Luscious Lemon-Coconut Bars

September 20, 2013
Luscious Lemon-Coconut Bars are the lemon bars we love, sprinkled with the fabulous addition of sweetened flaked coconut.  It's truly a taste combination made in heaven.

Lemon-Coconut Bars Image

While I was editing the photos for these Lemon-Coconut Bars, elaborate descriptive phrases about them kept running through my mind.  Things like:

... they make me think of bright rays of sunshine speckled with coconut snowflakes ...

... they're as yellow as the high noon sun on a clear summer day ...


... these beautiful bars are bright and happy like big yellow smiley faces ...

Why, you ask?

Luscious Lemon-Coconut Bars are the lemon bars we love, sprinkled with the fabulous addition of sweetened flaked coconut.

Well, because school is back in full swing and I've been working with my little second graders on descriptive writing.  Trying desperately to move them along from writing things like, "The grass is green.  I like the grass."

And I do that by brainstorming all kinds of crazy ways to describe things with them.  I get all over-dramatic and take words they come up with and turn them into elaborate, flowery descriptive phrases to get them started in the descriptive groove.

So the other day I brought in these chocolate-striped cookies for them to describe.

Food always gets my students going with creative excitement! ... and they really got into coming up with fabulous phrases about these cookies to help create a picture in their readers' minds.  It was so fun to watch them. 

Here are a few of my favorite descriptive phrases my students came up with about the striped cookies:

... the chocolate makes me think of zebra stripes ...

... the chocolate stripes are like the waves in the ocean ...

... the sprinkles are the color of fall leaves swirling and twirling to the ground ...

... the cookie shape makes me think of a Ferris wheel at the county fair, and the sprinkles are people riding it around and around ...

Okay, that last one about the Ferris wheel truly about made me cry in a good way.  It's the stuff teachers' dreams are made of.

Stack of Lemon-Coconut Bars Image

And so, descriptive phrases about these delightful Lemon-Coconut Bars continued to run through my head the entire time I worked with the photos.

... little bites of lemon and coconut confetti ...

... luscious lemon jewels ...

... colors like bright morning sunshine peeking over the horizon ...

... so moist and delicious, they melt in your mouth like butter on a warm pancake ...

Or, according to my husband ...

... the texture of honeycomb and the taste of sunshine wrapped up in one delicious little pastry...  

Okay, not too bad for his first attempt at 2nd grade descriptive writing!

But no matter how you describe these tasty little Lemon-Coconut Bars, the fact of the matter is -- they're just plain good.

Crust for Lemon-Coconut Bars Image

Making a batch of Lemon-Coconut Bars is just as easy as making regular lemon bars.

To get started on a pan, line the bottom and sides of a 9x9-inch square baking pan with foil, leaving about a 1 to 2 inch overhang on each side of the pan.  This creates what's a called a "sling."

Then mix together some flour, sugar, and butter to make a crust.  Partially bake the crust for about 20 minutes.

Pouring Filling for Lemon-Coconut Bars Image

Then mix up the lemon filling with a combination of fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, eggs, and a little flour -- just as you would with traditional lemon bars.  Except in this version there's one key addition -- coconut.

This lemon-coconut version of lemon bars gets a full 1 & 1/2 cups of sweetened flaked coconut mixing into the filling.  Which brings these bars fabulous coconut flavor.

Pour the lemon-coconut filling in the crust, and then bake it up.

Lemon-Coconut Bars Baked and Ready to Cut Image

The result are deliciously luscious lemon bars, speckled all over with sweetened coconut.  And it's a truly fabulous taste combination, for sure.

No matter how you describe them.

Cutting Lemon-Coconut Bars Image
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lemon bars recipe, lemon bars with coconut recipe, lemon coconut bars
Cookies & Bars
Yield: about 12-16 bars

Luscious Lemon-Coconut Bars

Luscious Lemon-Coconut Bars

Luscious Lemon-Coconut Bars are the lemon bars we love, sprinkled with the fabulous addition of sweetened flaked coconut. It's truly a taste combination made in heaven.
Prep time: 30 MCook time: 50 MTotal time: 80 M


For the Crust:
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. butter, softened
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
For the Filling:
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 T. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. grated lemon peel
  • 3 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 c. sweetened flaked coconut


For the Crust:
  1. Line the bottom and sides of a 9" square baking pan with foil, leaving about a 1 to 2 inch overhang on each side of the pan (you'll use the foil overhang to lift the baked squares out of the pan). Lightly spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Mix the flour and sugar together in a small mixing bowl. Cut the butter into chunks; add butter to the flour mixture and cut in until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. 
  3. Press evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. 
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
For the Filling:
  1. Beat together the eggs, sugar, flour, and lemon juice with an electric mixer until well blended. With the mixer on low speed, add the lemon peel and coconut; beat until just blended. 
  2. Spread the lemon mixture over the partially-baked crust.
  3. Bake for an additional 25-30 minutes until set and the edges are lightly golden brown. Cool completely in the pan.
  4. When cooled, use the foil overhang to lift the bars from the pan. Place on a cutting board, peel the foil away from the edges, and cut into small bars with a sharp knife.
  5. Dust with a light sprinkling of confectioners' sugar, if you'd like.
Created using The Recipes Generator


  1. These Lemon Coconut Bars are 2 of my sons favorite ingredients! Will definitely have to make these!

  2. These lemon bars are so pretty, no wonder descriptive phrases danced through your head! Food is an amazing writing motivator. It awakes the senses. Many years ago I did a poetry lesson with my 5th/6th graders using an orange. Then recently, decades later, I was at a food writers workshop on descriptive writing and the speaker handed us each an orange and asked us to open it up and describe it! It made me smile because I hadn't thought about that long ago lesson in forever. :) We are all little sprinkles on the ferris wheel of life aren't we? I love it. Thanks for sharing the recipe AND the phrases!

  3. Awe, I love their descriptive words. That is way too cute! This recipe seriously looks yummy and you are SO right, they make me think of bright rays of sunshine too. I am going to have to make these soon. Thanks for sharing the recipe, Tracey.

    I’d love it if you linked this up over at Living Well Spending Less for Thrifty Thursday this week!

  4. Wow, this one looks really delicious. Nice blog, guys. Keep up the good work!

  5. Ooo, the coconut is a nice twist!

  6. These look so beautiful! Your food photography is spot on. I'm also a teacher so I can totally relate to wanting to connect lessons in the classroom with the blog. Thank you so much for this perfect summery recipe!

  7. Lemon and Coconut is such a great combination. And these bars sound so delicious. Thanks for sharing x

  8. Oh! These look so yummy! I haven't had a lemon bar in forever. Thanks for joining us for Friday Favorites. I'm featuring you this week.

  9. Can't wait to make these Tracey!
    Thank you for sharing your luscious lemon coconut bars at Create, Bake, Grow & Gather this week. I'm delighted to be featuring this recipe at tonight's party and pinning too.

  10. My 5yo son asks for these all the time! I’m too lazy to measure the lemon zest/juice, so I just use two lemons and it’s very lemony. Also, I tried the crust with coconut oil instead of butter and it’s a nice touch!


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