Sweet Potato Vs Pumpkin Pie: Can You Tell The Difference?

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One of my favorite types of food to bake is pie. I’ve experimented with so many flavors of pies over the years and I loved them all! While baking pies for this holiday season, I came to the realization that not everyone knows the real difference between sweet potato pie and pumpkin pie.

As a general rule, sweet potato pie and pumpkin pie are similar in taste and texture while still having some distinct differences. Sweet potato pies are sweet and have a light filling with a lot of heavy texture while pumpkin pies are less sweet, denser, and creamier.

Sweet Potato Pie or Pumpkin Pie

While some people think that these two types of pies are completely different, others think that they should taste exactly the same. The following is some helpful information you can utilize in the kitchen the next time you’re whipping up a delicious recipe from pumpkin or sweet potato pies that will help you determine which pie is right for you!

Is Sweet Potato Pie And Pumpkin Pie The Same?

As a whole, sweet potato pie and pumpkin pie are not the same things. Sweet potato pies and pumpkin pies have similar tastes and textures, however, they are not the exact same thing. Sweet potato pies use mostly sweet potatoes while pumpkin pies use mostly pumpkin in their recipes.

While sweet potato pie and pumpkin pie are very similar in appearance and mouth feel, they are not exactly the same thing. Both are sweet and delicious as a fall or winter dessert, however, there are some notable differences between the two.

Use sweet potato pies for desserts!

First of all, pumpkin pie is made primarily with pumpkin, while sweet potato pie is made with sweet potato. Both pies can contain some amount of the other vegetable within the recipe, and many recipes do call for some combination of both.

Pumpkin pie batter mixed
Can You Tell What Pie Is Being Made Here?

I usually specifically look for Ceramic Pie Pans when baking pies. I recently came across a Set of Two Ceramic Pie Pans for Baking that work perfectly for baking pies in the oven with no problem. You can check out this Set of Ceramic Pie Pans on Amazon!

There have been times when I did not have an extra can of pumpkin puree in my pantry, but I was able to substitute it with a sweet potato that I happened to have on hand.

Use pumpkin pies for a savory dish!

Not only did this substitute work out well in the end, but it also enhanced the flavor of my pie, giving it an extra kick that I never knew was lacking.

*Side Note: You might also want to know How To Bake Multiple Pies In The Oven At Once. I recently wrote an article that talks about The Right Way Of Baking Many Pies Evenly At Once!

This article has saved me so much time when I bake multiple pies at once, so make sure to give it a read!

What’s The Difference Between Sweet Potato Pie And Pumpkin Pie?

On average, sweet potato pies have a thicker texture than pumpkin pies do. Sweet potato pies are also sweeter, softer, and less dense than pumpkin pies. Even though these pies look the same, their distinct differences separate them from each other.

Sweet Potato PiesPumpkin Pies
Both have similar tastes but
they’re sweeter
Both have similar taste
Have a light filling with
a heavy texture
Are denser and creamier
Can be used for desertsCan be used for savory dishes
Served on ThanksgivingServed on Halloween

I’ve been using Ceramic Pie Weights for as long as I could remember and it saved my pie crusts on so many occasions. As a general rule, you should use about 2.2 lbs of pie weights for every 9-inch pie you make. I use these Ceramic Pie Weights that you can check out on Amazon!

I’ve found many similarities between both types of pie, however, sweet potato pie tends to be sweeter overall. Sweet potato pie can contain as much as nine times the amount of sugar, and that amount can increase depending on what you plan to add to it.

Ultimately, if you’re looking for a pie that’s a little more complex in flavor and not as sweet, pumpkin pie is a good choice. However, if you’re looking for a sweet dessert, sweet potato pies are what you’re looking for!

Pumpkin pie is also great for those who are watching their sugar intake!

Regardless of the number of differences between the two, both are typically much healthier options than some of the other decadent pies and dessert recipes available. If there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that a perfectly warm piece of pumpkin pie definitely hits the spot on a cold winter’s night!

Which Is Healthier Sweet Potato Pie Or Pumpkin Pie?

When prepared correctly, pumpkin pies are healthier than sweet potato pies. Sweet potato pies contain more sugar and calories than pumpkin pies do. Pumpkin pies are higher in vitamins and minerals which makes them a great source of nutrients.

While both pumpkin and sweet potato pie are great alternatives to decadent, sugary desserts, pumpkin pie has the upper hand in this round. Pumpkin is an incredibly healthy food and is a great source of fiber, vitamins, copper, and potassium.

Many people consider pumpkin a “superfood.” This is due to its high level of cancer-fighting vitamins and minerals. High levels of vitamin C also help keep your immune system healthy and robust.

Pumpkin pies are healthy
Pumpkins are very healthy to eat!

*By the way, I recently wrote an article breaking down The Best Pie Thickeners for Thickening Runny Pie Fillings. This article talks about all the potential thickeners that you might have laying around the house that can thicken your runny pie filling. You can check out this article here!

Not only is pumpkin considered a superfood, but also a heart-healthy food, as it can help regulate your heart rate and decrease blood pressure. This makes it an ideal dietary choice for those who are at risk of heart disease.

On the other hand, sweet potato is also a vitamin-rich food that you should feel good about indulging in! It contains high levels of antioxidants and fiber, which help you to feel full for longer.

Sweet potato can also be used in a wide variety of recipes for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

So although pumpkin pie is somewhat healthier than sweet potato pie, you shouldn’t feel guilty about enjoying either dessert, especially around the holiday season!

