My tropical dream bars are multi-layered and include a Golden Oreo cookie crust, a creamy crushed pineapple filling, and a coconut pudding and whipped cream topping. Every refreshing bite tastes a little bit like summer.
Alright, folks, sometimes you just need a little summer in your life no matter what time of the year it is and we can sure ’nuff make it happen in the kitchen! With that in mind, today we are going to reveal my tropical dream bar recipe and go somewhere tropical… or at least as close as we can get with what we have on hand in our pantries. Take a bite and pretend you’re on vacation!
My mama says I am not allowed to make these bars unless I happen to be driving in the proximity of her house. She and I have always loved all things coconut! And these pineapple coconut bars have all the flavors of a pina colada in dessert form. Intrigued?
It starts with a Golden Oreo cookie crust. Then we make a creamy pineapple filling with whipped topping, cream cheese, crushed pineapple, and powdered sugar. The next layer is coconut cream pudding, which is topped with more frozen whipped topping and shredded coconut. This is a no-bake refrigerator cake dessert, so all that’s left to do is pop it in the fridge to set for a few hours. Then you can dig in! It’s creamy, texturized, and refreshingly sweet all at once.
Let’s get crackin’ on these here magic bars because mama lives an hour away so I gotta get on the road! But if you’re looking for more light summer desserts, check out this post.
- Golden Oreo cookies (generic is fine)
- Shredded coconut flakes
- Coconut cream instant pudding mix
- Frozen whipped topping (like Cool Whip)
- Crushed pineapple
- Cream cheese
- Powdered sugar
How to Make Tropical Dream Bars
You’ll need to crush your Oreos.
If you want to be fancy, you can use a food processor. If you want to do it as I do, put them in a big ziplock bag and beat the mess out of them with a meat mallet or roll over them with a rolling pin.
It kinda depends on your level of aggression at the time of making these.
Then, stir the melted butter into the crushed cookies and press them really tightly into a foil-lined 8×8 baking dish.
Place cream cheese, half of the whipped topping, powdered sugar, and drained pineapple in a medium bowl.
Beat this with an electric mixer until well combined.
Spread over cookie crust.
Save that bowl because we are about to use it again and you don’t have to wash it just yet.
In the same bowl, place milk and pudding mix.
Beat with the same electric mixer (you can use the same beaters without washing them) or a wire whisk until smooth and well blended.
Allow it to sit for a little bit to let the pudding thicken (about five minutes). Then, spread it on top of your cream cheese mixture.
Spread the rest of your whipped topping over the top and sprinkle liberally with coconut (if you haven’t eaten it all).
Refrigerate for a few hours to allow it to be fully set.
Oh. My. Goodness! Pretty as a picture, especially when you add a cherry on top!
Best enjoyed on your back porch!
- Store leftover bars in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- You can also freeze leftovers for up to a month. Thaw overnight in the fridge before serving.
- Now, some tropical dream bar recipes include a graham cracker crust, but mama swears the Oreo cookie crust makes all the difference. So if you do use graham crackers, just don’t tell mama!
- For added flavor, quickly toast the coconut in the oven before garnishing the cake.
Check out these other delicious desserts:
- 20 Golden Oreo cookies
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 8 ounces cream cheese at room temp
- 8 ounces thawed frozen whipped topping
- 8 ounces crushed pineapple, drained
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 3.4-ounce package coconut cream instant pudding mix
- Line an 8x8 baking dish with aluminum foil or waxed paper and set aside.
- In a large food processor, add the Oreos and butter and pulse them until finely crumbed up and combined. Press the mixture into the bottom of your prepared dish.20 Golden Oreo cookies, 3 tablespoons melted butter
- In a large bowl using an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese, half of the whipped topping, powdered sugar, and pineapple (drained). Beat until well blended. Spread the mixture over the cookie base.8 ounces cream cheese at room temp, 8 ounces thawed frozen whipped topping, 8 ounces crushed pineapple, drained, 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- In the same bowl (no need to wash it), combine the milk and coconut pudding mix. Beat together with an electric mixer (you can use the same beaters you used in the previous step without washing them) or a wire whisk until well combined. Allow it to sit for a little bit to thicken (about five minutes). Once thickened, spread the pudding mixture over the top of the cream cheese layer.1 cup whole milk, 1 3.4-ounce package coconut cream instant pudding mix
- Spread the remaining of your whipped topping on top. Garnish with the shredded coconut. Refrigerate for a few hours to allow it to be set up fully before cutting and serving. Top with a cherry.8 ounces thawed frozen whipped topping, 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.”