The Best Sweet Potato Pie

This post is sponsored by Challenge Butter, but all opinions are my own.

This classic Sweet Potato Pie has a smooth filling made with browned butter, brown sugar and just the right amount of spice! The perfect alternative to a pumpkin pie!

slice of sweet potato pie on white plate with whipped cream on top
sweet potato pie in white pie plate with challenge butter

The Best Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet Potato Pie is like Pumpkin Pie‘s under appreciated cousin. Pumpkin pie definitely gets the main spotlight for Thanksgiving, but if you’re looking to try something different or shake things up, sweet potato pie is definitely worth sampling. It’s so good!

And this sweet potato pie is the one you’re going to want to make. It’s full of flavor from a mix of brown sugar, spices and my favorite part – browned butter! Browned butter adds a level of flavor that you just can’t get with anything else and it doesn’t take long to do.

The bottom line is that sweet potato pie is delicious and if you haven’t tried it before, it could become a new favorite. In fact, why not make both sweet potato pie and pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving and let everyone do a comparison? Dessert match ups are some of my favorites.

sweet potato pie in white pie plate with slice removed

Sweet Potato Pie Ingredients

There are a few elements to this pie – the crust, the filling and the whipped cream. The crust is pretty straight forward. You’ve got flour, salt for flavor, butter and water. To learn more and go into depth on the crust, check out my post on this Flaky All Butter Pie Crust. We use the same crust in this pie, but cut in half so that you only have one crust.

The special sauce in this pie comes in the filling:

  • Sweet Potatoes: Be sure you’re using the classic orange sweet potatoes. Believe it or not, there are white ones out there with a pinker, thinner skin. Don’t be fooled by them, you want the orange ones.
  • Butter: The butter in this recipe is browned, which gives this pie a deeper, better flavor. It’s an extra step, but it’s totally worth it. And using a quality butter is always a must – in both the pie crust and filling! I used my favorite Challenge Butter. Challenge Butter is a high quality, creamy butter that goes from farm to fridge in just two days, ensuring that it’s nice and fresh. It has no added hormones, artificial flavors or fillings, so you can feel good about feeding it to your family. If you haven’t tried it before, you definitely need to. It will definitely elevate your baking and cooking.
  • Brown Sugar: The brown sugar is going to give the pie more flavor and is definitely something you don’t want to skip.
  • Milk: I used 2%, but whole milk would work as well.
  • Eggs: The eggs bind everything together. Be sure to use large sized eggs.
  • Spices: This pie has just the right mix of flavor with some nutmeg, cinnamon and a bit of ginger.
  • Flavorings: Salt and vanilla extract – both are pretty much essential in all things. Salt enhances flavor, as does vanilla extract.

This pie is topped with a classic cinnamon whipped cream. You’ll need:

  • Heavy Whipping Cream: It needs to be cold.
  • Powdered Sugar: This keeps the whipped cream stable, so it won’t wilt.
  • Vanilla Extract: For flavor.
  • Ground Cinnamon: Also for flavor.
slice of sweet potato pie on white plate with challenge butter in background

How to Make Sweet Potato Pie

  1. Make The Crust: As I mentioned above, there’s a whole separate post just for the pie crust, so definitely check that out. I make the crust in a food processor, but you can also do it by hand. You’ll combine part of the flour and the salt, process the butter into the flour until you have a crumbly dough with large crumbs, then add the remaining flour and process until it resembles sand. Next, add the water until the dough comes together, then form a ball, warp and refrigerate.
  2. Prep and Blind Bake The Crust: After refrigerating the crust, roll it out and add it to your pie plate. Blind bake your pie crust until partially baked, then set aside.
  3. Cook and Prep Sweet Potatoes: You can do this while the crust is chilling and/or baking. You can boil or bake them. To boil them, put the sweet potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring the water to a boil, and cook until the potatoes are fork tender, about 45-60 minutes, depending on size. When the potatoes are done, drain and set aside to cool until warm enough to handle. To bake them, prick the potatoes all over with a fork, wrap individually in foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees until fork tender, 45-60 minutes, depending on size. Set aside to cool until warm enough to handle. Peel and mash the potatoes, then add them to a food processor to smooth it out further. You don’t have to do the food processor step, but I prefer the smoother texture of the pie that way.
  4. Brown The Butter: While the potatoes cool, brown the butter. Add the butter to a pan over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter has a nutty smell and light brown flecks. Be careful not to burn it. Pour the browned butter into another bowl until you need it so that it doesn’t continue to cook and burn.
  5. Combine Filling Ingredients: Add the browned butter to the mashed sweet potatoes and mix to combine. Add the remaining ingredients ad mix until well combined.
  6. Bake: Pour the filling into the pie crust and bake at 350 degrees F for 50-60 minutes, or until the pie is set but still wiggles a bit. If the center of the pie has a wavy jiggle, it needs more time. If it’s a lighter, more structured jiggle, it should be done. It will puff up while baking and fall while cooling. Allow the pie to cool completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  7. Add Whipped Cream: To make the whipped cream, add the cream, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and cinnamon to a large mixer bowl and whip on high speed until stiff peaks form. Pipe the whipped cream onto the pie as desired and sprinkle with some cinnamon or nutmeg, if desired.
sweet potato pie with whipped cream on top in white pie plate

Can I use canned sweet potatoes?

