This no-bake recipe for Irish potato candy is flavored with coconut, cream cheese, sugar, butter, and a dash of cinnamon. They’re perfect for St Patrick’s Day!

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Homemade potato candy coated in cinnamon.

About Irish Potato Candy

No matter the holiday, I always enjoy whipping up festive candies, and Irish potato candy is 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.

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 potatoes?

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 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 the “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 (also known as confectioner’s sugar). All of these ingredients are mixed together, rolled into bite-sized pieces, and dusted with ground cinnamon.

Irish potato candy recipe for potato balls.

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 pretty popular in local candy stores and supermarkets, especially around the month of march and St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. See’s Candy also distributes their own version of this confection.

What’s in Irish potato candy?

To whip up a batch of these unique candies, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Ground Cinnamon: This gives the candy its characteristic “potato” appearance. After the candy balls are formed, they are rolled in cinnamon, which not only adds flavor but also gives them a brownish, earthy look, reminiscent of real potatoes.
  • Salted Butter: Butter adds richness to the candy and helps bind the ingredients together. The salt in the butter also slightly contrasts the sweetness, enhancing the overall flavor.
  • Cream Cheese: Cream cheese gives the candy a creamy texture and a tangy flavor. It also acts as a binder, helping to hold the other ingredients together.
  • Vanilla Extract: Vanilla extract adds a hint of aromatic sweetness, complementing the flavors of the other ingredients.
  • Powdered Sugar: This is the primary sweetener in the candy. It not only sweetens the candy but also gives it structure. When mixed with the wet ingredients, it helps form a dough-like consistency that can be shaped into balls.
  • Sweetened Shredded Coconut: The shredded coconut provides texture, making the candy slightly chewy. It also adds a tropical sweetness, which pairs well with the other ingredients.

How long will this candy last?

Once prepared, Irish potato candy can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to five days.

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.

When ready to eat, allow the Irish potato candy to thaw at room temperature for a few hours.

 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.
  • Parchment paper is preferred for this recipe due to its overall versatility and durability, but wax paper can also be used.
  • If you love old-fashioned candy, be sure to check out the “other” potato candy recipe (and this one does include potatoes!) and sponge candy.
  • While a particular mixing attachment isn’t required for this recipe, a flat edge or paddle attachment is recommended.
Potato candy filled with cream cheese and coconut.

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 1 – Using a stand mixer (or hand mixer + large bowl), add cream cheese and butter. Whip them together on medium-high speed until ultra creamy.

Step 2 – Reduce the mixer to low speed and blend in the vanilla extract.

Step 3 – Keeping the mixer speed on low, 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 the creamy mixture in the center of the bowl. Pour in about 1/2 of the shredded coconut and 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 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!

Recipe Details

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! |
4.81 from 21 votes

Irish Potato Candy

20 minutes prep + 1 hour Chill Time
124 kcal
Yields: 30 candies
This no-bake recipe for Irish potato candy is flavored with coconut, cream cheese, sugar, butter, and a dash of cinnamon. They're perfect for St Patrick's Day!



  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and add ground cinnamon to a small bowl. Set both aside.
    2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • Using a stand mixer (or hand mixer + large bowl), cream together butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth, about 5-7 minutes.
    1/4 cup salted butter, 4 ounces cream cheese
  • Drop mixer speed to low and add vanilla extract, then beat for 30 seconds.
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 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.
    4 cups powdered sugar
  • Turn off mixer and remove bowl. Pour in flaked coconut and use a spatula (or your hands) to knead ingredients together.
    7 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
  • Using a 1 teaspoon cookie scoop, scoop out dough and roll it between your hands to form a ball. Drop ball in 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 candy balls in freezer and let chill for 1 hour or until candy has set. If desired, roll candy in cinnamon again for a fresh, powdery coat.
  • Serve immediately.


Serving: 1candy | Calories: 124kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 0.5g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 42mg | Potassium: 31mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 100IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 0.2mg

I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.

Author: Chrisy

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Recipe Rating


    • Phil

    I am sure these taste great, but I highly doubt they are “Irish” being that most of the Irish people I know (actually 1st generation or still living in Ireland) really dislike cinnamon, almost as much as they dislike peanut butter.

      • Donna Bittner

      These candies are not really Irish. They originated in Philadelphia.

    • Ritanjly Jamwal
    • 5 stars

    Easy to make

    • Bec
    • 5 stars

    This recipe is now my an old friend of mine’s favorite. TOTALLY delicious!

    • Jillian
    • 5 stars

    This Irish Potato Candy was ah-mazing! I can’t wait to make it again!

    • Debbie
    • 5 stars

    I’ve been making these for years. They’re my nephews favorite. I add a little almond extract to mine. Yum!

    • Millie Trout
    • 5 stars

    I’m going to try this out!

    • Millie Trout
    • 5 stars

    I have eaten the potatoe candy before, when I was little. It is delicious!

    • Sheila

    i tried making these and it turned out really sticky at the end to where rolling them was in a ball was not possible 🙁 i even added an extra cup of powdered sugar to try and thicken it up but it didn’t not help much… any suggestions i can do different next time?? it tasted really good i just couldn’t roll it i ended up just putting it in a small pan and cut into pieces once finished

      • Debbie

      Put the mixture back in the freezer for a few minutes. It also helps if you rinse your hands often with really cold water. I also place all the mounds on the parchment, refrigerate them for a few min. Then roll them. Takes a little more time, but it helps.

    • Kay

    Hi Chrisy, I have been enjoying going through your Irish recipes. I have never heard of this type of Irish potato candy. I remember my mother making an Irish potato candy using a small amount of mashed potato and peanut butter and the powdered sugar. She would make it for St. Patrick’s day and sometimes at Christmas .

    • Leigh-Anne

    salted or unsalted butter?

    • Danielle
    • 5 stars

    OMG these sound so delicious! I’m fine with a truffle that has no chocolate. The coconut more than makes up for it. Oh, and the butter and sugar. YUM!

    • Gale

    Incidentally, there is a potato candy that’s made with powdered sugar, mashed potatoes, and peanut butter.