Gooey Chocolate Coconut Bars

Sometimes trying a new recipe in the midst of an intense chocolate craving is risky. Really risky. But these coconut chocolate bars completely exceeded my expectations when I made them to appease just such a craving.

I can’t even begin to describe all the reasons these bars are worth making but the unique texture and gooey deliciousness alone will be worth it, I assure you. A decadent, rich chocolate base is topped with a creamy, chocolatey, coconut mixture (almost like a frosting) and baked until the brownie base is set and the coconut/chocolate center is cooked through but still soft and well…gooey. Encased in a crackly topping that forms while baking, these bars are the perfect marriage of brownie and German chocolate madness (a classic chocolate and coconut combination). They were great once they cooled, but chilled in the refrigerator? Unbelievable.

Gooey Chocolate Coconut Bars

One Year Ago: Whole Wheat Dinner Muffins
Two Years Ago: Twice Baked Potatoes
Three Years Ago: Chicken Tortellini Bake

Gooey Coconut Chocolate Bars

Yield: Makes 12 or so bars

Gooey Coconut Chocolate Bars

Note: Don't overbake these bars! They are best taken out of the oven when the edges are set and the center is still a bit jiggly. They will firm up after cooling but if they are baked too long, they will be hard and dry.


    For the base:
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
  • For the topping:
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut


  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F and spray an 8x8-inch square baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Line the pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the sides and spray the paper or foil with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar until evenly combined. Add the butter, egg, vanilla, and coconut extract and mix with a handheld electric mixer (or use a stand mixer) until the mixture is combined. Gently press or spread the dough evenly into the prepared pan. Set aside.
  3. For the topping, cream together the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl until light and smooth. Add the egg and mix well, then add the cocoa powder and vanilla and mix until well blended. Add the powdered sugar gradually while beating until the mixture is smooth. Fold in the coconut.
  4. Dollop the topping evenly over the base and bake the bars for 30-35 minutes or until the edges are just set and the center is a little wobbly. Cool completely in the pan before lifting out and cutting into squares. The bars taste wonderful chilled, by the way.

Recipe Source: adapted from a recipe I originally spied on My Sister’s Kitchen via Evil Shenanigans

52 Responses to Gooey Coconut Chocolate Bars

  1. Jasmine says:

    salted or unsalted butter?

  2. Becks says:

    I made these and they turned out amazing !!!! Although 1 1/2 cups of sugar for the topping seemed like a bit too much for me , so I cut it to 3/4 cup and it was still amazing !!!!

  3. Sharlene says:

    This recipe is a keeper*

  4. Sharlene says:

    I made these last night for a dinner at my friends house and they were AMAZING! the only change I had to do was that, I only had unsweetened coconut on hand so I used that instead and they still were great. I loved the gooey top! So good! This recipe is a letterer. But they baked up super thick in my 8×8 for some reason so I might try a larger pan next time. Thank you for your recipes! And dedication to the blog even when you are living in a hotel 🙁 I hope you guys find something soon that is suitable for you’re family if you haven’t already 🙂

  5. […] recipe source: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe […]

  6. I make a recipe similar to this and it is to die for! Love your mouthwatering and elaborate description!

  7. Just a quick link to my post on these gorgeous bars, with credit to you of course! I have made them a couple of times and will continue to do so in the future I am sure 🙂 Yours is truly one of my favourite and most trusted sites, thank you for yet another winner!

  8. Sarah Jane says:

    I made these for Father’s Day. Doubled it and made a 9 x 13 pan. Oh my word!!! Heaven. So good in so many different ways. Chewy, creamy (in places), chunky with coconut, brownie like. Thank you Mel! This will be in my dessert arsenal forever. Hmm..wonder what they’d be like with added pecans to the coconut part?

  9. Mel, I made these again today and in relation to the bottom dough, it definitely is like a thick frosting.

  10. Becky says:

    Oh. My. These are soooo good! Made them for Father’s Day and the Husband says this is a keeper! K…have to go have some more!

  11. Natalie says:

    This is dessert perfection. I love the subtle cheesecake vibe.

  12. Thanks for getting back to me Mel! I ended up putting the bottom layer mix in the fridge for an hour or so where it became much thicker but still spreadable and carried on with the recipe as you wrote it. Luckily they turned out absolutely perfectly! I wasn’t expecting them to be so good or so popular, I shared them with 7 friends and every single person said I should start selling it it was so good 🙂 Gorgeous recipe, despite the oddity of the runny batter!

  13. The bottom layer was like a thick brownie, not a dough. I didn´t pat it as I would for a tart; I just spread it with the aid of the back of a spoon that I dip in water.
    But I really wasn´t expecting to pat it, so I didn´t even realize it. My bars came out perfect, so a brownie-like base works well.

  14. Amy R. says:

    Well, gooey batter or not, I baked them up and they were delicious! Everyone loved them! My husband doesn’t know it, but he is your biggest fan. He inhales everything I make from your site. Thanks for all of the amazing recipes!

