Coconut Candied Sweet Potatoes

This is a fun alternative to a classic holiday side. The coconut adds a depth of flavor and replaces the butter usually found in the dish – plus, it’s vegan if you use a vegan white sugar!” – Director of Pastry Operations at ICC, Chef Jansen Chan


Yield: 8 portions


  • 2 lbs. sweet potatoes
  • 15 oz. coconut cream
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ t. salt, plus additional for cooking potatoes
  • ¼ t. cinnamon
  • ½ orange [zested]
  • ½ cup coconut, shredded and toasted (optional)


  1. Wash and scrub the sweet potatoes. Place the potatoes in a 4-quart pot. Add enough salted water just to cover. Heat to boiling and reduce heat to low. Continue to cook for 50 mins to 1 hour, or until potatoes are cooked through. Remove from the water and allow to cool.
  2. In a 1-quart saucepan, heat the coconut, molasses, sugar, salt, cinnamon and orange zest to a boil. Over medium heat, reduce by about 1/3, stirring occasionally, about 5-10 mins.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  4. Remove the skins from the cooled sweet potatoes and slice into 1” cubes. Place the pieces in a greased, shallow baking dish and cover with the hot syrup. Bake for 1 hr, or until the sauce is thick and bubbling. Sprinkle with the toasted coconut during the last 15 minutes, if desired. Allow cooling slightly before serving.


This blog post was originally published by the International Culinary Center (ICC), founded as The French Culinary Institute (FCI). In 2020, ICE and ICC came together on one strong and dynamic national platform at ICE's campuses in New York City and Los Angeles. Explore your culinary education where the legacy lives on.

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