Southern Brown Sugar Pie Recipe

If you have never tried Southern Brown Sugar Pie, you are in for a treat! It’s an easy pit that’s full of rich, brown sugar flavor!

Southern Brown Sugar Pie Recipe

Southern Brown Sugar Pie

It recently came to my attention that brown sugar pie is not a commonly known dessert. “What?!”, I thought! The world doesn’t know about BROWN SUGAR PIE?! Well I intend to change that, one Pizzazzerie reader at at time. This pie is a family tradition that my mother made for every holiday, her parents made for every holiday, and generations back.

Southern brown sugar pie is very similar to chess pie but yet, so different. The rich brown sugar flavor and caramelizing on top is It’s hands down my favorite pie (even over my red velvet fudge pie, which is saying a lot).

Now I’m not saying it’s a gorgeous “look at me” pie. It’s simple-looking, plain jane, ho-hum. But watch out because there is a reason it’s the first dessert gone at holidays. The crispy caramelized crust on top is my favorite part. Then the ooey gooey brown sugar inside is so delicious.

Now you can give it a little extra pizzazz with some whipped cream or butter pecan ice cream but know that it doesn’t need it as it’s stand-alone amazing. I also love that it only has a few ingredients (ingredients I often have on hand anyway) so it’s perfect for a last-minute dessert too! I might even make it into mini pies this year to give as gifts!

Southern Brown Sugar Pie! If you've never tried this brown sugar pie, it's a must!

I’m so thankful for ALL of the readers that have shared their photos of the brown sugar pie, emailed to tell me how much their families love this pie, and those who have tagged me on social media to share pies. It’s clearly a little hidden gem of a recipe that doesn’t necessarily look like it would be the “winning dessert” but in my family, it absolutely is!


“Thank you so much. The pie turned out just wonderful! This is hands down a new family favorite. My kiddos said it is better than birthday cake! (Which to them is better than anything else)” – Brittney

Famous Southern Brown Sugar Pie

Your oven may take longer to cook, so just watch it. It will still “set up” once it cools but try to be sure your brown sugar pie is slightly firm before bringing out of the oven. I hope you’ll try it this year! It’s definitely a delicious southern tradition that would be a tragedy to never taste, especially if you have brown sugar. My husband’s grandmother says it reminds her of a pecan pie (without pecans) so if you like pecan pie, you’ll definitely love this one too! And because it’s thin, you’re totally allowed to have two pieces. Enjoy!

Southern Brown Sugar Pie

A piece of brown sugar pie on a plate

Southern Brown Sugar Pie

A delicious southern favorite, this brown sugar pie is delicious!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16 slices
Calories 269 kcal


  • 1 pound light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 pie crusts


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Prepare each pie pan with pie crust.
  • Lightly whisk together eggs and add in sugar, butter, and vanilla. You don't want to over-beat your pie filling.
  • Pour pie filling into each pie pan. Bake pies on middle rack of oven for 45-55+ minutes or until golden brown. Update: It might need longer based on oven temperatures. Check to see that pie is baked through (if you move it slightly, it shouldn't jiggle).
  • Note: You may need to loosely place aluminum foil around pie crust edges to prevent them from getting too brown. I often allow it to cool and then refrigerate it to set up further. Then I warm slightly before serving. Remember, this makes TWO pies.


You may need to cook your pie longer, but know that it will set up while cooling! This recipe yields TWO pies. 


Calories: 269kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 2gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 107mgPotassium: 69mgSugar: 27gVitamin A: 220IUCalcium: 34mgIron: 0.9mg
Keyword pie
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

While our original family recipe yields two pies, I have adjusted this recipe to one pie in my new book, The Southern Entertainer’s Cookbook. If you decide to make this recipe (above) in one pie, note that it would take quite a bit longer to cook since it would be double the filling. I recommend making two or following the adjusted recipe for 1 in my new book. 

If you want to make your own homemade pie crust, I recommend THIS recipe!

For another favorite dessert, try these chocolate pecan pie bars!


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  1. Question – if you made mini pies – how long should they bake?

    1. Hi Jamie! This will ultimately depend on the size of your mini pies. I’d just watch the pies and if they are still “jiggling” when you move them, they’re not done. Be sure the crust is golden brown,the top looks set, and then you should be good! My guess would be at least 3o minutes.

      1. I have used this recipes several times and each time different results but I have noticed from comments that when it’s still runny or jiggly that they may have put too much in and so next time less filling or thicken up the batch and cook longer many have said they cooked it long even until the top was burnt so make sure you don’t over do it as this recipe calls for two.I never measure anything so I just use my eyes and go by textures etc for best results my Pastors wife loved it and has asked me to make one for another young ladies baby shower!!! I sell them and people love them I even under cooked one and the girl threw it in the oven and said that it was great!

