candied yams from scratch (sweet potatoes)

★★★★★ 4 Reviews
Yonja avatar
By Reyhan Sun
from Lake Hopatcong, NJ

Water is not needed to boil the yams, although you should add about 3 tablespoons of water at the bottom of the pot to ensure they don't stick or burn. The yams cook in the sugar without water, as the yams themselves give off their own juices which means you may also wait to add the butter to melt after you turn the heat off the pot. If you don't like to mash your yams, you can transfer the cooked yams to the baking dish and spoon on the sugar liquid. I tried it this way for Thanksgiving 2021, they came out perfect. They were the best yams ever!

Blue Ribbon Recipe

Do you ever wonder why Grandma's dishes taste so much better? They are usually made from scratch. These from-scratch candied yams are so good and have that old-fashioned flavor we all crave during the holidays. These yams are creamy and full of flavor. Sweetened condensed milk adds a creaminess that's a little different than traditional candied yams. If you like cinnamon and nutmeg, definitely add them. We loved the flavor it gives the yams. Fairly easy to make, you can make them ahead of time and pop them in the oven right before serving.

— The Test Kitchen @kitchencrew
serves 12
prep time 10 Min
cook time 1 Hr
method Stove Top

Ingredients For candied yams from scratch (sweet potatoes)

  • 3 lb
    yams (sweet potatoes)
  • 3/4 c
    light brown sugar
  • 3/4 c
    white sugar
  • 1 stick
    salted butter
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp
    sweetened condensed milk
  • Optional
    1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • Optional
    mini marshmallows for topping
  • 3 Tbsp

How To Make candied yams from scratch (sweet potatoes)

Test Kitchen Tips
When cooking the sweet potatoes, make sure to stir and watch them. Otherwise, they will burn on the bottom of the pan.
  • 1
    Peel the yams and cut into 3/4 inch slices.
  • 2
    Place 3 tbsp. of water and the yams in a pot or a big cast iron skillet. Cover with the brown sugar and white sugar. Use a loose lid to cover. I have started to add the butter later to slowly melt when I turn the heat off the pot.
  • 3
    Cook over low to medium-low heat, loosely covered, carefully stirring occasionally, until the yams are fork-tender (about 25 to 30 minutes)
  • 4
    Turn the heat off and add the butter in cubes to melt. Gently stir. Mix in, to taste, 1 to 2 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk. This will give your yam mixture an ooey, gooey texture.
  • 5
    You may also add cinnamon to taste.
  • 6
    Transfer the yams to a baking dish with the liquid OR you may use a masher to blend all that sugary, juicy goodness with the yams. No need to remove any of the liquid, it will all blend perfectly.
  • 7
    Bake uncovered at 350 F for about 25-30 minutes. Add the marshmallows the last 5 minutes and bake until they are a light golden brown.
  • 8
    NOTES: If you double this recipe, use a really big pot, otherwise, cook time is longer. To make this ahead of time, place the covered casserole in the fridge without the marshmallows. Once you're ready to bake, first place in the microwave on low or defrost just to take the chill off. Then pop it in the oven at 350 F.