These raspberry coconut bars have a buttery shortbread base, a layer of raspberry jam and a coconut macaroon topping. This old-fashioned recipe is simple to make and perfect for coconut lovers.
My aunt used to make these raspberry coconut bars every Christmas. When I moved to Brisbane, I saw the recipe was even more popular in Australia – only it’s called a raspberry coconut slice. This recipe features a thick, buttery shortbread crust with a layer of raspberry jam in the middle. Then the topping is made with sweetened coconut – which is probably my favorite part.
Making Raspberry Coconut Bars
The recipe starts with a buttery shortbread-esque base. Like any shortbread recipe, it’s made with just a few simple ingredients: butter, sugar and flour plus a little cornstarch to keep it soft. You’ll press the mixture into the bottom of a lined 8×8 inch (20×20 cm) pan, and then it goes in the oven to bake for about 20 minutes, or until slightly golden. Baking the base layer on its own is absolutely necessary – otherwise it’ll end up soggy and raw.
Once it’s out of the oven, you’ll spread an even layer of raspberry jam on top. I found that ¾ cup of jam is the perfect amount. If you like an extra thick layer, you could use 1 whole cup. Note: I bought a 10.5 ounce (300 gram) jar of raspberry jam, and used pretty much the entire thing to get ¾ cup.
Then for the chewy coconut topping you’ll whisk together 1 large egg, 1 extra egg white (discard the yolk), 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar and 1 ⅔ cup shredded coconut. I found these proportions gave a topping that’s thick and chewy with just the right amount of sweetness. I like using shredded coconut because it gives lots of texture and a pretty appearance that becomes slightly golden as it bakes. Then the coconut layer goes on top of the jam.
Pro Tip: Instead of dumping all the coconut mixture on top of the jam and trying to spread it into a thin layer, spoon small amounts over the top and gently spread it into an even layer. Otherwise, you can end up moving the jam to the edges of the pan and you’ll have an uneven layer.
The bars will then go back in the oven to bake for about 30 minutes, or until the coconut is starting to become golden brown on top.
Pro Tip: Cool the bars fully before slicing – this may take 2-3 hours.
The buttery shortbread, sweet jam and chewy, flaky coconut on top make these bars simply irresistible. I love that you can make them any time of year, because you don’t need to worry about what fresh fruit is in season. And the flavor combo of raspberry and sweet coconut is perfect.
More Delicious Fruit Bars to Love:
Raspberry Coconut Bars
- 8x8 inch (20x20 cm) square baking tin
- ¾ cup unsalted butter (168 grams) softened
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar (66 grams)
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (188 grams) AKA plain flour
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch* AKA corn flour
- ¾ cup raspberry jam I used almost an entire 10.5 ounce (300 gram) jar
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg white discard the yolk
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 ⅔ cup sweetened flaked coconut
- Preheat the oven to 325F (160C) degrees.
- Line an 8x8 inch (20x20 cm) baking pan with baking paper, leaving an overhang around the sides. Optionally, line with aluminum foil and lightly grease.
- In a medium bowl, beat the butter and sugar until combined.
- Mix in the flour and corn starch, starting with the mixer on low speed. Stop mixing as soon as the flour is combined. It should be quite thick.
- Press the mixture into the bottom of the lined pan and bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until the top looks set and is just starting to become golden brown around the edges. Remove from the oven, and keep the oven turned on.
- While the base layer is baking, whisk together the egg, egg white and sugar in a small bowl.
- Stir in the shredded coconut.
Assembling & Baking the Bars
- After the base layer has been baked on its own for 15-20 minutes, carefully spread the jam on top of it.
- Then, carefully spoon / dollop small spoonfulls of the coconut mixture on top of the jam layer, until the jam is evenly covered (or mostly covered).
- Bake in the oven (still at 325F degrees) for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is golden.
- Remove from the oven and cool fully in the pan.
- When fully cooled, lift the bars out of the pan using the overhang of the parchment paper. Place on a cutting board and slice using a sharp knife.
- I like to add in a little cornstarch because it helps to keep the base soft. If you don't have any on hand, you can leave it out.
- Store bars in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days, or in the fridge for up to 1 week.
- Nutrition information is an estimate only and based on 1 piece, assuming the pan is sliced into 12 equal pieces.