Candied Yams

Candied yams are cooked yams (usually sweet potatoes) that are glazed in a delicious cinnamon spiced brown sugar and butter sauce!

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Site Index Christmas side dish Sweet potato Thanksgiving

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I’m not sure you can find a holiday side dish more classic than this good old-fashioned candied yams recipe! These candied yams are made with deliciously tender sweet potatoes cooked in a buttery, sweet, lightly spiced glaze, and they’re the perfect accompaniment to any savory dish.

You might think candied yams are traditionally a Thanksgiving or Christmas dish, but this classic Southern dish is ideal any day of the week! I personally love to serve up some candied yams with a roast turkey for Sunday dinner. Trust me, I don’t need an occasion when it comes to delicious food!

large serving dish with Candied Yams and wooden spoon, green tablecloth on side

What Are Candied Yams?

Oh boy, if you don’t know what candied yams are yet I can’t wait for you to try these out!! THEY.ARE.AMAZING.

Candied yams are made with either sweet potatoes or yams, another root vegetable. Real yams are pretty difficult to come across, so I tend to use sweet potatoes, as do most people. When you search for candied yams recipes, you will see that they are not actual yams but sweet potatoes. I can’t even remember the last time I saw real yams at the store!

Candied Yams ingredients on chopping board and wood background

Serving Candied Yams

Like I said earlier, you don’t need an occasion to serve candied yams – they’re an excellent dish to add to your meal all year round! Although they really do take the stage at Thanksgiving and Christmas, I personally think candied yams are especially delicious when they’re served with pork and I usually serve them alongside my boneless pork loin roast or spicy roast pork.

How to Make Candied Yams

  1. Place potato pieces into a large pot of salted cold water. Place over high heat and bring to a simmer.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5-7 minutes until potatoes are not quite tender but still cooked. Test for doneness using the tip of the knife. Drain.
  3. Add the glaze ingredients to a skillet and place over medium-high heat, stirring until they melt and start to bubble.
  4. Continue to cook for 4-6 minutes, stirring occasionally until the mixture begins to thicken.
  5. Place the drained sweet potatoes in the skillet. Raise the heat to high and cook and stir for 5 – 8 minutes until potatoes are coated with the glaze, are tender, and the glaze has thickened.
  6. Place on a serving dish and garnish with chopped nuts.

close up large serving dish with Candied Yams and wooden spoon, cinnamon sticks cayenne pepper and walnuts beside

Got Leftovers?

Candied yams are definitely a “still just as yummy the next day” dish! If you have leftovers, they make the perfect lunch the following day and will reheat easily in the oven, microwave, or a non-stick pan.

Happy cooking!



Candied Yams

Candied yams are cooked yams (usually sweet potatoes) that are glazed in a delicious cinnamon spiced brown sugar and butter sauce!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time
25 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Side Dish
Karlynn Johnston


  • 3 pounds orange-fleshed sweet potatoes peeled and cut into rounds

Brown Sugar Glaze

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup SALTED butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • Chopped toasted pecans or walnuts for garnish


  • Place the sweet potato pieces into a large pot and cover with water Bring to a simmer over high hear, then reduce the heat and keep simmering the sweet potatoes until they are JUST fork tender but not falling apart. You will cook them in the sauce for a few minutes later on, so tender-crisp is best!
  • Drain and rinse with cold water to help stop them from cooking further.
  • Place the brown sugar, butter, lemon juice, maple syrup, ginger, cinnamon and cayenne in a large skillet.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring until the ingredients melt and start bubbling.
  • Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the mixture begins to thicken up, around 4 to 6 minutes.
  • Add the drained sweet potatoes to skillet.
  • Turn the heat to high and cook, stirring constantly, until the sweet potatoes are coated with the glaze.
  • Continue to cook, stirring, until the potatoes are very soft and the glaze has thickened up even more.
  • Transfer to your serving dish and garish with toasted nuts if desired.

Recipe Notes

If the sauce is too sweet for your tastes, add in some more lemon juice to taste.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 301kcal, Carbohydrates: 55g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 20mg, Sodium: 194mg, Potassium: 794mg, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 18g, Vitamin A: 32412IU, Vitamin C: 7mg, Calcium: 85mg, Iron: 1mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Candied yams are cooked yams (usually sweet potatoes) that are glazed in a delicious cinnamon spiced brown sugar and butter sauce!

Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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