Southern Candied Sweet Potatoes are a delicious holiday side dish. They are covered in a mixture of butter, sugar, syrup and vanilla; then, caramelized in the oven. To me, they are the ultimate comfort food and make a sweet, simple, and satisfying side dish for your holiday table.

My mother-in-law introduced me to candied sweet potatoes more than 30 years ago, and they have always been a staple on our holiday menu. This candied version is a family favorite, and I hope it becomes a favorite for you and your family as well.

These potatoes are quick enough to put together on a busy weeknight, and everything you need to prepare them is probably already in your pantry. 

Besides, there’s nothing more Southern than a big bowl of candied sweet potatoes,



2 large or 4 medium sweet potatoes (about 2


1 stick butter

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 white sugar

1/4 cup dark Karo syrup

2 teaspoon vanilla


How To Make Candied Sweet Potatoes

Candied sweet potatoes are not difficult to make. You will only need a handful of ingredients to make this Southern dish with tender potatoes baked in a sweet and sticky sauce.

First, start by peeling and slicing the potatoes – fry style.

Then, in a large cast-iron skillet on low heat, melt butter. Add water, sugars, syrup and vanilla. Heat and stir until all is melted.

Add potatoes and toss well until coated. Bring to simmer and cook for 20 minutes on the stovetop. Gently stir every five minutes or so to ensure the potatoes are evenly coated and not sticking.

After 20 minutes, carefully move the skillet to a 350-degree oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes without stirring. 

Allow potatoes to sit for at least 10 minutes before serving. This will allow the sauce to set on the potatoes.


Tips for Making the Best Candied Sweet Potatoes

•  If the sweet potatoes are large, cut each potato into quarters and slice. This makes it a lot easier to handle and to slice.

• Cut slices as uniformly as possible; this will allow all potatoes to cook at the same rate.

• While the potatoes are cooking on the stovetop, stir every five minutes to ensure the potatoes are evenly coated with the sauce. Stir gently.

• Once you transfer the potatoes to the oven, do not stir again.

• Most of the liquid will cook out, so keep an eye on the potatoes during the last few minutes of the cooking time.

• Allow the potatoes to cool slightly before serving. This allows the sauce to thicken a bit.

• No cast iron skillet? No worries. Any oven-safe skillet will work.

Candied sweet potatoes are buttery, sweet, simple and delicious. So this year, instead of making them ordinary,  make them extraordinary. Happy Thanksgiving!

~Gina Abernathy is the author and recipe creator behind the blog Home at Cedar Springs Farm. For more delicious recipes, or to follow Gina, check out her blog at