My, oh my, Sweet Potato Pie! My Southern Sweet Potato Pie with Condensed Milk tastes like a cool, crisp fall day: warm, pungent spices and Thanksgiving dinner wrapped in one delicious and decadent bite.
Made from scratch, this easy-to-make, old-fashioned sweet potato pie is a make-ahead wonder and can be prepared up to 48 hours ahead.
Homemade sweet potato pie is perfect for your holiday table or a special occasion with its simple ingredients, sweet potato flavor, and flaky pie crust. Because of its simplicity, this is also the best recipe I have found.
Chances are, if you are not from the South, you might never have had creamy sweet potato pie. However, with this old-fashioned sweet potato pie recipe, just like grandma used to make, I hope to change that.
Considered “soul food” by many, baked sweet potato pie has long played second fiddle to its more popular cousin, pumpkin pie. But one bite will make a believer out of you.
Oh, and when I say easy, I mean easy! Once you cook the potatoes, this delicious southern dessert takes only minutes to put together.
📋 Recipe Ingredients:
- Fresh sweet potatoes – are the star of this show, with their beautiful orange color and naturally mild, sweet taste.
- Butter – adds a creamy, rich sweetness.
- Sweetened condensed milk – with its super-sweetness, is made from condensed milk and sugar. Evaporated milk or heavy cream are not suitable substitutes in this recipe.
- Orange zest – adds just a touch of citrusy goodness.
- Ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg are wonderful warm spices with a mild earthy flavor that enhances the taste of sweet potatoes and makes your kitchen smell like Thanksgiving.
- Eggs – are a necessary ingredient that binds all ingredients together and provides texture, structure, and flavor.
- Vanilla extract and salt – both of these ingredients enhance all of the other flavors.
- Nine-inch deep-dish unbaked pie crust – I usually use a pre-made frozen store-bought pie crust or pie shell to save time and keep this recipe as simple as possible. Use a deep-dish shell, or your sweet potato filling will overflow in your oven. You can also use a graham cracker crust if you prefer.
⏲️ How to make Sweet Potato Pie with Condensed Milk:
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Use a fork or knife to pierce holes in the top and bottom of the potatoes. Roast the potatoes for 40 to 50 minutes or until they are very soft and you can easily squeeze them with a potholder. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.
Let the potatoes cool briefly, slice them in half, and scoop the flesh into a large bowl. Add the butter. To ensure a creamy filling, use a food processor or an electric mixer and blend on medium until the sweet potato mixture is combined and there are no lumps. You can also use a potato masher, but the texture of your custard will be different.
- Add the sweetened condensed milk, orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, eggs, salt, and vanilla extract.
- Mix on medium speed with your electric mixer until everything is combined.
Pour the sweet potato custard into the pie crust.
Place the pie on a baking sheet and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the center is set and slightly puffed up. The center of the pie should still have a slight jiggle to it. If it’s runny, it needs to bake longer.
- Place the pie on a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Garnish with whipped cream or other toppings, if desired.
📖 Recipe variations:
- If you are a bourbon fan, add a tablespoon to the custard before baking. In addition, if you like a sweeter taste, add one-fourth of a cup of brown sugar. To change the spices, add a half teaspoon of allspice or ground ginger.
- Instead of baking your potatoes, you can cook them in the microwave. To do this, prick them with a fork and microwave them for five minutes. Then, turn them over and cook for another five minutes or until the potatoes are very soft when squeezed. Cool for a few minutes, and scoop out and mash the flesh.
- Baking or microwaving your potatoes will give you the best flavor. However, if you prefer, you can also boil the potatoes. To boil them, peel and cut the potatoes into small cubes. Place in boiling water and cook for about 15-20 minutes. They are done when you can easily pierce them with a fork. Drain and mash them.
- Canned sweet potatoes may be substituted for cooked potatoes in this recipe. Drain, rinse, and mash them well before adding the puree to the other ingredients. You will need two cups of mashed potatoes.
A great recipe for the holiday season, this recipe is delicious, as written, but a dollop of whipped cream or a frozen whipped topping such as Cool Whip turns it into a true classic Southern dessert.
