classic Sweet Potato Pie

Thanksgiving isn’t complete without sweet potato pie! Roasting the sweet potatoes adds flavor depth to your holiday meal for a standout finish. It’s easy and totally worth the extra step.

In this recipe

  • Sweet potato pie vs. pumpkin pie
  • Canned vs. Fresh Sweet Potatoes
  • Sweet potato pie spices
  • Make tips ahead
  • freezing and storage
  • Swaps and Substitutions

Sweet potato pie is the first cousin of pumpkin pie. Like good cousins, they’re best friends, practically identical twins but with just enough differences in flavor and texture to tell them apart.

Sweet potatoes are sweeter than pumpkins. Although the pies are usually prepared the same way with eggs, cream or condensed milk, and pie spices, sweet potato pie tends to be lighter, airier, and, well, sweeter.

Video: how to make sweet potato pie


sweet potato pie

Sure, you could swap sweet potatoes for pumpkin cup for cup in your favorite pumpkin pie recipe, but pumpkin contains less sugar. This means that pumpkin pie must have more sugar to compensate. If you make the swap, you might want to reduce the sugar in your pumpkin pie recipe by two tablespoons in the sweet potato version.

Canned vs. Fresh Sweet Potatoes

It might seem like an extra step to bake fresh sweet potatoes instead of using canned ones, but you really get greater payback with a deep, roasted flavor and lighter texture.

The texture of the cooked mashed potatoes should be just a little chunky, giving the pie a lighter texture than canned pumpkin pie.

TIME-SAVING TIP! Bake the potatoes while you blind bake the crust so it doesn’t take a lot of extra time.

Sweet potato pie spices

Again, the two cakes are so similar that you can choose between your favorites: Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, mace, allspice, cloves or five spice powder (for something a little different) are all candidates.

Pumpkin is not as strong in flavor as sweet potatoes. Therefore, a good amount of added spices is important. But I see no reason not to jazz up sweet potato pies the same way.

Most Southern chefs will tell you that nutmeg is traditionally the favorite spice.

Make tips ahead

If you are really lack of time, you could make the cake a day or two ahead (with my blessing!) and store it in the fridge wrapped in plastic wrap. On a dessert-heavy holiday, it’s difficult to discern finer nuances between a cake baked that day and one baked a day or two earlier, especially with this cake.

Just bring it to room temperature an hour or two before serving, or “refresh” a room temperature pie in the oven at 350F for about 10 minutes to give the crust a little extra crispiness.

The cake is exceptional when eaten on the day of baking. If you have time to bake it the day you plan to serve it, there are still a few things you can do ahead of time.

  • Three months in advance: Make the pie crust, unroll and freeze, wrapping well in plastic and then foil.
  • Two-three days before serving: Bake the potatoes, prepare the filling and store in the fridge.
  • One day ahead: If freezing the pie crust doesn’t fit into your schedule, bake the crust a day before you plan to bake the pie and blind bake. Store blind baked crust, covered, in a cooler area of ​​your kitchen at room temperature.

Blind baking is a step I’ve never done before, but it really keeps the crust from getting soggy. Conclusion: the extra effort is worth it. Click here to learn more about blind baking pie crusts.

Freezing and storing sweet potato pie

Yes, you can freeze it! Freezing works best with a baked cake. After baking, cool the cake completely, wrap it in a few layers of plastic wrap, and then foil. Freeze for up to a month.

Thaw in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Bring to room temperature before serving (and if you like, refresh the cake in the oven at 350F for about 10 minutes).

Leftover cake will keep in the fridge for up to four days.

Swaps and Substitutions

  • You can use any combination of spices you like and add more or less spices that you like. See the recipe notes above.
  • Instead of half and half, you can use heavy cream or condensed milk for a richer texture. To make it vegan, substitute coconut milk.
  • For a pop of color, you can swap out purple sweet potatoes in place of the standard orange potatoes.
  • Light brown sugar is a good substitute for dark brown if that’s all you have on hand.
  • Want a little more pizzazz in your cake? Add a few tablespoons of bourbon or rum to the filling.

Need more cake?

  • Easy chocolate cake
  • Homemade apple pie
  • Sweet potato pie with pecan topping
  • Old fashioned pumpkin pie
  • pecan pie
  • Coconut Cream Pie

From the editors of Simply Recipes

Classic sweet potato cake

preparation time
55 minutes

45 minutes

total time
100 minutes

up to 8 servings

1 9 inch cake


  • 3 sweet potatoesabout 1 1/4 pounds, halved lengthways (makes about 2 cups, pureed)

  • 1 9 inches frozen cake bowl, homemade or store bought

  • 2 big eggs

  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon Cinammon

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg

  • 3/4 teaspoon Salt

  • 2 tablespoon unsalted buttermelted

  • 1 1/2 cups half and half


  • whipped creamOptional


  1. Preheat Oven to 350ºF:

    Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Prepare the sweet potatoes and the pie crust:

    Place the halved sweet potatoes, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Prick each half in several places with the tip of a paring knife.

    Line a frozen pie shell with non-stick foil and fill with dry beans or pie weights.

  3. Bake the potatoes and the pie crust:

    Bake the pie crust and potatoes side by side for 45 to 50 minutes, turning halfway through baking. The potatoes are done baking when you insert the tip of a paring knife and they are soft. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes or until cool enough to handle.

    Remove the tart from the oven to cool on a wire rack. Lift the bean-filled foil out of the pie case. Allow the beans to cool and save for the next time you bake a cake. The crust should look golden. If not, bake in the oven without foil for an additional 4 to 5 minutes.

  4. Peel and mash potatoes:

    While the potatoes are still warm but cool enough to touch, peel off the skins with your fingers. Discard the skins and place the potatoes in a large bowl.

    Mash the potatoes with a fork or potato masher. The potatoes should look like lightly mashed potatoes with a few small pea-sized chunks.

  5. make filling:

    Beat the potatoes briefly. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Stir in brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and melted butter. Finally stir in half and half.

  6. Bake a cake:

    Place the cake tin on a baking sheet and pour in the filling. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until the edges of the filling are slightly puffed up and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If the pie crust starts to brown before the filling is ready, cover the edges with strips of aluminum foil or a pie protector to prevent burning.

  7. Cool to room temperature and serve:

    Place the cake on a wire rack to cool. Serve at room temperature with whipped cream, if you like.

nutritional information (per serving)
370 calories
19g Fat
44g carbohydrates
6g protein
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