Hoosier Sugar Cream Pie…my heirloom recipe

It took me almost 40 years to master the technique, but I finally got it right.

According to my grandmother, a good sugar cream pie has two layers. The top should be a light custard. The second layer needs to be rich and even a little syrupy.The result is a totally decadent blend of flavor and texture.

When my grandparents owned the Wawasee Restaurant during the ’40s (which is before I was born), my grandmother’s “old-fashioned cream” pie was the signature dessert. She also served it at family gatherings; as did my mother. When I was a new bride, this was the first recipe I copied into the blank pages of my brand-new cookbook.

It was and always will be my favorite pie.

Although sugar cream pie is associated with the Amish, the recipe has been traced back to 1816, the year Indiana became a state and long before the Amish came to this area.  Virtually unheard of outside of  Indiana, Sugar Cream pie officially became Indiana’s State Pie on January 23, 2009.

I definitely believe Sugar Cream pie is more than worthy of the honor.  

But, I think there is an over-abundance of gloppy (where you can really taste the flour) custard pies being passed off as Hoosier Sugar Creams. Basically,they are custard pies–only with a LOT of flour substituted for the eggs. They don’t do the dessert justice.

If the recipe sounds a bit artery-clogging, my mother makes her pie with 2% milk instead of cream. It is still wonderful.



¼ Cup white sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 generous tablespoon butter

1 egg yolk

2 heaping tablespoons flour

1 pinch salt”

Milk or Cream (1-1 ½ cups…enough to fill pie shell) Preheat oven to 410 degrees. Mix brown and white sugar with flour. Sprinkle flour/sugar mixture over pie crust. Beat egg yolk with milk. Fill pie shell. Take a spoon and swirl it through the milk mixture a couple of times. Sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg.

Bake at 410 degrees for 10 minutes.Then bake at 350 for 45 minutes. The filling should be bubbling. The center should still jiggle. Be careful not to overcook or the filling will not set.

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  1. Chef David’s avatar

    I would like to try your recipe. It calls for brown sugaar how much it is not listed in the recipe. Thanks.
    David Buffalo New York.


  2. Adam’s avatar

    Gayle!!! This is Adam Grace from Mississippi. I have searched FOREVER looking for this blog so I could contact you. PLEASE email me! agrace(at)gracefulhosting.com. Thanks!


  3. admin’s avatar

    Welcome Chef David and Adam. I corrected my recipe Chef David. I’m sorry for the my oversite. Let me know how it turns out. 🙂

    Adam! It has been a long time. Great to hear from you. I’ve sent you an e-mail.


  4. Debi’s avatar

    Omigosh! This sounds absolutely heavenly! I’m going to link to your recipe from my Facebook account. Hope you don’t mind. 🙂


  5. Kevin’s avatar

    Hi. This looks great, but I have one or two questions. The ingredients call for butter yet the directions say nothing about it. Could you please clarify? Also, can it be salted butter and omit the pinch of salt? Thanks!


  6. Rita Kern’s avatar

    I am so happy I ran across this blog while looking for a sugar cream pie recipe. My 92 yr old father’s Mother used to make a sugar cream pie using fresh cream from the cows on the farm and she mixed it using her finger. I have found 20 or more recipes and have made each of them to try to duplicate her pie (she had no recipe…at least not written down) and so far, according to Dad, none have tasted like his Mom’s. I will be making this pie this weekend for my Dad to try. Thanks…I hope this is it…so I don’t have to keep searching.


  7. Rachel Chambless’s avatar

    Did you forget the vanilla flavoring, or do you use any flavoring? I’m anxious to try your recipe. I never knew Indiana had a State Pie! That’s neat!


  8. XS’s avatar

    What do you do with the butter?


  9. Susan’s avatar

    Also do you prebake pie crust?



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