Irish Potatoes for St. Patty’s Day

Irish Potatoes for St. Patty’s Day

"Ireland" Bert Cortes (

I think part of what attracted me to Vermont was the familiar lush greens of my ancestors’ Ireland. Upon relocating to the Green Mountains however, I discovered little, if any, acknowledgment of the sacred holiday for Irish descendants. Thus I was forced to transport an unusual Saint Patty’s tradition from Philadelphia:

The Irish Potato (see recipe below.)

These are an item that appear–everywhere–ad nauseum–on March 17 on this side of the Atlantic. They’re not a vegetable at all, but an excuse to eat icing without cake.I’d always hated them, until I moved to Vermont and needed to find a way to put some Irish deep into the hearts of my community.

“Irish Potatoes” are now an epic tradition in our local elementary school as my own boys have shared them with their classmates and teachers each March 17th for the past 13 years.

Here’s the recipe if you need a little extra Irish in your life too~

Kelly’s Irish Potatoes


1-2 lb of powdered sugar

1 stick of softened butter

8 oz of cream cheese (traditional works best for “sticking” purposes)

Up to 1 lb of shredded coc0nut (optional, but if you don’t use it, you’ll need more sugar!)

1 1/2 tsp of vanilla

1/2 tsp of salt

Blend powdered sugar, salt, butter and cream cheese until smooth.  (Note: I only use as much powder sugar as is necessary to create a stiff dough, knowing that the coconut will also lend holding power.)
Stir in vanilla.  Add coconut to taste/texture preference. Cover and chill several hours.
Roll chilled batter into ball shaped potatoes. (I make mine very small–less than an inch long and about a 1/2 inch wide. )  Don’t over roll.  Let them be “lumpy” like potatoes.
Roll in cinnamon for the “potato effect.” (This last step is a fun one for kids.)
Cover and keep chilled.  Makes 3-6 dozen depending on size, quantity of sugar and coconut.
(Dip extra batter into chocolate for coconut Easter eggs!)

Erin Go Bragh!

(For more IRISH, click here)

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