Bring the flavor of Thanksgiving to your dinner table a little bit early with this candied yams recipe. This deliciously sweet and savory dish is made with a blend of sweet potatoes, butter, sugar, and plenty of spices. Whether enjoying it as a side dish or dessert, it’s sure to become a favorite in your house.
The most delicious candied sweet potatoes
I don’t know about you, but I’m a firm believer that some of our classic Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner favorites can be enjoyed any time of the year. Who’s to say that you can’t have green bean casserole in the middle of May, or stuffing as a side in August? Why wait until the holidays to enjoy some of our favorites?
That being said, I cannot recommend this candied yams recipe enough. In my opinion, this is the best candied yams recipe because it contains the most delicious spices, two types of sugar, and even a splash of orange juice. The taste is just unmatched!
I love to enjoy this recipe from time to time as a side with turkey, chicken, or ham and vegetables, but it also works great as an unexpected dessert. No matter how you will be enjoying this dish, I can’t wait for you to try it. Let’s dig into the recipe!
Ingredients in this candied yams recipe
The ingredients in this candied yams recipe consist of both expected and unexpected items. Don’t forget the marshmallows, as they are probably the most important part of the entire recipe!
- Sweet potatoes: The first ingredient in this candied yams recipe consists of the sweet potatoes. You will need 2 pounds, which should equal about five large sweet potatoes.
- Butter: Next up, you will need 6 tablespoons of butter. This is going to create a nice fluffy candied yam texture.
- Sugar: Time for sugar! You will need 1/3 cup of white sugar, followed by 1/3 cup of brown sugar. The combination of these two sugars is going to create a really great flavor.
- Orange juice: Next, we have what is probably the most interesting ingredient in this recipe: orange juice. Adding 2 tablespoons of orange juice will give the yams a nice, subtle tang.
- Spices: Following the oj are the lineup of spices. You will need 2 tsp of ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of ground ginger, 1/2 tsp of ground cloves, and 1/2 tsp of ground nutmeg.
- Vanilla: Like many sweet recipes, vanilla extract is an absolute must. Used 2 tsp.
- Mini marshmallows: Last but not least, the ingredient list is complete with the addition of 8 ounces of mini marshmallows.
Kitchen tools used to make sweet yams
When it comes to making this dish, there are a few kitchen tools that you’ll need to grab. I recommend gathering them ahead of time so that everything is ready and within in arm’s reach during cooking.
- 9×9 or 13×9 baking dish
- Nonstick spray or butter to grease the dish
- Cutting board
- Cutting knife
- Stirring utensil
- Aluminum foil
To measure out ingredients, you will need the following sized measuring cups: 1/2 tsp, 1 tsp, 1 tbsp, 1/3 cup
How to make this easy candied yams recipe
The great thing about this dish is that it makes 8 large servings. Prep time only takes around 15 minutes, with the total time (for prep and baking) landing at about 1 hour and 45 minutes.
To begin creating this recipe, preheat the oven to 375°F and grease a 9×9″ baking dish. Feel free to use a 9×13” baking dish if preferred.
Next, peel and chop all of the sweet potatoes into half-inch rounds. Then, add them to the baking dish.
In a saucepan, heat the butter over medium-high heat. Once the butter is melted, add the sugars, orange juice, and all of the spices (cinnamon, salt, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg). Stir the mixture until it begins boiling. This is going to create a syrup. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and let the syrup cook for an additional five minutes, or until it has thickened and slightly. Once thick, remove from the heat.
Pour the syrup over the sweet potatoes, coating each potato as much as possible.
Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the foil and baste the sweet potatoes with syrup. Bake for another 50-55 minutes uncovered. Baste with sauce every 15 minutes.
When 10 minutes remain, add the marshmallows on top.
Once finished cooking, remove from the oven and let cool slightly before serving.
Should I use dark brown sugar or light brown sugar?
You can use either! I am inclined to recommend dark brown sugar because it has more molasses and is therefore sweeter. However, either type will work well!
Do I need to boil the potatoes before using?
Nope! The sweet potatoes do not need to be boiled before using in this recipe.
Why do people put marshmallows in yams?
Quite simply, it tastes good! It’s a deliciously sweet side dish that pairs perfectly with classics like turkey, stuffing, and green bean casserole. Why did people start putting marshmallows in yams? Well, that’s a question I’m not sure I can answer! I can only guess that it was a kitchen experiment gone very right.
Where did yams with marshmallows originate?
Candied yams have been around much longer than us! In fact, many believe that the recipe has been around since the 1500s and originated somewhere in Europe.
Leftover candied yams can be stored in the refrigerator for around 3 days. Make sure they’re transferred to an airtight container to keep them as fresh as possible.
Did you know this dish is a great make-ahead option? You can prepare and assemble the dish just short of baking it. Cover and refrigerate overnight, and then bake prior to serving! Doing so will save a little bit of kitchen chaos prior to dinner time.
How to add a delicious extra touch
If you’re wondering how to add even more flavor to this dish, you’re in luck. There’s one ingredient that adds both yummy flavor and a satisfying crunch: pecans! Feel free to chop and sprinkle onto the top of your dish for a perfect final touch.
If you liked this recipe, you’ll want to try these!
If you enjoyed these candied sweet potatoes, try one of these sweet potato recipes next! This list includes sweet potato side dishes and desserts!
- Healthier Sweet Potato Casserole
- Healthy Sweet Potato Muffins
- Glazed Sweet Potatoes
- Paleo Sweet Potato Muffins
All recipes by Erin Morrissey and Photos by Sierra Inn
- 5 large sweet potatoes ~2lbs
- 6 tbsp butter
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp orange juice
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 8oz mini marshmallows
- Preheat oven to 375F and grease 9×9 dish. Alternatively use a 9×13.
- Peel and chop sweet potatoes in 1/2 inch rounds. Add sweet potato rounds to dish.
- In a saucepan, heat butter over medium-high heat. Once melted, add sugars, orange juice, cinnamon, salt, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. Stir until boiling. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and let cook an additional 5 minutes or until syrup has thickened slightly. Turn off heat.
- Pour syrup over sweet potatoes and coat each potato as best you can.
- Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Take off foil and baste sweet potatoes with syrup. Bake another 50-55 minutes uncovered. Baste with sauce every 15 minutes.
- Add marshmallows with 10 minutes left. Let cool slightly before serving!
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