Sweet Potato Pie Recipe Passed Down by Generations

My dream is to be the type of woman who can walk into a kitchen and whip up an amazing meal without a recipe. I am not that type of woman.

A recipe is my crutch, my guide, and my lifeline. Without a recipe, I am officially lost in the kitchen, until I’ve made the dish about 150 times. Then I finally feel comfortable to fly alone. There’s a recipe I love that’s been passed down for generations in my family. I’m sharing my journey as part of a sponsored series commissioned by Wells Fargo as part of the #MyUntold campaign.

In 1999, when I was working as a TV reporter in Youngstown, Ohio I was invited to participate in a celebrity cooking contest. I couldn’t bear to tell the student who invited me that I didn’t know how to cook anything. So I agreed to the contest and immediately called the best cook I know, my Mom.

I told her I needed something simple that I could make and it would have to be foolproof. Her delicious sweet potato pie came to mind. I’d enjoyed it for every Thanksgiving dinner celebration of my life. We love sweet potatoes so much that my Mom cooks it in a variety of ways; in a pie and “candied” where they’re covered with sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and butter.

My Mom rattled off the recipe right off the top of her head. Yet another way she’s better than me in the kitchen. Just as I was about to give her all the credit, she told me this sweet potato pie recipe came from her maternal grandmother who’d died decades before I was born. My Mom doesn’t think we have any photos of her grandmother, Ida Louise Brown. But I can tell from the taste of her sweet potato pie, that she loved to make delicious food for her family. Now I am part of a four-generation legacy of a sharing a delicious pie recipe.

Sweet Potato Pie Recipe Passed Down by Generations #Sponsored ~ MommyTalkShow

I wrote down what my Mother told me and confidently made the pies in time for the celebrity-cooking contest. I am proud to tell you that I am the 1999 “Best Chef” for the Youngstown State University National Pan Hellenic Council Celebrity Taste-Off. Once I won my plaque, I felt confident enough to make sweet potato pies as Thanksgiving gifts for friends. Before I leave town to visit our family in New York, I like to drop off a pie or two.

Sweet Potato Pie Recipe

Would you like to know how to make my great-grandmother’s sweet potato pie? Here’s the recipe that makes two (2) ample-sized pies:

2 ½ pounds of sweet potatoes

2 tsp. nutmeg

2 tsp. cinnamon

4 eggs (room temperature)

2 sticks of salted butter (softened)

1- 5 oz. can of evaporated milk (the small can)

2 cups of granulated sugar (substitute one cup with brown sugar for added flavor)

2 tbsp. of vanilla extract

2 frozen deep-dish pie crusts (or make your own)


Steam or bake sweet potatoes until extremely soft. Remove sweet potato the skin.

Combine the sweet potatoes and the rest of the ingredients in a standing mixer until it has a smooth consistency.
Divide and pour the mixture into the pie crusts.

Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes (or longer to brown the crust). Let cool and serve.

One day, I hope to show our son how to make sweet potato pie and even share it with his wife. I would love for the pie tradition to continue for future generations of our family. Is there a recipe your family has passed down from generation to generation? Who’s the person in your family who makes it the best?

Need more fruit pie and pastry ideas? Here’s a simple blueberry puff pastry.

Share your family’s food traditions below and on social media with the #MyUntold hashtag. You can find more inspiring stories on the Wells Fargo YouTube channel.

This was a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Wells Fargo Bank.

Sweet Potato Pie Recipe Passed Down by Generations #Sponsored ~ MommyTalkShow

About Joyce Brewer

Creator & Host of Mommy Talk Show. Emmy award-winning TV journalist.Wife & Mommy; Mom Blogger; Social Media Coach; Long Island, New York transplant living in Atlanta, GA. Follow Joyce on Twitter @MommyTalkShow Author of Use What You Know: A Business Idea Guide for Moms featuring interviews with mompreneurs who created businesses using their skills & backgrounds.

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  1. Krystyn @ Really, Are You Serious?

    I’ve never had a sweet potato pie before. IT sounds yummy!

  2. I have actually never tried sweet potato pie but I think I would enjoy it. I love sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving.

    • I make sweet potatoe pie exactly the way you make it but I make candy pecans on the bottom of pie shell and decorate on top like flowers very good

    • Deeeelicious!!! Just like my Mother use to bake. Thank you , it’s my all time favorite pie.

  3. Lindsey @ Redhead Baby Mama

    I’m like you – there only a few recipes I know by heart, and rest are LOST unless they are written down!

  4. This looks delicious! I’ve always wanted to try sweet potato pie. I’m from NY and around here I don’t see it too often. Maybe I’ll make it myself!

