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You’ll love these delicious and simple coconut cream bars 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 this dessert will be your new favorite!
Coconut is an ingredient that we can’t get enough of. Our Coconut Poke Cake is reminiscent of a tropical island dessert and the Abominable Coconut Cupcakes recipe creates a snowball-like treat that is fun for any season. If you love the combination of coconut and chocolate, our Almond Joy Cookies is another coconut recipe to satisfy your sweet tooth!
COCONUT CREAM BARS INGREDIENTS
You will need:
- 1 roll of refrigerated pie crust, at room temperature
- 3.4-ounce package of coconut cream instant pudding mix
- 2 cups of whole milk
- 1 teaspoon of coconut extract, optional
- 2 cups of sweetened flaked coconut, divided
- 8-ounce tub of frozen whipped 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 THIS COCONUT CREAM BARS RECIPE
STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 450°F.
STEP TWO: Unroll pie crust and place in an 8×8-inch square glass baking pan. Press the crust into the baking dish and shape it up the sides as far as you can press it. Prick the bottom and sides with a fork to allow steam to escape while the crust is baking.
The crust will shrink back some during baking.
STEP THREE: Bake crust according to package instructions, usually 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely for about 15 minutes.
STEP FOUR: In a medium bowl, whisk together pudding mix, milk, and coconut extract (if desired). Whisk 3-5 minutes or until the mixture begins to thicken.
STEP FIVE: Whisk in 1 cup coconut, optional.
STEP SIX: Spread pudding mixture into the cooled pie crust.
STEP SEVEN: Spread the thawed whipped cream topping over the pudding mixture.
STEP EIGHT: Place in the freezer to chill for at least 30 minutes.
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 on a pie plate or small cookie sheet. Bake in a 450°F oven for 5-8 minutes, stirring every few minutes, until coconut is light brown and toasted. Remove from the pan immediately and cool.
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 for the finishing touch. Cut and serve!
HOW TO SERVE
This delicious treat tastes just like a coconut cream pie but in bar form. Serve these delightful bars with a cup of tea or a latte for the perfect afternoon or evening snack.
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.
The pie crust will lose its crispness over time from the moisture in the bars and fridge/freezer.
Coconut lovers will adore this tropical-flavored treat. Coconut cream dessert bars are light and creamy and just the right sweetness to finish a meal or enjoy as an afternoon treat. Flaky pie crust with coconut filling and topped with whipped cream and toasted coconut, a wonderfully easy-to-make dessert for any occasion!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
You could replace the pie crust with a shortbread crust or even a graham cracker crust if you prefer.
You can certainly make homemade whipped cream and use it in place of whipped topping in this recipe.
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
- 1 roll 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
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Unroll pie crust and place in an 8×8-inch square glass baking dish. Press crust into baking dish and shape it up the sides as far as you can press it. 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 oven and allow 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!