Skip to Content

18 Irish Desserts You Should Try

Sharing is caring!

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you book or buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Learn more

Discover a luxuriously sweet, rich, and creamy side to the Emerald Isle’s cuisine with these delicious Irish desserts, and treat both your stomach and soul to some of these post-main classics in pubs and restaurants across the island.

Irish Desserts

Irish Desserts with Alcohol

1 – Irish Coffee

Irish Coffee in a glass.

The perfect dessert if you haven’t left much room in your tummy for a big slab of apple tart or cheesecake, Irish coffee is many people’s go-to after-dinner beverage. It’s also a great choice if you don’t have much of a sweet tooth but still want to treat yourself to something nice.

An Irish coffee is made with espresso, Irish whisky, brown sugar, and thick Irish cream. It’s an indulgent take on one of the world’s most beloved beverages and a must-try when in Ireland.

2 – Guinness Ice Cream

Guinness ice cream scoop in a waffle cone.

The first time I tried Guinness ice cream was about eight years ago on a trip to the spectacular Valentia Island in County Kerry. There was a small dairy farm on the island and the owners made their own ice cream using milk from their cows.

Guinness is a very flavorsome beverage, not at all sweet, and typically used in savory cooking such as stews and pie. Hence, seeing it in ice cream form is at first quite startling.

But it works wonderfully well because Guinness is such a creamy drink, so has an ideal texture to be made into a dessert food. If you ever see this on a dessert menu in Ireland, try it – you’re in for quite the adventure!

3 – Baileys Cheesecake

Baileys cheesecake slices.

Wonderfully creamy and flavorsome, Baileys cheesecake is Ireland’s take on one of the world’s most popular and beloved desserts. You simply have to try this dish when in Ireland.

Baileys Irish Cream is made from a combination of Irish whisky and spirits with Irish dairy cream, mixed with rich chocolate and vanilla flavors. When Baileys is mixed with cream cheese, thick cream, and sugar to make a cheesecake, you can only imagine how luxuriously creamy that texture is.

With each mouthful balanced with a firm and buttery biscuit base, Bailey’s cheesecake is a rich and indulgent dessert that will have you yearning for more!

4 – Brown Bread Ice Cream

Brown bread ice cream.

You might have this served with some stewed rhubarb or poached pears, depending on what fruit is in season. While it may sound odd, it is made with custard, cream, vanilla, and sugar, and it’s one of the creamiest ice creams you’ll ever taste.

Somehow the crumbed and toasted brown bread works with the creamy custard mixture so well. Brown bread ice cream commonly has a little dark rum or some Irish whisky added to it to really deepen the flavor.  

5 – Sherry Trifle


A popular Christmas dessert and originally from British cuisine, trifle is made from layers of sponge cake or sponge fingers, tasty fruit jelly (jello), fruit (usually berries), creamy custard, and fresh whipped cream.

Sherry trifle is made in the same way as a regular trifle, but instead, the sponge is drizzled with sherry, which gives the trifle a really nice kick, and that extra bit of moisture.

You typically only see trifle on a menu at Christmas in Ireland, which I always think is a shame because it would make a lovely summer dessert, with all that fruit and whipped cream. However, be sure to seek it out when in Ireland or trying to make it at home yourself.

Tarts and Crumbles

6 – Apple Tart

Hugely popular in many European cuisines, and throughout the world, apple tart is a staple in Ireland, and most households I know in the countryside have an apple tree or two (or more) in their garden. They grow so well in our climate, and because we don’t grow very sweet apples, I think many of us Irish believe the best thing to do is cover them in sugar and make a dessert!

Most restaurants and cafes will have apple pie on the menu, and they are typically served warm or cold with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or my personal favorite, custard.

I have vivid memories of my grandmother’s tart growing up. She always added cloves to hers, which gave them a really distinct flavor.

7 – Apple Cake

Traditionally cooked in a cast-iron dish over an open fire and a staple in many other European cuisines, Irish apple cake is one of the country’s most humble yet deliciously sweet dishes. The rich flavors of spices, fruit, and sometimes vanilla, paired with the texture of soft apples layered over a moist buttery cake, make every mouthful truly wonderful to experience.

