It’s pie month, so I made you some Coconut Cream Pie Bars!
Coconut Cream Pie Bars
Occasionally someone considering adopting a turtle will ask me if Squirt, my red-eared slider, is difficult to care for. Now listen. I love that turtle so much it hurts. I wouldn’t trade him for the world. He has the biggest personality and brings me tons of joy.
AND HE IS A RIDICULOUS AMOUNT OF TROUBLE. So whenever someone asks me that question, I have to pause, take a deep breath, and begin at the beginning…
Squirt was a rescue turtle, and I don’t feel it’s ethical to adopt turtles any other way — those cute quarter turtles you see for sale are often mistreated and sold illegally. Since they’re marketed to impulse buyers who don’t know how to care for them, they often live short lives in tiny enclosures. It’s just cruel, y’all. Don’t buy turtles.
But Squirt was a rescue. Someone who hadn’t done a lick of research (it’s ironic that I’m being judgy about that; you’ll see why) adopted him and then, upon realizing he might carry salmonella, was going to abandon him in a lake where he wasn’t native and would have summarily killed everything or been killed.
My friend intervened and fostered him. She knew I couldn’t have furry pets in my apartment, so she suggested I adopt him. “They’re so easy,” she assured me. “He needs hardly anything.” I did no research. I trusted her completely, got a big ol’ tupperware for his first tank, and brought him home.
“Hardly anything” turned out to be a $200 filter (followed by a $300 filter when that one quit, followed by another $200 filter when that one quit), a $70 lamp (replaced every 6 months), $8 food (replaced every few weeks), water vacuums, water dechlorinator, hundreds of dollars of water bills, exotic vet bills, and the pièce de résistance, a 140-gallon aquarium. The aquarium alone would’ve cost thousands of dollars had I not purchased it from a slightly confused dude on Craigslist. He seemed to realize at the last minute that $300 was a ridiculously low price, but by that time I was loadin’ it into my dad’s truck with a peppy, “THANKS! BYE NOW!”
That’s the financial part, but not the whole story. The whole story includes mucky water, day-long water changes, turtle health scares. The whole story includes discovering a giant purple THING protruding from your turtle and sobbing, googling for emergency exotic vet care, only to discover that that nightmarish THING is his PENIS. Stop making fun of me. GO GOOGLE TURTLE PENISES RIGHT THIS SECOND. So disturbing.
The whole story also includes The Filter.
I don’t know what kind of sadist invented aquarium filters. They come to you in around 8 billion pieces and directions that look like a preschooler’s crayola experiment. Imagine trying to put together a piece of Ikea furniture, only you have a few missing parts and a few extra parts. And you’re drunk. And blind. And dead.
Once you finally get a filter put together, they never work. They just don’t. You call some strange man who is apparently customer service for the entire company and he acts like you’re stupid because you have a turtle instead of fish. Everyone knows filters only work for fish. You finally get the filter working through some magical acrobatics only to have the power flicker at midnight about a week later. The filter stops. You sob in the floor for a few hours. You try to recreate the aforementioned acrobatics and prime the pump with a teensy lever for around two hours before your finger falls off. Your roommate wisely stays locked in her room. Your then-boyfriend drives over to scrape you off the floor and change the water bucket-by-bucket (did I mention the tank was 140 gallons?) You later marry that man and throw that filter in the dumpster.
The next filter — the most expensive one you could buy, because you assumed that one would probably work — does the exact same thing. You recreate the above scenario in a new apartment with a new strange customer service guy at a new crappy company. You threaten to throw the filter and yourself over the balcony. Facebook friends only just talk you back from the brink. You throw that filter in the dumpster too.
Finally, you buy the cheapest filter on the market (Rena). It just works. You thank God every time you change its media and it starts again. But now you’re in a new apartment with no water pressure and surprise! Your water vacuum doesn’t work. You hate everyone and everything and move to a cave in Asia to become an ascetic monk.
Okay. The point is: don’t get a turtle. Or, really, the point is: get one if you’re going to go through everything above and still LOVE seeing your turtle swim happily to you every day, greet you when you get home, and refuse to bite you no matter how annoying you are. Rescue a turtle if you’re going to change his filter media, buy him an appropriate tank, and relish watching him run away from his giant dog-monster of a sister. DON’T get a turtle. DO get a turtle. I don’t know. Just be prepared. Really do your homework. Only rescue, don’t buy. And above all, don’t be one of those people trying to get rid of your turtle in a lake once he outgrows his cute quarter stage.
And don’t try to give him to me. I’ve got my hands full.
. . .
Squirt and I holding hands. No snark about my Christmas nightgown.
Easier than a turtle: these coconut cream pie bars. They’re also tastier, too, I’d wager. Indeed, they are HEAVENLY: creamy coconut, a cloud of whipped cream, and a buttery shortbread crust. It doesn’t get better than this for a coconut fan. Enjoy!
One year ago: Bailey’s Hazelnut Chocolate Tiramisu
Two years ago: Chocolate & Coconut Cream Pie Bars
Three years ago: Bright, Fun Blackberry Trifle
Four years ago: Vegan Pumpkin Nut Bread
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 3 cups half-and-half
- 3 cups coconut milk
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 2/3 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cup flaked coconut
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon cold water (for stabilizing)
- 1 teaspoon gelatin (for stabilizing)
- 3-4 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 cup coconut, for toasting
- Make shortbread crust: Preheat your oven to 350°F. Prepare a 9 x 13 in. baking dish with a foil sling (I use one long sheet across the length of my dish, and two overlapping short sheets across the width of my dish — just arrange it so that it has some overlap and overhang to help you pull the bars out after they’re finished). Cut the butter into the flour and powdered sugar and press into the baking dish (I used a food processor to cut the fat into the flour — about 6-10 pulses — and then the bottom of a glass to press the mixture into the pan). Bake 18-20 minutes or until light brown. Set on a wire rack.
