Rich, coconutty candies that look just like plucked-from-the-earth spuds are arguably Philadelphia’s favorite St. Patrick’s Day tradition.
Makes about 81 Irish potatoes
Irish potatoes—the coconut buttercream candies—are an iconic part of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Philadelphia. Rolled in cinnamon to resemble little potatoes, they have been a seasonal tradition in the city for over a century, thanks to Philly’s candy-making roots. This version, adapted from a generations-old family recipe, uses a vanilla coconut buttercream dough made with cream cheese, which cuts the sweetness with a little tang. After chilling and scooping the dough into small rounds, the buttercream balls are rolled in cinnamon to give the candies their signature look of a plucked-from-the-earth spud.
Featured in, “In Philly, Potatoes Taste Like Cinnamon and Coconut.”
- One 8-oz. package cream cheese, preferably Philadelphia brand, softened
- 8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
- 7⅓ cups (2 lbs.) powdered sugar
- 2⅓ cups (7 oz.) sweetened flake coconut
- 1½ tsp. vanilla extract
- Pinch kosher salt
- ¼ cup ground cinnamon, for rolling