Sweet Potato Pie with Pecan Topping

I’ve had so many friends rave about sweet potato pie that when I found a recipe for one in Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food magazine I just had to try it. Given that I completely botched the first pie crust (forgot to chill it before baking it -grrr) and many steps require chilling this or that for an hour, the whole production took a lot longer than I thought it would. Was it worth it? Yes! This is a delicious sweet potato pie and worthy of any Thanksgiving table.

Sweet Potato Pie with Pecan Topping Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 8.


  • 1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup plus another 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 pre-baked pie crust (see pie crust recipe for instructions on pre-baking a pie crust)
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup of pecans, half of them lightly chopped, the other half whole


1 Make the pie crust. (See pie crust recipe for instructions on pre-baking a pie crust.) If you use a store-bought frozen crust, you do not need to pre-bake it, just defrost it 10 minutes and prick the bottom all over with a fork before using.

2 Make the sweet potato purée. In a large saucepan, cover the sweet potato pieces with water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the sweet potato pieces are soft when poked with a knife or fork. Drain. Purée in a food processor until smooth. You may need to add back a little liquid (a tablespoon or two of water) to get a smooth consistency. Let cool completely before using.

3 Prepare the pie. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place rack at bottom of oven. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, 1/3 cup brown sugar, and maple syrup until smooth. Add the sweet potato purée, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and 3/4 cup of cream. Mix until completely smooth. Pour into cooled crust.

4 Bake the pie. Bake on lowest rack for 50 minutes, until filling has set. You may want to tent the edges of the pie with aluminum foil or a pie crust protector to prevent the pie crust edges from burning. Cool on rack for one hour. Then transfer to refrigerator and chill completely.

5 Make the pecan topping. Melt 3 Tbsp butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup of brown sugar and cook, stirring, until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add 1 Tbsp cream, and mix in. Add the pecans, mix to coat the pecans with the sugar mixture. Let cool for 1 minute. Pour mixture over cooled pie. Use a rubber spatula to spread topping over the top of the pie. Cool until topping has hardened, about 30 minutes.

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Showing 4 of 24 Comments

  • Michele

    I grew up eating sweet potato pie (my grandfather being a chef and from the south it was a holiday favorite). I make mine with pecans too. Yours looks wonderful!

  • Deb

    Elise, if you had never had sweet potato pie, then probably you’ve never had “little” sweet potato pies (with the sweet potato filling placed inside a rolled out biscuit and folded over, sizzled in frying pan, sprinkled with 10x sugar, and eaten immediately.) Delicious.

    I just bought some sweet potatoes yesterday and plan to make these little pies. I will try and take a picture of them and put the recipe on my blog–hopefully in the next day or two. Thank you for the “big” sweet potato pie recipe.

  • BBQ Junkie

    My grandmother-in-law, who makes the best sweet potato pie, told me that the secret to her pies is “a lot of butter and a lot of sugar.”

    I have found that you can pretty much apply this secret to any dessert :)

  • Lori

    I love sweet potato pie, actually more than pumpkin pie. I’ve never made one myself. This one sure looks good. I think I’ll try it this Thanksgiving. Gotta love Everyday Food magazine – you’re making me want to resubscribe! :)

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