My soulful sweet potato pecan pie with bourbon is truly the best of both worlds with two classic southern Thanksgiving desserts rolled into one. If your family is made up of both sweet potato and pecan pie lovers, this needs to be on your holiday table because everybody will want a slice!
Why You'll Love this Recipe
Two Desserts in One - Why do double the work making two pies when you can satisfy the whole family with just one? This pecan and sweet potato pie is a favorite unique Thanksgiving dessert for my family.
Save Time and Oven Space - Making Thanksgiving desserts ahead of time is a great time and space saver for the big dinner. And this pie stores easily in the fridge before or after baking!
Authentic Soulful Flavor - There are a bunch of sweet potato & pecan pie recipes floating around the internet but I used family secrets for this one and took a page from Ms. Patti Labelle's book. My late maternal Grandma baked perfect old fashioned pecan pies for our holiday tables for as long as I can remember so you're truly getting the best!
Go ahead and grab my holiday dinner guide to make every part of Thanksgiving dinner perfect!
What does it taste like?
You'll taste classic pecan pie made with light corn syrup, crunchy caramelized nuttiness, and vanilla. The Soul Food sweet potato layer comes through with a sweet creamy and earthy custard. Everything is held together in a flaky all-butter crust.
And if you enjoy this recipe, you'll also love my Sweet Potato Praline Bread Pudding!
What You'll Need for this Recipe
Karo® Corn Syrup is 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.
Sweet Potatoes get roasted then pureed to silky smooth perfection for the sweet potato layer. I recommend Jewel or Garnet varieties for flavor and texture.
Bourbon Whiskey adds flavor complexity and, as most of the alcohol will bake out of the pie, be sure to use a good quality bourbon you would enjoy sipping neat.
Brown Sugar goes in both the sweet potato and pecan pie layers for deep sweetness with a hint of molasses flavor. Use either dark or light brown sugar interchangeably here.
Check out the recipe card below for full ingredients list, measurements, nutrition facts, and step-by-step instructions!
Substitutions & Variations
Pecans - You can used halved or chopped pecans in this pie. Pecan cookies pieces, however, are too small to not burn during the required bake time.
Crust - This sweet potato and pecan pie hybrid uses my all-butter pie crust but you can make the process simpler by using a pre-made crust.
Making Pecan Pie with Corn Syrup
This is a straightforward recipe but there are a few things you want to take note of for a successful pecan sweet potato pie with beautiful, distinct layers.
Step One: Use a fork to prick the sweet potato multiple times. This will allow them to release moisture while roasting. (Photo One)
Step Two: Roast the sweet potatoes until tender. The skin will be wrinkly and they should slightly decrease in size from the moisture loss. (Photo Two)
Step Three: Peel and puree the sweet potatoes until smooth. (Photo Three)
Step Four: Add the remaining sweet potato pie filling ingredients to the food processor and pulse until uniform. (Photo Four)
Pro Tip: 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.
Step Five: Combine all-butter crust ingredients then shape the dough into a disc. Wrap it in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes. (Photo Five)
Step Six: Roll out the dough and place it evenly into a round pie pan. (Photo Six)
Step Seven: Press the dough into the pan, cut off excess ends around the perimeter, and crimp the edges with a fork. Prick the bottom of the dough, as well. (Photo Seven)
Step Eight: Par bake the dough for about 15 minutes. (Photo Eight)
Pro Tip: How to keep crust from shrinking while baking? Be sure to par bake, aka blind bake the crust so that it stands up to all the luscious filling! Press the dough into the sides of the pan then place a sheet of parchment paper over top followed by pie weights or dry goods like uncooked lentils or rice.
Step Nine: Meanwhile, mix up the pecan pie filling ingredients. (Photo Nine)
Step Ten: Spread the sweet potato filling into the par-baked crust. (Photo Ten)
Step Eleven: Gently pour the pecan pie filling over top. (Photo Eleven)
Step Twelve: Bake the pie until done. Place a sheet pan on the oven rack underneath to catch any drips. (Photo Twelve)
Pro Tip: Time is of the essence during holiday dinner prep! Be sure to follow the order of the steps in my recipe card below for the most efficient experience making this bourbon sweet potato pecan pie.
Check out my Bourbon Sweet Potato Pie next! It's a family favorite every single year.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
Puree the sweet potato down in a food processor. This breaks down the strings, leaving you with smooth sweet potato.
Yes, you can make it up to four days before your dinner. Just wrap it tightly with aluminum foil and refrigerate.
First cool the pie completely, then wrap snugly with plastic wrap and again with aluminum foil. It will keep in the freezer for up to three months. Thaw it overnight in the fridge then allow it to come to room temperature before serving.
More Favorite Holiday Desserts
I hope my spiked sweet potato pie with pecan topping will grace your holiday table this year--and for many years to come. And sharing is caring so be sure to pin this simple layered pie recipe for later and follow me over on Pinterest. Thanks for reading!
Bourbon Sweet Potato Pecan Pie
- 1 Food Processor
- 2 mixing bowls
- 1 kitchen spoon or spatula
- 1 8-inch pie pan
Sweet Potato Pie Layer
- 1 ½ large sweet potatoes about 6 inches long and 4 inches across
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons butter melted
- 1 egg beaten
- ½ cup brown sugar packed
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons bourbon whiskey
- ½ teaspoon Nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
Pecan Pie Layer
- 1 ½ cups pecan halves
- 1 cup Karo Light Corn Syrup
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon butter melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¾ cup butter cold and cut into cubes
- 1 ½ cup flour
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- 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.
- 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.
- Once sweet potatoes are roasted, carefully remove from oven and place in fridge to cool to room temperature. Reduce oven heat to 375 degrees.
- Remove pie crust dough from fridge and roll out into about ¼-inch thickness. Place dough into a 9-inch pie pan and fold or crimp edges, as desired. Place a sheet of parchment paper over crust then cover with pie weights or dry goods. Transfer pan into oven to par bake for about 10 minutes then remove and reduce oven heat to 350 degrees.
- 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.
- In another bowl, mix together the corn syrup, brown sugar, eggs, butter, vanilla, and cinnamon until smooth and uniform. Stir in pecans.
- 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.
- 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.