Sugar Cream Pie

A smooth and creamy vanilla pie filling is topped with melted butter, cinnamon and nutmeg in this easy old-fashioned Sugar Cream Pie! You can make it with your favorite store-bought pie crust or the flaky homemade butter crust included in the recipe.

A slice of sugar cream pie on a white plate with a metal fork beside it

Melt-In-Your-Mouth Sugar Pie With Warm Spices

My husband and I are flat-out obsessed with this pie. It’s so simple, but the flavor is fantastic – the creamy milkiness of the filling and the comforting spices in the topping make such an irresistible combo. It reminds me of a Mexican Horchata in pie form – yum! Plus, it’s one of those dishes you can throw together no matter how badly you need a grocery run.

Whether or not your crust is made from scratch, this sweet old-fashioned pie will have everyone fawning over your baking skills. No one has to know if you took a shortcut! They’ll be too busy relishing their slices to care.

A sugar cream pie in a pie dish with a jar of cinnamon sticks behind it

What Is Sugar Cream Pie?

Also known as finger pie or simply sugar pie, this no-fuss dessert features a custard-based filling that’s made without any eggs. Instead, it’s thickened with cornstarch. This gives it a lighter, silkier feel and allows the flavors of the cream and vanilla to shine.

On top of that luscious filling is a buttery cinnamon topping that I decided to spice up with a dash of nutmeg. Needless to say, it was a lovely addition! With a classic butter crust serving as its foundation, this mouthwatering treat is proudly known as the state pie of Indiana.

A slice of pie on a plate with one bite on a metal fork next to it

Recipe Ingredients

You probably already have all of the ingredients you need to make this pie. To see the associated amounts, continue scrolling until you reach the recipe card.

For the Sugar Cream Pie

  • Pie Crust: My recipe makes two crusts – one for the bottom and one for the top of a given pie. Since this is a single-crust pie, you can halve the recipe.
  • Cornstarch
  • Sugar
  • Salt: This doesn’t add a salty flavor, but it does keep the filling from tasting overly sweet and amplifies the flavors already present.
  • Heavy Cream: You definitely won’t regret reaching for a higher-quality cream here.
  • Unsalted Butter: Cut into small cubes.
  • Vanilla Extract: Be sure to use high-quality cream and vanilla. These flavors will be prominent.

For the Spice Topping

  • Unsalted Butter: This time it should be melted.
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Ground Nutmeg

How to Make Perfect Sugar Pie

Making sugar cream pie is anything but complicated. It only involves about 20 minutes of prep time!

Prepare Crust in Pan: Place the pie crust into a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan, crimp the outer edges with your fingers, then prick the sides and bottom with a fork. These small holes allow steam to escape, preventing the crust from puffing up as much in the oven.

Par-Bake: Blind bake the pie crust according to the package directions or the instructions associated with your homemade crust. Use pie weights to keep the crust from puffing up as it bakes. Set the par-baked crust aside so it can cool, then set the oven to 350°F.

Combine Dry Ingredients: Combine the cornstarch, sugar and salt in a saucepan.

Add Cream & Butter: Add the cream and butter and stir to combine.

Cook & Add Vanilla: Cook the mixture over medium heat until it begins to boil, then let it boil for one minute – any longer and the cornstarch could break down. The mixture should be thick and pudding-like. Remove it from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

Pour Into Crust: Pour the filling into the cooled pie crust and spread it out evenly.

Add Topping: Drizzle the melted butter over the filling, spreading it evenly. Combine the cinnamon and nutmeg and sprinkle them evenly over the melted butter.

Bake & Let Cool: Bake the pie for 10-15 minutes, then set it on a cooling rack to cool for about an hour.

Chill Until Firm: Refrigerate the pie until it’s cold and firm, about 3-4 hours. Once it has fully set, cut it into slices and enjoy!

An overhead shot of a sugar cream pie in a pie dish on a kitchen countertop

Do I Have to Blind Bake the Pie Crust?

Since this pie doesn’t involve a lengthy cook time, you do have to par-bake your crust in advance. Otherwise, it’ll come out underdone. If you want more advice on how to do this, check out my comprehensive tutorial for Blind Baking Pie Crust.

Tips for Success

I have some tips and tricks that will help you make this pie like a professional baker. Here they are!

