Even if you’re not a fan of the sometimes-controversial coconut, these Cherry Coconut Magic Bars will turn you into a true believer! They’re a sweet and fruity treat that will disappear from the tray in seconds.
Table of contents
Cherry Coconut Bars
Coconut’s a little controversial! People love it or hate it. No in-between, it seems! In fact, I know some of you clicked on this recipe, scanned it over, and hoped maybe the coconut wasn’t a big part of it … no dice. However, these cherry coconut bars will absolutely convert you into a coconut lover.
There’s something about a sweet mixture of cherries and coconut that brings out the best in both ingredients. Trust me. You’ll love these easy bars – crunchy, chewy, and fruity, making them winners all around.
You may be familiar with the classic Magic Bars recipe (aka 7 Layer Bars, Hello Dollies, etc.).This recipe is an update on the classic with the addition of maraschino cherries!
Magic bars typically have a graham cracker crust. They are usually topped with shredded coconut and other goodies before a can of sweetened condensed milk is poured over the top. Then, the bars are baked.
In this version, maraschino cherries add a sweet, tasty twist! Not to mention, they look pretty, too!
I’ve found they fit best around Christmas or Valentine’s Day due to their ingredients, but honestly, make ‘em right in the middle of July if you want. 😉 And you may end up wanting to do that. They’re just so good …
With that combination of cherry, coconut, and graham crackers, they certainly taste magical, don’t you think?! Enjoy!
Coconut Cherry Bars: Ingredients & Equipment
To make these coconut cherry bars, you’ll need …
For the crust
- butter – Melted. This will hold all your crust ingredients together.
- salt – Believe it or not, salt in most baked goods brings out all the other flavors.
- baking powder – This will help the crust puff/rise a bit.
- flour, graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar – The remaining ingredients will form a sweet crust for your Cherry Coconut Magic Bars.
For the filling
- almond extract and vanilla extract – Much like salt, these two ingredients enhance all the other flavors in your cherry coconut bars.
- maraschino cherries – Drained and chopped.
- finely shredded coconut – Unsweetened.
- sweetened condensed milk – This is where the sweetness in the filling comes from!
- 9×13-in. baking pan – Greased to bake your bars.
- bowls – Two, to mix your crust ingredients and your filling ingredients separately.
How To Make Cherry Coconut Bars
Whether or not you’ve baked before, making these cherry coconut magic bars are a cinch!!
First, set up your supplies. Preheat your oven to 325°F and grease a 9×13-in. baking pan.
Second, mix your crust ingredients together. Grab a small bowl to combine the flour, graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the melted butter. Press this mixture into the baking pan.
Next, combine your filling ingredients. Once you’ve mixed your filling ingredients in a separate bowl and ensured they’re well-combined, pour that mixture over the crust.
Finally, bake and enjoy your cherry coconut bars! They’ll be done in about 35-40 minutes once you’ve thrown them in the oven. (Alternatively, look to see if the edges are lightly browned!!) Once finished baking, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool for an hour. After that, cover them and refrigerate them for about four hours before cutting them into bars!
Cherry Coconut Bars: FAQs
This will make 24 bars, more or less!!
They take 15 minutes to prep, about a half hour to cook, and another few hours to cool. However, as you can see, most of that time is hands-off!! A very stress-free recipe!
Oh, yes, lots!! There are tons of variations on these bars. In particular, I recommend trying dark chocolate bits or nuts (like pecans or walnuts) added to the filling. White, milk, or even orange chocolate would also taste amazing. So, so tasty, y’all!!
Put them in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge!
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For the crust
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter, melted
For the filling
- 4 cups unsweetened finely shredded coconut
- 2 cans (14 ounces each) sweetened condensed milk
- 2 jars (10 ounces each) maraschino cherries, drained and chopped
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease a 9x13-in. baking pan and set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together the flour, graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the melted butter.
- Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking pan.
- In a separate bowl, combine all the filling ingredients until well combined. Pour the mixture over the crust in the baking pan.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for one hour.
- Cover and refrigerate the pan for at least four hours before cutting them into bars.
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.
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Stainless Steel Wire Cooling Rack for Half Sheet Pans - Heavy Duty Commercial Quality
Non-Stick 13 x 9-Inch Covered Oblong Baking Pan with Lids, Pack of 2
Silicone Spatula Set of 4
Pyrex Glass Mixing Bowl Set (3-Piece)
Cutting Board Set, 15-Inch by 20-Inch by 1/2-Inch, Assorted Colors
Chef Knife - 8 Inches
Stainless Steel Measuring Cups - 5 Piece Stackable Measuring Set
Stainless Steel Metal Measuring Spoons, Fits in Spice Jar, Set of 6 with bonus Leveler
Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1 bar
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 217Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 187mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 2gSugar: 13gProtein: 2g
Please note that the nutritional information listed on this page is an estimation based on the products I used. Ingredients and nutritional information can vary significantly between brands. Always be sure to read labels. Please verify that a recipe fits your needs before using it. Nutrition info may contain errors, so please verify it independently. Likewise, recipes may contain errors, so please use your common sense when following them.