Sweet Potato Pie is a staple in the South. This is the land of sweet potatoes, after all! Some say you shouldn’t mess with the classics, and I usually agree. But I have been tinkering with my sweet potato pie recipe for many years, and I think I finally achieved sweet potato perfection!
This recipe for Southern Sweet Potato Pie features a smooth, creamy pie filling with just the right spices, a buttery and flaky pie crust, plus a rich cream cheese whipped cream that’s light on the sweetness. Top it off with some delicious and fun candied pecans for a delightful crunchy garnish, and you’ve got a one-way ticket to Pie Heaven!
A Southern and Family Favorite
Here in the South, sweet potatoes grow just about anywhere. Right around November, we harvest the potatoes and allow them to cure for about ten days in a cool place. This curing process is when all the magic happens! The starches in the potatoes develop into sugars, making them ultra sweet. These root vegetables are rich in beta carotene and vitamin C as well as high in fiber.
This recipe is absolutely a favorite for our family! I’ve worked to perfect it through the years. I wanted a pie that had the perfect amount of sweetness without overwhelming the flavor of the sweet potatoes. I’m using my signature pie crust recipe here, for a buttery and flaky crust that provides the perfect base for a delicious pie. And instead of meringue or ordinary whipped cream, I’ve made this luscious cream cheese whipped cream that adds richness but is light on the sweetness, allowing the flavor of the sweet potatoes to shine!
This pie makes a fantastic Thanksgiving dessert as an alternative to pumpkin pie.
To top it off (literally), I’m adding candied pecans. When you’ve got all of these components together, plus my signature homemade pie crust, the result is the perfect sweet potato pecan pie! Oh, and here’s a little secret—as desserts go, it’s healthy, too! You may never buy store-bought sweet potato pies again.
I use two types of Alaga Syrup (one of my sponsors) in this recipe, the Original Cane and the Alaga Light Syrup. I love using Alaga because it lends such a rich, classic flavor to the pie filling and the cream cheese whipped topping. Having Alaga as one of my sponsors helps me create these recipes from scratch using bona fide, local Southern ingredients, so thank you Alaga!!
How do you know when a sweet potato pie is set?
Knowing when a sweet potato pie is set involves a combination of visual cues and testing its internal temperature. Here’s how you can determine if your sweet potato pie is properly set:
Visual Test: The center of the pie should appear firm and not jiggly when gently shaken. The edges may be slightly puffed and set as well. The surface should be a golden brown color.
Knife or Toothpick Test: Insert a clean knife or toothpick into the center of the pie, about an inch from the crust. If it comes out relatively clean with only a few moist crumbs clinging to it, the pie is likely set. If the knife comes out with a lot of wet batter, the pie needs more baking time.
Internal Temperature: You can use an instant-read thermometer to measure the internal temperature of the pie. The filling should reach an internal temperature of around 175-180°F (80-82°C) for proper doneness.
General Pie Baking Tip
Keep in mind that a pie will continue to cook a bit as it cools, so you don’t want to overbake it. If you’re concerned about the pie cracking, you can also consider using a water bath while baking, which can help regulate the temperature and reduce the likelihood of cracks forming on the surface.
NOTE: some slight cracking on the surface is normal and won’t affect the taste or texture of the pie.
Why is my sweet potato pie mushy?
If your sweet potato pie is turning out mushy, there are a few possible reasons for this texture issue. Here are some common factors that could contribute to a mushy sweet potato pie:
Underbaking: If the pie is underbaked, the sweet potato filling might not have had enough time to fully set. Make sure to follow the recommended baking time and temperature for your recipe, and check for signs of doneness using the methods mentioned earlier.
Incorrect Ratios: The ratio of sweet potato puree to other ingredients (such as eggs, milk, sugar, and spices) in the filling can affect the texture. If there’s too much liquid or not enough binding agents (like eggs), the filling might turn out mushy.
Overmixing: Overmixing the sweet potato filling can lead to a mushy texture. When mixing, especially after adding eggs, mix and mash only enough to combine the ingredients. Overmixing can add excess air, leading to a softer texture.
