The Pie

Rose holding a Sweet Potato Pie

The History

The sweet potato, or Ipomoea batatas, is a delicious and nutritious root vegetable that grows easily in the South because of the warm climate. West African people, who were captured, kidnapped and brought to the United States for slave labor, used the word ayame. Over time that name was shortened down to the term yam. Whole sweet potatoes were roasted outdoors over fire for meals, and eventually pies were created for the plantation owners. After emancipation, when African American cooks gained more access to their own equipment and refined ingredients, they continued the tradition of baking with sweet potatoes — especially the pie.

Pie Activists of the Past. Educator and civil rights leader Mary McLeod Bethune (born to parents who had been slaves) was known for her creativity and resourcefulness. In the early 1900s, she sold sweet potato pies from her bicycle to help raise funds for a school for Black girls. Today, Bethune-Cookman University remains as her legacy in Daytona, Florida. Sweet Potato Comfort Pie founder Rose McGee (pictured), considers Ms. Bethune one of her personal heroes.

The Recipe

Rose McGee’s Sweet Potato Comfort Pie


Makes Two 9” Pies

  • 4 medium size sweet potatoes, cooked
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick of butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 tablespoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 2 unbaked pie shells

Use a Hand-Mixer or KitchenAid™ Type Mixer

  1. Preheat oven at 400 degrees;
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mash the cooked sweet potatoes.
  3. Blend in sugar. Blend in eggs. Blend in melted butter.
  4. One at a time, add next 6 ingredients; mix well.
  5. Pour into pie shells.
  6. Reduce heat to 350 degrees. Bake for 60- minutes.
  7. Remove from oven. Allow pies to set (firm) for at least 30 minutes.
  8. Eat warm or allow to cool longer before eating.

Note: Sweet potato pie can be left at room temperature up to two days without refrigeration. Can be refrigerated up to one week and remain fresh. Can also be frozen.

Rose McGee's Sweet Potato Comfort Pie + Rush City Bakery

Sweet Potato Comfort Pies
are now available to order ONLINE.

For a limited time, our delicious sweet potato pies can be ordered from Rush City Bakery who says, “Rush City Bakery is honored using Rose McGee’s award-winning sweet potato pie recipe, yet we also realize commercial production is not “exactly” the same flavor and coloring as those made from Rose’s own hands in her own kitchen.”

Sweet Potato Comfort Pies are shipped frozen to ensure freshness and to remain intact with an expedient 1 to 2 day delivery in the continental U.S.A.


$49.99 includes frozen shipping costs. A percentage of each pie sold goes to Sweet Potato Comfort Pie®: a catalyst for caring and developing community.


Rose McGee’s traditional sweet potato pie recipe made with fresh non-preservative ingredients. Gluten-Free pies additional $4.00.

Sweet Potato Comfort Pie Poem

by Pastor Roslyn Harmon  |  Circle of Healing Ministries, 2014

From the community of Golden Valley, Minnesota to wherever you reside

may this sweet potato pie soothe

and warm your insides.

Take time to laugh, cry and

remember those you love,

but never forget your

strength that comes from above.

From family to community

and community to your heart

unity and peace is where

comfort and joy start.

So today be BLESSED

remember to eat, pray and love

as you partake in making a difference,

for there is much to be proud of. Enjoy!

How sweet potato pie became African Americans’ Thanksgiving dessert