- Toast coconut for the topping: Spread about 1 cup of the coconut flakes out on a baking sheet and bake in the oven along with your shortbread crust for 3-6 minutes, stirring every minute or so, until the coconut is golden brown. Spread it out on a plate to cool completely.
- Make coconut cream filling: Combine the half-and-half, coconut milk, eggs, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a large saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium-low heat, whisking constantly until it’s thick and bubbling (this can take anywhere from 15-30 minutes. Just do it. It’s worth it.) Add coconut and vanilla extracts and the 1 1/2 cups of untoasted coconut and stir. Pour this filling over your cooled crust, letting it cool for a bit on the counter before sticking the whole thing in the fridge to chill until firm, about 2 to 4 hours.
- Make whipped cream topping: Put 1 tablespoon cold water in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the top. Let it soften for 2 minutes before microwaving it for 30 seconds and whisking to dissolve the gelatin. Using a chilled bowl and beater, whisk the 2 cups of heavy cream and powdered sugar together until the cream forms stiff peaks, stopping to add gelatin mixture about halfway through. Dollop the cream over your bars and gently spread it around. Sprinkle on toasted coconut. Chill until ready to serve to let the whipped cream set up. Use the sling to pull the bars out of the dish, slice with a sharp knife, and enjoy!
161 Comments on Coconut Cream Pie Bars
2Pingbacks & Trackbacks on Coconut Cream Pie Bars
[…] These bars and the photography skills to go with them would be an amazing enhancement to my Wednesday! […]
[…] Coconut Cream Pie Bars […]
lynn @ the actor's dietMarch 1, 2014 at 10:46 pm (9 years ago)
I wanted a turtle so badly my entire childhood after reading Judy Blume’s “Tales of a 4th grade Nothing.” I finally bought one for myself in college, my freshman year (they were illegal in NJ where I grew up). Unfortunately, a prefrosh wound up killing my turtle (long story) but the 9 months I had her were glorious – though difficult! Scrubbing your hands before/after everything, cleaning that aquarium, etc. are too much for a busy college student.
Fran@fransfavs.comMarch 1, 2014 at 10:52 pm (9 years ago)
Julie, I can’t even begin to tell you how much I enjoyed reading this post. I am still smiling and expect I will for the remainder of the evening. Your coconut cream pie bars do, indeed, look amazing. Didn’t realize that I could smile and drool at the same time!
Kate cMarch 1, 2014 at 10:54 pm (9 years ago)
Oh my gosh, that is the most adorable story EVER!!! You should do a survey of how many readers actually googled turtle penises…as I am going to do out of basic curiosity after typing this. My brother went through a similar animal rescue situation with a bunny. He was fostering it for the shelter. It came to them with a broken hind leg. My bro had to try to keep said bunny from hopping…which never worked out well. After 5 (seriously) surgeries (thankfully, paid for by the shelter), bunny got the bad leg amputated…and now lives blissfully with my brother, sister in law, and two kitty sisters…bouncing around, albeit a bit lopsidedly. Rescue pets are the best!!!
HollyMarch 2, 2014 at 1:07 am (9 years ago)
I’m surprised you didn’t mention how long turtles live. They can live 30+ years, so they really are a long-term investment. We started with five baby red-eared sliders in a 5-gallon aquarium which led to a 20-gallon tank and eventually a backyard pond. I never used a filter but changed the water often. The pond has a huge filter, though, and a heater so they don’t have to hibernate in the winter. We have a total of 12 turtles now, not because they reproduced, but because we were given a lot of turtles that people got tired of taking care of.
momzeeMay 4, 2016 at 11:46 am (7 years ago)
Can you please take my turtle? I’d love for him to have such a wonderful home as you have described, we just can’t provide that for him. He’s doing well in a 75 gallon aquarium, but a pond sounds so much more fun, along with some friends. We struggle with taking proper care of him sometimes, busy family with 2 kids, and we work full time.I just wish he could have better.
Julie RubleMay 4, 2016 at 12:33 pm (7 years ago)
I’m sure he loves his home with you! If you do decide to rehome, look for a reputable reptile rescue in your area and they can help. Definitely don’t release into local ponds or bodies of water, since turtles can devastate the local ecosystem or meet a cruel fate themselves when they are nonnative or have been raised in captivity. Reptile rescues can definitely help him find the perfect fit if you feel you can’t care for him!
MiriamMarch 2, 2014 at 5:19 am (9 years ago)
Best story on a blog post EVER. The coconut cream pie bars look heavenly and will be made, but coming in 2nd place to that story 🙂 Gee, I wonder if the chick who hated reading through all the “stuff” will pin this one? I wonder if she will Google Turtle Penises? Thanks for starting of my Sunday off right!
Coco @ Opera Girl CooksMarch 2, 2014 at 3:37 pm (9 years ago)
God bless you and your turtle, Julie. I am reading this in a cafe, wishing I were in the privacy of my own home so I could google turtle penises. Dangit.
CatproMarch 2, 2014 at 4:12 pm (9 years ago)
Best blog story I’ve ever read and I have my favorite dessert – coconut cream pie – to thank once again. Will be following you from now on for future updates, Julie.
cheriMarch 3, 2014 at 9:53 am (9 years ago)
What a sweet story. Love the coconut bars!
dinaMarch 3, 2014 at 10:30 am (9 years ago)
it looks delicious!
Vickie H.March 3, 2014 at 2:37 pm (9 years ago)
I adore a great rescue story! What a blessing for Squirt that you care so much and have repeatedly taken the necessary steps to provide him with good quality of life! Kudos to you! And I can’t wait to make the Coconut Pie Bars! Look SCRUMPTIOUS!!!
Laura DembowskiMarch 3, 2014 at 3:47 pm (9 years ago)
I think most pets are a lot of work, but worth it because of the joy they give in return. I would be willing to do any amount of work for these bars – they are perfection!
Jennifer | Bake or BreakMarch 3, 2014 at 3:48 pm (9 years ago)
These bars look so good! I love coconut anything!
