St. Patrick’s Day Desserts 2019: Recipes & Ideas

Darina Allen at Ballymaloe Cookery School

Heather Richie Darina Allen prepares Irish Moss Pudding at Ballymaloe Cookery School in County Cork, Ireland.

Irish dessert is all about transforming high quality, seasonal farm ingredient into satisfying sweets. One local ingredient, Irish moss, comes not from the farm but the island’s seashore. While it isn’t what you would expect to associate with dessert, the top Irish treat to try for St. Patrick’s Day 2019 is Irish moss pudding.

Mint flavored recipes, for their green glow, are also good dessert ideas for St. Patrick’s Day 2019. Guinness and whiskey inspired desserts are perfect for parties, too. In areas where rhubarb is available, the holiday and this favorite Irish dessert ingredient time well.

Irish Moss Pudding

Irish Moss Pudding at Ballymaloe Cookery School

Heather RichieIrish Moss Pudding at Ballymaloe Cookery School in County Cork, Ireland.

You don’t have to be on Ireland’s seashore to make Irish moss pudding. You can buy the moss online, which is a natural coagulant and gelatin substitute. Carrageen is the Irish word for the moss and means “little rock” in Gaelic. It grows on rocks at the low tide line.

Follow this recipe from the Ballymaloe House in County Cork, Ireland. Serves 4 – 6.

Heather RichieDarina Allen cooks with Carrageen, or Irish moss, at Ballymaloe Cookery School in County Cork, Ireland.


1 semi-closed fistful (5g) cleaned, well dried Carrageen Moss
1 1/2 pints (900ml/3 3/4 cups) milk – use 1/2 and 1/2 in America
1 tablespoon (1 American tablespoon + 1 teaspoon) castor sugar
1 egg, preferably free range
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or a vanilla pod


Soak the carrageen in tepid water for 10 minutes. Strain off the water and put the carrageen into a saucepan with milk and vanilla pod if using.

Bring to the boil and simmer very gently with the lid on for 20 minutes. At that point and not before separate the egg, put the yolk into a bowl, add the sugar and vanilla essence and whisk together for a few seconds, then pour the milk and carrageen moss through a strainer onto the egg yolk mixture whisking all the time. The carrageen will now be swollen and exuding jelly.

Darina Allen makes Irish Moss Pudding at Ballymaloe Cookery School at Ballymaloe Cookery School

Heather RichieStrain the jelly before mixing with milk, sugar, egg, and vanilla.

Rub all this jelly through the strainer and whisk this also into the milk with the sugar, egg yolk and vanilla essence if using. Whisk the egg white stiffly and fold or “fluff” it in gently. It will rise to make a fluffy top. Chill the pudding in the serving dish for several hours until set.

Serve chilled with dark soft brown sugar, cream and a fruit compote e.g. poached rhubarb in late spring or plum or apple and blackberry compote in Autumn.

Irish Soda Bread Pudding, Boozy Desserts, & More

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It’s that time of year again ! Ballymaloe Rhubarb Tart Serves 6-8 225g shortcrust pastry for the base 225-300g Puff or Flaky pastry for the lid 900g Rhubarb 300g white sugar approx. 25.5cm (10 inch) Pyrex or enamel plate Roll out the shortcrust pastry and line the plate. Chop the rhubarb into 2.5 (1 inch ) pieces, Sprinkle with sugar. Roll out the puff or flaky pastry a little thicker than the base, wet the 2.5cm (1 inch) strip around the tart and press the pastry lid down onto it. Trim the pastry leaving a 2.5cm ( 1 inch) edge again. Crimp up the edges with a sharp knife and then scallop them, make a hole in the centre to allow steam to escape. Egg wash. Roll out the trimming and cut into leaves and decorate the top of the tart, egg wash again. Chill for 15-20 minutes in the fridge. Bake in a hot oven on the bottom shelf (so the base cooks well) 230ºC/450ºF/Gas Mark 8 for 15-20 minutes, then turn down the heat to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 for a further 40-45 minutes. Test the rhubarb with a skewer. Sprinkle with fine castor sugar, serve with soft brown sugar and softly whipped or pouring Jersey cream. #ballymaloecookeryschool #cooking @ballymaloe_house #learntocook #learnatballymaloe #cookerycourse #growcooknourish #12weekcookerycourse #cookery #cookingschool #cookeryschool #careerchange #cookingfromscratch #farmtofork #ballymaloerecipe #ballymaloecookeryschoolgardens #rhubarb #rhubarbtart #ballymaloebreadshed #cookerycareer #giftvouchers #gifttokens #ballymaloecookingshool #recipesthatwork #cookingcareer #knowwhereyourfoodcomesfrom #farmtofork Thank you Monique @goldenwildgoldenwild

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Rhubarb is in season during St. Patrick’s Day in various parts of the world including the US midwest (and Ireland). Many Rhubarb desserts are not too heavy to serve midday.

Soda bread is the quintessential Irish bread, making Irish soda bread pudding a must try dessert. Start by making a loaf of soda bread, then magically turn it into dessert.

Whiskey truffles and Irish coffee finish a dinner party well. Try these desserts made with Guinness, Ireland’s most famous beer.

Go Green

Want to keep it simple? Just use green flavors: mint, pistachio, or key lime for a green tablescape fit for St. Patrick’s Day 2019.

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