This island inspired Hawaiian Pineapple Coconut Lush is a celebration of the flavor combination of pineapple, coconut, macadamia nuts and all things creamy. The only baking required to make this tropical delight is a short preparation and bake time for the crust. that’s laced with coconut, macadamia nuts, white chocolate chips and melted butter. Make it the night before you plan on serving giving it plenty of chill time to set-up to perfection. Just before serving top with toasted coconut, whipped cream and the proverbial cherry on top then sit back and enjoy the praise. Or, the silence. Or, a little of both.
These layered lush desserts are one I refer to as the desserts with a thousand names. I have many variations based on the original chocolate fudge lush here on my website and rest assured, there are more to come. One example of the fun names they’ve been given, my dear friend Joan called her chocolate version of this dessert Fat Man’s Delight! I still laugh at loud at that one.
This Hawaiian variation was developed out of my love for all of these flavors and the thrill of combining them into one heavenly bite. It’s unapologetically rich and luscious and makes for an “all occasion” sweet treat. Take it to your next office, neighborhood or church potluck or serve it at a casual backyard soiree. It won’t last long no matter the destination.
- 1¾ cup vanilla wafer crumbs
- ½ cup macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
- ⅓ cup white chocolate chips
- ½ cup sweetened flaked coconut, divided
- ½ cup butter, melted
- 2 (8-oz) cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 (8-oz) crushed pineapple, drained
- 1 (16-oz) frozen whipped topping thawed, divided
- 2 (3.4-oz) instant coconut pudding mix
- 4 cups whole milk or half & half
- 16 maraschino cherries with stems
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly spray the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- In a medium-size mixing bowl toss together the vanilla wafer crumbs, macadamia nuts, white chocolate chips, ¼ cup flaked coconut and melted butter.
- Press firmly onto the bottom of the baking dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly golden and set. Cool completely.
- Increase the oven temperature to broil. Spread the remaining coconut on a baking sheet. Toast for 4-5 minutes stirring periodically. Do not walk away. Cool completely.
- In a medium size mixing bowl using an electric mixer, whip together the cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth, Mix-in the crushed pineapple and ⅓ of the whipped topping by hand. Spread over the cooled crust.
- In the same bowl, whip together the pudding mix and milk until thickened but pourable. Pour evenly over the pineapple layer.
- Frost the top with the remaining whipped topping. Garnish with toasted coconut and maraschino cherries.
- Chill for 4 hours to set.
- Store leftovers chilled.