When we host our monthly Movie Club, everyone brings food to share. Typically, Justin and I try to come up with a main dish and a dessert for the evening. I was the yearbook photographer/designer/editor for my son’s elementary school, so there were a couple of months that I was at the school all day taking photos for events. This left Justin in charge of getting food ready, and he came up with the idea of these Tropical Dessert Bars.
My entire family loves pineapple. It’s one of our favorite fruits so we love cooking with it, too. And since it’s such a tropical fruit, coconut pairs very well with it. We have a friend with a dairy allergy, so we are always on the lookout for dairy-free recipes that are also meatless since another friend is a vegetarian. For the recipe, Justin used dairy-free butter, but if you don’t have that restriction, regular butter will work, too.
Justin used a base similar to the Lemon Bars we’ve made in the past. The pineapple needed to be cooked a bit ahead of time to make it a better consistency to bake.
Step by Step
Preheat the oven to 350F and grease an 8×8 glass baking dish.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour, 1/2 cup of softened butter, and the coconut. A pastry blender works great for combining the crumble together.
Use your hands to press about 2/3 of the mixture into the bottom of the greased dish. Save the remaining mixture for later.
In a medium saucepan, mix the sugar, lemon juice, pineapple, and one tablespoon of butter. Bing it to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly so it doesn’t burn.
Cook for about 5-8 minutes, until the mixture has started to thicken.
Remove from the heat and allow it to cool slightly, the spread the pineapple mixture over the base in the baking dish.
Sprinkle evenly with the remaining crumble mixture. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until the topping is golden brown.
After the bars bake, immediately cut the bars. Once they cool completely, remove the dessert bars and serve.
Pineapple Coconut Dessert Bars
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup coconut (shredded)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 14 oz pineapple (crushed, with juice)
- 1 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- Preheat the oven to 350F
- Grease an 8×8 baking dish
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine all crust ingredients, using a pastry blender
- Press 2/3 of the crust mixture into the greased dish
- In a medium saucepan, whisk all of the filling ingredients
- Bring to a boil, stirring constantly so it doesn’t burn
- Cook for about 5-7 minutes, until it starts to thicken
- Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool slightly
- Pour the pineapple mixture over the crust
- Sprinkle with the remaining crumble
- Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until the topping is golden brown
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