Warm and sweet Camote Enmielado (Mexican Candied Sweet Potatoes) are made from sweet potatoes, piloncillo, and comforting spices. The rich flavors are infused into the sweet potatoes, making for a mouth-watering side dish or dessert perfect for the fall and winter seasons!
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Camote Enmielado, or Mexican Candied Sweet Potatoes, is one of my favorite warm and comforting desserts to make when the weather starts to get cold!
Melt-in-your-mouth sweet potatoes are simmered on the stove in a syrup made from piloncillo, cinnamon, star anise, and cloves. It just doesn’t get any better than that!
My mom would always serve me a camote enmielado in a bowl with a splash of milk. It was really tasty and when it mixed with the piloncillo syrup and the sweet potatoes, the flavor and texture was simply the best!
What is Camote Enmielado?
Camote means “sweet potato” in Spanish and enmielado means “candied.” Thus, Mexican candied sweet potatoes!
This warm dessert or side dish is made from sweet potatoes, piloncillo, Mexican cinnamon, star anise, cloves, and water. To make it, all you need to do is boil everything together on the stove until the potatoes are soft and the piloncillo melts, creating a thick and sweet syrup.
The flavors in camote are to die for. As it cooks, the warm spices and brown sugar will fill your home with the comforting aromas of the holidays.
Ingredients you’ll need
- Sweet potatoes – Their sweet flavor only gets better as they’re dressed with warm spices and sugary syrup.
- Piloncillo cone – Piloncillo is a completely unprocessed form of pure cane sugar. The cane sugar is melted down until it reaches a caramel-like consistency, then it’s poured into a cone-shaped mold. It’s a staple in Mexican baking and can also be used sweeten Mexican ponche, champurrado, and café de olla.
- Cinnamon stick – Try to use a Mexican cinnamon stick if you can! Mexican cinnamon has a stronger, more complex flavor than Cassia cinnamon. If you can’t find cinnamon sticks labeled as “Mexican cinnamon,” look for Ceylon cinnamon sticks – they’re the same thing!
- Star anise – These star-shaped pods will infuse an amazing flavor into the syrup. It tastes warm and sweet, which pairs so well with the sweet potatoes.
- Whole clove – Cloves add deep flavors to sweet desserts and side dishes. A staple in holiday recipes, it pairs perfectly with cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.
How to make Camote Enmielado
First, add the potatoes, piloncillo cone, cinnamon stick, star anise pod, clove, and water to a large pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Afterward, turn the heat way down, cover with a lid, and simmer for 50 minutes.
Next, give the camote a stir and check that the piloncillo is completely melted. Continue simmering uncovered for around 20 minutes.
Remove the pot from heat so the camotes can cool down and the syrup can thicken. Transfer each potato into a bowl and serve with some piloncillo syrup on top.
Note: It’s up to you whether to leave the potatoes peeled or unpeeled and whole or cut into chunks or slices. No matter how they’re prepared, the potatoes will cook the exact same in the syrup.
Substitutions and variations
- Don’t have Mexican piloncillo? Replace it with 1 cup of dark brown sugar.
- Don’t have Mexican cinnamon sticks? Mexican cinnamon is the same as Ceylon cinnamon, so be on the lookout for that. If you can’t find either, you can use the more widely found Cassia cinnamon sticks instead.
- Don’t have star anise? Even though it adds an amazing flavor to the syrup, star anise can be left out of the recipe if you can’t find it.
- Want to try it without the sweet potatoes? Replace the potatoes with chunks of pumpkin or butternut squash!
- If you’re only serving a small crowd, feel free to leave the camotes whole. Just slice them down the middle (like a stuffed potato) and pour the syrup inside.
- Serving a large crowd for Thanksgiving or Christmas? Cut the cooked camotes into thin slices or chunks and place in a serving bowl. Pass them around the table and don’t forget the extra piloncillo syrup and warm milk on the side!
- If you have any leftover syrup, save it and use it on pancakes and waffles for breakfast, or as a tasty topping on banana nut bread or pumpkin bread.
Storing and reheating
To store the camote, place them in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
Reheat the potatoes either in the microwave for 1 or 2 minutes or in a 400ºF oven until heated through.
To store the leftover syrup, add it to a glass jar and keep it in the fridge. It should last for a few weeks and can be served chilled or warmed on the stove.