Chocolate Needham Candy

Whether trying Needham candy for the first time or simply craving a timeless treat from your childhood, these are an easy and fun sweet to make for the holidays. The addition of Kate's Butter elevates this New England classic, adding a rich and creamy quality to the coconut/dark chocolate blend. The best part? Your out-of-state friends may never suspect the tasty mystery ingredient: potato!

Needhams are a well-loved treat across Maine. Some say famous Portland confectioner John Seavey came up with the first batch after a plentiful potato harvest in the 1800s. He called them Needhams after a famous evangelist preacher at the time.

While the story of Needhams will vary as any good story in Maine, the recipe has remained the same for generations. Whip up a batch today and store them in the freezer for a convenient indulgence. With Kate's Butter in the mix, each bite is a tribute to the honest goodness of Maine's dairy and the time-honored tradition of enjoying Needham candy.

Chocolate Needham Candy


5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Resting Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American


  • 2 pound bag of confectioners’ sugar
  • ¾ cup plain cooked potatoes, mashed, warm (unseasoned)
  • 2⅓ cups sweetened coconut flakes
  • ½ cup Kate’s unsalted butter, melted ½ cup = 1 stick of Kate's Butter
  • ½ tsp table salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp coconut extract
  • 20 oz dark chocolate melting wafers


  • Line a 10” x 15” pan with parchment paper. (If you prefer thicker Needhams, use a 9” x 13” pan.)
  • In a large bowl, combine the first 7 ingredients (everything but the chocolate) until well mixed.
  • Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan, pressing it down evenly.
  • Refrigerate for about 1 hour.
  • Cut the refrigerated mixture into desired sizes.
  • Place the cut pieces into the freezer (in an airtight container with parchment paper between each layer to prevent sticking) for 30 minutes.
  • Melt the dark chocolate according to the package instructions.
  • Using a fork, dip each piece into the melted chocolate.
  • Place the chocolate-coated pieces on a sheet of parchment paper to harden for 1 hour or refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  • Store Needham candies in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

From our farm in Maine to your kitchen.