St. Patrick's Day

31 St. Patrick's Day Treats We'd Be Lucky to Feast On

From chocolatey Guinness pudding to crumbly currant-caraway shortbread.

February 27, 2020
Photo by James Ransom

While everyone celebrates St. Patrick's Day differently (parades, family dinners, you name it), come March 17 you'll be most likely to find me in the kitchen, with a few friends, cooking up something special (corned beef and cabbage is always a go-to). Oh, and something sweet, too.

From classic favorites (hello there, crumbly shortbread and fluffy bread pudding) to some not-so-traditional ideas (like creamy Guinness ice cream and bright-green cheesecake), here are 31 of our best St. Patrick's Day treats and dessert recipes.

Our 31 Best St. Patrick's Day Treats

1. Irish Coffee Cupcakes

You'll want to make a big batch of these Irish coffee-inspired cupcakes, which not only get brushed with whiskey after baking, but have a hearty dose of Irish cream in the frosting.

2. Chocolate Stout Pudding

Here, another classic dessert with a twist—this time, it's chocolate pudding with a splash of malty-sweet Guinness stout.

3. Whiskey Salted Caramel Cinnamon Rolls

Even though cinnamon rolls are technically more Scandinavian than Irish, we can't help but picture ourselves digging in to this salted caramel and (Irish) whiskey-filled version on St. Patrick's Day.

4. Irish Hot Chocolate

If the weather's particularly chilly this St. Patrick's Day, consider pouring yourself (and your friends and family) a cozy-warm mug of this Guinness and whiskey-spiked hot chocolate.

5. Roberta's Parsley Cake

If you're looking for a green dessert that doesn't call on artificial coloring, look no further than this Genius-approved cake that gets its natural hue from parsley and mint.

6. Peggy's Authentic Irish Soda Bread with Raisins

This raisin-studded Irish soda bread is moist, tender, and ever-so-slightly sweet. Just don't be tempted to sneak a slice while it's still warm from the oven—it'll crumble in your fingers.

7. Beer Chocolate Truffles

In case you hadn't heard, beer and chocolate make a winning combination. Case in point: these creamy-rich truffles made with dark chocolate and a stout beer (like Guinness).

8. Currant-Caraway Shortbread

Community member calendargirl calls this recipe "a shortbread lover's version of Irish soda bread." The result: a sweet-meets-savory crumbly cookie we'd happily eat any time of day or year.

9. Minty Oreo Meringues

If you're looking for a brighter pop of green, make these minty Oreo meringues which unapologetically use food coloring to achieve a vibrant color.

10. Irish Coffee

Is it even St. Patrick's Day if you don't have a sip of Irish coffee? If for you, the answer is no, then you must make this sublime version (psst: it's the best).

11. Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s Grasshopper Shake

A top-notch rendition of a decades-old drink, this green grasshopper shake hits all the right notes.

12. Spiced Stout Waffles

Start the St. Patrick's Day celebrations off first thing in the morning with a stack of these spiced stout waffles—or better yet, top them with the Guinness ice cream below for dessert.

13. Guinness Ice Cream

That Guinness ice cream we just mentioned a second ago? Yes, it's very, very good. The Guinness adds a unparalleled rich maltiness to the custard base.

14. Irish Bread Pudding

This delectable Irish bread pudding gets its heartiness from whole wheat bread, pitch-perfect sweetness from apples and turbinado sugar, and a punchy kick from spices and Irish whiskey.

15. Individual Guinness Sticky Toffee Puddings with Ginger Cream

These personal-size, Guinness-y riffs on traditional English sticky toffee pudding would feel right at home at a St. Patrick's Day party.

16. Avocado Gelado

Avocado + ice cream? Don't knock it 'til you've tried it. The creamy green fruit (yep, it's a fruit) lends this "gelado" an irresistibly rich texture.

17. Vanilla Porter Rye Bread

A flavorful vanilla porter lends this rye bread a crisp crust, tender crumb, and wonderfully yeasty fragrance—we like it slathered with salted butter or jam.

18. The Snake Bite

The name might seem scary, but there are no snakes (nor bites!) in sight. Named after the cocktail combining lager and cider, this cake forgoes the lager for a deep, dark stout, and the frosting features pear—not apple—cider.

19. Basic Cake Doughnuts

Ok, so doughnuts aren't Irish, but you could drizzle these in a festive green (or gold!) glaze to make them holiday-worthy.

20. Matcha Mint Chip Ice Cream

This minty green ice cream gets an extra hit of color (and earthy freshness) thanks to matcha powder.

21. Irish Cream

You can prep a pitcher or two of this whiskey and espresso-spiked Irish cream up to a week ahead of the festivities and store it in the fridge.

22. Crunchy Maple French Toast with Maple-Whiskey Butter

Whiskey + butter? Brilliant. (If you want to skip the alcohol, vanilla extract makes an equally delicious substitute.)

23. Andrea Bemis' Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

In this recipe, regular old chocolate chip cookies get a zingy boost of freshly chopped mint.

24. Cinnamon Scone Bread

This contest-winning recipe combines two of our favorites—scones and bread. This version is perfumed with warm, cozy spices thanks to the streusel filling, but you could also try it with espresso powder or orange zest.

25. Whiskey Caramel Sauce

This marvelous whiskey caramel sauce would make a lovely take-home treat for guests at a St. Patrick's Day party (don't forget to send us our invite, okay?).

26. Matcha-Black Sesame Cheesecake

If you're not worried about sticking to Irish classics, then you may want to add this vividly green matcha and black sesame cheesecake to your dessert table.

27. Mint Chocolate Harbor Bars

Say hello to the minty chocolate treat all the kids at the St. Patrick's Day celebrations will want to dive right into.

28. Coffee Pudding

This coffee pudding is a dessert-ified, non-alcoholic version of an Irish coffee.

29. Apple Pie Tart

Apple pie is actually one of the top comfort foods in Ireland. What's not to love about an apple pie tart? (Nothing.)

30. Lemon Curd Sponge Cake

...As is a lemon pudding tart! Apparently this citrusy sponge cake can be made with or without the whipped cream topping, but we can't think of any good reason one would want to omit it.

31. Chocolate-Mashed Potato Cake with Ganache

If you've got some extra mashed potatoes left over from making savory Irish dishes, use them in this divine chocolate cake (seriously).

What will you be making for St. Patrick's Day this year? Tell us in the comments below!

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Erin Alexander

Written by: Erin Alexander

Erin Alexander is the Managing Editor of Food52.

1 Comment

Toddie March 15, 2020
Might I suggest some typical desserts from Ireland? Donegal Oatmeal Cream is like tapioca pudding but made with steel cut oats with a hint of orange. Also, Barmbrack, or Irish tea cake, which is a very moist fruit cake. Both are featured at all of our Irish gatherings. Barmbrack is essential for the Samhain (halloween) festival.