Pineapple Coconut Bars

Pineapple coconut squares with forks

Pineapple Coconut Bars are an easy tropical inspired treat made with juicy crushed pineapple, coconut, and a brown sugar shortbread crust ~ perfect for breakfast, dessert, or all day snacking. I recommend the all day snacking 🙂

Pineapple Coconut Bars just coming out of the oven

Pineapple Coconut Bars are a little bit Southern, a little bit vintage…

Something you might find leafing through the pages of a spiral bound church cookbook. My version is both sweet and tart, with a nice chewy texture thanks to a good amount of brown sugar in the dough. The brown sugar also gives these squares a background hint of butterscotch, yum.

A stack of pineapple coconut bars

gather your ingredients

I formulated the recipe to use the whole 20 ounce can of pineapple and a 7 ounce bag of coconut, so there won’t be any annoying leftovers. (You’re welcome.)

  • canned crushed pineapple ~ unsweetened only, so the fruit filling makes a nice tart contrast to the sweet shredded coconut and brown sugar shortbread crust.
  • coconut ~ sweetened shredded. Look for a moist product for best results.
  • brown sugar
  • butter
  • egg
  • flour
  • baking powder
  • vanilla and almond extracts
overhead photo of pineapple coconut squares on parchment paper

how long will they last?

These pineapple coconut bars will stay nice and fresh for several days on the counter if you the fam doesn’t polish them off in one sitting. They make good work, school, or travel snacks because the bars aren’t overly gooey, you can eat them with your hands without making a mess and having to use your pants as a napkin. I hate that.

closeup of a pineapple cococnut square

more tropical inspired recipes

Pineapple coconut squares with forks
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3.79 from 32 votes

Pineapple Coconut Bars

Pineapple Coconut Bars are an easy tropical inspired treat made with juicy crushed pineapple, coconut, and a brown sugar shortbread crust ~ perfect for breakfast, bunch, or all day snacking.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 36 minutes
Total Time 56 minutes
Yield 24 servings
Calories 236kcal
Author Sue Moran

Ingredients

  • 20 ounce can of crushed pineapple in juice, not heavy syrup
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 7 ounce bag sweetened shredded coconut, divided

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Lightly spray a 9×13 pan and line with parchment paper (optional) so you can lift the squares out for easy cutting later.
  • Drain the canned pineapple in a mesh sieve over a bowl, and collect the liquid. Don’t squeeze the fruit, just let it drain naturally. Remove the liquid to a small saucepan, whisk in the cornstarch, and heat over medium high heat until it comes to a boil and thickens, stirring constantly. Add the thickened juice back into the pineapple and set aside.
  • Cream the butter and sugar in a stand mixer or with electric beaters until light and fluffy, at least 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat in the egg and then the extracts.
  • Whisk together the flour and baking powder and with the mixer on low, beat in the flour mixture, one cup at a time, and then add 2 cups of the shredded coconut. Finish the mixing by hand, a silicone ‘spoonula’ works great for this..
  • Remove 2/3 cup of the dough and set aside for the topping. Then press the rest into the bottom of your baking pan. I like to crumble it all over the bottom first to distribute it, and then gently press with my fingers. Make sure to get the whole bottom surface covered. If the dough is sticky, flour your fingers as needed.
  • Spread the pineapple over the bottom crust, and sprinkle with the remaining coconut. Take the remaining dough and crumble it over the whole surface. I like to press it down VERY lightly with my hands.
  • Bake for about 35 minutes, or until starting to turn golden. Let the squares cool on a rack before cutting.

Cook’s notes

  • Shortbread-y crumb bars are my jam and if you look you’ll find lots of them in my dessert recipe index. The great thing about bars like this is that you can use fresh fruit, frozen fruit, preserves, or curd, and each one is a little different from the next. I vary them with different types of flour and add-ins like nuts, coconut, oats, etc.

Nutrition

Calories: 236kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 31mg | Potassium: 132mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 258IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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23 Comments

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  • Reply
    Laura | Tutti Dolci
    April 20, 2018 at 5:08 pm

    Tropical flavors have been on my mind and these gorgeous bars are everything!

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 26, 2018 at 7:55 pm

      You’re right, ’tis the season for tropical treats!

  • Reply
    Mary
    April 20, 2018 at 11:54 am

    Oh my gosh these sounds so good. I am going to make these and I think maybe adding chopped pecans in the crust.

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 20, 2018 at 12:02 pm

      Pecans sound great, then it will have a hummingbird cake kind of vibe!

  • Reply
    Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
    April 20, 2018 at 11:36 am

    These sound totally up my alley Sue! All my favorite tropical flavors! Perfect for summer parties too! I’ll definitely be trying these!

  • Reply
    holly
    April 20, 2018 at 11:19 am

    These look fabulous! i shared with friends and daughter in law. I plan to mke them this weekend.

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 20, 2018 at 11:24 am

      Hope everybody likes them 🙂

  • Reply
    Rebecca {foodie with family}
    April 20, 2018 at 8:52 am

    I love the combination of pineapple and coconut in these bars. They look perfect with that streusel-y top, too!!

  • Reply
    Bernard Ber
    April 20, 2018 at 8:15 am

    Those sound yummy. Pineapple and coconut are great together, but I hadn’t thought to put them into “bar” form. Thanks for that interesting idea.

  • Reply
    Amy Abbott
    April 20, 2018 at 8:15 am

    Since I have found your blog, I am hooked. These look yummy. Will try them this weekend & substitute white four with white rice flour for my gluten free guest. Will let you know how they turn out.

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 20, 2018 at 8:17 am

      Thanks Amy, I’m glad you found me 🙂 Please do let us know how the gf version goes.

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s Recipes
    April 20, 2018 at 8:07 am

    Love the beautiful tropical flavours…have never seen sweetened coconut here…but unsweetened would work too, I guess?

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 20, 2018 at 8:16 am

      Interesting, I’m always amazed at what is and isn’t available in different parts of the world. I’m sure you could use plain coconut but maybe in that case you would probably sweeten the pineapple filling.

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    April 20, 2018 at 5:45 am

    I don’t think I’ve ever had a pineapple bar, so I’m super anxious to try these! Love the tropical flavours 🙂

  • Reply
    Monica
    April 20, 2018 at 4:23 am

    These are so pretty to look at and sound absolutely divine. So nice to learn about wonderful Southern desserts like this that you don’t see often. Love the whole tropical vibe here.

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