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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Table of Contents
- About Irish Potato Candy
- Are these actually made with potatoes?
- So, what is Irish potato candy?
- Is Irish potato candy really Irish?
- What’s in Irish potato candy?
- How long will this candy last?
- Can you freeze Irish potato candy?
- Notes & tips for this Irish potato candy
- Other festive Irish recipes
- How to make Irish potato candy
- Recipe Details
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.
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.
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 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!
Irish Potato Candy
- 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.
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.