Purple Sweet Potato Pie with Coconut and Five-Spice

Active Time: 35 MINTotal Time8 HR 35 MIN
Yield: Serves : 8

Krystal Mack, of BLK//SUGAR in Baltimore, draws inspiration from the communities nearby. The purple ube, or sweet potato, 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 and inspired the addition of coconut. Toasted marshmallows brings in the Americana of a Black Thanksgiving. “This pie represents true cultural exchange,” says Mack. Using ube flavoring, an extract available from McCormick, amps up the purple color of the pie, making it a showstopper on any holiday table.


  • 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

How to Make It

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 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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