    1. Thank you Alice!! :) :)

  2. Basically a big butter tart, no nuts or raisins….. you cant go wrong!

  3. 2 questions please…does this pie taste best on the day it is baked or the day after? (I think some desserts taste better after they rest a bit). Also, could you use dark brown sugar? What difference does that make? Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Carrie! I do think you can make it the day before! As far as taste, I have enjoyed it the day of and after and didn’t notice a major difference. I think dark brown sugar would just give it a richer taste, I’m sure it would be fine though I haven’t tried it.

      1. Thanks so much! I plan to make it tomorrow…can’t wait!

        1. The question is “WHEN” isn’t this pie good? My Mom used to make this for us in northern Ontario many years ago. Try a piece when it’s still just slightly warm…Ohhh boyyyy!

      2. I plan to make this, but I have a large bag of brown sugar. How many cups are in a pound of brown sugar?

        1. A pound of brown sugar—light or dark—contains about 3½ cups when loose and 2¼ cups when packed. I suggest using packed.

    2. I made the mistake of using dark brown sugar (what I had on hand at the time) it was awful! The flavor was just too intense. It may have been the recipe I used but dont chance it. The taste is not the same as using light brown sugar.

  4. One more question, please. Do you store this at room temperature? Thanks again!

    1. I usually store it at room temp if it will be eaten the same day. Safest best is refrigerated!

  5. Made this pie yesterday and got a request from hubby to make another for him to take to the grandkids. Easy and awesome flavor!!!

  6. I fixed this last night and I’m not sure what I did wrong- but after it cooked it was a liquid in the crust. I used the whisk on my kitchen aid mixed and mixed the eggs, melted butter, brown sugar, and vanilla. Put it in a frozen pie crust. Baked it- and liquid. It seems like it’s missing something but everyone has commented it works. What did I do wrong?? :(

    1. Jamie – Did you cook it long enough? It seems like it didn’t bake long enough. Bake until it’s firm, which shouldn’t be too far off from the instructions time but it could vary by oven or if the pie crust was still frozen, that could have delayed cooking. I’m sorry!

      1. Ugh it keeps taking away my comments. My crust was semi frozen. Next time I’ll make sure it’s room temp.

      2. Had the same liquid pie when I tried it the next day. Made the pie last night with the frozen pie crust that was thawed before using. Cooked for more than 45 minutes and shook before removing from the oven and the pie was firm when I took it out. This morning it was liquid. Plan to eat it on vanilla ice cream. By the way, I added pecans to mine before cooking. Not sure why that would change the baking process…

    2. Nancy Johnson says:

      Probably too much air from using the Kitchen Aid. A gentle whisk by hand to not allow a lot of air. 😊

  7. So I’m making this tonight. Sons birthday is in a few days and I came across this on Pi interest. I am adding pecans but I’ve never had this. Hope it works out!!!!

  8. Weird question… I dont have a food scale to measure 1 lb of brown sugar .. About how many cups I of brown sugar would this recipe call for ?

    1. It is hard to say without a food scale… you can either go buy a 16 oz box/bag or try to guestimate. Brown sugar can very by weight because of the moisture content based on the time of year, humidity where you are, how fresh your brown sugar is…etc. Liquid measuring tools don’t measure dry ingredients the same…in other words 8 oz of brown sugar in a measuring cup will not necessarily be the same as 8 oz of brown sugar measured with a food scale.

      1. For equivalencies, just Google it! Type in your search bar “equivalency 1 pound brown sugar to cups”. You will see various sites offering the info. I usually click on and read 3, then do an average.

  9. You think you could bake and freeze? I get into crazy time crunch close to the holidays so anything I can bake ahead is great!

  10. Can I use dark brown sugar instead of light?

  11. Hi I made these tonight should I use the icebox to make them cool and set?

    1. Do you mean before baking? You shouldn’t need to but you certainly can. Let me know if you mean before or after.

  12. Should this only be done with salted butter, or is unsalted alright?

    1. Unsalted is fine! ;)

  13. Is there an ingredient missing from the recipe? I made this and baked an extra 10 minutes, the top was crusty but the inside was ooey gooey syrup. I was so disappointed :(

    1. Oh no! I’ll add a note about cooking time but it could need longer depending on ovens. I’m so sorry!

  14. When you say a stick of butter how many ounces would you say that would be?

    1. 1 stick of butter is 4 ounces.

  15. WHY have I never heard of this pie?! I’m ashamed!!! Thanks for sharing, i’ll have to try!!!

  16. I am going to make it today because it look good. I have an friend that told me about the brown sugar pie.
    He want me to make him one so that is what I am going
    to do now.

  17. Silly question…should the crust be cooked before the filling is added?

    1. Hi there!
      The link for the homemade pie crust isnt working, could you please send link again?

  18. I have never had this pie before. My pie is in the oven now and I cannot wait to try it!

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