I’ve Only Got Eyes For These Homemade Irish Potato Candies

Truth be told, I had never noticed the Irish Potatoes that proliferated our area in the weeks before St. Patrick’s day prior to meeting my husband, who comes from Irish stock, and therefore knows all the lingo. But here’s the funny thing: Irish potatoes don’t come from Ireland, and his familiarity has more to do with growing up in Pennsylvania than it does the Emerald Isle. The candy has been popular in the Philadelphia area for decades, and most of the commercially found Irish Potatoes are made by either Oh Ryan’s in Boothwyn, Pennsylvania, or See’s Candy of San Francisco.

If you’ve never seen an Irish Potato before, the first thing you need to know is that it doesn’t contain any potatoes. It’s actually a confection with coconut and cinnamon. They look like little potatoes, though; hence the name.

There were several recipes for Irish Potatoes on the boards, and some of them included cream cheese, which sounds interesting, but I wanted to go with more traditional ingredients, so I chose this one from AllRecipes.com. The photo on Pinterest looks like this:

I'm not sure whose photo this is, so unfortunately I cannot give a credit.

I’m not sure whose photo this is, so unfortunately I cannot give a credit.


  • 1 cup of shredded coconut
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cream (though I ended up using more, see below)
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon


  • Gently mix sugar and coconut together, and then add cream to form a dough.
  • Roll dough into balls and roll in cinnamon (AllRecipes suggests doing this in a plastic bag, but I rolled them in a small bowl.)


First, I placed the coconut in the bowl,


and added the sugar.


Once I added the cream, however, I found that the dough was really dry and didn’t stick together too well.


I tried adding more cream, which worked, once I had added three tablespoons in total.


Then I used the dough to form little balls that were about a teaspoon in size.


These were rolled in the cinnamon. I used about an eighth of a cup, but most of it was waste.


They were delicious, though right off, there was a little too much cinnamon. This was easily fixed however. I put the potatoes into the fridge to chill for about an hour, and then I gently tapped off the excess cinnamon onto some wax paper. Then they were confection perfection.