Coconut Milk Bars

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Coconut Milk Bars | | Moist, extra sweet Coconut Milk Bars made with milk, shredded coconut, and a sprinkle of hazelnuts | #recipe #cookies #desserts #coconut

Can we have a heart to heart? Please! Good. Thanks! It’s about this recipe.

Happy Accidents should be the name of these Coconut Milk Bars.

You see, it all started out so beautiful and promising – with sugar and butter and coconut, I was on my way to making what would have been the sweetest, silkiest coconut truffles. I had a couple of hours to myself thus I thought I should use up that time and experiment in the kitchen.

Half way through my experimentation, I knew I was not going to see the results that I wanted. Eh, I thought, let’s just keep going. And going, and going, and… I kept whisking, and whisking some more, but I could not get the milk mixture to solidify. Seriously! I was not prepared for this! Argh!

Coconut Milk Bars | | Moist, extra sweet Coconut Milk Bars made with milk, shredded coconut, and a sprinkle of hazelnuts | #recipe #cookies #desserts #coconut

I walked away from the kitchen for about 20 minutes – had to take care of my Pinterest fix – and when I came back, a remedy for my failed attempt came to mind. If you can’t roll it, spread it! Ahem… I’m talking about the milk mixture.

And just like that these super-sweet Coconut Milk Bars were born.

Here is how it goes it: You make a simple syrup, boil it, and let it boil – – and then you dump a stick of butter in there. You melt the butter and whisk in powdered milk. You continue to whisk until your arm falls off. Then you spread that over this amazing brown butter crust, dress it up with lots of shredded coconut, and bam! Coconut Milk Bars in your hand. Happy Accidents.

Coconut Milk Bars | | Moist, extra sweet Coconut Milk Bars made with milk, shredded coconut, and a sprinkle of hazelnuts | #recipe #cookies #desserts #coconut

Thanks for listening. 🙂

By the way, did you need a use for that huge jug of powdered milk? Cause if you did, this is where you should use it. Totally.


Coconut Milk Bars

17 17 17
WW Freestyle: 15
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time3 hrs
Moist, gooey, super sweet Coconut Milk Bars are made with milk, shredded coconut, and a sprinkle of hazelnuts.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 370


For the Milk Mixture

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 stick butter , cut into 6 cubes
  • 3 cups powdered milk
  • 2 cups shredded coconut , divided
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts , chopped

For the Crust

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter , softened
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


For the Milk Mixture

  • Pour water and sugar in a large sauce pan and bring to a boil; continue to boil for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and add in butter; stir until melted.
  • Gradually pour in the powdered milk while continuously whisking until thickened and smooth.
  • Let sit in cool temperature for 2 hours, or until completely cooled and thick, but spreadable.
  • In the meantime prepare the crust.

For the Crust

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Grease a 9x9-inch baking pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper with baking spray and set aside.
  • In medium-sized bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a separate large bowl, with a mixer beat together brown sugar, butter, oil, egg and vanilla until smooth.
  • Stir in the flour mixture and mix until well blended.
  • Take about 2/3 of the dough to the prepared pan and press the dough down onto the bottom of the pan in an even layer.
  • Spread 1 cup of the shredded coconut on top of the dough.
  • Put the pan in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and spread the cooled milk mixture over the baked crust.
  • Sprinkle the rest of the dough over the milk mixture.
  • Evenly sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts and layer the rest of the shredded coconut.
  • Put back in the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until puffed up and golden brown
  • Cool completely before cutting into bars.
Nutrition Facts
Coconut Milk Bars
Amount Per Serving
Calories 370 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 8g40%
Cholesterol 37mg12%
Sodium 247mg10%
Potassium 428mg12%
Carbohydrates 49g16%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 40g44%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 285IU6%
Vitamin C 2.4mg3%
Calcium 245mg25%
Iron 1.1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

Keywords: bar cookies, coconut bar, dessert bars

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34 Responses
  1. Sally

    When I put the 3 cups of powdered milk into what little simple syrup I had after boiling for 15 minutes. I couldnt even stir it. It looked like dry cake mix. Seriously. I had to add at least 1/2 of milk back to the mixture for it to even looked “spreadable”. I hope it turns out. What did I do wrong?

