Sweet Potato Pie with Pecan Topping

Holiday sweet potato pie with a pecan topping. Dense and sweet filling with sweet potatoes, sweetened condensed milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, vanilla, and bourbon. Topped with candied pecan topping. Delicious!

We've given directions for making a homemade crust with a food processor. If you want, you can use a pre-made frozen crust. Look for a deep dish one. If you use a shallow frozen crust, you may have enough filling for two pies. In that case you may need to reduce the cooking time.

  • Yield: Serves 8


Pie Crust:

  • 1 1/4 cups (160g) all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (skip the salt if using salted butter)
  • 10 Tbsp (140g) cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3 Tbsp ice water

Pie Filling:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 pounds (900g) sweet potatoes (about 2 medium sized sweet potatoes)
  • 3 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1/4 cup (55g) brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp granulated white sugar (can reduce to 1 Tbsp if you want less sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp bourbon whisky (optional)
  • 7 ounces (210ml) sweetened condensed milk

Pie Topping

  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup (64g) brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup pecans (110g), half of them roughly chopped, the other half whole


1 If you are making the pie crust from scratch, make the pie dough at least an hour in advance of making the pie. To make the dough, put the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse a couple of times to blend.

Add half of the butter and pulse several times. Add the rest of the butter and pulse several more times, until the butter pieces are not bigger than the size of a pea.

Add 2 Tbsp of ice water and pulse a couple of times. Add another Tbsp, and maybe just a teaspoon more if needed, and pulse, just enough so that the dough holds together when you pinch it with your fingers.

Empty the food processor bowl onto a clean surface and gather the dough into your hands and form a ball. Flatten to a smooth disk about 6 inches wide. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.

2 Pierce the sweet potatoes with the tines of a fork in several places.

Put on a foil lined baking sheet and bake in a 350°F oven for 1 hour, or until cooked through and soft.


Remove the sweet potatoes from oven when done and let cool.

3 Remove the dough disk from the refrigerator and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes before rolling it out. Place it on a clean, lightly floured surface. Roll out the dough into a 14-inch round, large enough for a 9-inch pie plate. Place on dough on and in the pie dish, turn the edges under and crimp the edges. Poke the bottom of the crust a few times with tines of a fork. Place into the freezer to chill.

4 When the cooked sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh into a bowl. Mash with a potato masher. You should have 2 cups of sweet potato purée.

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5 In a separate large bowl, beat the eggs. Whisk in the butter, brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, vanilla extract, bourbon whisky (if using), and sweetened condensed milk.

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6 Whisk together the egg sugar mixture with the mashed sweet potato until smooth. Pour into the frozen, unbaked pie shell. Smooth surface so that it is even.

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7 Bake at 350°F for one hour or until the filling has set. Remove from oven and let sit to cool down for 30 minutes or so.


8 To 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, a couple of minutes. The sugar should bubble up a bit.

Stir in 1 Tbsp of heavy whipping cream. The mixture should bubble up a lot. As soon as you've mixed in the cream, add the pecans. Stir to coat the pecans with the sugar mixture.

As soon as the pecans are coated with the sugar mixture, pour them over the top of the pie. Use the back of a metal spoon to spread them out in an even layer on the top of the pie.

Let the pie cool for a few minutes before serving.

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  1. 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!

    • Laura @ RYG

      I would love a sample. Will send my address for shipping purposes. Just kidding! To answer your question Elise, yes yes yes on the sweet potato pie. And with pecans on the top, oh southern pecans, how I love thee. My husband and I love driving south and stumbling upon the paper pecans. Mind blowing scrumptious. Pecans make the world go round.

      • Elise

        If I have pecans in the house I have to use them in a recipe quickly, otherwise I eat them ALL! Love pecans.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 :)

  4. Deb

    The little sweet potato pies recipe is now posted here:


  5. Ashley

    Hey Elise, I was just curious do you actually use Sweet Potatoes or do you use Yams for this recipe? I have looked at several different recipes and people often call yams, sweet potatoes and mostly mean yams when they say sweet potatoes. My last attempt at a sweet potato pie I used a combination of both sweet potatoes and yams. It worked but I’m still wondering.

    Great question. Actually here in the U.S. what we call yams are orange-colored sweet potatoes. I use them interchangeably in cooking. ~Elise

  6. k3v0

    i like to hit the sugar crust with a torch to really make it crisp and toast the pecans.

  7. Tori

    This looks so warm and cozy yum! I’m loving all the pecans on top and now I can’t wait for Thanksgiving!

  8. Sandy S

    As usual your timing is scary!! I have been experimenting with gluten-free pie crust recipes and what better to fill my experiments with then this too, too yummy sounding recipe!! Totally with Laura on all things are better with pecans!! That topping is looking such a treat! And Deb – those ‘little sweet potato pies’ sound absolutely evil, in a divine sort of way!! Oh My! You girls are going to be held responsible the next time I step on the scales!?!? lol Here’s to the season of sweet treats!

  9. Becki

    My favorite Thanksgiving side dish in the form of a yummy pie – love it! This looks delicious and I love that you used fresh sweet potatoes to make this. I bet it is absolutely delicious.

  10. PinkPanthress

    Hmm… this sounds so exotique to me… I need to try it. :)

    I have someone at home who won’t eat this if I put the cinnamon & vanilla in it… can I skip them or would that change the taste too much…?

  11. Wendy

    In Canada we call the orange fleshed Sweet Potatoes YAMS in case anybody from Canada is wondering.

  12. Carole Sveum

    Your pie looks wonderful. In cooking or roasting, sweet potatoes and “yams” are vastly different. Your picture looks like it is made from yams. Due to added moisture, can they be used interchangeably. Almost all recipes ask just for sweet potatoes, just don’t see how they can work. Thanks

  13. Glenn Sullivan

    I made this last night, and it is DIVINE! The only thing I’d do differently is “draw” the cut marks for the slices in the topping before it hardens., so you aren’t trying to cut through a pecan to get a slice out. Thanks again Elise!

  14. Sylvia

    Looks delicious! Can’t wait to try it. One question: You say to prick the crust and freeze. Won’t pricking cause the filling to seep and make the crust soggy?

  15. Melissa Aaron

    Holy mackerel. My usual pie is a bourbon pecan pie with a layer of chocolate between the crust and the filling, but I may have to try this. And soon! And please let me know if you’d like to try some of my (organic and Fair Trade) pumpkin pie spice. I’ll happily send some along.

  16. Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventures

    I have had sweet potato pie before, but never with a yummy pecan topping. Looks delicious

  17. Sharon

    Do you think this could be made ahead and frozen? I’m traveling for thanksgiving, and would love to bring this on the car ride.