Desserts & Drinks / Recipes

Northern Irish fifteens recipe

I grew up in Northern Ireland and these no-bake treats were a staple in the cake section of any cafe, alongside British classics like the Millionaire’s shortbread and flapjacks. It was only on leaving to come to England did I realise that they don’t exist across the water. Indeed, it appears they’re not even popular in the Republic of Ireland.

They are called fifteens as are made from three main ingredients of which you need 15 of each: digestive biscuits, marshmallows and glacé cherries. I share with you this easy classic recipe that kids can also help out in. Make these the day before you wish to serve them so they can chill in the fridge. I sometimes make these for St. Patrick’s Day.

Use vegetarian marshmallows if you wish to make them veggie-friendly. Examples of brands include Dandies Marshmallows if you’re in the States (and some Asda stores in the UK), or Freedom Mallows in the UK only.


Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 15


  • 15 digestives ½ a pack or graham crackers,
  • 15 glacé cherries halved (½ a tub)
  • 15 large marshmallows quartered (½ a bag)
  • 200 ml condensed milk
  • 75 g desiccated coconut


  • Crush the digestives by either putting them into a ziplock bag and crushing with a rolling bin, or by blitzing it in a food processor.
  • Mix together with the halved glacé cherries, the quartered marshmallows and condensed milk
  • Lay out some clingfilm/plastic wrap and put the desiccated coconut on it.
  • Using your hands, form a sausage with the dough and put it on top of the coconut
  • Wrap the clingfilm with the coconut tightly around the sausage, so the outside is covered with the coconut evenly
  • Put into the fridge overnight
  • Slice into 1cm thick pieces to serve


You can get vegetarian marshmallows from Holland & Barrett in the UK