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Candied Sweet Potatoes

5 from 28 votes
Published on 06/17/2024 by Umamiology
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Candied Sweet Potatoes are a classic Thanksgiving side. The flavor of warm, sweet potatoes in a buttery sauce, with notes of vanilla and caramelized brown sugar – embodies the exact essence of the holiday season! Add mini marshmallows to make it candied sweet potatoes with marshmallows!

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When I think of the complete Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner spread, there’s always one dish that I look for. It’s not the turkey, or the mashed potatoes – it’s this candied sweet potatoes recipe.

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The rich, indulgent flavor of the roasted sweet potatoes combine with the caramelized notes of brown sugar and warm spices, to produce a taste that’s delightfully sweet and buttery, with a hint of cinnamon & nutmeg.

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The texture is also really tender and smooth, with a slightly sticky and glossy coating from the syrup that forms during cooking. It’s a dish that I can eat year round – and one that I definitely have at our holiday gatherings.

Why Candied Sweet Potatoes Are The Perfect Holiday Side Dish

Your Thanksgiving spread will undoubtedly be filled with turkey, 3 kinds of mashed potatoes, corn bread, 2 kinds of stuffing, a roasted ham, etc. It’ll be a lot of carbs and sodium, but I’m willing to bet, not a lot of sweet sides.

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This candied sweet potatoes recipe balances all that out with a side dish that’s baked and warm like a traditional Thanksgiving side, but provides a touch of sweetness to contrast with the savory dishes on the table.

This candied sweet potatoes dish is:

  • Warm and comforting
  • Sweet & savory
  • Sticky and flaky

Difference Between Sweet Potatoes & Yams

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Sweet potatoes and yams are similar, but sweet potatoes have more of a deep orange color to their flesh, a bit more moisture to them and are slightly sweeter. In this recipe, we’re going to use sweet potatoes, but in a pinch you could substitute this recipe with yams, if your local store does not carry sweet potatoes.

Key Elements Of This Recipe

  • Sweet Potatoes: You’ll need about 4 large ones (don’t use yams, if possible)
  • Brown Sugar: Use dark brown sugar for that extra rich taste
  • Marshmallows: Optional, but if you add these, you’ll get delicious candied sweet potatoes with marshmallows!

The Ingredients for Candied Sweet Potatoes

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The Equipment Needed

How To Make Candied Sweet Potatoes

This classic holiday dish is really simple to make. You simply slice your sweet potatoes, craft your caramelized butter sauce and then combine them both in a oven safe baking pan.

Craft Your Caramelized Butter Sauce

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Start by making Toasted Butter. Take your butter and place it into a sauce pan over medium heat. Once your butter has melted – continue heating for a few minutes longer, until the butter starts to boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and wait until the butter starts to “toast” and turn a rich, darkened color.

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To that, add in the rest of your caramelized butter sauce ingredients and bring to a low simmer, stirring frequently.

Once your brown sugar has melted and all of your ingredients have fully incorporated, remove from the heat and set aside.

Slice Your Sweet Potatoes

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Wash and peel your sweet potatoes. Then, using your mandolin slicer, produce thin “chips” of the sweet potatoes. Repeat until you’ve sliced all of your sweet potatoes.

Pro Tip: Once you’ve sliced your sweet potatoes, put them in a container, in the fridge for about 2 hours before you use them. If you let these slices of sweet potato dry out just a bit before you use them, you won’t have excess moisture in your dish when you bake. This will help to prevent from having watery candied sweet potatoes.

Bake Your Candied Sweet Potatoes

Pre-heat your oven to 375°F.

Add a thin layer of your caramelized butter sauce to the bottom. Make sure the sauce coats the entire bottom of the baking pan.

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Then place the thin disks of your sweet potato in rows across the entire bottom of the baking pan, layering each disk on top of each other, but only overlapping each disk by half. (Check out my candied sweet potatoes video for an example of this method.)

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Drizzle on the caramelized butter sauce in between each layer of sweet potato slices.

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Once you are done laying down the layers of sweet potato slices, add a sprinkle of brown sugar and cinnamon on top.