Oven Temperature: Some ovens have hot spots that can affect the baking process. Use an oven thermometer to ensure that your oven is at the correct temperature, and consider rotating the pie during baking to ensure even cooking.
Cooling and Setting: Be sure to allow the pie to cool and set properly after baking. Cutting into the pie while it’s still warm can result in a softer, mushier texture. Let the pie cool completely at room temperature or in the refrigerator before slicing and serving.
Type of Sweet Potatoes: Different types of sweet potatoes have varying levels of moisture content. If you’re using a particularly moist variety, you may need to adjust the other ingredients in the recipe to compensate OR roast the potatoes instead of boiling them.
Stacy Lyn’s Sweet Potato Pie Recipe
I hope you’ll try this luscious pie for the holidays or anytime. Please add a comment to let me know how it turns out!
Southern Sweet Potato Pie
Sweet Potato Pie Filling with Fresh Sweet Potatoes
- 3 cups sweet potatoes (1 1/2 pounds) cooled and mashed
- 1/4 cup butter slightly melted but not hot
- 1/2 cup Alaga Original Cane Syrup
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup heavy cream cold
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- pinch of ground cloves
Stacy Lyn’s Signature Homemade Pie Crust
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cups unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks) very cold
- 1/3 cup Crisco vegetable shortening very cold
- 6-8 tablespoons ice water plus more if dough is too thick
- 1/4 cup whipping cream for brushing on edges of the crust
Luscious Cream Cheese Whipped Cream
- 8 ounce cream cheese (1 whole package) softened
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup Light Alaga Syrup
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups roughly chopped pecans
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons Alaga Original Cane Syrup
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar light or dark
- pinch of salt
Sweet Potato Pie Filling
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large pot, boil whole sweet potatoes with the skins for about 45 minutes, or until a fork easily pierces through the potato. Remove potatoes to a colander and run cold water over the potatoes. When cool enough to handle, remove the skin from the sweet potatoes and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk butter, syrup, brown sugar, and eggs until well blended. Add the sweet potatoes and remaining ingredients and stir until well blended. I like to use a hand-mixer or electric mixer with the whisk attachment to make sure it is as puréed as possible for a smoother pie. Pour into prepared crust (recipe below).
- Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack. Allow the pie to completely cool. Once the pie is cool, slice and plate. Serve with a dollop of luscious cream cheese whipped cream and sprinkle with candied nuts (recipe below).
Stacy Lyn’s Signature Homemade Pie Crust
- In a large bowl, add flour and salt. Cut in butter and Crisco with a pastry blender until the flour mixture resembles small peas. Add the cold water one tablespoon at a time, continuing to blend with the pastry blender. Bring mixture together with your hands and shape into a ball. Wrap the ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- If you are using a processor, place flour and salt into food processor fittd with a steel blade and pulse to mix. Dice butter. Add diced butter and cold shortening to the processor. Add ice water to the mixture down the feed tub with machine still running. Pulse machine until dough forms a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes.
- When you are ready to make the pie, cut the dough in half. Roll one piece of the dough on a floured surface into a 14-inch circle. Fold the dough in half over a rolling pin and place crust into a 9-inch pie plate. Form the remaining dough into a disc and freeze for later use (lasts up to 3 months frozen).
- Brush the edges of the crust with whipped cream (recipe below).
Luscious Cream Cheese Whipped Cream
- In a large bowl (or heavy duty electric mixer with whisk attachment), mix all ingredients until soft peaks form. Cover and chill for at least 20 minutes.
- Place a piece of parchment paper near the stove. In a non-stick skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add pecans, syrup, brown sugar, and a pinch of salt.
- With a wooden spoon, stir continuously for about 3 to 5 minutes or until the nuts are completely coated. Once they are coated and the nuts have soaked up the liquid mixture, remove the nuts to the parchment paper and spread them apart to cool.
- Allow the nuts to completely cool and store in an airtight container for up to 4 weeks.
– Happy Thanksgiving from Stacy Lyn!
Here are more of my top holiday recipes.