Candied Sweet Potatoes are a MUST HAVE on every holiday table! They are easy to make with only 4 ingredients. They taste 100 times better than what you get in a can! Candied Yams are a classic holiday dish! Toss the marshmallows and make this dish instead! This post has been updated from November to improve reader experience.
Easy Candied Sweet Potatoes
This recipe is a classic family recipe. This is my Grandma Phyllis’s Candied Sweet Potato Recipe and it is on every holiday table – sometimes even when it isn’t a holiday. These sweet potatoes are just that good!
I’ve talked about Grandma Phyllis before and shared her macaroni and cheese recipe. Her meals weren’t fancy because dollars were tight and the family was large. They always served a crowd, were absolutely delicious and filled with love!
We decided they were a MUST for our on-air segment with Teresa & George from KSEE24 News in 2015. What made this even more fun is that Mom and Dad were here for Thanksgiving and got to join in the fun!
Ingredients for Candied Sweet Potato Recipe
- sweet potatoes
- brown sugar
- Karo syrup
Can Candied Yams be made ahead?
Yes! This recipe can easily be made a couple of days in advance. Remove from the refrigerator, place in an oven proof dish, cover and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
Although most potato dishes don’t freeze well, this one does! You can make it several days/weeks in advance. Sealed well, it can be frozen for 4-6 weeks, thawed and reheated.
I always use an electric skillet when I make this dish. You can just as easily make them in a skillet on the stove top. I like this recipe because it’s not made in the oven!
You can’t rush the process to candy the yams. It takes at least an hour. Continue basting the sweet potatoes every 10-15 minutes. Soon the candied yams will begin to glisten and caramelize!
During the holidays oven space is always at a premium, right? If you’re looking for more great recipes for Holiday Side Dishes NOT Made in the Oven – click here.
Candied Yams Recipe
What is the difference between sweet potatoes and yams?
Ooh, that’s a great question! When you’re at the store you’ll see golden skinned potatoes with golden flesh and dark orange potatoes. The flesh of these potatoes is a bright orange. Both are actually sweet potatoes, often labeled incorrectly as yams. Yams have dark skins and are quite starchy. This is the best reference I’ve found to give you the skinny! Check out this quick read from Kitchn.
Does it make a difference which potato you choose the light or dark-skinned sweet potatoes?
Not at all! I choose the darker colored potatoes just because when they cook up and caramelize, they look so amazing!
We had a blast when the TV crew came by, even Dad got in on the fun! We giggled and laughed and had such a good time! The show ended with all of us sitting around the table saying what we are thankful for. It was really a wonderful morning!
How do I make sweet potatoes with brown sugar and butter?
- Start by peeling the sweet potatoes and putting them onto boil – you want them just fork tender. Drain them well.
- From there it’s really easy! Place the potatoes into a frying pan or electric skillet. Just add butter, brown sugar and dark Karo syrup and allow the potatoes to bubble and simmer away!
- Cook the potatoes, basting with the syrup every ten minutes or so. You’ll want to cook them for at least an hour – an hour and a half is even better to perfectly caramelize the candied yam recipe.
If you’d like to see the clip from the show, click this link from the KSEE24 Sunrise Show
Looking for more great side dishes?
- Sautéed Brussels Sprouts
- Roasted Broccoli with Lemon
- Pan Roasted Vegetables with Sauce
- Easy Dinner Rolls
Some of the items below contain affiliate links; I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. However, I only promote things that I love and think you will love, too. For more information, please see my Disclosure Policy.
Electric Skillet – if you decide to get an electric skillet, I recommend a deep dish.
When you try these candied yams, be sure and leave a five-star rating below! It’s one of our very favorites and I know you’ll love it too! Also if you snap a picture, be sure and tag me on Instagram at @bowl_me_over or #bowlmeover – I’d love to see pictures of your tasty eats!
Candied Sweet Potatoes
Candied Sweet Potatoes Recipe
Candied Yams are a family favorite. This recipe has been in our family for years - it's sweet and decadent and always served on special occasions. I hope you love this recipe as much as we do!
- 3 pounds sweet potatoes
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 stick butter
- 1 1/2 cups Karo Syrup
- Peel and boil the sweet potatoes until just fork tender - about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately drain really well.
- Transfer potatoes to a large frypan or electric skillet. Add the remaining ingredients, brown sugar, butter & syrup. Turn heat to medium until the butter and brown sugar melts and the mixture is thick and bubbly. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours, basting every 10-15 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy!