Southern Sweet Potato Pie

Our old-fashioned Southern sweet potato pie recipe includes a perfectly spiced and creamy sweet potato filling in a flaky pie crust with an irresistibly crumbly streusel topping.

Forkful of Southern sweet potato pie.

Looking for a new Thanksgiving dessert to try this holiday season? Let me introduce you to my Southern sweet potato pie, the perfect soul food dish for your Thanksgiving table. This is a traditional sweet potato pie recipe finished off with a streusel topping because anything wonderful becomes even more so when you add a topping of brown sugar, butter, and pecans, right? The texture of the crumbly topping is truly out of this world and the perfect complement to the creamy sweet potato pie filling.

Speaking of, let’s delve into exactly what’s included in the pie filling besides freshly roasted sweet potato, of course. You’ve got sweetened condensed milk, butter, vanilla, and the perfect amount of seasonal spices, including cinnamon, allspice, and cloves. Can you smell the pie already? It’s such a delicious fall dessert, that’s for sure.

If that streusel topping isn’t enough to convince you to try this recipe, let me just say this is such an easy sweet potato pie to make. You just have to mix the filling ingredients together, pour them into your pie shell, then mix the topping ingredients together and add them on top. With a little time in the oven, your Southern sweet potato pie will be ready to serve to the masses!

This is truly the perfect homemade sweet potato pie to put on your list for Thanksgiving this year (move aside, pumpkin pie). Make it a few days ahead of time and enjoy your holiday. Let’s get to cooking!

Ingredients for Southern sweet potato pie.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 9-inch deep dish pie crust
  • Fresh sweet potatoes
  • Unsalted butter
  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Egg
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground cloves
  • Ground allspice
  • Salt
  • Vanilla extract
  • Dark or light brown sugar
  • All-purpose flour
  • Pecans

How to Make Southern Sweet Potato Pie

Bake your sweet potatoes

One of the keys to a more flavorful sweet potato pie is to bake your sweet potatoes. We used to peel, slice, and boil them until tender and you can certainly do this. But when you bake them they retain more flavor. To do this, I just wrap them in foil and place them in a 400-degree oven for about an hour. 

I recommend baking your sweet potatoes ahead of time so you don’t have to peel them. Once cooled and refrigerated, the skins will just come right off with a gentle tug and pull of your fingertips.

Place peeled and roasted sweet potatoes in a large bowl

Place peeled and roasted sweet potatoes in a large bowl…

Mix together sweet potatoes and melted butter.

With the melted butter.

Sweet potato and butter mixed together.

Beat with an electric mixer until mashed well, like so.

Add condensed milk to mixing bowl.

Add sweetened condensed milk to mashed sweet potato…

Add remaining ingredients to mixing bowl.

As well as the remaining ingredients: the egg, spices, and vanilla extract.

Beat ingredients together until smooth.

Beat again until well blended and smooth.

You’ll see tiny little lumps but that’s just some of the fibers of the sweet potatoes. 

Pour filling into pie crust.

Pour filling into an unbaked pie crust.

Sweet potato pie ready to bake.

Bake the pie at 400 for 20 minutes.

Baked sweet potato pie.

It will look like this.

Add streusel topping ingredients to mixing bowl.

Make the streusel topping

While that is baking, add the streusel topping ingredients (pecans, butter, flour, and light or dark brown sugar) to a medium bowl.

Mix streusel topping ingredients together with a fork.

Mix together with a fork until well combined.

Add streusel topping to baked pie.

Remove the baked pie from the oven and sprinkle the top of the pie with streusel topping.

Baked Southern sweet potato pie.

If any parts of the crust look dark, cover them with foil.

Return the pie to the oven for 25-30 minutes or until set.

If you are skipping the topping, you’ll still want to continue baking this pie until lightly brown on top and set, which is about the same amount of time.

Slice of sweet potato pie.

Allow the pie to cool completely for the prettiest slices, like this one!

I like to refrigerate mine overnight.

Forkful missing from piece of sweet potato pie.

Oh my! I couldn’t help myself 🤭. This pie is just too delicious!

Now you have one more thing to be thankful for! 


The covered sweet potato pie will last in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can serve cold, at room temperature, or reheat in the oven or air fryer.

Recipe Notes

  • Use whatever spices you have on hand. Some other good options include ground nutmeg, ground ginger, pumpkin pie spice, or apple pie spice.
  • If you’d prefer to use a homemade pie crust, here’s my easy-peasy recipe.
  • Some traditional Southern sweet potato pie recipes use evaporated milk, but I love the additional sweetness of the condensed milk, especially because we don’t add granulated sugar either. 
  • If you’re a nut-free household, please feel free to omit the pecans from the topping. Don’t worry, I frequently do this because pecans are expensive, y’all!

Recipe FAQs

What does Patti Labelle put in her sweet potato pie?

Pattie Labelle’s sweet potato pie recipe (click here) uses very similar ingredients. This includes a filling made with sweet potato, butter, and spices. The key difference is that she uses evaporated milk and sugar instead of condensed milk.