  5. Sara P. (@SensiblySara)

    Needed a recipe isn’t a bad thing!! My husband really likes sweet potato pie, but the rest of us don’t. For that reason, the hubs only gets it at Thanksgiving.

  6. Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle

    Yum! I live in the south, so I really appreciate a good sweet potato pie.

  7. Pammy Pam (@Pamlovesbooks)

    HAVE MERCY Miss Ida’s Pie sounds DIVINE!! The only pie i can make is Key Lime but i’m so gonna try this one!!

  8. I love that you’re keeping the family recipe alive!

  9. Tammi @ My Organized Chaos

    I’ve never tried sweet potato pie, but it looks delicious. I’ll have to try it, perhaps it’ll be passed down in my family as well! 😉

  10. Robin (Masshole Mommy)

    How have I never tried sweet potato pie before? Man, it sounds awesome.

  11. This makes me SO hungry!!! I’ve been trying to eat healthier to lose some weight – trip to Vegas in 2 weeks, followed by a trip to Florida. But man, this is on my list for a ‘cheat day.’ 🙂

  12. This sounds and looks good. I don’t think I have ever had Sweet Potato pie. I love Sweet Potatoes so I think I would like it.

  13. Sweet potato pie is so good, we always had a pumpkin pie and a sweet potato pie for thanksgiving. I really need to try your recipe!

  14. I’m so impressed that you have measurements. Most of the family recipes in my family are missed because they’ve been done by routine and they can’t pass them on. My husband’s grandmother’s caramel cake is one that comes to mind and I’d love to be able to nail it. The recipe she gave me was missing a critical ingredient the first time. Now, she has given me the right one but she only uses a cup in her kitchen to measure so it’s still a little off. 🙂

  15. I love sweet potato pie, especially around the holidays. I’ve got to try your recipe, if it’s been passed down it must be good!

  16. That looks super yummy! The generational recipes are the absolutely best!!

  17. Stefanie @ Mommy Musings

    I love sweet potatoes and I’ve had some tasty sweet potato casserole, so I’m sure I’d love the pie too!

  18. Those family recipes are always the best! One of my family’s favorites is our creamed corn recipe. It would be wonderful with your sweet potato pie.

  19. If there is one thing I love it is sweet potato pie. There is nothing like it, and I much prefer it to pumpkin. My Grandmother made this type of pie, and I think the trick is using the right potatoes.
    I have a whole mess of sweet potatoes right now (actually yams) and I might have to go ahead and make one. Yours looks delicious!

  20. Wow. That looks amazing. I’ve never had sweet potato pie but I love sweet potatoes! I bet this is so good!

  21. I’ve never actually had a sweet potato pie, but this sounds scrumptious. I love recipes that have been passed down generation to generation too.

  22. Oooo I love Sweet Potato pie. My granny always made it.

  23. I have never had sweet potato pie! That slice looks so edible!! OMG! I want a piece!

  24. Love the pie! It sure looks like a great tradition to carry on

  25. Why are you teasing me? that sweet potato pie slice is jumping off the screen and I am craving a slice right now

  26. Ummm…please drop off one of these pies to my house next holiday before you leave town. I promise to take good care of it.

  27. I love sweet potatoes and I also love pie, so this receipe is a no-brainer. I love that you have recollections of your mom making it from your childhood–so sweet.

  28. oh i could go for some of that right about now! that looks amazing.

    • I really want to make this pie tomorrow for Sunday dinner. Do you use salted butter or unsalted?

      Thank you for sharing your recipe it looks delicious.?

  29. I love a good sweet potato pie! This looks divine.

  30. Marina @ Mommy Snippets

    Mmm! Theres nothing like a good sweet potato pie!

  31. I have never tried sweet potato pie! I would love to try it though, it always sounds so good. Your recipe does too. 🙂

    • I wanted to say too, congrats on your win!! And I bet you might be able to find a picture of your great-grandmother online somewhere. I found my dad, and he passed when my mom was expecting. It was in a newspaper article from way back. It was a very cool find. 🙂

  32. Yes, that pie looks amazing. I need to try to make one this weekend because now I have a taste for sweet potato pie.

  33. Ha! I love a good recipe too! I try to make up my own here and there but I’d prefer tried and true.

    My husband makes sweet potato pies. He has a recipe handed down to him. Yummy!

  34. This looks like a delicious pie. I have never tried to make a Sweet Potato Pie before. I will have to add this recipe to my bake list.

  35. Danielle @ We Have It All

    I’ve always wanted to try sweet potato pie. This looks great!


    • The 1st time I tried sweet potato pie I fell in Love! Eay better than pumpkin pie. I will try your grandma’s recipe this holiday. The ingredients (cinnamon and nutmeg) were the ones I was looking for. I’m sure this one will be a hit with the family. Thank you for sharing your family’s recipe!!

