No Thanks
Keep In Touch With

Sign up and we'll send inspiration straight to you.

Martha Stewart takes your privacy seriously. To learn more, please read our Privacy Policy.

Coconut Bars

Stirring will prevent the candy from burning. It can be stored in an airtight container for up to one week.

  • Yield: Makes 4 dozen
Coconut Bars

Source: Martha Stewart Living, January 2004


  • Vegetable-oil cooking spray
  • 1 pound grated fresh coconut or unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk


  1. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Stir together remaining ingredients in a large saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring almost constantly, until mixture thickens and forms a cohesive mass, about 30 minutes.

  2. Pour mixture onto prepared sheet. With an offset spatula, spread 1/2 inch thick; shape into a 12-by-13-inch rectangle. Let cool completely, then cut into 1 1/2-by-2-inch rectangles.

Reviews (45)

  • marla_beauchemin 11 Mar, 2014

    I too used sweetened coconut but I used a bit extra and cut the sugar down 1/4 cup. I started it on mid-low and then raised the temp, kept stirring and lowered it when it started to boil. I had it on the element for 40 mins and kept raising and lowering the heat. Just before the timer went off it started thickening real well. By the time the timer went off it was nice and thick. I used a 9x13 cake pan. It was very sweet but really good.

  • rikkimae 11 Sep, 2013

    While making these, I realized I used sweetened coconut and the full amount of sugar...Eek! Like some the others have mentioned, it was not turning into a cohesive mass so I cranked up the heat to high, stirred constantly and crossed my fingers. It turned a warm caramel-y brown (although not like the picture, I did not mind) and I wasn't sure about the thickness but I put it in the pan to cool anyway. Long story short, they turned out AMAZING...just not the same color. Just crank the heat!

  • LindsiW 19 Feb, 2009

    I will have to try these!! They sound yummy!! I will pour dark chocolate over the top--like a mounds bars :) Sounds good.
    You have to make sure that you keep it over the heat long enough - till thickened....can't wait!!

  • shortytalker 4 Jan, 2009

    this recipe was so easy to make, my family loved it, thank u

  • mrsammieb 27 Dec, 2008

    I made these too thinking maybe I could get it to work even though many other people did not. It never hardened. So we used it as icing on a german chocolate cake. It was great as icing! I wonder where it went wrong?

  • Marsiedoodle 25 Dec, 2008

    This is NOT a simiple recipe.... did not firm up as others have indicated.. something is wrong... waste of money, and food... and I have no dessert.. they don't work Martha and company...

  • nitlyn 23 Dec, 2008

    I too had problems with this recipe After 45 minute, they never got thick. I let them set, tried baking them and finaly ended up throwing them in the trash, Never again will I make a Martha recipe without checking the comments. Martha should delete this one from the web site.

  • Wishintobemartha 20 Dec, 2008

    These bars sounded delicious and they are but I can't cut them into bars. I put them in the refrigerator to harden but they are still sticky. I'm not sure what I will do with them. Maybe roll them in balls and dip in chocolate so that they have some sort of shape. They are similiar to the inside of a mounds candy bar. Something is definately not right with this recipe.

  • artichokeannie 18 Dec, 2008

    These were a disaster for sad, after 45 minutes of stirring. (I poured them in the pan after 30 but they were so runny I put them back in the pot and stirred some more.) A lot of time and good ingredients to throw in the trash. It sounded so simple; I don't understand why they didn't work out.

  • Juju22 5 Dec, 2008

    WHAT A HORRIBLE MESS! Cooked as directed for 30 minutes and mixture was still thin and runny. Cooked for another 30 minutes and no difference. Added 3 tsp cornstarch like the other poster recommended and cooked for another 20 minutes. They were slightly thicker but still too thin to pour into a 12x13 shape into a 13x18 pan. I let the mixture cool and it was runny so I through it away. What a waste of time and ingredients!! Martha! You should be ashamed!

  • Dova53 2 Dec, 2008

    These are so good. PVoyles the reasons people bake is because are homemade tastes better and no presevatives plus the fun of making it yourself. Of course when you cook or bake you'll have cleanup.

  • PVoyles 1 Dec, 2008

    If it sounds too good to be true, probally is. So I did it, it was good but I will just buy, the macaroons cookies at the Dollar General. Only $1.00 a bag.No mess no stirring and no trash other than the bag they come in. Easy and quick and cheap but edible.

  • emd189 30 Nov, 2008

    these were so tasty- only 30 mins on the stove top worked fine for me- i used sweetened cocnut flakes and only 2 tblspns of sugar- yum!

  • Kweb2K 26 Nov, 2008

    Just made these: Cook over Medium heat on the stove top (using a heavy bottom large pot) for about an hour mixing constantly. About 20 minutes till the end, add 3 teaspoons of cornstarch. When done, the color should be a light tan and SUPER THICK. Transfer to sheet pan lined with parchment. Cut into squares before it is completely cool. It will end up more like a vanilla coconut fudge bar- just not as gooey. Good luck! These were good but I think next time I'll just make Macaroons.

  • cooingrealtor 24 Nov, 2008

    I spent an hour making these "supposed" cookies which ended up in the trash.Cooked 40 minutes on the stove top-consistancy was thicker than when started. Put in Baking pan, cooled and was unable to cut up. Tried baking for 30 minutes,appeared like cookies, but were a gooey mess. WIsh I read other comments first. Would not waste my time again.

  • tanneryli 24 Nov, 2008

    I made these and they are not bars, More like the topping you would put on german chocolate cake. I was very upset at the results of these...Terrible...
    I wasted all those good ingredients...

