When it comes to Irish cuisine, savory dishes like tender corned beef with cabbage, hearty potato dishes, savory seafood chowders and rich stews may come to mind. But there’s also a sweeter side to Emerald Isle cuisine – and the delicious pastries go far beyond that. soda bread.
Every March 17, to celebrate the St. Patrick’s Day, the patron saint of Ireland, Irish communities around the world come together in honor of all things Irish. Celebrations include everything from music and dancing to festive parades, religious ceremonies and, of course, plenty of traditional Irish food.
After all the food, drink, and merriment, it’s the perfect time to wrap up the party with a little something sweet. Many St. Patrick’s Day desserts include classic Irish ales and spirits like stout and whiskey (what better than a cake with a boozy bite to keep the party going?). But, with adult-tipped sweets and family-friendly confections from Irish chefs and frequent TODAY guests Donal Skehan, Catherine Fulvio and Clodagh McKenna, there’s something for everyone.
So, this St. Patrick’s Day, don’t just add a few drops of green food coloring to frosting and call it a day. Go beyond the basics and explore a variety of Irish desserts, from fun and creative to age-old classics and everything in between. Make St. Patrick’s Day desserts that really (fake) rock!
Irish Stout Cake by Donald Skehan
Skehan loves this dessert recipe because it’s a decadent, moist cake with booze! Who doesn’t like that? “It really is a pitfall at any function and guaranteed to disappear within minutes of being served,” he says. “I recommend making and serving this cake the same day while it’s still super moist. But if time is an issue, you can definitely bake the cake ahead of time, wrap it well, and freeze it for a while. day or two ahead and frost it the day you serve.”
Stout Sticky Toffee Pudding with Whiskey Caramel Sauce by Catherine Fulvio
Fulvio is the third generation on his family farm in County Wicklow, Ireland. “My mother opened our bed and breakfast in our 19th century farmhouse over 50 years ago,” she says. “It was one of her signature desserts and I learned how to make it from she. It is still much loved by all visitors to our home and our cooking school all these years later. It’s a quintessential Irish dish, with our lovely grass-fed butter, Guinness and Irish whiskey – what’s not to love? It is for me the comforting dessert par excellence. It is a very tasty cake (served hot) that will literally “swim” in the whiskey and caramel sauce. You will also see this dish on pub menus in Ireland. My touch is the addition of whiskey to the sauce. I hope you’ll agree that I made a good choice there!”
Gour Cake by
Gur cake is an inexpensive but delicious cake popular throughout Ireland. The outer layers are most often made up of thin layers of dough. The filling is different in every bakery, depending on the baker’s choice of spices or the type of leftover cakes used in the mix that day.
Apple Crumble Cake with Apple Caramel Frosting by Donald Skehan
Crumble is one of Skehan’s favorite desserts. “Here I used apples, but whatever fruit you use, this lifted crumble cake takes that classic and turns it into a real show stopper and a real centerpiece for special occasions.”
Guinness chocolate cake by Clodagh McKenna
McKenna traditionally bakes this cake every year for St. Patrick’s Day. “It’s majestically dark yet surprisingly light and velvety in texture,” she says. “I love how it looks, like a pint of Guinness! Be sure to use regular cream cheese (not the low fat variety) as you want the frosting to be creamy.”
Irish coffee cupcakes by Donald Skehan
These little cupcakes may look innocent, but they’re drizzled with good Irish whiskey! It’s a perfect St. Patrick’s Day treat for adults. The cake has a hint of espresso which gives them a delicious coffee flavor.
St. Patrick’s Bark by Checka Ciammaichelli
This recipe is so festive and very customizable. Up the flavor factor by adding a few drops of mint extract to white chocolate. Make this treat even more colorful and color the white chocolate green with food coloring. Potato chips and crushed pretzels add extra crunch and a hint of salt, but can be omitted for a strictly sweet treat.
