Easy Candied Sweet Potatoes

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This easy Southern candied sweet potatoes recipe is quick, simple, and melt-in-your-mouth good.

candied sweet potatoes

This quick and easy candied yams recipe is so good. Basically, grab a couple of cans of sweet potatoes, cook them in the oven and you have this recipe of syrupy goodness. That’s how easy it is! The end result is tender sweet potatoes with a buttery sweet caramel toffee flavor that will definitely melt in your mouth.

Now, if you’re wondering when to serve this candied yam dish, I say whenever! Have it as a meal or as a Thanksgiving dessert, the choice is yours. I personally think that because sweet potatoes are a vegetable (no matter how you prepare them), you can serve them with any meal and it automatically decreases any guilt you might have because these are so good.

For the main meal, I love pairing this candied sweet potato dish with classic Southern comfort food like fried chicken. You can also serve it alongside other Southern side dishes like mashed potato, cornbread, mac and cheese, and fried okra. What a combo!

Now I want you to try making these candied yams from a can during the holidays and leave your comments below and let me know what you thought of them.  If you don’t want to tell everyone how easy they are to make, just smile and say it’s an old-fashioned family recipe handed down through the generations. It’s the truth! You are a part of the Southern Plate family. It was handed down through at least four generations! Happy holidays!

ingredients candied sweet potatoes

Recipe Ingredients

  • Butter
  • Sugar
  • Canned sweet potatoes or not canned (about 16-18 oz when you cut up fresh sweet potatoes)
  • Cinnamon

Helpful Kitchen Tools

drained sweet potatoes

Drain the sweet potatoes and pour them into an ovenproof casserole dish.

While this is a round casserole dish, it holds the equivalent of an 8×8 baking dish.

Next, sprinkle the sugar over the sweet potatoes.

Cut up butter and put it on top.   

Sprinkle with cinnamon.

syrup candied sweet potatoes

Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until syrupy.

candied sweet potatoes

Enjoy your delicious baked candied yams from a can!


  • This recipe for Southern candied sweet potatoes can be made up to four days in advance. The flavors will be even better if you can believe it! Just wrap the dish or store it in an airtight container in the fridge and when it’s time, reheat it in the oven. 
  • Alternatively, if you don’t make it in advance but have leftovers, they’ll last in the fridge for up to four days.
  • I don’t recommend freezing this Southern candied yams recipe as the sweet potatoes will turn mushy once reheated.

Recipe Notes

  • If the syrup is too thick, you can easily thin it out with some water.
  • If preparing this dish for dessert, you can go one step further and sprinkle the top with normal or miniature marshmallows, southern-style. Your tastebuds will explode!
  • Besides mini marshmallows, here are some more ingredients to add to your Southern candied yam recipe. Spice-wise, you should also add a half-teaspoon of allspice, clove, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, or even cayenne pepper along with the ground cinnamon. For an even sweeter flavor, drizzle your cooked sweet potatoes with maple syrup. Alternatively, add half a teaspoon of vanilla extract when you add the cinnamon. You could also sprinkle some raisins, walnuts, or pecan pieces over the top. It’s so easy to make these Southern candied sweet potatoes your own.
  • For a stronger caramelized flavor, use dark or light brown sugar in this candied yams recipe instead of white sugar.

Recipe FAQs

Should I buy sweet potatoes or yams?

Now, most canned sweet potatoes are labeled yams, so just buy those. This is one of those things that drives me slightly crazy, because they’re not yams, they’re sweet potatoes. Seriously, if you look at the ingredients of canned yams, it actually says sweet potatoes! But if you’re buying the root vegetable, choose sweet potatoes. Fresh yams actually contain more starch (and more calories) so need more butter when cooking.

candied sweet potatoes

Easy Candied Sweet Potatoes

Make this easy candied sweet potatoes recipe when the craving hits. Have as a side or a dessert, whatever cranks your trailer!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: potatoes
Servings: 4
Calories: 162.3kcal


  • 29 oz. can sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Drain sweet potatoes and pour them into an ovenproof casserole dish.
    29 oz. can sweet potatoes
  • Sprinkle sugar over sweet potatoes.
    1 cup sugar
  • Cut up butter, put on top and then sprinkle with cinnamon.
    1 stick butter, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Place in oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until syrupy.


Calories: 162.3kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!

You may also enjoy these sweet potato recipes:

Sweet Potato Bread With Cinnamon Swirl

Dumplings: Heaven on a plate!

Sweet Potato Pie Southern Plate Style

Creme Brûlée

If you’re looking for Grandmama’s Sweet Potato Casserole, please click here.


Thank God for dirty dishes.
They have a tale to tell.
While others may go hungry,
Thank you, God,
We’re eating well.

Submitted by Rebecca Orr, thanks Rebecca!. Click here to submit your quote.

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  1. My mother-in-law makes these every year and the tips that are sticking out get this awesome caramelized crunch. We can never seem to figure out how to get that!

  2. 4 stars
    i made them using a larger can of sweet potatoes. i drained them and followed the directions exactly as to sugar and butter but wound up with way too much syrup. am thinking that next time i will use less butter.

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