Candied Roasted Sweet Potatoes Roasted, then candied! A new twist on candied "yams" for your Holiday dinner.

Candied Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Even if Southern Sweet Potato Casserole topped with pecans is a must-have on your Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter dinner menu, you will want to try this easy Candied Roasted Sweet Potatoes recipe. Only 5 ingredients and no slicing into rounds or mashing, so less prep time!

The shortcut is roasting them for easy peeling and added caramelized flavor. You can see in the picture the “sticky sweet” candied texture that may become your family’s new side dish tradition this holiday.Broiled marshmallows top candied sweet potatoes with a spoonful lifted from the casserole dish

Where did I get the original recipe?

This recipe started from a recipe I chased down at a church potluck! Many years ago, our church potlucks always had these sticky-sweet (in a good way) sweet potato halves that I always looked forward to adding to my plate. I finally investigated and found the sweet lady that brought them. Mrs. Connie Parker, who has since passed on to be with Jesus, was happy to share her recipe for Candied Sweet Potatoes with me.

Making the recipe my own with a tasty shortcut

Her recipe instructed me to boil the potatoes and did not top them with marshmallows. They were simply wonderful as they were. But, after several years of making them this way, I decided to try roasting the sweet potatoes. When I boiled them, they tended to hold some of the water and I had to keep a watch on them so they wouldn’t boil over or run out of water in the pan.

When I roasted them, they peeled easily and the roasting concentrated the rich flavor of the sweet potato, caramelizing the natural sugar in them and clean up was a breeze.

I typically top half of the candied sweet potatoes with mini marshmallows and broil them because half of my family likes them plain and half likes the marshmallow pull they get from the melted marshmallows-kinda like a pizza cheese pull!

At my recent Holiday Cooking Show that benefited my husband and son’s nonprofit Outdoor Ability Foundation I put on a pair of pearls and donned a vintage 1950’s apron to prepare this recipe in honor of Mrs. Connie Parker. She was an amazing cook and fine Christian woman. I talked about how we can take our favorite holiday recipes that are steeped in tradition and tweak them a bit to either make them healthier, more convenient or timesaving, or add a twist to them like I did with roasting instead of boiling them.

How to Roast Sweet Potatoes

5 sweet potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet

Let’s get started by roasting the sweet potatoes- not to be confused with yams. Read the difference between sweet potatoes and yams here from Kitchn.

First place 5 or 6 small sweet potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet. Do not pierce with a fork or knife! If you do, as the sweet potatoes caramelize inside the skins, the brown sugar-like goodness will ooze out and drip onto the foil. So, these bake a little differently than baking potatoes where you want to pierce them to release steam.

5 baked sweet potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet

That’s it! It’s that simple to roast sweet potatoes. They can be baked several days ahead and left in their “jackets” in a zip-top bag. They are actually delicious eaten just like this or with a little bit of butter and cinnamon sugar.

5 peeled roasted sweet potatoes on a wooden surface with peels in a pile

The size of the sweet potatoes will determine how many you can fit into the casserole dish. The skins should easily pull off when the potatoes are cooled. Cut them in half lengthwise.

How to make Roasted Candied Sweet Potatoes

Sliced lengthwise sweet potatoes in a white casserole dish with bottle of corn syrup and melted butter on the side

Yes, 1 1/2 cups of sugar is a lot of sugar to pour over the potatoes but remember these are “candied” sweet potatoes! Next comes the corn syrup which prevents the sugar from crystalizing.

Sweet Potatoes halves are coated with sugar and drizzled with corn syrup and butter in a white casserole dish before baking

And finally, butter. Mrs. Parker dotted her potatoes with butter, but as a shortcut (since the butter was going to melt anyway) I just melted it first and drizzled it over the potatoes.

Sweet Potatoes are roasted first, then candied in the oven in a white casserole dish on a blue pot holder.
Sweet Potatoes are roasted first, then candied in the oven to make Roasted Candied Sweet Potatoes. Gild the lily by toasting marshmallows on top!

Can you hear them sizzle? Bake for 40 minutes, uncovered. They are now candied in all their glistening glory!

Candied Roasted Sweet potato spooned onto a blue rimmed plate with remaining sweet potatoes in baking dish in background
Roasted Candied Sweet Potatoes are made with roasted sweet potatoes then candied in the oven.

They are ready to serve just as they are and this is what they looked like at the church potlucks. You can see why I chased down the owner of the recipe, right?

Candied Sweet potatoes in a white casserole About half my family loves toasted marshmallows on the candied sweet potatoes and the other half prefers them “naked” like this.

