27 Traditional Irish Desserts

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There’s more to Ireland than greenery, Guinness, and a great sense of humor. You might be surprised to learn that Irish desserts are definitely something to write home about! There’s plenty to try, from cakes and bread to cookies and coffees, there’s something for everyone. Today we are going to show you a list of 27 truly Irish desserts to make at home. The best thing is that the vast majority can be made with ingredients you probably already have in the cupboard. Let’s dive right in!

irish dessert

Easy Irish Desserts To Make At Home

1. Chocolate Chip Irish Soda Bread

Any Irish establishment worth it is salt will sell soda bread. This recipe is without yeast and instead relies on bubbles produced by baking soda to give it some rice. Hence the name! Soda bread tends to be pretty heavy, so this is a good dessert to serve in small portions. And the best bit? Well, it contains a decent amount of chocolate too. We love to make this one at the start of the week and have a slice or two toasted for breakfast. It’s well worth getting up for. 

2. Irish Apple Cake

OK, so you don’t have to make this one with Irish apples for it to be authentic. Consider this as a great cross between homemade Irish apple pie and a fluffy cake. We include large chunks of apple in the batter. As the cake bakes, these turn ever so slightly soft and sweet. They also infuse the fluffy interior with apple juice, making this super scrumptious. There is no greater pleasure in life than sitting back with an (Irish) coffee and a thick slice of Irish apple cake. Enjoy!

3. Shamrock Shakes

shamrock shake

You tend to find these making an appearance in cafes around St Patrick’s day, but the good news is that you can make them at any time of the year. IF you haven’t had a shamrock shake before, you are in for a treat. It is a green milkshake that is full of tasty flavors. Such as? Oh, just mint and chocolate chip ice cream. There are two versions. The grown-up version does contain alcohol, but it can also be made without. 

4. Irish Whiskey Truffles

This is one of our favorite homemade Irish desserts. They take only a few minutes to prepare, and the recipe calls for only 6 ingredients! We tend to make these around the holiday season. They are good as a little stocking filler. Feel free to leave the whisky out if you’d prefer (but trust us, it is better with). Whiskey and cocoa powder can both be a little bitter. That’s why we include honey in our recipe to sweeten the deal.

5. Irish Porter Cake

Made with genuine Irish porters. Nah, just kidding. This is a dense cake that is made using ale. It is pretty strong tasting and isn’t for the faint-hearted. If you choose, you can add a little extra once the cake is finished to moisten it up as a treat. We can’t believe how rich this cake is, be careful not to cut yourself too big a slice as we guarantee that you won’t be able to finish it.

6. Barmbrack

We love the tradition behind this dense and sweet cake. Do you know how people bake things into Christmas pudding? You’ll occasionally see something similar with this. While this fruit loaf is a little heavy, it certainly isn’t dry. We add extra moisture by soaking the fruit elements in a mixture of whiskey and cold tea overnight. The raisins absorb all the liquid and swell up to nearly treble their size! The trinkets are up to you. Tradition dictates that you add a ring, a pea, a piece of cloth, a matchstick, and a coin!

7. Irish Coffee

No list of traditional Irish desserts would be complete without including an Irish coffee! This is an adults-only drink containing a little (OK, a lot) of whiskey. It is simple to make and is a great way to impress dinner party guests if you’ve cooked a fab meal. To make it add espresso, whiskey, and a good heap of brown sugar to a tall glass. Top up with hot water. Now here’s an easy way to get the cream to float. Put it in a bottle with a spoonful of sugar and give it a good shake before pouring it over the back of a spoon. 

8. Three Ingredient Potato Candy

Potato candy? Seriously? Absolutely! The best thing about this recipe is that it only uses three ingredients in total. The key to this recipe is creating a super smooth potato mash. We then add a large amount of powdered sugar. This mixes with the starch in the potatoes and turns into a sticky paste. We flatten this paste and top with a thin layer of peanut butter before rolling it up, sausage roll style. From there, it is just a case of slicing it into thin candies.

9. Irish Yellowman Candy

Imagine toffee that is infused with bubbles and is crunchy, crispy, and crackly. That’s what Yellowman candy is all about. Think of it a little like a honeycomb. It only takes 5 ingredients. IF you’ve got some golden syrup, some brown sugar, a little butter, and some baking soda, you should be good to go. Oh, and don’t forget a dash of white vinegar to cause the fizz that creates the bubbles in the candy! To get a consistent result, you’ll want to use a food thermometer.

10. Irish Shortbread

Irish shortbread is a real breeze to bake. If you can, see if you can get hold of butter called ‘Kerrygold’ as this is as authentically Irish as it gets! The other thing that makes this recipe ‘Irish’ is how we cut the cookies. We found a shamrock-shaped cookie cutter that gives our little shortbreads the ultimate Irish appearance.

11. Irish Shortbread Toffee Bars

OK, so this might just be your favorite Irish dessert recipe on the list. Imagine a crunchy layer of shortbread. This is topped with a thick and sweet layer of oozy caramel. Then, the entire thing is finished off with a crispy layer of rich chocolate! What makes this recipe Irish? We are going to let you into a secret. We infuse the caramel with a tiny drop of baileys and whiskey. This is one that you have just got to try!

