Irish dessert

The Best Traditional Irish Desserts To Try

Chocolate Guinness cake is a deliciously rich chocolate sponge made out of chocolate and Guinness amongst eggs, flour, sugar, and raising agent.

26 Irish Desserts (+Recipes)

Ireland is known for its culture, music and food, and is home to some seriously indulgent desserts.

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Hundreds of thousands of Americans are descended from Irish immigrants, and one excellent way to acknowledge our heritage is to try some of the foods our ancestors enjoyed. The Irish loved good food, and family mealtime was an important part of their days. For many, it was the only time they could relax.

When you think of Irish cuisine, hearty dishes like stews or soda bread may come to mind. However, Ireland also has a rich tradition of mouthwatering desserts that should not be overlooked. In this article, we’ll explore the delicious world of Irish sweets, where you’ll discover their unique flavors and the stories behind these indulgent treats.

Irish desserts often combine simple, locally-sourced ingredients with time-honored techniques, resulting in rich, comforting confections that are a delight to the senses. From the famous barmbrack, a fruitcake with a hidden treasure inside, to the comforting carrageen moss pudding, these sweet treats are not only a delight to the palate, but also steeped in Irish culture and history.

So, as you embark on your culinary journey through Ireland’s dessert landscape, prepare to be enchanted by the tastes, textures, and traditions of these scrumptious creations. Be ready to immerse yourself in the world of Irish sweets and savor every last bite.

In this article, I will cover 26 Irish desserts. So, next time you’re looking for a dessert to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, you’re covered!

Let’s get started.

Irish dessert

1. Chocolate Guinness Cake

Chocolate Guinness cake is a deliciously rich chocolate sponge made out of chocolate and Guinness amongst eggs, flour, sugar, and raising agent.

If you’re worried about this cake being too boozy, don’t worry. The chocolate and sugar work to balance out the bitterness of the stout, and the result is a super indulgent chocolate cake with cream cheese icing. Delicious!

Irish dessert

2. Irish Apple Cake

When the night’s begin to draw in, and the temperature drops, you really can’t beat Irish apple cake from the oven.

This recipe is authentically Irish with tart Granny Smith apples, but you can use any apples of your choice.

The sponge of this apple cake is light and moist and is then topped off with thinly sliced granny smith apples.

Irish dessert

3. Irish Shortbread

You might be thinking: what’s the difference between shortbread and Irish shortbread? And the answer is Irish butter!

Irish shortbread is another classic dessert that is rich and buttery. With a crisp texture, they simply melt in the mouth.

Irish shortbread takes no time to make and disappears even more quickly, so make sure you make enough for the whole family and then some!

Irish dessert

4. Shamrock Shakes

Shamrock shakes have become somewhat of a St. Patrick’s Day tradition, and are the epitome of indulgence.

If you’re a fan of milkshakes, then you’re going to love shamrock shakes!

This recipe features ice cream, mint extract, and green food coloring to bring Ireland’s green color to your shamrock shake. Topped with whipped cream and green sugar, it doesn’t get much better than this!

Irish dessert

5. Irish Oat Cookies

Irish oat cookies are another simple yet effective recipe that are perfect for dessert.

Oats are a super versatile and inexpensive ingredient. These oat cookies are crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. They are rich and buttery in taste, with a simple brown sugar and hearty oat flavor.

Enjoy them with a cup of tea or coffee!

Irish dessert

6. Plum Pudding

Irish plum pudding is a dessert traditionally served at Christmas and topped with brandy sauce.

It is packed full of flavor and includes a variety of different ingredients that you might not expect in it, such as carrots, breadcrumbs, and a pint of Guinness.

If you want to try something this holiday season, this Irish dessert isn’t one to be missed!

Irish dessert

7. Traditional Irish Bread And Butter Pudding

Traditional Irish bread and butter is a simple, yet classic Irish dessert. It is hearty, filling, and makes a lovely warm dessert during the winter.

Serve bread and butter pudding warm with vanilla custard, fresh cream, or even ice cream!

