Candied yams are a classic Southern side dish, especially when it comes to Thanksgiving. Even though Mama makes the same sweet potato casserole every year, she won't be offended if you bring these candied yams once she tries them. Lightly spiced and oh-so-sweet, these candied yams will become a mainstay in your Thanksgiving recipe lineup. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla combine with sweet potatoes for the most comforting holiday dish you can serve. One of the best parts about this side dish is that it only has 20 minutes of hands-on time, and you can assemble the dish up to 3 days in advance. Make the recipe through step 3, store it covered in the refrigerator, then bake it Thanksgiving Day. With all the other dishes you have to worry about on Thanksgiving, these candied yams will be a breeze. We recommend serving them straight from the oven while the syrup is still hot.


Credit: Photo: Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Ginny Branch Stelling; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe Summary

1 hr 25 mins
20 mins
Serves 12 (serving size: about 1 cup)


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Layer sweet potato slices in a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish.

  • Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium. Add sugars, stirring until well combined. Stir in cream; cook, stirring often, just until mixture comes to a simmer, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla extract, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg.

  • Pour sugar mixture evenly over sweet potatoes, and cover with lightly greased aluminum foil.

  • Bake, covered, in preheated oven, about 40 minutes. Uncover and gently stir potato mixture. Bake, uncovered, until potatoes are tender, 25 to 30 more minutes. Transfer potatoes to a serving bowl with a slotted spoon; pour syrup over potatoes. Serve immediately.

Chef's Notes

Make It Ahead

Assemble up to 3 days in advance. Make the recipe through Step 3, store it covered in the refrigerator, and then bake it on Thanksgiving Day.