Grandma’s Coconut Chews

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Chewy coconut filling layered onto a buttery shortbread crust; this recipe is so simple to make I have been making it since I was a child. This is my grandma’s recipe for Coconut Chews (one of only a few that she made) and if you are a coconut lover, these can not be beat.

Coconut Shortbread Chews are a coconut lover's dream come true! get the recipe at


I hadn’t made these bars in years and when I baked this gluten free version of the Coconut Chews and took them to some friends and family they were an enormous hit. I have a well-known love of coconut and these bars are some of the best coconut treats I make.

It’s a funny thing the way blogging has changed the way I think about baking and cooking. When I’m focused and working on new recipes, I tend to forget about the older family favorites. I fell in love with these bars all over again when I made them for our guests a few weeks ago. They were the most talked about dessert and definitely one that I’ll be making again, sooner than later.


Check out all of the Gluten Free Dessert Recipes on this website!

Kitchen Tip: I use this bowl, this spatula, and this pan to make this recipe.

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Grandma’s Coconut Chews

4.66 from 20 votes
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Servings: 12 servings


  • Crust Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour *
  • Filling Ingredients:
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour or brown rice flour
  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8x8 pan with butter or line with parchment. Combine the butter, sugar, and flour for the crust in a medium mixing bowl. Stir until well-combined. Press the crust into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool a few minutes while finishing the rest of the recipe.
  • Mix together the filling ingredients and pour over the crust. Bake 20 minutes more (25 minutes for the doubled recipe). Let cool completely before slicing. Enjoy!


Gluten Free Alternative: 2/3 cup brown rice flour + 1/3 cup potato starch can be substituted for the all-purpose flour in the crust ingredients above.
Doubling this recipe will perfectly fill a 9x13 pan. Add an additional 5-10 minutes baking time for the crust a doubled recipe and an additional 5-10 minutes for the filling.
Tried this recipe?Mention @barefeetkitchen or tag #barefeetkitchen!

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{originally posted 7-6-12 – photos and recipe notes updated 7-11-16}

Here are some more coconut desserts you might like:
Pineapple Coconut Bars by Barefeet In The Kitchen
Black Bottom Coconut Squares by The View from Great Island
Coconut Cream Lush by Melissa’s Southern Kitchen
Mini Coconut Pound Cakes by Barefeet In The Kitchen
Pineapple Coconut Cake by Baked By An Introvert
Lime Coconut Snowballs by Two Peas and Their Pod
Coconut Lovers Oatmeal Cookies by Barefeet In The Kitchen
Ultimate Coconut Cream Pie by Cook Crave Inspire

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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    • Mary Younkin says

      I can not even fathom what went wrong here, Carol. Did you substitute any ingredients? Were you using sweetened coconut? My best guess is that one of the ingredients was off or had gone bad.

  1. Bea says

    Hi Mary, I can’t wait to make these! I’m such a coconut fanatic so these are definitely going to be a favorite. Thanks so much!!!5 stars

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