Tracy | Peanut Butter and OnionMarch 4, 2014 at 1:48 pm (9 years ago)
I had no idea they were they much trouble. But like with most pets, they always seem to be worth the trouble, Great cake!
Jenny @ BAKEMarch 8, 2014 at 3:03 am (9 years ago)
Wow that’s a lot of work! it makes having a dog sound easy! This post had me laughing at my screen and reading portions to my boyfriend. And on top of that these coconut bars look incredible!
Donna BarstowMarch 12, 2014 at 1:52 am (9 years ago)
I was looking at dessert blogs to see how big the images are (yours are the biggest!) and had no idea I’d come across a post on turtles with photos of pies!
I had turtles when I was little (when they were legal), and then bought one myself after college (illegally). They’ve done good research on food now, to keep them alive. And in the LA sun, mine kept growing and growing and growing…I finally gave him to someone who had a backyard pond for him. He was very smart, and now I wonder if I did the right thing…but otherwise I had to keep putting him in the bathtub…and then change the water.
MyraMarch 17, 2014 at 6:52 am (9 years ago)
Hilarious! I loved the pictures of treats interspersed throughout the turtle tale! (seriously going to make those)
We have a rescue tortoise, and you’re absolutely right- they have HUGE personalities! I never would’ve dreamed our Thor would have such a wide variety of expressions, much less be so lovable!
But yeah, those vet bills… Yeesh.
Thanks for the laugh! Turtle Peen: A great way to start the day. 😀
KarenMarch 28, 2014 at 5:11 am (9 years ago)
Could you please tell me how to make half and half we dont have that inAustralia.
Julie RubleMarch 28, 2014 at 8:10 am (9 years ago)
Sure, it’s just one part milk to one part cream. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Half_and_half Enjoy 🙂
NadiaMay 6, 2016 at 10:04 pm (7 years ago)
If the filter ever stops get a hammer and gently tap upward on the motor from the bottom. It will start working. Had fish for years and couldn’t afford to get new filters every time an outage happened.
CindyMay 30, 2016 at 12:39 pm (7 years ago)
Can you freeze these delicious coconut bars?
Julie RubleMay 30, 2016 at 12:51 pm (7 years ago)
I wouldn’t think they’d hold up well because of the pastry cream and whipped cream, unfortunately!
Linda SlabyMarch 28, 2014 at 10:05 am (9 years ago)
I came to this site because of the yummy looking Coconut Cream bars…… the next thing I know I’m lost in
a cute story about a rescue turtle! Thanks so much for a great resipes and wonderful story.
I can’t wait to try your other resipes because they all look terrific!
Denise WisleyJune 4, 2016 at 9:15 pm (7 years ago)
I totally agree!! I was scrolling through Pinterest (June 2016) & saw a to-die-for photo of something I’d never heard of, “Coconut Cream Pie Bars” and immediately wanted to get intructions & ingredients on how to make them. Next thing I know, I find myself intensely immersed into a story about a young lady and her personal experience with a rescue slider turtle, that I totally forgot about the recipe! Lol!! So with that said, THANK YOU for sharing BOTH and including photos!! I cannot wait to make this recipe!!
KimApril 3, 2014 at 2:46 pm (9 years ago)
This is probably a stupid question, but what is icing sugar?
Julie RubleApril 3, 2014 at 2:49 pm (9 years ago)
Not stupid! Icing sugar is also called powdered sugar, 10X sugar, or confectioners’ sugar.
PatriciaApril 5, 2014 at 11:54 am (9 years ago)
Holy cow! That looks so amazing. Having a little birthday tea on Sunday. Gonna make the coconut cream filling to go inside the coconut cupcakes. Your blog is dangerous!
Joanna FlahertyApril 6, 2014 at 11:44 am (9 years ago)
Hi…I am a fan of coconut cream anything…but have gluten issues…have you tried making them GF or has anyone else done it and commented ?
Julie RubleApril 6, 2014 at 11:59 am (9 years ago)
I haven’t tried it, but I think the crust would work with a gluten-free flour mix. If you try, please let us know how it goes!
CherylDecember 13, 2014 at 9:19 pm (8 years ago)
Gluten-Free Pastry (food processor* method)
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and frozen for 10 minutes
1 tablespoon lemon juice or cider vinegar
Ice water to make 1/2 cup
1 With metal blade in place, add sorghum flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, xanthan gum, salt and baking powder to work bowl of food processor. Turn on for three seconds to combine. Add half the frozen butter and process for 10 seconds or until mixture has the consistency of coarse meal. Add remaining butter and pulse for six 1-second pulses, or until the frozen butter is the size of small peas.
2 In 1/2-cup measure, combine lemon juice or vinegar and ice water. Pour over all of flour mixture; pulse for six 1-second pulses or just until dough forms large clumps; do not over-process.
3 Do not refrigerate dough at this point as I do with regular all-butter pie crust. Turn dough out onto lightly floured (gluten-free, of course) surface–a piece of plastic wrap makes it easier. Form dough into a round disk, sprinkle lightly with gluten-free flour–topping it with another piece of plastic wrap makes it easier–and roll out to 12- to 13-inch circle. Transfer to Pyrex pie plate that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Crimp the edge in your favorite way, then pop the pie plate into the freezer while you prepare pie filling.
JaniceFebruary 25, 2015 at 9:48 pm (8 years ago)
Pls send copy OF Gluten Free recipe. TY.
GrimFixApril 15, 2016 at 9:06 pm (7 years ago)
They now have all purpose GF flour substitutes on the market. Krusteaz is one Bob’s Red Mill is another. They are a 1:1 substitute with (read the container carefully first) no need for xanthum gum and all the different components listed above. Hope that helps!
RoxanneMarinoApril 10, 2014 at 7:36 pm (9 years ago)
Julie: Like everyone else went looking for the coconut cream recipe..and found this oh so true story about Squirt the rescue slider. My daughter also rescued a LARGE female slider and gave her me as a birthday gift..
