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Coconut Cream Pie Bars

These coconut cream pie bars are an absolutely irresistible no-bake dessert! Whether you make them completely from scratch or use a shortcut or two, they are sure to satisfy with layers of sweet cream cheese, coconut pudding, and whipped cream.

Coconut cream pie bar on plate with vanilla wafers on top for garnish

Creamy Coconut Pie Bars

Although this blog is called Bake or Break, sometimes I like to just skip the baking part and get right to the dessert. I’ve shared a lot of no-bake dessert recipes over the years, but if you’ve got a soft spot for coconut, these coconut cream pie bars are for you!

These bars are made up of layer after layer of good stuff. It all starts with a vanilla wafer crust that’s topped off with a fluffy, sweet cream cheese filling. Then there’s a layer of vanilla pudding with lots of toasted coconut. Finally, there’s sweetened whipped cream and even more toasted coconut. It’s like an amped up coconut cream pie in cool, creamy bar form.

That’s not even mentioning all of those vanilla wafers lining the sides of the pan. I just adore that. There’s just something so homey and comforting about it. It makes me want to cut a big slice and curl up on the couch to enjoy it.

To sum it up, this is a dessert that’s sure to please. I must warn you to go ahead and get your slice before you serve it because it tends to disappear very, very quickly.

Overhead view of coconut cream pie bars in baking dish

Why You’ll Love This Coconut Cream Pie Bar Recipe

Here’s what makes these bars a winner:

  • An old-fashioned favorite. This is the kind of recipe you find in church cookbooks and at neighborhood potlucks. It has that hint of nostalgia and it’s full of comfort food goodness—but making the layers from scratch really elevates these bars.
  • Coconut, coconut, and more coconut. If you’re a fan of coconut desserts then this recipe is definitely for you. There’s no shortage of coconut in these bars! (And if you still can’t get enough, try my Coconut Sheet Cake, Coconut Macaroons, and Coconut Cashew Toffee Cookies!)
  • Make it simple or make it homemade. You can choose to use shortcuts like pudding mix and frozen whipped topping or go the homemade route with from-scratch pudding and whipped cream. 
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Overhead view of ingredients for coconut cream pie bars

What You’ll Need

Scroll down to the recipe card to find the ingredient quantities and recipe instructions.

For the Crust:

For the Cream Cheese Layer:

  • Cream cheese – Use the kind that comes in blocks, not a tub.
  • Granulated sugar
  • Sweetened whipped cream – Here’s my go-to whipped cream recipe. Alternatively, you can use store-bought whipped topping.
  • Vanilla wafers

For the Pudding Layer:

  • Vanilla pudding – I usually like to make the vanilla pudding from scratch, but you can make it from a mix.
  • Sweetened whipped cream
  • Sweetened flaked coconut – Here’s how to toast coconut.

For the Topping:

  • Sweetened whipped cream
  • Sweetened flaked coconut

Can I Substitute Shredded Coconut for Coconut Flakes?

Yes, you can substitute shredded coconut for coconut flakes in this recipe. While flaked coconut is larger and thicker than shredded coconut, the taste is the same because they’re both made with either sweetened or unsweetened coconut. I prefer flaked coconut for its texture, which feels a bit more decadent in these coconut cream pie bars.

How to Make Coconut Cream Pie Bars

Don’t be intimidated by this recipe! Each step is quite easy. If needed, you can start the layers one day and finish up the bars the next day.

  • Make the crust. Stir together the crushed vanilla wafers and butter until the crumbs are thoroughly moistened. Press the crumbs into a 9″x 13″x 2″ pan, then refrigerate.
  • Whip the cream cheese. Use an electric mixer on medium speed to beat the cream cheese and sugar until the mixture is smooth. Fold in 1 cup of whipped cream.
  • Add the cream cheese layer. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the crust, then line vanilla wafers along the edges of the pan. Chill while you work on the next step.
  • Make the pudding layer. Stir the pudding, whipped cream, and coconut until combined. Spread this over the cream cheese layer.
  • Add the topping. Spread the remaining whipped cream over the pudding layer and garnish with the rest of the coconut.
  • Chill. Refrigerate the coconut cream pie bars for at least 6 hours before serving.
Overhead view of coconut cream pie bar on plate next to pan of bars

Tips for Success

Read over my baking tips for beginners, then follow these additional pointers for perfect coconut cream pie bars:

  • Use room temperature cream cheese. This will ensure it mixes smoothly, without any lumps.
  • Make a big batch of whipped cream. You can make all of the whipped cream at once—you’ll need a total of 3 cups—just before you start assembling the recipe. Be sure to keep it in the refrigerator when it’s not in use!
  • Prepare the pudding in advance. This will give it ample time to chill and thicken in the fridge. It will also streamline the assembly process, as you won’t have to take time out to make the pudding.


Here are a few ways you can switch up these coconut cream pie bars:

  • Swap the whole vanilla wafers on the side of the pan for another type of cookie, like buttery shortbread.
  • Make the crust with graham crackers instead of vanilla wafers.
  • Use store-bought pudding mix instead of making it from scratch. This takes a lot of the work out of the recipe! You can use vanilla pudding, French vanilla pudding, or coconut pudding.
  • Opt for frozen whipped topping instead of making your own whipped cream. Not only is this easier, store-bought whipped topping also has a longer storage life than homemade whipped cream. If you want your coconut cream pie bars to retain their light, fluffy texture during storage, whipped topping is the way to go.
Coconut cream pie bar on plate with toasted coconut on top

How to Store

You’ll need to store these coconut cream pie bars in the refrigerator, either wrapped in the pan or transferred to an airtight container. They’ll keep for up to 3 days, but as time passes, the whipped cream is likely to deflate a bit.