  37. The 1st time I tried sweet potato pie I fell in Love! Way better than pumpkin pie. I will try your grandma’s recipe this holiday. The ingredients (cinnamon and nutmeg) were the ones I was looking for. I’m sure this one will be a hit with the family. Thank you for sharing your family’s recipe!!

  38. Is it teaspoons or tablespoons for the vanilla extract? Please specify

  39. Hi, do you use a regular pie crust or deep dish? Thanks!

  40. Hey, I live in Memphis and want to make your Sweet Potato Pie recipe for a school function. I love to bake but I do need clarification on if I need to thaw the crust before baking. I usually make my own but to save time I was going to use the deep dish frozen. Please Advise. I plan to cook tomorrow. Thank you and Happy Holidays.

  41. Hello! For the evaporated milk is that 1.5 cups?

  42. Mary Ann Dawson-Barnett

    About how many potatoes does that equivalent to.
    Just for an extra kick I add lemon extract to mine

  43. Can you convert the amount of sweet potatoes into cups? I don’t have a scale

  44. I tried this recipe and it was excellent! So much better than pumpkin ! Will now only make this for Thanksgiving! Thank you for sharing!

  45. Pies are in the oven baking. This is taking longer than 60 minutes. I’m thinking they will go for 90. Filling is still very wobbly. I’m blaming it on the fact we had to run to the store and I popped the mixture in the refrigerator. Filling was good enough to eat by itself!! Don’t know if I’ll make it to allow them to cool down properly!! Thank you so much great recipe.

  46. I love sweet potato pie. My grandmother use to make it and it was delicious. I tried to get the recipe from her but I think at the time she was starting early stages of dementia. I have been searching for that perfect pie and came across yours. I would love to make it today. I had a question about the butter. Is it salted or unsalted? If it’s salted and I have unsalted how much salt would I have to add? Thank you for sharing your family’s recipe.

  47. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!I have a very picky husband and he loved it! It is a KEEPER!

  48. I will be trying this pie for Thanksgiving, thanks Joyce

  49. Soooo easy and yummy! My hubby is native southern boy and grew up on sweet potato pie, but I’m an Iowa gal and grew up on pumpkin pie. I’ve tried several sweet potato pie recipes trying to please him, and yours is hands down his favorite. I made 2 for Thanksgiving and have 3 in the oven for Christmas. BTW. This time since only us two, I used 3 regular crusts instead of 2 deep dish and will freeze 2 for the New Year. Thank you for sharing !

  50. Made today in the oven now smells so good

  51. Awesome sweet potato pie! This is the first time I have had success making sweet potato pies! Thank you so much for sharing your family recipe. I plan to use it from now on.

  52. Hi Joyce I saw your post by accident and when I read the recipe I was amazed that it is exactly like the recipe I received from my husband’s Aunt Lear May Malone some 45yrs ago! We are originally from EastTexas and have lived in Michigan for 43yrs. But I’ve made this Sweet Potato Pie for all these yrs and have never came across anyone else that makes this wonderful pie. Small world

  53. Hi Joyce, your potato pie looks absolutely delicious. I have never tryed one but always wanted too and now thanks to your recipe I can. Thank you so much and God Bless.

  54. I made this today as a “trial run” for Thanksgiving and my oh my was it delicious!! I used a store bought shortbread crust because they were out of the regular deep dish crusts but the shortbread gave it a slight sweeter taste which was nice. I’ll forever use this recipe!

  55. I used to work with a lovely lady who made the best sweet potato pie the only ingredient I remember was Vanilla Butter Nut extract. The woman’s name was Rushanne Bockman from Denver. Does anyone have this high altitude recipe?

  56. Can I freeze the pies. Bake first or not.

  57. I have never cared for sweet potato pie, but this year I was asked to make one for my in-laws which I was more than happy to do. I checked out multiple recipes videos on youtube.com until I came across yours. I thought it sounded good compared to many others I came across. I made it and have to say it was absolutely amazing!!! I can say this is the only recipe I will ever use for sweet potato pie. Again, it was fantastic!!! Thank you!!

  58. The pie was very good. Next time I made it I will reduce the sugar to just 2 cups. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it was a little too sweet! Thanks for sharing your recipe. It will be my go-to recipe from now on.

  59. This is the first sweet potato pie recipe I’ve ever tried and it will be the ONLY way I make sweet potato pie. I would love for you to put together a cook book that I could purchase.

  60. Wanda Waybright

    I can’t wait to make this recipe for our family reunion this year. Thank you for sharing it with us!!🤗🤗🤗