These Pineapple Coconut Crumb Bars are easy, sweet and taste like tropical dessert. Crunchy coconut crumb topping and gooey pineapple filling make for irresistible combo!
I am so excited to share this dessert recipe today! Crumb bars are one of my favorite easy treats to make. In this recipe, you only need to make one dough that you use for both crust and the topping. For this tropical version, I added a whole cup of unsweetened coconut to the dough and it turned the crumb topping into crunchy and absolutely delicious layer with a note of toasted coconut. The crushed pineapple filling is gooey, not overly sweet and compliments the coconut perfectly turning the bars into dessert that tastes like tropical drink!
These Pineapple Coconut Crumb Bars are super easy to make and always disappear fast. I love making a big pan and sharing them with friends and neighbors. Everyone loves the crunchy topping contrasting with gooey filling.
HOW TO MAKE PINEAPPLE COCONUT CRUMB BARS?
You only need two bowls, one spatula and one square baking pan to make these delicious bars. Simply, whisk together flour, coconut, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar in a bowl. Add cooled melted butter and stir with a fork to make a mixture that resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 1 cup of it for the topping and press the remaining mixture onto the bottom of the pan. Next, mix pineapple, sugar and cornstarch in a bowl and pour over
ONE DOUGH FOR CRUST AND CRUMB TOPPING
This is one of my favorite parts of this recipe. You only need to make one dough that is used to press to the bottom of the pan to make a crust and to sprinkle over the filling to bake into crunchy crumb topping. Depending on the flavor combination that I go with for the bars, I use either white sugar or brown sugar. For apple pie bars or pumpkin pie bars, brown sugar is better. For bars with berries, fudge or caramel, white sugar is better.
WHY IS CRUSHED PINEAPPLE THE BEST FOR THESE DESSERT BARS?
Crushed pineapple has the perfect texture for this recipe. Mixed with cornstarch, it will thicken into a pie filling layer and won’t fall apart when you try to lift the bars out of the pan. Also, make sure you drain the pineapple from the juice. Squeeze as much liquid as you can but a little bit of it in the mixture is okay. Reserve it and use later for smoothies!
TIPS FOR MAKING PERFECT CRUMB BARS
– The most important secret to making these crumb bars is to melt the butter and let it cool completely. If the butter is hot, it will cook the flour mixture and the crumbs won’t form. I recommend melting the butter in a bowl in the microwave, cooling for 4 to 5 minutes on the counter and then pop it into the fridge for 3 to 4 minutes. It should not be solid but cool.
– Use a fork to make the crumb mixture. It’s perfect for stirring the butter in with the flour mixture to form perfect coarse crumbs.
– Line the baking pan with parchment paper, not aluminum foil. The pineapple mixture will get gooey and sticky on the edges while the bars are baking. If some of it leaks to the pan, it will get the foil stuck to it and you will have a hard time getting the bars out. Also, lining the pan with parchment paper protects the pan from scratching if you are using a spatula or a knife to get the bars out.
– Use unsweetened coconut, not sweetened. The later is too rich and wet and it will overwhelm the flavor and make the bars too sweet.
CRAVING MORE CRUMB BARS?
You have to try my original recipe for Sour Cream Crumb Bars. That’s where the idea for one dough for crust and topping came from. You can make a cheesecake like filling layer or use pie filling. Or both, like I did in my Strawberry Pie Crumb Bars recipe. You might also like the recipe for Blueberry Crumb Bars from Brown Eyed Baker, and since berries are in season – try this recipe for Easy Mixed Berry Crumb Bars from Love From the Oven too! The all make for an easy yet delicious summer desserts!
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- 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter melted and cooled (see note)
- 1 20 oz. can crushed pineapple in 100% juice see note
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a square 8" baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, coconut, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add cooled butter and stir with a fork, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve one cup of the mixture and press the rest onto the bottom of prepared pan.
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir together crushed pineapple, sugar and cornstarch. Pour over crust and spread evenly.
- Sprinkle the remaining dough mixture over the filling.
- Bake bars on center rack of the oven for 23 to 25 minutes or until the topping is golden, with golden brown spots.
- Cool bars completely on cooling rack. Next, gently lift out of the pan and set on cutting board. Cut into 9 squares and serve.
The most important secret to making these crumb bars is to melt the butter and let it cool completely. If the butter is hot, it will cook the flour mixture and the crumbs won't form. I recommend melting the butter in a bowl in the microwave, cooling for 4 to 5 minutes on the counter and then pop it into the fridge for 3 to 4 minutes. It should not be solid but cool.
Make sure to drain the crushed pineapple from the juice. A little bit of it is okay but squeeze out as much as you can and reserve to drink later or add to smoothies.