Irish potato candy is made with cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and shredded coconut formed into little potato-shaped candies and then rolled around in brown sugar and cinnamon. With a truffle-like consistency and a sweet and tangy flavor, these popular St. Patrick’s Day candies are always a hit!
Irish Potato Candies
Let me tell you about these sweet little no-bake treats. Despite the name, there’s no actual potatoes found in the ingredients list, so you can stop wondering how we’re combining potatoes and candy because we’re not 😉
You may have guessed that it’s called potato candy because of the potato shapes and the cinnamon sugar coating giving them an outer appearance of a spud.
With just a few ingredients, no heat required, and 30 minutes of chill time, this recipe is suitable for kids! They’re something like a Mounds bar, but without the chocolate.
Although it’s a simple dessert that can be made any time of year, it is very popular around St. Patrick’s Day. Therefore, Irish potato candy is the perfect way to end your festive meal!
Why you’ll love Irish Potato Candy recipe
An easy, no-bake, delicious treat – The hardest part is remembering to take your butter and cream cheese out of the fridge ahead of time. With just 15 minutes of prep time and a bit of chill time, these easy treats are effortless and great for getting the kids involved!
Decadent, yet simple – They may remind you of truffles without the chocolate. Chewy, melt-in-your-mouth, coconut cream center and the warm spice of cinnamon and caramelized flavors of the brown sugars on the outside. So good and so easy.
One batch makes a lot – This recipe makes 25 pieces of candy. Any leftover tiny potatoes can be stored for up to 1 week. It’s a budget-friendly dessert too!
Equipment you’ll need
Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card.
- Cream Cheese – Softened cream cheese is much easier to cream so be sure to bring it to room temperature at least 30 minutes ahead of time. If you leave it cold, there’s a chance that you’ll find lumps of unblended cream cheese in your candy.
- Unsalted Butter – I use unsalted because every type of butter has a different amount of salt in it and it’s harder to control. If you want to add a pinch of salt to balance out the sweetness, you can do that later.
- Vanilla Extract – A warm flavor enhancer that just makes everything delicious! Use pure vanilla extract if you can. Sometimes the artificial extract has a strong alcohol taste to it.
- Powdered Sugar – Also called confectioners’ sugar, this provides the sweetness without the grittiness from granulated sugar. It also helps to bind the ingredients together.
- Shredded Coconut – Use sweetened or unsweetened, it’s up to you! Delivering amazing coconut flavor and a bit of added texture.
- Brown Sugar & Ground Cinnamon – For the outside coating to give them the appearance of little potatoes.
How to make Irish Potato Candy
- Step One: In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until fluffy.
- Step Two: Stir in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and blend until smooth. Then, mix in the shredded coconut until well blended and evenly distributed.
- Step Three: Chill the cream cheese mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes. In the meantime, combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
- Step Four: Scoop out 1 Tablespoon at a time of the chilled coconut mixture and form them into oblong shapes (little potatoes) with your hands. Roll each piece of candy into the cinnamon sugar mixture until fully coated.
- Step Five: Enjoy a piece or three, and keep the rest stored for treats throughout the week!
What to serve with Irish Potato Candy
If you’re whipping up an Easter dinner or St Patrick’s day feast, these are a must for your dessert table. If I’m making no-bake desserts, I usually make a few at a time, since they take up no oven space.
Wash everything down with a skinny pineapple coconut cocktail. The flavors complement potato candy just right!
Tips & Suggestions 🍀
- For an extra bit of fun, add a few chopped peanuts to the outside of the “potatoes” to make them look like eyes.
- If you want, you can also add chopped nuts to the inside for a crunch factor. Pecans, walnuts, almonds, you name it.
- Add a bit of chocolate to your potatoes (yeah, that sounds weird to me too!). Sprinkle some cocoa powder into the cream cheese mixture. You can also add some to the cinnamon-sugar mix.
- Swap the vanilla extract for peppermint extract or almond extract for a different flavor, like my cream cheese mints.
How to store leftovers
To prevent them from drying out and hardening, be sure to keep them covered in an airtight container. They contain dairy, so they’ll need to be kept refrigerated.
How long will they last in the fridge?
For up to 1 week. If you’re lucky enough to have any left! Try and keep them separate so they don’t stick together. Layering them separated by parchment paper can help with this.
Can I freeze Irish potato candy?
You can freeze them and enjoy them well beyond the month of March! They can be kept frozen for up to 3 months when stored in a freezer safe bag. Layer them with parchment paper so they don’t stick together. Thaw them in the fridge overnight.
What is Irish potato candy made of?
Well, we know it’s not made of real potatoes! It’s a sweet treat made with a combination of cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and coconut.
Outside of those ingredients, people have gotten creative with their ingredients.
Some will add a bit of salt, some (like me) will add vanilla extract, while others will add in a variety of mix-ins. The same goes for the outside. Some recipes will call for just brown sugar, others just cinnamon, and some are both.
Why is the candy called Irish potato?
The simple answer is when all is said and done, they look like little potatoes!
Is Irish potato candy really Irish?
Nope. They were created in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and are still uncommon in other parts of the world. Many people have never heard of it before, so welcome to the potato candy club. Now you’re in the know 😉
They’re super popular around St. Patrick’s Day but there’s no law that says you can’t enjoy them year round!
Need more homemade candy recipes? Try these:
Click here for my entire collection of candy recipes.