St. Patrick's Day Traditions: Irish Potato Candy!

When you think of Irish cuisine, potatoes are probably the first thing to come to mind.

But have you ever heard of Irish Potato Candy?

Despite its name, this sweet treat has no potatoes in it! Instead, it's a delightful combination of coconut, cream cheese and sugar, rolled in cinnamon for a taste that's reminiscent of the Emerald Isle.

And, yes...they look just like potatoes! 

The History of Irish Potato Candy

The history of Irish Potato Candy dates all the way back to the19th century. Its origins can be traced to Irish immigrants who settled in the United States –  particularly in regions like Philadelphia and New York City. During the 1800s, Ireland experienced a devastating famine, leading to mass emigration to America as people searched for a better life. These immigrants brought with them their culinary traditions, including a love for potatoes! 

However, in the face of limited resources, Irish immigrants had to get creative with their cooking. They adapted traditional recipes to use ingredients that were more readily available in their new home. Thus, Irish Potato Candy was born!

Over time, Irish Potato Candy became a popular treat, especially around St. Patrick's Day, when people celebrate Irish culture and heritage. Today, it continues to be enjoyed by people of all backgrounds as a nostalgic nod to Irish-American history.

Recipe for Irish Potato Candy

Now, let's get to the fun part – making Irish Potato Candy! Here's a simple recipe that yields deliciously sweet and creamy candies that are sure to be a hit with friends and family.


  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
  • Ground cinnamon, for dusting


  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract until smooth and creamy.
  2. Gradually add the powdered sugar, mixing until well combined and the mixture forms a thick dough.
  3. Stir in the shredded coconut until evenly distributed throughout the dough.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Using your hands, roll the dough into small, potato-shaped balls, about 1 inch in diameter.
  6. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to firm up.
  7. Once chilled, remove the balls from the refrigerator and roll them in ground cinnamon to coat evenly, giving them the appearance of potatoes.
  8. Store the Irish Potato Candy in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Enjoying Irish Potato Candy

Irish Potato Candy makes for a delightful treat to enjoy year-round, but it's especially fitting for St. Patrick's Day celebrations. Serve them at parties, share them with friends, or simply indulge in a few yourself – no matter how you enjoy them, these sweet and nostalgic candies are sure to bring a taste of tradition to any occasion. Sláinte!