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!
1 box yellow cake mix
1/2 cup butter, melted
For Pineapple Cheesecake Filling:
1 pkg (8oz) cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 can (8oz) crushed pineapple, drained
1 & 1/2 cups shredded coconut
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.