Candied Yams will forever be a Thanksgiving favorite! This delicious side dish takes just minutes to prepare and the results are phenomenal! Candied Sweet Potatoes are made with brown sugar, maple syrup, butter and cinnamon then baked until perfectly sweet and tender. Marshmallows optional!
Candied Yams are one of our favorite Thanksgiving side dishes. They are easily one of the fastest side dishes on the table and couldn’t be easier to make.
The Best Candied Yams
When it comes to Thanksgiving side dishes, easier is better. Really. There is enough going on on the big day that we don’t need to be whipping up crazy complicated side dishes.
This is probably the first side dish to go at every holiday event.
No one can resist the sweet allure of those perfectly baked sweet potatoes drenched in a delectable brown sugar-maple-buttery-sauce. It’s heaven.
Candied Yams vs. Candied Sweet Potatoes
There is a bit of controversy over the name of this dish. It is commonly referred to as Candied Yams but is most often made with sweet potatoes.
Sweet potatoes often get mislabeled as yams in the grocery store which only adds to the confusion. What you want to look for are sweet potatoes with bright orange flesh. Go for the longer, thinner sweet potatoes for this dish.
What To Serve With Candied Sweet Potatoes
There is no wrong way to eat a sweet potato and there is no wrong way to serve it! But here are some of our favorite dishes to serve with this candied yams recipe:
- Nana’s Famous Green Bean Recipe
- Homemade Cornbread
- The BEST Homemade Mashed Potatoes
- Crockpot Turkey Breast
- The BEST Dinner Rolls
- Best Ever Cranberry Sauce
Candied Yams Ingredients
You are going to love how easy this recipe is to make! In it’s simplest form, it can be made with just sweet potatoes, butter, and brown sugar but with lots of trial and error I have found that the addition of a few key ingredients really turns this dish into something magical.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- sweet potatoes
- unsalted butter
- maple syrup – real maple syrup, not pancake syrup
- dark brown sugar – light brown sugar also will work
- ground cinnamon
- vanilla extract – vanilla bean paste will take this to the next level
How To Make Candied Sweet Potatoes
I made a video for this recipe (check the recipe card below) but this dish is super easy to make and you’re going to love it!
- Prep the sweet potatoes. Peel, rinse clean, then cut into 1/2 inch slices. Try to keep them roughly the same thickness so they cook evenly.
- Prepare sauce. Combine brown sugar, melted butter, maple syrup, ground cinnamon, vanilla extract and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk until smooth and combined. If the mixture is very thick, pop in the microwave for 30 seconds to loosen it up. You want it to be pourable.
- Assemble. Transfer the sliced sweet potatoes to the prepared baking dish and spread evenly. Drizzle the brown sugar mixture over the top of the sweet potatoes and toss to combine. You want each piece of sweet potato coated in the mixture.
- Bake. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and gently stir. Bake for another 15 minutes (no foil) and again, gently stir. Check to see how tender the sweet potatoes are at this point. Bake for another 5 to 15 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of your potatoes. Make sure they are tender (but not falling apart) before removing from the oven.
- Let rest. Let the baked candied sweet potatoes sit for a good 10 minutes before serving. The syrup will thicken slightly as it cools.
Covering the candied sweet potatoes with foil not only helps speed the cooking process, it also helps them to cook more evenly and infuse each slice with delicious flavor!
Candied Yams with Marshmallows
A huge point of controversy! I am not one to turn down a marshmallow but these candied yams are sweet enough of their own that I don’t think they need the marshmallows.
If Candied Yams with marshmallows are your thing, then it’s super easy to make them this way.
Once the sweet potatoes are nice and tender, sprinkle on a few handfuls of miniature marshmallows and pop back in the oven for 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
Can candied yams be made in advance? The sauce can be mixed together in advance but this dish is really best served right after it’s made.
Can this be frozen? This dish does not freeze well. The sweet potatoes get too soggy.
Do the sweet potatoes need to be pre-cooked? No they don’t! That’s one of the best parts of this dish!
What size sweet potatoes should I get? I look for long thin sweet potatoes for this dish so I can cut rounds. If you can’t find some like that, just cut the rounds in half so you have moons instead. Easy!
More Must Make Side Dish Recipes
- Twice Baked Potato Casserole
- Dinner Rolls
- The BEST Homemade Biscuit Recipe
- Loaded Scalloped Potatoes
- Sausage Stuffing Recipe
- Easy Creamed Corn (Two Ways!)
- Cranberry Sauce
How To Make Candied Yams
Candied Yams (Candied Sweet Potatoes)
- 3 to 4 pounds sweet potatoes
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 1/4 cup maple syrup real maple syrup, not pancake syrup
- 1 cup dark brown sugar light brown sugar also will work
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups miniature marshmallows optional
- Preheat oven to 375F. Spray a 3 quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- Peel sweet potatoes and rinse clean. Slice potatoes to 1/2 inch thick slices. Try to keep them roughly the same thickness so they cook evenly.
- In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, melted butter, maple syrup, ground cinnamon, vanilla extract and salt. Whisk until smooth. If the mixture is very thick, pop in the microwave for 30 seconds to loosen it up.
- Transfer sliced sweet potatoes to the prepared baking dish and spread evenly.
- Drizzle the brown sugar mixture over the top of the sweet potatoes and toss to combine. You want each piece of sweet potato coated in the mixture.
- Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and gently stir. Bake for another 15 minutes (no foil) and again, gently stir. Check to see how tender the sweet potatoes are at this point. Bake for another 5 to 15 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of your potatoes. Make sure they are tender (but not falling apart) before removing.
- If adding marshmallows, sprinkle marshmallows on top and pop back in the oven for 5 minutes. Serve immediately.