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Irish Potatoes

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Irish potatoes may sound like a savory side dish but actually, there are no potatoes at all in this traditional Irish dessert! Potato candies are little bites of sweetened cream cheese and coconut, dusted with cinnamon. They are delicious and incredibly easy to make.

Irish Potato Candy in a dish

When I was in high school, I worked in a cute little ice cream shop that made Irish Potato Candy around St. Patrick’s Day. We would roll these little treats for hours and sell out every day. People would start to ask us around the middle of February when we would start making Irish Potatoes.

How do you make Irish potatoes? //

Thankfully, Irish potatoes are very simple to make. As mentioned earlier, there are just a few simple ingredients you will need to make Irish potato candy:

Irish Potato Candy ingredients

Ingredients //

  • 2 oz. unsalted butter
  • 4 oz. cream cheese (full fat, light, or fat-free will all work fine)
  • 4 cups Powdered sugar (also called confectioner’s sugar)
  • 2 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut flakes
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp. Ground cinnamon

How to make Irish Potatoes //

Just mix the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Then, form the mixture into bite-sized balls and roll it in cinnamon. It is a perfect job for little hands. Especially little hands that like to get dirty.

It’s an easy and fun recipe for kids to make, too! Ava and Will had a half-day at school and I thought that it would be a perfect rainy day activity. Except they didn’t want to play with me. Thankfully, this dude wanted to cook with me.

young boy licking powdered sugar off of his fingers.

He takes his job very seriously.

toddler boy making a sweet dessert for St. Patrick's Day

Step 1:

Using a hand mixer or electric stand mixer, beat together the butter and cream cheese.

Step 2:

Next, slowly add the powdered sugar.

young boy at electric stand mixer, making homemade potato candy

Some of the powdered sugar might make it into the bowl.

kitchen counter dusted with confectioner's sugar

Some might not. Part of the fun of cooking with kids is letting them be kids. So, powdered sugar can get everywhere.

toddler boy in diaper licking sugar tasting Irish potato candy

Step 3:

Add the vanilla extract and mix to combine

Step 4:

Add the coconut and mix until combined.

ingredients in mixing bowl to make Irish potatoes

Step 5:

Before rolling the Irish potatoes mixture into balls, you may want to chill it for at least 30 minutes. As a result, it will be easier to form the dough into little balls.

irish potato candy mixture in mixing bowl

You can use your hands to do this. However, I like to use a small ice cream scoop, like the one shown in the above photo. Keep in mind that Irish potato candies are really rich, so you want them to be small in size.

little girl with blonde hair making Irish candy

Step 6:

Roll the mixture into small balls and then roll them through a bowl or plate of ground cinnamon.

little girl with blonde hair making Irish potatoes candy

Step 7:

Place the Irish potatoes onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Philadelphia Irish Potatoes in cupcake liners

Does Irish potato candy need to be refrigerated? //

Remember, there are dairy products (cream cheese and butter) in the candy. Because of this, Irish potatoes should be kept in a refrigerator.

It is best to store them in an airtight container. If you do this, they should keep well for at least 7 to 10 days, and possibly up to two weeks.

irish potato candies dusted with cocoa powder

Other St. Patrick’s Day treats //

Irish potato candy is a fun and delicious treat for St. Patrick’s Day. This no-bake recipe is easy enough to make that even young kids can help you make them. Here are some other fun and easy treats to make for St. Patrick’s Day.

cute St. Patricks Day candy on a tray with shamrocks
Irish potato candy in a dish

Irish Potatoes

Yield: makes 3 dozen

If you grew up in the Philadelphia area, you know what Irish Potato Candy is. You eat these little cinnamon coated coconut cream treats on St. Patrick's Day.


  • 1/2 stick of butter softened
  • 1/2 brick of cream cheese softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups sweetened coconut
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon


  1. Beat together butter and cream cheese.
  2. Slowly add the confectioners sugar.
  3. Add the vanilla.
  4. Add the coconut and mix until combined.
  5. You may want to chill the coconut mixture a little before you roll them. I like to use a small ice cream scoop. These are really rich, so you want them to be small.
  6. Roll the coconut mixture into a ball.
  7. Roll the coconut mixture into the cinnamon and put on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  8. Keep the Irish Potatoes in the fridge.
Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 0Total Fat: 0g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Update notes – This recipe was originally posted in March 2011, it has been updated in January 2020 with clearer instructions and updated pictures and a video.


Friday 13th of May 2022

it looks so great! I like it :))


Friday 13th of May 2022

It looks so tasty!


Saturday 9th of April 2022

My wife's Irish grandma makes this all the time - so delicious!


Friday 25th of March 2022

Your kids look so adorable. This brought back memories of my childhood. My mom made these every St. Patrick’s Day.

C Albert

Wednesday 16th of March 2022

Don't know what went wrong but after 4 hrs waiting for the mixture to firm up in the fridge they still would not hold a shape. The blobs did not roll in the cinnamon, it just mixed in. A complete disaster for the party I was going to take them to tomorrow!

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