We have an out door pond/waterfall so she had a beautiful home to live in…until this “handsome” boy walked up the street looking for his “new” soul mate.. My husband said “no way” Tillie is doing just fine all by herself.. But no way..I said , he’ll just get crushed by a car or die from some horrable death…As usual I won this debate and Shelden can to live in our pond with Tillie. One year later..we see Tillie digging a very large hole..It took her over two hours to make it just right, then out popped 15 little eggs. What a great experience. We even took pic’s…6 cluches later, over a two year period we would have 32 baby turtles, in the house in tanks from 5 to 150 gals.
I laughed so hard about the problems you had with your one turtle, just have 32 babies in various sized tanks, all because I said..Sheldon could enjoy Tillie’s house..We kept the hachlings until they reached 4″ legal size to be sold…or given away.. This process wound up costing lost on money. I just kept wonder if I could neuter Sheldon and that would be the end of that….But having an outdoor pond is not animal proof. One night a family of raccoon’s stopped by, pulled Sheldon out of his nesting house and damaged his beautiful long finger nails and front legs..We had to put him down. He is buried directly across from the pond where 4 of his daughters share a home with there mom. We have reinforced the pond to animal proof it. So Tillie, Millie, Kelly, Shelly and baby girl, all bask in the warmth of the California sun. By the way…we never did get to see the purple thing coming out of his body. But did witness his mating dance, waving those beautiful long nails in front of Tillie’s face…I guess putting her in his trance. What a beautiful time to share this experience…
Thanks for your story of Squirt…Hope you enjoyed the life and times of the Red Ear slider family. .
KariOctober 5, 2019 at 4:09 pm (3 years ago)
Love your story. Too bad about Shelden.
Julie RubleOctober 6, 2019 at 3:29 pm (3 years ago)
elizabethApril 14, 2014 at 3:32 pm (9 years ago)
Have you tried topping these bars with coconut whipped cream instead of regular whipped cream? I might try that unless there are recommendations against it, if it might throw off the sweetness factor or something!
Julie RubleApril 14, 2014 at 3:34 pm (9 years ago)
I would go for it, Elizabeth, maybe just slightly sweetened. It sounds wonderful!
ValerieApril 15, 2014 at 12:59 pm (9 years ago)
Whats half and half? I would like to make these Cocnut bars
Julie RubleApril 15, 2014 at 1:31 pm (9 years ago)
Here you go Valerie: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Half_and_half
janisJanuary 22, 2015 at 3:47 pm (8 years ago)
i think years ago half and half cream was also known as cereal cream here in canada
janisJanuary 22, 2015 at 3:58 pm (8 years ago)
i think years ago half and half cream was also known as cereal cream here in canada,
looks like a easy good recipe…gonna try it
JoyApril 16, 2014 at 6:58 am (9 years ago)
When you say coconut milk, do you use kind in can or carton? Tks
Julie RubleApril 16, 2014 at 7:36 am (9 years ago)
The kind in a can.
JoyApril 17, 2014 at 5:38 pm (9 years ago)
Thank you … And do you shake the can and use all of it or only the solid?
Julie RubleApril 17, 2014 at 5:58 pm (9 years ago)
Shake and use 🙂
Peggy RidenourApril 22, 2016 at 1:25 pm (7 years ago)
I am lactose intolerant. What can I use instead of half and half?
Julie RubleApril 22, 2016 at 3:54 pm (7 years ago)
I’m sorry — I’m not sure.
AlinaApril 16, 2014 at 6:51 pm (9 years ago)
These look amazing! I’m totally making these for Easter. Do you use sweetened or unsweetened coconut flakes?
Julie RubleApril 16, 2014 at 9:21 pm (9 years ago)
Thanks! Hope you love them, Alina! I used sweetened coconut flakes.
AnnApril 17, 2014 at 2:49 pm (9 years ago)
Can’t wait to try this!
LarkApril 20, 2014 at 6:38 pm (9 years ago)
Hello! I found your blog while I was at another site – your lovely photos of your coconut pie bars sucked me right in. And after I clicked on the link, your turtle story did the same. It was funny and seriously touching. Good on you for taking such good care of your friend! The world needs more like you. 🙂 I am looking forward to trying these delicious looking treats and exploring the rest of your recipes. My coconut loving family is looking forward to it, too!
KathyApril 25, 2014 at 5:03 pm (9 years ago)
So you use sweetened or unsweetened coconut milk?
Julie RubleApril 25, 2014 at 5:33 pm (9 years ago)
PatMay 5, 2014 at 11:09 pm (9 years ago)
What is icing sugar? Do you mean powdered sugar or what? I have never heard of icing sugar. I would love to make this Coconut cream pie bar , it really looks good. I don’t want to mess it up by putting in the wrong sugar.
Julie RubleMay 5, 2014 at 11:37 pm (9 years ago)
Yes, icing sugar is also called powdered sugar, 10X sugar, and confectioners’ sugar.
PattiMay 10, 2014 at 10:17 pm (9 years ago)
Have NO idea how a coconut cream pie bar got mixed in with the turtle story, but I just loved the turtle story (haven’t tried the bars yet). I am the crazy woman stopping traffic in the Tampa Bay area to help turtles (and tortoises) get across the street before they are squashed. Love turtles and love your story. Thanks so much for the photo of Squirt ( and for the coconut bar recipe!!).
lesleyMay 23, 2014 at 12:02 am (9 years ago)
Making these tomorrow! Do I use salted or unsalted butter?
Julie RubleMay 23, 2014 at 3:41 am (9 years ago)
Unsalted. Hope you enjoy!
lesleyMay 23, 2014 at 11:25 pm (9 years ago)
One more question-sorry-do I use sweetened coconut milk thats in a can-like the kind youd make a pineapple/coconut drink with?
