Black Folks Sweet Potato Pie Recipe

4 Mins read
Sweet Potato Pie

Mmm mmm! A Black Folks Sweet Potato Pie Recipe tastes like warm family memories, wonderful times, and a heritage of the greatest holiday customs passed down from one African American generation to the next. Whether it’s the aroma of cinnamon sugar that sings lovely notes of “Home” like Stephanie Mills or Diana Ross in The Wiz. Or how the sweetness of sweet potato pie reminds you of happy childhood memories. In any case, get a slice before they’re all gone!

This traditional Black folks’ Southern dessert may be solely responsible for centuries of sentimental recollections, particularly in the Black community.

Is sweet potato pie a Black thing?

For Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts, I’ve always served sweet potato pie. And occasionally on New Year’s Eve. That’s because sweet potato pie was invented by Black people in Africa using yams, a native vegetable. Sweet potato pie is still served at holiday dinners by African-Americans today.

What is Black folks’ sweet potato pie?

A Black folks’ sweet potato pie recipe is a delectable Thanksgiving or Christmas dessert filled with rich ingredients and spices in the style of Black folks’ soul food cuisine.

How do you make a Black folks’ Southern sweet potato pie?

Traditional ingredients for this pie include softened or mashed sweet potatoes, eggs, sugar, butter, and the greatest combination of vanilla, cinnamon, and other sweet spices.

What makes a Black folks’ sweet potato pie?

Every Southern sweet potato pie is not the same as a Black people’s sweet potato pie. Unless it’s done with a perfect combination of soul food sweet and savory spices and fresh sweet potatoes! Black people are well-known for their Black folks’ sweet potato pie. Comfort food at its finest: creamy and decadent!

After Thanksgiving dinner, the only thing better than pumpkin pie is sweet potato pie. (Continue reading for more on sweet potato pie vs. pumpkin pie!)

With traditional brown sugar and butter flavors enhanced by hints of vanilla extract to create the perfect balance of sweetness and rich, warm spice, it’s difficult to stop at just one piece of Black Folks’ sweet potato pie!

Kitchen equipment

Ingredients for Black folks’ sweet potato pie recipe

  • 1 ½ pound of sweet potatoes, washed and scrubbed (equals about 3 cups when softened and peeled)
  • 12 oz. evaporated milk, 1 can
  • 1 cup of light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 5 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted (or vegan butter)
  • 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
Black Folks Sweet Potato Pie Recipe

Instructions for Black folks’ sweet potato pie recipe

  1. Grease a 9-inch pie pan and set it aside.
  2. See my recipe HERE for homemade almond flour pie crust, or you can use a store-bought pie crust, dough, or pie shell that may or may not come with its own pie pan.
  3. Pro tip: Use an Instant Pot pressure cooker to soften and peel the sweet potatoes quickly and almost effortlessly! 
  4. Open the Instant Pot lid and fill the stainless-steel inner pot with water to the ½ mark.
  5. Add the scrubbed sweet potatoes to the pot of water.
  6. Close the Instant Pot lid (make sure the valve is up – in the position for sealing) and pressure cook on high for 12 minutes to loosen the potato skin.
  7. When the cooking time is finished, allow a natural pressure release for at least 12 minutes.
  8. To open the Instant Pot lid, move the valve to ‘venting’ and manually release any remaining pressure, if applicable.
  9. Pour the water and sweet potatoes into a colander in the sink to drain the hot water from the potatoes.
  10. Once the sweet potatoes are cool to the touch, peel and discard the skin.
  11. Gather 3 cups of sweet potato flesh.
  12. Add to either the Instant Pot Ace blender or an electric mixer the sweet potato flesh, evaporated milk, brown sugar, egg, melted butter, vanilla extract, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, ground cloves, and salt.
  13. Pulse or mix until the ingredients are combined and smooth.
  14. Pour the sweet potato mixture into the pie crust.
  15. Bake the sweet potato pie at 350 degrees F: in a conventional oven for 28-30 minutes, in the Instant Pot Omni Plus oven for 24-26 minutes, or until the pie is puffed and firm in the center. (Remember that cooking appliance times and oven temperatures will vary.)
  16. Allow the sweet potato pie to cool for at least 2-4 hours before garnishing or slicing.
  17. Garnish with whipped cream and cinnamon sprinkled on top. 
  18. Serve this Black folks’ sweet potato pie recipe warm and enjoy!

What do you serve with Black folks sweet potato pie?

A simple answer would be whipped cream or ice cream, but that’s not the question. 

You want something that compliments it! So if you’re looking for classic soul food recipes to serve with your sweet potato pie this Thanksgiving or Christmas, then look no further than these delicious ideas:

  • Soul food collard greens
  • Black folks smoked turkey legs
  • Black folks chicken and dressing
  • Black folks homemade cornbread
  • Black folks Southern turkey recipe
  • Soul food baked macaroni and cheese

Pro tips: 

  • You’ll probably have leftover sweet potato mix, depending on how deep-dish your pie pan is. You can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours. Or you can pour it into a Ziplock bag and freeze it for up to 3 months.
  • You could also make mini-Black folks sweet potato pies with any leftover pie filling.
  • And don’t forget to use any leftover pie dough for the easiest Southern dessert ever – pie crust cookies!
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