Sugar Cream Pie

Sugar Cream Pie is the unofficial state pie of Indiana.  This tasty dessert is packed with the flavors of vanilla and cinnamon…yum!

Sugar Cream Pie is the unofficial state pie of Indiana.  This tasty dessert is packed with the flavors of vanilla and cinnamon...yum!There are some really strange state foods out there.  While it’s not an “official” state food, Arkansas is known for chocolate gravy – and it’s just like it sounds.  Gravy with the addition of cocoa powder, and it’s typically served over biscuits for breakfast.  Connecticut counters the chocolate gravy with their own odd food – clam pizza.  I mean I love pizza, but clams!?  And if you live in Kansas, then you probably know about the whole dipping cinnamon rolls in chili thing.  I mean I love cinnamon rolls, and I love chili…but together?  I think I’ll take a hard pass there.

Sugar Cream Pie is the unofficial state pie of Indiana.  This tasty dessert is packed with the flavors of vanilla and cinnamon...yum!Today’s post features another classic state food, but fortunately this one isn’t too odd.  Sugar Cream Pie is the state pie of Indiana.  Technically this one isn’t “official” as the bill hasn’t made it’s way to the governor’s desk yet, but that’s just a technicality.  Sugar Cream Pie (also called Hoosier Pie) is the state pie of Indiana.

The folks at the Indiana Historical Society have found written references to Sugar Cream Pie all the way back to 1816, but they say that this dessert likely existed in the state’s Amish communities long before that.  In fact, another name for this pie is Desperation Pie because it doesn’t require any fresh fruit and most of the ingredients are pantry staples.  Sugar, cream, butter, cornstarch, vanilla extract, cinnamon and nutmeg.  It’s a pretty basic pie.  But it’s also a delicious pie!

Sugar Cream Pie is the unofficial state pie of Indiana.  This tasty dessert is packed with the flavors of vanilla and cinnamon...yum!The Sugar Cream Pie is so popular that there’s actually a trail – complete with 29 stops – that winds through the state of Indiana.  I don’t know about you, but eating 29 slices of pie in one day sounds mighty difficult.  Challenge accepted!  This one is going on the bucket list.

Sugar Cream Pie

I often say that a sandwich is only as good as the bread it’s made on.  The same exists for pie.  A pie is only as good as it’s crust.  The crust recipe below is my go-to pie crust.  It’s made with all butter, and it tastes amazing.  But there’s one little trick in there – vodka.  As I talked about in this previous post, vodka is actually a great liquid for making pie dough.  I now keep a small bottle of vodka on the baking shelf in my pantry just for making pie dough.  #Truth

Sugar Cream Pie is the unofficial state pie of Indiana.  This tasty dessert is packed with the flavors of vanilla and cinnamon...yum!As we head into the holiday season, I know there will be tons of pies, cakes and other sweet treats in your kitchen.  Might I suggest adding this Sugar Cream Pie to the dessert lineup this year?  If you like cinnamon and vanilla, then this pie has your name all over it!

One advantage of this pie is that it’s served cold.  While that does mean that you have to plan ahead a bit, it also means that you can have the pie done and made for whenever you want to serve it.  (I actually made this one 2 days before we served it.  I covered the pie dish with plastic wrap, and the pie held up beautifully.  Once we cut into this pie, I can assure you it didn’t last 2 more days!)

Sugar Cream Pie is the unofficial state pie of Indiana.  This tasty dessert is packed with the flavors of vanilla and cinnamon...yum!I hope you get a chance to make this pie – it’s a unique one (unless you live in Indiana), and it’s mighty tasty.  Happy Baking!

Did you make this Sugar Cream Pie at home?  Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog).  I’d love to see your version!

Sugar Cream Pie is the unofficial state pie of Indiana.  This tasty dessert is packed with the flavors of vanilla and cinnamon...yum!

Sugar Cream Pie

Sugar Cream Pie is the unofficial state pie of Indiana.  This tasty dessert is packed with the flavors of vanilla and cinnamon...yum!
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Chilling Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 55 minutes
Servings: 8 slices
Calories: 412kcal


For the Crust

  • 1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter cold
  • 2 Tbsp vodka see note
  • 2-4 Tbsp cold water

For the Filling

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch ground nutmeg


For the Crust

  • Using a food processor, add flour, brown sugar and salt; pulse until well combined.
  • Cut butter into small cubes and add to the food processor; pulse until a crumbly mixture forms.
  • Add vodka and 2 Tbsp of water; pulse until well combined. If necessary, continue adding water 1 Tbsp at a time (and pulsing) until dough comes together in a ball. (Note: I often don't need to add additional water as the pie dough comes together with the vodka and 2 Tbsp of water.)
  • Shape dough into a disc and wrap with plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least 2 hours. (Note: Dough can be made the day before and refrigerated overnight.)
  • Working on a well-floured surface, roll pie dough into a 12” circle.
  • Transfer pie dough into pan and gently press dough into pan; trim excess overhang so that you have ~½” of overhang on all sides. Tuck overhang under itself so that folded edge is level with the edge of pie plate.
  • Use 2 fingers, crimp the edges of dough.
  • Using a fork, prick the dough all over. Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Place parchment paper over pie dough and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes, or until crust begins to turn light golden brown. Remove pie dish from oven.

