Southern Candied Sweet Potatoes

Southern Candied Sweet Potatoes are a delicious holiday side dish. They are covered in a mixture of butter, sugar, syrup, and vanilla, then caramelized in the oven. To me, they are the ultimate comfort food and make a sweet, simple, and satisfying side dish for your holiday table.

picture of candied sweet potatoes with text overlay.

Recipe Origin


My mother-in-law introduced me to candied sweet potatoes over 30 years ago, and they have always been a staple on our holiday table. This candied version is a family favorite, and I hope it becomes a favorite for you and your family as well.

Why This Recipe Is Fantastic


These potatoes are quick enough to put together on a busy weeknight and so simply delicious for a holiday table. In addition, they make a delightful and satisfying side dish. There’s nothing more southern than a big bowl of candied sweet potatoes.

Southern Candied Sweet Potatoes are buttery, sweet, simple, and delicious. So this year, instead of making them ordinary, make them extraordinary.

Sweet Potatoes also go great with southern collard greens.

Ingredients Needed

ingredients for candied sweet potatoes with text overlay.


This is truly a simple recipe to make for the holidays. This recipe only takes minutes to prepare, and the ingredients are probably in your pantry.
sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds)
butter
water
brown sugar
white sugar
Karo syrup
vanilla

Yams vs Sweet Potatoes- What’s the Difference?


Yams and sweet potatoes are entirely different vegetables. Some grocery stores will mislabel them and call them both sweet potatoes or vice versa, but it is incorrect. Yams and sweet potatoes are different in looks and taste.
Yams have dark brown and rough skin. The inside (flesh) is more starchy and compares to a regular white potato.
Sweet Potatoes usually have a smother skin with a reddish color. The inside (flesh) is orange, soft, creamy, and sweet. Sweet potatoes are more easily found in grocery stores year-round.

Cooking a Turkey couldn’t be easier. Be sure to check out How To Cook a Turkey in a Bag for a moist and delicious turkey every time.

How To Make Candied Sweet Potatoes


Candied sweet potatoes are not difficult to make. You will only need a handful of ingredients to make this southern dish with tender potatoes baked in a sweet and sticky sauce.

Steps for making candied sweet potatoes with text overlay.
  1. First, start by peeling and slicing your potatoes – fry style.
  2. Then, melt butter in a large cast-iron skillet on low heat. Add water, sugars, syrup, and vanilla. Heat and stir until all is melted.
  3. Add potatoes and toss well until coated. Bring to simmer and cook for 20 minutes on the stovetop. Gently stir every 5 minutes or so to ensure the potatoes are evenly coated and not sticking.
  4. After 20 minutes, carefully move the skillet to a 350-degree oven and bake for 40-45 minutes without stirring.
  5. Allow potatoes to sit for at least 10 minutes before serving. This will allow the sauce to set on the potatoes.

Be sure to try my Southern Chicken and Dressing for the holidays.

Are Candied Sweet Potatoes Just for the Holidays?

Nope. These potatoes are so easy to make for any night of the week. I make them all of the time all year long. They go great with fried pork chops, chicken, and fish.

Tips for Making the Best Candied Sweet Potatoes

  • If the sweet potatoes are large, cut each potato into quarters and slice. This makes it a lot easier to handle and slice.
  • Cut your slices as uniformly as possible; this will allow all potatoes to cook at the same rate.
  • While the potatoes are cooking on the stovetop, stir every 5 minutes to ensure the potatoes are evenly coated with the sauce. Stir gently.
  • Once you transfer the potatoes to the oven, do not stir again.
  • Most of the liquid will cook out, so keep an eye on your potatoes during the last few minutes of the cooking time.
  • Allow the potatoes to cool slightly before serving. This allows the sauce to thicken a bit.

Like Sweet Potatoes? Be sure to add my Sweet Potato Casserole to your holiday table this year.

Storage Tips


Store any leftovers in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
To Reheat: Add some potatoes to a microwave-safe bowl and heat for a few seconds. They warm really fast, so be careful.

Be sure to check out my No-Bake Pumpkin Pie for a delicious holiday dessert.

Recipe FAQs

No. They are different vegetables with different flavors and textures.

Yes. This recipe could also work as a dessert. The sweet potatoes are coated with a sugar and butter sauce and then baked until soft. Add a little vanilla ice cream to the bowl and top with extra sweet juices from the pan.

Sausage Cranberry Stuffing is great as a side dish for the holidays.

Other Southern Side Dishes I Should Try:


23 Southern Side Dishes for Thanksgiving or Christmas
Green Bean Casserole
Chicken and Dressing
Sweet Potato Casserole
Pineapple Casserole

Be sure to check out my Southern Desserts for more delicious sweets.

Cooked candied sweet potatoes.

Southern Candied Sweet Potatoes

Gina Abernathy
Southern Candied Sweet Potatoes are a delicious holiday side dish. They are covered in a mixture of butter, sugar, syrup, and vanilla, then caramelized in the oven.
5 from 35 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Southern
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes about 2 large or 4 medium
  • 1 stick butter (½ cup)
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup Dark Karo Syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • First, start by peeling and slicing your potatoes – fry style.
  • Melt butter in a large cast-iron skillet on low heat. Add water, sugars, syrup, and vanilla. Heat and stir until all is melted.
  • Add potatoes and toss well until coated. Bring to simmer and cook for 20 minutes on the stovetop. Gently stir every 5 minutes or so to ensure the potatoes are evenly coated and not sticking.
  • After 20 minutes, carefully move the skillet to a 350-degree oven and bake for 40-45 minutes without stirring.
  • Allow potatoes to sit for at least 10 minutes before serving. This will allow the sauce to set on the potatoes.
Keyword Southern Candied Sweet Potatoes


36 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I just tried this simple candied yams recipe last Sunday. It’s so much better than canned yams. I can’t wait to enjoy again on Thanksgiving.

  2. 5 stars
    I often make candied carrots using similar ingredients over the festive periods, but this will be a perfect twist for us! Love the idea of sweet and buttery sweet potatoes! 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    I have never tried sweet, sweet potatoes – I have always had them savoury. But this was amazing. Such great flavour.

  4. 5 stars
    Wow these look wonderful! So sweet and beautiful, love a good holiday side dish. Can’t wait to make these !

  5. 5 stars
    This is the first time ever I loved a sweet potatoes recipe! So glad I gave it a chance, becasue I usually dislike it, thank you!

  6. 5 stars
    These are outstanding. Had these at a restaurant once and was hoping to find a recipe to recreate them. This is it! That candied coating really make it.

  7. 5 stars
    First time trying sweetener sweet potatoes and I am a absolutely obsessed! I made these with vegan butter instead of dairy butter, but it worked out just as great. 10/10 recommend

  8. 5 stars
    We love sweet potatoes in my house, so I was glad to find this easy recipe to try. There is nothing better than a southern recipe and the potatoes came out perfect with the right amount of sweetness.

  9. 5 stars
    I love this recipe! It’s my absolute favorite way to make sweet potatoes. Definitely making again for Thanksgiving!

  10. 5 stars
    These candied sweet potatoes are magnificent! I’ll have to make a double batch for my family. They are going to love these.

  11. 5 stars
    Candied sweet potatoes are always a fixture on our Thanksgiving table, and I’m so glad I found this recipe to try this year!

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