Candied Yams With Marshmallows

Candied yams recipe

​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 80 mins
Total: 105 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Yield: 1 casserole
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
344 Calories
9g Fat
63g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 344
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 6g 28%
Cholesterol 23mg 8%
Sodium 127mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 63g 23%
Dietary Fiber 8g 27%
Total Sugars 30g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 44mg 222%
Calcium 105mg 8%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 1103mg 23%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Yam and sweet potato dishes are an essential part of any holiday feast. Candied, mashed, glazed, or part of sweet casseroles, there are many ways to prepare these flavorful and nutritious root vegetables. Although not common outside of the U.S, the combination of yams with marshmallows has long been a favorite, usually seen during the holidays, especially at Thanksgiving tables all across the country. If you aren't a fan of the marshmallow topping or find it too sweet, leave it out or add the marshmallows to only half of the baking dish.

While true yams are a completely different vegetable, orange-fleshed sweet potatoes are often labeled "yams" to differentiate them from sweet potatoes with lighter-colored flesh. Yams are large, thick tubers that don't look much like sweet potatoes and aren't commonly found in most American supermarkets. But if you can find them, you're in for a treat. Otherwise use sweet potatoes as a replacement for equally flavorful results.

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"This recipe is such a decadent and wonderful side dish. It's sweet and incredibly tender. The marshmallows on top create a fluffy looking cloud for a lovely presentation. Pair it with Thanksgiving Day dinner or a weeknight for something that even the kiddos will enjoy. The "hardest" part was peeling and dicing the sweet potatoes." —Victoria Heydt

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Ingredients

  • 4 pounds orange-fleshed sweet potatoes

  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar, light or dark

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 dash ground nutmeg

  • 1 dash ground ginger

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 4 cups mini marshmallows, more or less as needed

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for candied yams

    ​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  2. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Butter a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan or shallow 3-quart casserole.

    Baking pan

    ​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  3. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into 3/4-inch cubes. You should have about 10 to 12 cups when finished. Arrange the sweet potato cubes in the prepared baking pan.

    Peel sweet potatoes

    ​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga 

  4. In a 1 1/4-quart saucepan, combine the brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and ginger and then place it over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil; stir until the butter is melted and sugar is dissolved, about 7 to 8 minutes.

    Combine brown sugar, butter, cinnamon

    ​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  5. Stir the vanilla extract into the sauce mixture.

    Stir in vanilla extract

    ​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  6. Pour the sugar and butter mixture evenly over the sweet potatoes.

    Pour the sugar and butter over sweet potatoes

    ​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  7. Cover the baking pan tightly with foil and bake for 45 minutes.

  8. After 45 minutes, uncover the sweet potatoes and gently stir them to coat with the liquid.

  9. Continue baking, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and the liquid is syrupy.

  10. Remove the baking pan to a rack and increase the oven temperature to 450 F. When the oven has reached 450 F, cover the sweet potatoes with the miniature marshmallows.

    Cover baking pan in marshmallows

    ​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  11. Return the pan to the oven and bake for about 3 to 5 minutes, or until the marshmallows are partially melted and golden brown.

    bake until marshmallows are partially melted and golden brown

    ​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  12. Serve and enjoy!

    Candied yams

    ​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Tip

  • To reduce the baking time, boil the peeled, cubed sweet potatoes for about 8 minutes. Drain them thoroughly and add them to the baking dish. Pour the brown sugar and butter mixture over the potatoes and bake them, uncovered, for about 35 to 45 minutes, or until tender and syrupy.

Recipe Variations

  • Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of bourbon, rum, or whiskey to the sugar and butter mixture along with the vanilla extract or replace the vanilla extract with rum flavoring.
  • For a hint of citrus flavor, add about 3 tablespoons of frozen orange juice concentrate along with the vanilla extract.
  • For a nutty crunch, add about 1/2 cup of toasted pecans to the candied sweet potatoes just before adding the miniature marshmallows and then bake the casserole as directed. To toast pecans on the stovetop, spread them into a single layer in a dry skillet. Place the pan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the pecans are lightly browned and aromatic. Remove the toasted pecans to a plate immediately to halt the cooking.