About Irish Potato Candy
No matter the holiday, I’m always down for whipping up a batch of festive candy, and this Irish potato candy was no exception.
And really, how can you possibly go wrong with sugar and coconut, no matter the time of year? When it comes to coconut, wrapping it up in a sugary candy is one of the best ways to enjoy it.
Now, I know St. Patrick’s Day tends to be a boozy or savory event here in the states, but this no-bake confection proves that’s not always the case. Its origins may be a little questionable (more on that below) and they don’t look like your everyday truffle, but don’t let all that fool you. As my mother put it, these candies are like the homemade version of a Mounds candy bar – just without the chocolate.
Plus, they’re super easy to make, which I’m sure we can all appreciate after we’ve had a few green beers and lots of Irish stew.
Are these actually made with potato?
I hate to be the bearer of disappointing news, but no, these candies do not include actual potatoes.
So why are they called potato candy, you ask?
It’s actually just because of the way they look. This candy is typically rolled into round or oblong shapes, and once it’s dusted with cinnamon, they do resemble tiny potatoes. Some recipes even take it a step further and press roughly chopped peanuts on the outside of the candy (to create “eyes” of a potato).
So, what is Irish potato candy?
This candy has all the characteristics of a truffle (round candy, sweet and creamy center) except it does not include any chocolate. It’s typically made with butter, cream cheese, sweetened shredded coconut, and powdered sugar (aka confectioner’s sugar). All of these ingredients are mixed together, rolled into bite-sized pieces, and dusted with ground cinnamon.
Is Irish potato candy really Irish?
I’m sorry, guys. More bad news.
Irish potato candy is not from Ireland.
It actually originated in Philadelphia and is fairly popular in local candy stores and supermarkets, especially around St. Patrick’s Day. See’s Candy also distributes their own version of this confection.
Can you freeze Irish potato candy?
Yes, you can totally freeze this candy. In fact, one of the preparation instructions is to freeze it so that it will set properly.
If storing this candy in the freezer, be sure to use a sealable container or a freezer bag. For best results, candy can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Notes & tips for this Irish potato candy
- For this recipe, I highly recommend using a stand mixer or a hand mixer. This recipe would be difficult to make by hand with a whisk.
Other festive Irish recipes
How to make Irish potato candy
This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.
Step 2 – Reduce the mixer speed to low and blend in the vanilla extract.
Step 3 – Keeping the mixer speed on low, and slowly add in the powdered sugar. To limit making a mess of your counter, I’d recommend adding 1/3 to 1/2 cup of powdered sugar at a time at a time.
Step 4 – Remove the bowl from your mixer and use a spatula to scrape around the sides of the bowl, collecting creamy mixture in the center of the bowl. Pour in about 1/2 of the shredded coconut and then gently mix everything together. You can use a spatula or your hands; whichever works best. Finish up by adding in the remaining 1/2 of the shredded coconut and mix until combined.
Step 5 – Using a 1 teaspoon (or up to 1 tablespoon) cookie scoop, scoop out some of the coconut mixture and roll it between your hands, forming a ball. Roll the ball in some ground cinnamon, coating the outside, then place the finished potato candy on a baking sheet. You won’t be baking these, so the candy can be placed close together on the baking sheet if needed. Repeat this step until all of the coconut mixture has been used.
Step 6 – Freeze the Irish potato candy until firm, about one hour.
Step 7 – Serve and enjoy!
Irish Potato Candy
This no-bake recipe for Irish potato candy is flavored with coconut, cream cheese, sugar, butter, and a dash of cinnamon. They're easy to make and perfect for celebrating St. Patrick's Day!
Reduce mixer speed to low. Add vanilla extract, then beat for 30 seconds.
Keeping speed on low, slowly scoop in powdered sugar, adding about 1/3 to 1/2 cup at a time and beating thoroughly between each addition.
Turn off mixer and remove bowl. Pour in flaked coconut and use a spatula (or your hands) to knead the ingredients together.
Using a 1 teaspoon cookie scoop, scoop out dough and roll it between your hands to form a ball. Drop the ball in the small bowl of cinnamon and roll to coat. Place finished candy ball on prepared baking sheet. Repeat this step until all dough has been used.
Place dough in the freezer and let chill for 1 hour or until the candy has set. If desired, roll candy in cinnamon again for a fresh, powdery coat.
Serve candy immediately. Candy can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.