Toasted Coconut Lemon Bars

This Post May Contain Affiliate Links. Please Read Our Disclosure Policy.

A tangy lemon bar with a toasted coconut buttery shortbread crust and topped with even more toasted coconut! These toasted coconut lemon bars take lemon bars to the next level!

Coconut Lemon Bars


 

Sometimes inspiration just hits me for a dessert. Most of the time I’m not sure where it comes from. Probably in my dreams. I’m pretty sure I dream in brown sugar and sprinkles. 

This time my dream involved lemons and coconut. And can I just stay? What. A. Pairing. 

We’ve got coconut in the shortbread crust. A tangy lemon filling. And then toasted coconut on top. It’s like a coconut lemon sandwich. 

Ingredients Needed:

For the crust:

  • butter
  • confectioners sugar
  • cornstarch
  • flour
  • salt
  • coconut

For the filling:

  • sugar
  • flour
  • eggs
  • lemons (juice and zest)
  • coconut (to top the bars with!)
  • milk
  • salt
three Coconut Lemon Bars stacked on top of each other

How To Make These Toasted Coconut Lemon Bars

Let’s get back to these bars and breakdown this recipe…

These bars started with a buttery shortbread crust that were not dry like some shortbread crusts can tend to be. I mixed in some toasted sweetened coconut flakes in the crust. If you have never toasted coconut before, you want to spread out the coconut in a thin single layer on a cookie sheet and bake for no more than 8 to 10 minutes.

To make the crust, you are going to need to bust out your food processor. The food processor makes quick work.  You could also do this by hand if you are lacking a food processor. Just simply use a pastry cutter to cut the cold butter into the flour (similar to making scones). Then the crust actually gets refrigerated for a half hour before baking.

While the crust is baking, you need to prepare your lemon filling. The lemon filling has both lemon zest and juice in it, so the lemon packs a real punch in these bars. To zest the lemons, I love using my Microplane . Seriously, you need one of these bad boys. They are great for zesting but also great for things like ginger or parmesan cheese. When the crust is done baking, pour the lemon filling over the crust and then bake again. So simple. Once the bars are done, take them out and top with more toasted coconut. Because why not? More is better. Especially when it comes to coconut. 

two Coconut Lemon Bars on a piece of parchment

Recipe Tips

  • Make sure to measure your lemon juice. Not every lemon gives the same amount of juice. To be on the safe side I’d buy 4 at the store. Sometimes it only takes 3 but I like having an extra just in case.
  • Make sure to measure your flour accurately by scooping with a spoon and leveling with a knife. For a complete tutorial, read this post.
  • You need to make sure you are using softened butter for the shortbread crust so it’s incorporated easily.. Here are 3 ways to soften your butter quickly.
  • When the crust is done, you want to pour the filling over it immediately. This kind of makes like one beautiful crust to lemon layer.
Coconut Lemon Bar with a bite taken out of it

How do you cut lemon bars?

You can use a sharp knife that is cleaned off after each cut or dipped in warm water to make a clean cut.

 
I also like cutting bars with a plastic knife. I find I get a cleaner cut this way. Again it’s best to clean the knife off after each cut.

Should I refrigerate lemon bars?

Yes you should! Because they are technically a custard, they should be kept in the refrigerator unless you are serving them right away.

They can stay out for a few hours at room temperature if you are serving them at a party, though. After that however, store them covered in the fridge!

How long do lemon bars last?

These will last about 4 days in the refrigerator.  Just be sure to keep them well covered. If they last you that long that is!

More Lemon Recipes

To make these lemon bars you will need:

Now I don’t know who “they” is that says my tastebuds have changed as I have gotten older. Maybe I just didn’t get to have the best lemon bars in the world as a kid. Because if I did, I know I wouldn’t have passed them up.

If you like this recipe, be sure to leave me a comment and leave a star rating below!

Toasted Coconut Lemon Bars

A tangy lemon bar with a toasted coconut shortbread crust topped with even more toasted coconut!
No ratings yet
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 12 bars

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 3/4 cup (210 g) all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup (80 g) confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 cup (28 g) cornstarch
  • 3/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 3/4 cup (64 g) sweetened shredded coconut lightly toasted
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter chilled, and cut into 1 inch pieces

For the filling

  • 4 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups (297 g) granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 2/3 cup (160 mL) lemon juice from about 4 lemons
  • 1/3 cup (80 mL) milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon table salt

For the topping

  • 3/4 cup (64 g) sweetened shredded coconut lightly toasted

Instructions

For the crust

  • Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat, and arrange 1 1/2 cups coconut in a single layer and toast in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes. 
  • Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper.
  • Process flour, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a food processor until combined 15 seconds. 
  • Add butter and process to blend 8 to 10 seconds, then pulse until the mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse meal about 3 pulses.
  • Add in 3/4 cup of the toasted coconut and pulse 2-3 more times. If doing this by hand, use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into flour mixture. 
  • Sprinkle the mixture into the prepared pan and press firmly with your fingers into an even 1/4-inch layer over the entire pan bottom about 1/2-inch up the sides. 
  • Refrigerate for 30 minutes then bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

For the filling

  • Whisk the eggs, sugar and flour in a medium bowl then stir in lemon zest and juice, milk and salt to blend well.
  • Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. 
  • Stir filling mixture to reblend, and pour into warm crust. Bake until filling feels firm when touched slightly, about 20 minutes. 
  • Transfer pan to wire rack; let cool to nearly room temperature and top with remaining 3/4 cup toasted coconut.
  •  Remove bars from pan, loosening sides with a knife if needed. Cut into squares and serve. Bars can be refrigerated for up to 2 days (crust will soften slightly).

Notes

  • Make sure to measure your lemon juice. Not every lemon gives the same amount of juice. To be on the safe side I’d buy 4 at the store. Sometimes it only takes 3 but I like having an extra just in case.
  • Make sure to measure your flour accurately by scooping with a spoon and leveling with a knife. For a complete tutorial, read this post.
  • You need to make sure you are using softened butter for the shortbread crust so it’s incorporated easily.. Here are 3 ways to soften your butter quickly.
  • When the crust is done, you want to pour the filling over it immediately. This kind of makes like one beautiful crust to lemon layer.
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @BostonGirlBakes or tag #BostonGirlBakes!

 



 

2 Comments

  1. I’m such a big fan of lemon desserts Heather so it was with a big smile that I started reading this post. Adding coconut really does take it to the next level and I love that there’s coconut in the base too! Last weekend I unsuccessfully attempted to make a lime and coconut cake, which sadly went straight in the bin, so while I recover from that, I might have to bake me up a beautifully sunny batch of these bars!

    1. So glad it made you smile! I’m such a sucker for coconut anything 🙂 So sorry to hear about your baking fail….happens to me more than I want to admit! Good luck on perfecting!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More You'll Love!