Toasted mini marshmallows covers candied sweet potatoes in a white casserole dish

If you want to “gild the lily” and add mini marshmallows, just broil them for a couple of minutes-be sure to watch them closely- right before serving. After you broil the marshmallows is not a good time to put them back in the fridge for storage unless you reheat the whole thing in the oven before serving-the marshmallows tend to stick to the spoon but I’ve eaten my share of cold candied sweet potatoes straight from the fridge the day after Thanksgiving, too!

Spoonful of candied sweet potatoes lifted from white casserole dish

We all have our favorite recipes for Thanksgiving or Christmas that we absolutely must have on the buffet table or it isn’t complete, right? My family in Arkansas feels the same way but we have a tradition of every family bringing a new recipe to the feast in ADDITION to the well-loved faves. If you like that idea, maybe this will be your new recipe to introduce to your family.

To watch my segment for Candied Roasted Sweet Potatoes on ABC 33/40‘s Talk of Alabama click on the image below.

Kathleen Phillips making Candied Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Nicole Allshouse on ABC 33/40's Talk of Alabama morning show

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below or on my social media posts what are your family recipe traditions that you feel are “must haves”.

Be sure to follow me on FacebookInstagramPinterest and Twitter and don’t leave before you send me your email address here so you don’t miss a single post on my Southern shortcut recipes!

Candied Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 17 mins
Total Time
1 hr 27 mins

Altered from the late Mrs. Connie Parker’s recipe. She shared her version with me many years ago after years of bringing it to church potlucks. I roast my sweet potatoes instead of boiling them and melt the butter instead of dotting with cold butter.

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: candied sweet potatoes, candied yams, christmas dinner, sweet potato casserole, sweet potatoes, thanksgiving dinner
Servings: 10 servings
  • 5 or 6 small sweet potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup salted butter melted
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows optional
  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Place sweet potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet. Do not poke holes in potatoes. Roast potatoes for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until a fork easily pushes to the center of the potatoes when tested. Let cool completely. This step can be done 3 days in advance.
  2. Remove skins from potatoes and cut in half lengthwise; place them in an ungreased 2-quart or 13x9-inch casserole dish. Pour sugar evenly over sweet potatoes. It’s ok for it to spill over between the potatoes. Drizzle the corn syrup over the sugar. Do not stir. Drizzle everything with butter. Bake for 40 minutes or until sugar is melted and bubbly.
  3. If adding marshmallows, change oven to broil. Sprinkle marshmallows on sweet potatoes and broil 1 to 2 minutes or until lightly toasted.

Author: gritsandgouda

Hi! I’m Kathleen. I’m a food stylist, recipe developer, cookbook author, and event planner loving life in a charming town called Gardendale, Alabama, with my husband and two teenage children. I love to cook and laugh…not necessarily in that order.

19 thoughts

  1. Usually I make a sweet potato casserole – with the pecan crumble topping – and this year I wanted to try something different. I’ve been baking sweet potato’s for years now since its so much easier and when I found this recipe I just had to try it for our Thanksgiving. People who usually just took a spoonful of sweet potatos in the past went back for seconds (and one person went back for thirds lol) This recipe is so easy to prepare in advance and then pop in the oven before dinner. I’ve had requests to make it this way for Christmas this year too! Thanks!

    1. That is soooo exciting and wonderful to hear! It’s crazy how people love this recipe because it’s so crazy-good! Thank you for sharing your experience with my Candied Roasted Sweet Potatoes with me. When you make it for Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, be sure to post a picture on Facebook or Instagram and tag me in it @gritsandgouda or use the hashtag #gritsandgouda so I can see your creation!

      1. Well it’s a bit late for Thanksgiving, up here in Canada it was a week ago lol. If I still have my wits about me when preparing for Christmas, I’ll try to remember to do the picture!

    1. Those Grandmas really knew how to cook! I have fond memories of my Grandma’s cooking. So glad you liked the candied sweet potatoes!

    1. Yes, it should work! I would be interested to hear back from you after you’ve tried it. Brown sugar is just regular cane sugar with molasses added and brown sugar and sweet potatoes pair well together. Dark brown sugar has a lot more molasses added. I can’t wait to hear from you on the results!

    1. So glad you loved them! The leftovers are just as good as same day. I often eat them as dessert with my leftovers!

  2. These are amazing! The clean up on the oven roasted part was a breeze! You have GOT to try them. I took them to my church potluck and they cleaned the bowl!!!!

    1. That makes me so happy! I discovered the original recipe at a potluck and you took them to a potluck. Love it! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Hi Kathleen! This is a great recipe and I look forward to trying it! One note from me is that I have great success in baking my sweet potatoes in my crock pot in a standing position. Put as many sweet potatoes in a tall crockpot standing up and supporting each other. Do not add any liquid because they make their own small amount. Bake for 3 hours on high or according to how thick the s. potatoes are. Cool and peel easily.Use anyway you want to. Hope you give this a try. Carolyn

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