Irish Potato Candy is the ultimate no-bake St. Patrick's Day sweet treat for coconut lovers! This Pennsylvania or more specifically Philadephia St. Patrick's Day dessert looks like small potatoes without actually having potato as an ingredient!
Do you love cinnamon, brown sugar, cream cheese and coconut? Then you're going to adore these candies! This is a quick and easy recipe to whip up and actually look better when they're not perfectly formed.
What is Irish Potato Candy?
Well, for starters, it's not even Irish. It's a Pennsylvania sweet. My home state! It originated from Philadelphia (not my hometown) and can be found in candy shops or from sweet old lunch ladies every March.
Here's another shocker, it doesn't have any sort of potato in it. It just looks similar to one with its brown cinnamon brown sugar coating.
Irish Potato Candy is a homemade candy made up of cream cheese, butter, coconut, vanilla, and powdered sugar. It's formed into the shape of a potato and rolled in brown sugar and cinnamon to give the appearance of a potato.
These candies are quite simple to make with just 7 ingredients. The measurements are in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- butter - I like to use salted butter because I always have it on hand, it adds salt without adding another ingredient, and it helps cut the sweetness of the powdered sugar. You can use unsalted butter and add a pinch of salt or more to taste.
- cream cheese - make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature. I like to mix the cream cheese on its own first to help make sure it's warm and ready to be blended into a smooth consistency.
- vanilla - this just adds a nice vanilla flavor to the candy. This is an Aldi brand vanilla in the picture, but my favorite is Rodelle brand vanilla extract.
- powdered sugar - This thickens the candy while adding sweetness.
- coconut - Sweetened or unsweetened will work. I like the angel flake coconut.
- brown sugar - light brown sugar is what I used, but dark brown sugar will work too and might make the candy "potatoes" outside slightly darker.
- cinnamon - Use the ground cinnamon that you prefer. I used McCormick's.
How to make Homemade Irish Potato Candy
Step 1 - Start by creaming the cream cheese and butter. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add in the vanilla extract and powdered sugar. Beat on low until most of the powdered sugar is incorporated. Work in the coconut until evenly distributed. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
Step 2 - Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop the dough out. Roll it into an oval shape to look like a potato. It looks more realistic if it's not perfect. Place on the prepared baking sheet.
Step 3 - Add the brown sugar and cinnamon to a small bowl. Mix until combined.
Step 4 - Roll the potato-shaped candies in the brown sugar and cinnamon until well covered. Place in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to serve.
How to store Irish Potato Candy
You will want to store your potato candy in the fridge in an airtight container. You can store your candy in the fridge for up to five days!
If you are going to layer the candies in the container, place a piece of parchment paper in between each layer to make sure they don't stick together.
Can you freeze Irish Potato Candy?
Yes! Place the candy in a freezer container or freezer bag. If you have layers of candy, separate the layers with a piece of parchment paper. They will last in the freezer for up to 2 months.
To thaw the potato candy, place it in the fridge to defrost overnight.
Looking for more easy St. Patrick's Day desserts?
- Chocolate Mint Cookies | Love Andes Mints? Here is a cookie recipe that is the perfect blend of chocolate and mint.
- St. Patrick's Day Jello Shots | Make up these Jello shots with alcohol or just Jello for a fun and easy treat for parties or your family if you do non-alcoholic.
- Rainbow Cheesecake | This rainbow cheesecake is such a great way to have a colorful dessert to serve up family and friends.
- Mint Cheesecake | A beautiful green minty cheesecake with a chocolate Oreo crust, ganache topping, and creamy, chocolate whipped cream swirls.
Frequently Asked Questions
This recipe doesn't contain any sort of potato but it does form truffles that look like little potatoes.
I will have a peanut butter potato candy that does include mashed potatoes that I plan on posting sometime soon. It's an old-timey recipe passed down from my grandma to my mom and now to me.
Yes, you can. The sweetened coconut will add more flavor but unsweetened will work just as well. Just measure and use the same amount of coconut for the recipe.
You sure can double this recipe. It is easy to make extra. Just make sure to use a larger bowl so that you have the room to mix up well.
Yes! Add about ⅛ teaspoon of salt when adding the powdered sugar if you're using unsalted butter for this recipe.
Irish Potato Candy
- 4 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 4 tablespoons salted butter room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 to 2 ½ cups sweetened coconut flakes
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup light brown sugar packed
- In a large bowl, add the cream cheese and butter. Using a hand mixer, beat on medium until creamy and smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add in the vanilla and slowly add in the powdered sugar a little at a time. Beat until combined.
- Add the coconut and use a spatula to work the coconut into the cream cheese mixture.
- Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Using a tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop the candy mixture and roll it into an oval to resemble a potato. Give it some creases or misshape it to look more realistic.
- Place on the baking sheet and continue making the potato candy until the mixture is gone.
- In a medium bowl, add the brown sugar and cinnamon. Whisk to combine.
- Roll each potato candy in the brown sugar mixture until coated.
- Place onto a serving tray and repeat the steps until all balls have been coated.
- Serve immediately. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
(Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.)