Sugar Cream Pie is my favorite no-fail vintage recipe! This Midwestern specialty has a creamy egg-free custard filling topped with cinnamon in a flaky pie crust.
This egg-free custard pie is a regional treat, like buckeye balls. It’s simply sugar, cornstarch, butter, vanilla extract, and milk.
What is Sugar Cream Pie?
Also known as Hoosier Cream Pie, this is an Indiana specialty!
I had never heard of one until I met Andy. We both started our lives in the Midwest — he was born in Indiana, I was born in Illinois.
Even though Illinois and Indiana are so close to each other, this pie calls Indiana home, and most folks across the border (like me!) have never heard of it.
It’s a basic custard pie, made with cream, butter, vanilla, and no eggs! It’s the most simple comfort food that looks complicated.
- Whole milk
- Cubed butter — I use salted butter in all of my cooking and baking. If you choose to use unsalted butter, you will need to add about 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the filling.
- Vanilla extract
- Pie crust
Many traditional recipes are topped with nutmeg. We don’t care much for much nutmeg, so we use cinnamon. Make sure you garnish with cinnamon or nutmeg before it sets to make it stick to the Sugar Cream Pie.
How to Make Sugar Cream Pie
- First, blind bake your crust. This keeps it from getting a soggy bottom!
- Then, mix the milk, cornstarch, sugar, and vanilla together in a saucepan over medium low, stirring until it is thick and bubbly.
- Now, add the cubed butter and keep stirring until it’s melted. Boil for a minute more to incorporate all the butter, and add it to your baked crust. Use your leftover filling for a pudding or custard!
- Finally, sprinkle the no-bake Sugar Cream Pie with cinnamon and refrigerate until its set.
Anytime I have tried a traditional baked recipe, it has been runny. It also makes the edges rubbery and hard to cut.
Now, I use a cornstarch version I have played with over the years. This variation has not let me down in nearly 10 years.
This one is a certified no-fail recipe by me! Even the most beginner cooks should have no trouble with this one.
Why is my Sugar Cream Pie Runny?
When a Sugar Cream Pie filling gets too warm, either during mixing or baking, it won’t set and gets super runny.
I skip the baking at the end because of this! It does more harm than good, and everything is cooked, anyway.
Be sure to let the custard pie set at least a few hours in the fridge, or even overnight. Cold custard is firmer than warm, so this isn’t a dessert to eat as soon as it’s assembled.
Sugar Cream Pie Tips
I make my Sugar Cream Pie recipe with a regular pastry crust. Nothing fancy here.
I use a pre-made deep-dish pie crust for this recipe and all of my pie recipes. Pie crust is truly my kitchen demon!
A deep-dish pie crust is preferred. If you use a regular size pie crust, cut the filling recipe by about 1/3. Or you could keep it the same and pour the extra into a bowl for later. That’s what I do with all my cream pie leftovers!
Seasoned cooking veterans can turn this one up a notch by adding a homemade pie crust! The texture and flavor of this pie will have everyone believing it was harder to make than it really was.
What Kind of Dairy is Best for a Sugar Cream Pie?
The whole milk called for in this pie is easily interchangeable. I’ve also used skim milk, half & half, almond milk, and soy milk have all been used successfully.
You could even use heavy cream! I suspect the pie will be very rich, though.
MORE AMAZING PIE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie
- Butterscotch Meringue Pie
- Chess Pie
- Pie Crust Cookies
- Southern Pecan Pie
- Pina Colada Pie
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Sugar Cream Pie
- If your pie crust hasn't been baked, blind bake the crust according to package or recipe directions.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Mix milk, cornstarch, sugar and vanilla in a heavy saucepan. Whisk together until no lumps remain.
- Heat over medium low heat stirring constantly until thickened and bubbling.
- Add butter and stir until melted.
- Boil for another minute or so.
- Pour into pie crust.
- There will be extra filling, pour it into a bowl for later, it makes a great pudding/custard.
- Sprinkle with cinnamon.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges of filling are bubbly. Optional, sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t.
- Refrigerate until cold and set. Cut into pieces and serve.