Sugar Cream Pie

slices of Indiana sugar cream pie

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Total: 75 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Yield: 1 pie
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
469 Calories
26g Fat
54g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 469
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 26g 33%
Saturated Fat 16g 81%
Cholesterol 75mg 25%
Sodium 322mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 54g 20%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 35g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 1mg 4%
Calcium 109mg 8%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 170mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Indiana's Hoosier sugar cream pie can be traced back to early pioneers who settled the Indiana Territories. It was a favorite of hard-working farm wives who didn't have a lot of spare time to bake. Unbaked pie shells could quickly and easily be filled with pantry staples and mixed with their hands, so there was little mess and no extra dishes to clean. It's no wonder the pie was declared the Indiana state pie in 2009.

These days, the sugar cream pie is similar, but it is usually baked in a partially baked (blind-baked) pie shell. And the creamy filling usually includes a thickening agent—either cornstarch or flour—and is often briefly cooked on the stovetop before it goes into the pie shell. 

The topping can vary as well. Top it with a simple sprinkling of cinnamon, ground nutmeg, or a combination of the two. Some people like to add a buttery cinnamon sugar crust and broil it for a minute or two, making the pie reminiscent of a rich crème brûlée in a crust.

The pie is sure to delight family and friends, and it is a remarkably easy dessert to prepare and bake with ingredients you likely have on hand. Use your favorite pie pastry recipe or make the pie with a refrigerated pie dough sheet.

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces pastry, enough pâte brisée for 1 9-inch pie crust

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

  • 5 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 2 1/2 cups half-and-half

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 6 tablespoons butter

  • Freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Heat the oven to 425 F.

    Ingredients for sugar cream pie.

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  2. Roll the pie pastry out and fit into a 9-inch pie plate; crimp as desired. Line the pie shell with foil and add pie weights, dry beans, or rice.

    Bake the pie crust in the preheated oven for 8 minutes. Remove the weights and foil and return the crust to the oven. Bake for about 6 minutes longer, or until the pie is lightly browned around the edge. Remove the pie shell to a rack and set aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 F.

    pie shell with pie weights to blind bake

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  3. Combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan. Whisk to blend and then whisk in the cream and milk until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it begins to boil.

    sugar cream pie filling cooking

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  4. Add the butter and vanilla and continue to cook, stirring constantly until the filling is thickened.

    cooking the filling for a sugar cream pie

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  5. Pour the filling mixture into the pie shell and sprinkle with ground cinnamon or nutmeg. Bake at 325 F for 35 to 45 minutes or until firm and lightly browned.

    sugar cream pie ready to be baked

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  6. Remove the pie to a rack to cool completely.

    baked sugar cream pie

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  7. Chill the pie thoroughly before slicing. Enjoy!

    slices of sugar cream pie

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

What is the Difference Between a Sugar Cream Pie and Custard or Chess Pie?

Chess pies and custard pies are mixed and poured right into the pie crust, and they contain eggs. A sugar cream pie is made without eggs, and the filling is usually prepared on the stovetop, reducing the overall baking time.

Does Sugar Cream Pie Need to Be Refrigerated?

Chill sugar cream pie thoroughly before slicing. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

What Does It Mean To Blind Bake a Pie Shell?

Blind baking simply means partially or fully baking the pie shell before filling. The shell is lined with foil or parchment paper and then filled with pie weights to keep it from puffing up. Pie weights can be specialty round marble-like weights sold in kitchen stores, or you can use dry beans, rice, even pennies.


Baked custard-type pies, such as sugar cream pie or pumpkin pie, tend to have a soggy bottom crust if the pie shell if they aren't partially baked.


For fillings that require no baking, like lemon meringue, you'll want to fully bake the crust before filling.