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Afterwards, cover with pan with foil and bake for 40-50 mins until the sweet potatoes are fork tender.

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Then uncover the pan, place your marshmallows on top, to turn this into candied sweet potatoes with marshmallows!

Afterwards, continue baking for an additional 10 minutes to melt the marshmallows and develop that golden brown crust on top of the sweet potatoes.

Lastly, remove from the oven, and let it sit for about 5 minutes before serving.

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Watch me make this dish, by heading over to our YouTube, Instagram, TikTok or Pinterest pages.

Candied Sweet Potatoes

5 from 28 votes
Candied Sweet Potatoes are a classic Thanksgiving side. The flavor of warm, sweet potatoes in a buttery sauce, with notes of vanilla and caramelized brown sugar – embodies the exact essence of the holiday season!
Author: Umamiology
Servings: 8
Prep Time: 9 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 4 minutes
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Ingredients 

  • 4 Whole Sweet Potatoes

Caramelized Butter Sauce

Instructions 

How To Make Candied Sweet Potatoes

  • This classic holiday dish is really simple to make. You simply slice your sweet potatoes, craft your caramelized butter sauce and then combine them both in a oven safe baking pan.

Craft Your Caramelized Butter Sauce

  • Start by making Toasted Butter. Take your butter and place it into a sauce pan over medium heat. Once your butter has melted – continue heating for a few minutes longer, until the butter starts to boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and wait until the butter starts to “toast” and turn a rich, darkened color.
  • To that, add in the rest of your caramelized butter sauce ingredients and bring to a low simmer, stirring frequently.
  • Once your brown sugar has melted and all of your ingredients have fully incorporated, remove from the heat and set aside.

Slice Your Sweet Potatoes

  • Wash and peel your sweet potatoes. Then, using your mandolin slicer, produce thin "chips" of the sweet potatoes. Repeat until you've sliced all of your sweet potatoes.
  • Pro Tip: Once you've sliced your sweet potatoes, put them in a container, in the fridge for about 2 hours before you use them. If you let these slices of sweet potato dry out just a bit before you use them, you won't have excess moisture in your dish when you bake. This will help to prevent from having watery candied sweet potatoes.

Bake Your Candied Sweet Potatoes

  • Pre-heat your oven to 375°F.
  • Add a thin layer of your caramelized butter sauce to the bottom. Make sure the sauce coats the entire bottom of the baking pan.
  • Then place the thin disks of your sweet potato in rows across the entire bottom of the baking pan, layering each disk on top of each other, but only overlapping each disk by half. (Check out my candied sweet potatoes video for an example of this method.)
  • Drizzle on the caramelized butter sauce in between each layer of sweet potato slices.
  • Once you are done laying down the layers of sweet potato slices, add a sprinkle of brown sugar and cinnamon on top.
  • Afterwards, cover with pan with foil and bake for 40-50 mins until the sweet potatoes are fork tender.
  • Then uncover the pan, place your marshmallows on top, to turn this into candied sweet potatoes with marshmallows!
  • Afterwards, continue baking for an additional 10 minutes to melt the marshmallows and develop that golden brown crust on top of the sweet potatoes.
  • Lastly, remove from the oven, and let it sit for about 5 minutes before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 390kcalCarbohydrates: 83gProtein: 2gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 1.288mgPotassium: 483mgFiber: 4gSugar: 63gVitamin A: 16.294IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 101mgIron: 1mg

*Nutritional information is just an estimate derived by an online calculation tool.

FAQ

What is the difference between sweet potatoes & yams?

Sweet potatoes and yams are similar, but sweet potatoes have more of a deep orange color to their flesh, a bit more moisture to them and are slightly sweeter. In this recipe, we’re going to use sweet potatoes, but in a pinch you could substitute this recipe with yams, if your local store does not carry sweet potatoes.

Why are my candied sweet potatoes watery?

The sweet potatoes will release their juices as they bake in the oven. To minimize this, once you’ve sliced your sweet potatoes, put them in a container, in the fridge for about 2 hours, for them to dry out just a bit. Additionally, reduce your caramelized butter sauce a bit further (about 25%) before you assemble the baking pan and put it into the oven.

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