Black Folks Southern Candied Yams

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Turn up your next holiday gathering by bringing Black folks Southern decadent candied yams to the table! 

Sometimes less is more when it comes to comfort foods like these sweet treats. So whether you’re hosting this year’s soul food Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, or it’s a potluck at the office, Southern candied yams never disappoint when they’re made the soul food way.

 

Black Folks Southern Candied Yams

 

What are Black folks’ Southern candied yams?

Candied yams are an old-fashioned African-American recipe. A sweet potato side dish cooked to perfection in a brown sugar-glaze syrup. Candied yams are often topped with marshmallows after a mix of seasonings and spices brings this soul food dish to perfection!

 

Black Folks Candied Yams

 

Why are they called candied yams?

Although the vegetable used in this recipe is most often a sweet potato, Black folks call this dish candied yams. Netflix’s soul food docu-series High on The Hog explains why.

 

Black Folks Sweet Potato Pie Recipe
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Are candied yams a Black thing?

Yams are a vegetable similar to sweet potatoes but come from the motherland in Africa. 

Africans were used to cooking with yams. So when they were brought to the American South as enslaved persons, the next best thing available was a sweet potato, which they also called yams.

True to Black folks’ nature, they took something from nothing and elevated yams to the soul food delicacy so many people love and crave today. Black folks Southern candied yams!

 

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How Do You Make Black Folks Candied Yams?

 

What ingredients do you need for baked candied yams?

The most common ingredients include sweet potatoes (or fresh yams), granulated sugar, butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. 

Toppings for Black folks Southern candied yams include marshmallows, raisins, roasted pecans, or a pecan praline if you choose.

 

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How do you make Black folks candied yams?

I love to make this classic Black folks recipe with a contemporary twist in my Instant Pot! 

You use the same soul food ingredients, and then Instant Pot pressure cooks the yams just right. So tender, sweet, and citrusy with buttery caramel toffee flavor – yum!

Instant Pot cooks Southern yams in a fraction of the time (only 5 minutes!), so you can get back to al ll those other side dishes on your Thanksgiving or Christmas menu

 

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Instant Pot Candied Yams

 

Kitchen equipment for Black folks Southen candied yams

 

Shop my kitchenware!

Instant Pot Duo Nova  |  Mickey Mouse Instant Pot  |  KitchenAid classic Y-peeler  | The Pioneer Woman measuring bowls  |  Kate Aspen heart-shaped measuring spoons  | Courtly Check relish dish  |   Amazon small rubber spatula  |  Amazon mixing bowl  |  Courtly check small colander  |  Amazon similar serving dish  |  Anthropologie dish towel  |

 

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What Ingredients Do You Need For Southern Candied Yams?

 

Ingredients for the Southern candied yams

  • 3 -3 ½ pounds of sweet potatoes
  • 6 cups of cool water
  • ½ cup of water
  • ½ cup of unsalted butter (or vegan butter)
  • ½ cup of brown sugar
  • ½ cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground ginger (or minced)
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • Optional – 1 ½ cups of miniature marshmallows for topping

 

 

Instructions for the Southern candied yams

  1. Wash the sweet potatoes. (I like to use this vegetable scrubber HERE.)
  2. Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into thick round wedges.
  3. Then set them aside to soak in a bowl of cool water to prevent browning while you’re preparing the candied yams syrup.
  4. Melt the butter in a medium-sized bowl in the microwave.
  5. Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, maple syrup, ginger, ground clove, and vanilla extract to the melted butter. 
  6. Mix the ingredients well to create the syrup glaze for the candied yams.
  7. Next, Drain the sweet potato rounds in a colander.
  8. Open the Instant Pot lid and add ½ a cup of water and the sweet potato rounds to the stainless-steel inner pot.
  9. Pour the syrup glaze over the sweet potatoes.
  10. Close the Instant Pot lid (make sure the valve is up – in the position for sealing) and pressure cook on high for 5 minutes.
  11. When the cooking time is finished, allow a natural pressure release for at least 5 minutes.
  12. To open the Instant Pot lid, move the valve to ‘venting’ and manually release any remaining pressure, if applicable.
  13. Optional – Open the Instant Pot lid and sprinkle the miniature marshmallows over the cooked, candied yams. 
  14. With the lid placed not entirely on the Instant Pot (in a resting position, so it doesn’t lock back into position on the pot) continue with the setting on ‘keep warm.’
  15. After about 5 minutes, check to see if the marshmallows have melted. 
  16. Once the marshmallows are melted, turn off the Instant Pot and transfer your Black folks’ Southern candied yams recipe to a serving dish.
  17. Serve right away and enjoy!