  • madill35 21 Nov, 2008

    Got everything for these,just realized I needed unsweetened coconut and I got sweetened.Does anyone know if this would make a huge difference.Except for being sweeter

  • itsjustgood 17 Nov, 2008

    Cooking directions could be better. Degrees on a candy thermometer
    would have been more helpful. I cooked this for an hour. Till thick...about 30 min is to vague... my cookies were dark as brown sugar, unlike the photo. I mixed more coconut and powdered sugar and sprinkled on the top of the mixture while cooling. Then they looked like the photo. The cookies are more like coconut candy.

  • maz1maz 17 Nov, 2008

    Will these freeze well???

  • meadresearch 17 Nov, 2008

    Gosh, I can think of a few good add-ins for this recipe! Nuts, chocolate chips, dried cranberries? MMMM! lol. I love coconut anything!

  • WendyMcG 17 Nov, 2008

    The recipe says that it makes 4 dozen. This sounds impossible. It looks like it only makes 1 dozen. How many does it make? (I may make this for a cookie swap and I need to bring several dozen)

  • joyluvsmnms 17 Nov, 2008

    You can add colored sugars, sprinckes, or even drizzle choclotate over for festive apperance. These sound great and so simple to make. I will try them soon.

  • vanvianna 17 Nov, 2008

    This is a delicious sweet, really famous in Brazil named COCADA.
    This sweet dipped in dark chocolate is really yummy, although I am not a fan.


  • egghead96 17 Nov, 2008

    Anyone tried dipping half of these bars in dark chocolate? I can't help but think it would be so yummy!

  • SpicyButterfly 17 Nov, 2008

    To JessePiester, thank you for clarifying the recipe! You are right, they don't have to go in the oven, all of the cooking is done on the stovetop and then they firm up as they cool. So my 10 x 15 pan would be fine. I think I would line it with a parchment sling (that is, let the parchment hang over the handles) so I could lift it out easily and put it on a board to cut into squares.

  • myke43 16 Nov, 2008

    Now this recipe should send your blood sugar through
    the roof. All that sugar AND sweetened condensed milk????
    Makes my teeth ache and I am a coconut lover to boot.

  • JessePiester 16 Nov, 2008

    To SpicyButterfly, my interpretation is that these don't actually "bake". Also, the size pan you asked about is almost exactly the area that is called for in the recipe.

  • bidisha1 16 Nov, 2008

    I made for a party and drizzled semi sweet chocolate over them and they were amazing.

  • TreeOwl 16 Nov, 2008

    I love all the coconut fans here and can't wait to try these. Also a few weeks ago Martha sent out another coconut recipe that did involve chocolate dipping. It looked de-lish!

  • SpicyButterfly 16 Nov, 2008

    Would these bars bake up properly in a 10 x 15 glass baking dish?

  • CarolHudelson 16 Nov, 2008

    I noticed that the recipe calls for UNSWEETENED coconut; most familiar brands, like Baker's, is sweetened. Organic grocers will sell unsweetened usually.

  • weazel 16 Nov, 2008

    I used semi-sweet and milk chocolate (wilton milk chocolate for candy making). I really liked the semi=sweet but the milk chocolate got a thumbs up from everyone also so I guess anything goes. The next time I make them I am going to try butter scotch to dip them in (maybe change the pecans to peanuts). I haven't tried to freeze them but would love to know if it works.

  • kattboard 16 Nov, 2008

    I am allergic to wheat, and I do believe these luscious little treats are gluten free! Yippee!!! And Yeah for me! These are super yummy, they will be a nice addition to my Christmas cookie platter.

  • Encee 16 Nov, 2008

    I know this is a classic recipe, in fact there's one on the Borden's Condensed Milk Can that is a mix of coconut, nuts, chocolate etc. But, this basic one is good for doing your own thing.
    Has anyone tried to make them crunchier? Baking them longer? Or maybe adding a crushed nut "icing" before baking?

  • sonseray 16 Nov, 2008

    How about afteer you make them and cut them drizzle the chocolate on top of the bars with a fork!

  • sonseray 16 Nov, 2008

    I think a bittersweet chocolate would be good because af the sugar and sweetend condensed milk

  • 28plspad802 16 Nov, 2008

    Love the CHOCOLATE idea.
    What would you recommend for the type of chocolate to dip these in?

  • benje 16 Nov, 2008

    Oh Yeah!! The chocolate idea is great! Bet they taste just like a Mounds bar...Yummy!

  • shario 16 Nov, 2008

    has anyone froze this? do they freeze well?

  • weazel 16 Nov, 2008

    I used a heavy sauce pot, I would think if you used a thin bottom pan the mixture may tend to burn. But mine turned out fine the very first time I made the bars. Hope this helps you.

  • mrsammieb 16 Nov, 2008

    Do you cook on the stove top in a double broiler? Or just cook them on the stove in a regular pan?

  • weazel 16 Nov, 2008

    I added a 1/2 cup pecans to the mixture, then I let them cool and dipped them in chocolate and they are to die for!!! I am going to give them away as a bridal shower favor.

  • lifeandjoy 16 Nov, 2008

    This is going into my "make immediately" stack of recipes today!!!! Also, I'm with RozieG about the chocolate, lol ;o)

  • titilv 16 Nov, 2008

    How about dipping them in melted chocolate after they cool?
    Has anyone tried this recipe?

  • rozieg 16 Nov, 2008

    Oh my about dipping them in chocolate! HELLO!!!!

Related Topics