Sweet potato pie

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Sweet potato pie
A slice of sweet potato pie
Place of originUnited States
Region or stateSouthern United States
Main ingredientsPie shell, sweet potatoes, milk, sugar, eggs

Sweet potato pie (while sometimes thought to be the same as sweet potato casserole, they are indeed different dishes) is a traditional dessert, originating in the Southern United States among the African American community. It is often served during the American holiday season, especially at Thanksgiving and Christmas in place of pumpkin pie, which is more traditional in other regions of the United States.

It is made in an open pie shell without a top crust. The filling consists of mashed sweet potatoes, evaporated milk, sugar, spices such as nutmeg, and eggs. Other possible ingredients include vanilla or lemon extracts. The baked custard filling may vary from light and silky to dense, depending on the recipe's ratio of mashed potato, milk and eggs.


Though creamy vegetable pie recipes date back to Medieval Europe, sweet potato pie appears in the southern United States from the early colonial days.[1] The use of sweet potatoes in Southern and African-American cuisine traces back to Native American cuisine. The sweet potato, which is native to the Americas, was likely used by African slaves as an alternative to the yam found in their homeland. Sweet potato pie applies European pie making customs to the preparation of sweet potatoes.[2] Recipes for sweet potato pie first appeared in printed cookbooks in the 18th century, where it was included with savory vegetable dishes. By the 19th century, sweet potato pie was more commonly classified as a dessert.[1]

One variation is the Hawaiian sweet potato haupia pie.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Olver, Lynne (1999). "Sweet Potato Pie". The Food Timeline.
  2. ^ Neal, Bill (1996). Biscuits, Spoonbread, and Sweet Potato Pie. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 978-0807854747.