December 31, 2019 | Last Updated on January 9, 2023 by Patricia Valbrun
Grandma’s Candied Yams Recipe (Southern Candied Yams) are a delicious fall side dish that combines thick sweet potato slices with a butter and sugar mixture and spices.
These yams are baked until tender and have a wonderful sweet flavor with hints of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and vanilla. Follow the steps below to recreate Grandma’s classic candied yams recipe.
I’m so excited to share this recipe with you all. It’s so simple and so worth it!! If you’re a Southern Candied Yam lover then you will adore the taste of these sweet, buttery, cinnamony baked yams!
Ingredients You Need To Make This Recipe
Sweet potatoes: 3 pounds of sweet potatoes are used in this recipe. They are washed, peeled, and cut into ½ inch thick rounds before baking.
Granulated sugar: This ingredient is used to sweeten the yams and create the syrupy baking liquid.
Dark brown sugar: This sugar is combined with granulated sugar and butter to create the syrup for the yams.
Unsalted butter: This ingredient is mixed with sugar to create the sweet and flavorful baking liquid for the sweet potatoes.
Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and vanilla extract: These ingredients are used to flavor the candied yams and add depth to the overall taste of the dish.
How To Make Southern Candied Yams
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Wash, cut, and peel the sweet potatoes. Place them in a buttered baking dish.
- In a small pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the white sugar, brown sugar, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and spices to the pot. Stir until the sugar and butter have fully dissolved.
- Pour the mixture over the sweet potatoes in the baking dish.
- Cover the dish and bake for one hour. During the final 20 minutes of baking, uncover the dish to allow the sweet potatoes to caramelize.
- Serve hot and enjoy!
What Are Soul Food Candied Yams
Soul food candied yams are a traditional African American dish that is often served as a side dish at holiday meals and other special occasions. They are made by slicing sweet potatoes into rounds or wedges and baking them in a rich and flavorful syrup made from sugar, butter, and spices.
The sweet potatoes are slow-cooked in the oven until they are tender and caramelized, and the syrup has thickened and reduced.
Soul food candied yams are a beloved and quintessential part of African American cuisine, and are often enjoyed alongside other soul food dishes such as fried chicken, collard greens, and cornbread. They are known for their sweet, savory, and comforting flavor, and are a staple at soul food restaurants and holiday dinners in the African American community.
Why Do Black People Call Sweet Potatoes Yams?
This dates back to the slave trade, when African slaves were introduced to sweet potatoes for the first time. The sweet potatoes that they encountered were similar in appearance to the yams that they knew from their homeland, and so they called them by the same name.
Today, the term “yams” is often used interchangeably with “sweet potatoes” in African American communities. However, true yams can be difficult to find in the United States and are not as commonly consumed as sweet potatoes.
What Is The Difference Between Yams And Sweet Potatoes?
Yams and sweet potatoes are two distinct vegetables that are often confused with one another. Yams are a type of tuber that is native to Africa and Asia, and are traditionally grown in tropical and subtropical regions. They have a tough, dark brown or black skin and white, purple, or reddish flesh.
Yams are typically larger and drier than sweet potatoes, and have a starchy, slightly sweet flavor.
Sweet potatoes, on the other hand, are a type of root vegetable that is native to the Americas. They have a thin, smooth skin that can be white, yellow, orange, or purple in color, and a sweet, moist flesh. Sweet potatoes are typically smaller and sweeter than yams, and have a softer texture when cooked.
Made In Advance And Reheated?
Candied yams can be made in advance and reheated. To do so, prepare the yams according to the recipe and allow them to cool completely. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and refrigerate until ready to serve.
When ready to reheat, place the yams in a 350°F (175°C) oven for about 20 minutes, or until heated through.
Variations or Substitutions
There are many variations that can be made to a traditional candied yams recipe.
For example, you can try adding marshmallows or a crumb topping to the yams for a sweeter and more indulgent dish.
Alternatively, you can try using different types of sugar or adding additional spices to the yams for a more complex flavor.
Health Benefits to Eating Candied Yams
Candied yams are a good source of nutrients such as vitamin A and potassium, and can be part of a balanced diet when consumed in moderation.
They can be a healthier alternative to other sweet side dishes, as they are made with natural sweeteners.
Storage or Handling Instructions For Leftovers
Leftover candied yams should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. To reheat, follow the instructions above for reheating refrigerated yams.
Served and Paired With…
The sweet and savory flavors of the yams complement a range of main dishes and sides, making for a satisfying and delicious meal.
Frequently Asked Questions
HOW CAN THE SWEETNESS LEVEL OF CANDIED YAMS BE ADJUSTED TO PERSONAL PREFERENCE?
The sweetness level of candied yams can be adjusted to personal preference by using more or less sugar in the recipe. You can also try using alternative sweeteners such as honey or agave nectar in place of some or all of the sugar.
WHAT ARE SOME CREATIVE WAYS TO USE LEFTOVER CANDIED YAMS IN OTHER RECIPES?
There are many creative ways to use leftover candied yams in other recipes. They can be used as a topping for baked goods, or soups or stews for a sweet and savory twist. You can also try using them as a filling for omelets or frittatas, or as a topping for breakfast hashes.
WHY ARE MY CANDIED YAMS RUNNY?
There are several potential reasons why your candied yams may be runny. Some possible causes include not using enough sugar, overcooking the yams.
Grandma’s Candied Yams Recipe
- 4-5 sweet potatoes medium
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup heavy whip cream
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon ginger
- 1 1/2 tablespoons real maple syrup
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Start by washing, peeling then cutting your sweet potatoes in your desired shape. Place sweet potatoes inside your buttered baking dish and set aside.
- Heat up a small pan. On low high heat melt butter then add sugar, brown sugar, heavy cream, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes until the sugar has melted into the butter.
- Once sugar and butter has disloved in the mixture, pour it over the sweet potatoes.
- Bake on 350F 1 hour covered and the last 20 minutes uncovered.
- Serve warm, enjoy!
Did you enjoy this Southern Side Dish recipe? Leave a comment and let me know what you think. You can find more side dish recipes here.