Irish dessert

8. Baileys Irish Cream Cake

If you’re looking for a quintessential Irish dessert, it doesn’t get much better than Baileys Irish cream cake.

This cake couldn’t be easier to make and is super indulgent. The sponge is beautifully moist, while the Baileys Irish cream frosting perfectly complements the chocolate and coffee flavors.

Enjoy as it is or pair it with a delicious cup of hot coffee!

Irish dessert

9. Shamrock Cookies

These shamrock cookies are the perfect dessert to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!

The great thing about these shamrock cookies is that they are simple to make, and the dough doesn’t require chilling before you pop them into the oven so they can be made in no time at all.

Simply use a shamrock cookie cutter and green sprinkles for a festive treat!

Irish dessert

10. Irish Shortbread Toffee Bars

Irish shortbread toffee bars, also known as millionaire’s shortbread, is a decadent dessert that is a total crowd pleaser.

Irish shortbread toffee bars combine buttery shortbread with sweet caramel and chocolate.

If you really want to make this recipe Irish, you could even try adding a little whiskey or Baileys Irish cream into the caramel for a boozy hit.

Irish dessert

11. Barmbrack

Barmbrack, also often shortened to brack, is a quick bread with added sultanas and raisins that makes a delicious dessert.

This recipe makes a really moist fruit loaf, which is packed with flavour from mixed spice and dried fruit.

Popular around Halloween, you will often find trinkets baked into the dough that are meant to show you what’s coming in the following year.

Irish dessert

12. Irish Whiskey Truffles

If you’re looking for a boozy dessert, these Irish whiskey truffles are great for an older audience!

The combination of whiskey and chocolate complement each other, and the honey works to cut through the bitterness.

With just 6 ingredients, you can easily make a whole box of whiskey truffles in no time. They even make great gifts for friends around the holiday season!

Irish dessert

13. Chocolate Chip Irish Soda Bread

Chocolate chip Irish soda bread is another dessert that is bound to impress.

Soda bread gets its name from the use of baking soda over yeast. The brown sugar gives this bread a delicious caramel flavor, and instead of raisins, this recipe uses chocolate chips.

Serve it warm with some melted butter, and you’ll never eat it without it again.

Irish dessert

14. Irish Chocolate Pots De Creme

These easy, decadent, Irish chocolate pots de créme dessert are perfect for an Irish-inspired evening.

In terms of texture, pots de crème are much thicker than pudding or mousse and have a deliciously rich flavor.

These beautifully rich pots include Irish cream liqueur with chocolate, and can be whipped up in under 10 minutes in a blender.

Irish dessert

15. Easy Sticky Toffee Pudding

It doesn’t get much richer than sticky toffee pudding, and this easy version of the recipe is no exception.

Sticky toffee pudding is a very moist cake that’s sweetened primarily with dates. The sponge is then covered in a rich, buttery toffee sauce that is truly heaven-sent.

Serve sticky toffee pudding war, with vanilla custard, pouring cream, or vanilla ice cream.

Irish dessert

16. Irish Lemon Pudding Tart

Irish lemon pudding tart is a creamy tart that is the perfect comfort food dessert.

This dessert is cool and creamy and slightly fluffy. Smooth and creamy lemon custard is poured over a totally buttery tart crust for a luxurious eating experience.

It’s not overly sweet and has a subtle zingy flavor that perfectly complements the buttery shortbread crust.

Irish dessert

17. Irish Croissant Bread Pudding

We’ve already spoken about traditional Irish bread and butter pudding, but what about Irish croissant bread pudding?

This rich dessert is a twist on the classic, and uses flaky croissants soaked in whiskey and a delicious sauce.

Two day old bread does a much better job of soaking in the liquid rather than fresh bread, and it also helps you use up your bread before it gets too stale! It’s a win-win.

Irish dessert

18. Irish Oat Flapjacks

Irish oat flapjacks are a dessert that somewhat resemble granola bars, unlike the pancakes known to American cuisine.

Flapjacks are a perfect grab and go snack, and make a delicious addition to an afternoon cup of tea or can be eaten as a dessert after dinner.

