These candied yams with marshmallows (or without) are a must for Thanksgiving! With a simple sweet syrup, cinnamon and a hint of vanilla, these sweet potatoes are a classic. Add mini marshmallows and bake for a holiday favorite everyone will love.
Candied Yams with Marshmallows
Guys, I totally meant to post this before Thanksgiving but, well…life. Anyways, I’m posting it now since I know a lot of you will be making sweet potatoes for Christmas!
When I was a kid, these marshmallow-topped candied yams were one of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes (a close tie with grandma’s Rice Dressing). I like to experiment with my dishes, like the incredible Pumpkin Brownie Trifle instead of pumpkin pie, but there are some things you don’t mess with, like these classic candied yams.
Grandma’s children always requested her sweet potato casserole with brown sugar topping, but her grandchildren always clamored for the candied yams with marshmallows. To her credit, she obligingly made both along with a full Midwestern Thanksgiving dinner.
These candied yams can be made with or without marshmallows. As a kid, the marshmallows were my favorite part. The charred, melted gooey topping was irresistible! As an adult who now appreciates tastes beyond sugar, they can be omitted so the sweet potatoes really shine.
A note about yams or sweet potatoes: In the USA the terms are used interchangeably. My candied yams are actually sweet potatoes.
In the grocery store, sweet potatoes are commonly labeled as yams, even if they aren’t true yams, which is confusing. Either way, you’ll want sweet potatoes for this recipe!
To start, scrub the sweet potatoes and place in a large pot. Fill with water until they are covered and bring to a boil. Peel and cut the sweet potatoes. You can cut them into slices or cubes.
Place them in a baking dish if you will be topping with marshmallows. For the syrup, simply bring all the ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan. Pour over the sweet potatoes, top with marshmallows and bake until golden brown.
If you do not want to use marshmallows, combine the syrup ingredients in a large skillet and add the sweet potatoes. Bring to a boil and then simmer until thickened.
This recipe is so easy to customize to your family’s taste so I’ve included a few substitutions in the recipe below. Happy holidays to you and yours!
Pin this to your holiday board!
- 2 lbs sweet potatoes
- 1/3 cup white or brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons water or orange juice
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 cups marshmallows (optional)
- Scrub the sweet potatoes and place in a large pot. Fill with water until they are covered by at least 1 inch of water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork.
- Drain potatoes and peel once they are cool enough to handle. Cut the sweet potatoes into 1/2-inch slices or cubes.
- For the syrup, combine the sugar, water, butter, vanilla, salt and cinnamon in a small saucepan and bring to a rapid boil. Place sweet potatoes in an 8x8 baking dish and drizzle with syrup. Top with marshmallows and bake for about 20 minutes at 350F, or until golden brown.
- In a large skillet, combine the sugar, water, butter, vanilla, salt and cinnamon. Add the sweet potatoes, stirring to coat. Bring to a simmer and cook until thick and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Transfer to serving dish.
These candied yams with marshmallows first appeared on Amanda’s Cookin’ as a guest contribution by Kitchen Gidget.