Which is a Better Dessert? Pumpkin Pie or Sweet Potato!

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and that means it’s time to start thinking about the star of the show – dessert! Two classic American pies that often make an appearance are pumpkin pie and sweet potato pie. Both offer unique flavors and textures that are loved by many, but which one is truly the best?

In this article, we will compare the history, flavors, and nutritional aspects of these delectable desserts to determine which one comes out on top. Whether you’re a pumpkin pie fanatic or a sweet potato pie lover, join us as we explore the ins and outs of these fall favorites.

pumpkin pie or sweet potato

Key Takeaways:

  • Pumpkin pie and sweet potato pie are classic American desserts enjoyed during Thanksgiving and other holiday gatherings.
  • Both pies offer unique flavors and textures, making it difficult to choose which one is better.
  • Factors to consider when deciding between pumpkin pie and sweet potato pie include the filling, spices, and nutritional content.
  • Ultimately, the choice between these two desserts comes down to personal preference.
  • Whether you choose pumpkin pie or sweet potato pie, you’re sure to end your holiday meal on a sweet note.

Fall Flavors and Holiday Baking

When the leaves start changing colors and the air turns brisk, it’s time to break out the baking sheets and get to work creating delicious fall-inspired treats. The flavors of fall are warm, spicy, and comforting, making them perfect for holiday baking.

Two of the most popular ingredients for fall desserts are pumpkin and sweet potato. These versatile ingredients are the perfect base for pies, cakes, and other treats that will make your home feel cozy and inviting.

The Role of Fall Flavors

Fall flavors are distinctive and powerful. They bring to mind images of warm blankets, crackling fires, and family gatherings.

Pumpkin and sweet potato are both hearty and earthy, making them perfect for colder weather. They can stand up to strong spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, creating a complex flavor profile that is both warm and satisfying.

Holiday Baking with Pumpkin and Sweet Potato

Pumpkin and sweet potato are essential ingredients for holiday baking. Whether you’re making pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving or sweet potato cake for Christmas, these flavors are sure to be a hit with your family and friends.

One popular way to use pumpkin and sweet potato is to create a delicious, creamy pie. Both pumpkin and sweet potato pies are classic holiday desserts and can be easily adapted to suit your personal taste.

Pumpkin PieSweet Potato Pie
FlavorSpiced and sweetSweet and earthy
TextureSmooth and creamySilky and velvety
Calories per serving*323481
Common spicesPumpkin spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice)Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger

*Calories calculated per serving of a 9-inch pie using a traditional crust recipe. Results may vary.

Aside from pies, you can also use pumpkin and sweet potato in a variety of other holiday treats such as cakes, muffins, and cookies. These ingredients can be used in both sweet and savory dishes, making them a versatile addition to your holiday menu.

So, get creative with your holiday baking and incorporate the warm and comforting flavors of fall with pumpkin and sweet potato. Whether you prefer the sweetness of pumpkin or the earthiness of sweet potato, there’s no denying that these ingredients are the perfect way to add a touch of fall to your holiday desserts.

The Pie Crust: A Foundation of Delight

Before we dive into the fillings, let’s talk about the pie crust. A perfectly flaky and buttery crust is essential for any good pie. Choosing the right crust can make or break your pie, so it’s important to consider all of your options.

The most common crust used for both pumpkin pie and sweet potato pie is a traditional buttery crust made with flour, butter, and ice water. However, there are several other delicious crust options to consider.

Crust OptionDescription
Graham Cracker CrustA sweet and crunchy crust made with graham crackers, sugar, and butter. This crust pairs well with the spiced filling of pumpkin pie.
Oatmeal CrustA heartier, nuttier alternative to the traditional crust made with oats, flour, and butter. This crust pairs well with the earthy, sweet flavors of sweet potato pie.
Pecan CrustA crust made with ground pecans and gingersnaps for a nutty, spiced crust that pairs well with both pumpkin and sweet potato pies.

Whichever crust option you choose, be sure to blind bake the crust before adding the filling to prevent a soggy bottom. To blind bake, simply pierce the crust with a fork, line it with parchment paper, and fill it with pie weights or dried beans before baking in the oven at 375°F for 15 minutes.

Now that we’ve covered the basics of the crust, it’s time to move on to the main event: the fillings.

The Fillings: Pumpkin Puree vs Sweet Potato Puree

When it comes to pumpkin pie and sweet potato pie, the filling is the star of the show. Pumpkin pie is traditionally made with smooth and creamy pumpkin puree, while sweet potato pie features velvety, sweet pureed sweet potatoes. Let’s take a closer look at each of these fillings and what makes them unique.

Pumpkin Puree

Pumpkin puree is made from cooked and mashed pumpkin that is blended until smooth. This puree is then used to create the filling for pumpkin pie. The flavor of pumpkin puree is mildly sweet and slightly nutty, with a smooth and creamy texture. Some recipes call for added spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger to enhance the flavor of the pumpkin puree.

Sweet Potato Puree

Sweet potato puree is made from cooked and mashed sweet potatoes that are blended until smooth. The puree is then used to create the filling for sweet potato pie. The flavor of sweet potato puree is naturally sweet, with a smooth and velvety texture that can be enhanced with warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.

Pumpkin PureeSweet Potato Puree
FlavorMildly sweet and slightly nuttyNaturally sweet with warm undertones
TextureSmooth and creamySmooth and velvety
Nutritional Value (per 100g)26 calories, 1g protein, 0.1g fat, 6g carbohydrates, 1.2g fiber, 2.8g sugar86 calories, 1.6g protein, 0.1g fat, 20.1g carbohydrates, 2.5g fiber, 4.2g sugar

As you can see, sweet potato puree contains more calories, carbs, and sugar than pumpkin puree. However, sweet potato puree also offers more fiber and protein than pumpkin puree, making it a slightly more nutritious choice.

Ultimately, the choice between pumpkin puree and sweet potato puree comes down to personal preference. If you prefer a mildly sweet and nutty flavor, pumpkin puree may be the way to go. If you enjoy a naturally sweet filling with warm undertones, sweet potato puree may be more to your liking.

Spices: A Medley of Flavors

Both pumpkin pie and sweet potato pie rely on a blend of spices to enhance their flavors. The spices used in each pie play a crucial role in the overall taste experience.

Pumpkin pie filling is typically seasoned with a combination of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. This blend of spices is commonly known as “pumpkin spice” and is a hallmark of fall flavors. The warm and earthy tones of cinnamon and ginger are complemented by the sweet and nutty aroma of nutmeg, while the pungent cloves offer a subtle hint of bitterness.

On the other hand, sweet potato pie filling tends to use a simpler spice combination that includes cinnamon and nutmeg. This blend creates a more understated flavor profile that allows the natural sweetness of the sweet potato to shine through.

The use of spices is crucial in bringing out the unique flavors of each pie. Pumpkin spice enhances the warm and comforting flavors of pumpkin pie, while the simpler spice combination in sweet potato pie allows the natural sweetness of the sweet potato to take center stage.

“Without the use of ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon, which are now so universal, almost anybody can make a pumpkin pie.” – American Cookery, 1796

Nutrition: Health Benefits and Considerations

While pumpkin pie and sweet potato pie are undoubtedly delicious, it’s important to consider their nutritional value. Here’s a breakdown of the nutritional content of pumpkin pie and sweet potato pie:

NutrientPumpkin Pie (1 slice)Sweet Potato Pie (1 slice)
Total Fat (g)1420
Saturated Fat (g)68
Cholesterol (mg)70105
Sodium (mg)230270
Total Carbohydrates (g)4455
Dietary Fiber (g)22
Sugars (g)2537
Protein (g)55
Vitamin A (%DV)170150
Vitamin C (%DV)24
Calcium (%DV)1010
Iron (%DV)106

As shown in the table, sweet potato pie tends to be higher in calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium, and sugar compared to pumpkin pie. However, sweet potato pie also has higher levels of vitamin A and vitamin C, making it a slightly healthier option.