 

Black Folks Candied Yams Recipe

 

What goes well with candied yams?

You can’t have candied yams without the perfect side dish!

Black folks will serve Southern candied yams with a whole soul food Thanksgiving menu of delicious entrees and side dishes.

 

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What meat goes with candied yams?

From smoked turkey legsSouthern turkey recipeoxtail, or Black folks pineapple glazed ham. And baked macaroni and cheese.

It’d be sacrilegious to serve Black folks Southern candied yams without soul food collard greens. (Uh-uh. Don’t do dat!)

 

Black Folks Soul Food Collard Greens Recipe
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More Black folks recipes to love:

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Southern candied yams FAQs

From what are candied yams made?

Candied yams can be made with canned sweet potatoes, but ideally fresh ones. 

Simply remove the skin of the sweet potatoes, then cut them into slices. After that, pressure cook or boil them until tender. You can also bake the potatoes for this recipe.

 

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How long do Black folks Southern candied yams take to bake?

Candied yams take a least 15 minutes to bake in the oven.

Pro tip: Use the Instant Pot electric pressure cooker to quickly and easily make Southern candied sweet potatoes in only 5 minutes!

 

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Candied Yams Recipe

 

When using an Instant Pot, do you put water in the pot?

Yes, this recipe calls for ½ a cup of water to add to the stainless steel inner pot before pressure cooking Southern candied yams.

 

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What’s the difference between sweet potatoes and yams?

One of the most significant differences between sweet potatoes and yams is in their appearance. Yams are typically larger, while sweet potatoes come in smaller sizes.

Both vegetables have brownish-reddish skin that can range from light to dark color shades. 

Another difference? 

Sweet potato roots are tapered at one end, whereas yam roots are more circular or boxy shaped. Furthermore, yams contain more starch and are tougher than sweet potatoes.

 

How Do You Make Black Folks Southern Candied Yams?

 

Should you buy sweet potatoes or yams?

Sweet potatoes are more versatile than yams because they can be used in both savory dishes and desserts. For this reason, many people prefer them when making candied yams.

Sweet potatoes contain more natural sugar. Therefore, they offer a sweeter flavor than yams.

 

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Do you boil your yams before baking?

Boiling sweet potatoes or yams first is a way to decrease the baking time. However, if you’re using an Instant Pot and pressure cooking, you can eliminate this step.

 

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How do you store the candied yams?

Using an air-tight container, you can keep leftovers of this sweet potato recipe and its syrupy sauce in the refrigerator for up to three days.

 

Can you freeze candied yams?

Yes, you can freeze these yummy delights for your subsequent cravings! Make sure the yams have cooled down before placing them into a freezer-safe bag or air-tight container.

 

Candied Yams With Marshmallows

 

Can you add marshmallows when baking Southern candied yams?

Mini marshmallows are the most common topping for this soul food candied yam dish. You can add the marshmallows during the last few minutes of baking. Or if using an Instant Pot, add them right after the natural pressure release.

 

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Why are your candied yams runny?

If your candied yams are too runny, make sure you haven’t overcooked the baked candied sweet potatoes or yams because they will be mushy or runny. 

A canned yam can also make for a runny result because they do not require the same baking time and should not be pressure-cooked like fresh ones.

Also, make sure you haven’t added too much liquid to the sugar mixture, causing it to become runny. A few tablespoons of cornstarch could resolve this and thicken it up.

 

Southern Candied Yams

 

Can candied yams be made ahead of time?

The answer is yes! Candied yams are delicious and can be made ahead of time with some planning. 

The best way is to peel and cut the sweet potatoes and refrigerate them in an air-tight container with water to prevent browning. Then prepare the cinnamon-sugar syrup, and refrigerate it in a separate container. When you’re ready to pressure cook or bake, drain the sweet potatoes, and combine the ingredients.

 

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What do you think about this recipe for Black folks’ Southern candied yams?

If you like this recipe, then you’ll love this best soul food cornbread recipe roundup HERE.

