Bourbon sweet potato pie has a unique depth of flavor that is simply irresistible. This dessert is a must-try for Thanksgiving.

slices of sweet potato pie garnished with whipped cream and pecans on white round plates

Have you ever had sweet potato pie before? Let me be the first to say that this pie should be added to your Thanksgiving menu (move aside, pumpkin pie). Sweet potato pie has more flavor, texture and nutrients than pumpkin pie. The addition of bourbon and molasses adds a new level of taste to this dessert.

Why this recipe works: There are a whole two pounds of sweet potato in this recipe so you know the texture and flavor will be abundant. The balance of eggs and egg yolks with milk makes for a thick, yet creamy filling. A splash of bourbon takes this pie from ordinary to extraordinary.

Fun fact: Sweet potato pie is traditionally a dish served more frequently in Southern United States. Historically, sweet potato was easier to grow and harvest in the South compared to pumpkins in the North. As a result, pumpkin pie was more popular in New England for Thanksgiving while sweet potato pie was more popular in the South.

bourbon sweet potato pie ingredients in bowls labeled with text

How to make bourbon sweet potato pie

  1. Prepare pie crust: Place crust in a pie plate, cover it and chill it in the refrigerator for 40 minutes and then in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  2. Partially bake pie crust: Preheat oven to 375 F. Line chilled pie crust with aluminum foil, add pie weights and partially bake pie crust for 30-35 minutes or until light golden in color. Cool completely.
  3. Bake sweet potatoes: Prick potatoes with fork, then cook them in the microwave for 10 minutes on high. Let potatoes sit for 5 minutes before scooping out the inside and discarding skins.
  4. Prepare filling: Place sweet potatoes in a bowl with butter, mash until smooth and butter is melted. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Whisk in bourbon, molasses and vanilla, then stir in milk.
  5. Assemble pie: Sprinkle brown sugar over bottom of partially baked crust. Pour filling on top.
  6. Bake pie at 350 F for 45 to 50 minutes until edges are set and center jiggles slightly.
photo collage demonstrating how to make bourbon sweet potato pie filling in a glass mixing bowl with a potato masher
photo collage demonstrating how to make sweet potato pie filling in a mixing bowl and adding it to a partially baked pie shell

Helpful tips

Before even talking about the pie filling, my first tip is to prepare the crust properly. Chill and freeze the crust to help it keeps its shape while baking. Partially baking the pie dough will guarantee a sturdy crust to carry the sweet potato filling.

Sweet potato pie is best when the filling is prepared properly. Be sure to cook the potatoes until tender. Larger potatoes may take longer. You can either cook them in the microwave or the oven. I prefer not to boil the potatoes because the water will remove some of the nutrients and flavor. Mash the potatoes thoroughly until there are no big clumps. You can do this with a potato masher or with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.

Keep an eye on the pie as it bakes. After 30 minutes, check on the crust. If it’s starting to brown, place a sheet of aluminum foil over the pie for the remainder of the baking period.

sweet potato pie slices garnished with whipped cream in pie dish

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this recipe without bourbon?

Yes.Omit the bourbon and replace it with 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup.

When is sweet potato pie done?

The pie is done when the edges are set, but the center jiggles slightly (like Jell-O).

How to freeze sweet potato pie

Let the pie cool completely, then chill the pie for an hour. Wrap the pie and the pie plate in a layer of plastic wrap and a layer of aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. Defrost pie over night in the refrigerator before serving. Sweet potato pie may be frozen for up to 3 months.

How to store sweet potato pie

Store sweet potato pie covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Sweet potato pie may be served chilled or at room temperature.

What to serve with sweet potato pie

I suggest serving this pie with a dollop of homemade whipped cream and sprinkle of chopped pecans. It also tastes delicious with vanilla ice cream. Of course, a bourbon cocktail on the side will complement the pie too!

Why do you partially bake the pie crust?