Julie RubleMay 24, 2014 at 7:51 am (9 years ago)
Yep, the canned coconut milk (mine is unsweetened). Usually in the Asian food aisle or with the canned milks (evaporated milk, etc.) on the baking aisle.
lesleyMay 24, 2014 at 11:12 pm (9 years ago)
Thanks! Got it cooling now-added a bit more coconut extract, hopefully not too sweet. Thanks again!
SuzanneSeptember 15, 2014 at 4:20 pm (9 years ago)
Do you think you could use the light canned coconut milk? Or only the full fat regular? Can’t wait to make these!
Julie RubleSeptember 15, 2014 at 4:26 pm (9 years ago)
I’d only use the full fat just to be sure it will work. Thanks, Suzanne!
ErinApril 19, 2015 at 2:48 am (8 years ago)
I used light coconut milk (only because that’s all they had at Trader Joes) and it worked perfectly!
CBAugust 21, 2019 at 12:13 pm (4 years ago)
Same as above – Trader joe light coconut milk worked perfectly
roxanneSeptember 22, 2014 at 9:14 pm (9 years ago)
GertrudeDecember 4, 2014 at 9:25 am (8 years ago)
Julie, do you think these squares would freeze? I am thinking maybe not but hoping yes. 😉
Julie RubleDecember 4, 2014 at 12:33 pm (8 years ago)
Hi Gertrude! Unfortunately I feel like they wouldn’t freeze well. Now I’m totally the kind of person who would try it anyway and eat them in whatever state they ended up in, but I’m almost certain they wouldn’t be “like new.” Ha! Usually creamy-type things separate or get weird when frozen.
CindyDecember 16, 2014 at 8:22 pm (8 years ago)
This is a fantastic recipe and serves many! When I bring it to staff luncheons it always gets raves. Thanks very much for sharing.
Shirlee LambJanuary 20, 2015 at 2:33 pm (8 years ago)
I do see a print button. How do I print friendly recipe.?
aliceFebruary 3, 2015 at 6:57 pm (8 years ago)
thanks for the delighttful story about you and your shelled companion! I have two of my own and we’re going on 16 years together!
Vivian FentFebruary 3, 2015 at 7:40 pm (8 years ago)
Could you make this and use meringue instead of the whipped topping?
Julie RubleFebruary 3, 2015 at 7:46 pm (8 years ago)
Yes, I think meringue would work fine. Enjoy!
TonyaFebruary 4, 2015 at 9:13 am (8 years ago)
icwas sitting at table with my morning coffee looking for a different kind of birthday cake. I love coconut (so does the birthday boy) so I decided to pin it. What a transformation of attitude for me!!! Not only did I find execs toy what I was looking for with the eye watering and mouth salivating pictures but my grumpiness turned into a lift in spirit when I read the story. Thank you for sharing this inspiring and meaningful life experience. By the way, I did Google turtle penis. Thanks again. You made my day.
Kindle ArnoldFebruary 6, 2015 at 7:19 pm (8 years ago)
I clicked on the link for the recipe (because I absolutely adore coconut cream ANYTHING) but I’m commenting because this is, hands down, THE funniest blog I have EVERYTHING read in my life! I simply could not tear myself away from your turtle and his purple “thing.” Thank you for posting this!
Kindle ArnoldFebruary 6, 2015 at 7:22 pm (8 years ago)
*ever, not everything. Stupid autocorrect.
Julie RubleFebruary 6, 2015 at 7:35 pm (8 years ago)
LOL, thank you Kindle! So glad you enjoyed it 😉
Sharon ByrnFebruary 8, 2015 at 4:37 pm (8 years ago)
Can someone please tell me what icing sugar is? Is it granulated or powdered or something else? Thanks
Julie RubleFebruary 8, 2015 at 5:03 pm (8 years ago)
Hi Sharon! Icing sugar is the same thing as powdered sugar, confectioners’ sugar, 10X sugar. All different names for the same thing. Enjoy!
MichelleFebruary 10, 2015 at 11:45 am (8 years ago)
Loved reading this post – too funny! And the bars look amazing! Can’t wait to try them. Thanks for putting a smile on my face this morning. 🙂
George MonaghanFebruary 19, 2015 at 3:10 pm (8 years ago)
Just do yourself, and anyone that’s lucky enough to be around, and make this. Amazeballs.
George MonaghanFebruary 19, 2015 at 3:14 pm (8 years ago)
Ha! Forgot the Just do yourself “a favor” part. New at this… Still very good!
ElizabethFebruary 22, 2015 at 10:06 am (8 years ago)
These look amazing, I want to make them for my daughter. I was wondering about the gelatin. What flavor do I use? Thx and great turtle story!
Julie RubleFebruary 22, 2015 at 11:08 am (8 years ago)
Hi there! It’s unflavored gelatin (I use Knox brand) — not the Jello flavored gelatin. Hope you enjoy!
RobynMarch 21, 2015 at 2:16 pm (8 years ago)
Mmmm, these bars look fabulous! Loved the story of squirt (and Roxanne’s story too). And yes, just say no to turtles if possible.
Shirley HenschelMarch 28, 2015 at 1:21 pm (8 years ago)
Would like recipe for coconut cream dessert bars. My husbands favorite.
Julie RubleMarch 28, 2015 at 1:35 pm (8 years ago)
Hi Shirley! The recipe is at the bottom of the post above. Let me know if you can’t find it. Enjoy!
Twana BlevinsJune 1, 2015 at 12:28 pm (8 years ago)
I did make the coconut cream bars. My family loved them. We loved them so much I am taking this dessert to a family reunion.
SYJune 28, 2015 at 7:52 pm (8 years ago)
omg these look amazing, but don’t the eggs cook?
Julie RubleJune 28, 2015 at 10:03 pm (8 years ago)
They do rise to “safe”/”cooked” temperature for an egg custard, but provided you stir constantly per the instructions, they don’t cook as in hardening in little bits of white/yolk.
JanJuly 1, 2015 at 9:28 pm (8 years ago)
Do you have to do the sling? What is the purpose?
