Irish Potatoes

irish potato candy recipeWhen I was in high school, I worked in a cute little ice cream shop that made these Irish Potato Candies 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. Thankfully, they are very simple to make. Irish Potatoes are a mixture of butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, coconut, and vanilla. You roll the mixture up and roll it in cinnamon. It is a perfect job for little hands. Especially little hands that like to get dirty. I actually forgot all about this St. Patrick’s treat until recently and wanted to make it with the kids. 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.

irish potato candy recipeHe takes his job very seriously.

irish potato candy recipeHere is what you need to make them.

irish potato candy recipe1/2 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

irish potato candy recipeBeat together butter and cream cheese. Slowly add the confectioners sugar.

irish potato candy recipeSome might make it in the bowl.

irish potato candy recipeSome might not. Powdered sugar can get everywhere. Add the vanilla.

irish potato candy recipeAdd the coconut and mix until combined.

irish potato candy recipeYou 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.

irish potato candy recipeRoll the coconut mixture into a ball.

irish potato candy recipeRoll the coconut mixture into the cinnamon and put on a parchment lined baking sheet.

irish potato candy recipeKeep the Irish Potatoes in the fridge.

irish potato candy recipeThese are a fun thing to make with your little ones for a St. Patrick’s Day treat.

Yield: makes 3 dozen

Irish Potatoes

Irish Potatoes
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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. Beat together butter and cream cheese. Slowly add the confectioners sugar.
  2. Add the vanilla.
  3. Add the coconut and mix until combined.
  4. 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.
  5. Roll the coconut mixture into a ball.
  6. Roll the coconut mixture into the cinnamon and put on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  7. Keep the Irish Potatoes in the fridge.

Nutrition Information:


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

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90 Comments

  • omygoodness this is such a good idea. (and the potatoes are so cute!) i might try this. thanks!

    Reply
  • These look yummy! I’ll have to try them for sure. Maybe I’ll make them for April Fool’s Day – a mock potato! 🙂

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    • Thank you Tanya! Yes, these little treats are delicious. Sweet and spicy at the same time.

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  • Just when I thought I’d heard it all for St. Patrick’s Day! Love these and can’t wait to make them part of our St. Patty’s traditions.

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  • These look interesting! Never heard of them before but I love the idea for Saint Patrick’s day!

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  • Made these for my daughter’s class for St. Patrick’s Day. They were a hit! Now I am passing the recipe along to my son’s teacher…they study Ireland and have a baking day, making Irish foods…simple enough for the classroom to make. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Glad that they liked them. Turns out they are a Philadelphia tradition.

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      • From PA myself and they are always a hit, but I make them without the coconut (I simply don’t like coconut) and add some crush almonds instead.

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      • Yes they are. I am going to make them for the first time with my daughter this year for her class. I usually buy them.

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  • Thanks for the recipe!!!!!! Even though st Patrick’s day is gone I am making them Asa treat for my entire class! They worked really hard and got an 85% average on their science test!

    You know what’s funny, I remember my 3rd grade teacher giving us these treats. I never knew what they were called and just this month I stumbled upon them in a bakery and made a mental note of the name. I was ecstatic that I found them again! I am glad you posted the recipe!

    I like having them without the coconut.

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  • I grew making something our family called; “Tater Candy”.

    It is a small boiled potato
    4-8 cups of powdered sugar(depends on how big potato was)
    and peanut butter to spread.

    Friends and Family still ask every year if we are to make this again.

    Now that I have 3 out of 6 children with peanut allergies, I don’t make it anymore…

    Reply
  • This looks so interesting, im going to attempt this reciepe this weekend with my boy. Id id love to say your boy has the most georgeous eyes

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    • thank you so much, his eyes get him out of a lot of trouble. 🙂

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  • I remember i used to make these every single year in grade school, i went to private catholic school and they were big on st. patricks day…
    this brings back memories 🙂

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    • I forgot all about them to be honest with you. It brought back memories for me too.

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  • I LOVE these. I am going to guess you are from Philly. It seems like no one outside the Delaware Valley has ever heard of them. I remember making them as a class assignment in 3rd grade. Oh, I want some right now.

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  • My kids and I made these and we had a lot of fun! They tasted just like I remembered them as a kid–DELICIOUS! Great recipe–really easy and fun!

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    • I love when people tell me how they were in the kitchen with their children. It makes me so happy.

      Reply
  • Thanks for this “oldie but goodie”! I remember my parents bringing them home from the bakery around St Patty’s Day, and also making them at Girl Scouts! It still stumps me when I find not everyone experienced the same things growing up, of course I realize now that is what makes us each so unique.

    Reply
  • I’ve never seen/tasted these – and because I’m quite the (though amateur) avid truffle maker during the Easter season, I will definitely be making these! One small problem: in South Africa, we really don’t know what the mass or volumn of a stick of this or a 1/2 brick of that is 🙁 – would you mind terribly adding the weight in brackets? I would so appreciate it!!
    Really love this site! the recipes together with accompanying photos & story/chit-chat, – it is (rightfully so) sitting at the top of my Favorites. Thank you!

    Reply
    • 1/2 brick of cream cheese is 4 ounces. A 1/2 stick of butter is 2 ounces.

