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Candid Sweet Potatoes



5–6 medium sweet potatoes (3–4 lbs)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick; 115g) unsalted butter

2 Tablespoons (30ml) water

1/4 cup (60ml) pure maple syrup

1 cup (200g) packed light or dark brown sugar

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

optional: 2 teaspoons orange zest

optional for garnish: chopped fresh or dried rosemary, sea salt


Peel then slice the sweet potatoes into 1/2 inch thick slices. Place in a greased 9×13 inch or other 3 quart baking dish. Sprinkle salt on top and toss to coat. I just use nonstick spray to grease.

Preheat oven to 375°F (191°C).

Make the sauce: Cut stick of butter in half. (Helps it melt easier.) Combine all the butter, water, maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir until the butter has melted. Stop stirring and bring to a gentle boil. Boil for 2 minutes without stirring. Remove sauce from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. (And orange zest, if using.)

Pour sauce over potatoes and toss to coat.

Bake for 1 hour, stopping and stirring the sweet potatoes every 20 minutes. After the first 20 minutes, I cover the dish with aluminum foil so the potatoes bake evenly.

Remove from the oven, sprinkle with rosemary and sea salt (if using), then cool uncovered for 10 minutes before serving. The sauce is thin right out of the oven but thickens as it cools.

Cover and store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Sauce will be thick after refrigeration, but thins out as you warm the leftovers up. Simply warm in the microwave.