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Ultra tender and extra sweet, these Candied Sweet Potatoes are a Southern-style, addition to your holiday table. Baked with a spiced maple syrup glaze and caramelized to perfection, you KNOW they’re going to be delectable!

candied sweet potatoes that are carmalized and perfect in the oven

Why You’ll Love This Old-Fashioned Candied Sweet Potatoes Recipe

  • Sweet But Not Cloying. I adore sweet potatoes (evidenced by my Sweet Potato Casserole and Sweet Potato Soufflé), but I’m not a fan of the recipes that overwhelm sweet potatoes’ natural flavor with heaps of brown sugar and marshmallows. Like my Glazed Sweet Potatoes, this recipe for candied sweet potatoes is just sweet enough, without overdoing it.
  • Melt in Your Mouth Tender. These potatoes bake for an hour, so they’re tender as can be, short of making Mashed Sweet Potatoes
  • All the Cozy Flavor. They’re buttery, sweetened with maple syrup, and the blend of cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg is the culinary equivalent of cozying up with a warm blanket. (If you love this flavor combination, be sure to add Sweet Potato Pie to your menu too!)
  • Make-Ahead Option. When you’re cooking for a holiday get-together, having a mix of make-ahead dishes like Cranberry Orange Sauce and things that need to be made the day of, like Turkey Gravy, is key to dinner success. You can assemble and par-bake these candied sweet potatoes to free up some time!
candied sweet potatoes recipe for the holidays

How to Make Candied Sweet Potatoes

The Ingredients

  • Sweet Potatoes. I much prefer red or orange sweet potatoes to white or purple, which are starchier and less sweet. Go with the classic!
  • Unsalted Butter. If you only have salted butter on hand (or accidentally buy it at the grocery store—we’ve all done that!), just dial back on the added kosher salt.
  • Maple Syrup. Pure maple syrup, not pancake syrup.
  • Kosher Salt. Essential for balancing the flavors in these candied sweet potatoes.
  • Spices. Ground cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg; use freshly grated nutmeg if at all possible for the best flavor.
  • Fresh Rosemary or Thyme. These add a pop of color and nice, fresh contrast to everything else we’ve got going on in this recipe.

Candied Yams vs. Sweet Potatoes

In the South, sweet potatoes are often referred to as yams, but they are indeed sweet potatoes. Yams are starchy, earthy, and much less sweet; they have a bark-like skin and the flesh is white or purple. They’re also hard to find in the US! 

The Directions

layering sweet potatoes in baking sheet for candied sweet potatoes
  1. Layer. Arrange the sweet potatoes in a baking dish.
butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, and nutmeg for candied sweet potatoes
  1. Make the Sauce. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, then stir in the maple syrup and spices. Simmer a few minutes.
baked sweet potatoes for old fashioned candied sweet potatoes
  1. Pour the Sauce Over the Potatoes. Could this be any easier?!
  2. Bake. Cover the dish with foil and bake the candied sweet potatoes at 375 degrees F for 40 minutes, stirring halfway through. Remove the foil, stir again, and cook until the candied sweet potatoes are tender.
  3. Finish. Sprinkle with herbs. Cool for 10 minutes to thicken the sauce, then serve. ENJOY!
a bowl of the BEST candied sweet potatoes recipe EVER

Recipe Variations

  • Candied Sweet Potatoes With Pecans. Sprinkle the sweet potatoes with chopped salted roasted pecans prior to baking.
  • Candied Sweet Potatoes With Orange. Add orange zest to the sauce mixture for some citrus flavor, or add some sliced oranges in with the potatoes.
  • Candied Sweet Potatoes With Marshmallows. If marshmallows are your tradition, you can add some mini marshmallows to the top of the candied sweet potatoes after they’re done cooking and toast them under the broiler. 
  • Vegan Candied Sweet Potatoes. You can make vegan candied sweet potatoes by substituting the dairy butter with plant-based butter.

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Refrigerate the sweet potatoes in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
  • To Reheat. Rewarm leftovers in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F, or microwave single servings.
  • To Freeze. I don’t recommend freezing this recipe, as the texture of the sweet potatoes will become mushy.

Meal Prep Tip

If you’d like to get a head start on this recipe, you can par-bake the sweet potatoes. Cook them for 40 minutes covered, let them cool, then refrigerate for up to 4 days. Before serving, remove the dish from the refrigerator while the oven preheats to 375 degrees F. Cook the dish uncovered for 30 minutes to finish.

What to Serve with Candied Sweet Potatoes

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Cut the Potatoes Evenly. If some slices are thin and others are thick, you’ll end up with some sweet potatoes that are falling apart and others that are still hard when your candied sweet potatoes are finished baking.
  • Peel the Sweet Potatoes. I always like leaving the skin on regular potatoes whenever I can, and even on Grilled Sweet Potato Fries, but sweet potato skin can be tough, which makes it unpleasant in this candied sweet potato recipe.
  • Don’t Skip the Resting Time. Not only does this let the potatoes cool a bit, but more importantly, it lets the sauce thicken so it’s delightfully syrupy. 

Candied Sweet Potatoes

5 from 2 votes
With butter, maple syrup, and cozy spices, these old-fashioned Southern candied sweet potatoes are a stellar addition to any holiday table!

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes

Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes about 8 medium, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch thick round.
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Fresh rosemary or thyme for serving

Instructions
 

  • Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 375°F.
  • Arrange the sweet potatoes in a 9×13-inch baking dish (no greasing needed).
  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the maple syrup, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Stir well and bring to a gentle simmer for 5 minutes to combine the flavors; it will only reduce a little bit.
  • Pour the butter mixture over the sweet potatoes in the baking dish and stir to coat.
  • Cover with aluminum foil. Bake the candied sweet potatoes for 40 minutes, stirring at the 20-minute mark. Uncover, stir once more, then continue baking for 20 minutes more, until the potatoes are glazed and fork-tender.
  • Remove from the oven and sprinkle with herbs. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. The sauce will thicken up as it cools.

Notes

  • For extra pizzaz, sprinkle the sweet potatoes with chopped salted roasted pecans prior to baking.
  • DO-AHEAD: Par-bake the dish: Cook covered for 40 minutes. Let cool, then chill. Before serving, remove the dish from the refrigerator while the oven preheats to 375°F. Cook the dish uncovered for 30 minutes to finish. I do not recommend chopping sweet potatoes ahead as they tend to turn brown and spotty.
  • TO STORE: Refrigerate candied sweet potatoes in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Rewarm leftovers in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F, or microwave single servings.
  • TO FREEZE: I don’t recommend freezing this recipe, as the texture of the sweet potatoes will become mushy.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 6)Calories: 369kcalCarbohydrates: 64gProtein: 4gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 30mgPotassium: 831mgFiber: 7gSugar: 26gVitamin A: 32526IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 103mgIron: 1mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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6 Comments

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  1. Made these for Thanksgiving. It was a big hit and several people have asked me for the recipe. There was no leftovers.5 stars

  2. Absolutely delicious! My family liked this so much, there was barely any left. The maple syrup mixture really complimented the flavor of the sweet potatoes. And the rosemary was such a nice addition. Definitely my go-to recipe from now on!5 stars

  3. Curious… recipe says layer in a single layer but the picture shows the slices layered. Will they get done with tossing them midway through baking?

    1. Hi Annette, that was a typo, we’ve fixed it, you can arrange them how you’d like. You’ll be stirring twice and should have no problem baking. Enjoy!