When it comes to enjoying these desserts in moderation, both can be a part of a balanced diet. However, it’s important to note that both pumpkin and sweet potato pies can contain allergens such as nuts, dairy, and eggs. If you have food allergies or intolerances, be sure to check the ingredients list carefully and consult with your doctor before consuming these desserts.

Remember, while these desserts can provide a sweet treat during the holidays, they should not be a regular part of your diet due to their high calorie and sugar content. As with all foods, enjoy pumpkin pie and sweet potato pie in moderation to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

nutrition and health benefits

Texture and Taste: A Comparative Analysis

When it comes to desserts, texture and taste are essential factors. In this section, we’ll compare the texture and taste of pumpkin pie and sweet potato pie, helping you decide which one is more suited to your preferences.

Taste: Pumpkin pie is typically sweet, with a subtle pumpkin flavor and a blend of warm spices, including cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. On the other hand, sweet potato pie is also sweet but with a more complex flavor profile due to the natural sweetness of the sweet potato. The flavor can be enhanced with spices such as cinnamon, ginger, and allspice, which add warmth and depth to the pie.

Texture: Pumpkin pie has a smooth and creamy texture, a result of the pureed pumpkin. Sweet potato pie, meanwhile, has a velvety texture that can range from smooth to slightly chunky, depending on the recipe. Some people find sweet potato pie, with its slightly chunky texture, more satisfying than pumpkin pie.

Texture and Taste Table

Pumpkin PieSweet, subtle pumpkin flavor with warm spicesSmooth and creamy
Sweet Potato PieSweet, complex flavor with cinnamon, ginger, and allspiceVelvety, with a range from smooth to slightly chunky

Ultimately, the choice between pumpkin pie and sweet potato pie comes down to personal preference. Some people prefer the classic taste of pumpkin pie, while others enjoy the sweet and slightly savory taste of sweet potato pie. The texture of sweet potato pie, specifically, can be more satisfying for some people due to its slightly chunky nature. Whichever you choose, you’re sure to enjoy a delicious holiday dessert!

Thanksgiving Traditions: Pumpkin Pie or Sweet Potato Pie?

Thanksgiving is a time of tradition, and for many families, that tradition includes a slice of pumpkin or sweet potato pie after the big feast. Both pies are beloved for their rich, warm flavors that perfectly capture the essence of fall. But which one should you serve at your Thanksgiving table?

If you’re looking for a classic, tried-and-true dessert, pumpkin pie is the way to go. It’s been a staple of the Thanksgiving meal since the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, and for good reason. Its smooth, velvety texture and warm blend of spices are the perfect complement to a hearty, savory meal.

But if you’re looking for something a little different, something that will make your guests sit up and take notice, consider serving sweet potato pie instead. Sweet potato pie has a richer, more complex flavor than pumpkin pie, with hints of caramel and nutmeg that make it absolutely irresistible. Plus, its vibrant orange color is sure to add a pop of visual interest to your dessert table.

Whichever pie you choose, be sure to pair it with a dollop of fresh whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the perfect finishing touch. And if you’re looking for a delicious recipe to try this Thanksgiving, look no further than this mouth-watering sweet potato pie recipe:

sweet potato pie
– 1 1/2 cups mashed sweet potatoes1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
– 1/2 cup sugar2. In a large bowl, combine the sweet potatoes, sugar, butter, eggs, evaporated milk, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
– 1/2 cup butter, softened3. Beat the mixture until smooth and creamy.
– 2 eggs, beaten4. Pour the mixture into a prepared pie crust.
– 1/2 cup evaporated milk5. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the filling is set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
– 1 tsp vanilla extract6. Let the pie cool before serving.
– 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
– 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
– 1/4 tsp salt
– 1 prepared pie crust

This sweet potato pie recipe is sure to be a hit with your Thanksgiving guests, and it’s a great way to switch things up from the traditional pumpkin pie. Give it a try this year and see for yourself just how delicious sweet potato pie can be!

