Camote enmielado, also known as Mexican candied sweet potatoes, is a warm and delicious dessert made with sweet potatoes, piloncillo, and comforting spices. The sweet potatoes are infused with a rich and flavorful syrup, making for a mouth-watering side dish or dessert perfect for the fall and winter seasons.
Table of Contents
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 camote in a bowl with a splash of milk. It was really tasty, and when it was mixed with the piloncillo syrup and the sweet potatoes, the flavor and texture were simply the best!
What is Camote Enmielado?
Camote enmielado, also known as camote en dulce, is a traditional Mexican dessert made from sweet potatoes cooked in a cinnamon-spiced piloncillo syrup.
The dish is known for its rich, sweet flavor and is often served as comfort food during colder months or as part of festive celebrations.
The process involves slowly simmering the sweet potatoes in the syrup until they become tender and are thoroughly infused with the sweet, spiced flavors that often include cinnamon, cloves, and star anise.
- Sweet potatoes: Their sweet flavor only gets better as they’re dressed with warm spices and sugary syrup. I like cooking them with their skin on, though you don’t have to. If you do, make sure to scrub and rinse them really well.
- Piloncillo: 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 or disc mold. It’s a staple in Mexican baking that’s readily available in most Hispanic grocery stores. You can also find it online.
- Cinnamon stick: I recommend using Ceylo cinnamon if you can. It’s the type of cinnamon that’s used in Mexican cooking and it has a stronger, more complex flavor than Cassia cinnamon. You can identify the sticks because they’re often wider, longer, softer, and more brittle than the typical cinnamon found in most supermarkets. Ceylon cinnamon is readily available in most Hispanic grocery stores. You can also find it online.
- 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. If you can’t find it in stores, you can find it online.
- 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
Boil and simmer: Add the sweet potatoes, piloncillo, cinnamon stick, star anise pod, clove, and water to a large pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 50 minutes.
Uncover: Give the camote a stir and check that the piloncillo is completely melted. Continue simmering uncovered for around 20 minutes.
Cool and serve: 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.
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.
- If you can’t find piloncillo, replace it with 1 cup of dark brown sugar.
- Don’t have cinnamon sticks? Use 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon instead.
- Even though star anise adds an amazing flavor to the syrup, it can be left out of the recipe if you can’t find it.
- Want to try it without the sweet potatoes? Use 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. This is how I grew up eating it!
- Serving a large crowd for Thanksgiving or Christmas? Cut the cooked sweet potatoes into thin slices or chunks and place them 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.
Dutch oven. One of my favorite cooking vessels for soups, stews, braising meats, and making camote!
Glass jars. Great for storing things like dressings, sauces, and any leftover piloncillo syrup.
Storing and reheating
To store the camotes, place them in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
Reheat the sweet 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.