  • No Pie Weights, No Problem: Resourcefulness is always an asset in the kitchen. If you don’t have pie weights, you can weigh down your crust using uncooked rice or beans.
  • Medium Heat is the Maximum: Don’t raise your burner above medium heat when you’re cooking the filling. It needs to thicken nice and slowly.
  • Only Boil the Filling for One Minute: If you let the filling boil for longer than one minute, the cornstarch could start to break down and lose some of its thickening power. Don’t hesitate to remove it from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
A piece of homemade pie on a small dessert plate with cutouts in the rim

How to Store Extras

This pie should be kept in an airtight container in the fridge. It will stay fresh for 3-4 days.

Can I Freeze This?

Sure – as long as your pie is fully set, it should do pretty well in the freezer. Just be sure to wrap it in a tight layer of plastic wrap and a layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil. You can do this with the whole pie or individual slices. Enjoy frozen sugar pie within 2 months, thawing it out in the fridge before you serve it.

See How To Make This Pie

Read Transcript

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A slice of sugar cream pie on a white plate with a metal fork beside it
Recipe

Sugar Cream Pie

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 10
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

A smooth and creamy vanilla pie filling is topped with melted butter, cinnamon and nutmeg in this easy old-fashioned Sugar Cream Pie! You can make it with your favorite store-bought pie crust or the flaky homemade butter crust included in the recipe.


Ingredients

For the Sugar Cream Pie

  • 1 pie crust
  • 5 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 cups (259g) sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 cups (720ml) heavy cream
  • 5 tbsp (70g) unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

For the Spice Topping

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Place the pie crust in a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan, crimp the edges and prick the sides and bottom with a fork.
  2. Blind bake the pie crust according to package instructions or the instruction of your homemade crust. Use pie weights to keep the crust from puffing up too much when baking. Set aside to cool. Set oven to 350°F.
  3. Combine the cornstarch, sugar and salt in a saucepan. Add the cream and butter and stir together to combine.
  4. Cook over medium heat (not higher) until it begins to boil, then let it boil for one minute (don’t let it boil longer or the cornstarch can break down). It should be thick and pudding-like. Remove from heat and add the vanilla extract.
  5. Pour the filling into the pie crust and spread evenly.
  6. Drizzle the melted butter for the topping over the filling and spread evenly. Combine the cinnamon and nutmeg and sprinkle evenly over the melted butter.
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes, then set on a cooling rack to cool for about an hour.
  8. Refrigerate until cold and firm, about 3-4 hours, then serve.

Notes

  • Makes 8-10 slices.
  • To Store: Refrigerate pie in an airtight container and eat within 3-4 days.
  • To Freeze: Wrap whole pie or individual slices in a tight layer of plastic wrap and a layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Enjoy within 2 months, thawing in the fridge before serving.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 322
  • Sugar: 26.2 g
  • Sodium: 81.3 mg
  • Fat: 21.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 31 g
  • Protein: 1.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 62.1 mg

Keywords: easy pie, eggless dessert, pie filling

Categories

More Old-Fashioned Pies to Try

Need another classic homemade pie? I’ve got plenty of foolproof recipes to choose from.

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Recipe rating

13 Comments
  1. Kathy

    My grandmother made this but only sprinkled nutmeg on the top. I think it had eggs in it. Any idea of the recipe

  2. Karen Phillips

    I made this yesterday, so another of your recipes goes in the win column, the texture was perfect. My husband went back for seconds.

  3. carol

    I have a question, please. I love pastry cream — is the filling at all like it, flavor-wise, or is this quite different? (And thank you for some fantastic recipes!)

    1. Lindsay

      So the big difference between pastry cream and this pie is the eggs. The eggs in pastry cream add a whole lot of flavor which is quite different from the flavor of this pie. This pie has a milkier creamy flavor with the addition of cinnamon and nutmeg. They are similar in certain ways as far as method, but I would say the taste is relatively different. A little bit like the difference between a baked cheesecake and a no bake cheesecake. The eggs make a difference in the richness of the flavor. This pie isn’t quite as rich as a pastry cream that uses eggs. And yet it’s super delicious in its own way. I hope that helps!

    1. Lindsay

      I would follow the instructions of the particular crust you are using. If you are using my pie crust recipe that I linked to, it’s baked at 350°.

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and a mom to twin boys and a baby girl! And I've got a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the treats!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yolk upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29