Loaded with pineapple, these easy Pineapple Bars are custardy bar cookies with a creamy and refreshing finish. They’re a unique treat with a tropical flavor, best served chilled.
Pineapple is somewhat overlooked in the baking world outside of pineapple upside-down cake or cupcakes. The flavor doesn’t come through very well in pineapple recipes unless you have a lot of it.
These pineapple cookie bars truly makes pineapple the star with chunks of pineapple in every bite. If you love this tropical fruit, this pineapple bars recipe is a must-try!
Ingredients for Pineapple Squares
- I always suggest using fresh pineapple as it has the best flavor. However, a can of pineapple chunks would also work for this recipe.
- This recipe calls for full-fat coconut milk. It’s the kind that is sold in a can. Be sure to shake the can vigorously before opening and measuring it out so that you get both the solid and liquid parts incorporated into your batter.
- These bars call for 1 cup of sugar and they’re quite sweet, especially if you choose to add the pineapple glaze on top. If you prefer desserts that aren’t as sweet, reduce the sugar to 3/4 cup.
How It’s Made
- The first step is to make the crust. Mix flour, cold butter, sugar, and salt together with your hands until the butter is pea-sized and fully incorporated.
- Press the crust mixture into a 9″ square baking pan and bake for 10 minutes at 350 F.
- Top the partially baked crust with pineapple chunks.
- Next, make your filling – it’s a one-bowl process. Mix together eggs, sugar, coconut milk, vanilla, flour, and salt and pour over the pineapple.
- Depending on how well-mixed your coconut milk is, you may end up with some chunks in your batter. If so, push the batter through a sieve.
- Then, pour the batter over the pineapple chunks.
- Bake for about 70 minutes. The bars will still be very soft, but they will be set on the top.
- Cool them to room temperature and chill in the refrigerator for at least three hours before cutting.
- If you’d like, you can also give the bars a pineapple glaze made with a mixture of pineapple juice and powdered sugar. The glaze adds even more of a pineapple taste to the bars.
Expert Tips and FAQs
Make sure they are nice and chilled. Once they chill, they will cut easily.
Separate layers of cut bars with parchment paper, then store them in the refrigerator for up to one week in an airtight container. You can also store them the same way in the freezer for months. We like eating them straight from the freezer; they are really good frozen!
You can replace the coconut milk with whole milk if you prefer. You can also use sour cream or yogurt. If you use sour cream or yogurt, the texture will be different and the cook time will be reduced. Be sure to check for doneness at around 40 minutes if you make that substitution.
I don’t recommend using crushed pineapple. It has too much liquid and having a larger bite of pineapple from the chunks produces a better flavor.
If you want to emphasize that these are coconut pineapple bars, add some coconut extract in the glaze. You could also try using coconut flour in the crust mixture!
Pineapple Bars Recipe
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter cold and cut into small pieces
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- pinch salt
- 12 ounces fresh pineapple cut into 1/2" chunks; canned pineapple also works
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup sugar reduce to 3/4 cup if you prefer a less sweet dessert
- 2/3 cup full-fat coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup powdered sugar if your powdered sugar has any clumps, sift it
- 2 tablespoons pineapple juice
- Preheat oven to 350 F
- Place all ingredients in a small bowl and mix with your hands, pinch the butter pieces until they are pea-sized.
- Grease a 9″ square baking dish and press dough onto the dish.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Distribute pineapple chunks in a single even layer over the partially baked crust.
- Mix all other ingredients together until smooth. If needed, push the batter through a sieve to remove any chunks.
- Pour over pineapple.
- Bake for 70 minutes or until top is set.
- Cool to room temperature.
- Mix powdered sugar and pineapple juice until fully combined.
- Drizzle glaze over chilled bars.
- Chill in the refrigerator for at least three hours before slicing and serving.
- Note that the glaze is completely optional. It adds some extra pineapple flavor and the bars look prettier with it, but they are still yummy without the glaze.
- Separate layers of cut bars with parchment paper, and store in the refrigerator for up to one week in an airtight container. You can also store them the same way in the freezer for months. We like eating them straight from the freezer; they are really good frozen!
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