Holiday Dessert Showdown: Pumpkin Pie vs. Sweet Potato Pie

Are you struggling to choose between the classic pumpkin pie and the sweet and savory sweet potato pie for your upcoming holiday gathering? Let’s break down the differences to help you make the ultimate dessert decision.

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin pie has been an American favorite for over 200 years. The smooth and creamy pumpkin puree filling is infused with spices that offer a warm and comforting flavor. It’s the perfect holiday dessert for those who prefer a sweet treat with a slightly spiced kick.

Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet potato pie is a Southern classic that has been enjoyed for generations. The sweet and velvety sweet potato puree filling is flavored with a mix of spices, adding a unique twist to traditional pumpkin pie. It’s perfect for those who want a dessert that’s both sweet and savory.

Pumpkin PieSweet Potato Pie
FlavorSweet with a slightly spiced kickSweet and savory
TextureSmooth and creamySweet and velvety
Calories Per Slice323411
Top ToppingWhipped CreamToasted Pecans

As you can see from the table above, sweet potato pie is slightly higher in calories. However, it’s important to note that both desserts are relatively high in sugar and should be enjoyed in moderation.

The Verdict

So, which one should you choose? It ultimately comes down to your personal preference. If you have a sweet tooth and enjoy a classic holiday dessert, pumpkin pie is the way to go. However, if you’re looking for something a little more unique and savory, sweet potato pie is the perfect choice.

Sweet and Savory: The Versatility of Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet potato pie isn’t just a dessert, it’s a versatile dish that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. In the South, sweet potato pie is often served as a side dish alongside savory dishes like fried chicken and collard greens. The sweet and savory nature of sweet potato pie makes it the perfect complement to a hearty meal.

If you’re looking for a unique way to enjoy sweet potato pie, try adding savory spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice to the recipe. This will give the pie a warm, spicy flavor that pairs well with savory dishes.

Another way to enjoy sweet potato pie is to top it with savory ingredients like bacon or chopped nuts. The salty flavor of the bacon or nuts adds a nice contrast to the sweetness of the pie.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try making a savory sweet potato pie by using ingredients like cheese, onions, and herbs. This version of sweet potato pie is perfect for a fancy dinner party or holiday gathering.

Try This: Savory Sweet Potato Pie Recipe

“This savory sweet potato pie is the perfect addition to any dinner party. Loaded with cheese, onions, and herbs, it’s sure to be a crowd pleaser!”

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (such as thyme or rosemary)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pie crust (homemade or store-bought)
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Boil sweet potatoes until tender, then mash them and set aside.
  3. In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until soft.
  4. In a large bowl, combine mashed sweet potatoes, sautéed onions and garlic, cheddar cheese, herbs, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
  5. Pour mixture into a pie crust and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and filling is set.
  6. Serve hot and enjoy!

This savory sweet potato pie is a great way to switch up the traditional sweet version. It’s a delicious side dish that’s sure to impress your dinner guests!


After exploring the various aspects of pumpkin pie and sweet potato pie, it’s evident that both desserts have their own unique qualities. While pumpkin pie is a classic choice with its smooth texture and warm spices, sweet potato pie offers a sweet and savory flavor profile that is a staple in southern cuisine.

Ultimately, the decision between these two delectable desserts comes down to personal preference. Whether you opt for the traditional pumpkin pie or the more unconventional sweet potato pie, both are sure to be a hit at your next holiday gathering.

So, why not try both and see which one you prefer? With our guide, you now have all the knowledge you need to choose the perfect dessert for your taste buds. Whichever one you choose, we’re sure it will be a crowd-pleaser.