What is the real difference between a sweet potato pie and pumpkin pie

In this article, we’ll take a look at the query ‘What is the real difference between a sweet potato pie and pumpkin pie.’ We will also look at the preparation of these pies and discuss whether they are healthy or not.

What is the real difference between sweet potato pie and pumpkin pie?

Sweet potato pie and pumpkin pie are both sweet and delicious dishes served on festive occasions. Both types of pies are similar because they are prepared by using very similar ingredients. There are 3 main differences between the two:

  • Flavor
  • Texture
  • Preparation 


Sweet potatoes are naturally sweet. They contain a good amount of sugars. Therefore they work well with light spices. The light spices enhance the taste of sweet potato and add flavor to the pie. Some of the spices that can be used in sweet potato pie are nutmeg, cinnamon, and five-spice powder that contains fennel, star anise, etc.

Pumpkins contain less amount of sugars. Hence they are best served with traditional pie spices including cloves, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, etc. These are only the traditional spices. Pumpkin pie recipes can be customized as well according to one’s personal taste and liking.


Pumpkin pie has a velvety, smooth, and dense texture. This texture is achieved using canned pumpkin puree. However, the pie can also be made using fresh or roasted pumpkins but the best texture is achieved through a canned puree.

Sweet potato pie on the other hand has a more rough, airy, and rustic feel. Therefore, to achieve this texture, sweet potato pies are mostly made using fresh sweet potatoes. Using pureed or canned potatoes directly would make the pie velvety-which is not the desired texture in sweet potato pies.


Pumpkin pie is made from already pureed pumpkins. The puree is mixed with spices and then filled in the pie dough. It is baked until the center is set. Sweet potato pie is prepared by first roasting the potatoes to make them creamy and tender. Then, they are combined with the spices and baked. 

How to make the best sweet potato pie?

Sweet potato pie is made best by following the usual traditional recipe. First, prepare the pie dough and set it aside. Then take 2 large sweet potatoes and steam them for 30 minutes. The potatoes should be fork-tender. 

When the sweet potatoes have been steamed, make them into a puree. Add the spices, sugars, and everything else to the puree and fill the dough with the mixture. Bake the pie until the filling is set.

How to make pumpkin pie?

Best pumpkin pie is made using fresh pumpkins. Canned pumpkins help make the pie more smooth but they give the filling a stringy texture which is undesirable. Just like sweet potato pie, first, you set the dough by baking it. 

Next, puree fresh pumpkins and mix them with all spices including cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, etc. put the mixture on the stove and cook for some time. Then, mix it with eggs, cream, and milk. After thoroughly combining the custard, put it in the dough and bake.

Which one is better? Sweet potato pie or pumpkin pie?

Both sweet potato pie and pumpkin pie have their own unique qualities. One is velvety smooth, the other is more on the rustic side. One is sugary sweet, the other is a mild delight. It all comes down to one’s preference when it comes to choosing between these two, holiday dishes.

Traditionally, pumpkin pies are more popular therefore most people’s palettes are adjusted to their taste. But to experience a new and novel taste, it is a good option to try sweet potato pie.

What occasions are pumpkin pies popular for?

Pies are an all-rounder holiday dish. They are mostly made during the thanksgiving holidays along with the delicious turkey roast. They are also popular during the Christmas holidays. Historically, pies have been eaten by humans from the neolithic era! They are historically made during celebrations. 

Are pies healthy?

Both pumpkins and sweet potatoes are nutritious foods. Sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene,  vitamin A, C, potassium, and other nutrients. While pumpkins have antioxidant qualities that reduce the risk of developing chronic illnesses and diseases. 

They are also a rich source of vitamin A as well. Hence, pumpkin pies and sweet potato pies are a portion of healthy food. Other ingredients also add to their nutrition profile.

Other FAQs about Sweet Potatoes that you may be interested in.

Can sweet potatoes go in the fridge?

Why is my sweet potato white inside?

What are the black spots on sweet potatoes?

Are sweet potatoes that are sprouting safe to eat?


In this article, we looked at the query ‘What is the real difference between a sweet potato pie and pumpkin pie.’ We also looked at the preparation of these pies and discussed whether they are healthy or not.



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