Chocolate Coconut Bars

chocolate coconut bars 4

With Australia Day approaching, my thoughts have been turning to traditional Aussie cakes and pastries, and these Chocolate Coconut Bars are hard to go past. Perhaps these slices are not what one would think of eating on Australia Day (lamingtons are more common), but this classic recipe from the Australian Women’s Weekly is one which I have grown up with and I was only too happy to be reminded of it recently when the recipe was posted on the AWW’sย Facebookย page.

True to the style of the Australian Women’s Weekly, this recipe is a doddle to make and uses ingredients which you are likely to have in your fridge and pantry. There are no fancy ingredients required here – the chocolate component is derived from cocoa powder. But, as always, some good quality cocoa powder would be recommended to make these slices extra special.

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Once you discover how quick and easy these slices are to make, you will be looking for excuses to make them again and again. In fact, I might make another batch myself …

As much as I would love to be back in Australia right now, sitting on the verandah in the blistering heat with a glass of cold Tiro Pink Grapefruit and in the company of my friends who I miss so much, I am content to be cosied up in my warm apartment in Zurich, sipping a cup of tea with a slice or three of these Chocolate Coconut Bars. Outside, the snow is casting a thick white blanket over the streets below. Australia Day this year looks to be a cold one!

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Chocolate Coconut Bars
 
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Recipe adapted from The Big Book of Beautiful Biscuits by the Australian Women's Weekly
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Cook’s Notes

chocolate coconut bars

For something a bit fun at a child’s birthday party, or any party for that matter, decorating with sprinkles instead of dessicated coconut will give these Chocolate Coconut Bars an instant festive feel.

chocolate coconut bars

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If you have used this recipe, I would love to hear how it turned out! Please leave a comment below and share your photos on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using #eatlittlebird

53 Comments

  1. Liz Headon 22 January 2013

    Presumably you stir in the 90g of coconut in with the other dry ingredients ? I think I can see it in the photo but the instructions don’t seem to mention it…

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      • eat, little bird 22 January 2013

        Oops! Baby brain! I have updated the recipe photo accordingly. But yes, the coconut is added with the other dry ingredients. Thanks for letting me know ๐Ÿ™‚

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          • Liz Headon 22 January 2013

            They look and sound rather like a recipe called Chocolate Orange Bars, from my childhood, which I haven’t made for years but now have rather a fancy to try them again. They use oats where yours have coconut, and have an almost fudge-y texture. Like these, they are simple and economical, because they use cocoa rather than lots of expensive melted chocolate (better not let anyone hear you say that in Switzerland though !)

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              • eat, little bird 22 January 2013

                I love the sound of the Chocolate Orange Bars. If you do get around to making them again, I’d love to see a photo on FB ๐Ÿ™‚ You are absolutely right to point out that this recipe is economical – there’s something very comforting about that thought. My “everyday” cocoa happens to be a Cailler brand which is much cheaper and accessible than the Bensdorp cocoa which I stock up on whenever I am in New York. But given that I will be doing much less long- distance travelling in the next year or so, I’m more than happy to resort to the local produce ๐Ÿ™‚

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          • tanja 22 January 2013

            Oh my gosh, how did I forget these? I have not eaten them in so long but I will tonight. Thank you for bringing back such nostalgic memories. Yumo.

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            • Fiona 22 January 2013

              Oh my – an absolute gem from my own Australian childhood! I am off to make a batch right away.
              Thanks so much for reminding me about them, and enjoy your snowy Australia Day.

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                • eat, little bird 22 January 2013

                  I’m loving the comments from readers like you who also enjoyed these slices in their childhood. Goes to show how far-reaching the AWW recipes have been. I’m happy to have reminded you of this recipe!

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                    • Fiona 23 January 2013

                      And ironically I live just outside Zurich, so I love how you post recipes I remember, but can also get the ingredients to over here!

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                        • eat, little bird 26 January 2013

                          Lovely to hear from another Aussie in Switzerland! I’m always happy when I can recreate an Aussie recipe using ingredients which are readily available here, though that’s not always the case. So I love that these bars use ingredients which can be found almost anywhere.

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                    • Paula 22 January 2013

                      That’s funny, I have some little books of Women’s Weekly!! One with gratin recipes, and the other about cheesecakes, they’re not the best cookbook, but gives ideas, and it’s OK for the for day to day.

                      It’s great to find again a step by step with photos, I love so much yours!! And the recipe, even with the numerous ingredients, is simple! My boyf loves chocolate/cocoa + coconut, his (second) favourite chocolate bar is Bounty, so he’d love this!! We must try!!

                      And I’m in love with the texture, even if I only can see it at the photo ๐Ÿ˜‰

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                        • eat, little bird 22 January 2013

                          The AWW cookbooks are not as glamourous as most other cookbooks, particularly since they are not personal to any chef and the recipes are often quite simple and instructional. But I think the AWW are slowly changing that by releasing new editions of their old books. Still, their recipes often stand the test of time and perhaps provide more inspiration than people realise. My first set of cookbooks included a few from the AWW and I still cook regularly from them today ๐Ÿ™‚

                          If your boyfriend loves Bounty bars, I think he would very much enjoy these slices. In fact, these slices are recommended to anyone who loves chocolate and coconut!

