Food & Drink

Detroit's Sweet Potato Sensations bakes up delicious desserts

26 years of cakes, pies, and cookies

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In a storefront on Lahser in the Old Redford neighborhood of Detroit, just across the street from the Redford Theatre, is a little bakery that's been cooking up something sweet, sumptuous, and distinctive for 26 years.

Sweet Potato Sensations was born of Cassandra Thomas' need to fulfill her husband Jeff's love of the starchy root vegetable, even though she wasn't a fan. So she went to work with piecrusts and sugar, crafting a menu of cookies, cakes, cobblers, and more.

Nearly three decades later, Sweet Potato Sensations makes more than just the traditional Thanksgiving staple. Today their offerings include a twice-weekly brunch of chicken and waffles. Of course, the waffles are made with sweet potatoes, and the wings are hand-battered Amish chicken.

On Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., customers can get just the Southern-style treat, while on Saturdays a full brunch menu includes sweet potato pancakes, soup, house-spiced turkey sausage, sweet potato fries, jumbo baked sweet potatoes, and "My Mama's Tuna Sandwich" from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

While Sweet Potato Sensations doesn't offer any gluten-free menu items, they do sell a select variety of sugar-free pies. And you don't have to drive all the way to Old Redford to get these confections. Their goods are also sold at the Detroit Whole Foods, and every Saturday you'll find them at Eastern Market. Wayne State also carries their goodies on campus.

Perhaps what's more important than the fact that a single family has been quietly crafting these homemade sweets for the past 26 years is that their treats are undeniably delicious.

We'd be lying if we said we didn't rip the plastic off the single-serving-sized pie and eat the whole thing with our hands. The original sweet potato pie, pecan sweet potato pie, and the sweet potato cake (with rich, creamy frosting) were the three treats we sampled, and each was addictively good. The whole order cost us around 10 bucks, which seemed more than reasonable for such delectable confections.

Of course, you're not required to savagely devour these pies on the street. Sweet Potato Sensations also offers a small dining area, as well as beverages to accompany the sweets.

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