The holiday season isn’t complete without Grandma’s Old Fashioned Sweet Potato Pie on the table! This recipe is super simple, just like my grandma used to make hers, but with a few “modern” twists! Wonderful warm spices are combined with fresh sweet potatoes and sweetened with brown sugar and a touch of maple syrup. This pie is the real deal, straight from grandma’s kitchen!
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The holiday table isn’t complete without a delicious homemade old–fashioned sweet potato pie! And if it’s simple to make, even better!
The beauty of Grandma’s Old Fashioned Sweet Potato Pie is its simplicity. No fancy ingredients, no blind baking crusts…she would just throw a bunch of ingredients into a bowl, whip it up with her hand mixer and pour it into her homemade pie crust.
In this recipe, I tried to keep my grandma’s simplicity while adding JUST A FEW, say, “modern” touches. One is my favorite frozen pie crusts (these or the Marie’ Callendar’s brand are my faves).
Listen, if you have a killer homemade pie crust recipe and have the time to whip it up, GO FOR IT! That’s what my grandma did! But for me, frozen suits me just fine!
The second TINY adjustment I made to grandma’s recipe is a touch of maple syrup…it goes a long way to subtly sweeten this pie, along with brown sugar.
Need more amazing pie recipes?! Try my Easy Pecan Pie and this amazing, Easy No Bake Pumpkin Pie!
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- Simple ingredients and easy to make!
- Traditional dessert with just a couple of “modern” twists!
- Lots of rich, delicious sweet potato flavor combined with warm holiday spices!
RECIPE INGREDIENTS & NOTES
You’ll need the following ingredients to make this Old Fashioned Sweet Potato Pie Recipe:
- Sweet Potatoes
- Brown Sugar: Light or dark, up to you!
- Milk: Whole milk works best
- Maple Syrup: Essential for that rich, sweet flavor
- Vanilla Extract
- Spices: Cinnamon, nutmeg, and a pinch of salt
- Frozen pie shell: A homemade pie crust works, too of course!
HOW TO MAKE GRANDMA’S OLD-FASHIONED SWEET POTATO PIE: STEP BY STEP
Here are some quick visual instructions. Remember that full instructions with exact ingredients will be in the recipe card below!
Step 1: Boil cubed sweet potatoes until fork tender. Place in a bowl and allow them to cool.
Step 2: Add remaining ingredients: melted butter, eggs, brown sugar, milk, maple syrup, vanilla, and spices.
Step 3: Beat sweet potato filling with an electric mixer (or stand mixer) on medium speed until smooth.
Step 4: Pour sweet potato mixture into an unbaked pie crust.
Step 5: Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until lightly golden brown on top and set through the middle. It’s OK if it’s a LITTLE jiggly in the center. The pie will continue to bake as it cools.
RECIPE TIPS & TRICKS
- Cutting the sweet potatoes into uniform-sized cubes will allow them to cook evenly so you aren’t left with hard chunks of potato that don’t puree or whip smoothly. You’ll know they’re fully cooked when you can easily pierce them with a knife or fork.
- You should aim to get the sweet potato pie filling mixture as combined as possible, without lumps, but it does not have to be a super silky-smooth puree. Some people use a food processor to get everything super smooth, but my grandma wouldn’t approve of that 🙂 She was more of a rustic gal.
- Be sure to allow the cooked sweet potato cubes to cool for at least 20 minutes to ensure that the eggs do not scramble from the heat of the potatoes while mixing. Even better, cool to room temperature before adding the other ingredients, if possible.
⭐️ CONFIDENCE TIP ⭐️
Don’t stress about butter being salted on unsalted! I used salted butter for EVERYTHING and I have yet to have anything come out “too salty” because of the butter! I am #teamsalted ALL THE WAY! It tastes SO much better in my opinion!
STORAGE & REHEATING
- Storage: Store leftovers in the fridge covered tightly with plastic wrap or foil for up to 4 days. You can also store individual slices in an airtight container in the fridge. Note: Because sweet potato pie contains both milk and eggs, it needs to be refrigerated after being at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
- Freezing: This pie can be frozen, just keep in mind the crust may get slightly soggy during the process. To freeze, cover with several layers of plastic wrap or foil. Place pie in a large plastic Ziploc freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
Here are a few substitutions you can make:
- Brown Sugar: Light brown sugar and dark brown sugar both work and if you are in a pinch, white sugar is fine, too! Quite certain my grandma ran out of brown sugar several times and just used plain white sugar!