Other topping ideas include adding a small amount of caramel ice cream topping, maple syrup, or orange juice to flavor the whipped cream or Cool Whip. Another idea is to top the whipped cream with chopped roasted pecans, orange zest, or my stovetop candied pecans.
Make it ahead:
One of the best things about this easy sweet potato pie is that you can make it 24 to 48 hours ahead. Follow the directions and bake as directed. Then, once it cools, cover it with plastic wrap and store it in your fridge until you are ready to serve it.
Leftovers and storage:
Once you’ve baked your pie, let it come to room temperature. This usually takes about 2-3 hours. It’s important not to place a hot pie directly into the fridge because this can lead to condensation, making the crust soggy.
Any leftover pie should be left in the pie tin and covered with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
If you want to store it longer, you can freeze it. Let the pie cool completely. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, then wrap it again in aluminum foil. You can freeze it for up to 3 months. Before serving, allow it to thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
💬 Recipe FAQs:
Sweet potatoes have a flavor all their own, and although many think they taste the same, nothing could be further from the truth.
Sweet potatoes are naturally sweet, so this dessert doesn’t require as much sugar. Also, the texture of this custard pie is lighter, and the taste isn’t quite as strong as pumpkin.
The origin of classic sweet potato pie is a little murky, but as early as the 16th century, Spanish explorers found the potatoes growing in what is now Louisiana. During Colonial times, it was considered a staple in the South.
According to the Mayo Clinic, they are considered one of the world’s healthiest foods and an excellent vitamin A source. They are also an excellent source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, manganese, and vitamin B6.
It would be a stretch to say this pie is healthy, but it does contain two cups of potatoes.
💭 Sharon’s tips:
- I used a frozen, pre-made, store-bought deep-dish pie crust in this recipe for convenience. Feel free to make your own using your favorite flaky crust recipe, or try this fool-proof pie crust recipe from the Pudge Factor.
- For the best results, if you use a pre-made crust, remember to place the unbaked pie on a cookie sheet before filling it and putting it in the oven. The aluminum pan is flimsy and may bend when you put it in or remove it from the oven.
- When the pie is done, the filling will puff up slightly, but once it starts cooling, it will flatten out.
- This is not only a delicious southern dessert, but a piece with your coffee in the morning is the breakfast of champions.
🍽 More sweet potato recipes:
If you like this vegetable as much as we do, be sure to check out these other scrumptious recipes on my blog:
Here are a few more quick and easy recipes:
- Southern Candied Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans
- Terry’s Traditional Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping
- Healthy Roasted Sweet Potato Stacks
- Sweet Potato Biscuits with Cranberry Aioli
And, if you are looking for more ideas for Thanksgiving desserts, I hope you will also check out my two dessert collections: 50 Non-Traditional Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes and 42 Best Desserts for Thanksgiving.
⭐ ⭐ ⭐⭐⭐ If you make this dish, please leave a comment and give this recipe a star rating. I would love to know how you liked it!
Thank you so much for visiting Grits and Pinecones; I hope you come back soon!
Southern Sweet Potato Pie Recipe with Condensed Milk
- 2 sweet potatoes, about 2 cups mashed
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 purchased unbaked pie shell, 9-inch deep-dish
- whipped cream or purchased frozen whipped topping, optional for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Use a fork or knife to pierce holes in the top and bottom of the potatoes. Roast the potatoes for 40 to 50 minutes or until they are very soft, and you can easily squeeze them with a potholder. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 °F.
- Let the potatoes cool for a few minutes, slice them in half, and scoop the flesh into a medium-sized bowl. Add the butter. Then use an electric mixer and blend on medium until everything is combined and there are no lumps.
- Add the sweetened condensed milk, orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, eggs, salt, and vanilla extract and mix well.
- Pour the potato mixture into the pie crust. Place the pie on a baking sheet and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the pie has set.
- Place the pie on a wire cooling rack and let cool completely. Garnish with whipped cream or other toppings, if desired.