Julie RubleJuly 1, 2015 at 9:32 pm (8 years ago)
It makes it easy to remove the bars so they will come out nicely. It also aids in pan cleanup. You could probably grease the pan and do without if you didn’t mind how the bars looked, but I’ve never tried. Enjoy!
MistyJuly 2, 2015 at 11:03 am (8 years ago)
Julie, you are hilarious, and I feel your pain!!!! Every time I am sure I am alone in the world with the misery that is the care of my 2 turtles, I am reminded that there are others (or at least one other, you) who are conflicted and in pain. And after all, isn’t that love? I adopted (rescued) my common map from a yard sale in 1997 – I knew whoever took him home would not care for him properly and he’d likely die. I got him a companion (a red eared slider) since I have come to find that turtles can be/often are very social (observe them on logs together, piled on top of each other). The companion was violent and bit my map so him went to a wildlife rehab where they acclimated him for release in an place where they take their rehabbers (they are native here, don’t worry). His current companion has been with us since 2000, a Mississippi Map.
But in general I absolutely agree with you: don’t buy them, don’t have them. I hate to count what now must be the years of my life, and life savings, in providing for them and cleaning their tank.
And you are absolutely right about filters: expensive and requiring an IQ of 200 to make them work.
But you are a saint. At least you just wanted to kill yourself. I made everyone around me want to kill themselves. I am the Cursing Mommy par excellance, especially when I can’t get the filter lid off and when I do it spews filthy water all over me and the rug. Time and again I have sworn that I would find them a new home, and once the water change and filter change is over, I relax and love them again. But I do blame them for me not having a second child. Who would have time?
Thanks for your post. You made me smile. I’m glad to know there’s at least one other crazy out there. And believe me, it’s a toss up as to which is worse: turtle care or dealing with the insurance company during cancer. Seriously. No joke.
Kitty MurphyJuly 13, 2015 at 1:10 pm (8 years ago)
Can you make in smaller pan. I think it is like 5×9
TerinaApril 12, 2016 at 12:27 am (7 years ago)
I love your recipes I seen on Facebook. And I spend all my free time in my kitchen because I love to bake all the time and not scared to try new recipes
CarolApril 15, 2016 at 9:37 pm (7 years ago)
Julie ,I so loved your story about squirt.The story will be remembered for quite awhile ,every time I see a Turtle I will think of you and squirt :0) .Looking forward to making these yummy looking squares .Thank you for the story and the recipe
Julie RubleApril 15, 2016 at 10:58 pm (7 years ago)
Aw, thank you, Carol! <3
Sarah WoodwardApril 18, 2016 at 11:33 am (7 years ago)
I am wondering if you could make a meringue topping and bake the whole thing in the oven until the meringue is golden brown?
Julie RubleApril 18, 2016 at 2:48 pm (7 years ago)
I’d worry that the pastry cream would be negatively affected since it’s made with whipped cream. I wonder if you can do the meringue and then torch it instead?
Barb FullerApril 24, 2016 at 1:18 pm (7 years ago)
Gelatin clumped immediately in whipping cream. Tried it twice; had to pick out the gel clumps. Cream still maintained stiffness. Tin foil was a pain in the rear — won’t do that next time.
Julie RubleApril 24, 2016 at 8:45 pm (7 years ago)
Barb, look up “stabilizing whipped cream” for more options. Feel free to use parchment.
LynnApril 24, 2016 at 8:12 pm (7 years ago)
Just wondering if this can be made a day ahead?
Julie RubleApril 24, 2016 at 8:43 pm (7 years ago)
Thanks! Yes, just pop it in the fridge.
NadineApril 25, 2016 at 2:07 am (7 years ago)
haha hysterical! most noisy reading of a recipe here at our house. I keep waking up my husband (I’m potluck recipe searching, in bed ). So of course I had to google turtle penises which lead to The Ten most bizarre animal genitalia, and, you know, how one site leads to another. thanks for the recipe and the good laughs.
DixiApril 26, 2016 at 7:47 pm (7 years ago)
This is AMAZING! I made it for a bake sale. It sold out right away, and they were looking for more!
Julie RubleApril 26, 2016 at 9:39 pm (7 years ago)
Hooray!! I’m so glad to hear that, Dixi!
DeniseApril 30, 2016 at 8:47 pm (7 years ago)
This was so funny to read! We also had a rescue turtle. His name was Pavlov cause he could here his food can opening and bang on the side of the tank!! We finally gave him away when my 1 year old (well almost two) kept pulling a chair to the counter and Pickering him up and talking to him etc. we finally. We’re done when she had a spoon and was trying to get his “head out!” “Head out!!) sent him to. A home with buy who was thrilled to have him!!
melissaMay 20, 2016 at 11:40 pm (7 years ago)
OMGosh. that is the funniest post ever. I was in a really crummy mood and that made me laugh. Tks. Glad there are people like you to rescue turtles. I never will after reading this.
JackiMay 23, 2016 at 9:56 pm (7 years ago)
Do I use sweetened coconut flakes or unsweetened to toast or does it matter?
Julie RubleMay 23, 2016 at 10:08 pm (7 years ago)
It will work either way, but I use sweetened! Enjoy!
AuntiepatchJune 18, 2016 at 2:15 pm (7 years ago)
One year ago: Bailey’s Hazelnut Chocolate Tiramisu
Two years ago: Chocolate & Coconut Cream Pie Bars
Three years ago: Bright, Fun Blackberry Trifle
Four years ago: Vegan Pumpkin Nut Bread
I love the progression here; Healthy, healthy and fun, decadent, and then BOOZE!
Julie RubleJune 18, 2016 at 2:16 pm (7 years ago)
Oh my gosh it’s just like my life ????????????
KateJuly 14, 2016 at 2:34 pm (7 years ago)
Ok Willow –
I had a similar adventure so I could identify on a REALLY personal level. Mine unfolded with the “gift” of a turtle for my son, dug out of a neighbors yard. Mind you I had a 5 year old, a husband in a wheelchair (in and out of rehab for a work injury!), worked 60+ hours a week and managed to maintain our house (not so sure about my sanity!).