- Milk: Heavy cream or evaporated milk also work in this recipe.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
You’ll know your pie is done when it’s lightly golden brown around the edges on top and *almost* set through the middle. You can test it with a knife inserted into the center of the pie — it should come clean but a little moist. It’s OK if the pie is a LITTLE jiggly in the center. The pie will continue to bake as it cools.
There are two reasons a sweet potato pie will crack. One reason is overbaking. It’s very important to turn off the oven when the pie is set on the sides and still SLIGHTLY jiggly in the center. The pie will continue to cook even after the oven is turned off.
The second reason a sweet potato pie might crack is sudden changes in temperature. For instance, taking the pie directly from the hot oven to the cooler kitchen counter. In order to combat this, when the pie is done, simply turn the oven off, and crack the oven door. Keep the pie in the oven for another 10-15 minutes and allow it to gradually cool.
Also, never put a hot or even warm pie in the fridge. This may also cause cracking.
Yes, you can and it will lead to the top of your pie cracking a bit. However, just because your pie cracks a little and doesn’t look super pretty right out of the oven, the flavor will not be affected if you overbake your pie a bit!
Cracks can be covered with whipped cream and vanilla ice cream, so don’t stress!
Although my grandma would consider this sacrilegious, you can add a tablespoon of all-purpose flour or corn starch to your sweet potato pie filling to give it a more firm texture if that is your preference.
Yes, after two hours. According to this FDA Food Storage Chart, sweet potato pie can safely sit out for two hours unrefrigerated (on the kitchen counter).
Additionally, the FDA states, “Bakery items containing custard, meat or vegetables, and frostings made of cream cheese, whipped cream or eggs must be kept refrigerated.” ( Source: FDA Food Storage Guidelines Chart)
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TOOLS FOR THIS RECIPE
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Stand Mixer or Electric Hand Mixer: I have had both of these for 15+ years and they are amazing!
Silicone Spatulas: For scaping down the sides of the bowl.
Pie Server: How else will you cut your pie??! J/k, you can also use a knife 🙂
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MORE DELICIOUS PIE RECIPES
Grandma’s Old Fashioned Sweet Potato Pie Recipe
- 1-1 1/2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled salted on unsalted butter
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup brown sugar light or dark brown sugar both work
- 1 cup whole milk evaporated milk or heavy cream will also work
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 frozen unbaked 9-inch pie shell, thawed, at room temperature or homemade pie crust
- Cook Sweet Potatoes: Place sweet potato cubes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook 15-20 minutes until fork-tender. Remove from heat, drain and set aside to cool for at least 15 minutes. If the potatoes aren't cooled enough, the eggs when scramble when they are added!
- Prep: Preheat oven to 350°F. Make sure your pie crust is thawed completely if using a frozen crust. If you are using a homemade pie crust, press the crust into a 9-inch pie plate or pan.
- Combine & Mix: Place the cooled sweet potatoes into a large mixing bowl. Add the melted butter, eggs, brown sugar, milk, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
- Mix: Using a hand or stand mixer with a whisk attachment connected, whip the ingredients together until combined and smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, as needed.
- Pour: Pour the mixture into your unbaked pie shell and smooth out the top.
- Bake: Bake for 40-45 minutes (or longer), or until lightly golden brown around the edges and *almost* set through the middle. It's OK if it's a LITTLE jiggly in the center. The pie will continue to bake as it cools (See Note 1).
- Cool: Turn the oven off and crack open the oven door, but do not remove the pie. Let the pie cool, gradually for about 10 minutes before removing it from the oven. Cooling the pie SLOWLY will help avoid cracks in the top of your pie. After about 10 minutes, remove pie from the oven and allow it to cool on a wire rack (or on the counter) for about 2 hours.
- Serve: Slice and serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream!
Gina Abernathy says
I love sweet potato pie. This recipe is very similar to my grandmas pie. Grandma always know best.
I love how you have used frozen pie shell for this recipe. I am a huge fan of semi home made. This pie sound sso delicious. I wish I could grab a slice from the screen.
This recipe is pretty much exactly the same as the one handed down through the generations in my family. Absolutely delicious! Perfect for Thanksgiving dinner.