Sugar pie, sugar cream pie, Hoosier pie, Hoosier sugar cream pie, Shaker pie, finger pie, Quebec sugar cream pie, Quaker pie, desperation pie…

That’s a lot of names for a pie with only seven ingredients: sugar, butter, egg, flour, cream, salt and vanilla.

But this is no ordinary pie. Few pies of any name or combination of ingredients have received the accolades or honors of sugar pie Hoosier pie. In 2009, the Indiana General Assembly adopted Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 5 officially decreeing Indiana’s state pie to be Hoosier Pie.If you take it upon yourself to cook and serve the Indiana’s OFFICIAL state pie, follow these instructions…


The Hoosier pie shell must be a simple pie shell, which generally means flour, butter and salt. Layered into this shell is a mixture of creamed butter, sugar (either white, maple or brown), vanilla, cream and sprinkled with flour.

Then the concoction is baked until it achieves a consistency like custard. Variations abound on the Internet, but to adhere to Indiana’s standards as an official Hoosier pie, it consist of those (and ONLY those) ingredients.

But there’s more…

If you serve Hoosier pie and someone asks where the recipe originated, you cannot say “My grandmother” or “Germany, I think” or “No idea”. Any of those statements would qualify your pie as inferior.

You must say “The Quakers.”

But not just ANY Quakers (and certainly not the Shakers). You must say it was the Quakers that settled along the eastern border of Indiana in the early the mid-1800s after emigrating from North Carolina. 


If someone mentions Hoosier pie was frequently known as “desperation pie” because of the simple ingredients required, you must inform them that “desperation pie” is a misnomer. Baking a Hoosier pie required not only expensive, refined sugar but also a cow, which would hardly be possessed by a family in “desperate” conditions.

By this time, during your meal, your guests would probably be growing uncomfortable at your militant adherence to the state’s stipulations in classifying a Hoosier pie. Power through this.

As you slice and serve the sweet, gooey pie, state loudly that although guests might have enjoyed this pie from cities and towns across Indiana, only one city has earned the title “Sugar Cream Pie Capital.”

Someone may smugly quip “I thought it was called Hoosier pie?” Glare at them until they wilt into silence then correct them: the Indiana resolution states that in Winchester, it is called sugar cream pie because of the 12 million sugar cream pies shipped annually to 25 states from Wick’s Pies, a bakery founded in 1944 in Winchester.

By this point your guests will have largely lost their appetite. Instead, they’ll be staring at their slices of HOOSIER PIE positioned artfully on small saucers, with their dainty dessert forks untouched. Some may be exchanging glances or stammering out excuses to excuse themselves.

This is all fine.

At this most awkward moment, inform them that, also according to the Indiana General Assembly’s Resolution No. 5, that Hoosier pie, like other regional culinary dishes, is chiefly served to help individuals feel comfortable in “strange surroundings.” By now, you should have created just that exact atmosphere.

Congratulations on your Hoosier pie success!

For those that just want the d–m recipe for sugar cream pie, here’s one from ‘Taste of Home’ that I have personally enjoyed.