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
Watch the recipe video
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.