Water pie is a type of pie which has water as the main ingredient, along with sugar, flour, butter and sometimes vanilla extract.[1] The recipe originated during the Great Depression and experienced a revival during the 2020s amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact.[2][3]


Simplified recipes with alternative ingredients, including desserts such as Depression cake, were popular during the late 1920s and 1930s when most ingredients were scarce or unaffordable.[4][5] Water pie in particular, dating back to 1929 cookbooks from the Great Depression in the United States, was resurfaced by TikTok users and food blogs in the 2020s, during the COVID-19 pandemic, many of which highlighted its low cost and simplicity.[2][6]


The pie is made by adding water mixed with sugar, flour and butter, and sometimes some spice such as vanilla or cinnamon, to a pie crust. The starch in the flour makes the mixture set and thicken, thus acquiring a custard-like consistency.[1] Soft drinks such as Sprite may be used in place of water.[7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Hubbell, Diana (2022-04-08). "This Depression-Era Science Trick Transforms Water Into Pie". Atlas Obscura. Retrieved 2022-05-28.
  2. ^ a b Farris, Valerio (2021-08-20). "Water Pie Was a Depression-Era Treat—Why Are People Into It Now?". Food52. Retrieved 2022-05-28.
  3. ^ Peach, Katherine (2020-09-29). "Depression-Era Foods That Are Weirdly Making A Comeback". Mashed.com. Retrieved 2022-05-28.
  4. ^ Renee, Alex (2022-02-01). "There Is A Fascinating History Behind The Great Depression's Water Pie". TheRecipe. Retrieved 2022-05-28.
  5. ^ Chifalu, Nikki Overfelt (2022-04-28). "The Intriguing History Of Water Pie". Tasting Table. Retrieved 2022-05-28.
  6. ^ Thompson, Dillon. "TikTokers are resurfacing a Great Depression-era recipe for 'water pie'". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 2022-05-28.
  7. ^ van Niekerk, Sacha (2020-12-09). "WATCH: People are amazed and confused by TikTok's Sprite pie". IOL. Retrieved 2022-05-28.