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Sweet Potato Pie vs. Pumpkin Pie


Little Pie Co.’s Sweet Potato Pie
Little Pie Co.’s Sweet Potato Pie

When the Holidays roll around – especially Thanksgiving – you’ll more often than not find one of two pies on just about every family’s table: pumpkin pie or sweet potato pie. These rich and creamy autumnal favorites may look the same, but they taste different and obviously are made with a different main ingredient, and many families are loyal to one or the other. Which is your favorite?

Is Sweet Potato Pie a Southern Thing?

Sweet potato pie originated in the Southern United States among the African American community. Pumpkin pie is more popular in the North, but in the South, it’s all about sweet potato pie. Sweet potatoes were a popular component of Native American cuisine, and African slaves swapped them with the yams that were found in their homeland. Most sweet potato pies were savory in the 1700s, but by the 1800s they became a dessert.

Differences Between Sweet Potato Pie and Pumpkin Pie

The ingredients used to make sweet potato and pumpkin pies are almost identical, but it goes without saying that one is made with mashed sweet potato, while the other is made with mashed pumpkin (or more specifically, most canned pumpkin is a type of pumpkin called Dickinson squash). The flavor is therefore different, and sweet potato pie typically has a lighter texture. Sweet potato pies also don’t usually include as much spice as pumpkin pie.

Nikki J’s Cakes’ Sweet Potato Thang
Nikki J’s Cakes’ Sweet Potato Thang
Sweetie Pies Bakery Pumpkin Pie
Sweetie Pies Bakery Pumpkin Pie

Similarities Between Sweet Potato Pie and Pumpkin Pie

If you were to take a bite of both sweet potato and pumpkin pies, you’ll notice that there are more similarities than differences. They’re both made with eggs, vanilla, and milk (either whole or condensed), and they’re both seasoned with warm spices including cinnamon and nutmeg.

Read More: Best Pumpkin Pies to Buy Nationwide

Which is Better, Sweet Potato Pie or Pumpkin Pie?

Who are we to say?! Just like with all foods, whether sweet potato pie or pumpkin pie is better depends entirely on personal preference. It most likely depends on which pie you grew up eating.

Most Famous Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Pies Nationwide

Maple Pumpkin Pie with Pumpkin Streusel

Michele’s Pies Maple Pumpkin Pie

Every pie at Michele’s Pies is made by hand at Michele Stuart’s eponymous gourmet pie shop in Norwalk, Connecticut. This Maple Pumpkin Pie is made with pureed fresh pumpkin combined with pure Vermont maple syrup. It’s poured into a flaky pie crust, and topped with a layer of pecans dusted with brown sugar and cinnamon.

Sweetie Pies Bakery’s Pumpkin Pie

Sweetie Pies Bakery’s Pumpkin Pie

Sweetie Pies Bakery has since been named Bon Appetit’s “Best Mail-Order Pies” and Food & Wine’s “America’s Best Pie Spots.” This luscious, freshly-baked pumpkin pie has an impossibly creamy filling made of pumpkin purée, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice, and topped with a pile of flaky pastry “leaves.”

Nikki J’s Cakes’ Sweet Potato Thang

Nikki J’s Cakes’ Sweet Potato Thang

Nikki J., confectioner and cake master at Absolutely Edible Cakes, had never made a sweet potato pie when a customer requested one in 2003. Instead of refusing the order, she set about experimenting in the kitchen…and came up with a new and modern twist on the sweet potato pie — a creamy and velvety filling with a hint of real vanilla encased in a perfect graham cracker crust that she dubbed the Sweet Potato Thang.

Little Pie Company’s Sweet Potato Pie

Little Pie Company’s Sweet Potato Pie

Little Pie Company started out as a side business for Broadway actor Arnold Wilkerson in 1985 and has since become a bona fide smash hit. His classic sweet potato pie is flavored with brown sugar and vanilla and seasoned with nutmeg, mace, cloves, ginger, and cinnamon.

Read More: Must Try Pies for Thanksgiving

Want to do a taste test of your own? America’s best sweet potato pies and pumpkin pies are shipping nationwide on Goldbelly, straight to your door!