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                        • Louise 22 January 2013

                          Chocolate Slice! Yummy!
                          I made these for the first time in my Year 8 Home Economics class.

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                            • eat, little bird 22 January 2013

                              Hi Louise! Lovely to see you here ๐Ÿ™‚ Isn’t it a wonderful recipe? I can’t quite remember when I first made these slices but I know I definitely bought them from the cake stalls at school. Those cake stalls bring back such nice memories ๐Ÿ™‚

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                            • Priya Sreeram 23 January 2013

                              chocolates & coconut a heavely pairing; am bookmarking this recipe ๐Ÿ™‚ looks swell

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                              • Melissa 23 January 2013

                                Could you replace the plain flour with gluten free plain flour?

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                                  • eat, little bird 23 January 2013

                                    I’ve never baked with gluten-free plain flour but I imagine that it would work fine in this recipe. Please let me know if you do try it.

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                                  • thelittleloaf 23 January 2013

                                    Lovely looking bars! I don’t bake with coconut enough – every time I eat it I love it but never seem to have it in the kitchen. May have to buy myself a bag especially to make these!

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                                      • eat, little bird 23 January 2013

                                        I always keep a stock of dessicated coconut in the pantry for lamingtons and coconut macaroons. But I have been using it a lot lately just for these bars! And they really are worth it ๐Ÿ™‚

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                                      • Melange 23 January 2013

                                        Stunning presentation as usual.Being a person from coconut savvy land,I was stumbled on this recipe.I loved everything in it.Moreover this is a revelation to me that Australia has such a coconut background…Cheers !

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                                          • eat, little bird 23 January 2013

                                            Oh yes, coconut features quite a lot in Australian baking. My favourite would have to be lamingtons but these bars come a very, very close second.

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                                          • anita menon 23 January 2013

                                            Such a lovely looking treat!!! Hope you are doing well!

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                                              • eat, little bird 23 January 2013

                                                Thanks, Anita! I’m recovering well and am slowly getting back into the swing of things (or so I think!). My next task is to catch up on all of my favourite blogs, including yours!

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                                              • Nisha 24 January 2013

                                                These look amazing! I just wanted to say that I LOVE your blog – I’m newly married and always on the look out for recipes to make for my hubby. We have made a number of things from your blog and find them easy to follow and always delicious! Wanted to let you know that you’re an inspiration to me and your recipes and photos are fantastic.
                                                Can’t wait to try the chocolate bars. P.S. You’re right, its currently stinking hot in Australia – I’m jealous of the snow you’re getting in Zurich!

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                                                  • eat, little bird 26 January 2013

                                                    That is the sweetest compliment! Thank you – you have made my day ๐Ÿ™‚

                                                    I hope married life is treating you and your husband well. Lucky guy that he has someone like you to cook for him! I hope you will continue to enjoy the recipes here on this blog ๐Ÿ™‚

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                                                  • Starla 26 January 2013

                                                    Making them now. ๐Ÿ™‚
                                                    Did you use sweetened or unsweetened dessicated coconut?

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                                                      • eat, little bird 28 January 2013

                                                        I’m guessing it is unsweetened dessicated coconut. The dessicated coconut which I buy in Switzerland (and in Australia) doesn’t specify if it is sweetened or not, but I’m guessing it’s not. I hope these worked out for you!

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                                                          • Starla 28 January 2013

                                                            I used unsweetened and they turned out beautifully. Even the picky eaters in my house that don’t like coconut (and we live in Maui, HI where we are surrounded by coconuts!) loved them. ๐Ÿ™‚

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                                                        • Rushi 28 January 2013

                                                          Mmmm these look delish. Those AWW cookbooks have some great ideas and you are spot on, they have stood the test of time. Well I’m guessing that I could have a couple as a breakfast treat, well it’s got coconut so that’s healthy ๐Ÿ˜€ I know for a fact that my mom will love these but I think I will do a test batch, you know just to see how they are, lol.
                                                          xx

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                                                            • eat, little bird 28 January 2013

                                                              I would recommend that you make a double test batch … these disappear really quickly!

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                                                            • The Patterned Plate 6 February 2013

                                                              Thanh, I made these tonight for a bake sale and I almost, almost reconsidered giving it away. You know of my coconut obsession. They were incredibly moreish, impossible to stop at one. Irresistible is a term that’s used fast and loose in the baking world but these babies can only be described as such. It’s a definite keeper and especially as it’s so darn easy to whip up! I LOVE IT! xx

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                                                                • eat, little bird 10 February 2013

                                                                  I’m thrilled that you enjoyed this recipe so much as to recommend it to the folks on CF ๐Ÿ™‚ and I love that you made these for a bake sale – that’s probably how I first tried these slices, back ehen I was a youngster in primary school. The AWW recipes are always great for bake sales – they’re easy to follow, reliable and economical. This recipe is a keeper for sure!