Nowadays apple cake is still just as delicious when baked in an oven, but I find that it’s always tastier when baked in a cast-iron dish as opposed to a cake tin, as it was traditionally prepared. This method crisps the edges of the cake more than the tin-based variation, which provides the perfect balance for the soft and moist filling of the cake.

Irish apple cake is best eaten warm, fresh from the oven if possible. If you want to experience true culinary heaven, pour some custard over it and enjoy!

8 – Apple Crumble

Uncooked mixed fruit crumble

A classic in many other European cuisines, Irish apple crumble is simple, delicious, and perfect to enjoy with a coffee. This sugary baked apple dish with a biscuity buttery top is sumptuous when served warm with some fresh whipped cream.

There really is no better flavor combination than sweet and sour when paired perfectly, and an Irish apple crumble has just the right amount of both. It uses cooking apples mixed with various spices and a generous amount of sugar, bringing tart, sweet, rich, bitter, and spiced flavors all to the foray for a truly flavorful dessert.

9 – Apple and Blackberry Crumble

In autumn, when the apples are at their ripest, and the wild blackberries are out on blackberry bushes all over the countryside, you’ll find apple and blackberry crumble made with the freshest of fruit on menus in cafes and restaurants.

Apples and blackberries are a seasonal match made in heaven, complementing one another perfectly. With a buttery biscuity crumble on top, the combination of textures is simply amazing. I love this served warm with some vanilla ice cream.

10 – Rhubarb Crumble

Rhubarb crumble slice with custard on top.

Crumbles became very popular in Britain during World War II, as the crumble topping was used as an alternative when pie ingredients were in shortage. Naturally, many crumbles also found their way into Irish cuisine.

When rhubarb is in season in Ireland from spring through summer, you can get delicious rhubarb tarts and crumbles served with custard or ice cream. In my, and many other Irish people’s opinion, rhubarb and custard are a perfect pairing, like Sam and Frodo, Gomez and Morticia, or Wesley and Buttercup.

Rhubarb crumble has such a tart flavor and paired with sweet crumble, it truly is a match in heaven. My tastebuds are tingling just thinking about it. 

11 – Rhubarb and Strawberry Tart

Another great seasonal mixture of fruits and pastry, rhubarb and strawberry tart, when these fruits (technically rhubarb is a vegetable, but that’s a discussion for another day) are in season during the summer, is a wonderfully bittersweet dessert you simply have to try.

The tart traditionally consists of a buttery shortcrust pastry filled with tart rhubarb and sweet juicy strawberries. It is delicious when eaten cold on a warm day, and if there’s some ice cream on the side then all the better. I love to eat mine washed down with a nice glass of fizzy lemonade.

Summer Fruits

12 – Raspberry Fool 

Raspberry fool.

Originally English, raspberry fool is a popular summer dessert, and a very light choice for an after-dinner treat on a hot day.

When raspberries are in season in Ireland, around June, you can get a raspberry fool made with the freshest berries and fresh whipped cream in so many pubs and restaurants. It’s a very simple dish, but it looks and tastes amazing.

In this dessert, raspberries are cooked, sieved, or blended, and folded through the cream with some sugar, and the cream is then served in a dish with more whole fresh raspberries on top. The creamy texture is fantastically light, and the fruity, summery flavors are so refreshing.

You will also find a strawberry fool on the menu when strawberries are in season and likewise with blackberry fool. While in my humble opinion raspberry fool still reigns supreme, both are more than worth a try.

Related: British Desserts to Try

13 – White Chocolate and Raspberry Scone

White chocolate and raspberry scone with fresh whipped cream.

A bedrock of Scottish and British cuisine, scones can be just as much a snack or light lunch as they can a dessert. However, a sweet scone, a classic being white chocolate and raspberry in Ireland, makes for the perfect after-dinner treat if you’re craving something

White chocolate and raspberries are a delicious pairing, and a fresh hot buttered scone, with raspberry jam, topped off with fresh whipped cream is a treat indeed. We enjoy our scones with a pot of breakfast tea.

Related: British Foods to Try

14 – Wexford Strawberry Pavlova

While the debate between Australia and New Zealand over the origin of pavlova continues to this day, the iconic dish is a hugely popular dessert in Irish cuisine.

