Thanksgiving just wouldn’t be the same without Candied Sweet Potatoes!  These classic Candied Sweet Potatoes start with fork-tender cooked sweet potatoes.  They get covered with a homemade sauce made of brown sugar, butter, vanilla, and warm spices, then baked in the oven until the flavors meld together.  Lastly, marshmallows get scattered over the top and toasted until golden brown, just before serving.  These candied sweet potatoes are simply a must beside any Thanksgiving turkey!

Candied sweet potatoes.

These classic candied sweet potatoes always made an appearance on my mother’s Thanksgiving dinner table, and I think I’ve made them at least 40 times over the years.  They are always on my Thanksgiving dinner table alongside Turkey, cranberry salad, dressing, gravy, and other sides.  Over the years I’ve made whipped sweet potatoes and sweet potato casserole, but I always come back to this classic recipe.


  • Super easy to make
  • Perfect for making the day before, reheating and adding marshmallows the next day
  • Tender cooked and fresh, unlike canned sweet potatoes
  • Full of flavor from the buttery brown sugar sauce with nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla


  1.  Cook the sweet potatoes:  Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into slices at least 1- inch in thickness.  Cover with water and cook until fork-tender.  Drain and place in a casserole dish.
  2.  Make the sauce:  Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add the brown sugar, water, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Bring to a boil and remove from heat.  Pour sauce over the sweet potatoes.
  3.  Bake the sweet potatoes:  Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove and add marshmallows and return to the oven until marshmallows are toasted.


It’s common for grocery stores in the US to carry at least two varieties of sweet potatoes.  Some stores label one variety as yams, but they’re really sweet potatoes.  This confusion goes way back in history.  It’s actually hard to find true yams in the US unless you shop specialty produce shops.  The two most common varieties of sweet potatoes in US grocery stores are the orange-fleshed and the light yellow-fleshed potatoes.  The light yellow-fleshed potato has a dry crumbly texture and is not sweet.  It’s very similar to a white potato.  The darker orange-fleshed potato is commonly mislabeled as a yam.  It has a moist texture and is the most popular variety used in casseroles and pies.  So if you’re looking at a sign that labeled yams, chances are you’re really looking at orange-fleshed sweet potatoes.

Candied Sweet Potatoes.

Here are some other Thanksgivings sides you might like…

Easy Whipped Sweet Potatoes

Cranberry Strawberry Salad

Corn Pudding Casserole

No-Fail Turkey Milk Gravy

Perfect & Easy Turkey Pan Gravy

Angel Rolls

Green Bean Mushroom Medley

If you make this recipe please rate it, and leave a comment below on how you liked it. I love hearing from you!

Wanna see different recipes each day? Feel free to follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, & Instagram.

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Candied Sweet Potatoes

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star No reviews
  • Author: Cindy Gibbs
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 min
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 to 10 Servings 1x
  • Category: Sides
  • Method: Cook
  • Cuisine: American


These Candied Sweet Potatoes have a warmly spiced, buttery, brown sugar syrup over freshly cooked sweet potatoes and a sprinkling of toasted marshmallows on top. The perfect Thanksgiving side!


Units Scale
  • 4 large or 5 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 5 to 6 large marshmallows cut in half, or 3/4 cup mini marshmallows (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into thick slices, at least 1-inch in thickness, or cut them in large chunks.  Place the sweet potatoes in a 2-quart saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are fork-tender.  Remove from heat, drain, and transfer potatoes to a medium-size casserole dish.
  3. Meantime, melt the butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan.  Add the brown sugar, water, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla and combine.  Bring to a boil and remove from the heat.  Pour the syrup mixture evenly over the sweet potatoes.
  4. Bake sweet potatoes for 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and scatter the marshmallows over the top.  Return to the oven and watch them closely until the marshmallows become brown and toasted on top.  Remove from oven and serve immediately.
  5. Refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 to 4 days.



  • Sweet potatoes can be baked the day before.  Remove from refrigerator 1 hour before reheating.  Heat for 20 minutes, scatter the marshmallows over the top and return to oven until the marshmallows are toasted.
  • Cook time includes cooking and baking the sweet potatoes.