What are the ingredients for a sweet potato pie?

The most common sweet potato pie ingredients are sweet potato, butter, sugar and milk (or condensed milk), egg, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla extract.

If you think your pie filling is too runny, you can add a tablespoon of flour at a time until it reaches an applesauce-like consistency. But if you follow this recipe step-by-step you should be dandy!

How do you serve Southern sweet potato pie?

I love to serve my homemade sweet potato pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a big dollop of whipped cream (here’s my homemade recipe).

Can I make my sweet potato pie ahead of time?

To make your holidays as enjoyable as possible, I highly recommend making your sweet potato pie a day or two in advance and keeping it in the fridge for easy serving. If you’d like it at room temp, just take it out an hour or two before your meal. If you’d like it warm, briefly reheat the entire pie or individual slices in the oven or air fryer.

Can I use canned sweet potato instead?

Yes, you can use canned sweet potatoes or canned yams instead. 

Check out these other sensational sweet potato recipes:

Loaded Sweet Potatoes With Marshmallows

Sweet Potato Bread With Cinnamon Swirl

Easy Candied Sweet Potatoes

Grandma’s Old-Fashioned Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet Potato Creme Brûlée

Vegan Sweet Potato Cake With Maple Cashew Icing

Slice of Southern sweet potato pie.

Southern Sweet Potato Pie

My Southern sweet potato pie includes a perfectly spiced and creamy sweet potato filling in a flaky pie crust with an irresistibly crumbly streusel topping.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pie, potatoes, sweetpotato
Servings: 4
Calories: 389kcal


  • 1 9-inch deep dish frozen pie crust
  • 2 cups baked sweet potatoes, mashed and cooled
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Streusel Topping

  • 1 cup firmly packed dark or light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans


  • Preheat the oven to 400.
  • Beat sweet potatoes and melted butter with an electric mixer until smooth. Add condensed milk, egg, cinnamon, vanilla, cloves, allspice, and salt and beat with an electric mixer for two minutes, scraping down sides as needed.
    2 cups baked sweet potatoes, mashed and cooled, 1/4 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled, 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice, 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pour into unbaked pie crust and bake for 20 minutes.
    1 9-inch deep dish frozen pie crust
  • While that is baking, stir together the topping ingredients in a medium bowl until well mixed. Remove the pie from the oven and sprinkle with topping.
    1 cup firmly packed dark or light brown sugar, 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, 1/3 cup melted butter, 3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • If any parts of the crust look dark, cover them with foil, then return the pie to the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until set. If you are skipping the topping, you'll still want to continue baking this pie until lightly brown on top and set, which is about the same amount of time.
  • Allow the pie to cool completely for the prettiest slices. I like to refrigerate mine overnight.



Calories: 389kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!


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~John Wesley

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  1. Best sweet potato pie ever. I guess my oven is a bit hotter than normal, so the topping got a bit too browned. Next time I’ll cover it with foil while it’s finishing baking. I took most of the topping off and left just enough to get some crunch. It was great. My husband said it was one of the best he has ever eaten.

  2. I’m 58 yrs old and have never eaten sweet potato pie before. I loved them baked with just butter or mashed or waffled and deep fried but never had them in a pie.

  3. How would you recommend making the topping but free? Would you change proportions of other ingredients? Add anything?

    1. I’ve made the Mock Pecan Pie many times and love it so I substituted pretzels for the pecans. Turned out great and no one ever knows the difference.

  4. Is there less sugar in the actual pie due to the topping? I have a recipe that’s similar, but there is condensed milk AND sugar in the pie. So is it a balance, or can yours be ok if made without the topping? Love soooo much of your recipes, but I have to be careful with salt and sugar.

    1. Hey Sandra!
      You can absolutely make this without the topping and it will be delicious. In my opinion, it is just right in the sweetness, but not “knock you dead” sweet as some desserts are. Although, those desserts are delicious! Also, I’ve seen several recipes for sugar free sweetened condensed milk online. Have you tried any of those yet?

    2. This is the best sweet potato pie recipe I have ever tried. My topping wasn’t quite right and some ran off my pie and made a mess : ( in the oven but pie still tasted great. I think my topping was more like praline but I will try less butter next time and hopefully it will be perfect. I am throwing away all my other sweet potato pie recipes and will use this one from now on. Thanks for all you do Christy!

  5. I love sweet potatoes,but not in a pie. I don’t know why,been that way all my life. Do you think I could use that recipe and substitute pumpkin? You have some wonderful recipes. I make something of yours every week. Please keep putting them on here and I will keep making them. Thank you for being such a good Christian lady. Linda from Russellville.

    1. Thank you so much Linda, I appreciate that more than you can imagine!! I cant see any reason that pumpkin wouldn’t work, they are pretty much interchangeable in most recipes. Let me know what you think if you give it a try!

  6. This looks amazing and I will be trying it out this holiday season for sure! Thank you for always sharing such wonderful recipes!

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