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!


Pizzazzerie is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associate Programs and other affiliate services. This means that receives a small commission by linking to and other sites at no cost to the readers.


  1. I’ve lived in Alabama my whole life and never heard of this. Made one earlier today and the top was starting to burn and the inside was like liquid :( I did try it in the toaster oven tho :/ (mine is big enough to cook anything) I’ve got another one in the actual oven Right now so fingers crossed!

    1. Ok so after that little experiment the pie turned out perfectly. This leads me to believe those whose pie didn’t turn out was because of too much heat too fast. I know some people’s ovens cook hotter than others. The pie itself is good and will def add nuts next time for a thanksgiving flair!

  2. I tried making this cake today. 10 minutes into the 45 minutes it needs to bake I went to check on it and the filling had overcooked and spilled all over my oven.
    I followed the exact directions so i’m not sure what could’ve gone wrong. Did I maybe put too much filling in? Or does my oven get too hot?

    1. I’ve never had it overcook or spill over. If anything, it would need MORE time to fully cook through. Perhaps it was overfilled or the pie crust wasn’t large enough? I’m baffled! I’m so sorry!

      1. I have been a professional chef for many years now, I suggest people go out and buy an oven thermometer I have never used an oven with out one in it, we never trust a factory installed temp gauge.

  3. This is of my favorites! My grandmother made them, in the South she called them chess pies. Get a big glass of milk and throw calorie counting out the window.

    1. I’m from Virginia and the brown sugar pie is a tradition in my part of the country. So is chess pie, but there is a difference. My chess pie is a thin, smooth, sweet firm pie, whereas my sister’s brown sugar pie is oozing with butter that has been absorbed by the crust, and has a dark brown crusty texture on top. My brown sugar pies have never passed the taste test from my son, but I’m going to try this one! Thanks.

  4. This is my sister’s dream pie- basically a Chocolate Chip Pie we love, without the chocolate chips. Her dream! I can’t wait to make it for her.

  5. Mindy Beasley says:

    I made this pie the other day and it tasted like vanilla extract. Is the recipe right, a tablespoon of vanilla? not a pleasant taste.

    1. Oh no, Mindy! I’m so sorry it didn’t come out well. I’ve made it for years but will make it again this week and double check everything.

  6. Jeanette Holmstrom says:

    I made this pie today in a frozen, but thawed pie crust. While it is delicious, it developed a hard sugary layer on top of the pie crust. Then a gooey layer and crunchy top layer. I baked the pie on a baking sheet for about 50 minutes. I used 2 1/2 C of brown sugar as I don’t have a scale. Any thoughts as to what caused the hard layer of sugar?

    1. Hi Jeanette, Did you pack the brown sugar when you measured it? Loose brown sugar is about 3 1/2 cups to the pound. It does normally have a crunchy top layer and an ooey gooey layer, which is normal. I don’t recall having a hard sugary layer on the pie crust, however. Was the batter fully mixed before being poured into the crust?

      1. Jeanette Holmstrom says:

        I packed the Brown sugar. Ill try whisking it longer next time and not placing it on a cookie sheet for baking. I’ll keep trying!

        1. You might try putting it in an electric mixer and getting it really whipped. I may even try this again and do both ways to see which is better (whisking or electric whisking). Perhaps it needs that air folded in to get fully mixed. It’s an old recipe passed down from generations so I’m sure it needs some details filled in to get it just right :)

  7. My pie is in the oven right now but it has spilled over into the cookie sheet. I put it in a baked 9 inch Pillsbury pie crust (not a deep dish crust). Hope it tastes good as I want to make a few for an upcoming bake sale at work.

    1. Looks like it’s super thick then, which is fine but you’ll want to make sure you cook it until through. You may need to cover the pie edges so they don’t burn. Just cook until “set”.

  8. Kim McCallie says:

    I just put this in the oven for our Thanksgiving dessert. I used a potato masher to blend the eggs and brown sugar together. It worked like a charm, quickly removing the lumps. Can’t wait to try it tomorrow!

    1. Perfect! Remember to bake long enough based on how your oven bakes, looks like some people need extra time.

      1. Do you bake the crust first or put the filling in the unbaked crust?

  9. Hmmm, your pie looked really good, but unfortunately I am a little disappointed in the way mine turned out. After reading the comments, I followed the directions to a T, but it still came out really runny (and never set). All in all, I ended up baking it for 65 mins before throwing in the towel. The top was starting to burn. Maybe I’ll have to adjust the recipe a bit, if I decided to give it another go. Thanks for the inspiration!

  10. Felicia Cleaves says:

    I am absolutely ECSTATIC to try this pie today! Thanksgiving I am always looking for new recipes to try, because I’m the adventurous type; however, my husband is more or less “picky,” so my adventure side suffers. BUT the reason I am so excited, is that husband I mentioned before.. He has this so, so so so strange habit that I never understood, and that is literally scooping brown sugar from the canister and eating it. :/ SO weird. but I think this is the PERFECT pie for him! And lucky me, I have one extra pie crust from making a pumpkin ;] THANK YOU! I will let you know how fast he devours it!

  11. I’m making this now, how do I know when it’s set? The top looks great but I can’t tell about the inside.

  12. Mine’s not setting either. It’s been more than an hour. Weird.

  13. I set the timer for 50 minutes and then left it in for about 10-15 minutes more then turned the oven off and left it in there for about 15 more minutes until I was ready to go. I was worried that it hadn’t set but it did and it was DELICIOIS!!

  14. Kimberly Denich says:

    This pie is a absolutely delicious! I am from the south and grew up with Chess Pie.I have tried several pie recipes over the last few months and this one is the win
    ner in my book. I made another one for Thanksgiving. The husband really likes it too.

  15. Emma McCormick says:

    Should the crust be cooked at all before the filling is added?
    Thank you!

  16. I used a store bought one so it was fully cooked.

  17. Mine turned out awful! They were VERY gooey and weird looking. I don’t think I did enything wrong, but I’m not very good at making pies. Any tips?

    1. You may need to have cooked it longer. It also might needed to have set up more. Did you eat it hot, that might have been the problem. Let it “set” either out or in the fridge. So sorry! I’m going to remake this recipe step by step and see if I can update with other tips.

  18. How long did you bake it?

  19. This looks amazing! I think I might add a tablespoon or two of Bourbon!

    1. That would be SUCH a great addition, Josh! :)

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