Brown Sugar Candied Yams [Video]

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
5 from 6 reviews

Recipes Side Dishes Thanksgiving Recipes Vegetarian

Cook time Cook time: 30 minutes

Brown Sugar Candied Yams are roasted in a butter-brown sugar sauce flavored with fresh orange, autumn spices, and fragrant rosemary. No Thanksgiving feast is complete without this side dish!

No matter the season, everyone looks forward to a healthy and delicious dessert. Finish your holiday meal on a sweeter note with these Sweet Potato Pie Cupcakes, Pecan Pie Bars, and Pumpkin Cheesecake, all creative twists on classic desserts!

Baked Candied Yams

Brown Sugar Candied Yams are old-school soul food, and we have the South to thanks for this terrific dish. It’s never absent from my Thanksgiving spread because it goes so well with savory dishes like turkey and beef roast.

It’s so delicious on its own as well. The tender yams are glazed in a buttery, caramelized, brown sugar sauce infused with herbs, spices, and orange. Glazed to perfection and absolutely addicting!

Finally, I bet you’ll love how simple it is to make. After par-boiling the sweet potatoes, you only need to make the sauce then bake until it’s done. It’s a lighter, easier alternative when you have no time to whip up a whole sweet potato casserole. I strongly suggest doubling or even tripling the recipe because these go fast!

Are yams healthy?

Yes, these humble tubers are incredibly healthy for you. Aside from being loaded with fiber, they’re also full of nutrients like manganese, potassium, and antioxidants.

Also, as part of a balanced diet, they’ve been linked to improved cholesterol levels, better brain function, decreased inflammation, prevent anemia, and boost eyesight.

In addition, they are good for the heart, skin, and blood sugar too. It’s hard to believe that something so healthy can taste as yummy as this side dish does!

Brown Sugar Candied Yams ingredients:

  • Yams: buy the naturally sweet red- or orange-fleshed varieties like garnet or jewel sweet potatoes, then cut into chunks.
  • Orange: we’re using both zest and fresh juice for that fruity tang.
  • Rosemary: adds a warm, herby flavor to the dish.
  • Brown sugar: you may use dark or light brown sugar.
  • Spices: prepare the usual fall spice trio of nutmeg, cinnamon, and ground ginger.
  • Butter: I use unsalted so I can control the flavor, but it’s okay to use the salted version too.

How to make Brown Sugar Candied Yams?

  1. Parboil. Submerge the chunks in boiling water for around 5 to 10 mins. Avoid fully cooking them. You should be able to pierce them with a fork, but still a bit raw in the middle.
  2. Reduce the syrup. Next, take all remaining ingredients then boil in a skillet until reduced.
  3. Bake. Roast on high until cooked through and tender and the sauce has turned into a syrupy glaze.
  4. Serve. Best to enjoy them hot, topped with rosemary and orange zest for presentation.

Why are my candied yams runny?

A common reason is that you didn’t allow the sugar sauce to reduce enough on the skillet before pouring on the sweet potatoes and baking. In addition, the boiled yams will still release moisture while baking, and this can contribute to runniness too.

Here are a couple of fixes:

  • Instead of regular butter, use ghee aka clarified butter because it has less moisture content.
  • Take a few more minutes to reduce the sugar glaze on the pan before pouring it onto the casserole. Whisk constantly to avoid burning the sweet sauce.

What to serve with Yams?

This side dish will complement almost everything on your holiday menu. Serve it with entrees like turkey, roasted chicken, slow cooker corned beef, bacon pork loin. Don’t forget the cranberry sauce on the side!

More easy side dish recipes:

How to store Brown Sugar Candied Yams?

Cool all leftovers thoroughly. Then, transfer to an air-tight container and ensure it is covered. They will stay good in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze it for as long as two months.

To reheat them, use a microwave, and reheat for a few minutes until hot. You can also use the oven, and bake them on low heat until heated all the way through.

Recipe Tips:

  • Switch up the flavors by using other spices like nutmeg, adding a splash of cranberry juice, or a bit of pure vanilla extract.
  • Don’t fully cook the yams when boiling because it will become mushy after continuing to cook in the oven.
  • Mix a little molasses into granulated sugar for a quick substitute if you don’t have brown on hand.
  • Instead of baking, you can also grill them and just pour the thick syrup on top.
  • You can make this ahead by parboiling, making the syrup, and keeping in sealed containers in the fridge. Finish baking on the day you’re planning to serve it.
brown sugar candied yums with rosemary

Brown Sugar Candied Yams

Brown Sugar Candied Yams are roasted in a butter-brown sugar sauce flavored with fresh orange, autumn spices, and fragrant rosemary.
5 from 6 votes
Save Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 530kcal
Author: Catalina Castravet


  • 2.5 - 3 pounds sweet potatoes (peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary (chopped)
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 6 tablespoons butter


  • Place the sweet potatoes chunks in a large pot and cover with a couple inches of cold water. Add the sald and bring to a boil. Boil for 7-10 minutes, or until you can just starting to get tender, but not fully cooked. Drain and set aside.
  • Mix the remaining ingredients in a large sauté pan and bring to a boil on high heat. Cook until sauce reduces to a syrup.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Add sweet potatoes to a large lightly buttered casserole dish, add the sauce, toss gentle to combine.
  • Bake until the sauce reduces to a syrup and the potatoes are tender, about 10-15 minutes. Serve hot.
  • Garnish with a bit of orange zest and some rosemary.



Calories: 530kcal | Carbohydrates: 110g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 573mg | Potassium: 1234mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 58g | Vitamin A: 44741IU | Vitamin C: 40mg | Calcium: 140mg | Iron: 2mg
Made This Recipe?

Show me what you made on Instagram or Facebook and tag me at @sweetnsavorymeals or hashtag it at #sweetnsavorymeals.

Get free recipes to your inbox!


Leave a reply

Maricar Rodriguez

Not familiar with this but it looks good and yummy! I need to try this at home for my kids and hubby


Monica Simpson

I like the combo of the brown sugar plus the rosemary. I would love to bring these to Thanksgiving this year.



A classic Thanksgiving staple! My sweet potato loving parents would love this.



This looks like a delicious way to serve yams. I can't wait to try them!


Terri A Steffes

So good we started making these all year round. love your recipe! I need to do more brown sugar.



Yes! I need a yams recipe for Thanksgiving and Christmas! Thanks for sharing.


Nikki Wayne

This looks so yummy and healthy too. I'm gonna love this absolutely.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.