Old-Fashioned Candied Sweet Potatoes

Comforting, sweet, and irresistible, this recipe is straight from grandma’s kitchen and guaranteed to make your next holiday meal a total hit.

close up of sweet potato casserole with browned marshmallows on top.

Old-Fashioned Candied Sweet Potatoes

The sweet potato side dish you know and love: cooked in sugar syrup and covered in toasted marshmallows. A classic holiday dish.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Serving Size 8 servings


  • 6 medium-sized sweet potatoes peeled and cut Into ½.inch slices
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cups mini marshmallows


  • Prep. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the prepared sweet potatoes in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
    mixing bowl with sliced sweet potatoes in candied glaze.
  • Make sugar syrup. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, black pepper and salt to the melted butter. Stir until well combined and the sugar has dissolved.
    saucepan with butter, sugar, and brown sugar melted into a syrup.
  • Toss potatoes in syrup. Pour the sugar mixture over the sweet potatoes and toss together until the sweet potatoes are evenly coated in the sugar mixture.
    mixing bowl with sliced sweet potatoes in candied glaze.
  • Bake to soften potatoes. Transfer the coated sweet potatoes and any remaining sugar mixture on the bottom of the bowl into a baking dish or cast iron pan. Bake, covered with foil, for 50-60 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are tender and the sauce has thickened.
  • Add marshmallows and bake briefly again. Remove the baking dish from the oven and evenly sprinkle the mini marshmallows over the sweet potatoes. Return the baking dish to the oven and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until the marshmallows are golden brown and toasted.
    skillet of potato potatoes topped with marshmallows before and after baking.


The more shallow the baking dish, the quicker the potatoes will cook.
Be sure to check for tenderness.  If they are not very soft and fork-tender, bake a few minutes more. 
skillet with candied sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows.

❤️ Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Heartwarming nostalgia: This isn’t just a recipe – it’s a journey back to those wonderful holidays when the scent of sweet potatoes and marshmallows filled the air, signalling joy, warmth and, above all, love.
  • Easy as pie: You don’t have to be a top-tier chef to get this right. It’s straightforward, no fancy ingredients or techniques – a perfect dish to whip up with the kiddos!
  • Comfort food heaven: Sweet, buttery, with a hint of spice and topped with toasted marshmallows. Can you think of a more heartening combo?

This is an overview of the ingredients. You’ll find the full measurements and instructions in the printable recipe at the bottom of the page.

ingredients on counter.

You’ll need the following for this classic holiday side:

  • Medium-Sized Sweet Potatoes
  • Salted Butter
  • Granulated White Sugar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Ground Nutmeg
  • Black Pepper
  • Kosher Salt
  • Mini Marshmallows


Step One: Make the Syrup

saucepan with butter, sugar, and brown sugar melted into a syrup.

First things first, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).

While the oven’s warming up, get your sweet potatoes ready in a mixing bowl.

Melt the butter in a skillet or wide-bottomed sauce pan. Add your sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper, and salt to the melted butter. Keep stirring until it’s all nicely mixed and the sugar is fully dissolved. You’ve just made your syrup!

Step Two: Toss Potatoes

mixing bowl with sliced sweet potatoes in candied glaze.

Pour this luscious syrup over your sweet potatoes. Mix it all together so that every single slice is coated in that sweet, spiced goodness.

Step Three: Bake

skillet with sweet potatoes with glaze and marshmallows on top.

Time to bake! Transfer your syrup-coated sweet potatoes into a baking dish or a cast-iron pan. Cover it up with foil and bake for about an hour. You’re looking for tender potatoes and a beautifully thickened sauce.

Step Four: Add the Topping and Toast

After an hour, remove the dish and top it off with those cute mini marshmallows. Back in the oven for a quick toast – just until they’re golden brown.

🥫 Storage instructions

To store, allow your candied sweet potatoes to cool down completely. Then, transfer them into an airtight container and refrigerate. They’ll be good for up to 4 days.

Want to freeze them? Just remember to hold off on the marshmallows until you’re ready to serve. Freeze in a sealed container and when it’s time to serve, thaw, top with marshmallows, and give a quick bake to heat through and toast the marshmallows.

🔍 FAQs

Can I add other spices to the recipe?

Yes, feel free to experiment with other spices, such as ground cloves, allspice, or ginger, to create a unique flavor profile that suits your taste preferences.

Do I have to use mini marshmallows?

No, you can use regular-sized marshmallows if that’s what you have on hand, or you can use pecans or walnuts in place of the marshmallows or a combination of toppings.

Can I use unsalted butter instead of salted butter?

Yes but you’ll need about a 1/4 teaspoon more salt when you make the syrup.

👩🏻‍🍳 Expert tips

  • Choose fresh, firm sweet potatoes for the best results.
  • Don’t skimp on the syrup! It not only flavors the potatoes but also forms a luscious sauce.
  • Covering the dish with foil ensures the potatoes cook evenly without drying out. So don’t skip this step!

📘 more fall and winter vegetable Recipes

🍽 Serve it with

A classic Christmas or Thanksgiving feast!

Or use it to complement a plain main dish like Cast Iron Skillet Roast Chicken.

wooden scoop serving candied sweet potatoes.
Old-Fashioned Candied Sweet Potatoes

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Delicious recipe, Katie!! Took me right back to mom’s kitchen table.

    PS: You may want to edit your ingredients picture to say “sweet potatoes” and not “carrots”. 😉

  2. 5 stars
    A favorite – reminded me of childhood.
    PS: I would change the picture of your ingredients to say “sweet potatoes” instead of “carrots”. : )