Candy Crunch Yams

There are so many ways to make sweet potatoes, yams, whatever you choose to call them (yes there’s an official difference between the two but all we really care about is the yummy mix-ins, right?)
For Christmas dinner, my in-laws bake fresh sliced yams and layer them with spiced apples. At Thanksgiving my aunt likes to use canned yams, mixed with a super caramelized sauce. And if you’ve ever been to Texas Roadhouse they make a really good baked whole yam with caramel and marshmallows on top, year round.
I like them all.
(big surprise since I love pumpkin. Once a squash/yam/pumpkiny lover, always a squash lover)
But my favorite way to make yams is my mom’s recipe here (thank you Mom!). The sweet potatoes are whipped with brown sugar and baked in a dish with a crunchy brown sugar pecan topping. It’s a wonderful go-to side dish any time of the year.
And YUM.
We all love it around here.
Sometimes though I miss the cheap marshmallow topping. So this year I’m doing His and Hers–two halves of the recipe; different topping on each.
His and Hers Candy Crunch Yams
3 (29 oz) cans sweet potatoes, drained (reserve 1/4 cup of the liquid)
1 egg
1/4 cup reserved juice from sweet potatoes
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbl lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla

Candy Crunch Topping
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Marshmallow Topping
enough mini-marshmallows to cover the dish

Heat the over to 350 degrees. Spray/grease a 9×13 pan or (2) square pans.

In a large deep bowl mash and whip the potatoes using an electric mixer. Add the egg, reserved juice, salt, brown sugar, lemon juice and vanilla, and beat again until smooth. Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared pan (or pans)
I used two dishes this time so I can have the best of both worlds.
Then pick your topping.
Brown sugar, butter, marshmallows, pecans. What’s not to like?
For the Candy Crunch Topping….
In a small bowl mix the brown sugar, flour, melted butter and chopped pecans until crumbly (use your hands if it’s easier). Sprinkle the crumbs over the sweet potatoes (if making this dish a day ahead, wait and add the topping just before baking so the nuts don’t soften). You can also leave the nuts out and it’s still delicious.
Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the sweet potatoes are bubbly. Let stand fifteen minutes before serving.

For the Marshmallow topping….
Do not add the brown sugar topping (or you could! Make it a double-whammy) and bake the potatoes as stated above. In the last 3-5 minutes of baking sprinkle the entire dish with mini-marshmallows and bake just until they’re golden on the outside. BUT WATCH IT closely. The mallows brown quickly.
Then take a bite.
Decide which one is your favorite.
Or consume them both.

  1. 1) pallavi

    Can I leave the egg out of this to make it Vegan or is there a substitute for that?

  2. 2) Paula

    Why are there no comments on this fantastic post?! (I know it’s an old post) I’m making one of each for our large family gathering this Thanksgiving. Thanks!

    • 3) Dana

      haha. The comments were lost when I moved my blog over to wordpress a couple years ago.
      So thank you for leaving a new one!
      And enjoy! I’m making them too πŸ™‚

  3. 4) Elisabeth M.

    YUM! Looking forward to trying these…I’ve never used canned yams before, but it sounds easier!

    • 5) Dana

      They’re so fantastic….and YES….SOOOOOO much easier!

  4. 6) Paula

    Hi Dana! I made two 9×13 of these for Thanksgiving last year, and I can’t wait to do it again this year. Everyone raved πŸ™‚

  5. 7) Penny

    SUPER SUPER SUPER!!! THANK YOU!!! I HATE TO COOK. I am so going to make these for tomorrow – the candy crunch version! So excited to use canned yams! Sounds easy and delicious and for sure will impress my company!!! Meanwhile, I looked all over for the mini cinnamon chips for the muffin recipe and no store seems to have them. So bummed – must only sell them in Texas??!!!! Thanks, Dana, for recipes, and your AWESOME blog, videos, etc etc etc!! Have a great Thanksgiving weekend.

    • 8) Dana

      shoot! really?? No Cinnamon Chips??
      I bought Hershey’s brand. They were just at our grocery store! Sorry πŸ™
      Try it with chocolate chips and throw some cinnamon and spices into the mix! It’ll still be yummy!

      Happy Thanksgiving Penny πŸ™‚
      One of my favorite readers of all time!

  6. 9) Melanie

    It’s always a bit of a shock to see sweet potato (as we call it in Australia) served up with dessert toppings. We eat it savoury, usually roasted with meat so this is a bit crazy to me but those pecans look awesome!! Plus – those are mini marshmallows?? Wow – they are our regular sized marshmallows over here – I can’t imagine what your regular size would be! So funny.

  7. 10) Jo

    Loved this dish! Made it for Thanksgiving and it was a HIT! Everyone loved it and I will make the dish again as a side dish for Christmas. Thank you for sharing.

  8. 11) Thraylee

    We make this every Thanksgiving and it’s such a hit we have them for Christmas also!

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