These Coconut Pineapple Bars use the same mixture for the crust and topping and are filled with a delicious pineapple coconut filling!
Isn’t it amazing how your taste buds change over the years? When I was a kid, I wouldn’t touch anything with cooked fruit or coconut in it. But now? I absolutely love both of them. I’ll happily eat a fruit pie or coconut cream pie any time of the year.
Sadly, my taste buds haven’t really changed a whole lot when it comes to certain vegetables. But at least these pineapple bars have some fruit in them. That counts for something, right? Plus, pineapple and coconut are a match made in heaven.
The first time I made these bars, I left the coconut out of the filling. When I tasted them I knew they needed more coconut, so I decided to mix some into the filling. Perfection!
You’ll need a handful of ingredients to make these easy pineapple coconut bars. Here’s what goes into this recipe:
- All-purpose flour: Spoon and level the flour when measuring it rather than scooping it out with a measuring cup. This ensures that you don’t accidentally measure out too much.
- Granulated sugar: The filling is naturally quite sweet from the pineapple, so I used just 1/2 cup sugar to round out the flavor.
- Salt: A good pinch of salt is needed to balance out the sweet pineapple and coconut filling.
- Butter: Always use unsalted butter when baking because the amount of salt in salted butter will vary between brands.
- Shredded coconut: You want to buy sweetened shredded coconut for this recipe. It’s often found in the baking aisle.
- Canned crushed pineapple: Buy pineapple that’s been packed in its own juices, not in heavy syrup.
- Cornstarch: Helps thicken the pineapple filling without making it gloopy.
- Lemon juice: Some acidity is needed to brighten up the bars and prevent them from tasting too sweet.
How to Make Pineapple Bars
The mixture for the crust is just a few easy ingredients and also doubles as the topping. To make it, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Stir the butter into the flour mixture using a handheld electric mixer. You’re looking for the mixture to form coarse crumbs.
You’ll set aside about 1 cup of the mixture for the topping and mix a little coconut into it. Press the remaining mixture into a foil-lined 8×8-inch baking dish. You will need to bake the crust for about 20 minutes before adding the filling and topping.
While the crust is baking is a perfect time to mix up the easy pineapple coconut filling on the stove top. Once the filling has thickened, you can set it aside so that it’s ready to go when the crust is finished baking.
Spoon the filling into the baked crust, then top with the reserved flour mixture. Bake until lightly golden brown on top.
These pineapple bars can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days, or they can be frozen for up to three months. To thaw, place in the fridge overnight.
- If you’re not a huge fan of coconut, you can leave it out and just make a pineapple version. Which I think would be delicious too! But, the little bits of toasted coconut in the buttery crumb topping and in the filling are absolutely delicious.
- I garnished my pineapple coconut bars with maraschino cherries to give them a piña colada vibe, but that’s an optional step.
- Make sure to buy pineapple that’s been packed in its own juices and not in heavy syrup (which would make the bars too sweet).
More Easy Pineapple Desserts!
- Classic Pineapple Upside Down Cake
- Pineapple Carrot Cake
- Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes
- Hummingbird Cake
Coconut Pineapple Bars
For the crust and topping:
- 1 and 1/2 cups (190 grams) all-purpose flour spooned & leveled
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup (170 grams) unsalted butter softened
- 1/4 cup (18 grams) sweetened shredded coconut
For the pineapple coconut filling:
- 1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (32 grams) cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup (35 grams) sweetened shredded coconut
To make the crust and topping:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, making sure to leave some overhang for easy removal. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, and salt. Cut the butter into pieces and add it to the mixture. Using a mixer, beat on low speed until you have coarse crumbs (you can also use a fork or your hands).
- Reserve 1 cup of the mixture and transfer to a separate mixing bowl. Mix in 1/4 cup of the shredded coconut with the reserved mixture, cover tightly, and transfer to the refrigerator.
- Scoop the remaining crumb mixture into the prepared baking pan and firmly press it down into an even layer.
- Bake at 350°F for about 18-20 minutes or until the top is set and the edges are lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
To make the pineapple coconut filling:
- Mix together the crushed pineapple, sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, for about 5-7 minutes or until the pineapple mixture has thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded coconut.
- Pour the pineapple filling over the crust. Remove the remaining crumb topping from the refrigerator and and sprinkle it evenly over the top.
- Return to the oven and bake at 350°F for 30-40 minutes or until lightly golden brown on the top.
- Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Remove the foil from the pan, slice into bars, and enjoy.