Last Updated on April 10, 2022 by Chenée Lewis
Easy pineapple bars with cream cheese and pecan shortbread crust, pecan crumb topping, and brown butter coconut icing! These pineapple bars with coconut drizzle are so decadent! If you like these pineapple cheesecake bars, check out my Confetti Cheesecake Bar Recipe, my Blueberry Cream Cheese Bars, and my Banana Pudding Cheesecake Squares!
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Pineapple Bars with Coconut Drizzle
These pineapple cheesecake bars are SO incredible. They were the unanimous winner at our family Thanksgiving bake-off, and that's pretty tough competition, just sayin'. They truly are layered perfection! They bring together so many flavors and textures:
- Shortbread crust and crumb topping -- this easy shortbread is full of buttery pecans and comes together in just a couple of minutes! I love a double-duty crust and crumb layer!
- Pineapple cheesecake layer -- we'll fill these pineapple bars with cream cheese filling -- such a delicious combination.
- Brown butter coconut icing -- maybe my favorite part! Brown butter and coconut go together so well, and the coconut flavor comes from naturally-flavored coconut extract. It's the perfect complement to the pineapple cream cheese layer!
Ingredients for Pineapple Cream Cheese Bars
Pecan Shortbread Crust/Topping
- all-purpose flour - I would recommend weighing it out with a food scale to make sure you're measuring accurately. Otherwise, make sure you use the "spoon-and-level" method to make sure that you don't accidentally use too much flour.
- granulated sugar - adds some sweetness to our shortbread crust and crumb topping!
- salted butter - helps to bring the shortbread together, and adds a fantastic buttery flavor.
- chopped pecans - I love what pecans add to this crust and crumb topping! For this recipe, I just used some bagged chopped pecans.
Pineapple Cheesecake Filling
- softened cream cheese - your cream cheese should definitely be room temperature. Just let it sit out for at least an hour, or you can remove it from the foil and heat it in the microwave for 20 seconds.
- white sugar - boosts the sweetness of the pineapple.
- eggs - helps the filling to set nicely.
- pure vanilla extract - gives the bars that classic cheesecake flavor. I like this one.
- crushed pineapple - that's how we get all that yummy pineapple flavor and texture! It's so easy and delicious.
Brown Butter Coconut Icing
- cubed salted butter - used to make brown butter, which gives this icing an amazingly rich, nutty flavor!
- powdered sugar - adds to the texture and sweetness of the icing and helps it set.
- whole milk - helps to thin out the icing so that it can be drizzled.
- coconut extract - gives the frosting that boost of coconut flavor, perfect to complement the pineapple in the cheesecake! I used this one.
This pineapple cheesecake bars recipe is very straightforward, so you won't need any special tools. First, you'll need your 9x13 pan, of course, and a mixing tool like a hand mixer or stand mixer. Also, make sure you have a light-colored sauté pan in which to brown your butter, so that you can easily see when it's done and so it doesn't burn. Another crucial tool is parchment paper, which as I mention below will help you remove your bars from the pan easily!
How to Make Coconut Pineapple Bars, Step by Step
Now that you've got your ingredients and equipment, you're ready to make these pineapple cheesecake bars! Here are the steps you'll follow:
- To make your crust/topping, combine your flour, sugar, butter, and pecans and then reserve some to chill in the fridge for later.
- Press your remaining topping mixture into the bottom of your prepared 9x13 pan and blind bake in your preheated oven.
- Whip together your cheesecake ingredients, starting with getting the cream cheese nice and smooth. Then mix in your drained crushed pineapple, sugar, eggs, and vanilla and spread the cheesecake mixture onto the baked crust.
- Top with your reserved shortbread crumbs and bake!
- While it's cooling, brown your butter for the icing, and then mix it with your icing mixture. Drizzle the icing over your cooled bars.
Tips and F.A.Q.
I include instructions in the recipe card below, and you can also see my post on how to brown butter for detailed steps and images of the process of browning butter. For this recipe, I'd recommend browning salted butter for the most flavor.
Line the pan with parchment!. To make sure you can easily remove bars from the pan to aid in slicing, be sure to line the bottom and sides of your 9x13 pan with parchment paper. I like to cut two strips that hang over the sides to make it even easier.
For dessert bars in general, it helps if they're fully solidified before you try to slice them, so that the cuts are nice and clean. Another great way to get clean cuts is to run your knife under the faucet before each cut!
Once fully cooled, the bars can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week, or wrapped well and frozen for up to 3 months.
Crushed pineapple is canned pineapple that is cut into very small pieces and stored in its own juice. It's available in most supermarkets in the canned fruit section, or you can get it online!
You sure can! You may want to crush them a bit yourself with a potato masher to create a better texture in your pineapple cheesecake layer.
More Delicious Pineapple Recipes
Equipment you may need
Pecan Shortbread Crust/Topping
Pineapple Cheesecake Filling
- Preheat your oven to 350 °F. Line an ungreased 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang for easy removal.
- Combine the flour, granulated sugar, butter, and pecans until well combined and crumbly. Remove ⅓ of the mixture and set into refrigerator to chill while you prepare the filling.1½ cups all-purpose flour, ¾ cup granulated sugar, ¾ cup salted butter, ½ cup chopped pecans
- Press the remaining shortbread mixture into your prepared pan. Set aside.
Prepare filling & bake
- Beat the cream cheese until smooth, then add in the granulated sugar, egg and vanilla. Stir in the drained pineapple. Spread over the shortbread crust.8 oz cream cheese, 2 tablespoon granulated sugar, 1 large egg, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, 8 oz crushed pineapple
- Crumble reserved shortbread mixture over cheesecake layer. Cover the pan with aluminum foil.
- Bake, covered, for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 20-25 minutes or until the crumb topping is golden brown. Allow to cool completely before adding icing.
- To brown the butter, slice the butter and melt it in a light-colored sauté pan over medium high heat. Once it starts to foam up, whisk it constantly and watch for brown solids at the bottom of the pan. It should just take a few minutes.3 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Once the milk solids are a deep golden brown and you smell a nutty aroma, remove from heat immediately and pour the browned butter into a medium heat-proof bowl, scraping the brown bits in as well. Allow to cool.
- In a bowl, whisk together browned butter, powdered sugar, milk, and coconut extract. If needed, add more confectioners’ sugar to thicken or more milk to thin out. Drizzle over cooled pineapple bars, allow to set, then cut into squares.¾ cup powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon whole milk, 1 teaspoon coconut extract
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