Coconut Cream Bars

 

Coconut cream bars are a light and creamy tropical-flavored treat. Coconut lovers will adore this dessert made with creamy coconut filling and topped with whipped cream and toasted coconut.
Jump to Recipe
Table of Contents
  1. Coconut Cream Bars Ingredients
  2. Substitutions and Additions
  3. How to Make Coconut Cream Bars
  4. How to Serve Coconut Cream Bars
  5. Storage
  6. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
  7. MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
  8. JUMP TO RECIPE

Coconut cream bars are a tropical-flavored treat that is creamy, decadent, and a dream to make. This simple and delicious dessert is made with an easy pie crust and creamy coconut filling topped with whipped cream and toasted coconut.

If you’re a fan of coconut, then you’ll also want to make Coconut Poke Cake, No Bake Coconut Cream Pie, and Coconut Brownies.

Coconut Cream Bars Ingredients

You will need:

  • 1 roll of refrigerated pie crust, at room temperature
  • 3.4 ounces coconut cream instant pudding mix
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract, optional
  • 2 cups sweetened flaked coconut, divided
  • 8 ounces frozen whipping topping, thawed

Substitutions and Additions

HOMEMADE PIE CRUST: Try our homemade pie crust recipe instead of the refrigerated crust, if you would prefer. 

SHORTBREAD CRUST: Perhaps you’ve been searching for the perfect coconut cream bars with a buttery shortbread crust. You can use a shortbread crust in place of the pie crust in this recipe! Simply combine ½ cup of butter with ⅓ cup granulated sugar and 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour. Press this mixture into the bottom of your 8×8-inch square pan and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Add the coconut filling and whipped topping as usual. 

CHOCOLATE: It’s so true that chocolate and coconut go perfectly together. If you’d like to add some chocolate to your coconut cream pie bars, try shaving a chocolate bar to sprinkle over top, adding a drizzle of chocolate sauce, or spreading mini chocolate chips over the bars before cutting and serving.

HOMEMADE WHIPPED CREAM: If you love freshly whipped cream, you can top your coconut cream bars with it instead of whipped topping. All you need to do is in a large bowl, beat a pint of heavy whipping cream until thickened and stiff peaks form then add powdered sugar to taste and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Check out our own whipped cream recipe for more details.

How to Make Coconut Cream Bars

STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 450°F. 

STEP TWO: Unroll the pie crust and place it in an 8×8-inch square glass baking dish. Press the crust into the baking dish and shape it up the sides as far as you can press it. The crust will shrink back some during baking. Prick the bottom and sides with a fork to allow steam to escape while the crust is baking.

PRO TIP: The crust will shrink back some during baking. 

STEP THREE: Bake crust according to package instructions, usually 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool completely, this will take about 15 minutes.

PRO TIP: Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to check your crust at the lower end of the recommended baking time.

STEP FOUR: Whisk together pudding mix, milk, and coconut extract (if desired). Whisk for 3 to 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to thicken.

STEP FIVE: Whisk in 1 cup of flaked coconut, this is optional.

STEP SIX: Spread pudding mixture into cooled pie crust.

STEP SEVEN: Spread thawed whipped topping over the pudding mixture.

STEP EIGHT: Place in the freezer to chill for at least 30 minutes.

PRO TIP: Leaving this to chill for longer than 30 minutes will make the bars even easier to cut cleanly.

STEP NINE: Spread the remaining cup of coconut flakes in a pie plate or small sheet pan. Bake in 450°F oven for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring every few minutes, until coconut is golden and toasted. Remove from pan immediately and cool.

PRO TIP: Alternatively, you can toast coconut using a dry skillet on medium-high heat. Toast the coconut for 3 minutes, keeping a close eye on it the whole time.

STEP TEN: Sprinkle toasted coconut over the chilled pie.

STEP ELEVEN: Cut and serve!

How to Serve Coconut Cream Bars

This crowd-pleasing treat tastes just like a coconut cream pie but in bar form. Coconut cream bars are so simple to make, you can enjoy them for a potluck, picnic, special occasion, or any time you want a special treat to satisfy your sweet tooth. Serve these yummy coconut bars with a cup of coffee or a mug of homemade hot chocolate.  

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: Cover these sweet creamy bars with plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator for up to five days. 

IN THE FREEZER: Freeze the bars in an airtight food storage container for up to 1 month. 

PRO TIP: The pie crust will lose its crispness over time from the moisture in the bars while in the fridge/freezer.

Coconut cream bars are a tropical-flavored treat that is light and creamy. With so much coconut flavor, these coconut bars are destined to have you dreaming of a tropical island getaway. Coconut lovers will adore this simple and delicious dessert with just the right amount of sweetness. 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I use a different crust than pie crust for this recipe? 

You could replace the pie crust with a shortbread crust or even a graham cracker crust if you prefer.

Can I use homemade whipped cream instead of Cool Whip? 

You can certainly make homemade whipped cream and use it in place of whipped topping in this recipe.

What other toppings could I use instead of coconut? 

In place of, or in addition to, the toasted coconut topping, you could sprinkle white or chocolate chips, pecans, almonds, a drizzle of chocolate syrup, or even drained pineapple pieces.

MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE

Coconut Cream Bars

Coconut cream bars are a light and creamy tropical-flavored treat. Coconut lovers will adore this dessert made with creamy coconut filling and topped with whipped cream and toasted coconut.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Chill Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr 12 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 9

Ingredients
  

  • 1 roll of refrigerated pie crust at room temperature
  • 3.4 ounces coconut cream instant pudding mix
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract optional
  • 2 cups sweetened flaked coconut divided
  • 8 ounces frozen whipping topping thawed

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  • Unroll the pie crust and place it in an 8×8-inch square glass baking dish. Press the crust into the baking dish and shape it up the sides as far as you can press it. The crust will shrink back some during baking. Prick the bottom and sides with a fork to allow steam to escape while the crust is baking.
  • Bake crust according to package instructions, usually 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool completely, this will take about 15 minutes.
  • Whisk together pudding mix, milk, and coconut extract (if desired). Whisk for 3 to 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to thicken.
  • Whisk in 1 cup of flaked coconut, this is optional.
  • Spread pudding mixture into cooled pie crust.
  • Spread thawed whipped topping over the pudding mixture.
  • Place in the freezer to chill for at least 30 minutes.
  • Spread the remaining cup of coconut flakes in a pie plate or small sheet pan. Bake in 450°F oven for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring every few minutes, until coconut is golden and toasted. Remove from pan immediately and cool.
  • Sprinkle toasted coconut over the chilled pie.
  • Cut and serve!

Notes

The crust will shrink back some during baking.
Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to check your crust at the lower end of the recommended baking time.
Leaving this to chill for longer than 30 minutes will make the bars even easier to cut cleanly.
Alternatively, you can toast coconut using a dry skillet on medium-high heat. Toast the coconut for 3 minutes, keeping a close eye on it the whole time.
The pie crust will lose its crispness over time from the moisture in the bars while in the fridge/freezer.

You May Also Like

Reader Interactions

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating




Comments

The Black Friday Deals

Free Membership!

Get all our new recipes straight to

your inbox plus a BONUS

download in your first email! ❤