Piña Colada Dessert Bars
This easy recipe for Piña Colada Dessert Bars is your ticket to a tropical paradise! Enjoy the flavors of coconut, rum and pineapple and feel like you’re swinging in a hammock at the beach. Make a batch today for an instant vacation.
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Why We Love Piña Colada Dessert Bars
This piña colada dessert starts off as a lemon bar because I was going for was a creamy, flavorful filling. The shortbread crust is sturdy and buttery all at the same time. Add a little rum flavoring, fold in some pineapple and coconut, and you’re in the tropics!
If you like Piña Coladas (and getting caught in the rain…) then you’ll love these bars. They have all of the flavors of the classic tropical drink all in one delicious dessert bar. I love making them for pool parties, summertime potlucks, or just when we need a little pick me up around the house. These bars are a tropical dream…..if you like piña coladas, you must try this pina colada dessert.
The shortbread crust for these bars is both sturdy and buttery, which is perfect for holding the creamy filling on top! The sweet powdered sugar and a maraschino cherry on top are the perfect garnishes to this fun, summer-loving dessert. When you make a batch, you’ll be able to enjoy the flavors of coconut, rum, and pineapple and make it your ticket to a mental tropical paradise. Yum!
Ingredients Needed to Make Piña Colada Dessert Bars
FOR THE CRUST:
- butter, softened
- all-purpose flour
- powdered sugar
- vanilla extract
FOR THE FILLING:
- large eggs
- granulated sugar
- lemon juice
- heavy whipping cream
- rum extract
- all-purpose flour
- crushed pineapple, drained
- sweetened flaked coconut
- powdered sugar, for dusting
- maraschino cherries for garnish (optional)
How To Make Piña Colada Dessert Bars
(full printable recipe at the end of this post)
The total time to make this irresistible tropical dessert is 15 minutes. Yes, you read that right! In just 15 minutes, you’ll have a batch of your new favorite summertime dessert bars. The steps are easy to follow and the ingredients are delicious – I’m obsessed!
Always start baking recipes by preheating your oven, of course! For these bars, you just need to preheat your oven to 350F.
While that’s heating up, line an 8×8 or 9×9 inch square baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Make sure to leave an overhang. Then, spray the parchment-lined pan with cooking spray and set it aside for later.
Time to make the shortbread crust! For the perfect shortbread every time, begin by combining all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl, cutting in the butter with a pastry cutter or wooden spoon. Keep doing this until a crumbly mixture forms.
Once you have that crumbly mixture, transfer the dough to the prepared pan and press the dough into it using your fingertips. After pressing, randomly pierce the crust with a fork about a dozen times so that steam can escape while it bakes.
Bake the crust for 12 to 15 minutes, or until lightly golden around the edges. The crust should be white but crusted over.
While the crust bakes, make the delicious piña colada filling! Start by combining eggs, sugar, lemon juice, cream, and rum extract in a large bowl. Whisk it all together until it’s smooth. Once it’s nice and smooth, add the flour and whisk until smooth. Then, stir in the pineapple and coconut.
Pour the sweet mixture over the warm crust and bake for 18 to 25 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when the center does not jiggle when shaken and the edges begin to brown. After baking, allow the bars to cool completely at room temperature.
Once the piña colada dessert is completely cooled, cover the pan and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or overnight.
When you’re ready to serve, lift the dessert out of the pan with the parchment (or foil) overhang. Sprinkle the dessert with as much powdered sugar as your heart desires, and slice to serve! Optionally, you can garnish the squares with a maraschino cherry… I highly recommend it, so you get the full piña colada experience!
Tips For Making The Best Piña Colada Bars
Always make sure you read through any recipe before starting. It’s the golden rule (if you will) of baking. This will allow you to know ahead of time what needs to be done, so you’re not caught by surprise when you find out you need to chill, thaw, soak or rest something in the recipe. For example, this pina colada dessert should cool and chill at least 3 hours before serving. Great for a make-ahead dessert, but not so good for a last-minute dessert.
Accurately measure your ingredients! This is especially important when measuring flour and powdered sugar. Spoon the flour (or powdered sugar) into the measuring cup to measure it correctly.
Don’t skip lining your pan. Not only does this prevent the bars from sticking to the pan, but it makes it easy to remove the whole dessert from the pan. After lifting the cold dessert from the pan, discard the parchment paper (or foil) and place the dessert on a cutting board. You can now easily slice into even squares.
Although it’s pure torture, you have to let the bars refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving! I recommend letting them cool overnight in the fridge, though, because that really allows the bars time to settle and develop the perfect flavor and desired texture.
Really be careful to not overbake the crust. When you think of a baked crust, typically an image of a golden-brown crust comes to mind. For this recipe, however, you want a crust that is very lightly golden around the edges
Storing And Freezing
How long will these tropical dessert bars stay fresh? If you happen to have any leftover bars, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Can I freeze pina colada dessert bars? Definitely! You can freeze these bars in an airtight container for up to 1 month. When you’re ready to serve them, just let them thaw in the fridge overnight and they should be good as new.
Can I Double This Recipe?
You sure can double this pina colada dessert! Simply double the ingredients and bake in a 9×13 pan. Bake times should remain the same, but keep a close eye on them.
More Summer Dessert Recipes To Enjoy
Enjoy the sunshine with some of my favorite summer-time dessert recipes!
Orange Dreamsicle Jello Poke Cake – Jello Cake is a light and cool dessert that is has been around for generations. Vanilla cake drizzled with orange jello and topped with a creamy whipped topping gives this vintage recipe all the flavors of an orange creamsicle.
Strawberry Milkshake Cupcakes – The addition of diced fresh strawberries makes this Strawberry Milkshake Buttercream the perfect compliment to the french vanilla cake beneath in these Strawberry Milkshake Cupcakes!
Easy Fruit Trifle – Layers of angel food cake, vanilla pudding, whipped topping, and pie filling form a beautiful make-ahead dessert that everyone loves!
No-Bake Lemonade Pie – No-bake Lemonade Pie is a dessert that tastes like summer. Serve this lemon cool whip pie cold or frozen, it’s light, creamy, and a snap to make. The perfect ending to any summertime meal
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Originally posted in April 2015. UPDATED March 2021. We spiffed up this post with more info! No changes to the original recipe.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases. Nutrition information is estimated based on the ingredients and cooking instructions as described in each recipe and is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Please note that nutrition details may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, and freshness of ingredients used.
for the crust:
for the filling:
Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 378Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 72mgSodium: 122mgCarbohydrates: 60gFiber: 2gSugar: 44gProtein: 4g
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Nutrition information is estimated based on the ingredients and cooking instructions as described in each recipe and is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Please note that nutrition details may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, and freshness of ingredients used.