Recipe: Classic Sweet Potato Pie

Recipe: Classic Sweet Potato Pie
Recreate this classic recipe by using evaporated milk. Roast the potatoes for the best flavor. (Stacey Little/Southern Bite)

Sometimes the old school recipes with simple, classic flavors are the best. And that’s exactly what this Sweet Potato Pie is — simple, classic and flavorful.

This fall favorite is made with roasted sweet potatoes, butter, evaporated milk (the secret ingredient), brown sugar and a blend of warm fall spices. It tastes pretty close to pumpkin pie, but with a bit of a milder flavor that I much prefer.

For me, using evaporated milk in this is a must. Some folks refer to it as Carnation milk or canned milk. Now this is not the same thing as sweetened condensed milk – which my grandmother still calls Eagle Brand milk. While they both are concentrated milks, sweetened condensed milk is sweetened, just as the name implies. Evaporated milk, on the other hand, is concentrated but no extra sugar is added.

Evaporated milk is denser and creamier than regular milk and it has a slightly caramelized flavor because of the high heat at which it is cooked. It makes this pie super rich and creamy. That said, if you can’t get your hands on a can, heavy cream will work as a substitute.

Now, my recipe calls for you to roast the sweet potatoes to get them cooked before they go into the pie filling. Many recipes, though, call for you to boil them. Either way will work just fine. I just think I prefer the flavor of them when they’ve been roasted.

I love this pie topped with a helping of whipped cream – or even Cool Whip, if that’s what I have on hand. There is no shame in my game, and I will readily admit that I love me some Cool Whip – regardless of what’s on the ingredient label.

Top with a helping of whipped cream or Cool Whip. (Stacey Little/Southern Bite)

That said, my favorite thing to do with this Sweet Potato Pie is top it with a dollop of jarred marshmallow cream and just hit the top of that cream with a blow torch to get it toasted. Wooo, doggie, that’s some good stuff right there. Y’all enjoy.

Classic Sweet Potato Pie

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour and 35 minutes (potatoes and pie)

Serves: 8


  • 1 pound sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 (5-ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (9-inch) unbaked deep dish pie crust


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Wash the sweet potatoes and prick them a few times with a fork. Place them on the baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes or until tender. Remove from the oven and allow to cool enough to handle. Peel the potatoes when cool.
  2. Using a mixer, mash the potatoes until smooth. Add the sugar, eggs and melted butter and mix to combine. Add the evaporated milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt and vanilla and mix until combined and smooth.
  3. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Place the unbaked pie crust on a foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Pour the pie filling into the crust and bake in the center of the oven for 55 to 60 minutes, or until the pie is set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Allow the pie to cool. It may sink some as it cools. Refrigerate if desired. Serve topped with whipped cream or toasted marshmallow cream, if desired.

This recipe originally appeared on For more great recipes, visit the website or check out ”The Southern Bite Cookbook.”

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