Cinnamon and spice and everything nice sums up this yummy recipe! Sweet potatoes baked in a combination of aromatic spices, butter, cream and maple syrup are a delicious accompaniment for a festive holiday meal. This recipe leaves a lot of room for expression— you can add more or fewer spices according to your own taste, use just brown sugar or white sugar, less sugar, more maple syrup, cream or no cream…make it vegan with substitutes for butter and cream… just experiment. And, it leaves a wonderful aroma of sugar and spices in your kitchen while you’re baking!
- 4 large sweet potatoes (patates douces)
- 1 stick unsalted butter (for vegans, substitute vegan butter)
- 1 cup brown sugar (vergeoise brune)
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream (crème entière) (for vegans, substitute your favorite vegetal milk – I use oat milk for cooking, which is thicker than that for drinking)
- 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon (cannelle moulue)
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg (muscade moulue)
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger (gingembre moulu)
- A couple dashes of ground clove (clos de girofle)
- 2 tablespoons real maple syrup
- ½ tablespoon real vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (176 degrees Celsius).
Wash, peel and cut off the ends of the sweet potatoes. Then slice into half-inch thick circles or big chunks about 1-½ inches thick. I find chunks are easier if the yams are really big and irregular in shape and size. Place into a large casserole dish.
Melt the butter in a medium-sized pot over medium heat.
Add sugars and stir until well blended.
Optional: Add whipping cream (or vegan substitute) and stir until creamy.
Stir in cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, cloves, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
Taste the mixture and add more spices if you like. (I usually top up with more cinnamon!)
Pour the mixture over sweet potatoes, cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
Remove foil and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, until a fork pokes easily into the yams.
Serve in the same dish, or transfer to another serving plate and spoon the syrupy sauce over the yams. You can also prepare this dish in advance and reheat in the oven just before serving.