Sweet Potato Pie with Pecan Topping
Sweet Potato Pie with Pecan Topping

Holiday Sweet Potato Pie with Pecan Topping. Dense and sweet filling with sweet potato, sweetened condensed milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, vanilla and bourbon. Topped with candied pecan topping. Precious!

A holiday cake with sweet potatoes

Have you ever eaten sweet potato pie? It’s the Landcruiser of Christmas cakes. Heavy, dense, feeds many. Similar to a pumpkin pie in some ways, but while pumpkin pie is all about the spices, sweet potato pie is all about the sweet potato.

You can actually taste the wonderful flavor of sweet potatoes in this cake, enhanced, not replaced, by the addition of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and vanilla.

Add a splash of bourbon

We also added a squirt of bourbon to the filling (of course, right?). You can omit the bourbon if you like, but if you have some bourbon around the house, by all means use it.

How to make sweet potato pie

Preparing sweet potato pie is a two-part process: First, roast the sweet potatoes in the oven. Then scoop out the soft insides, mix the mashed sweet potato with the other ingredients for the pie filling, and pour into a pie crust to bake in the oven.

Bake your cake at 350°F for about an hour. When done, the filling should set with just the slightest wobble in the center. If the crust starts to brown before the cake is done, cover the edges with aluminum foil.

Caramel pecan topping makes it extra special

A sweet potato pie is of course fantastic when it’s just topped with a dollop of whipped cream. But add a caramel pecan topping and this cake becomes irresistible.

The topping is very simple. Simply melt the butter and brown sugar, then toss with the pecans until coated. Spread this over the cake and it’s ready for the dessert table.

Serve warm or at room temperature

You can serve this cake while it’s still warm from the oven or after it’s cooled to room temperature.

You can also make this cake a few days ahead and keep it chilled in the fridge, but wait until you’re ready to serve to top it with the pecans. Reheat the cake briefly in the oven before topping with the pecans and serving, or leave it outside at dinner time to reach room temperature in time for dessert.

Leftovers should be kept refrigerated and will keep for about five days.

Looking for more Thanksgiving Pie ideas?

  • Our Best Thanksgiving Pies Ever from Simply Recipes
  • Old fashioned pumpkin pie
  • Apple Cake
  • pecan pie
  • apple slice cake

This recipe has been revised and updated from one we originally posted in 2006, which we adapted from Martha Stewart. We changed everything except the pecan topping which is insanely good. I modified the pecan topping instructions slightly from the original. I find once the pecans are coated in the brown sugar caramel sauce they need to be poured over the cake, don’t wait or they will grab.

Sweet potato pie with pecan topping

preparation time
75 minutes

cooking time
60 minutes

30 minutes

total time
2 hrs 45 mins

8 servings

We’ve provided instructions for making a homemade crust using a food processor. If you prefer, you can use a pre-made frozen crust. Look for a deep dish. If you use a flat frozen crust, you might have enough filling for two pies. In this case, you may need to reduce the cooking time.


pie crust:

  • 1 1/4 cups (160G) all purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt (skip the salt if using salted butter)

  • 10 tablespoons (140G) cold buttercut into 1/2 inch cubes

  • 3 tablespoon ice water

Cake Filling:

  • 2 eggs

  • 2 pounds (900G) sweet potatoes (about 2 medium sweet potatoes)

  • 3 tablespoon melted butter

  • 1/4 cup (55G) Brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoon granulated white sugar (can be reduced to 1 tablespoon if you want less sugar)

  • 1 teaspoon Cinammon

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 tablespoon bourbon whiskey, optional

  • 7 ounces (210ml) sweetened condensed milk

Cake topping:

  • 3 tablespoon butter

  • 1/2 cup (64G) Brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon fat whipped cream

  • 1 cup (110G) pecanshalf roughly chopped, the other half whole

special equipment

  • food processor


  1. Prepare the cake dough:

    If you are making the pie crust from scratch, prepare the pie crust at least an hour before making the pie. For the dough, place the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine.

    Add half the butter and pulse several times. Add the remaining butter and blend until the pieces are no larger than the size of a pea.

    Add 2 tablespoons of ice water and pulse a few times. Add another tablespoon, and maybe just a teaspoon more if needed, and pulse just enough so the dough holds together when you pinch it with your fingers.

    Empty the bowl of the food processor onto a clean surface and take the dough in your hands and form a ball. Flatten into a smooth disk about 6 inches wide. Wrap tightly in cling film and refrigerate for 1 hour.

  2. Bake the sweet potatoes:

    Prick the sweet potatoes in several places with the tines of a fork.

    Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake in a 350F oven for 1 hour or until cooked through and tender.

    When the sweet potatoes are done, remove them from the oven and let them cool.

  3. Roll out the cake dough, line the cake tin, freeze:

    Remove the disc of dough from the refrigerator and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes before rolling it out. Place it on a clean, lightly floured surface. Roll out the dough into a 14 inch round, big enough for a 9 inch pie plate.

    Lay the dough on and in the cake tin, fold over the edges and press the edges. Prick the bottom of the crust a few times with the tines of a fork.

    Place in freezer to cool.

  4. Mash the cooked sweet potatoes:

    When the cooked sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, place the flesh in a bowl. Mash with a potato masher. You should have 2 cups of mashed sweet potatoes.

  5. Beat eggs with sugar, spices, bourbon, sweetened condensed milk:

    In a separate large bowl, beat the eggs. Beat in butter, brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, vanilla extract, bourbon whiskey (if using), and sweetened condensed milk.

  6. Mix the egg mixture with the sweet potato puree, pour into the cake bowl:

    Beat the egg and sugar mixture into the mashed sweet potatoes until smooth. Pour into the frozen, unbaked pie shell. Smooth surface so it is level.

  7. Bake:

    Bake at 350°F for one hour or until filling has set. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 30 minutes.

  8. Prepare the pecan topping:

    Melt 3 tbsp butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup brown sugar and cook, stirring, for a few minutes until smooth. The sugar should foam up a bit.

    Stir in 1 tbsp whipped cream. The mixture should foam up a lot. Once you’ve mixed in the heavy cream, add the pecans. Stir to coat the pecans in the sugar mixture.

    Once the pecans are coated in the sugar mixture, pour them over the cake. Use the back of a metal spoon to spread them in an even layer over the top of the cake.

    Allow the cake to cool for a few minutes before serving.

nutritional information (per serving)
681 calories
38g Fat
79g carbohydrates
10g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!