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Carrageen moss pudding with raspberry compote | Courtesy of Jet and Indigo
Carrageen moss pudding with raspberry compote | Courtesy of Jet and Indigo
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11 Traditional Irish Desserts to Try

Picture of Kate Phelan
Updated: 27 October 2017

Known for producing some of the finest dairy products on the planet, Ireland has an abundance of rich dessert ingredients, which chefs use to create flavourful Irish pudding dishes like the ones below.

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 boiled with milk. When heated, it creates its own gelling agent, which can be combined with sugar, egg and vanilla extract to create a light, fluffy dessert, served chilled. Try Jet and Indigo’s recipe here

Irish Apple Tart

US-born Imen McDonnell of The Farmette blog and cookbook says she fell in love with the apple tart when she came to Ireland and discovered the tradition of baking it on a flat plate. Her recipe calls for cinnamon and freshly grated ginger to be added to the apple filling.

Irish Whiskey Truffles

Irish whiskey truffles are made in the Swiss tradition – blending chocolate, fresh cream and butter – but with the added ingredient of Irish whiskey. Dublin’s elegant Brooks Hotel, home to one of the Great Whiskey Bars of the World, make their truffle recipe using local Teelings whiskey, distilled in the city’s historic Liberties area.

Soda Bread Pudding

Bread and butter pudding originated in the United Kingdom, but this recipe using Irish soda bread gives it a unique – and tasty – twist. The recipe from the Wee Eats blog calls for a loaf of Irish soda bread to be broken into cubes and soaked in a mixture of heavy cream, milk, egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla; it’s then baked until golden on top. It’s served covered in a homemade crème anglaise. 

Porter Cake

Customarily made to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, Irish porter cake is an old favourite in Ireland. Made with a dark stout like Guinness, dried fruit and mixed spices combined with other customary cake ingredients, this dense dessert is simple but distinctive. Get the recipe now from Gin and Crumpets

Scones

Scones with jam and cream are a common element of many an Irish dessert menu. These individual small cakes, often made with dried fruit and sweetened with sugar, were first made in Britain but are now equally strongly equated with the Irish Republic. In 2006, scones were even chosen to be the Irish representative for the Café Europe cultural initiative. Try the Avoca café recipe for Irish scones here

Scones with cream and jam | © Takeaway/WikiCommons

Scones with cream and jam | © Takeaway / WikiCommons

Lemon Curd Sponge Cake

There is some dispute over who invented lemon curd and when, but the citrus dessert spread has been popular in Ireland since at least the early 20th century. It’s most commonly used as a filling inside a sponge cake, as in this recipe by Irish celebrity chef Donal Skehan on his YouTube channel.

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. The 1837 Bar & Brasserie at Guinness Storehouse makes a more-ish chocolate mousse recipe by melting chocolate and butter with reduced Guinness, before adding the mixture to whipped egg yolks, sugar, and meringue mix and leaving to set.

Barm Brack

Irish barm brack is a kind of sweet bread made with sultanas, raisins and glacé cherries, traditionally served at Halloween but also common throughout the year. At Halloween, surprises are sometimes added to the dough – such as a small coin and a ring – for children to discover. Take a look at Donal Skehan’s recipe below. 

Yellowman (Irish Honeycomb)

Produced in Northern Ireland, yellowman is a unique type of hard honeycomb famously sold at County Antrim’s Ould Lammas Fair. You can try yellowman for yourself using Saveur’s recipe. The toffee-esque treat has also been made into an award-winning ice cream by County Down-based luxury ice-cream makers Glastry Farm. 

Irish Coffee

Although technically more of a beverage than a dessert, an Irish coffee often takes the place of an after-dinner second course. The heavenly cocktail of Irish whiskey, coffee and brown sugar topped with cream was invented in 1942 by Joe Sheridan, a chef in the village of Foynes, County Limerick. You can get his original recipe from the Ireland Whiskey Trail

Irish Coffee | © Marler/WikiCommons

Irish Coffee | © Marler / WikiCommons