For the Filling

  • Using a medium saucepan, add sugar and cornstarch; stir until well combined.
  • Add half-and-half, heavy cream and butter; stir until well combined. Place over medium heat and bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  • Reduce heat and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring constantly. The mixture should be thick and bubbly at this point.
  • Remove saucepan from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
  • Pour mixture into prepared pie crust. Sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg evenly on top of filling.
  • Bake at 375°F for 15-20 minutes, or until top of pie is golden brown.
  • Let pie cool on wire rack for 30 minutes. Cover pie with foil and refrigerate for 2-3 hours before slicing.
  • Note: The alcohol in the crust will evaporate while baking. Substituting vodka (or another 80-proof alcohol) for ½ of the liquid in pie dough will lead to a flakier crust once baked. Try it out! You may also use additional water in place of the vodka.

Sugar Cream Pie is the unofficial state pie of Indiana.  This tasty dessert is packed with the flavors of vanilla and cinnamon...yum!

Looking for more tasty pie recipes?  Check out these other favorites, too:

Who wants to share your apple pie?  Not this guy!  These Individual Apple Pies are a fun way to serve a classic Autumn dessert!Individual Apple Pies

This Classic Pumpkin Pie features an extra silky pumpkin filling and a flaky pie crust.  It makes for one tasty sweet Autumn treat!Classic Pumpkin Pie

Served either warm or cold, this Chocolate Chess Pie will be an instant family favorite!Chocolate Chess Pie (one of my personal faves!)

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  1. Will be making this soon can i use vegan butter and coconut cream and milk instead i never had sugar cream pie before perfect for my after office snacks love your recipes as always brightens up my day everyday after work will dm you if i make this and let you know how it goes Thanks Ramya

    1. I’m not sure how vegan butter and coconut cream would work in this recipe, Ramya – I say it’s worth a try though! I’m glad this recipe brightened your day after work! 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    Cinnamon rolls and chili? Hmmm. I do love sweet and savoury combos, but that definitely sounds unique! This sugar cream pie though? I know I’d totally go for a big slice of this! Looks so creamy and totally delicious, David! Great way to start the week (with lots and lots of coffee, of course)! Have a good one, my friend!

    1. Yeah, I’m with ya on the cinnamon rolls and chili. I mean I’ve never tried it, but I feel like I’m missing the point on that combo. I dunno! Either way, I’m all in on this sugar cream pie. I love cinnamon, so this pie is right up my alley. Pour another cup of coffee for me! 🙂

  3. If you ever go on that tour, I’d like to join you! Now, here’s something weird: I can’t explain why I love it, but I love to dip cinnamon raisin bagels in chili! It’s weridly good. (I also like to put cinnamon in chili, though – it’s really interesting.) Anyway, bring on the sugar cream pie!

    1. Imagine that, Jeff. You and me. On the open road. Fueled only by pie. Sounds like a pretty good adventure, right? Haha! Ok – so cinnamon raisin bagels in chili? That’s a new one to me, but it’s not far off of the cinnamon rolls in chili thing. Maybe this is a trend I need to understand!

  4. 5 stars
    Chocolate gravy you say? And cinnamon rolls and chili? Dang – these sound so tastebud-boggling – but, is it odd that I actually wanna taste these oddities? I couldn’t fathom the whole “jam on chicken biscuit” thing for the longest time and then I tried it and I cannot imagine eating a chicken biscuit any other way! Now onto this Sugar Cream Pie! Wow – Paul Hollywood might give ya a handshake for this crust – and WOA- what a mouthwatering concoction! If you embark on that 29-stop Sugar Cream Pie trail/challenge, count me in! Though I’m not sure you would wanna be within a mile from me after I ingest ALL that lactose! 🙂

    1. I’m with ya, Shashi – tastebud boggling for sure! And you added another good one to the mix – jam on a chicken biscuit is the bees knees! This Sugar Cream Pie is fantastic, too. The cinnamon vibe is strong on this one…just the way I like it! I think you, me and Jeff need to take a roadtrip sometime. 🙂

    1. I’m not familiar with Maja Blanca, but the flavors sound very similar! This pie is fantastic – the vanilla and cinnamon really shines through in a good way. Thanks, Raymund!

  5. 5 stars
    David! Not sure I’ve mentioned this, but I’m from Indiana – first 26 years of my life were there! Anyway, I had never even heard of Sugar Cream Pie until I was a teenager, working in a restaurant. At first the name of the pie sounded, well, not my thing, but once I tried it? All in! So good. Now, for the first time in my life, I’m thinking of making one! And only recently did I become aware it’s the “State Pie”. (It’s too late for them to kick me out of the state for that oversight.) Thanks for the recipe, my friend!

    1. I don’t think I realized that you grew up in Indiana! That means you’re the perfect tour guide for our Sugar Cream Pie tour of Indiana – the list keeps growing. Pretty soon, we’re going to need to rent a mini-van for all of us! 🙂 Seriously, though, I am a huge fan of Sugar Cream Pie! I love the cinnamon + vanilla vibes going on here.

  6. 5 stars
    Haha I love good recipe mash-ups, but sometimes they do sound bizarre, right? (But I don’t hate that clam pizza idea even though I haven’t tried it yet.)
    Anyway, this pie does not weird at all – indeed it looks and sounds fabulous. Loving this luscious custard filling (which a can easily eat without any pie.)

    1. Hey, if you want a clam pizza, I’m not gonna fight you for a slice! That’s all you. 🙂 And you make a good point about this pie filling – it doesn’t even need the crust. But then again, the crust is one of the best parts of a pie, right??

    1. Thanks so much, Sherry! If you love vanilla and cinnamon, then this pie is for you. 🙂 And the vodka trick? It’s the only way I make pie dough now!

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