The county of Wexford in the sunny southeast of Ireland is famous for the juicy strawberries it produces. In fact, Wexford is so proud of their strawberries that they have their very own strawberry festival every summer.

There are plenty of desserts that incorporate Wexford strawberries in the southeast of Ireland and in other places around the country. However, pavlova with fresh Irish cream and Wexford strawberries is undoubtedly one of Ireland’s favorites.

Strawberry pavlova looks just as delicious as it tastes, the red and white colors of the crisp meringue, the fresh cream, and the ripe strawberries contrasting magnificently. The perfect light dessert for a hot summer’s day.

Related: Australian Foods to Try & New Zeland Foods You Need to Try


15 – Bread and Butter Pudding

Bread and butter pudding.

Bread and butter pudding, originally from British cuisine, naturally made its way into Irish cuisine. It was traditionally made with stale bread, butter, sugar, raisins, cream, milk, eggs, and cinnamon.

My mother used to make this for our family a lot, especially when we had a lot of milk. My family got milk from our cow, and sometimes she gave us more than we could drink so it had to be used up!

In today’s Ireland, you’ll find it with all sorts of new and exciting ingredients, made with the likes of brioche, nutmeg, and vanilla. However, whether you have this dessert made to a traditional recipe or a more modern one, you’re sure to love its creamy custard taste. It is absolutely delicious served warm, with some ice cream. 

16 – Queen of Puddings

Queen of puddings dessert.

Traditionally from British cuisine, this is another dish that is remembered with nostalgia, and one that a lot of parents and grandparents made in Ireland as the ingredients were easier to come by.

Queen of puddings is an extremely light and sweet dessert with a zesty lemon kick. It has a bready custard-filled base, a fruity center, and a fluffy meringue top. It is similar to a lemon meringue pie, although queen of puddings is much sweeter and includes jam or compote.

Chocolate and Savory

17 – Irish Cheeseboard With Ballymaloe Relish

Ballymaloe relish, a perfect pairing for any cheeseboard, was originally created by Irish chef Myrtle Allen in 1964, with the original recipe handed down over the years through her family, who now produce and sell the relish all over Ireland.

It is a mouth-watering relish that pairs perfectly with so many foods, but especially with the strong flavors that come from Irish cheeses.

An Irish cheeseboard should include local cheeses from the area. Common choices include a flavorsome goat cheese, maybe some Irish blue cheese, some raw-milk cheese if you’re lucky, and some Irish cheddar, of course.

My advice would be to take a small cracker, spread some Ballymaloe relish on it, crumble some goat cheese on top of that, and pop it in your mouth – you are welcome!

18 – Chocolate Brownies

Ireland’s connection to the USA meant that brownies naturally found their way across the Atlantic into Irish cuisine. A popular dessert in many countries, brownies can be eaten warm or cold and are usually served with creamy vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream.

These are decadent chocolate treats, and from time to time you might be lucky enough to find a chocolate fudge brownie or a chocolate chip brownie on the menu in pubs and restaurants across Ireland.

When I was a child, every time I visited my grandmother she would have a batch of chocolate mint brownies ready for us. They were chocolate brownies covered in a layer of mint, which was then covered in a layer of chocolate. Those chocolate-rich treats were truly divine!

Irish Desserts Summary

Bringing together influences from all over the world and adding honest, humble Irish ingredients and touches, the desserts of Ireland offer so much texture and flavor, no matter what your post-dinner preferences.

Whether you wish to prepare some of these classics at home or are planning a future trip to the Emerald Isle, be sure to try as many of these dishes as possible.

Rich, hearty, and layered with so much flavor, you truly are in for a treat when Irish desserts are on the menu!

You Might Also Like to Read

Save and Pin for Later

Keep these wholesome and delicious Irish desserts for safekeeping, by saving this article to one of your foodie travel or recipe Pinterest boards.

18 Irish Desserts You Need to Try

Author: Sarah Byrne is a freelance content and creative writer from Ireland, with a deep passion for her native cuisine and culture.

Images licensed via Shutterstock

Sharing is caring!