The pump fiascos were exactly as described but I do believe you left out the descriptions of the odorous consequences of such failures.
Eco, as he was dubbed by my son, was eventually living in a pond in our backyard – with requisite water changes every third day as the sun came up, on my knees, with a bucket. He reached the point where the only thing he would eat was salmon – hand fed from chopsticks! He had to be brought every evening to prevent the raccoons from eating him. None of this was to his liking as he repeatedly tunneled out of our yard and was found in our neighbors yard being roughed up by their dog and on his last escape, was found wandering down the middle of the road in front of the school 1/4 mile from home.
I did the only sensible thing I could think of at this point – I located a wildlife rescue 50 miles from home – drove him to them – made a generous donation – and watched with my son as Eco dove happily into a H U G E pond with other turtle friends. I slept blissfully for the first time in three years and vowed to never again accept a turtle as a “gift”.
The coconut bars are divine – loved by all!
Sue glassockJuly 23, 2016 at 1:57 pm (7 years ago)
Hi just just found yr site..love the turtle story..in recipe coconut cream bars what is half and half xxx
DeniseAugust 23, 2016 at 10:15 pm (7 years ago)
I opened this thread to read the recipe but enjoyed your story about your turtle. I can relate as I adopted 2 rescued red sliders from a friend. Those turtles grew to large for their tank(3) within 12 months. I was caring for them for my son who now has them each in their own 50 gallon tank with a huge filter system for each.. But he researched their care and they are doing well and appear to be full size now…. but the price for care is huge and turtles should never be just tossed out into a nearby pond. Luckily he likes his turtles. btw I love the coconut cream bars…:)
LindaFebruary 3, 2017 at 1:09 am (6 years ago)
Hi Julie the Coconut Cream Pie Bars look scrumptious . Love to bake the bars only problem is I can’t get half and half in Australia . What can I substitute half and half for? Thank you.
Julie RubleApril 17, 2017 at 4:53 pm (6 years ago)
Hi Linda! Here’s a recipe: https://www.thebalance.com/half-and-half-substitute-1388922. Enjoy!
Judy M. MinemyerApril 13, 2017 at 2:15 pm (6 years ago)
Is the coconut milk called for in this recipe canned or coconut milk as in like almond milk in the dairy case.I want to try these right away but want to be sure I’m using correct ingredients. They look decadent.But I LOVED your turtle tale,but don’t think I will be looking up turtle penis’s.LOL
Julie RubleApril 17, 2017 at 4:51 pm (6 years ago)
LOL! Thanks for your kind words, Judy! It is canned coconut milk. Hope you love them!
HeidiJSeptember 3, 2017 at 4:50 pm (6 years ago)
LOVE this!! Accidentally burned the first batch of filling…made another, but only half the recipe (out of other ingredients), and it was PLENTY of filling. Kept the original amt of extracts and shredded coconut though! 🙂
W KrugerSeptember 7, 2017 at 8:44 pm (6 years ago)
Is the coconut milk from a carton (as the kind you put on cereal) or is it the kind from a can?
Julie RubleSeptember 7, 2017 at 9:55 pm (6 years ago)
I use the kind in a can!
W KrugerSeptember 8, 2017 at 9:18 pm (6 years ago)
Thx! I’m making for my dad’s birthday! 🙂
Julie RubleSeptember 25, 2017 at 12:06 am (6 years ago)
Happy happy birthday to him! I hope you all enjoy them!
MaiOctober 24, 2017 at 7:28 pm (5 years ago)
Hello , please what a half-and-half mean ??
I couldn’t anderstand
Julie RubleOctober 24, 2017 at 9:41 pm (5 years ago)
It’s a mixture of half milk and half cream we use in the United States. Here’s how to make it if you don’t have any: http://www.thekitchn.com/4-easy-ways-to-make-your-own-halfandhalf-substitute-tips-from-the-kitchn-216621
SheilaDecember 18, 2017 at 11:59 am (5 years ago)
Thank you for the coconut cream recipe. I love animals but when I click on a recipe in Pinterest I expect food recipe not a long story about turtles to scroll through. May I suggest we stick to topic animals with animals food with food
Julie RubleDecember 18, 2017 at 4:07 pm (5 years ago)
This is very clearly not the blog for you, Sheila.
SandyFebruary 28, 2019 at 4:44 pm (4 years ago)
Excellent reply, Julie.
Monica JosephFebruary 7, 2018 at 4:17 am (5 years ago)
Greetings from India…
I subscribed to your newsletter and was told the data does not match the schemas… Please add me to your blog for any future updates… I am a stay-in Mom and do a bit of baking, DIYs, Crafts and Cooking…
Love your yummy recipes which are easy to follow.
Thanking you in advance..
Susan PFebruary 20, 2018 at 10:44 am (5 years ago)
Hello, hoping you’ll see this as I’m writing 4 years after the posting. I want to make this to send to work with my husband for his secretary’s birthday. Can I add the whipped cream and let it sit in the fridge overnight, or should I do it in the morning before he takes it to work? He does have a fridge at work.I will try and stabilize the whipped cream as you indicate.
Julie RubleFebruary 20, 2018 at 11:19 am (5 years ago)
Hi Susan! It’s definitely best to make it the morning of, but if you stabilize it, it will work in the fridge overnight. It might have some watery cream at the bottom of the bowl in the morning if you do so, but you can just spoon the whipped cream out and leave that. Hope they enjoy!
Susan PFebruary 24, 2019 at 4:14 pm (4 years ago)
I have to tell you, I’ve made this dessert multiple times and can’t tell you how many people I’ve given the recipe to and told them about your blog. Making it again today as it’s ALWAYS a huge hit. Have to print out several copies of the recipe when I make it, of course with your blog link included. Thanks again for the great recipe.
