Baked Candied Yams Recipe

Having a reliable side dish to whip up helps relieve some of the pressure of holiday entertaining. To mark the occasion, it should be a touch more elevated than the usual options you prepare for an ordinary weeknight dinner. Food Republic recipe developer Milena Manolova brings us this recipe for baked candied yams, and chances are you'll be eager to make it no matter the day of the year. The result is impressive and mouthwatering, both excellent qualities when you want to be the host with the most.

Manolova comments, "Not only [are the yams] so easy to make, but the combination of sweetness, caramelization, spices, and the balance of soft texture with the addition of crunchy pecans makes this dish a delicious explosion of flavor." With layers of spices and an element of richness, these baked candied yams will be the talk of the night. Thanks to the bold flavors, you can serve this side dish alongside a roast with steamed vegetables for a novel take on a classic pairing. 

Gather the ingredients for these baked candied yams

For this recipe, you'll need melted butter, yams (or sweet potatoes), dark brown sugar (or muscovado), and white sugar. To season the dish, Manolova calls for cinnamon, nutmeg, whole cloves (or ¼ teaspoon of ground cloves), orange juice and zest, salt, vanilla extract (or paste), and chopped pecans. If desired, she suggests adding some ground ginger too. 

Manolova remarks, "I think adding vanilla is the key. It definitely creates additional depth of flavor. I highly recommend using real vanilla (not artificial flavoring), vanilla extract, vanilla paste, or even a whole vanilla bean." As for including two types of sugar in the recipe, she describes, "Using dark brown sugar adds a more complex, deep flavor with toffee-like caramel notes."

Prep the baking dish

Start by preheating the oven to 350 F. Brush a 12x9-inch baking dish with about 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Next, spread out the cut yams to cover the base of the dish. 

Combine the spices, sugar, and butter

Place a small saucepan on the stovetop over medium heat and add the brown and white sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger (if using), orange juice, zest, the remaining butter, and salt. Stir the ingredients constantly as you cook them for 3 to 4 minutes. Manolova warns that stirring is essential "to prevent the sugar from sticking to the bottom or burning, which will add an unpleasant bitter taste." Take the pan off the burner and add the vanilla.

Bake the yams covered

Carefully pour the spiced butter over the yams in the dish and mix them up so the yams are well coated. Cover the dish with tin foil and place it on the middle rack of the oven. Bake the yams covered for 30 minutes.

Stir and keep baking

Remove the foil cover and stir the yams with the sauce that settled to the bottom to distribute it over the top. Bake the dish uncovered for 25 minutes or until the yams are tender when poked with a fork.

Add the pecans and serve

Remove the dish from the oven and stir in the chopped pecans. Give it a moment to cool down then dole out your portions. Manolova notes, "Since candied yams are a very popular holiday dish, they are perfect served with turkey or baked ham." If you're serving this dish for an everyday occasion, she adds, "Also, it goes very well with pork brisket and roasted chicken."

If you have any leftovers, store them covered in the fridge for up to three days or in the freezer for up to three months. "Keep in mind that the texture will change when defrosted; they will become a bit more mushy," Manolova warns.

Baked Candied Yams Recipe
5 from 32 ratings
Whether you need a go-to holiday side dish or you want to make something special on any old weekday, these baked candied yams will do the trick.
Prep Time
Cook Time
candied yams with pecans
Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter, divided
  • 3 pounds yams or sweet potatoes, peeled and cut
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 5 whole cloves
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 orange, zested
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup pecans, chopped
Optional Ingredients
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Brush a 12x9-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Add the yams to the dish.
  3. Add the sugars, spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger), orange juice and zest, the rest of the melted butter, and salt to a saucepan. Stirring constantly, cook on medium heat for about 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
  5. Pour the liquid over the yams and mix well, making sure all the yams are coated.
  6. Cover the dish with foil and bake on the middle rack for 30 minutes.
  7. Take the foil off and mix the yams with the sauce from the bottom of the dish.
  8. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes, or until the yams are tender.
  9. Remove the dish from the oven and mix in the chopped pecans.
  10. Let it cool for a few minutes then serve and enjoy.
Calories per Serving 519
Total Fat 16.1 g
Saturated Fat 7.6 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 30.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 92.3 g
Dietary Fiber 8.4 g
Total Sugars 53.7 g
Sodium 230.9 mg
Protein 4.7 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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