These Southern Candied Sweet Potatoes are covered in delicious syrupy goodness and will melt in your mouth with each and every bite. It’s the perfect side dish for every table.
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One of my favorite Southern Sides is a small side of candied yams. It’s something I always grab a small spoonful of to go along with the savory goodness of collard greens, macaroni and cheese, and crispy fried chicken.
Now there’s a difference between a sweet potato and a yam. However, yams are hard to come by in my neighborhood so I usually just grab a few sweet potatoes to make this classic side dish.
You’ll only need a few ingredients to make this Southern dish and you won’t need a ton of spices. The fact is, what makes a delicious southern candied sweet potato is the sweet syrup mixture composed of butter and sugar that gets doused over the slices of sweet potatoes. This is a baked candied sweet potato recipe which makes the sweet potatoes super tender but with the slightest hint of bite.
How to make Candied Sweet Potatoes
First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Grab 4 medium-sized sweet potatoes (about 2 lbs) and wash, peel, and cut them into slices, about ½ inch thick. Then lay them flat in a 13×9 casserole dish. Sprinkle the sweet potatoes with salt. Set aside.
Then in a heavy-duty saucepan, melt your butter over medium-low heat. Add sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, and stir until your butter has melted and your sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and add the orange juice. This slight hint of citrus adds a lovely brightness to the dish.
Pour the butter mixture over the sweet potatoes, making sure every single sweet potato is covered.
Cover tightly with foil and place in your preheated oven.
Bake for 30 minutes with the foil on. After 30 minutes, remove the dish from the oven, remove foil and stir the sweet potatoes. Place back in the oven and bake uncovered for an additional 30 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are tender. I usually poke a few pieces with a fork to ensure they are tender to my liking.
Remove from the oven and allow the sweet potatoes to cool a bit. It’ll give that syrup a little time to thicken up.
What to serve Southern Candied Sweet Potatoes with? You can’t go wrong with these Southern staples:
- Fried Chicken (Air Fryer Method)
- Collard Greens (Pressure Cooker Method)
- Creamy Macaroni and Cheese
- Buttered Cabbage (Pressure Cooker Method)
- Corn Souffle
- Vanilla Ice Cream
How to store
To store candied sweet potatoes, first, allow them to cool completely after cooking. Then, transfer the cooled sweet potatoes to an airtight container or cover the baking dish with plastic wrap or aluminum foil before refrigerating them for up to 3-5 days.
If you want to store them longer, you can freeze them by placing them in a freezer-safe airtight container or wrapping them tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. They can be frozen for up to 3 months.
To serve, simply thaw the frozen sweet potatoes overnight in the refrigerator and reheat them according to the reheating instructions provided earlier.
To prepare this dish ahead of time
You can prepare candied sweet potatoes ahead of time for convenience. Cook them slightly underdone, cool them, and store them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When ready to serve, let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes and reheat at 350°F (175°C) for 20-30 minutes.
Notes on this recipe:
- You’ll absolutely want to make sure that every single potato is covered in that butter-sugar mixture. If not, it may result in some sweet potatoes being very tender and others not so much. That would be the worst.
- I don’t add marshmallows to this recipe as I feel it’s sweet enough as is.
- I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. If you like this recipe, you’ll love this sweet potato pie and this sweet potato casserole.
Watch this video tutorial and see how I make these sweet potatoes from start to finish.
Southern Candied Sweet Potatoes
- 2 lbs sweet potatoes peeled and sliced about 1/2 inch thick
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup butter
- ¾ cup packed brown sugar
- ½ cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 Tablespoon orange juice
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Lay Sweet Potatoes flat in a 13×9 casserole dish. Sprinkle the sweet potatoes with salt. Set aside.
- Melt your butter over medium-low heat in a heavy-duty saucepan. Add sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, and stir until your butter has melted and your sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and add the orange juice.
- Pour the butter mixture over the sweet potatoes, making sure every single sweet potato is covered with the butter. Cover tightly with foil and place in your preheated oven.
- Bake for 30 minutes with the foil on. After 30 minutes, remove the dish from the oven, remove foil and stir the sweet potatoes. Place back in the oven and bake uncovered for an additional 30 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are fork-tender.
- Remove from the oven and allow the sweet potatoes to cool a bit. Serve and enjoy.
This post was originally published on October 3, 2019. It has been updated with additional helpful tips.
Monday 27th of March 2023
Oh my goodness!! I will be making this every time I’m asked to make yams or sweet potatoes! It will become a go to recipe for anything I am involved with. I will share this one far and wide!! ❤️
Tuesday 28th of March 2023
Thanks so much Jane! So happy you like the recipe :)
Friday 24th of March 2023
I love sweet potatoes, when I always make veggies I put them in a ziplock bag with all the other ingredients and shake it up so all of the veggies are covered. I’m going to do this with the sweet potatoes after I salt them. After they are completely covered then I will put the sweet potatoes in a greased pan and bake it.This is a great recipe.
Sunday 5th of March 2023
I didn't have nutmeg or orange juice. So i substituted more brown sugar and cinnamon and used peach mango juice and they taste great. next time ill be sure to have the original ingredients.
Monday 6th of March 2023
Thanks so much Charlotte! So happy the recipe worked out for you :)
Friday 16th of December 2022
I have canned sweet potatos should I drain juice? cut baking time in half?
Saturday 17th of December 2022
Hi Jeanne, I've never used canned sweet potatoes for this recipe but the modifications sound like they would work. However, I would cook the butter mixture on the stovetop over low heat to thicken it up, then add it to the canned sweet potatoes. Baking the canned sweet potatoes would likely make them just fall apart completely.
Tuesday 15th of November 2022
Can you make this recipe the day before you plan to serve it? If so, what should the method be for heating it up?
Tuesday 15th of November 2022
Hi Sabrina, yes, it can be. I suggest reheating in the oven on 350F until heated through.