“Irish Potatoes” for St. Patty’s

Tucked into my memories, still just within reach, I am sitting in the kitchen of my first house helping my mom roll “Irish Potatoes”… and helping myself to several in the process.  I would later eat so many that I would vomit everywhere, as my four year-old self probably did not understand what could possibly have be meant by “too much of a good thing.”

Though I am not sure I could trust myself to have just one (or five), my memories of St. Patrick’s Day growing up in Philadelphia are dotted with the sugary goodness of “Irish Potatoes.”  I’m not sure if they are a regional thing (utilizing Philadelphia cream cheese), but I have not have one since the family moved from the Philadelphia area to Maryland– though it could simply be that as teenagers, the homeroom was not still a place to cut up shamrocks and celebrate the Americanized secular version of an Irish Catholic holiday.

image via here with a parve version using tofutti that could easily be made vegan

It has been many, many years since I last experienced an “Irish Potato” melting in my mouth, but I am willing to bet that they are just as delightful as they were in my childhood.  They are super easy to make, so why not whip up a batch to enjoy with your Guinness?
“Irish Potatoes”
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups flaked coconut
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon


In a medium bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Add the vanilla and confectioners’ sugar; beat until smooth. Using your hands if necessary, mix in the coconut. Roll into balls or potato shapes, and roll in the cinnamon. Place onto a cookie sheet and chill to set. If desired, roll potatoes in cinnamon again for darker color.

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