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Coconut Orange Cake Bars

I could eat four of these in one sitting…

We enjoy a good treat now and then (or every day). We love cookies, cakes and pies, but what we really love are these coconut cake bars boasting a buttery, moist cake center with shredded coconut and a decadent cream cheese coconut frosting. The citrusy orange and sweet coconut work really well together, and a creamy frosting is, well – the icing on the cake! What we love even more is the ease of whipping up a batch. This is a great recipe to do with the kiddos, so grab those little helpers and give them a little baking lesson. Besides, food always tastes better when there’s some helping hands around. We like to share a batch these delicious bars for a dinner party or more casual backyard barbecues. This cake bar has just the right amount of yum to satisfy every crowd and definitely a nagging sweet tooth.

Coconut Orange Cake Bars

Serves 12-16; 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients
  • 2 ½ cups shredded sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup half and half
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • Frosting:
  • 1 (8oz) package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (or orange) extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup coconut flakes
Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Pulse coconut flakes in blender until slightly grainy. Set aside.
  3. Cream both brown and white sugars with eggs, and vanilla. Mix in blended coconut, orange zest, half and half, flour, cinnamon, salt. Pour batter into baking dish.
  4. Bake for 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven to cool.
  5. For the frosting: beat cream cheese, sugar, orange juice, and vanilla (or orange extract) until smooth. Spread mixture over cooled cake cake and sprinkle shredded coconut over top. Chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour before cutting into squares to serve.