Candied Coconut Sweet Potatoes

This recipe was passed onto me by my Aunt Barb and she told me she first remembers eating it at her aunt’s home for Thanksgiving when she was a little girl.  So it’s been in our family for over 40 years!  When something has been around for 40 years and people are still making it, you know it’s good!  Not a single Thanksgiving goes by withtout this dish on our table.  

If you haven’t tried it yet, you probably need to.

Sweet Potato Recipe Candied Coconut Sweet Potatoes

modifying a classic

I know this recipe has already become a favorite for a lot of you out there since I first shared it, but I decided it needed a little make-over and some new pictures. I altered the recipe a bit based partly on your comments! It was no secret these were very sweet, so I played around with it and found I could cut down the sugar by quite a bit. (From one cup to 6 tablespoons!)

less butter & Sugar, but still amazing

I also cut down the butter by a couple of tablespoons in the sweet potatoes and a couple of tablespoons in the topping. So all in all I removed almost 2/3 cup sugar and a half a stick of butter, but it still tastes sweet and rich and perfect. Now you can spend those calories on an extra slice of pie. I also used fresh sweet potatoes after shocking some of you foodies by admitting that my family has been making this with canned ones for years.

Sweet Potato Recipe Candied Coconut Sweet Potatoes

Honestly folks? there’s not all that much difference in the finished product, so I say go with whatever your little heart desires (pssst, I almost always use canned.)

Fyi, if you only want to make a half-batch, like to put in n 8x8 pan or pie plate, then those mini cans of sweetened condensed milk are the exact amount you need- just one mini can. I show a picture of the mini cans in this post. Also refer to that post if you make a full batch, and you're wondering how to use the other half of that can of sweetened condensed milk.

You’ll mix up sweet potatoes, butter, a little sugar, vanilla, eggs (I know what you’re thinking: this is sounding like pie) and the secret ingredient, sweetened condensed milk.

Sweet Potato Recipe Thanksgiving Side Dish Candied Coconut Sweet Potatoes

FYI, if you only want to make a half-batch, like to put in n 8×8 pan or pie plate (which is actually what I’m doing in these photos) then those mini cans of sweetened condensed milk are the exact amount you need- just one mini can. I show a picture of the mini cans in this post. Also refer to that post if you make a full batch, and you’re wondering how to use the other half of that can of sweetened condensed milk.  Spread that out into a casserole dish.

Fyi, if you only want to make a half-batch, like to put in n 8x8 pan or pie plate, then those mini cans of sweetened condensed milk are the exact amount you need- just one mini can. I show a picture of the mini cans in this post. Also refer to that post if you make a full batch, and you're wondering how to use the other half of that can of sweetened condensed milk.

Now the topping.  OH THE TOPPING.  In my family, we always double the topping.  Three simple ingredients that are oh so amazing when they get all caramelized in the oven.

Sweet Potato Recipe Candied Coconut Sweet Potatoes

Sprinkle that on top.  Seriously guys this whole recipe takes less than 10 minutes to whip up.

Sweet Potato Recipe Candied Coconut Sweet Potatoes

Bake it for about 40 minutes and the potatoes puff up and the topping turns into heaven. 

Sweet Potato Recipe Candied Coconut Sweet Potatoes

They’re kiiiiinda amazing.

Sweet Potato Recipe Candied Coconut Sweet Potatoes

Chances are if you try them once, they’ll become a tradition!

Sweet Potato Recipe Candied Coconut Sweet Potatoes

 

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Candied Coconut Sweet Potatoes


Description

These candied coconut sweet potatoes will be the star of your Thanksgiving table! Creamy sweet potatoes with a caramelized coconut topping. To. Die. For.


Ingredients

  • 4 cups mashed sweet potatoes (about 4 medium sweet potatoes or two 29-ounce cans, drained and rinsed)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter (no margarine), softened or melted
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 of a 14 ounce can Sweetened Condensed Milk (about 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Topping

  • If you’re feeling naughty you can double this part…
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened coconut flakes
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add sweet potatoes, sugar, butter, eggs, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla to a bowl and mix with an electric mixer until creamy. Spread in a 9×13 pan.
  3. Mix topping ingredients together until everything is incorporated and sprinkle over sweet potatoes.
  4. Bake for 40-50 minutes until topping is golden brown.

Notes

  • You can make these a day ahead of time and then bake when ready!

94 comments

  1. I made these for Christmas Eve dinner at a friends house tonight–they were a huge hit! I actually subbed 1/2 c. coconut milk for the sweetened condensed milk, I only used 1/4 c. brown sugar in the potatoes and 1/2 c. in the topping (full butter though!) It was plenty sweet and everyone gobbled them up. (Except my friend’s kids who wouldn’t try them to find out they were yummy!)

    Thanks for the great recipe. I looked here first because I knew I could get a keeper instead of a flop.

  2. These are sooooo delicious. Everyone at Thanksgiving dinner loved them. I’ll be making them again this week and hoarding them all to myself. I listened to Kate though, and lessened the amount of sugar. The condensed milk makes it sweet enough that you really don’t need much sugar. I probably did about 1/4 a cup. These will definitely be a new staple at Thanksgiving. Thanks!!

  3. I just made these and they’re in the oven right now. My topping didn’t turn out crumbly and I’m wondering why. Any ideas? I probably didn’t measure correctly.

  4. In my 3 years married, this is going to be the first Thanksgiving dinner that I’m actually going to attempt to make. Thanks for the recipes. I love candy, butter, sugar, butter, sugar, and deliciousness, so I think this recipe is perfect for me.

  5. I just started to blog and I first want to tell ya. I love your blog.
    I seriously will be making this awesome looking dish for Thanksgiving. THanks so much love the pictures it looks so YUMMY 🙂

  6. I signed up for our work thanksgiving potluck a few days ago and planned on making these, now I don’t have to dig up the recipe, thanks Sara. And if anyone is wondering, no -our potluck is not on thanksgiving day, I do work a lot, but my work is not that cruel. For thanksgiving I will actually be in ‘my most favorite city on earth!”. (First person to name the city and best bites reference wins 1,000,000,000 best bites points!!!)

  7. I started drooling the moment I read this recipe and immediately emailed my mom and asked if I could be in charge of the sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving dinner this year. I can not wait to try them! And I agree with Kate- fresh is better.

  8. Oh, and Kate, they certainly aren’t lacking in sweetness, so I’m sure you’re right that they still have plenty if you cut it back! I’ll have to try it sometime, but not on Thanksgiving 🙂 lol.

  9. There is no way I am not going to try this. Add coconut to anything and I am game! It does seem like a pie recipe to me. Pie for the main course… I’m not going to complain 🙂

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