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Pineapple Coconut Chess Bars

Perfectly gooey with the delightful combination of crushed pineapple and flaked coconut these Pineapple Coconut Chess Bars are the perfect handheld sweet treat that everyone will love.

easy-pineapple-coconut-chess-bars

Easy Pineapple Coconut Chess Bars Recipe

What’s the difference between chess bars and gooey butter cake? In short, very little. The only variation of note is often chess bars have a bit more mix-in ingredients in the filling than a standard gooey butter cake. Gooey butter cakes made this way have been rotating through Southern kitchens for eons. They’re made with a cake mix foundation and transformed into a variety of flavor combinations. Chess bars are the same concept and they use many of the very same ingredients as well as the technique for assembling the layers. This recipe is for chess bars  or another name, chess squares. No matter what they’re called, it all spells delicious.  How to make Pineapple Coconut Chess Bars: (Scroll down for full printable recipe.)

  • Prepare Pan – Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spritz a 13×9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside. 
  • Crust – Beat together the cake mix, melted butter and large egg. Press onto the bottom of the baking dish.
  • Filling – In the same mixing bowl beat together the cream cheese, powdered sugar. remaining melted butter and vanilla.
  • Eggs – Add 3 large eggs. Continue to beat for 2 minutes until creamy and fluffy.
  • Combine -Mix in the crushed pineapple and flaked coconut by hand. Pour over the cake mix crust.
  • Transfer to Oven – Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the center still “jiggles” when gently shaken. Cool in pan on a cooling rack to room temperature before cutting into bars.
Pineapple Coconut Chess Bars

How to Make the Best Pineapple Coconut Chess Bars Recipe

This chess bar recipe features gooey squares of  island inspired deliciousness. The beauty of this kind of dessert is, that bakers of all skill levels can make them since they require only simple ingredients to make. The only challenge is not to over bake them. When chess bars are done, they will still have a “jiggle in the middle” when gently shaken. As they cool, they’ll setup and should be allowed to cool completely before you attempt to cut into bars.

  • Ingredients you’ll need to make Pineapple Coconut Chess Bars: One box yellow cake mix, butter, large eggs, cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla extract crushed pineapple and sweetened flaked coconut.
  • You’ll need a large mixing bowl and a hand mixer or a stand mixer to combine the ingredients together. It wouldn’t be effective to try and do it by hand or using a whisk.
  • It’s important to fully drain the crushed pineapple before adding to the filling.
  • This bar recipe starts with a cake mix, eggs and melted butter base. Use a mixer to combine them together then press the cake mixture onto the bottom of the prepared baking dish or pan.
  • Use a mixer, either a stand mixer or a hand mixer to blend the cream cheese, powdered sugar, eggs, melted butter. (yes there’s more!) Mix in the crushed pineapple and coconut by hand. Pour this over the cake mix bottom layer already pressed into the pan. While baking, the two layers magically combine to form gooey chess bars.
  • It’s important not to overbake. When the center still has a little movement when the pan is gently shaken, that’s a sign that they’re done.
  • Store leftover pineapple coconut chess bars chilled in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Pineapple Coconut Chess Bars

Other Southern Style Chess Bars Recipes to Make

Whether you call them chess bars or gooey butter cake the end result is always delicious. More gooey butter cake recipes you may like to try:

how-to-make-pineapple-coconut-bars

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Helpful Kitchen Items:

Pineapple Coconut Chess Bars

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Cooling Time3 hours
Total Time4 hours 5 minutes
Course: Cakes, Dessert
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: pineapple-coconut-chess-bars
Servings: 30 servings
Calories: 178kcal
Author: Melissa Sperka

Ingredients

  • 1 15.25 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup butter melted separately
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 8 oz cans crushed pineapple well drained
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spritz a 13 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside. 
  • In a large bowl use an electric mixer to beat together the cake mix, 1/2 cup melted butter and 1 large egg until fully moistened. Press onto the bottom of the baking dish.
  • In the same mixing bowl,beat together the cream cheese, powdered sugar. remaining 1/2 cup of melted butter and vanilla.
  • Add 3 large eggs. Continue to beat for 2 minutes until creamy and fluffy.
  • Mix in the crushed pineapple and flaked coconut by hand. Pour over the cake mix crust.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the center still "jiggles" when gently shaken. Cool in pan on a cooling rack to room temperature before cutting into bars.
  • Store leftovers chilled or upo to 5 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 178kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 200mg | Potassium: 39mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 225IU | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @melissassk or tag #melissassk!

46 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is EXCELLENT! I followed it exactly as written. I cooked for 40 minutes. At the end, I turned the broiler on and brushed the top with a little butter and browned for 5 minutes with the oven rack set mid-level. Don’t walk away from the broiler. Mine look just like the picture!!! My family LOVES THEM!!! This is definitely in my keeper file.

    1. I’ve not made this recipe without the pineapple as it’s a major ingredient. That said, you likely could leave it out, if you must. I can’t attest first-hand how it will turn out, though. if you try it, let us know how it goes.

      1. Yes, it’s right. Crushed pineapple often comes in a 20 ounce can which is too much. If you can find a 15 ounce can that will work, of course.

  2. 5 stars
    This is soooo good! My whole family of 6 loves it! Thanks so much for the recipe!
    I couldn’t find a 15oz can of crushed pineapple, only 8 or 20. I could’ve bought two 8s to be close to 15, but I already had two 20s in the pantry. So I used one of those. I just drained it and weighed what was left and used 3/4 of it. I hate to waste the rest of it… I’ll find some way to use it.
    I used neufchatel cheese, which is the same as cream cheese but with 1/3 less fat. I use it in recipes all the time and you can’t even tell the difference. It’s great!

    1. I think you could just be certain you cool them completely before wrapping to freeze and thaw them in the refrigerator.

  3. My crust looks nothing like the pictures. It looks more like slightly moistened sand…pressed it into the pan but dont think its going to come out. I feel one stick of butter and one egg is not enough moisture for a whole cake mix. ????

    1. I assure you it is. The butter should be melted and mixed into the cake mix, it sounds as if perhaps you cut it into the cake mix. Chess bars also known as gooey butter cakes all begin this way no matter the flavor. It works every time.

  4. In the recipe it says 1 stick of melted butter added to the cake mixture but then it says to add remaining 1 stick of butter to the cream cheese mixture but the recipe only calls for 1 stick of melted butter divided so how much is suppose to go in each mixture

  5. These do look delicious! Once again , I have coconut in the house, I buy it when its on sale, but I can never decide what to do with it. There are so many desserts to choose from! This looks like somthing my family will like , I know I will! Thanks Melissa!

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