Pina Colada Bars

I’ve never been anywhere tropical.

Not even remotely tropical.

Beaches in California are just considered “the beach.” If there are palm trees, they’re just seen as trees near the water–not symbols of tropical living or grand escapes or anything.

I mean, palm trees are palm trees, but obviously palm trees in, say, the Bahamas are automatically WAY cooler and more tropical than palm trees on Venice Beach. It’s a fact, people.

I think I’ve adopted everyone’s dream of lying on a white-sand beach overlooking  turquoise waters while drinking a pina colada under a huge floppy hat and being fanned with grape leaves. That is your dream too, right?!

But honestly, there’s some fouls in MY interpretation of my dream. First: are there tons of people on this tropical beach? Because beaches with tons of people are like malls on Black Friday. A normally tranquil, fun activity turns into a tense outing–except rather than seeing a bunch of annoying teenagers and plotting my revenge on banning strollers for life, I’m seeing half-naked, hairy men rubbing sunscreen all over themselves.

Second: do I look good in my bikini? Because I only want to have dreams where I look good in bikinis. I mean, call me crazy buuuut…

Third: I’m not typically a huge fan of pina coladas, but I think I’d make an exception for Ashley’s Midori Colada and these Pina Colada Bars because for having a slight pineapple issue (I know, whatever) these bars were REALLY good. Like creamy pineapple cheesecake filling, buttery crust and sweet coconut topping good.

So if you dream of lounging on white sandy beaches, or just dream of eating the dream of a beach (uhhh, minus the gross men and seagulls), then these bars are for you. Consider them your ticket to mental tropical paradise. You’re welcome!

Pina Colada Bars *adapted from 101 More Things To Do with a Cake Mix by Stephanie Ashcraft

For crust:

1 box yellow cake mix
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 egg

For Pineapple Cheesecake Filling:

1 pkg (8oz) cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 can (8oz) crushed pineapple, drained
1 & 1/2 cups shredded coconut

For glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 13×9 inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, melted butter and egg with a wooden spoon until combined. Spread the dough evenly in the bottom of the greased pan (I use my greased hands for easier spreading). Set aside while you prepare the filling.
3. In another large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, milk, vanilla and egg together until smooth and creamy. Stir in the well-drained crushed pineapple to combine.
4. Spread the mixture over the crust and bake for approx. 15 minutes. Sprinkle the par-baked bars with coconut and continue to bake for another 10-15 minutes or so until center is set and coconut is lightly golden and toasted (as you can see, I forgot this step and it was just as fine untoasted but can only imagine it’d be AMAZING with toasted!!)
5. Allow bars to cool completely in the pan before preparing the glaze: in a small bowl, combine the glaze ingredients and stir until combined. Drizzle over the bars, then refrigerate the bars for approx. 2 hours before cutting into squares. Store airtight in the fridge for best taste, about 2 days.

These have a fresh, fruity flavor and great texture from the crumby crust, creamy pineapple filling and the chewy coconut. SO very good. I hope you make them and LOVE them!!

xo, Hayley

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  1. That’s why palm trees in the dessert always confused me. We had several in AZ. Um, no water, anywhere. Palm trees are supposed to equal beach! These bars were gorgeous in person, btw. 🙂

  2. yum these look good! I’ve never baked with pineapple before, so I’m eager to see how it turns out!

  3. I can attest to the lusciousness of these bars…Thanks for sharing them with us at girls’ night, too. The leftovers were amazing with my morning java fix, but they didn’t last long. Alas. I’ll wait for the chocolate version. Hint, hint. 🙂

  4. Yum! I made pineapple cocktails with dinner last night. These would have been a perfect dessert.

  5. I love pina colada anything! These look and sound amazing. AND, since we don’t have palm trees or anything beach related in Kansas, I’ll be making these often to get my “tropics” fix. Thanks for the shout-out by the way! Happy Wednesday!

  6. Well – these were mighty fine, I must say … MIGHTY FINE! And they were quite easy to make, with regular ingredients (nothing fancy or difficult to find) – always a bonus! Mine did take 25 minutes during the second round of baking, but I put a piece of tinfoil over the pan so the coconut wouldn’t brown too much 🙂

  7. Thanks for the inspiration! You blog is one of the few food blogs that I actually read the non-food content of… you crack me up! 😉


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