With just 4 ingredients, these flapjacks are highly versatile and are so easy to change up should you be in the mood to experiment with different flavors!

Irish dessert

19. Irish Yellowman Candy

Irish yellowman candy is similar to traditional honeycomb, but the ingredients vary slightly and there is always a touch of vinegar in it.

The recipe may seem complicated but it was really easy to make as long as you have a sugar thermometer to hand and you are quick at the bubbling stage, as it can burn within a matter of seconds!

Irish dessert

20. Irish Coffee

Irish coffee is a super indulgent hot coffee that is made with Irish whiskey, sugar, and whipped cream.

This recipe is cozy, delicious, and couldn’t be easier to make! To make sure that the cream floats on top of the coffee, you’re looking for the mixture to hold soft peaks while remaining pourable.

Irish dessert

21. Three Ingredient Potato Candy

While three ingredient potato candy might not sound super appetizing, you’d be surprised how tasty this sweet treat can be!

Potato candy at its core is simply an old-fashioned candy you just can’t mess up. With just 3 simple ingredients, it truly couldn’t be easier.

The texture of this candy is soft and it melts in the mouth so quickly you’ll want another piece straight away!

Irish dessert

22. Baileys Irish Cream Cheesecake

Baileys Irish cream cheesecake is another absolute classic Irish dessert that celebrates Baileys Irish cream.

The cream cheese Baileys flavored filling sits upon a buttery Oreo biscuit base, and slices like a dream.

This no-bake cheesecake is quick to whip up and tastes rich, creamy, and indulgent – what more could you want from a dessert?

Irish dessert

23. Irish Porter Cake

This wouldn’t be an Irish desserts article without mentioning Irish porter cake! Irish porter cake is proof that you can make a fruit cake that is moist and isn’t overly sweet.

Made with dried fruit, hearty spices and porter beer, this cake is traditionally served during the holidays.

That being said, it’s a super easy recipe that can be enjoyed as a dessert whenever you fancy it.

Irish dessert

24. Apple Crumble

Pretty much any British pub will have apple crumble on their dessert menu, and it’s easy to see why.

This Irish apple crumble recipe is to die for. With a rich, buttery topping, and semi-sweet apples underneath, this dessert is the ideal treat on a cold winter’s night by the fire.

Pair your bowl of apple crumble with fresh cream, vanilla custard, or ice cream.

Irish dessert

25. Baileys Brownies

Brownies are a crowd favorite, but adding Baileys takes this sweet treat to the next level.

Baileys Irish cream works perfectly with the chocolate flavor of the brownie, and you’re left with a gooey, fudgy texture that is nothing short of heavenly.

Irish dessert

26. Mudslide Cheesecake

Ending on a high, mudslide cheesecake is the dessert of all desserts.

This mudslide cheesecake with coffee and Irish cream is so rich and creamy that any guest will be asking for the recipe!

Trust me, you won’t want to pass on this on your next St. Patrick’s Day!

Irish dessert

26 Irish Desserts (+Shamrock Shakes)

These recipes are sure to please. So, gather your family and friends and enjoy. Let us know your thoughts!

The Best Traditional Irish Desserts To Try

Freshly baked scones are a typical Irish treat

Freshly baked scones are a typical Irish treat | © Image Source / Alamy Stock Photo

Though it’s best known for classic comfort foods such as Irish stew and a full fried breakfast, Ireland also has incredible culinary options for the sweet-toothed traveller. Featuring an abundance of fresh fruits, some of the finest dairy products on the planet and some more unconventional ingredients such as seaweed, these are the best traditional Irish desserts to try.

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Carrageen moss pudding

This traditional Irish pudding is made using Chondrus crispus, a species of red seaweed also known as Irish moss or carrageen moss. The seaweed is cleaned and dried before being soaked in warm water and then boiled with milk. When heated, it creates its own gelling agent (much like a vegan-friendly form of gelatine) which can be combined with sugar, egg and vanilla extract to create a light, fluffy dessert. It’s best served chilled, and often with berries adding a tart note to the creamy sweetness.

