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Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, or any occasion for that matter, with our Philidelphia Irish potato candy recipe, and enjoy a delightfully sweet and creamy treat that is made from no potatoes and isn’t actually from Ireland!
Irish Potato Candy Recipe
Creamy, bite-sized, and beautifully sweet, Irish potato candies can put a lot of smiles on plenty of faces, be it for birthdays, holidays, or an Irish-themed event.
These little faux potatoes are very simple to make and make for a real conversation starter when put at the center of a spread or dessert table.
What is Traditional Irish Potato Candy?
A Philidelphia confection, Irish potato candy is another classic example of Irish influence in the United States.
At its purest, Irish potato candy is a sweet treat made from a mixture of icing (confectioner’s) sugar, cream cheese, coconut, and vanilla, molded into small, oblong shapes and finally rolled in cinnamon. The name comes from the candy resembling one of Ireland’s most important foods: the potato.
Fun fact: While we will focus on the classic candy in this recipe, there are confectionary companies that make a version of this treat with actual potatoes!
Sugar and coconut: In our recipe, we have made candies that have a little more sweetness from the coconut and a little less sweetness from the sugar. However, you can adapt these ratios to have less coconut and more sugary sweetness.
Cocoa powder: You can substitute cocoa powder for cinnamon or try a mixture of both.
Melted chocolate: While not traditional, some people like to dip the balls in chocolate for a rich and chocolate-coated treat.
To make our super fun and decadent Irish potato candy recipe, you’ll need the following recipes:
- Cream Cheese – 0.5 cup (4 oz or 110 grams) plain, full-fat cream cheese
- Butter – 3 tbsp (40 grams) unsalted butter
- Vanilla – 1 tsp vanilla paste or vanilla extract
- Icing Sugar – 1.5 cups (7oz/200 grams) icing sugar / powdered sugar
- Desiccated Coconut – 2 cups (6oz/170 grams) desiccated coconut or finely shredded coconut
- Cinnamon – 1-2 tbsp ground cinnamon
Step 1 – With a hand mixer or stand mixer, blend the cream cheese, softened butter, and vanilla.
Step 2 – Add the icing sugar (1/2 cup at a time) until it’s all smoothly incorporated. To make it easier, you can sift the icing sugar first so you have no lumps in the mixture.
Step 3 – Add the desiccated coconut and fold it into the mixture using a spatula.
Step 4 – Once mixed together, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Step 5 – Take 1 tbsp at a time and roll into balls first, then give them a slightly elongated shape resembling a potato. Arrange them on a sheet of grease-proof paper on a plate or tray.
Step 6 – Once you’ve used up all your mixture, you should have a lovely little collection of potato candies ready to be rolled. However, if you want them to be easier to work with when rolling them in cinnamon, cover them with cling film (saran wrap) and refrigerate them for 10-15 minutes.
Step 7 – Roll each candy in cinnamon powder and set aside.
For a little party wow factor, we arranged our candies in a pile so that they can take center stage of the dessert spread. Plus, this makes it easier for everyone to grab a candy and give it a try.
You are going to have so much fun with this Philidelphia favorite. It’s a charming little candy, with a thick, creamy texture and plenty of sweet, coconut, and vanilla notes in each bite.
Kids and adults alike love them, and especially if there’s some Irish blood in the family, this can be a great dessert to make for so many occasions.
Irish Potato Candy Recipe Card
- 0.5 cup plain, full-fat cream cheese
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tsp vanilla paste or vanilla extract
- 1.5 cups icing sugar (powdered sugar)
- 2 cups desiccated coconut or finely shredded coconut
- 1-2 tbsp ground cinnamon
- With a hand mixer or stand mixer, blend the cream cheese, softened butter, and vanilla.
- Add the icing sugar (1/2 cup at a time) until it’s all smoothly incorporated. To make it easier, you can sift the icing sugar first, so you have no lumps in the mixture.
- Add the desiccated coconut, folding it into the mixture using a spatula.
- Once mixed together, cover with saran wrap (cling film) and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Take 1 tbsp at a time and roll into balls first, then give them a slightly elongated shape resembling a potato. Arrange them on a sheet of grease-proof paper on a plate or tray.
- Once you’ve used up all your mixture, you should have a lovely little collection of potato candies ready to be rolled. However, if you want them to be easier to work with when rolling them in cinnamon, cover them with cling film (saran wrap) and refrigerate them for 10-15 minutes.
- Roll each candy in cinnamon powder and set aside.
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Save and Pin for Later
Eager to make these sweet and creamy candies? Keep this recipe for safekeeping by saving it to one of your food idea boards.