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                                                                • Hannah 8 February 2013

                                                                  Just made these after Carries nudge on CF’s! They look and smell Devine, can’t wait to try a slice! thanks Thanh and thanks Carrie!

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                                                                    • eat, little bird 10 February 2013

                                                                      I’m so happy that you enjoyed these! I love your photo of these bars. Bon appรฉtit!

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                                                                    • Michelle 9 February 2013

                                                                      These were delicious! Not sure why however mine turned out with a very crumbly base so were hard to eat. Will have to try again with maybe a bit more butter.

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                                                                        • eat, little bird 10 February 2013

                                                                          The base should be a little crumbly, but not overly so such that they become difficult to eat. I wonder if maybe the base was baked for a bit too long? Ovens vary a lot and one guess is that maybe you could take these out of the oven a few minutes earlier. I hope you will give these another try!

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                                                                            • The Patterned Plate 15 February 2013

                                                                              I underbaked the second time I made these (arhem, I’ve baked these about four times in the last two weeks!!) and the base was quite crumbly and difficult to cut neatly. I find that the best way to judge is to test the surface and it should feel quite firm, without too much given. If it dips when pressed with your fingertip, it’s under, if it doesn’t budge, it’s over! A bit of a balance but I found 18 minutes to be perfect.

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                                                                                • eat, little bird 16 February 2013

                                                                                  Thanks Carrie! Cooking times can vary so much depending on your oven, type of pan used, temperature of ingredients, etc. I often check about 5 mins before the stated time for this reason. And your tips are spot on – the cake should feel quite firm to touch but not rock hard.

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                                                                            • Emma 26 February 2013

                                                                              Hello mama thanh : ) I grew up on these and your post has brought back lots of lovely memories of me being in my beautiful mum’s kitchen. Am back in oz soon and I might just ask her to bake some for me : )

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                                                                                • eat, little bird 27 February 2013

                                                                                  Hello! Some things taste best when made by others, especially by your own mother ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope to catch up soon. xx

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                                                                                • Maria 21 March 2013

                                                                                  Amazing photography and an amazing blog!

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                                                                                  • sula 22 July 2013

                                                                                    Thank you for sharing this recipe, I have just made it and can’t wait to give to my son in the morning. He is allergic to egg and loves coconut. I used egg replacement powder to subsitute the egg and they are perfect

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                                                                                      • eat, little bird 23 July 2013

                                                                                        I hope your son will enjoy these slices! I make them so frequently and we never tire of them ๐Ÿ™‚

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                                                                                      • Dina 8 August 2013

                                                                                        these sound like yummy bars!

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                                                                                        • Pratima kapoor 16 August 2013

                                                                                          Greetings from Delhi,India.
                                                                                          Just stumbled upon your recipe via pinterest. Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe with amazing photographs.
                                                                                          Your recipe lifted up my spirit on this wet and dull morning out here. I have all the ingredients on hand right now and i am making this before preparing lunch.

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                                                                                            • eat, little bird 16 August 2013

                                                                                              Oh I’m so glad to hear that this recipe has cheered you up ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy this recipe – it’s one of my all-time favourites!

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                                                                                              • Sonia Kunz 21 January 2016

                                                                                                I remember these at my local school fete at the cake stall, and they always sold out in the first hour.
                                                                                                Another classic chocolate biscuit to make (in one bowl) is the Afghan biscuit. I think the recipe originates in NZ. Super yum and easy, they include cornflakes, which sounds strange but they add an addictive crunch.

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                                                                                                  • Eat, Little Bird 21 January 2016

                                                                                                    I don’t think I’ve tried the Afghan biscuit but it sounds delicious! My husband loves chocolate with cornflakes (there’s a Swiss chocolatier in Zurich which produces this chocolate), so I will definitely look up the recipe for these Afghan biscuits. Thanks for the tip!

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                                                                                                      • Sonia Kunz 1 October 2016

                                                                                                        Quick question, where do you buy the soft brown sugar in Zรผrich? As an Australian I am used to a big choice in sugar and here I can find the raw brown sugar but not the moist soft brown sugar that I am used to? Tried Globus, Coop and Migros but no luck. Thanks.

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                                                                                                          • Eat, Little Bird 1 October 2016

                                                                                                            Hi Sonia,
                                                                                                            I use Billington’s Light Muscovado Sugar as a substitute for light brown sugar. Similarly, I use Billington’s Dark Muscovado Sugar whenever a recipe calls for dark brown sugar. You can find these items at Globus and Jelmoli in their food departments. I was just at Jelmoli this morning and they definitely stock the Billingtons range there. You can also find the range online from leshop.ch (Migros’ home delivery service), although I wonder if the large Migros supermarkets might stock them. Hope this helps! P.S. Lovely to hear from another Aussie in Zurich ๐Ÿ™‚

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                                                                                                      • Party supplies india 13 September 2016

                                                                                                        Going to give it a try for sure..!!

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