Purple Sweet Potato Pie with Coconut and Five-Spice

This purple sweet potato pie is seasoned with five-spice seasoning and topped with toasted oats, pecans, and coconut.

Purple Sweet Potato Pie with Coconut and Five-Spice
Photo: Christopher Testani
Active Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
8 hrs 35 mins

Krystal Mack, of the bakery BLK//SUGAR in Baltimore, draws inspiration from the communities nearby. The purple ube, or sweet potato, in this pie comes from the Filipino Americans who make up a vital part of Baltimore’s culture. The Taiwanese and Southeast Asian populations introduced Mack to five-spice seasoning and inspired the addition of coconut. Toasted marshmallows give it a touch of a Black Thanksgiving. Ube flavoring amps up the purple color of the pie, making it a showstopper on any holiday table. “This pie represents true cultural exchange,” says Mack.


  • 1 3/4 pounds purple sweet potatoes or yams (such as Stokes Purple or ube)

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar, divided

  • 1 cup evaporated milk

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, divided

  • 3 large eggs, beaten

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon ube flavoring (such as McCormick Ube Flavor)

  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1 Master Pie Dough pie shell

  • 1/4 cup uncooked regular rolled oats

  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans

  • 2 tablespoons sweetened shredded coconut

  • 2 tablespoons miniature marshmallows


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Pierce yams several times with a fork, and wrap each in aluminum foil. Bake in preheated oven until tender, 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes. Remove from oven; cool completely, about 2 hours.

  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Peel cooled yams, and discard skins. Process yams in a food processor until mixture is smooth and forms a ball, about 1 minute. Place 11/2 cups yam puree in a large bowl; reserve remaining puree for another use. Whisk in 1 cup brown sugar, milk, 1/2 cup butter, eggs, vanilla, ube flavoring, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, five-spice, salt, and nutmeg until smooth and combined. Pour mixture into frozen pie shell. Bake in preheated oven until filling is set, about 50 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, stir together oats, pecans, coconut, remaining 2 tablespoons brown sugar, remaining 2 tablespoons butter, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon in a bowl. Set aside.

  4. Remove pie from oven; sprinkle center of pie with oat mixture. Return to oven; bake at 350°F until topping is lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle marshmallows over topping, and bake until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer pie to a wire rack to cool completely, about 4 hours.

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