Classic sweet potato pie, with coconut-pecan topping, is a versatile dish that can grace your table either as a comforting side or a delightful dessert. This recipe transforms yams into a smooth, creamy filling, enriched with vanilla and heavy cream, all topped with a crunchy blend of coconut, brown sugar, and pecans. How amazing, right? It’s a celebration of flavors and textures that’s sure to be a hit, whether served at a family dinner or as a different take on dessert.

Sweet potato pie has been a long time family recipe. As a child, this was always my favorite dish at holiday gatherings. It embodies the warmth and heartiness of home cooking, while the coconut-pecan topping adds a delightful and tasty twist that elevates it from the ordinary.

If you haven’t ever tasted a sweet potato pie, I feel confident saying you’ve missed out! Oh what could have been. I’m kidding, but I am very serious when I tell you this is a dish you simply have to try. I love making this during the holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas are a must. Go ahead and call an audible and randomly make this in May or June just to let everyone know you fly by the seat of your pants. This is YOUR kitchen, you make the rules! I assure you people will receive it well, regardless of when you decide to cook it.

Freshly baked sweet potato pie

The Chemistry of Sweet Potato Pie

The magic of this pie lies in the transformation of simple ingredients into a complex dish. The yams, when baked and mashed, develop a naturally sweet, creamy texture, making them the perfect base for a pie filling. The addition of heavy cream and butter adds richness, while the eggs bind the mixture and help it set into a smooth, custard-like consistency. The topping, a mixture of flour, brown sugar, coconut, melted butter, and pecans, creates a contrasting texture, offering a crunchy, nutty counterpoint to the smooth filling.

Why bake the yams instead of boiling them?

Baking the yams caramelizes their natural sugars, enhancing their sweetness and depth of flavor, which is essential for a rich, flavorful pie.

Can this pie be made ahead of time?

Absolutely! This pie can be made a day in advance, allowing the flavors to meld together. Just store it in the refrigerator and warm up in the oven before serving. It just gets better with time.

Why is there a coconut-pecan topping?

First and foremost, because it’s so insanely tasty as a topping. The coconut-pecan topping adds a delightful crunch as well as a nuttiness, creating a wonderful contrast in textures and flavors with the smooth yam filling.

How do you know when the pie is done baking?

The pie is done when the filling is set and the topping is nicely browned. You can check the doneness by gently shaking the pan; the center should be firm with little to no jiggle.

Freshly baked sweet potato pie

What is in Sweet Potato Pie?


The base of the pie, providing a naturally sweet and creamy texture.


Enhances the sweetness and flavor of the filling, while also melting down into a liquid in the oven, helping the pie filling blend together.

Vanilla Extract

When using pure vanilla extract, as opposed to imitation flavoring, it will add the deep rich flavor that everybody wants in a treat.

Heavy whipping cream & butter

Adds richness and a smooth consistency to the pie filling.


Help to bind and set the filling.


Creates a structure for the topping so that it doesn’t just melt into the filling completely.

Brown sugar

Adds sweetness and moisture to the topping.

Shredded coconut

Creates a flavorful layer that complements the creamy filling.

Chopped Pecans

Adds a crunch to your treat, while also slightly offsetting the sweetness and sugar.

How to store sweet potato pie

Store the pie in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 4 days. I do not recommend freezing this pie because it will alter the texture of the topping and filling.

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The best time to make sweet potato pie

This classic pie is perfect for holiday gatherings, particularly Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s also a wonderful addition to any autumn feast or just a regular, cozy family dinner.

Recipes You May Love

Sweet Potato Pie

Author: Madison Reid
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Servings: 20
This is a delicious recipe, it can be served as a side or even as a dessert.


  • 3 yams
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 eggs


  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans


  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
  • Wash and stab the yams with a fork a few times, bake for 30 minutes until soft
  • Peel the yams after they are cooked and mash them
  • Mix the mashed yams with sugar, vanilla extract, heavy whipping cream, butter and eggs
  • Pour the yam mixture into a greased 9×13 pan
  • In a mixing bowl, combine all of the topping ingredients
  • Sprinkle the topping on the yam mixture
  • Turn the oven down to 325 degrees, place the pie in the oven and bake for 60 minutes
  • Remove and allow to cool for 15 minutes before enjoying


Calories: 214kcal Carbohydrates: 35g Protein: 2g Fat: 8g Saturated Fat: 4g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0.1g Cholesterol: 29mg Sodium: 40mg Potassium: 560mg Fiber: 3g Sugar: 15g Vitamin A: 271IU Vitamin C: 11mg Calcium: 27mg Iron: 1mg

Have you tried this recipe?

I’d love to see it! Follow @_mrs.madi_ on Instagram and tag your photos with #mrsmadi.