This classic evaporated milk sweet potato pie is creamy, luscious, and warmly spiced. Made with a buttery, flaky pie crust and a roasted marshmallow topping, the pie is utterly delicious and full of fall flavors. Perfect for your Thanksgiving table!
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The best sweet potato pie with evaporated milk
This crave-worthy recipe is the perfect representation of sweet potato pie! Nestled in a buttery pie crust is a silky sweet potato pie filling that delights with every bite.
To top it off, there’s a big swirl of toasted meringue that tastes like a sweet, roasted marshmallow. The topping pays homage to the marshmallow topping you find on traditional sweet potato casseroles.
Evaporated milk provides creaminess and a smooth filling without the heaviness and fat of real cream. A blend of warming spices and vanilla adds a wonderful warmth and coziness to the pie.
If you have never had sweet potato pie before, I encourage you to try it. It’s such a treat and the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving dessert spread!
If you like good old-fashioned pies, you might also enjoy our evaporated milk pumpkin pie and evaporated milk chocolate pie.
And for more sweet potato desserts, try our condensed milk sweet potato pie, sweet potato banana bread, and sweet potato chocolate chip cookies.
Sweet Potato Pie
Many flavors work together in this sweet potato pie with evaporated milk and brown sugar. Let’s review the ingredients that go into the recipe. Check out the recipe card beneath the post for the full amounts.
- Pie crust: This delicious pie starts with a buttery pie crust. You can make your own pie crust or buy a pre-made pie shell from the store. You need a regular 9-in / 23 cm crust.
- Sweet potatoes are the main ingredient. They are roasted to bring out the best texture and aromatic flavor. You need 2 to 3 sweet potatoes equaling 1 pound total.
- Spices: Cinnamon and a bit of ginger, cloves, and nutmeg add warm fall flavors to the pie. You could also add pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice.
- Brown sugar: Sweet potatoes are pretty sweet on their own, just not quite sweet enough for dessert. Brown sugar adds the perfect sweetness and rich flavor.
- Evaporated milk is milk that has been heated so that 60% of the water content evaporates. It makes the filling incredibly smooth and creamy and helps thicken it.
- Butter lends the filling a silky-smooth consistency. I used salted butter. If using unsalted butter, add a pinch of salt.
- Eggs: 2 eggs and 2 egg yolks hold everything together and turn the liquid filling into a smooth, solid pie.
- Vanilla extract brings out all the terrific flavors in this evaporated milk sweet potato pie.
This meringue topping is so tasty and adds a major wow factor! It tastes like toasted marshmallows and holds up very well. And best of all? You need only the following 3 ingredients:
- Granulated sugar is needed to stabilize and sweeten the marshmallow topping.
- Egg whites: You need 2 eggs + 2 yolks for the filling. Conveniently, we’ll use the 2 leftover egg whites to whip up this dreamy meringue topping.
- Vanilla extract adds sweetness and that typical marshmallow aroma.
How to make sweet potato pie with evaporated milk
Sweet potato pie might seem fancy, but it is really easy to make. Let’s find out how to make this pie and go over the process!
#1: Roast & mash sweet potatoes
- Preheat oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F / 200°C / gas mark 6.
- Roast sweet potatoes. Clean the sweet potatoes and then prick the potato skin all over with a fork. Place them into a baking dish. Bake the sweet potatoes for 45 to 60 minutes, until soft and tender.
- Cool. Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven and let them cool.
- Peel sweet potatoes. Once cool enough to handle, peel the sweet potatoes, and cut them into chunks.
#2: Bake & cool sweet potato pie
- Make filling. Place the sweet potato chunks, evaporated milk, brown sugar, softened butter, eggs, egg yolks, and spices into a large mixing bowl. Use a stick blender or potato masher and blend until well combined and smooth.
- Bake pie. Pour the filling into the pie crust. Bake the pie at 350°F / 180°C / gas mark 4 for 50 to 60 minutes until set. A slight jiggle in the center of the pie is fine.
- Cool. Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack until at room temperature. Then place the pie in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours or overnight.
#3: Make meringue topping
- Set up a water bath. Place the egg whites and granulated sugar into a heat-proof bowl. Set the bowl over a saucepan filled with 1 in / 2.5 cm of simmering water. Make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
- Dissolve sugar. Whisk continuously and heat until the egg whites have thinned and the sugar has dissolved. The mixture should reach 160°F / 70°F on an instant-read thermometer. If not, continue cooking until the meringue mixture is warm enough.
- Whip until fluffy. Remove the meringue from the heat and add the vanilla extract. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the meringue on high speed until white and fully and stiff, glossy peaks form, about 5 to 6 minutes.