I didn’t test canned sweet potatoes, but imagine you could. I would still puree them. And since they are often sweetened, you may want to reduce some of the sugar in the pie. They may also have a little extra moisture, so you may need to bake the pie a little longer.

Can I make sweet potato pie ahead?

Yes, sweet potato pie can be made ahead and refrigerated until ready to serve. It should be fine in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Can I freeze sweet potato pie?

You can, but keep in mind that the texture of the pie could change a bit. Be sure to wrap the pie well before freezing it, then thaw it in the fridge prior to serving.

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

The Best Sweet Potato Pie

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10 servings
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This classic Sweet Potato Pie has a smooth filling made with browned butter, brown sugar and just the right amount of spice! The perfect alternative to a pumpkin pie!


Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 1/4 cups (163g) all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (112g) cold unsalted Challenge butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 24 tbsp ice water

Sweet Potato Filling

  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 3 medium sized)
  • 10 tbsp (140g) unsalted Challenge Butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup (225g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Whipped Cream

  • 3/4 cup (180ml) heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 6 tbsp (44g) powdered sugar
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. To make the crust, add 3/4 cup (98g) of flour and salt to a large food processor and pulse together 2 to 3 times.
  2. Scatter the cubed butter over the flour and process until a crumbly dough forms, about 15 seconds. The flour should all be coated – none of the flour should be dry.
  3. Add the remaining half cup of flour (65g) and pulse a few times until everything is evenly distributed. The doughy pieces should break up and it should look sandy. There shouldn’t be a bunch of big pieces remaining. A few are fine, but it should be mostly evenly distributed.
  4. Move the mixture to a medium mixing bowl and add 4 tablespoons of the ice water. Start with 2 tablespoons and add from there. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold everything together. The crumbs should begin to form larger clusters. If you pinch some of the dough and it holds together nicely, it’s ready. If the dough falls apart, add 1-2 more tablespoons of water and continue to press until dough comes together.
  5. Pour the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper and work just enough for it to come together, then shape into a disc.
  6. Wrap disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour or up to 2 days.
  7. When ready to bake the crust, place the pie crust onto a piece of parchment paper. You can add a touch of flour if you like, but you don’t have to. Cover the crust with another piece of parchment paper and roll it out with a rolling pin.
  8. Peel one piece of the parchment paper off and use the other piece of parchment to lift the pie crust and drape it over a 9 inch deep dish pie plate. Carefully peel off the second piece of parchment paper, then shape your pie crust.
  9. Add pie weights to the pie crust (I like to line it the crust with some parchment paper first) and partially bake at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, then set aside. See my tutorial for blind baking pie crust.
  10. Cook the potatoes (you can do this while the crust is chilling or baking). You can boil or bake them. To boil them, put the sweet potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring the water to a boil, and cook until the potatoes are fork tender, about 45-60 minutes, depending on size. When the potatoes are done, drain and set aside to cool until warm enough to handle. To bake them, prick the potatoes all over with a fork, wrap individually in foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees until fork tender, 45-60 minutes, depending on size. Set aside to cool until warm enough to handle.
  11. Peel and mash the potatoes, then add them to a food processor to smooth it out further. You don’t have to do the food processor step, but I prefer the smoother texture of the pie that way.
  12. While the potatoes cool, brown the butter. Add the butter to a pan over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until butter has a nutty smell and light brown flecks. Be careful not to burn it. Pour the browned butter into another bowl until you need it so that it doesn’t continue to cook.
  13. Add the browned butter to the mashed sweet potatoes and mix to combine.
  14. Add the remaining ingredients ad mix until well combined.
  15. Pour the filling into the pie crust and bake at 350 degrees F for 50-60 minutes, or until the pie is set but still wiggles a bit. If the center of the pie has a wavy jiggle, it needs more time. If it’s a lighter, more structured jiggle, it should be done. It will puff up while baking and fall while cooling. Allow the pie to cool completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  16. To make the whipped cream, add the cream, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and cinnamon to a large mixer bowl and whip on high speed until stiff peaks form. Pipe the whipped cream onto the pie as desired and sprinkle with some cinnamon or nutmeg, if desired.


Keywords: sweet potato pie

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8 Comments
  1. Audrey

    Hi , love your recipe, just wanted to also share some history, in the African American and afro Latin culture we make sweet potato pie instead of pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving and Xmas. We do make pumpkin also but sweet potatoe pie is the star.

    1. Lindsay

      Yes! I know there’s lot of history there. I had wanted to share, but I had also read some varying information and didn’t want to get it wrong. But definitely some great history behind the sweet potato pie and African American culture.

  2. Brigitte

    Yummy…I’ making the recipe right now. I did weight my 1/2 cup of butter and it gave me less grams than the recipe. Could there be a mistake in the 224 grams

  3. Pamela

    I’m not able to find any place where it states what size pie this bakes and whether it uses a deep dish pie plate. What size pie plate or pie pan should be used and should it be a deep dish pie? Many thanks

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

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