Sweet Potato Pie Vs Pumpkin Pie

When you’re thinking of a sweet, savory dish to serve as an appetizer or dessert and you don’t want to resort to the usual cake or pie recipe, you can instead use a few alternate ingredients to make a pie that is both naturally sweet in flavor, while also having a delightful crumble to its texture.

Two of the most popular pie recipes that put a delicious spin on the standard pie recipe are pumpkin and sweet potato pie, however, while they can both look fairly similar, both pies actually vary quite a lot, despite the fact that they are commonly mistaken for one another.

Here are all the notable differences and similarities between both these delicious fan-favorite pies.

Major Similarities Between Sweet Potato Pie And Pumpkin Pie

There are a few very notable similarities between sweet potato pie and pumpkin pie that can make them seem identical at first glance.

Here are some of the biggest similarities shared between the two.


Since both pies use specific ingredients that alter their colors, both sweet potato pie and pumpkin pie share a very distinct orange appearance.

This is due to the pumpkins and sweet potatoes that are used in the respective pie filling that can make them indistinguishable by just looking at them.


Because they share similar ingredients including butter, eggs, milk, and a variation of spices, both pies possess a similar texture which is both creamy and smooth with just a hint of crunchiness thanks to the crust.


While this does depend on the ingredients you prefer to use, both pies tend to share quite a similar flavor of being sweet, creamy, and spicy.

There are some subtle differences such as how pumpkin pie has a more potent ginger element to its flavor which makes it great for thanksgiving, however, both these delicious pies do share a similar flavor overall.

Serving Size

When cooking and preparing either of these pies, you should do so knowing that you will have a few mouths to feed at once since they will both come out of the oven in bulk once they’re ready to serve with a single pie usually feeding 8 to 10 people on average.

Major Differences Between Pumpkin Pie And Sweet Potato Pie

While they can share a few similarities because of their similar method of preparation and a few shared ingredients, there are actually far more differences between these pies that make them unique in their own ways.

Type Of Food

While many pumpkin pie recipes are used to prepare a savory dish, sweet potato pie tends to be served more as a dessert in the holiday season and especially on Thanksgiving.

While they share a similar taste, sweet potato pies tend to taste lighter which makes them the perfect refreshing dessert to enjoy after a large Thanksgiving meal, while pumpkin pies are denser and slightly creamier.


On the whole, while they do have almost identical ingredients, pumpkin pies are usually healthier than sweet potato pies and contain less sugar and calories along with offering far more vitamins and nutrients.

Sweet Potato Pie Vs Pumpkin Pie (1)

Pumpkin itself is incredibly rich in Vitamin A along with possessing a wealth of antioxidants that improve our immune system and help us fight off illness and disease, making them a lot more nutritious than sweet potato pies.


While they taste fairly similar, the actual ingredients used for both sweet potato pies and pumpkin pies can vary.

While both recipes use eggs, sugar, and cinnamon to make the flavor naturally sweeter, a pumpkin pie recipe also uses nutmeg, ground ginger and allspice to give it that warm and zesty taste that it’s known for.

Pumpkin pie is also often served alongside whipped cream or even heavy cream in some circumstances, with vegetables sometimes being used in the filling.


Since pumpkin was first used by New Englanders in North America, pumpkin pie is traditionally an American dish and was even featured in the United States’ first ever cookbook ‘American Cookery’.

The first fresh sweet potatoes on the other hand actually have their origins in west Africa where they were soon exported to North and South America to be used in many different baking recipes, with the first sweet potato pies appearing most often in the southern states where it quickly became a Thanksgiving delicacy.

Preparation Time

While both pies can be prepared in a similar fashion by preparing the crust and filling before adding in the final spices and ingredients to finish the recipe off, and while you will need to bake both of them to make them as delicious and crunchy as possible, sweet potato pie will take you a little longer since it is usually baked between 50 minutes and an hour as opposed to the pumpkin pie which only needs to be in the oven overall for around 40 minutes.

How To Prepare Pumpkin And Sweet Potato Pie

If you’ve gained an interest in baking one of these delicious pies, here is how you can prepare them in no time.

Pumpkin Pie

Step 1) Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit

Step 2) Roll your pastry out onto a 1 1/2 inch deep pastry case and bake for 20 minutes.

Step 3) Place pumpkin chunks on a baking tray, cover with foil and roast for 30 minutes until tender. Meanwhile, whisk 2 eggs together in a bowl.

Step 4) In a pan, simmer the sugar, cream and spices for 5 minutes before pouring them over the eggs and adding a dash of pumpkin puree.

Step 5) Pour the mixture into the pastry case and bake for a further 30 minutes until the crust becomes puffy. Serve either warm or chilled.

Sweet Potato Pie

Step 1) Cook the unpeeled sweet potatoes for 30 minutes until tender, drain well, and leave to cool for 10 minutes.

Step 2) Heat the oven to 350 degrees farenheit and cover a fluted tart tin with baking parchment and baking beans. Bake for 20 minutes.

Step 3) Mash together peeled sweet potatoes, butter and mash until the mixture is creamy and smooth before adding in sugar, milk, eggs, spices and vanilla.

Step 4) Pour mixture into a pastry case, bake for 50 minutes until the pie surface is golden, and serve warm.


Try preparing one of these sweet and delicious pies for those big occasions or when the holidays roll around.

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Kathryn Sewell

Hi! I'm Kate and I have been baking and cooking for as long as I can remember. I like to share the most interesting tips and recipes I try here on What Kate Baked for you to enjoy. If you have a favorite recipe you'd like to share send it over on social.

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