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how to make boiled candied yams | Family Cuisine

Boiled candied yams are a sweet and savory dish that will be sure to please even the pickiest of eaters. Boiling the sugar in water creates an intense caramel flavor, which is then mixed with butter, brown sugar

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How to make boiled candied yams

Mother-In-Law Candied Yams have been passed down in our family for three generations. They are the yummiest way to mix dinner with dessert!

Mother-in-law Candied Yams are a holiday tradition in my home. This recipe came from, you guessed it, my mother-in-law, who got it from her mother-in-law. These super simple, three-ingredient candied yams are always a hit. They are the perfect holiday side dish or even go great on the side of a delicious oven fried chicken recipe.

Reading: how to make boiled candied yams

MOTHER-IN-LAW CANDIED YAMS Like this recipe? Pin it to your SIDE DISH pinboard! Follow Real Housemoms on Pinterest

When my husband and I first started dating we spent Easter over at his mom’s house. I personally never cared for candied yams, but he insisted that I tried his mom’s recipe. From that day forward, I was a fan. Little did I know that I would be serving that same candied yam recipe all these years later to our own family.

Mother-in-Law Candied Yams


Baked candied yams are a favorite side dish of mine for two reasons. First, they are decadent, buttery, and delicious. Second, they are so easy to make! Literally, three ingredients are all it takes to create this favorite dish.

  • 3 large Yams or Sweet Potatoes
  • 1 cup Butter
  • 2 cups Brown Sugar (firmly packed)

Mother-in-Law Candied Yams


Read more: Boiled Corn on the Cob Recipe | Family Cuisine

Yams and sweet potatoes are completely different- but you might be surprised which one you are actually buying! Though often their names are used interchangeably, when it comes to shopping and cooking you should know that the “yams” you are preparing are most likely sweet potatoes!

Yams tend to be dryer and more starchy than a typical sweet potato, with a tough brown skin resembling tree bark. They are also not orange inside. Sweet potatoes are what we often find in the grocery store. Sweet potatoes have a thinner, more reddish skin and that vibrant orange color we come to expect when we cut them.


Southern candied yams are simply boiled sweet potatoes baked in a brown sugar and butter glaze. This sugary syrup candies in the oven, enhancing the sweetness of the potato and delivering the most decadent and delicious side dish. They are the perfect sweet bite to complete any holiday meal.

Mother-in-Law Candied Yams


  1. First, prep the sweet potatoes by scrubbing the skin clean and cutting them into 2 inch thick slices. No need to peel them!
  2. Place the sliced sweet potatoes in a large pot and cover them with cold water. Then place the pot over medium-high heat and bring it to a boil.
  3. Allow the pot to simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender when you stick them with a fork.
  4. Next, drain the sweet potatoes and allow them to cool to the touch.
  5. Once they are cool enough to hand, remove the skin. The skin should peel off easily by hand without the use of tools.
  6. In a 13 by 9 baking dish, place the cooked sweet potato slices in an even layer.
  7. Next, melt the cup of butter in a medium-sized pan over medium-high heat. Once the butter is melted, stir in the 2 cups of brown sugar until it is well combined.
  8. Allow the sugar glaze to boil for 5 minutes. Keep an eye on it so it does not burn.
  9. Last, pour the sugar over the top of the yams and place them uncovered in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. The homemade candied yams will be slightly bubbling around the edges when they are finished.

These easy candied yams can even be made the day before and warmed up in the oven before being served.

  1. Once the cooked sweet potatoes are glazed, cover the pan in foil and allow the candied yams to cool before placing them in the refrigerator.
  2. When you are ready to serve them, simply remove them from the fridge, uncover them, and place them in the oven for 30 minutes at 35o degrees F.

Mother-in-Law Candied Yams


The yam versus sweet potato question is complicated and simple at the same time. Yes, yams exist and are different than sweet potatoes. However, all the “yams” you have ever eaten were probably sweet potatoes.

Read more: how to make southern boiled potatoes | Family Cuisine

Really though, what’s in a name? Homemade candied yams are guaranteed to be delicious no matter what you call them! If you fall in love with this candied yam recipe then you will also love this mini sweet potato casserole recipe!

Mother-in-Law Candied Yams


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Mother-in-Law Candied Yams


Large Pot: This pot is a kitchen essential! I use it for everything from boiling potatoes to making large batches of homemade soup!

Baking Dish: This baking dish is a must-have for any home cook. I love that it comes with a lid for storing leftovers or taking your dishes on the go.

Medium Saucepan: I have had this saucepan forever and it is still as good as it was the day I bought it!

*This post originally posted on 11/06/2014.

Read more: how to clean a pan after burning boiled eggs | Family Cuisine

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