Old Fashioned Sweet Potato Pie (2023)

By Delphine Fortin 2 Comments

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The old fashioned sweet potato pie is a classic dessert to enjoy during the fall months and a great alternative to pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. It features a smooth and creamy sweet potato filling with warm spices on top of a flaky crust. Serve with whipped cream, and enjoy!

Old Fashioned Sweet Potato Pie (1)

While pumpkin pie is usually the queen of a successful Thanksgiving party, sweet potato pie is another classic not to forget on your dessert table. This old fashioned version is a no fuss recipe, using natural, plain ingredients, Grandma’s style! It’s equally simple to prepare, sweet and delicious, and is sure to impress family or friends. It’s also a great alternative to anyone who doesn’t like pumpkin.

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What’s the difference between sweet potato pie and pumpkin pie?

Both sweet potato pie and pumpkin pie feature a luscious and creamy sweet custard filling, prepared with warm and cozy fall spice. The main obvious difference is of course that one is prepared with pumpkin puree while the other one features baked sweet potatoes, mashed. The rest of the ingredients are very similar from one recipe to another. However, you will notice that the sweet potato pie tends to be a little bit denser than the custard-like pumpkin pie, with a more hearty flavor.

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Ingredients for sweet potato pie

  • Sweet potatoes. Use about 2 medium sweet potatoes, or 1 lb (450g). You can either roast them (preferred method in terms of flavor), boil or steam them.
  • Brown sugar. You can use either light or dark brown sugar (I usually go for light brown sugar). Do not try to substitute with granulated sugar in this recipe, it will change both the texture and the flavor of the custard.
  • Eggs. They make a perfect custard-like texture.
  • Butter. Use it unsalted to control the salt, and softened at room temperature (not melted).
  • Heavy cream. You can replace it with whole milk too.
  • Flour. You need just one Tablespoon of flour to act as a thickening agent in the filling.
  • Vanilla extract. It brings some warm notes and is a must for a boost of flavors in the recipe.
  • Spices. I used cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, as you would do for a pumpkin pie.
  • Salt. It brings out the spice flavors!
  • Homemade pie crust. I used my all butter pie crust. Simple and straightforward.

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How to make sweet potato pie?

Sweet potato pie recipe is very similar to pumpkin pie. Here’s how to:

  1. Start with making the crust, and chill. I like to prepare the crust first as it gives it time to chill in the refrigerator. This is what will then give it its flaky texture.
  2. Roast sweet potatoes until fork tender. To do so, I like to wrap them in foil. Alternatively you can boil or steam them; I tried and both of these methods work too!
  3. Combine the filling ingredients. It doesn’t get any easier than this! All you need is an electric hand mixer to beat together all the filling ingredients until smooth. Note: I like to mash the sweet potatoes with a fork first, but it is not necessary.
  4. Assemble the pie and bake! Roll out homemade pie crust, line in the prepared pie dish, add the filling, and bake!
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Variations around the recipe

You can serve this sweet potato pie as is, either at room temperature or cold. You can also add a few toppings to make it even more sumptuous. Here are a few examples:

  • Add whipped cream on top. If doing so, make sure the filling is cool enough so whipped cream doesn’t melt on top. I use homemade whipped cream, by simply beating whipping cream with an electric hand mixer until soft peaks form, and then pipe it into a piping bag to make some nice shaped over the pie. You can also spread it over the pie with a spatula.
  • Top with homemade Italian meringue pie. This Italian meringue recipe is my favorite; it gets a little technical but once you master the technique, there is no other meringue recipe you would like to use in the world. The result is so sumptuous, sweet and subtle!
  • Sprinkle candied pecans by following this recipe. It will make each bite crunchy and simply irresistible.

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Make ahead and storage instructions

This sweet potato pie can easily be prepared from start to bottom up a day in advance, which makes it a great make ahead dessert for Thanksgiving or any other holiday celebration. You can then keep it at room temperature, covered with foil, or if you prefer it cold, you can store in the refrigerator. Both options work, it’s just a matter of personal preferences. Making sweet potato pie ahead of time also enables spices to develop their bold flavors, and as a result the dessert usually tastes even better the next day!

Store the leftovers in an airtight container placed in the refrigerator for a few days. Although it is technically possible to freeze the sweet potato pie, I do not recommend it as I noticed it tends to loose most of its delicate flavors and become starchy.

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More Thanksgiving dessert recipes:

  • Classic Pumpkin Pie
  • Best Flaky Apple Pie
  • Homemade Pecan Pie
  • Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
  • Coffee Chocolate Meringue Pie
  • To go further, check these 30+ Incredible Thanksgiving Desserts.

With sweet potatoes, make also…

  • Fall Harvest Chickpea Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
  • Rosemary Sweet Potato Bread
  • Pecan Sweet Potato Casserole

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Lastly, if you make this Sweet Potato Pie, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating, letting me know how you liked it. And of course, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Thank you and enjoy!


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Sweet Potato Pie

  • Author: Delphine Fortin
  • Prep Time: 45 mins
  • Roasting Time: 60 mins
  • Cook Time: 60 mins
  • Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Cakes and pies
  • Cuisine: American
Print Recipe


The old fashioned sweet potato pie is a classic dessert to enjoy during the fall months and a great alternative to pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. It features a smooth and creamy sweet potato filling with warm spices on top of a flaky crust. Serve with whipped cream, and enjoy!

For the pie crust:

  • 1 ¾ cup (7.5 oz/210g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • ⅔ cup (5 oz/140g) unsalted butter, cold and diced
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup (2.5 oz/75 ml) water

For the filling:

  • 1 lb (450g) sweet potatoes, (about 2 medium)
  • ½cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • ½ cup (100g) light brown sugar
  • ½ cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream*
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼teaspoon salt


  1. For the crust, combine flour, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add diced butter, very cold water, and mix well until it comes into a smooth ball. Flatten slightly, wrap in cling film and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven at 400°F (200°C). Wrap sweet potatoes in foil and bake for about 1 hour.** Once cooked, allow potatoes to cool until you can easily handle them. Run the potatoes under very cold water. The skin should peel off easily.
  3. Transfer peeled sweet potatoes to a large mixing bowl. Add butter, sugar, cream, eggs, flour, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and salt. Using an electric hand or stand mixer, beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth.
  4. Roll out the dough into a large circle and lift it over a 9-inch (23 cm) pie dish, fluting edges if desired. Pour and spread filling into the unbaked pie crust.
  5. Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 55 to 60 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out mostly clean. Pie will puff up like a soufflé, and then will sink down as it cools. After 30 minutes of baking, place a pie crust shield (or use a piece of foil) if necessary to prevent the edges from over-browning.
  6. Allow pie to cool on a cooling rack for at least 1 hour at room temperature before serving. Enjoy with whipped cream!


* Whole milk can be used instead. Some also love to use evaporated milk instead, which has a slightly caramelized flavor.

** Alternatively, you can boil potatoes in skin for 40 to 50 minutes, or steam them in a vegetable steamer.

Keywords: Sweet Potato Pie

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Reader Interactions


  1. Old Fashioned Sweet Potato Pie (17)Denise Baier says

    I dont see milk..how much in ingredients
    So how much,?


    • Old Fashioned Sweet Potato Pie (18)Delphine Fortin says

      Hi Denise! Sorry I meant cream, I just corrected it in the recipe!


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