Can You Substitute Sweet Potato For Pumpkin In A Pie?

As a general rule, pumpkin is a great substitute for sweet potato in a pie. The flavor, texture, and color of sweet potatoes and pumpkins are quite similar. When substituting sweet potatoes for pumpkin, use a one-to-one ratio as written in your recipe.

In the past, I have substituted sweet potato for pumpkin with varying levels of success. I’ve noticed that my substitutions tend to work better when I use roughly the same amount of sweet potato as I would have for pumpkin pie.

Your pumpkin pie recipe won’t taste exactly the same when you use sweet potato!

However, it will still be flavorful and delicious. Consider adding a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg to bring out the natural sweetness of the sweet potato.

*By the way, I recently wrote an article about If Homemade Pie Crust Is Better Than Store-Bought Pie Crust. This article breaks down all the reasons why it’s better to use one over the other. You can check out this article here!

Can You Substitute Pumpkin For Sweet Potato In A Pie?

As a whole, pumpkin can be substituted for sweet potato in a pie. These two ingredients are interchangeable due to their similar characteristics such as flavor and texture. To substitute, use an equal amount of sweet potato as you would for pumpkin in your recipe.

Sweet potato and pumpkin are similar in taste, color, and texture. Therefore, it makes perfect sense that you can interchange them in a number of pie recipes.

A general rule of thumb to remember is the amount of potato you will yield from two sweet potatoes is equal to one can of pumpkin puree!

Generally speaking, I always like to keep a couple of cans of pumpkin puree and sweet potatoes on hand just in case I need to add a little to my pies, or if I feel like creating something delicious in the kitchen.

Do Sweet Potatoes Taste Like Pumpkin?

As a general rule, sweet potatoes do not taste exactly like pumpkins. However, they can both have similar tastes and textures when combined with additional ingredients. This is why both sweet potato pies and pumpkin pies are similar in taste after being baked.

While many people are used to the artificial pumpkin flavor of candies, cookies, and pumpkin spice lattes, they are not as familiar with the true flavor profile of this humble, yet hardy, squash.

Pumpkin on its own is not very sweet and is more sweetly aromatic than it is flavorful. On the other hand, sweet potato is notably sweet on its own when it’s baked with a bit of salt, pepper, and olive oil.

If anything, sweet potato tastes like an elevated version of pumpkin. It doesn’t need as many ingredients to bring out its naturally sweet flavor. It’s also a healthy source of many vitamins and minerals.

*Side Note: You might also be interested in knowing If It Is Possible to Bake a Pie to be Square. I recently wrote an article that talks about How To Bake A Square Pie, which you can check out here!

Are Yams The Same As Sweet Potatoes?

As a general rule, yams are not the same as sweet potatoes. Even though they are a part of the same family, sweet potatoes and yams differ in taste and texture. Yams have an exterior with the appearance of tree bark while sweet potatoes are smooth and reddish in color.

I have found this to be a confusing concept for many, however, it’s understandable to see why many people all over the world would get these two root vegetables confused.

They do look somewhat similar on the outside, however, a yam will have more of a rough appearance and texture. Some may even compare the outside to the appearance of tree bark.

The outside of the yam is very rough and scratchy to the touch!

Differences between yams and sweet potatoes
Can You Tell Which One Is Which?

A sweet potato is similar in color, however, the texture is smooth on both the inside and outside. When you cut open a sweet potato, you’ll notice the flesh is bright and orange. A yam’s flesh is white and nearly dry.

Can You Use Yams In Place Of Sweet Potato In Sweet Potato Pie?

As a whole, you cannot use yams in place of sweet potatoes when making sweet potato pie. Yams lack the uniquely sweet taste of sweet potatoes and resemble the taste of regular russet potatoes. This root vegetable is a better fit for savory dishes rather than desserts.

Once you’ve tasted a yam you’ll know exactly why sweet potatoes and yams aren’t interchangeable in recipes. While they look somewhat similar at first glance and are related to each other, they do not taste anything alike.

Yams taste a lot like an ordinary russet potato, just with a hint of sweetness. They are very starchy and can be flavored using a variety of ingredients. Although yams are quite versatile, it’s not a great idea to use them as a substitute for sweet potatoes in the pie.

Yams can be boiled, baked, or roasted as an appetizer or as a side dish. They can also be easily added to savory or sweet dishes. however, yams aren’t that great when prepared as a dessert or in a pie.

*By the way, I recently wrote an article about How To Bake A Pie Without A Pie Pan. This article talks about all the substitutes you can use instead of a pie pan and what you should do differently with each substitute. You can check out this article here!


Is Pumpkin Pie Made From Sweet Potatoes?

As a general rule, pumpkin pies are not made from sweet potatoes. However, many pumpkin pie recipes feature a mixture of pumpkins and sweet potatoes in order to give them a sweet, creamy texture. Sweet potatoes are a great source of sweet heavy texture that could be added to these pies.

To Summarize…

Fall and winter are great times of the year to take advantage of the abundance of sweet potatoes and pumpkins which line the grocery store shelves. Fortunately, there are also hundreds of delicious recipes featuring these two vegetables as the main stars of the dish.

Understanding the main differences between these two pies will help you understand what flavor pie is right for you! Some occasions call for a light and festive pumpkin pie while other occasions call for a heavy texture sweet potato pie. Either way, you’ll love both these pies evenly!

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My name is Fainna! I've been baking desserts ever since I was 10 years old with my grandma passing her baking wisdom down to me with every passing day. I hope you find these tips and tricks helpful here at my little Baking Nook!

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