These easy candied yams are exactly how my family and I have been making this classic holiday favorite for decades - with marshmallows! Yams are baked with butter, brown sugar, and marshmallows to make a winning holiday side dish your family will love too!
My Candied Yams are sweet, simple, and an instant classic!
They’re made simply with canned yams or sweet potatoes and then topped with a layer of butter slices, crumbled brown sugar, and then mini marshmallows. It’s so easy and so delicious!
Everyone will love these easy candied yams – you will too! In just 30 minutes you’ll have an amazingly sweet and sticky candied yam side dish! It really doesn’t get any easier than this recipe!
❤️ Why You'll Love This Recipe!
It’s So Easy! This recipe has 5 ingredients, 4 steps, and takes just about 30 minutes to create. It’s never been easier to make candied yams!
It’s a Holiday Favorite! Whether you like marshmallows on top or not, everyone loves candied yams! They’re a classic, sweet holiday side no one can resist!
It’s Perfectly Sweet! The brown sugar and mini marshmallows give the yams the perfect amount of sweetness without being too sweet and a pinch of salt helps to balance the flavors!
My delicious candied yams recipe only has 4 ingredients! Using store-bought canned yams is what makes this side dish so easy!
- Canned Yams – You can also use canned sweet potatoes, though the two are usually interchangeable! These can typically be found near the canned pumpkin and/or in the baking section. (See Tips & Recipe Notes)
- Salt – We’re using just a pinch for this recipe, so any salt you have will do perfectly!
- Butter – You want this to be cut into slices so it can be evenly distributed on the yams. You can use your preferred brand of butter!
- Light Brown Sugar – This helps give the candied yams that yummy, caramelized taste. You can also use dark brown sugar here if that’s what you have, but the flavor will be more pronounced!
- Miniature Marshmallows – If you love marshmallows on your candied yams, this recipe is perfect for you! If you’re not a fan of marshmallows, you can skip – but try it out and I promise you’ll love it!
🔪 Step-by-Step Instructions
This is seriously the easiest recipe ever! It makes 8 servings, but you can easily double or half the recipe.
- Prep. Preheat your oven to 400°F (205°C) and butter or spray with non-stick spray a 9x13 baking dish.
- Layer the Yams. Open and drain a 40-ounce can of canned yams, then spread the yams evenly on the bottom of the baking dish. Make sure to have the yams mostly in a single layer (photo 1).
- Add Other Ingredients. Sprinkle a pinch of salt all over the yams, then top with ⅓ cup of butter, sliced into pieces (photo 2). Next, crumble ⅔ cup of light brown sugar over the yams (photo 3), followed by 2 cups (or more if needed to cover yams) of mini marshmallows (photo 4).
- Bake. Bake in the center of your oven’s middle rack at 400°F (205°C) for 20 to 25 minutes until the yams are bubbling with the sugar and butter and the marshmallows are melted and toasted. Let the dish cool for a few minutes before serving.
My amazing, sticky-sweet candied yams with marshmallows recipe is a perfect Thanksgiving dinner side! Serve alongside a delicious main, like my delicious smoked turkey, and your other favorite holiday side dishes! Enjoy!
💭 Tips & Recipe Notes
You can also use fresh sweet potatoes or yams for this recipe, but it’ll take a little longer!
- It’s best to pre-cook the yams to make sure they don’t burn with all the sugar and butter before they’re cooked through. Peel and slice 2 ½ pounds of fresh yams/sweet potatoes into thick slices and boil until fork tender – drain, then follow the rest of the recipe!
Want to halve the recipe to do a trial run? I’ll make it easy!
- Use 1 single, 29-ounce can of yams, and place the drained yams in an 8x8 baking dish. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt, then top with ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) of butter slices. Crumble over ½ cup of brown sugar, and about 1 ½ cups of mini marshmallows. Bake as directed above!
If you like candied yams with spices, you can add those with the brown sugar!
- If you prefer, you can sprinkle ½ teaspoon of cinnamon and/or ¼ teaspoon of ground nutmeg with the brown sugar over the yams.
- You can also add a drizzle of vanilla extract, or a couple of pinches of allspice, cloves, or mace!
You can use any butter for this recipe, but I like a good quality unsalted European butter!
- European butter, like Kerrygold or Plugra, has a higher fat content (which you can see by how yellow it is!) and has more flavor than American butter. It just gives the candied yams a bit more flavor!
- You can buy European butter in bulk at stores like Costco and stock up for all your holiday butter needs!
🥡 Storing & Reheating
Who doesn’t love holiday leftovers? If you have extras of my delightful candied yams, simply store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 5 days! They’ll keep perfectly if covered well!
You can also make these sweet candied yams ahead of time and freeze! Allow the dish to cool completely.
Then, cover the baking dish with a layer of plastic cling film and then follow with a layer of aluminum foil. (If the sides are buttery and the plastic wrap has a hard time sticking, wipe the sides of the baking dish with a little water with either a splash of lemon juice or white vinegar). Place in the freezer, and it’ll keep for 4 months!
To best reheat leftovers (from the fridge or frozen), place them into an oven-safe dish and cover with aluminum foil. Then bake at 350°F (175°C) for about 10-15 minutes or 15-25 minutes (if still frozen).
Heat until hot and bubbling or the candied yams reach your desired temperature.
For many Americans, marshmallows are the traditional topping for candied yams or sweet potato casserole. This dates back to as early as 1917! Not every family adds marshmallows to their candied yams, but it gives the dish a delicious, caramelized top that’s worth trying!
In the US, the names “sweet potato” and “yam” are used interchangeably, but they’re actually different! Sweet potatoes are usually sweeter and less starchy than yams. Most candied “yam” recipes and most containers of canned yams that you get in the grocery store are really sweet potatoes!
Sure! If you’d like to use larger marshmallows instead of mini marshmallows on the candied yams – go for it! I’m sure it’ll be just as delicious.
😋 Other Great Holiday Sides
- Oat Rolls
- Sauteed Broccolini
- Oven Roasted Potatoes
- Skillet Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots
- Buttery Acorn Squash
- Red Skin Mashed Potatoes
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- 40 oz canned yams (or sweet potatoes)
- 1 pinch salt
- ⅓ cup butter (cut into slices)
- ⅔ cup light brown sugar
- 2 cups miniature marshmallows (or more, as needed to cover the yams)
- Preheat your oven to 400°F (205°C) and butter or spray your 9x13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Open and drain your can(s) of canned yams then spread the yams in the bottom of your prepared baking dish.40 oz canned yams
- Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the yams, then top with butter slices. Crumble the brown sugar over the yams next, followed by a generous layer of mini marshmallows.1 pinch salt, ⅓ cup butter, ⅔ cup light brown sugar, 2 cups miniature marshmallows
- Bake in the center of your oven's middle rack at 400°F (205°C) for 20-25 minutes until the yams are bubbling and the marshmallows are melted and toasted.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!