Festive Sweet Potato Pie


Sweet potatoes are one of the quintessential side dishes served at most Thanksgiving soirées, but a few years ago I created a jazzy twist, and showcased these colorful spuds in a creamy and delicious dessert!



Sweet Potato Pie adds a festive flourish to the close of any holiday meal. Pre-baking the potatoes the day before, paired with a quick-to-prepare cookie crust, makes it easy. This satisfying dessert will truly dazzle your family and guests alike.




Makes 8 Servings



1 ½ cup vegan cookie crumbs (I like ginger cookies for this, see note)

1/3 (heaping) cup vegan margarine, plus more if needed



very large, or 3 to 4 medium-sized baked sweet potatoes, cooled (see note)

1/3 cup maple syrup

¼ teaspoon allspice

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon



1 ½ tablespoons brown sugar

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

12 to 14 walnut halves (for garnish, optional)


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.


Put the cookie crumbs in a medium bowl. Add the vegan margarine and incorporate it into the crumbs using a dough blender or large fork, until combined. Add a bit more margarine if crumbs still seem dry. Press the crust into an ungreased 9-inch pie plate. Bake for 7 minutes. Put the plate on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.


Meanwhile, slice each sweet potato in half lengthwise. Scoop out the pulp, using a teaspoon or grapefruit spoon. Put the pulp in a medium-sized bowl and add the maple syrup, allspice, ginger and cinnamon. Mash well, using a large fork or potato masher, until the mixture is almost smooth. Pour the filling over the crust and smooth the top, using an offset spatula or rubber spatula. Bake for 25 to 27 minutes, or until almost set. 


While the pie bakes, put 1 ½ tablespoons brown sugar and ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon in a small bowl and stir to combine. Remove the pie from the oven. Sprinkle the sugar/cinnamon mixture evenly over the top of the pie, then “swirl” it into the top of the pie using an offset spatula or rubber spatula, making certain all of the sugar/cinnamon mixture is moistened with some of the filling. Bake for 10 minutes.


Put the pie on a wire rack and garnish with the walnuts, if desired. Let cool 30 minutes, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.  Covered and stored in the refrigerator, leftover pie will keep for about 2 days.


Chef’s Note: To make cookie crumbs, put about 2 ½ to 3 cups of broken up vegan cookies in a blender, and process to coarse crumbs.


Chef’s Note: Sweet potatoes may be baked up to 48 hours in advance of preparing this recipe. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator until use.