Picture of Irish dessert: Irish apple cake with vanilla custard sauce

Traditional Irish Desserts & Irish-Inspired Treats to Try

Whether you’re Irish yourself or simply looking to explore the cultural charm of Ireland, these Irish desserts will leave your taste buds asking for more. From beloved traditional Irish desserts to concoctions infused with innovative twists, Irish sweets and treats are bursting with flavor. 

No matter if you’re attempting to bake Irish soda bread from scratch or crafting dry stout floats for your guests, impress everyone this St. Patrick’s Day with a variety of desserts. We’ve rounded up the best traditional Irish pastries, desserts, and Irish-inspired treats to help you embark on a delicious culinary journey. 

Traditional Irish Desserts

Embrace the rich flavors and age-old traditions of traditional Irish desserts. Celebrate in style with authentic Irish treats, ranging from Irish apple cake to carrageen moss pudding, soda bread, and more. These sweets encapsulate the warmth of Irish homes and the spirit of Ireland in every sweet bite.

Irish apple cake

Irish apple cake is known for its simplicity and rich flavors, making it a cherished dessert for many. By combining tart apples with warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, this Irish dessert has everything you love about baked goods. This traditional Irish pastry delivers a moist texture and powerful flavor in every bite and is topped with a crisp crumb or streusel and drizzled with a delectable custard sauce. Turn back time with this traditional, simple recipe. 

Porter cake

Porter cake is a unique and playful dessert made from porter beer. Swap out lackluster, dry fruit cake and embrace the dark and robust flavors of porter ale with this Irish delight. Often made around the holidays, porter cake reflects the country’s love for hearty and traditional recipes. Of all Irish baked goods, porter cake stands out due to its beautiful combination of malty notes from the beer with a medley of dried fruits.

Carrageen moss pudding

Another unique coastal Irish dessert is carrageen moss pudding, which has been passed down for generations in Ireland. After collecting carrageen moss, bakers soak and simmer it to extract its natural gelling properties. This key ingredient replaces other common gelatins, so there's no need for additional additives. Carrageen moss is a useful ingredient in the kitchen and is worth baking with.

Traditional Irish Barmbrack bread

Barmbrack bread

Which Irish baked goods are served around Halloween? Well, that would be Barmbrack bread. Often referred to as “Barm Brack” or “Báirín Breac," this is yet another Irish dessert reminiscent of fruit cake. Before being added to the batter, dried fruit such as raisins and sultanas are soaked in tea to add a rich flavor to the bread. During festive occasions, bakers typically insert small items like a ring, coin, or pea into the bread, each symbolizing future fates. 

Soda bread

Irish soda bread is simplicity at its best. Soda bread is easy to bake, reflecting the historical practicality of using readily available ingredients. Made from basic ingredients like buttermilk, baking soda, and flour, this bread symbolizes Irish resourcefulness. While often served plain, variations of the recipe may include raisins or currants for a small burst of flavor. 

Irish-Inspired Desserts

If you’re looking for a modern twist on Irish flavors, these delicious treats are sure to impress. Whether you’re hosting a St. Patrick’s Day party or simply celebrating your heritage, these Irish-inspired treats capture Ireland's rich culinary legacy and festive spirit. 

Irish cream liqueur brownies

Infused with Ireland’s famous cream liqueur, these brownies are delectably moist and creamy. Irish cream has significantly influenced the baking world, encouraging individuals to create Irish-inspired desserts perfect for festive occasions. Imagine fudgy, chocolatey brownies elevated by the smooth and creamy texture of Irish cream liqueur like Baileys. 

St. Patrick’s Day Frosted Cookies

There's no better way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day than with sweet frosted cookies. Make sure to get your green in by choosing St. Patrick’s Day frosted cookies for your celebration. Get into the spirit of the holiday with cookies that are shaped like traditional St. Patrick’s Day symbols, like shamrocks, leprechauns, or pots of gold. 

Frosted sugar cookies are universally loved and serve as a simple base for creating vibrant green treats for this spectacular holiday. Plus, these baked goods are perfect for cookie exchange parties. 

Irish potato candy

Ireland is known for its potatoes, but what is Irish potato candy? While this Irish treat isn't a traditional recipe, the dessert is an Irish-inspired confection that’s popular for St. Patrick’s Day. 

Despite its name, Irish potato candy isn't actually made from potatoes. Instead, it’s a sweet, creamy confection made from cream cheese, coconut, and powdered sugar. Once mixed together, the dough is formed into small potato-like shapes. To complete the potato aesthetic, these Irish treats are rolled in cinnamon to mimic the appearance of dirt.

Green shamrock shake for St. Patrick’s Day

Shamrock shake

While not a traditional Irish recipe, this dessert is meant to resemble the vibrant green of Ireland’s iconic shamrock symbol. Today, you’ll find a wide range of shamrock shake variations, from the classic mint-flavored milkshake to those incorporating chocolate chips or cookie pieces.

Dry stout float

A dry stout flout is a creative adult beverage inspired by the classic ice cream float. Swap out root beer for iconic Irish dry stout, such as Guinness. This indulgent dessert combines the rich and robust flavors of dark beer with the creaminess of ice cream, resulting in a unique and indulgent treat. If you've never considered making a root beer float with actual beer, why not try one this St. Patrick’s Day?

Irish whiskey ice cream

If you love ice cream, you’ll love Irish whiskey ice cream. This indulgent Irish dessert is the perfect fusion of creamy ice cream and the rich and smooth flavors of Irish whiskey. It's typically made with a classic custard base and a generous portion of Irish whiskey, providing distinctive notes of warmth and complexity. Enjoy it on its own or pair it with other desserts like chocolate cake or Irish apple cake for a delicious combination of flavors. 

Enjoy the Sweet Flavors of Ireland

Indulging in delicious Irish treats is one of the best ways to learn more about Ireland’s culinary heritage. Whether you opt for a traditional porter cake or prefer the playful charm of shamrock-shaped cookies, make sure to try a wide selection of Irish desserts. 

Another great way to elevate your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations is by choosing Mrs. Fields® festive baked goods this holiday. There are many different types of cookies to enjoy, including themed cookie cakes, frosted cookies, and so much more. Plus, make the holiday extra special with St. Patrick’s Day gifts

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