Southern Candied Yams | Sweet Potatoes

Southern Candied Sweet Potato Yams - a holiday side dish

Southern Candied Yams are a classic holiday side dish.

During the holidays you’ll find a mix of savory and sweet side dishes on the Southern menu. This is sure to include either classic candied yams or sweet potato casserole (souffle)

Sweet potatoes are a Southern staple and are plentiful during the fall and winter months so we make good use of them in a variety of ways. They are so easy to work with, delicious, and nutritious so why bother with the canned stuff.

Candied yams are coated in a sweet glazed with just the right spices added and baked to perfection. Technically what we’re accustomed to calling yams are actually sweet potatoes. I grew up calling them yams and that’s how it will always be for me.

One thing is sure, Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same for me without sweet potatoes. The color, the taste and the nostalgia make them a necessary side dish on my holiday menu.

Easy Candied Yams - peeling and slicing sweet potatoes for this holiday side dish

Easy Candied Yams

You’ll find the full printable recipe card at the end of this post. Here’s what you’ll need for this classic side dish: sweet potatoes, butter, sugar (granulated and brown), heavy cream, vanilla extract, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg.

Preheat oven to 350°F

Step 1: Peel and rinse the sweet potatoes, then slice into 1/4 to 1/2 inch rounds. Lightly spray a casserole dish and add the sweet potatoes.

How to make candied yams recipe

Step 2: Prepare the glaze. Melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Next add the granulated sugar and the brown sugar. Stir well until combined. Next, add the cream and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook 6-8 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and add the vanilla, salt and spices. Give a final stir to combine everything together.

Glaze for candied sweet potato yams

Step 3: Pour the glaze mixture over the sweet potatoes making sure to coat as evenly as possible. Cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil and bake for one hour. Next, carefully remove the aluminum foil and check the potatoes for tenderness. If needed, bake uncovered an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

Adding glaze to sweet potatoes to make candied yams in the oven

Step 4: Transfer to a serving dish and pour some of the glaze in the bottom of the dish over the sweet potatoes. Serve hot.

Baked Candied Sweet Potatoes (Yams)

Southern Candied Sweet Potatoes

How to make homemade candied yams for the holidays

Southern Candied Sweet Potatoes

Southern Candied Yams | Sweet Potatoes

Southern Candied Yams | Sweet Potatoes
Candied yams are a Southern classic. This side dish is delicious for family meals as well as a holiday tradition.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes


  • 3 Large Sweet Potatoes
  • 1 Stick of Butter
  • 1/4 c Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 c Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 c Heavy Cream
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • Pinch of Kosher Salt
  • 1/8 tsp Ground Nutmeg


Preheat oven to 350°F 

Begin by preparing the potatoes. Peel and rinse the sweet potatoes, then slice into 1/4 to 1/2 inch rounds.

Next, lightly spray a casserole dish with cooking spray and add the sweet potatoes.

Next, prepare the glaze by melting the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat.

Next add the sugars and stir well until combined. 

Next, add the heavy cream and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook 6-8 minutes. 

Remove the mixture from the heat and add the vanilla, salt and spices. Give a final stir to combine everything together and pour the glaze mixture over the sweet potatoes. 

Cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, carefully remove the aluminum foil and check the potatoes for tenderness.

Bake uncovered an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender if needed. 

Nutrition Information:



Amount Per Serving: Calories: 238 Total Fat: 14g Saturated Fat: 9g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 4g Cholesterol: 39mg Sodium: 128mg Carbohydrates: 28g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 21g Protein: 1g
Southern Candied Sweet Potato Yams - a classic holiday side dish that combines a bit of sweetness with aromatic spices #Holidays #sidedish #sweetpotato #yams #easyrecipe | Julia's Simply Southern

See this recipe at the Weekend Potluck and Meal Plan Monday 

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  • Reply
    August 30, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    I love yams and these look good enough to eat for dessert. Thank you for sharing at Foodie Friday.

  • Reply
    Miz Helen
    September 5, 2018 at 9:17 am

    I love candied yams and your recipe looks delicious! Thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday, we sure enjoyed your post!
    Miz Helen

  • Reply
    Amy - The Speedy Spatula
    October 12, 2018 at 8:22 am

    These candied yams look just like what my Grandma T (my mom’s mom) always made! Brings back so many memories. Nobody could make candied yams like her!

    • Reply
      Julia Jordan
      October 12, 2018 at 8:32 am

      I love the wonderful memories and nostalgia that food gives us. Thank you for sharing yours with us.

  • Reply
    Jessica H
    November 15, 2018 at 9:27 am

    When I make candied sweet potatoes I’ve always boiled the potatoes whole first. When cool the skin slips right off and they are already tenner and they slice very easily. I want to try this glaze. Do you think it would work with my precooked potatoes if I adjust the baking time?

    • Reply
      Julia Jordan
      November 15, 2018 at 10:08 am

      Yes, the glaze would still work fine. As you mentioned just be sure to adjust cooking times so you don’t end up with mashed sweet potatoes 😉

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