Thomas Jefferson’s Sweet Potato Biscuits

In Philadelphia, there is a restaurant that my husband and I love called City Tavern. This restaurant specializes in 18th century American foods. If you ever get a chance to go to Philly, go to this restaurant.

Before the food comes out, they give these wonderful Sweet Potato biscuits. The recipe for these biscuits, was adapted by Thomas Jefferson’s food writings. It includes his favorite ingredient: Pecans.

This recipe is another really easy recipe to make. The dough freezes well, so if you prepare it in advance, pre-cut the biscuits, layer them between parchment paper, wrap it all and freeze. You would just have to defrost it later and bake.


2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

1/2 cup of packed light brown sugar

1 tablespoon of baking powder

3/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon of allspice

1/2 cup of vegetable shortening

1 cup of mashed, cooled sweet potato (*see note)

1/2 cup of heavy cream

1/4 cup of coarsely chopped pecans

*Note: To make the mashed sweet potato, punch holes into the sweet potato, with a fork and then saran wrap it. Microwave the sweet potato for 1 minute and then flip it over. Keep doing this until the sweet potato is soft. Then remove skin and mash the sweet potato. Place in fridge until ready to use.


  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Mix all ingredients, except shortening and pecans, together
  3. Cut in the vegetable shortening until you have fine crumbs
  4. Add in pecans
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough  1 1/2 inches thick.
  6. Cut out 2 inch biscuits and place them on an ungreased baking sheet, 1 inch apart
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.


Sweet Potato Biscuits




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Filed under Breads, Sweet

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