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Coconut Dream Bars

Coconut Dream Bars. A decades old favourite recipe that’s super easy to make and the perfect treat for coconut and chocolate lovers. Freezer friendly for the Holidays too!

Close up photo of stacked Coconut Dream Bars

Coconut Dream Bars. Oh so easy to make!

Today’s new coconut dream bars is another old fashioned throwback recipe. I remember them as a very commonly made cookie treat growing up in Newfoundland in the 70’s and 80’s.

Like our Lemon Crumble Bars and Five Star Bars, these were also quite commonly available at local bakeries and supermarkets. Perhaps they still are. It has been a long time since I purchased cookie bars from a bakery.

Coconut Dream Bars close up photo of one cookie on a wooden cutting board

Oh so easy to make!

If I recall correctly, this was also a recipe that was featured on the label of good old Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk. Not having many actual cookbooks in the house growing up, we were always grateful for any source of new ideas.

Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed milk label stock photo

Childhood food nostalgia.

Like I’ve written about before in our Chocolate Lamingtons recipe, this was one of those cookie treats that were commonly made for baby and wedding showers. The communal effort of all the ladies contributing baked goods to such events, always ended up in a surplus of treats at the end of the evening.

As a kind of ritual, everyone would bring home samples of the evening’s treats, from the ample supplies of leftovers. It was sort of an unofficial cookie exchange, long before those were popular around here.

Desiccated coconut in white ceramic bowl.

Fine cut dried (desiccated) unsweetened coconut is the type to use in this recipe.

I remember my siblings and I waited in eager anticipation for Mom to return from any such shower, carrying the same Tupperware container she left with, but filled with a cornucopia of Date Crumbles, Snowballs and other sweet morsels.

(It’s also where Spouse and I developed an affinity for day old, white bread egg sandwiches. We still think they are better left overnight in a plastic container if the bread is fresh. We still make them a day in advance sometimes, just for a nostalgic lunch.)

The center conconut layer being added to Coconut Dream bars before baking.

The center layer is so easy, just mix and bake

Coconut Dream Bars, a winning combination of flavours.

As many readers know, I will always chose  a cookie bar with a graham crumb base first, every time. My daughter Olivia is exactly the same. I’ve joked before that she could be served just the graham crumb base quite happily.

Bake until the coconut layer is only lightly browned around the edges

Bake until the coconut layer is only lightly browned around the edges.

Coconut and chocolate, of course have long been great friends. Chocolate Coconut Balls are always a big hit here, particularly around Christmas time. This recipe is taking that idea and slipping in a buttery graham crumb bottom.

That’s 3 of our family favourites in one. No wonder they disappear so fast.

Adding the melted chocolate to the top layer.

The finishing touch.

Everyone needs simple recipes like this from time to time, so go ahead and whip up a quick batch to enjoy yourself, and  of course, to keep on hand in the Holiday freezer at this time of year. 

Overhead shot of chocolate on the finished Coconut Dream Bars

Use any kind of chocolate chips you like.

If you are looking for more recipes like this, we have gathered a collection of our Most Popular Christmas Recipes of the past 14 years.

Best Christmas Baking Recipes photo collage 

Like this Coconut Dream Bars recipe?

Be sure to browse the photo index of over 200 cookie and cookie bar recipes is in our expansive Cookies Category.

Coconut Dream Bars on a wooden cutting board with title text added for Pinterest

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Coconut Dream Bars pictured stacked on a pink and white plate with title text added for Pinterest 2

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Close up photo of stacked Coconut Dream Bars
Yield: 24 cookie bars

Coconut Dream Bars

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Coconut Dream Bars. A decades old favourite recipe that's super easy to make and the perfect treat for coconut and chocolate lovers. Freezer friendly for the Holidays too!


  • 2 cups graham wafer crumbs (or digestive biscuit crumbs)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (300ml in Canada, 14 oz in the US)
  • 2 cups unsweetened dried coconut (dessicated coconut)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups chocolate chips
  • 3 tbsp butter or whipping cream


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. Grease a 9x9 inch baking pan and line it with parchment paper.
  3. Melt the 1/2 cup of butter and mix together with the Graham crumbs and sugar.
  4. Press the crumb mixture firmly into the bottom of the pan.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes.
  6. While the bottom layer is baking, stir together the sweetened milk, coconut & vanilla extract.
  7. Spread the coconut mixture evenly over the previously baked graham crust layer.

Coconut Dream Bars, second bake.

  1. Bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until the edges just start to turn brown. Be careful not to overbake or the cookie bars will be too dry.
  2. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely in the pan.
  3. When cool, melt together the chocolate chips  and butter (or whipping cream).
  4. Spread evenly over the cooled coconut layer and let stand for an hour or so for the chocolate to set.
  5. Cut in squares and enjoy.
  6. These cookie bars are very freezer friendly for Holiday baking or just to keep on hand for a dessert or sweet treat at any time.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 196Total Fat 11gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 8mgSodium 64mgCarbohydrates 25gFiber 2gSugar 19gProtein 3g

The nutritional information provided is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only. Exact accuracy is not guaranteed. For recipes where all ingredients may not be used entirely, such as those with coatings on meats, or with sauces or dressings for example, calorie & nutritional values per serving will likely be somewhat lower than indicated.

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Jean Aylward

Tuesday 8th of December 2020

My bars didn’t come out as high as yours unless you doubled the recipe. Have to try an 8x8 pan the next time.

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