KimMarch 30, 2018 at 9:11 am (5 years ago)
I decided to make a coconut cream pie for an employee at work as that is what she requested, but we have way more employees than 1 pie would feed, so I started googling coconut cream pie bars… and yours ???? looked the best. I’m definitely not afraid of spending a little extra time whisking if it’s gonna mean a tastier version (I love that you said “just do it” lol. My only little issue I had was microwaving the gelatin, I’ve never done that before and 30 seconds in my microwave was too long and it boiled over. Otherwise, great recipe! And Your turtle story made me ???? . Great post, good job!
Julie RubleMarch 30, 2018 at 12:50 pm (5 years ago)
Thanks for sharing, Kim! I hope you all really enjoy them!
Cindy ZimmermanApril 5, 2018 at 10:24 pm (5 years ago)
I have made about 10 different pie recipes.. this tops them all. I left off the whip cream topping. These were so good…makes a lot! My husband has never cared for coconut, but told me to save this recipe!
LouJune 9, 2018 at 7:09 am (5 years ago)
Thanks for the wonderful story about your turtle adventures & his body part! :>)
Recipe itself says sugar for crust, but in narration it say confectioners sugar for the crust. Which should be used?
Thanks for a good belly laugh & a delicious looking recipe. Can’t wait to try it!
Julie RubleNovember 23, 2018 at 8:47 pm (4 years ago)
Hi Lou! It’s confectioners’ sugar or powdered sugar. Enjoy!
Penny HauschNovember 23, 2018 at 8:00 pm (4 years ago)
Can the coconut cream pie bars be refrigerated overnight?
Julie RubleNovember 23, 2018 at 8:45 pm (4 years ago)
Yes, they can! If cooking before serving them, I’d refrigerate the bars without the cream and then make and add the whipped cream on the day you’re serving them just so it’ll be very fresh. Enjoy!
chinni kFebruary 17, 2019 at 11:41 pm (4 years ago)
It looks delicious
Julie RubleFebruary 18, 2019 at 3:52 pm (4 years ago)
YangFebruary 20, 2019 at 10:09 pm (4 years ago)
It looks so pretty! The frosting looks like really soft marshmallow fluff, but better. Can I add small slices of walnuts to the crust? I want to add a little bit of crunch to it. Or maybe I could just make two batches, one with walnuts and the other without. Thank you for this awesome recipe, Julie!
Julie RubleFebruary 20, 2019 at 10:25 pm (4 years ago)
Thank you! That sounds like a delicious addition to me! I think it will turn out great!
Susan PFebruary 26, 2019 at 12:47 pm (4 years ago)
I commented above that I’ve made this dessert many times and it’s been perfect. This time it kind of cradled…….so disappointed. What could I have done wrong?
LisaMarch 3, 2019 at 4:20 pm (4 years ago)
Holy Smokeroos!!!!!!! These are Ike the best thing I’ve ever put in my mouth! I followed the recipe exactly. I thought the 1/2 tsp of coconut extract would be too much, but it turned out it was just right! Never used gelatin as a stabilizer before-love that idea too—HOME RUN! Thanks for the great recipe. (Didn’t read the blog post, but I guess I better, judging by all the comments about THAT!!)
MarieApril 15, 2019 at 3:21 pm (4 years ago)
Could this be made into a 9” deep dish pie instead of bars
Julie RubleApril 15, 2019 at 10:34 pm (4 years ago)
It could be, but the pan conversion isn’t 1:1 and the crust isn’t really a pie crust consistency. I started thinking through the conversions I’d make if I were going to try it and realized I’d probably opt to make a coconut cream pie if I were going to do that instead of this recipe.
MarieApril 16, 2019 at 9:11 pm (4 years ago)
Thank you for your feed back
I have made these bars before and honestly there are the best coconut cream bars ever
BarbaraMay 7, 2019 at 12:07 am (4 years ago)
This recipe was delicious, There are only three of us so I made half the recipe and put it in a 9×9 inch square pan. It came out perfect. My husband who loves count cream pies was delighted with this recipe. Thank you.
Julie RubleMay 7, 2019 at 12:21 am (4 years ago)
I’m so glad you all enjoyed it, Barbara! Thanks for your kind words!
KariOctober 5, 2019 at 4:11 pm (3 years ago)
Love the story of you and Squirt….thank you for sharing. And of course your bars look divine!
Julie RubleOctober 6, 2019 at 3:29 pm (3 years ago)
Thank you, Kari!
Mary Beth MillerJuly 5, 2020 at 2:07 pm (3 years ago)
I just made these for a picnic and everyone loved them! I was a little skeptical because of cooking the filling, but wow, are these good!! I will definitely make them again!! And I loved your turtle story!!
Trudy DodsonDecember 9, 2020 at 4:08 pm (2 years ago)
Oh my! This recipe is the best I’ve tasted or made. Will make again and again! I thought the times were a little off on the crust and the pudding mixture. I had to cook both longer. I’m just wondering why you suggested lining the pan with foil. Would the pie not cut as perfectly without it?
ClarebearDecember 14, 2022 at 7:26 pm (3 months ago)
LOVE this recipe. I actually found this on Pinterest years ago and it’s been my go to ever since. Just wanna let you know it’s amazing. Always a big hit at parties.
ElizabethJanuary 2, 2023 at 10:05 am (3 months ago)
These were marvelous. I did not use foil, just greased my pan and had no trouble getting them out. I knew we wouldn’t eat them all very quickly, so I stored my whipped cream separately and just topped each one before serving, and added toasted coconut. I do use a bit of sour cream to stabilize my whipped cream (no gelatin) and it held up fine in a separate container. Will do that again! Hmm, now I have fresh pineapple, too – maybe I’ll mince that and add to the top.
Julie RubleJanuary 15, 2023 at 1:40 pm (2 months ago)
Thank you Elizabeth! I’m so glad you enjoyed them! Thank you for letting me know about the duplicate too!