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It’s not even close to Halloween yet and I’m focused on Thanksgiving planning. Since you likely are, too, here’s a Thanksgiving dessert to turn up your table. If your family is made up of sweet potato and pecan pie lovers, I highly encourage you to make this bourbon sweet potato pecan pie. It’s truly the best of both worlds with two Thanksgiving classics rolled into one…plus a little splash of bourbon! You can’t go wrong with bourbon, right? Right.

bourbon sweet potato pecan pie with Karo corn syrup

This sweet potato pecan pie hybrid uses my all-butter pie crust but you can make the process simpler by using a pre-made crust. One ingredient, however, should not be substituted. That’s the Karo® Corn Syrup. It’s a versatile ingredient that perfects anything from marshmallows to sticky cinnamon rolls and it is key to my Grandma’s pecan pies. Growing up, she taught me how to make pecan pie using the recipe on the side of the Karo bottle plus a few personal tweaks.

Now, if you’re team sweet potato, you’ll love these:

bourbon sweet potato pecan pie with slice removed

There are a bunch of sweet potato pecan pie recipes floating around the internet but I referred to two of the great cooking influences in my life for this extra special pie: my late Grandmother and Ms. Patti LaBelle. My granny has baked perfect pecan pies for our holiday tables for as long as I can remember. This will be our first Thanksgiving without her and I’m thankful to have learned so much from her. And Ms. Patti has been popping since long before Patti Pies hit your local grocery stores. My Grandma gave me her direct advice on the pecan pie and I consulted one of Ms. Patti’s fabulous cookbooks for her sweet potato pie tips because I don’t have her on speed dial just yet. 🙂

slice of sweet potato pecan pie

If you don’t know how to make pecan pie, it’s really as simple as mixing and baking. Here’s what you’ll need for the pecan pie filling:

slice of bourbon sweet potato pecan pie on stack of plates
slice of bourbon sweet potato pecan pie on small plate

Also wondering how to make sweet potato pie? Don’t worry. I’ve got you. This recipe is a crash course in both pies and all the steps are just below. Here’s what you’ll need to make bourbon sweet potato pie filling.

  • Roasted Sweet Potatoes
  • Heavy Cream
  • Butter
  • Egg
  • Brown and Granulated Sugar
  • Bourbon Whiskey
  • Nutmeg
  • Cinnamon
  • Sea Salt

Now just combine both of these with a pie crust and you’re in business, boo. There’s a method to making each component and making the best use of your time while you’re at it. Peep the recipe card for each step.

bourbon sweet potato pecan pie cut into slices

Tips for Making Bourbon Sweet Potato Pecan Pie

This is a straightforward recipe but there are a few things you want to take note of for a successful bourbon sweet potato pecan pie with beautiful, distinct layers. Here are my tips.

  • For the pecan pie layer, use Karo Syrup. It provides a smooth texture with balanced sweetness and allows for the flavor of the pecan pie to shine through. Trust me, I’ve tried others and the results aren’t the same.
  • Use a food processor for smooth, silky sweet potato filling. We want a thick, custard-like filling so that the pecan pie filling “floats” on top and I’ve found that combining the ingredients in a food processor yields the best results.
  • Speaking of the sweet potato filling, be sure to use a quality bourbon. The alcohol will cook away, leaving the flavor behind, which is why the quality matters.
  • Be sure to par bake the crust so that it stands up to all this luscious filling!
  • Follow the order of the steps in my recipe card below for the most efficient experience making this bourbon sweet potato pecan pie.
bite of bourbon sweet potato pecan pie on fork

I hope my bourbon sweet potato pecan pie will grace your holiday table this year–and for many years to come. It’s a favorite Thanksgiving dessert for my family. And sharing is caring so be sure to pin this recipe on Pinterest. Thanks for reading!

P.S. more Thanksgiving dessert ideas:

5 from 2 votes
side view of slice of bourbon sweet potato pecan pie
Bourbon Sweet Potato Pecan Pie
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Passive Time
45 mins
Total Time
2 hrs 5 mins

Two southern Thanksgiving classics collide in a perfectly sweet and easy-to-make pie that has something for everyone at your table.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Soul Food
Keyword: how to make pie for thanksgiving, Patti LaBelle sweet potato pie, pies for thanksgiving, soul food dessert recipe, southern sweet potato pie, unique pie recipes
Servings: 8 servings
Sweet Potato Pie Layer
  • 1 1/2 large sweet potatoes about 6 inches long and 4 inches across
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons butter melted
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon whiskey
  • 1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Pecan Pie Layer
  • 1 1/2 cups pecan halves
  • 1 cup Karo Light Corn Syrup
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon butter melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup butter cut into cubes
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using a fork or knife, pierce sweet potatoes several times then place in oven to roast for about 45 minutes or until tender.

  2. While sweet potatoes roast, make pie crust. Start the crust by incorporating sea salt, flour, and butter until a coarse meal forms. This can be done in a bowl by hand by hand or in a food processor. Add cold water and continue working or pulsing mixture until a dough forms. Shape dough into a disc (like a hockey puck), wrap in plastic, and chill for at least 30 minutes.

  3. Once sweet potatoes are roasted, carefully remove from oven and place in fridge to cool to room temperature. Reduce oven heat to 375 degrees.

  4. Remove pie crust dough from fridge and roll out into about 1/4-inch thickness. Place dough into a 9-inch pie pan and fold or crimp edges, as desired. Place into oven to par bake for about 10 minutes then remove and reduce oven heat to 350 degrees.

  5. While crust par bakes, make sweet potato filling. Remove skin from roasted sweet potatoes and combine with heavy cream, butter, egg, brown sugar, granulated sugar, whiskey, nutmeg, cinnamon, and sea salt. This step can be done with a mixer, by hand, or in a food processor. I recommend using a food processor for the smoothest filling. The result should be thick, custard-like, and free of lumps. If filling is too thin, place in the fridge to stiffen up a bit before assembling pie.

  6. In another bowl, mix together the corn syrup, brown sugar, eggs, butter, vanilla, and cinnamon until smooth and uniform. Stir in pecans.

  7. To assemble pie, spread sweet potato filling into prepared crust. There should be about one inch of space between the top of the sweet potato filling and the edges of the pie crust. Next, gently pour pecan pie filling over top. This layer should be almost flush with the top of the pie pan.

  8. Bake pie for one hour. Top of pie will puff up as it bakes but will settle as it cools. Cool pie completely before cutting.

Recipe Notes
  • To prevent the pie crust from shrinking during the par bake, I recommend using pie weights. A simple substitution is to place a sheet of parchment paper over the dough then pour in dry beans, lentils, or other grains.
  • The key to distinct sweet potato and pecan layers in this pie is a thick sweet potato filling. If the sweet potato filling is too thin, either the two layers will mix together or the pecan pie filling will sink to the bottom of the pie. The flavor is still delicious either way but the pie will not look as pictured. You can thicken sweet potato filling that is slightly too thin by chilling it or mixing in more roasted sweet potato.
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decorative image for pinterest