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A bowl of thanksgiving yams
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5 from 5 votes

Southern Candied Yams

Candied yams is a old fashioned side dish that's slow cooked in a candied mixture on the stove-top with warm spices, sugar and butter.
Course classic dinner
Cuisine Southern American
Keyword best candied yams, candied yams, soul food candied yams, stovetop candied yams
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 5 people
Author April Boller Wright


  • 2lb sweet potatoes
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar or light brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 stick butter
  • 4 tbsp frozen orange juice concentrate thawed


  • Scrub, peel and slice your yams into ½ inch rounds. In a medium pot over medium high heat, combine the sweet potatoes and the rest of the ingredients. Stir the sweet potatoes until coated in the sugar and butter mixture.
  • Let it come to a boil. Cover then simmer for about 50 minutes or until the yams are nice and tender when slightly pierced with the tines of a fork or taste. If the yam is still a bit hard. Let it cook a bit longer. 
  • Remove the top then set stove to medium. Let the cooking liquid come to a boil. Stirring occasionally until the cooking liquid reduces about 10 minute or until the syrup coats the yams. Remove the pot with the candied yams from the stove and place them into the oven until you are ready to serve them. These taste best warm. 
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  • Double or triple the recipe if you like.
  • I always add a bit more vanilla extract to the candied yams once they're almost done cooking.
  • These aren't too sweet in my opinion but you can adjust the amount of sugar to your taste, since everyones taste is different. Start off using less sugar, taste then add more if needed. If you end up adding too much sugar, balance it out by adding a bit of water or even butter.
  • If the syrup becomes too thick, you can thin it out with a bit of water.
  • You can assemble this in advance. Up to 3 days. The flavors will be even better! Store it with an airtight lid in the refrigerator. Heat it up on your stove-top until warmed through.
  • Look for small sweet potatoes. They're easier to peel and cut. You can usually find them at Walmart. If you can't find them medium or larger sweet potatoes will work.
  • Cut the sweet potatoes into ½ inch rounds. If you slice them any thinner they may break apart as they cook.
  • Once they're done, carefully stir them into the sauce. If you stir to roughly the yams may break apart.
  • To test their doneness, take one out and taste it. If it's still a bit hard.Let it cook a bit longer.  when the tines of fork can pierce the sweet potato easily, it's done.
  • This dish is best served warm.Follow Whisk it Real Gud on Instagram.