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Irish apple tart

Unlike the deep-dish-style apple pie commonly found in the USA, a traditional Irish apple tart is baked in a shallow dish; this gives a perfectly balanced ratio of crisp, sweet pastry and stewed apples in every slice. Modern recipes often call for ingredients such as cinnamon, freshly grated ginger and sultanas, but you can also make it the traditional farmhouse way and let the apples speak for themselves.

Irish dessert

Irish apple tart is delicious served with custard or ice cream | © Zoryana Ivchenko / Alamy Stock Photo

Irish apple tart is delicious served with custard or ice cream

Irish whiskey truffles

Blending chocolate, fresh cream and butter, these delights start as nothing more unusual than a Swiss truffle, but the addition of Irish whiskey takes the small chocolate treats to a new level. If you’re in Dublin, swing by the elegant Brooks Hotel: home to one of the greatest selections of whiskey in the world, they also serve up a truffle recipe made using local Teeling Whiskey, distilled in the city’s historic Liberties area.

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Soda bread pudding

Bread and butter pudding may have originated in the United Kingdom, but this recipe uses leftover soda bread, giving it a uniquely Irish twist. A loaf of this quick-bake Irish bread is roughly chopped into cubes and soaked in a mixture including heavy cream, milk, egg yolks, sugar and vanilla. Bake it until it’s golden on top and serve with ice cream or home-made crème anglaise for a decadent dessert.

Porter cake

Irish porter cake is an old favourite in Ireland; it’s customarily baked to celebrate the feast day of St Patrick, Ireland’s best-known saint. It’s made by taking a plain cake mix and livening it up with some more interesting additions such as mixed, dried fruits, spices and a good glug of a dark stout – and what else but Guinness? Perfect sliced and shared, this dense dessert is simple but distinctive.


Scones are perhaps most commonly associated with the English, but they’re also very much enjoyed in Ireland. Every baker has their own individual recipe for scones that’s been passed down through generations, though a commonality is the belief that it takes good Irish butter to make the perfect light, fluffy scone. These individual small cakes are best served with a pot of strong tea and hearty serving of home-made jam to slather on top.

It takes good Irish butter to make the best scones | © Simon Reddy / Alamy Stock Photo

It takes good Irish butter to make the best scones

Guinness chocolate mousse

Few things are as quintessentially Irish as Guinness, so it’s little wonder that it turns up so frequently in the country’s desserts. One of the most popular of these is the Guinness chocolate mousse; the stout adds a dark depth to the flavour of the chocolate, without compromising on the whipped texture of the mouse. If you see this on a menu, order it – you won’t be disappointed.


Irish barmbrack is a kind of sweet bread made with sultanas, raisins and glacé cherries. It’s enjoyed year-round, warmed in an oven and cut into slices that are then smothered with butter. However, it’s also a traditional Irish Halloween treat, and at this time of year it’s baked with a twist – small trinkets such as coins and rings are added to the dough before baking, and finding one in your slice supposedly nods to events in the year ahead.

Barmbrack is delicious sliced and served warm alongside a cup of tea | © Siim V / Alamy Stock Photo

Barmbrack is delicious sliced and served warm alongside a cup of tea


Head to Northern Ireland’s annual Auld Lammas Fair (a traditional celebration at which livestock is bought and sold) and you’ll notice that most stalls will be selling uneven shards and chunks of what looks like a startling neon yellow honeycomb. This is yellowman, a unique type of hard toffee famously sold at this event, and tricky to find elsewhere. It’s not to everyone’s taste, but it’s well worth trying at least once.

Irish coffee

Although it’s technically a beverage, an Irish coffee often takes the place of an after-dinner sweet course. It’s made by blending Irish whiskey, coffee and brown sugar, and if that wasn’t quite indulgent enough, topping the whole thing off with cream. It was invented in 1942 by Joe Sheridan, a chef in the village of Foynes, County Limerick.

Don’t fancy dessert? Finish your meal with a decadent Irish coffee instead | © Barry Mason / Alamy Stock Photo

Don’t fancy dessert? Finish your meal with a decadent Irish coffee instead

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