Twice Baked Candied Sweet Potatoes
Try a winter classic in a new way: sweet potatoes sweetened with brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg, then twice baked in potato halves.
This post contains affiliate links. Read the disclosure policy.
Table of Contents
- About Twice Baked Candied Sweet Potatoes
- What’s in twice-baked candied sweet potatoes?
- Sweet potatoes vs yams
- Can you make twice-baked sweet potatoes ahead of time?
- How long are candied sweet potatoes good for?
- Can twice-baked sweet potatoes be frozen?
- Notes & tips for baked candied sweet potatoes
- More great side dishes
- Recipe Details
About Twice Baked Candied Sweet Potatoes
I didn’t start to give sweet potatoes the respect they deserve until I was well into my twenties, but I’ve been doing my part to make up for lost time. I’m always down for trying a new sweet potato recipe, and I especially love new twists on classic favorites.
And, you guys, these twice-baked candied sweet potatoes are exactly that.
They take everything that’s good about candied sweet potatoes (the sugar, the spices, the marshmallows) and serve it in the built-in bowl that is a halved sweet potato.
Plus, these twice-baked sweet potatoes make great individual-sized side dishes. No need to worry about serving; everyone can just grab a half!
What’s in twice-baked candied sweet potatoes?
In order to make your own individual-serving candied sweet potatoes, you’ll need to gather the following ingredients:
- Sweet potatoes – The star of the show! Their tender texture, bright orange color, and semi-sweet flavor are what make this side dish so popular.
- Olive oil – For coating the outside of the potato skins so they’ll crisp in the oven. You can skip this step if you’d like.
- Light brown sugar, salted butter, sweetened condensed milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger – All the delicious seasonings to sweeten up the sweet potato and give it that trademark “candied” taste.
- Miniature marshmallows – Because every candied sweet potato dish should be topped with soft and fluffy marshmallows.
Sweet potatoes vs yams
Although sometimes used interchangeably, there are quite a few differences between sweet potatoes and true yams that can impact your cooking. And notice I said “true yams”, as many American grocery stores add to the confusion by labeling some sweet potatoes “yams” despite the fact that true yams are nothing like sweet potatoes at all.
Confused? You and me both!
In short, this is the Cliff Notes version of what’s going on with these potatoes and how to tell them apart:
- True yams – These are more like a russet sweet potato. They have white flesh with brown scaly skin and a dry, starchy taste. They’re typically grown outside of the United States, making them difficult to find in American grocery stores.
- Sweet potatoes – A firm sweet potato with golden skin and light or purple flesh. This is the type of sweet potato that was originally grown in the United States.
- Sweet potatoes that grocery stores call yams – A soft sweet potato with copper skin and golden flesh. Odds are, this is the type of sweet potato you see most often, simply because the soft texture works so well with many of the sweet potato dishes Americans traditionally make. And as for why they’re called yams, it comes down to marketing. The softer sweet potato was the second type of potato grown in the United States, and grocery stores wanted to differentiate this somehow to their customers… and instead of simply calling them firm or soft, they decided to call them yams – a type of potato they are nothing like, but since the “true” form is not commonly sold in the US, the name was seen as “available.”
There are other differences (nutritional value, various names, etc) but the above three points are the ones you need to consider when making substitutions in your cooking.
Given the above, many of the vibrant and sweet-flavored sweet potato dishes you know and love will require just that: a sweet potato (or a vegetable that looks like a sweet potato but has been labeled a yam). A true yam would not have the same bold presentation or flavor that compliments ingredients like brown sugar or maple syrup.
So, in conclusion: always use a sweet potato (or vegetable that looks like a sweet potato but was labeled a yam) when you can, especially if it’s a sweeter dish with ingredients like brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, etc (like these candied sweet potatoes).
Can you make twice-baked sweet potatoes ahead of time?
Yes, these sweet potatoes can be made in advance, but with a small catch:
Follow the recipe instructions like normal, but stop just before baking the potatoes a second time. Store the potatoes in a sealed container for up to two to three days.
When ready to bake, pick up from where you left off in the recipe instructions, but increase cook time by about five minutes.
How long are candied sweet potatoes good for?
Once baked and cooled, prepare the sweet potatoes for storage. I recommend either mashing them or scooping out the sweet potato flesh and discarding the skin.
Store sweet potatoes in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to three to five days.
Sweet potatoes can be reheated in the oven at 350 degrees F for 10-15 minutes or warmed up in the microwave.
Can twice-baked sweet potatoes be frozen?
Yes, they totally can! Potatoes are great for freezing and these candied sweet potatoes are no exception.
Follow the recipe instructions like normal, but stop just before baking the potatoes a second time. Place the prepared potatoes on a baking tray and freeze for about two hours. Once frozen, individually wrap the potatoes (use whatever you like most – foil, plastic wrap, or just plastic bags) and store in the freezer. Frozen sweet potatoes can last for up to 12 months.
When ready to bake, place the frozen sweet potato halves on a baking sheet. Pick up where you left off in the recipe instructions, but increase the bake time from 10 minutes to 20-30 minutes. Then set the oven to broil and toast the marshmallows as instructed.
Notes & tips for baked candied sweet potatoes
- For best results, use sweet potatoes that are long and wide.
- Before baking, be sure to scrub and dry the sweet potatoes (even if you don’t plan on eating the skin.)
- There’s no need to wrap the sweet potatoes in foil; they’ll bake perfectly uncovered on the baking sheet.
More great side dishes
Twice Baked Candied Sweet Potatoes
- 4 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed and patted dry
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, optional
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup salted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 3 cups miniature marshmallows
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Coat sweet potatoes in olive oil and pierce skins numerous times with a fork. Place sweet potatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.4 large sweet potatoes, 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Bake sweet potatoes for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until soft and skins are slightly wrinkled. Allow sweet potatoes to cool for 10 minutes.
- Cut sweet potatoes in half. Using a spoon or a cookie scoop, remove the inside of the sweet potatoes, being careful to leave a 1/4 to 1/2 inch ring around the sides so that the potatoes keep their shape. Place sweet potato pulp in a large bowl. Set the halved and emptied sweet potatoes back on the baking sheet.
- Add brown sugar, melted butter, sweetened condensed milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger in the bowl with the sweet potato pulp. Using a potato masher or hand mixer, blend ingredients together and smooth.1/4 cup light brown sugar, 1/4 cup salted butter, 1 tablespoon sweetened condensed milk, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- Spoon blended sweet potato mix back into the sweet potato halves, filling each a little past full.
- Place potato skins back in the oven and heat for 10-15 minutes, then remove from oven.
- Set oven to broil.
- For each potato half, press marshmallows in the soft sweet potato mix, completely covering the top.3 cups miniature marshmallows
- Place filled sweet potatoes back in the oven on the top rack until marshmallows melt and lightly brown, about 1-2 minutes. Since each oven is different, keep a close eye on the marshmallows so they don’t burn. If they do burn, you can use two spoons to remove the marshmallows (they should come right up in a solid piece) then repeat the steps of placing the marshmallows on the sweet potatoes and lightly browning them in the oven.
- Serve immediately.
I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.