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      • Thanks! Made them yesterday – I had no trouble wondering how long they would keep – they’re all GONE! :mrgreen:

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  • Everyone loved these irish potatoes! Just wondering how long they keep in the fridge?

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  • I am making these today! I am really asking, should I really put 4 cups of sugar? Thnx!

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      • I made these yesterday, and I must say, I had no idea it would taste like this! AMAZING ! I personally don’t like coconuts…but not in this recipe! I sent some of my friends a link to this recipe and they want me to bring it to them tommorw! Thank you very much for posting this! 😀

        Reply
  • We make something similar to these at the candy store I work at, but we roll them in cocoa powder. Might be worth a try for anyone who isn’t a huge cinnamon fan :]

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    • I was going to ask about cocoa powder. Thank you for posting. My mouth doesn’t like large amounts of cinnamon (May God forbid cinnamon candy!)

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  • Hadn’t thought about these for a long time. But my church Women’t group is having a huge candy/bake sale on Feb. 9/10/2013, and I was reminded of them the other day. Decided to make some for the event, but could not find my old recipe… Looking around the web I found yours.
    I had my own store back then, a supply shop for cake decorating and candy supplies. I made the potato candy for an Irish restaurant across the street from my shop, on St. Pat’s day. It was to be a special free treat for their customers, and I made some as well for my own customers on St. Pat’s Day, also for my family. .. My children didn’t like coconut, so I made theirs plain…
    My favorite coating though, is a combo of equal amounts of cinnamon and Hershey’s cocoa powder.. And I didn’t roll them in it. I coated each one individually with my finger. Don’t laugh, it makes them look more like a real potato, rather than one thats kind of dirty looking…But to each his/her own… I suppose you could do the same Try it, you’ll like it!! Enjoy…
    Joanne/chefjosi

    Reply
  • Well, part of that last sentence disappeared on me somehow…
    It was supposed to say. – I suppose you could do the same thing using a paint brush and brush the coating on them….but I’ll still use the hands on method…
    Chefjosie—-

    Reply
  • Two more things about this—–
    First, when i have used coconut, I have used the dessicated/unsweetened, finely chopped type…
    It helps cut the overall sweetness of this candy…
    Second, after shaping the pieces, I use a toothpick to poke dimples in random places into the oval shapes… Then when applying the cinn/cocoa coating mixture (esp. by hand) the dimples remain unncoated and resemble the eyes of the potato….. If coating the candy by rolling it in the mixture, you can use a sliver of almond or a piece of a pignole nut to become the eyes…
    Think that’s all — enjoy!!!

    Reply
    • I think they are much better with unsweetened coconut, plus you eliminate the propolene glycol preservative that’s in most sweetened coconut.

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    • Have you ever tried blitzing the coconut in a food processor, or do you think that might get rid of some of the fun?

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      • I haven’t, and truthfully, for this I wouldn’t. It should be fun and easy. And you lose a lot of the sweetness. But by all means, try it if you like.

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  • These are a terrific old time Philly treat. Thank you so much for the recipe! I was just wondering if you can freeze the candies. I have a lot of family that wants to try some & I won’t see them for a week or so.
    HAPPY ST. PATTY’S DAY!!!

    Reply
    • You are very welcome! Brings me back to my childhood. I have never frozen them, I think that they would, but I cannot say for certain.

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  • On Friday the kids at school asked if they could make these so I went out this morning and bought your ingredients and we’ll try them Monday 🙂 Wish us luck! 🙂

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  • I have made these 2 times now. The first batch was good, but too sweet for me. Second time I tried with unsweetened coconut. Much better and they had a better balance of flavor. With the second batch, after I rolled most of the ‘tatties’ in the cinnamon, I mixed a little unsweetened cocoa powder into the remaining cinnamon. This also has a nice flavor mix. Thanks for the recipe; a few people have asked where I got the recipe and I shared your blog.

    Reply
  • So glad I stumbled across your blog while searching for a recipe for Irish Potatoes! Definitely a Philly tradition! Grew up eating these every St.Patty’s Day. Looking forward to making these with the kiddos!Thanks ☺

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    • Yes they are! I hope that you start a new tradition with your kiddos.

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  • Here in Australia we call these spuds. (Another name for potatoes) but we make them with actual mashed potato instead of cream cheese 🙂 they are a favourite at
    fete stalls 🙂

    Reply
    • I don’t really. It depends on how big you roll the potatoes. I’d guess 2 dozen?

      Reply
  • I am making these for my Girl Scout troops World Thinking Day this weekend. I can’t wait for everyone to try them!!

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  • I always love making these, but I’m just wondering, what camera and lens do you use?? Your pictures are beautiful!

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  • I wanted to make something cute for my kids for St. Patrick’s day and this is just it. This looks like a great recipe and i can’t wait to make them 🙂

    Reply
  • These seem to be like a candy i brought my oldest son years ago. We were in a German village in South Australia and were sold as candy potatoes. We did not have to have them in a fridge but did keep them in our car fridge as we were traveling. Have always wondered how these were made, now I know thank you.

    Reply
  • They make similar Irish Potatoes at See’s Candies, but they contain walnuts and are also dusted in cocoa.

    Reply

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