Leave a 5-star rating and a comment below, and share your finished soul food  pictures HERE in the Facebook group!

 

Like this post? Pin the below image to your Pinterest “Soul Food Recipes” board!

Black Folks Southern Candied Yams

 

Black Folks Southern Candied Yams

Black Folks Southern Candied Yams

Candied yams are an old-fashioned African-American recipe. A sweet potato soul food side dish cooked to perfection in a cinnamon-brown sugar glaze.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Pressure Release Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Soul Food, Southern Food
Keyword: Black folks recipes, Black Folks Southern Candied Yams, Black people food, candied yams with marshmallows, candy yams recipe, Instant Pot Thanksgiving, soul food, soul food Thanksgiving, soul food Thanksgiving menu, Southern candied yams, Southern candied yams recipe, Thanksgiving menu, vegan, vegetarian
Servings: 8
Calories: 321kcal
Author: Shaunda Necole

Equipment

  • Instant Pot electric pressure cooker
  • 9x13 baking dish (if not using an Instant Pot)
  • KitchenAid classic Y-peeler

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes 3 -3 ½ pounds
  • 6 cups water cool water
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup butter unsalted butter, or vegan butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup sugar granulated
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon of ground
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger ground or minced
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves ground
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups marshmallows *Optional – miniature marshmallows for topping

Instructions

  • Wash the sweet potatoes. (I like to use this vegetable scrubber HERE.)
  • Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into thick round wedges.
  • Then set them aside to soak in a bowl of cool water to prevent browning while you’re preparing the candied yams syrup.
  • Melt the butter in a medium-sized bowl in the microwave.
  • Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, maple syrup, ginger, ground clove, and vanilla extract to the melted butter.
  • Mix the ingredients well to create the syrup glaze for the candied yams.
  • Next, Drain the sweet potato rounds in a colander.
  • Open the Instant Pot lid and add ½ a cup of water and the sweet potato rounds to the stainless-steel inner pot.
  • Pour the syrup glaze over the sweet potatoes.
  • Close the Instant Pot lid (make sure the valve is up – in the position for sealing) and pressure cook on high for 5 minutes.
  • When the cooking time is finished, allow a natural pressure release for at least 5 minutes.
  • To open the Instant Pot lid, move the valve to ‘venting’ and manually release any remaining pressure, if applicable.
  • Optional – Open the Instant Pot lid and sprinkle the miniature marshmallows over the cooked, candied yams.
  • With the lid placed not entirely on the Instant Pot (in a resting position, so it doesn’t lock back into position on the pot) continue with the setting on ‘keep warm.’
  • After about 5 minutes, check to see if the marshmallows have melted.
  • Once the marshmallows are melted, turn off the Instant Pot and transfer your Black folks’ Southern candied yams recipe to a serving dish.
  • Serve right away and enjoy!

Video

Notes

Black Folks Southern Candied Yams Ingredients

Nutrition

Calories: 321kcal | Carbohydrates: 76g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 135mg | Potassium: 630mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 45g | Vitamin A: 24158IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 97mg | Iron: 1mg
Save it so you can make it!Pin this recipe to remember it later.
Nutrition Facts
Black Folks Southern Candied Yams
Amount per Serving
Calories
321
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
1
g
2
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Cholesterol
 
2
mg
1
%
Sodium
 
135
mg
6
%
Potassium
 
630
mg
18
%
Carbohydrates
 
76
g
25
%
Fiber
 
5
g
21
%
Sugar
 
45
g
50
%
Protein
 
3
g
6
%
Vitamin A
 
24158
IU
483
%
Vitamin C
 
4
mg
5
%
Calcium
 
97
mg
10
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

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4 Comments

  1. Cyrene
    December 4, 2021 / 3:03 pm

    5 stars
    I miss eating sweet potato! An underrated vegetable but flavorful if cooked with sweetness!

    • December 4, 2021 / 4:01 pm

      You’re exactly right about sweet potatoes!

  2. Lisa Littleton
    December 12, 2021 / 3:40 pm

    5 stars
    Finally someone explainss recipes in detail for those of us who are not experts in cooking baking and will be using these recipes. I love sweet potatoes!

    • December 12, 2021 / 4:07 pm

      Lisa, your comment makes my day! I try really hard to guide step by step.

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