• Yield: Serves 6

  • Time: 40 minutes cooking

If you're looking for syrup-sweet, marshmallow-crowned yams, this is not the recipe for you. If you’re interested in sweet potatoes that taste like sweet potatoes with a little extra, then consider Grandma Hill’s approach. I like the fact that you can assemble them ahead of time and bake the yams off just before you want to serve them.

[Ed. note: Before digging into this recipe, learn about Vivian's Sweet Potato Wisdom]


  • 2 pounds roasted sweet potatoes (about 3 medium potatoes)

  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar 

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 

  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg 

  • 4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into cubes (1 cube per round of potato) 

  • Zest of 1 orange

Deep Run Roots Deep Run Roots


Preheat your oven to 350°F. Slip the skins off the roasted sweet potatoes and slice them into 1 1/2-inch-thick rounds. Lay the rounds flat on the bottom of a baking dish just large enough to hold them in a single layer with about half an inch separating each round.

In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. Sprinkle each round with equal parts of the sugar mixture and dot the top of each round with cold butter. Grate the orange zest right over the sweet potatoes. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 10 minutes so things caramelize a little.

Common sense tells you to serve these warm, but I actually prefer them room temperature. Do whatever works for you.

From Deep Run Roots by Vivian Howard. Copyright 2016. Reprinted with permission from Little, Brown and Company.