Authentic Soul Food-style baked candied yams are a holiday table must-have! Learn how to make the easiest baked candied yams with this recipe + video tutorial.
It’s been a long time coming, but the time is here—I MUST share my recipe for some good old-fashioned baked candied yams, done the I Heart Recipes way—soul food style! I refer to these baked yams as the “soul food” version because they are the kind of candied yams you might get at an authentic soul food restaurant. They’re buttery and tender and practically melt in your mouth!
This ain’t my first candied yams recipe. I uploaded a recipe for the “best ever” candied yams years ago, but THIS recipe will give that one a run for its money. Don’t get me wrong, both recipes are amazing. However, if you’re looking for Southern or Soul Food style candied yams, this is the one you want! This candied yams recipe is actually easier to make as well.
Y’all know that baked candied yams are a holiday season staple. No holiday table is complete without ‘em! They’re the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas dinner, Easter dinner… you name it. The warm spices and sweet candied syrup just scream festive to me. But I don’t want holiday traditions keepin’ y’all from making this recipe anytime you please because it really is that easy! So whether you’re gearing up to impress family during the holidays or just want to have a classic Soul Food side dish with your meal, Cousin Rosie’s got you covered.
Now that I have your attention, let me tell you (and show you) how I make the famous I Heart Recipes candied yams.
Ingredients You Need for Baked Candied Yams
I love that this baked candied yams recipe doesn’t call for any crazy ingredients. You can easily pop over to the grocery store and find everything you need. So, what goes into the best candied yams recipe?
For my Southern-style candied yams, I use garnet yams (which are actually red sweet potatoes). I love the orange flesh of the garnet yams because they make beautiful, vibrant candied yams and are also nice and sweet. I buy medium-sized yams for this recipe. They’re easier to deal with when it comes to peeling and cutting.
What’s the difference between a yam and a sweet potato?
Y’all know I love—and make a lot of—sweet potato recipes. It’s a Southern staple! But what really is the difference between a yam and a sweet potato?? Well, I talked a bit about it in my sweet potato muffins post, but if you’re in the United States, basically, there is no difference!
Ingredients for the Candied Mixture
What do you need to make the sweet, buttery candied yams sauce that caramelizes these babies to perfection? I am so glad you asked. The candied mixture I pour over my candied yams combines butter, sugar, and yummy spices. You’ll need the following:
- Salted butter: Trust me, use REAL butter. The candied mixture might not come together perfectly if you use anything else.
- Brown sugar: You can use either light brown sugar or dark brown sugar—either is fine! The only difference is that dark brown sugar has more molasses.
- White sugar: I use plain ol’ granulated white sugar in this recipe.
- Vanilla extract: Y’all know I’m gonna say it… don’t use that imitation crap! Real vanilla extract in this house only, boo boo!
- Spices: For the candied yam spices, I use ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, clove, and ginger. If you dislike any of these, leave them out!
Don’t want to waste your time measuring out all those ingredients? Cousin Rosie’s got an answer for that too. I put all the spices for candied yams in one bag and called it my Rosamae Seasonings Yam Spice! It has everything you need (yes, even the sugar and vanilla!), so all you gotta do is dump the package on in there. For this baked candied yams recipe, you’d use one whole package. Then, if you want it sweeter, add a little bit more!
You don’t need any special equipment to make this recipe. Here’s what I use:
- Utensils: whisk, spatula, or spoon to mix the sauce and stir the yams.
- Sharp knife and vegetable peeler.
- Measuring cups and spoons.
- A 9×13 baking dish (which fits the proportions of this recipe perfectly)
- Medium sauce pot for the candied yams sauce.
- Aluminum foil to cover the baking dish.
How to Make Soul Food Candied Yams in the Oven
Making these Southern-baked candied yams is super easy. In short, simply wash the yams, peel and cut them, make the delicious and fragrant candied mixture, and pour it over the yams, then bake! It’s that simple.
What sets this candied yams recipe apart from some of my other yams recipes is that no boiling or other special steps are required. Instead, we’ll just bake them until they’re perfectly tender, and we are good to go. Here’s a quick step-by-step overview of how to make my soul food style baked candied yams.
- Wash and peel the yams. Yes, I know we’re peeling, so why wash? So that none of that skin grime gets on that vibrant orange flesh, that’s why! Using a vegetable peeler is the easiest way to peel yams, in my opinion.
- Cut the yams. Instead of cutting them up into chunks, I cut my yams into half-inch (ish) circles. For medium-sized yams, that’s the perfect cut. If your yams are larger or smaller, use your judgment. Then, spread them out in your baking dish.
- Make the candied yam sauce. In a medium sauce pot, melt a whole stick of butter. Once you have that melted butter in there, add the sugars and spices. Mix until the sugar is completely dissolved. I do this over medium heat, then turn the heat off before mixing in the vanilla. You don’t want to overheat the sugar mixture and cause it to burn.
- Pour the glaze over the yams. Cover all those fresh yams with that sweet, sweet sauce. Feel free to stir the yams until they’re well-coated.
- Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. After the first 30 minutes, the yams won’t be done just yet—but now is the time to base them with that candied mixture. Use a spoon to stir the yams and spread that caramelized goodness all over the yams. Cover and return to the oven for another 15-20 minutes.
- Let the candied yams sit before serving. This will let the glaze thicken slightly, making it the perfect caramelly glaze (plus, you don’t want to serve molten sugar to your guests!).
Soul Food Baked Candied Yams Video Tutorial
You can watch how I make my baked candied yams recipe on YouTube or below in the recipe card! The tutorial makes it easy to see how I cut the yams, make the glaze, and what the finished product looks like. Don’t forget to like and comment on the video and subscribe to my channel, where I regularly add new recipe video tutorials!
Candied Yams Recipe Variations, Pro-Tips, and FAQs
Everyone has their way of making candied yams. Is mine the best way? Well, of course, I believe it is. But even so, I want y’all to make the best side dish you’ve ever made. So, if you’ve got questions, I got answers! As always, I highly recommend following the written recipe as-is for the best results.
What do you do with leftover baked candied yams?
I will warn you that these candied yams will go FAST, so there might not be any leftovers! However, you can keep leftover candied yams in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.
How to reheat baked candied yams:
- In the oven: Cover with foil in an oven-safe dish and reheat at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.
- In the microwave: Reheat in a microwave-safe container in 30-60 second intervals, occasionally stirring, until reheated. You can cover it with vented plastic wrap to trap some steam, but DON’T cover with foil!
Can you freeze these baked candied yams?
Baked candied yams will not freeze well, so I do not recommend freezing them. The yams will get mushy, and the texture will change completely.
Can you make candied yams ahead of time?
I have to say this recipe tastes best when made the same day—and it’s SO easy to make too! However, yes, you can make baked candied yams ahead of time. First, cut up the yams and cover them with sauce, then allow the sauce to cool completely before storing the prepped yams in the fridge. Then, when it’s time to bake, simply cover with foil and bake according to my recipe directions.
What toppings can you add to baked candied yams?
If you want candied yams with toppings, check out my candied yams with mini marshmallows recipe! Some popular toppings include:
- Miniature marshmallows.
- Candied pecans (mix chopped pecans into the sauce mixture or make a praline topping).
- Maple syrup drizzle (or add it to the sauce when cooking).
- Streusel topping (like on my Southern sweet potato casserole recipe).
- Flaky sea salt for a hint of saltiness to balance out the sweetness.
Can I half or double this baked candied yams recipe to feed fewer/more people?
Of course, you can! The recipe, as written, feeds about eight people (depending on their appetites!), so if you are feeding a large crowd of people, you may want to make several pans of these yams. If you use a larger pan (like a roasting pan) and more yams, you will likely need to extend the cooking time so the yams all cook evenly. On the other hand, if you’re planning on halving the recipe to feed a smaller family, the yams might take less time to cook! Start at 30 minutes and work from there.
Do you have to boil the yams before baking them?
No, ma’am—there is NO boiling required in this recipe! That’s what makes these easy candied yams. One less step, one less pot used, that’s a win in my book!
What are some other ways to cook candied yams?
If you’re short on time or, more importantly, oven space (especially during the holidays!), I also have a slow cooker candied yams recipe, stove top Bourbon candied yams, and Instant Pot candied yams.
Recipe Card for Soul Food Style Baked Candied Yams
No joke, everyone loves these oven-baked candied yams. You can’t go wrong with this classic holiday side dish! If you made this recipe and loved it, let me know in the comments below! Print out this recipe card with detailed instructions, cook times, and ingredient measurements and keep it on hand for holidays, a special occasion, or whenever you feel like enjoying some good ol’ soul food.
Don’t forget to follow along with all things Rosie and I Heart Recipes by following me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, and check out all my cookbooks! I just released a brand new cookbook, Super Soul Food with Cousin Rosie, with many recipes you can’t find anywhere else.
Soul Food Style Baked Candied Yams
- 5 medium sized yams I use Red Garnet yams
- 8 tbsp salted butter softened
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground clove
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar light or dark
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract not imitation
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Wash the yams.
- Peel then chop the yams (make sure that they are about 1/2 inch thick).
- Place the yams into a 9×13 baking dish.
- Place the butter into a medium-sized pot and melt it over medium heat.
- Once the butter is melted, sprinkle in the white & brown sugar, ground cinnamon,ground nutmeg, ground ginger, and ground clove.
- Turn the stove off, mix the ingredients until the sugar is dissolved, then add in the vanilla extract.
- Pour the candied mixture over the yams and try to coat all the yams with the buttery brown sugar glaze.
- Next, cover the baking dish with foil and bake the yams in the oven for 30 minutes.
- Remove the yams from the oven and baste them with the candied mixture. Mix with a spoon so the glaze evenly covers all the yam slices.
- Cover the yams and continue baking for another 15-20 minutes.
- Remove the yams from the oven – they should now be super tender and soft. Let them sit for about 10 minutes before serving (the glaze with thicken up).
More Holiday-Ready Sweet Potato Recipes:
Sweet Potato Pie Cinnamon Rolls
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