Soul Food Sunday – Southern Sweet Potato Pie

Southern Sweet Potato Pie from janet foster on Vimeo.

Every holiday I can remember growing up involved a homemade sweet potato pie with lots of cinnamon and nutmeg. No we didn’t eat pumpkin pie – it was sweet potato all the way for our household. Before I moved away from home, there were a handful of dishes that my mom made me master- fried chicken, fried pork chops, grits, and sweet potato pie. How’s that for southern. It was kinda like a rite of passage. This is a slimmed down version of the pie I grew up eating. Mom made it with melted butter but I stopped using that years ago. For a different twist, add a couple tablespoons of molasses.

Things to Remember

  • This is the version I make when I have plenty of time. I call it my lazy day pie. I bake the sweet potatoes because I think they retain more flavor than when you boil them. The skins pretty much slide off in your hands if you bake them long enough. If you’re short on time, peel them, chop them into chunks and boil or medium heat until a fork slides into them easily.
  • Use a hand mixer if you have one to get everything incorporated and cut down on the lumps. Every time I’ve tried to mix this by hand I end up with big balls of sweet potato floating in my pie.
  • Sweetness is a matter of personal preference so I start with a cup of sugar and add more to taste after that. I don’t like my pies to be sickeningly sweet so you may need a little more. After you bake the pie it will taste less sweet than it did raw so be sure to compensate for that.
  • Two eggs give this pie a light souffle like texture out of the oven. It will sink somewhat once it cools.
  • Poking holes in crust before you par bake it helps keep it bubbling up and crawling down the sides of your pie pan. Par cooking helps insure you don’t get a soggy crust on the bottom.


  1. Over 50 Fantastic Pie Recipes – Bites From Other Blogs
    November 4, 2012

    [...] Southern Sweet Potato Pie from Soul Food Sunday [...]

  2. Mary
    March 2, 2013

    Am making your sweet potato pie and just put it in the oven !

  3. Mary
    March 3, 2013

    Turned out beautifully ! Everybody loved it and it is now my go to Sweetpotato Pie !
    Thank you for posting it..absolutely the best!

  4. April
    November 21, 2013

    Sweet Potato Pie is the only thing i ever requested for the holidays! Learned to make on my own by watching the Ladies in the kitchen. Baking the potatoes never occured to me. I usually make my sweet potato pies the way my Mom and Grandma, aunts and great aunts made them. Used condensed sweet milk, very little sugar. I personally use lots of the spices in my pie, like sugar once baked they seem non existant so i kick in a lot more than most. I have never used measuring spoons and cups. Ever. Pies are always perfect!1

  5. susan
    December 1, 2013

    I’m making your sweet potatoe pie.

    • jfoster
      December 2, 2013

      Let me know how it goes.

  6. 10 Pie Recipes to Celebrate National Pie Day | Seaside Vacations
    January 23, 2014

    [...] Southern Sweet Potato Pie courtesy of A Cook at Heart [...]

    • jfoster
      April 22, 2014

      Thanks for the mention.

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  10. Rhonda
    November 16, 2014

    I’ve been baking sweet potato pies for years and never thought about actually baking my potatoes versus boiling them…thanks for the tip! Am trying this today; baking pies for teacher/staff luncheon tomorrow:)

    I use a recipe very similar to yours. Sometimes I swap out the sweet potatoes for butternut squash…very yummy!

    • jfoster
      December 8, 2014

      Hi Rhonda. How did it turn out?

  11. BSug
    December 22, 2014

    Can I use heavy cream instead of whole milk for so pie?

    • jfoster
      December 22, 2014

      I’ve never tried it with heavy cream but I think it would work fine. Let me know how it turns out.

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