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Coconut Cream Bars

close up shot of a spatula with a slice of Coconut Cream Bar
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 end a weeknight meal. 
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Chill Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr 12 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 9
Calories 226 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F. 
  • Unroll pie crust and place in an 8x8-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 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 226kcalCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 3gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 145mgPotassium: 190mgFiber: 2gSugar: 20gVitamin A: 260IUCalcium: 95mgIron: 1mg