  2. Jaime

    Do these need to be refrigerated if not cutting right away? Also, when doing the milk mixture it came out like taffy. Hopefully, it will taste awesome!

    1. Katerina Petrovska

      Hi Jaime! You can either refrigerate it or just keep it in a cool place after it has completely cooled. You should also cover it.
      Let me know how it turns out!

    1. Jaime

      Do these need to be refrigerated if not cutting right away? Also, when doing the milk mixture it came out like taffy. Hopefully, it will taste awesome!

  3. Kate

    Hi Katerina! Well i`m here to appreciate your great job. It`s really delicious and simple to bake. I`m a true fan of coconut & milk : ) The recipe is just great!

  4. Jennifer

    Were you using just the milk powder, or had you combined it with milk? I tried this and I had quite a bit of trouble with it. Did you use sweetened coconut or unsweetened? I tried with unsweetened, and the whole thing was a little dry.

    1. Katerina Petrovska

      Hi Jennifer! I did not use milk… only the simple syrup, and I added the milk powder to that. I should have indicated sweetened shredded coconut. Where did you have trouble?

  5. Melissa@EyesBigger

    I am a sucker for anything with coconut in it so these are totally going on my list. I think I’ll toast the coconut first – gets it even sweeter! Thanks goodness for happy accidents!

  6. Nami | Just One Cookbook

    I’ve been dreaming about this Kate, since I saw the picture. As a coconut lover, this is WONDERFUL! Your picture is amazing… it looks so real, and I feel like I can grab it from the screen. Hope you have a fantastic weekend!

  7. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious

    Amazing! I can’t believe these were through a “happy accident.” I totally need to make these myself, although I won’t be able to stop myself from eating every last one of these!

  8. Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen

    What a save, Kate! You are my hero. Recipe development almost got the better of me early this week…twice. Nearly gave up. But, had a craving…went right back in the kitch and got busy on a new recipe that begged developing. (My craving.) It was kismet! (Recipe posted today.) “Keep on keeping on” seems to be the motto this week for woman who view failure as not an option! xo

  9. Jean (Lemons & Anchovies)

    Great save on the recipe–I actually like the sound of these better than the truffles. These bars were meant to happen. 🙂

  10. Ramona

    I am all for happy accidents. I don’t bake that much so all my baking is basically put in the oven with a prayer. I love when prayers get answered. 🙂 This looks scrumptious. 🙂

  11. Terra Baltosiewich (@CafeTerraBlog)

    I love happy accidents!!! I had one once, I was supposed to have muffins, and had crumble instead. So made a parfait, was awesome! I am LOVING your delicious and yummy happy accident:-) Hugs, TerraTerra

  12. Fabiola

    This looks great! Thanks…

    It’s necessary 1 stick of butter, or could be only a half?



    Greetings from mexico

  13. Laura Dembowski (@piesandplots)

    These bars look like the happiest accident ever. I love hazelnuts and coconut. And now I have something to do with leftover powdered milk after I make Momofuku cookies. Can’t wait to try these!

  14. Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet

    I want a whole pan just for myself! Is that bad? LOVE coconut! These bars look so creamy and delish! Happy accidents in the kitchen are the best 🙂

  15. Paula @ Vintage Kitchen

    That milk mixture blew me away, it´s so unusual! How great that you find a way with it. It would´ve been a shame really not to post these!

  16. Becky

    I love coconut in anything and your bars are amazing, and all of that milk. Kitchen accidents can turn out to be the best, like your bars.

  17. kirsten@FarmFreshFeasts

    Your photos are lovely–these bars look delicious. 3 cups of powdered milk–holy cow! I bet your arm was tired. I need to buy bigger containers of powdered milk. I’m always shocked at the price of the little box, so when I use it in bread I tend to hoard it for the bread. But these look very yummy, so a bigger box is in order.

  18. Natasha

    Sometimes kitchen accidents are my favorite, especially when something awesome like this comes out of it. I love the browned, crispy edges and crust, and the filling looks wonderfully creamy!

  19. Averie @Averie Cooks

    I’ve made two things with coconut this week….these bars need to be the third. Stunning. Creamy, sweet, coconutty perfection!

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Katerina of Diethood
Hey There!
I'm Katerina, a cookie-maker & picture-taker! For me, eating is a moment to share, an enjoyment, a passion. I hope you enjoy my recipes!

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