Chocolate and Irish Stout Cupcakes by Donald Skehan
What better way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day than with a chocolate Irish stout cake? Chocolate Irish cupcakes, of course! Individual sized cupcakes make them easy to carry, share and enjoy at any celebration.
Valerie’s Irish Coffee with Lemon Vanilla Whipped Cream by Valerie Bertinelli
According to popular lore, this drink dates back to a stormy winter night in the 1940s, when a group of air travelers got stranded in a small port town in Ireland. A resourceful bartender provided a double dose of what these weary folks needed by adding whiskey to the coffee, and a classic was born. This drink stays perfect for the night, especially during the winter months when the temperature drops and the weather calls for something that warms up from within.
Guinness Caramel Tiramisu by Clodagh McKenna
Guinness Caramel brings a fun Irish twist to an Italian-origin recipe. The delicious depth of flavor makes this a great dessert to serve on St. Patrick’s Day. Try making the tiramisu in individual cocktail glasses for personal sized portions. The best is that you can do it the day before.
Salted Caramel Apple Cakes by Donald Skehan
These apple cupcakes are a real mix of retro puddings and modern desserts. “I love comforting apple sponge cake,” says Skehan. “But adding the salted caramel sauce really makes all the difference.”
clover shake by Casey Barbier
This DIY version of McDonald’s Shamrock Shake only requires five ingredients. Instead of waiting all year for the delicious treat, make it at home. Get sweet satisfaction in minutes and skip the trip to the drive-thru.
Chocolate Leprechaun Hats for St. Patrick’s Day by Checka Ciammaichelli
These adorable pixie hats are surprisingly easy to make. They only require five ingredients and are perfect for a festive pacifier. Kids will love making them as much as eating them!
Mocha Chocolate Mousse with Irish Whiskey by Donald Skehan
Everyone loves chocolate mousse, and this one has a wonderfully light and airy texture. It is simple and quick to make and is best eaten the day after it is made. It’s a perfect dessert for a dinner party because it can be made ahead and all it takes is a handful of ingredients to create something dark, delicious and decadent. What’s not to like?
Chocolate clover cupcakes by Justin Chapple
Tiny balls of foil are the trick to making clover-shaped cupcakes. Simply roll small pieces of foil into small balls, then place them between the filled liners and the cupcake pan before baking to shape them into clovers. Use three foil balls per cupcake. To make recipes easier, use store-bought cake mix and frosting. Be sure to test a cupcake first to ensure you use the correct amount of batter for each cupcake.
Guinness Cake by SORTEDFood
Don’t have enough Guinness? A rich, thick Guinness chocolate cake and gorgeous Guinness icing tastes better than finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Assembling the dessert in layers in Guinness glasses makes them even more cheerful.
Mint Chocolate Chip Milkshake by Justin Chapple
Forget the stout and enjoy a festive, boozy milkshake. The creme de menthe loads this sip with a delicious minty flavor. A topping of whipped cream and sprinkles adds the finishing touch to this fun adult treat.
Dark chocolate and beetroot cupcakes by Donald Skehan
These cupcakes get their sweetness and deep color from a surprising ingredient: beets!
Dark Chocolate Layer Cake by Siri Daly
This ode to chocolate combines a deeply rich and moist chocolate cake (made with chocolate stout!) with smooth chocolate pudding and dark chocolate frosting. We wouldn’t be mad at you if you decided to sprinkle the top with chocolate chips too!
Quick coffee-chocolate mousse by Clodagh McKenna
It’s McKenna’s favorite dessert when she has very little time to prepare anything, but still wants to treat everyone. These only take 15 minutes to make and 15 minutes to cool, and you can make them a day ahead.
Guinness Salted Chocolate Brownies with Peppermint White Chocolate Frosting by Guinness Storehouse
Guinness beer is the missing ingredient you didn’t know your brownies needed. Irish stout ensures they are moist and deeply flavorful.