Irish potato candy is a no-bake treat filled with cream cheese and coconut flakes and then topped with cinnamon. These aren’t your regular potatoes, they are candy, and I am here for it!
I love things that have cream cheese as the main ingredient. Whether it’s sweet or savory, I am willing to try it! If you love it too, then you must try my tried and true cheesecake egg rolls, these stuffed strawberries, or these super cute and delicious mini cheesecakes!
What is Irish Potato Candy?
Fun fact about this Irish potato candy, It’s not even Irish! Nope! You may have never even heard of this candy unless you are from Pennsylvania. It originated in Philadelphia. Around the month of March, every year, it’s sold to candy makers throughout that part of the country. It’s safe for someone to assume that it’s made of potatoes if you base it on the name! Luckily, it’s made from delicious cream cheese, shredded coconut, and some cinnamon on top. If you like a Mounds bar, then you will probably like these!
You will see this recipe pop up around St. Patrick’s day, and there are many different versions of this out there to try. I personally love this cream cheese version because it’s delicious but not overly sweet. It’s a delightful treat and one that my kids not only love to eat, but they love to make! Try it out for the month of March, along with some green and festive mint brownies and a shamrock shake!
What’s IN Irish Potato Candy?
The ingredients list for Irish potato candy is short and sweet! This is a great treat to make because you probably already have all of the ingredients at home. See the recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact measurements.
- Cream Cheese: Let this sit out and get to room temperature before mixing it in so that it mixes well, without any lumps.
- Butter: I used unsalted butter at room temperature.
- Vanilla Extract: This adds a subtle but sweet flavor to the candy.
- Salt: The salt enhances all of the other flavors.
- Powdered Sugar: Using powdered sugar instead of granulated suagr allows the filling to be silky smooth. It dissolves easier and tastes delicious!
- Sweetened Flaked Coconut: This brings that delicious texture in a candy with cocolnut that we all know and love!
- Ground Cinnamon: Dip it in this to not only add a delicious contrasting flavor but this is what makes them look like potatoes!
How to Make Homemade Irish Potato Candy
This simple recipe does not take a lot of time! It takes less than 30 minutes to put these all together, and then you chill them in your fridge for another 30 minutes. Easy as pie (or candy, I should say)!
- Beat: In a large bowl beat the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and salt together until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Combine with Powdered Sugar: Add the powdered sugar to the mixture and beat on low speed until incorporated. Increase the speed and beat on medium for about 1-2 minutes, until smooth and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again and add the coconut. Using the low setting on your mixer, beat until the coconut it mixed throughout.
- Scoop and Chill: After you have mixed it then line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Then, scoop one tablespoon of the mixture at a time onto the parchment paper. Once the mixture has been all used up then chill for about 30 minutes.
- Coat: After it has chilled in the fridge then take out the mixture and roll the scoops between your hands. Form an oblong, potato shape. Roll in the ground cinnamon until fully coated. Place the cinnamon coated candies back on the parchment and place back in the fridge to chill. Keep chilled until ready to serve.
Do I Have to Chill it in the Fridge?
Yes! Don’t skip this step! It’s essential to chill these before you coat them in the cinnamon sugar because if you don’t, they will be too mushy and not hold up. The texture is so much better after they have chilled and they will hold that classic, potato shape!
How to Store Irish Potato Candy
The key to storing this candy is that you want to keep it in your fridge. They are made of cream cheese so this is the dafest place to keep them. Not to mention that if they are left too long at room temperature they will lose their shape and get too soft. You can stack these in an airtight container and put it in your fridge. They will last for 4-5 days!
Irish Potato Candy
- 4 Oz Cream Cheese (room temperature)
- ¼ Cup Butter (room temperature)
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- ¼ Teaspoon Salt
- 4 Cups Powdered Sugar
- 2 2/3 Cups Sweetened Flaked Coconut (about 7 ounces)
- 2 Tablespoons Ground Cinnamon
- In a large bowl beat the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and salt together until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the powdered sugar to the mixture and beat at low speed until incorporated. Increase the speed and beat on medium for about 1-2 minutes, until smooth and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again and add the coconut. Beat on low until all the coconut is well mixed throughout.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment and scoop tablespoons of the mixture onto the parchment until all of the mixture has been used up. Chill for about 30 minutes.
- Once chilled, roll the scoops between your hands until an oblong, potato shape is formed. Roll in the ground cinnamon until fully coated. Place the cinnamon-coated candies back on the parchment and place them back in the fridge to chill. Keep chilled until ready to serve.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.
What happens if you grind the coconut before putting it in? Or leave it out entirely? Is it the flakes that keeps then together? Sounds good to me, but some of my family can’t eat the flaky coconut. Any other substitutions?
What a blast from the past!
Here in Australia we call these ‘Spuds’ – because they really do look like little unwashed potatoes – but they are sometimes coated in cocoa powder instead of cinnamon.
Seeing this recipe today took me right back to my childhood (which I hate to admit was long ago in the 1960’s!)
I haven’t seen them for many, many years… looks like making a batch will have to be on my agenda for the weekend.
Thank you for the walk down memory lane.