12. Irish Oat Cookies

These oat cookies are great at any time of the day. They work really well as a dessert, but they are equally at home at the breakfast table. Because they contain a little less sugar than normal, they can also be used alongside something savory. We love to serve them in the morning with a dollop of cream cheese on top.

13. Irish Chocolate Pots de Crème

We love any Irish dessert recipe that is quick. This one only takes about 10 minutes to make. Essentially this is melted chocolate. It doesn’t set as we add a special ingredient. Baileys Irish cream! If you are looking for a non-adult version, you can just use regular heavy cream. This is a great one to serve with Irish oat cookies. Use the cookies to scoop out the silky chocolate.

14. Irish Oat Flapjacks

Oats feature heavily in a lot of Irish cooking. Every family in Ireland will have its own secret recipe when it comes to flapjacks. Fortunately, we are willing to share ours. We like to keep things simple. That’s why you’ll only need four ingredients to be able to whip up a batch.

15. Shamrock Cookies

If you’ve gone out and bought a shamrock cookie cutter, you are going to want to use it! This recipe is the ideal choice. We like to top our cookies with a little chocolate. We add some peppermint essence and vanilla, so it tastes just like a shamrock shake!

16. Ridiculously Easy Sticky Toffee Pudding

The title says it all. This recipe takes minutes to prepare and will ensure everyone leaves the dinner table feeling entirely stuffed! The only problem will be deciding what to serve with it. Are you in the cream camp, or are you going for custard?

17. Plum Pudding

Any time you bake a cake, there is always the possibility of it coming out dry! Not any more! This recipe uses chunks of juicy plums to keep the sponge super moist! We make it extra Irish by adding dark Guinness to the recipe along with our secret weapon. Carrots! 

18. Irish Lemon Pudding Tart

This is a little bit of a fusion dish that mixes a couple of Irish desserts. The base is a crisp and tasty pastry. We then top this with lemon sponge filling. The key is to use real lemons and zest. Don’t go easy on it, either. The more lemon goodness, the better!

19. Traditional Irish Bread and Butter Pudding

There is a school of thought that says that this recipe can only be made with stale bread. We haven’t got the patience to wait, so we use fresh. This recipe is beautifully simple. Provided you’ve got eggs, sultanas, bread, and a little sugar, you should be pretty much good to go. We love to serve ours with a generous helping of custard.

20. Irish Croissant Bread Pudding

If the above is just a little too budget for you, Irish croissant bread pudding is a good way to level it up. In principle, it is very similar to bread and butter pudding. The key difference is that you use chocolate-filled croissants to create something really classy. Because croissants are fluffy, this dish is a little lighter too!

21. Potato and Apple Pudding

If you thought our love affair ended with potato candy, it’s time to think again. This is Irish through and through. Instead of pastry, we use tasty and fluffy potatoes. These actually work really well with the crisp and sweet apple to bring you an Irish dessert that will have raised eyebrows around the table.

22. Bailey’s Irish Cream Cake

Bundt cakes are super easy to make. Because the dish has a large hole in the middle, you are practically guaranteed an even bake and moist sponge. There’s no danger of it being dry. Why? Because we also add a decent portion of baileys to the batter. This infuses it with a sweet and creamy taste. Give it a go!

23. Bailey’s Cheesecake

Did somebody say creamy and sweet?  This one will be a firm favorite on your Irish dessert list. The biscuit base is infused with espresso. The filling is a mixture of cream cheese and baileys, and it is all topped off with a delicious chocolate ganache! 

24. Guinness Cake

One of Irelands best exports is Guinness. While it is rumored not to travel well, it won’t matter. Especially if you include it in a cake. The Guinness makes this cake dark and also keeps it really moist. 

25. Irish Ginger Snaps

This is a great make at home with the kids’ recipe. It is so easy and only takes a few minutes! We normally use powdered ginger, but if you can get hold of candied stem ginger! Your cookies will be full of chewy and sweet ginger shards! Amazing with a nice cup of tea!

26. Traditional Irish Scones

These scones can be eaten at any time of the day. We like to serve them as an Irish dessert after dinner with a steaming pot of tea, jam, and cream. It is really simple. The key to a great scone is chilling the dough. This keeps the butter from melting and gives you a really light sconce. 

27. Orange-Scented Whiskey ‘Soufflé’ Pie

Don’t let the name fool you. We’ve snuck in an extra Irish ingredient. Can you guess what it is? If you said ‘potato’, you are a winner! The key to this pie is to leave the oven door closed once it is in! It will puff up just like a souffle. The smells coming from your kitchen are going to be phenomenal! 

Conclusion

We expect that there is not a single ingredient on our list of 27 Irish desserts that you can’t easily get your hands on. Be sure to buy a bottle or two of Guinness and some Irish cream, and you’ll be able to make plenty. Which one was your favorite? Can you think of any more? Let us know in the comments below! If you enjoyed these recipes from Ireland, you’ll also enjoy our French desserts and these traditional Mexican dessert recipes.

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