Can I Freeze This Recipe? 

Yes, you can freeze these bars. To do so, wrap the pan tightly with plastic wrap and then aluminum foil before freezing. Coconut cream pie bars will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer; thaw them overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

Coconut cream pie bar on plate with corner eaten and two vanilla wafers set on top

More Pies in Bar Form

Coconut Cream Pie Bars

Yield 16 servings
Prep Time 40 minutes
Additional Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 40 minutes

Delicious layers of cream cheese, pudding, vanilla wafers, and toasted coconut make these no-bake coconut cream pie bars irresistible!

Overhead view of coconut cream pie bars in baking dish


For the crust:

  • 8 ounces (226g) vanilla wafers, finely crushed
  • 6 tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, melted

For the cream cheese layer:

  • 8 ounces (226g) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup sweetened whipped cream*
  • 24 vanilla wafers

For the pudding layer:

For the topping:


To make the crust:

  1. Combine the crushed vanilla wafers and the butter until the crumbs are thoroughly moistened. Transfer to a 9"x 13"x 2" pan and press evenly onto the bottom of the pan.
  2. Refrigerate while you make the cream cheese layer.

To make the cream cheese layer:

  1. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese and sugar until well mixed and smooth. Gently fold in 1 cup whipped cream.
  2. Carefully spread over the crust.
  3. Line the whole vanilla wafers around the edges of the pan, standing the cookies on their ends. Return the pan to the refrigerator while you make the pudding layer.

To make the pudding layer:

  1. Stir together the pudding, 1 cup whipped cream, and coconut, gently folding to combine.
  2. Spread evenly over the cream cheese layer.

To finish:

  1. Gently spread the remaining 1 cup whipped cream over the pudding layer. Sprinkle coconut on top.
  2. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours before serving.


*You'll need a total of 3 cups of sweetened whipped cream. You can mix it all at once and then use it as you need it for assembling. Just keep it refrigerated between uses. To scale appropriately from this recipe, use 1 & 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream and 3 to 4 tablespoons of sugar. For a shortcut, you can use store-bought whipped topping.

**I recommend making the pudding a day in advance to allow it to chill. That will also give you a bit of a break in preparing all the components of these bars. Alternatively, you can make the pudding from a mix.

Recipe adapted from Kraft.

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    27 Comments on “Coconut Cream Pie Bars”

  1. those Nilla wafers in this are GENIUUUUS-so good!

  2. This looks so yummy. I will be making this for labor weekend!!

  3. This looks heavenly and perfect for the end of summer!

  4. This looks like the perfect dessert! Yum.

  5. Can you give the measurement for the vanilla wafer cookie crumbs in cups? I’d like to use graham cracker crumbs that I have on hand.

  6. I love coconut cream pie and this bar version is easy, Pinned!

  7. So many layers of some of my favorite things! How did you know I’ve been in a coconutty kind of mood lately?

  8. I am making these right now! We love coconut and nilla wafers and the 2 of them together??? Heaven is what that is!!!

  9. Question, If I cheat and use instant pudding, do I use 1 small box or 2?

  10. Do you use jello vanilla pudding that you have to cook?

  11. can you use cool whip instead of whipping cream

  12. I have made this twice in the last 2 weeks! I used 1 box instant vanilla pudding and cool whip and it turned out awesome! My family loves this! It’s a real winner!!

  13. Seriously just give me the pan and a fork. I’d eat the whole thing!!

  14. I love this and have made it a bunch but I use coconut pudding that way I don’t need to add coconut. I also crush the 24 cookies and sprinkle them on top instead of lining the pan with them.

  15. So often I read recipes that use whipped cream cheese mixed with whipped cream, and while it sounds good – to me it is heavy and greasy. This combination leaves a heavy, greasy feeling in my mouth that I do not like. Is there an alternative to the cream cheese/whipped cream mixture?

    • Hi, Opal. I’m not sure there’s a good substitute or alternative. I know everyone is different, but I’ve never experienced that sort of texture with that combination. If you’re using low-fat or fat-free ingredients, that can definitely alter the result.

  16. Can I add crushed pineapple with ring te recipe?

  17. I made this dessert for the 4th of July. Absolutely delicious. (Not even a big coconut person ) Followed the directions as above, except… did a little cheating. I used instant French Vanilla pudding and I used Cool whip topping. It was a hit among family members. I will be making it again. Thank you for the recipe.

  18. Oh were we bad! Your recipe for 16 servings was sullied…I considered this as a recipe for EIGHT 😉 And then I went ahead and made a fourth of the recipe, creating 2 individual desserts from the God’s. I used 2 souffle ramekins for the layering. Really large portions, and I won’t have it any other way, each and every time I repeat what you’ve shared….hopefully many, many times! This was a stunner, and thank you so much Jennifer for sharing. Additionally, your “from scratch” vanilla pudding was fantastic, besides being the easiest rendition I’ve ever made.

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