- Garnish. Spread the meringue onto the pie. Serve the pie right away or refrigerate. Optionally, toast the meringue topping with a kitchen torch right before serving.
#4: Serve pie
- Serve. Cut the pie into slices and serve the pie cold or at room temperature.
How do I know when sweet potato pie is done baking?
Every oven bakes differently, so keep an eye on the pie once you reach the 40-minute mark. The pie is ready when the edges are set and still has a little jiggle in the center. Be careful not to overcook the pie, or it might crack.
Tips for success
Let’s make sure your sweet potato pie with evaporated milk comes out flawless and read through my tips and tricks below.
- Chill the dough: For a flaky pie crust, line the pie dish with the crust and chill for 30 minutes before baking.
- Room temperature ingredients: Make sure the ingredients are at room temperature when you mix the filling because they incorporate more easily. Cold ingredients can lead to a lumpy batter and require a longer baking time.
- Mash sweet potatoes: I like to mash the filling ingredients with an immersion blender/stick blender. It’s a quick and convenient way to mash the ingredients and mix the filling all in one step. Alternatively, you could use a food processor or mash the sweet potatoes by hand using a potato masher.
- Cool completely before slicing: Sweet potato pie needs to firm up before you cut into it. Chill the pie in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours or overnight.
Want to switch things up and need some inspiration? I’ve got you covered! Here are a few ideas to customize this evaporated milk sweet potato pie:
- Graham cracker pie crust: Feel free to swap out a classic pie crust for a graham cracker pie crust. It goes so well with sweet potatoes and the marshmallow topping.
- Lemon zest brightens the filling and balances out the other ingredients. Finely grate the zest of 1 organic lemon and mix it into the filling.
- Bourbon adds complexity and a warm, oaky flavor to the pie. Stir 3 tablespoons into the batter and bake as described.
- Pecans: For a nutty crunch, fold 1 cup chopped pecans into the filling before baking.
- Chocolate: For chocolate sweet potato pie, mix the brown sugar with 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder. Then proceed with the recipe as described.
More topping ideas
I like to use leftover egg whites from the filling and whip them into a fluffy meringue, but you could also serve the pie plain. Sweet potato pie goes well with:
- Sweetened whipped cream
- Candied or roasted pecans
- Caramel sauce
Storage & make-ahead instructions
How to store evaporated milk sweet potato pie
Once cooled to room temperature, store your evaporated milk sweet potato pie in the refrigerator. It will last for 3 to 4 days. Enjoy the pie cold, or allow it to come to room temperature before serving.
Freeze evaporated milk sweet potato pie
To freeze, let the brown sugar sweet potato pie cool completely. Then wrap it in several layers of plastic wrap or tin foil. The pie can be frozen for up to 3 months. I recommend freezing without the marshmallow topping. To defrost, let the pie thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
Make sweet potato pie ahead of time
Southern sweet potato pie is a great recipe to prepare a day in advance. The flavors will be even better the next day. Let the baked pie cool, cover it tightly, and keep it in the fridge.
The meringue holds up okay in the refrigerator, but for the best flavor, add and toast it shortly before serving.
Alternately, prepare the pie dough ahead of time and store it well-wrapped. Homemade pie crust will last in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for 2 to 3 months.
Finally, you can also boil, drain, and mash the sweet potatoes up to days beforehand. Refrigerate the sweet potato mash in an airtight container. Bring back to room temperature before mixing the pie filling.
Reasons to love sweet potato pie with evaporated milk
- Creaminess + silky texture: It’s amazing that sweet potatoes and evaporated can turn into such a decadent dessert. The filling is smooth and silky but sturdy enough to cut into beautiful, clean slices.
- Aromatic: The pie bursts with fall flavors. Cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg add just enough aroma to make the pie delicious, but not so much that they overwhelm. On top of this, you’ll taste a sweet layer of toasted marshmallow crème.
- Thanksgiving dessert: There’s always room for dessert when it comes to this scrumptious fall pie. It’s one of those classic dishes you want to have on your holiday dessert table.
More fall & Thanksgiving pies
If you loved this sweet potato pie, then you’ve got to try a few more of our other homemade pie recipes! There are so many varieties that taste delicious and make a great addition to your Thanksgiving dessert spread.
Make filling. Place the sweet potato chunks, brown sugar, softened butter, eggs, egg yolks, and spices into a large mixing bowl. Use a stick blender or potato masher and blend until well combined and smooth.
I was following the directions, not the ingredients, so I didn’t add evaporated milk in until I had already poured in the filling.
As you can see, it lacks evaporated milk in the directions
Thank you for catching that, Sarah! It’s now updated.