Vegan Irish Potato Candy

Irish Potato Candies are everywhere in my new city of Philadelphia, but they were news to me. I’m familiar with  Irish favorites like Irish Soda Bread but Irish Potato Candy was not something that had crossed my path before. I did some research and learned that Irish Potato Candy is 100% American. It was first created in Philadelphia in the late 19th or early 20th century and may or may not have been made by Irish immigrants.

This post contains affiliate links. This allows us to earn fees for qualifying purchases.

Vegan Potato Candy

The recipes I found for Irish Potato Candy are all simple. Ingredients like butter, cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and coconut plus cinnamon, vanilla, cocoa powder for coating, are all ingredients I have in my pantry. The recipe I have posted here makes a small number of potatoes but as I live alone and at this time, having friends over is not what we are doing this year, I recommend you at double or triple the recipe.

Vegan Ingredients for potato candy

In my case, to make this a Vegan Irish Potato Candy, the dairy is Miyoko’s artisan vegan butter and vegan cream cheese and the confectioners’ sugar is vegan too. The coconut I used was from Let’s Do Organic

So with a bit of extra time on my hands, I made some traditional potato candy with a vegan twist.

(The purple potato in the photo is for reference only. I baked it and ate it. Healthy and good!)

I hope some neighbor kids want these.

  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly
  • Don’t Touch Your Face
  • Take Social Distancing seriously.
  • Eat healthy foods and some treats too.

I am sending my love to each and every one of you.
I love to read comments, and especially now as I am feeling a bit isolated.

I love to read comments, and especially now as I am feeling a bit isolated.

Irish Potato Candy

You may need more or less confectioners’ sugar and coconut. What you want is a mixture that can be shaped.

I refrigerated mine for 15 minutes. Of course, as a natural tinkerer, I thought about adding some ground nuts for added nutrition, cacao nibs too (wouldn’t they make great potato eyes) but I dare not change such a beloved recipe. You feel free to make any changes!

Irish potato candy

Vegan Irish Potato Candy

Course Dessert


  • 2 ounces vegan cream cheese softened
  • ¾ ounce vegan butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon. divided
  • ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 to 3 ½ ounces confectioners’ sugar sifted, more as needed
  • 3 to 3 ¾ ounces unsweetened shredded dry coconut more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder mixed with the rest of the cinnamon


  • In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese and butter with ¼ teaspoon of the cinnamon and vanilla until almost smooth. Add 3 ounces of the confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth.
  • Add 3 ounces of the coconut and mix until smooth. I used my very clean hands at this point, and they were in food service gloves. This is your call.
  • Test a small amount to see if it will shape. If it is very soft, add the reserved confectioners’ sugar and coconut.
  • Use your hand to flatten the mixture into a disc right in the bowl. Refrigerate the mixture for 15 minutes or longer, until you are ready to shape the potatoes.
  • Roll into balls, the size of small walnuts or whatever you like. Sprinkle with the cocoa-cinnamon mixture.
  • Chill to set. Sprinkle with more cocoa-cinnamon mixture before serving if desired.
  • I’d be lying by omission if I didn’t say that I rolled one cold potato in melted chocolate.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
  • Hi Fran! These are so cute! They remind me of a candy I grew up with (in Maine) called Needhams. They were mostly mashed potato, confectioners sugar and coconut which was then cooked and cut into squares and then dipped in chocolate. The original recipe uses paraffin wax (yuck!!) but I don’t know that it even needs more than melted chocolate for dipping. Google them if you’ve never heard of them. I think that you would make a great veganized version! Stay healthy and safe! Thanks for all you do in the vegan foodie world. ❤️

    • Thank you Tammy for your comment.
      I never have heard of Needhams until today but I know of confections made with mashed potatoes/
      Paraffin wax, yuk is right. I’ll google these.
      Safe safe, stay healthy and kind.
      Warmest wishes,

Leave a Reply