Coconut Cream Pie Bars

As August is winding down and Labor Day weekend is on the very near horizon, I feel it’s only appropriate to share one more awesome no-bake recipe with you. These Coconut Cream Pie Bars are a wonderfully delicious dessert just made for devouring on a beautiful summer day.

These bars are made up of layer after layer of good stuff. It all starts with a vanilla wafer crust that’s topped off with a fluffy, sweet cream cheese filling. Then there’s a layer of vanilla pudding with lots of toasted coconut. Finally, there’s sweetened whipped cream and even more toasted coconut. It’s like an amped up coconut cream pie in cool, creamy bar form.

Delicious layers of cream cheese, pudding, vanilla wafers, and toasted coconut make these Coconut Cream Pie Bars irresistible!

That’s not even mentioning all of those vanilla wafers lining the sides of the pan. I just adore that. There’s just something so homey and comforting about it. It makes me want to cut a big slice and curl up on the couch to enjoy it.

Now it’s time for some real talk about making these. All of those layers are great, but they can also create a lot of work and dirty bowls in your kitchen. I opted to make my own vanilla pudding and sweetened whipped cream. The original recipe uses pudding mix and frozen whipped topping. As much as I like homemade versions of those, I will cast no stones if you go the simpler route.

Coconut Cream Pie Bars are such a sweet, cool, creamy, coconut-y treat. Love all those layers!

No matter whether you go homemade or shortcut, this is a dessert that’s sure to please. I must warn you to go ahead and get your slice before you serve it because it tends to disappear very, very quickly.

Coconut Cream Pie Bars

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 16 servings

Coconut Cream Pie Bars

Ingredients

    For the crust:
  • 8 ounces vanilla wafers, finely crushed
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • For the cream cheese layer:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup sweetened whipped cream*
  • 24 vanilla wafers
  • For the pudding layer:
  • 1 recipe vanilla pudding**
  • 1 cup sweetened whipped cream*
  • 3/4 cup sweetened flake coconut, toasted
  • For the topping:
  • 1 cup sweetened whipped cream*
  • 3/4 cup sweetened flake coconut, toasted

Instructions

To make the crust:

Combine crushed vanilla wafers and butter until crumbs are thoroughly moistened. Transfer to a 9"x 13" pan and press evenly onto the bottom of the pan.

Refrigerate while you make the cream cheese layer.

To make the cream cheese layer:

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese and sugar until well mixed and smooth. Gently fold in 1 cup whipped cream.

Carefully spread over crust.

Line whole vanilla wafers around the edges of the pan, standing the cookies on their ends. Return pan to refrigerator while you make the pudding layer.

To make the pudding layer:

Stir together pudding, 1 cup whipped cream, and coconut, gently folding to combine.

Spread evenly over cream cheese layer.

To finish:

Gently spread remaining 1 cup whipped cream over pudding layer. Sprinkle coconut on top.

Refrigerate for at least 6 hours before serving.

Notes

*You'll need a total of 3 cups of sweetened whipped cream. You can mix it all at once and then use it as you need it for assembling. Just keep it refrigerated between uses. To scale appropriately from this recipe, use 1 & 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream and 3 to 4 tablespoons of sugar.

**I recommend making the pudding a day in advance to allow it to chill. That will also give you a bit of a break in preparing all the components of these bars.

Recipe adapted from Kraft.

http://www.bakeorbreak.com/2014/08/coconut-cream-pie-bars/

19 Comments

  1. those Nilla wafers in this are GENIUUUUS-so good!

  2. Kim August 26, 2014 Reply

    This looks so yummy. I will be making this for labor weekend!!

  3. Tracy | Pale Yellow August 27, 2014 Reply

    This looks heavenly and perfect for the end of summer!

  4. Miriam @ OvertimeCook August 27, 2014 Reply

    This looks like the perfect dessert! Yum.

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  6. Esteban August 29, 2014 Reply

    It’s going to be end of mine day, but before end I am reading this great paragraph to increase my know-how.

  7. Lynne August 30, 2014 Reply

    Can you give the measurement for the vanilla wafer cookie crumbs in cups? I’d like to use graham cracker crumbs that I have on hand.

    • Author
      Jennifer McHenry August 30, 2014 Reply

      Hi, Lynne. You’ll still need the same amount whether you start with whole or crushed cookies. If you don’t have a scale, you can measure about 1 & 1/2 cups of crumbs.

  8. Cathy Perez August 30, 2014 Reply

    I love coconut cream pie and this bar version is easy, Pinned!

  9. Joanne August 30, 2014 Reply

    So many layers of some of my favorite things! How did you know I’ve been in a coconutty kind of mood lately?

  10. christy August 31, 2014 Reply

    I am making these right now! We love coconut and nilla wafers and the 2 of them together??? Heaven is what that is!!!

  11. christy August 31, 2014 Reply

    Question, If I cheat and use instant pudding, do I use 1 small box or 2?

    • Author
      Jennifer McHenry August 31, 2014 Reply

      Hi, Christy. The original recipe lists two packages, but I think one is plenty. That’s about the volume of pudding I used.

  12. Lily smith September 1, 2014 Reply

    Do you use jello vanilla pudding that you have to cook?

    • Author
      Jennifer McHenry September 1, 2014 Reply

      Lily, I made my own pudding. (There’s a link in the recipe.) If you want to use a mix, instant will be fine.

  13. Nana Okie September 6, 2014 Reply

    can you use cool whip instead of whipping cream

  14. christy September 7, 2014 Reply

    I have made this twice in the last 2 weeks! I used 1 box instant vanilla pudding and cool whip and it turned out awesome! My family loves this! It’s a real winner!!

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