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The Best Southern Candied Sweet Potatoes

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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. 

southern candied sweet potatoes up close with spoon in background


 

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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.

southern candied sweet potatoes sitting on wooden spoon

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. 

finished candied sweet potatoes with wooden spoon in pan

What to serve Southern Candied Sweet Potatoes with? You can’t go wrong with these Southern staples:

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.
southern candied sweet potatoes in pan

Watch this video tutorial and see how I make these sweet potatoes from start to finish. 

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4.77 from 122 votes

The Best Southern Candied Sweet Potatoes

These Easy Southern Candied Sweet Potatoes are covered in a sugar buttery mixture and baked until tender. It’s the perfect side dish for any table.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword candied yams, southern candied sweet potatoes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 659kcal
Author Tanya

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Suggested Tools

13×9 Baking Dish

Video

Notes

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.
The nutritional info may seem to be on the high side, but remember you’re not eating all of the buttery syrup…unless you want to 🙂

Nutrition

Calories: 659kcal | Carbohydrates: 113g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 630mg | Potassium: 836mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 75g | Vitamin A: 32902IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 116mg | Iron: 2mg
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This post was originally published on October 3, 2019. It has been updated with additional helpful tips.

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Recipe Rating




Georgina

Friday 22nd of December 2023

I made this last Christmas and this year I’m ask to make sure I have this for this year dinner. There were no leftovers of these yummy guy

Tanya

Sunday 24th of December 2023

Thanks Georgina! So happy you like them.

Michelle

Thursday 23rd of November 2023

Delicious and easy! Added some ginger but we love all the warm spices

Tanya

Friday 24th of November 2023

Thanks Michelle! So happy you liked the recipe. Love the idea of adding ginger.

Debbie

Thursday 23rd of November 2023

Help! I can’t seem to get my sugars to melt. I’ve tried it twice now. What am I doing wrong? I put the butter on low to melt and add my sugars and spices and cook on med-low heat. They just won’t melt.

Sue

Saturday 25th of November 2023

@Debbie, I had the same problem. Add a little bit of water like 2 tablespoons or so. Melts right away.

Debbie

Thursday 23rd of November 2023

@Tanya, that could be. I was afraid I’d burn the butter. On the second try, I just put the mixture over the sweet potatoes, stirred it really well, put foil over it and baked for 30 minutes. Stirred it again and then baked uncovered for 35 minutes. Turned out great!

Tanya

Thursday 23rd of November 2023

Hey Debbie, the butter should be melted on medium-low heat before adding sugars. I'm guessing if your melting the butter on low, then the butter isn't hot enough when you're adding the sugars.

Rema

Thursday 23rd of November 2023

Okay, yes! I am going to do this tomorrow, can't wait. I love how the recipe is straight to the point with pictures of the outcome.

Gladys

Wednesday 22nd of November 2023

This recipe is awesome, I make it every year and my daughter always tells me, that I have to make it every year. Thank You for the recipe