Sweet potato pie has a thinner more liquid-like filling than say apple pie. In order for the crust to keep its structure and not get wet or soft, it needs to be partially baked before adding the filling. You can read more about partially baked pie crusts here.

slice of sweet potato pie on white round plate with fork taking a bite and full pie behind plate

Related Recipes

Sweet potato lends itself well to recipes. It adds texture and flavor to desserts. I shredded sweet potato and put it into these sweet potato cupcakes topped with marshmallow frosting. If you’re looking for another Thanksgiving dish, try bourbon maple sweet potatoes. The sliced potatoes are topped with a sweet glaze and crunchy pecans. During cold winter days, I love to make sweet potato chili in the slow cooker.

Pie season is in full swing so if you want to make more pies, check out my homemade pumpkin pie that is perfectly spiced or this classic pecan pie recipe I make every year.

white round plate with slice of sweet potato pie garnished with whipped cream and pecan with fork taking bite

Bourbon sweet potato pie will be your new favorite pie to serve at Thanksgiving. The combination of molasses and bourbon makes for an irresistible flavor and the sweet potato has a texture that in comparable to other holiday pies. If you try this recipe, be sure to leave a review below and tag @ifyougiveablondeakitchen on social media.

slice of sweet potato pie garnished with whipped cream and pecans and fork taking a bite

Bourbon Sweet Potato Pie

Bourbon sweet potato pie has a unique depth of flavor that is simply irresistible. This dessert is a must-try for Thanksgiving.

Ingredients

  • 1 pie crust
  • 2 pounds sweet potato
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons (45 mL) bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • cups (160 mL) whole milk, room temperature
  • ¼ cup (50 g) packed dark brown sugar

Instructions 

Pre-Baked Pie Crust

  • Roll pie dough into a 13-inch circle. Transfer to a 9-inch pie plate and press the dough all the way up the sides. Folding any overhanging dough in on itself and crimp the edges
  • Place dough-lined pie plate in the refrigerator to chill until firm, about 40 minutes. Transfer pan to the freezer until very cold, about 20 minutes.
  • While the pie plate is in the freezer, preheat your oven to 375° F. Remove pie plate from the freezer and double line it with aluminum foil. Place pie weights on top of the foil. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until light golden in color. Transfer to a wire rack to cool and lower oven temperature to 350° F.

Sweet Potato Filling

  • Prick the sweet potatoes with a fork and place them on a paper towel in the microwave. Cook for 5 minutes (full power), then turn the potatoes over and cook for 5 more minutes until tender. Let the potatoes cool for 10 minutes. Halve the potatoes and scoop out the inside. Transfer to a large bowl and discard the potato skins.
  • While the potatoes are still warm, add the butter to the bowl and mash the potatoes until there are a few small lumps.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, egg yolks, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add bourbon, molasses and vanilla, and mix until incorporated. Lastly, stir in the milk. Add mixture to bowl of sweet potatoes and mix until combined.
  • Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over warm partially-baked pie crust. Pour the sweet potato mixture into the pie shell. Bake pie at 350° F for 45 to 50 minutes. Check the pie after 30 minutes, if the crust is browning, cover it with a crust shield or aluminum foil. The pie is finished baking when the filling is set around the edges, but the center still jiggles slightly when gently shaken. Allow the pie to cool to room temperature, about 2 hours. Slice and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

Notes

Store sweet potato pie covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Freeze sweet potato pie after it cools completely. Chill for 1 hour, then cover it in plastic wrap and aluminum foil to prevent frost burn. Freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
Nonalcoholic: Bourbon may be substituted with 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup.
Recommended tools: pie plate, pie weights, potato masher, kitchen scale, mixing bowls
Serving: 1slice, Calories: 411kcal, Carbohydrates: 68g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 120mg, Sodium: 260mg, Potassium: 506mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 39g, Vitamin A: 16363IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 90mg, Iron: 2mg

Adapted from Baking Illustrated.

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