  15. Mel says:

    Amy – that’s odd that you and Sasha are both coming out with runny batter. Paula, was your brownie batter runny or stiff? I’ll remake the recipe tomorrow and try to troubleshoot…

  16. Mel, I baked them this morning and took them to a friend´s house where I was having lunch. They were devoured, an absolute hit with everyone! This recipe goes into my files for good.

  17. Amy R. says:

    I’m making these right now and I’m also having runny batter! It’s not dough like at all! I’ve checked the recipe and I’m sure that I put in the correct amounts of everything. It looks like delicious brownie batter, but it’s definitely not something that can be “pressed” into a pan- just poured. Any tips??

  18. Mel says:

    Hi Sasha – the flour amount is correct (I double checked against the original recipe)…I’m not sure why your mixture is runny! Hmmm…did you bake them? How did they turn out?

  19. Debra Kapellakis says:

    These look and read yummily!

  20. Hey mel, making these now but the beginning mixture is runny not stiff at all! I was wondering if the flour quantity is correct? Or if I have done something wrong! Thank you 🙂

  21. Britt-Marie says:

    I love coconut! (And my husband doesn’t.) I’m definitely going to have to make these! ha! YUM!

  22. Cathy says:

    My family loved these!! My dessert file for your blog is overwhelming!! Don’t over cook these bars… And they are better refrigerated ::)

  23. Mel says:

    Rachel – I’m not sure about a cream cheese substitution since I haven’t tried it myself. What will you be subbing for the butter? It might be possible to just double the amount of butter (or butter substitute) to account for the missing cream cheese. Good luck if you try it!

  24. grace says:

    wonderful, wonderful, mel! chocolate and coconut ranks high on my list of favorite combinations, and i’m always game for goo. 🙂

  25. Leigh Anne says:

    oooh yummo! I’m “pinning” these for future chocolate cravings 🙂

  26. Rachel says:

    Hey mel! these look great! is there anyway i can make these without the cream cheese and they still turn out great? (dairy allergy:(

  27. Jenny says:

    I just got your book – thanks! It was so fun to get such a great surprise in the mail. Now if I can just find a few spare moments when my children aren’t hovering… 🙂

  28. Hi Mel, must have been something in the water here in the Midwest because I just made some Macadamia brownie bars with a coconut-caramely topping that was just out of this world! (posted today) Like yours, they are unbelievably good straight out of the refrigerator. I am adding your recipe to my (very large) must try pile. Hope your new sweet baby girl is letting you get a little sleep once in a while!

  29. All you have to say is coconut and you have my attention. I haven’t made anything chocolate in way too long and this is a recipe I can’t pass up.

  30. Brittany C. says:

    Wow. These look and sound awesome!! I don’t think you can ever go wrong with chocolate and coconut. I’m already trying to come up with an excuse to make these. I know I shouldn’t but I really want to!! 🙂

  31. Megan says:

    Thanks Mel!

  32. Elizabeth says:

    Bars are one of my favorite things to make!

  33. Susan from WA says:

    It’s probably safer to stick with an 8X8 pan (safer for my thighs, anyway), but I wondered if you had had success in doubling the recipe for a 9X13?

  34. Your description has me almost running to the kitchen! I´ve been thinking about german choco cake lately; this recipe is like the fast, much easier answer.

  35. These are now at the top of my next baking project! They sound divine!

  36. Michelle says:

    This looks amazing!! I can’t wait to try it! 🙂

  37. I underbake every bar/brownie to make it extra gooey. These look heavenly!

  38. These look awesome! I’m also for refrigerating brownies. They just get so gooey! I’ve never had German chocolate anything, but after seeing these, I think I need to change that.

  39. Oh my goodness! Do I have to wait for them to cool or can I just eat them out of the pan with a spoon??

  40. YUM. I’m addicted to coconut right now so I can’t wait to try these.

  41. You had me at chocolate and coconut but when I saw cream cheese was in the mix, I’m SOLD! These would be dangerous in my house. DANGEROUS.

  42. Teresa R. says:

    Oh my, I wish I had made this on Sunday. As usual, I started a diet on Monday. I Know I’ll be making this soon, regardless of the diet!

  43. Megan says:

    These sound delish! However I don’t like shredded coconut texture… is it noticeable after these bars are baked & cooled?

    • Mel says:

      Megan – the coconut texture is noticeable in these bars – not overly so – but when I bite into them, I can definitely tell there is coconut going on.

  44. Hayley says:

    Wishing I hadn’t just made brownies yesterday. They are delicious, but the coconut in these is all too tempting.

  45. Currently craving these…..

  46. Sweet goodness, yes! Love the sound of these!

  47. Alisha says:

    Besides INCREDIBLE recipes, the one thing you can rely on at melskitchencafe is Kim in MD making the first comment 😉

    • Mel says:

      Alisha – your comment made me smile because Kim in MD is one of my biggest supporters! I’ve never met her in person but she always, always takes the time to comment on the posts which means the world to me. Plus she sends me great recipes, so I love her guts for that, too. 🙂

  48. Kim in MD says:

    Yum! I can tell by your description of these bars that my family will love them. My husband loves German chocolate cake!

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