Sugar Cream Pie (Creme Brulee Pie)

This sugar cream pie has a delightfully flaky crust filled with a creamy filling full of vanilla flavor. It’s topped with a torched buttery cinnamon and nutmeg blend to create the perfect texture and flavor, similar to creme brulee.

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What is Sugar Cream Pie?

Also known as Hoosier sugar cream pie, desperation pie (thanks to the fact that the ingredients were often easily available throughout the year) and Creme Brulee Pie, this creamy, sweet concoction is the unofficial state pie of Indiana.

If this is your first time trying this pie, know that it’s similar to a chess pie or a custard pie. It’s incredibly easy to make, and people will undoubtedly be asking you for the recipe. 

Why You’ll Love This Sugar Cream Pie Recipe

There’s no reason not to love this sweet and simple pie.

  • Easy – Using store-bought pie crust helps to make this pie easy to whip up in nearly no time. 
  • Convenient – Many of the ingredients are pantry staples. But if you don’t have them handy, they are easy to find at the grocery store.
  • Versatile – Take this to any gathering, from informal parties to special events.
overhead shot of slice of pie on plate with berries


These simple ingredients come together to make the perfect pie.

Sugar Cream Pie Filling

  • Refrigerated pie crust – Using refrigerated pie crust cuts down on prep time. You can make your own homemade crust instead if you prefer.
  • Sugar – Granulated sugar gives the filling its signature sweetness. 
  • Cornstarch – This thickening agent contributes to the pie’s thick consistency.
  • Heavy cream – This ingredient helps to give the pie its richness.
  • Unsalted butter – Since salt is added, avoid using butter that is salted.
  • Vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract – Vanilla brings out the flavors of the other ingredients.
  • Coarse Kosher salt – Salt balances the other ingredients.

Spice Brulee Topping

  • Salted butter – Melt the butter incrementally in the microwave.
  • Cinnamon sugar – Use a store-bought version or make cinnamon sugar at home.
  • Ground nutmeg – This spice contributes to the topping’s warm flavor.

How To Make Old Fashioned Sugar Cream Pie

You’ll love how easy this is to make!

  1. Prep crust. Press pie crust into the pie plate. Using a fork, pierce the pie dough. 
  2. Parbake Crust. Bake crust until golden brown before removing from oven and setting aside. 
  3. Make Filling. While the crust bakes, mix sugar and cornstarch in a large saucepan before adding cream. Once the sugar dissolves and the mixture thickens, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter, vanilla, and salt. 
  4. Fill Crust. Pour the filling into the pie crust and bake until the filling bubbles. 
  5. Cool. Remove the pie from the oven and let sit until it’s cool enough to serve or comes to room temperature to store.
  6. Cinnamon Sugar Topping. If serving, brush the pie with melted butter and sprinkle cinnamon sugar over top. Torch the top until the sugar melts and hardens into a crust.

What to Serve with Sugar Cream Pie

You can serve this sweet pie solo or place berries or a dollop of whipped cream on top of the pie. You can also serve it with a dalgona coffee or white hot chocolate.

overhead shot of two slices of sugar cream pie on plates

Storage and Freezing

You can freeze or refrigerate leftover sugar cream pie.

Refrigerator: Cover the sugar cream pie in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. You can also store slices in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Freezer: Freeze this pie whole or in individual slices for up to 3 months.

Common Questions About Sugar Cream Pie

Why is Indiana known for sugar cream pie?

This pie was made popular in the early 1800s because it only required ingredients that were handy in their pantry and didn’t require fresh fruit. The Shaker or Amish communities are rumored to have brought it to Indiana.

What is the history of sugar cream pie?

One story of the origin of sugar cream pie is that North Carolina Quakers brought the pie to Indiana when they settled in the eastern portion of the state. The recipe dates back to the early part of the 19th century.

What is the most popular dessert in Indiana?

Sugar cream pie is the most popular dessert in the state of Indiana. It’s also known as Hoosier Pie.

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slice of creme brulee pie topped with whipped cream with text overlay for pinterest
close up of sliced sugar cream pie

Sugar Cream Pie

5 from 5 votes
This EASY Sugar Cream Pie has a flaky crust, a creamy filling full of vanilla flavor, and a torched buttery cinnamon and nutmeg blend!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 12


Vanilla Pie Filling:

Spice Brulee Topping:

  • 2 tablespoons salted butter melted
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg


  • Preheat the oven to 450°F. Roll the refrigerated pie crust into a 9-inch deep dish pie plate. Generously pierce on the bottoms and sides. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until just browned. Remove and set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar and cornstarch. Add the cream and turn on heat to medium. Continue to whisk continuously until the sugar dissolves and it thickens, approximately 6-8 minutes. The thicken happens fast and you must whisk continuously to prevent scalding.
  • When it thickens, remove from the heat and whisk in the butter, vanilla bean paste (or extract) and salt.
  • Pour the vanilla filling into the prepared pie crust.
  • Reduce the oven heat to 350°F and bake for an additional 23-25 minutes or until the custard starts to bubble and then develop a layer of skin on top.
  • Remove and allow to cool or immediately top with cinnamon sugar mixture.
  • When ready to serve, mix together the cinnamon sugar with nutmeg in a small bowl.
  • Baste the top of the pie with the melted butter and then evenly sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture.
  • Using a butane torch, brulee the sugar until it melts, browns and hardens.
  • Serve immediately.
  • If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings.


Calories: 346 kcal, Carbohydrates: 32 g, Protein: 2 g, Fat: 24 g, Saturated Fat: 14 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7 g, Trans Fat: 0.2 g, Cholesterol: 60 mg, Sodium: 182 mg, Potassium: 54 mg, Fiber: 0.4 g, Sugar: 23 g, Vitamin A: 760 IU, Vitamin C: 0.2 mg, Calcium: 31 mg, Iron: 0.4 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 346
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: sugar cream pie
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
collage of sugar cream pie for pinterest
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal and more!

Read More About Jessica

5 from 5 votes

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Recipe Rating

Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    I love creme brulée but I think this sugar cream pie is even better. Easy to make and so delicious!

  2. 5 stars
    Enjoyed this for dessert last night and it was a sweet success! Light, easy and delicious; my whole family loved it!

  3. 5 stars
    The texture of this recipe is incredibly satisfying. It’s a delightful mix of creamy and crunchy. This dessert is a definite crowd-pleaser. It’s guaranteed to leave everyone asking for seconds.