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May 27, 2014

pina colada bars (using cake mix).

I posted a recipe for snickerdoodle cheesecake bars some time ago, also using cake mix. Although homemade baked goods are favorable most 100% of the time, cake mix does have its role in baking. Oftentimes for bake sales, you don't want to spend a lot of money. Or there's just not enough time to make from-scratch dessert.

For these instances, cake mixes work wonderfully. One of the reasons they work so well is not just because they're pre-packaged, but because they're versatile! I Googled extensively on how to manipulate cake mixes into interesting creations. I didn't find as much as I expected. 

In order to increase the doctoring-cake-mix database the Interweb, I thought I'd start adding some of my recipes. I made these pina colada bars for a friend's bake sale, and apparently they sold out first, if that says anything. 

Look at the coconut being folded in. Mmmm yummy crunchy toasted coconut. 

They were for a bake sale, so I couldn't get too many pictures of the texture, etc. I cut the bars in 9 big squares, and then cut each square in half diagonally to get triangles. They give a nice summery or spring feel, especially with the coconut on top. 

In my batch, I actually grated some lemon zest in for some zinger ... you don't want zing, in this case. I didn't add much, but the lemon wasn't particularly good, hence the frosting and coconut on top. Frosting fixes everything. 

Pina Colada Bars
made it up myself.
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup pina colada mix
  • 1 boxed white cake mix (I used the 15.25 oz box of Pillsbury Moist Supreme Classic White mix)
  • 1/2 cup coconut

  • 1/2 block cream cheese
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 - 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1 - 2 Tablespoons pina colada mix
  • 1/4 cup toasted coconut
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray or grease a 9x13" pan.
  2. Melt butter. Brown the butter, if desired, but not necessary. 
  3. While allowing butter to cool, spread all coconut (3/4 cup) on a pan to toast in oven or over stovetop. Let coconut brown to golden.
  4. Mix in egg, 1/2 cup toasted coconut, and pina colada mix to cooled butter. Then mix in cake mix.
  5. Transfer batter to cake pan. Bake 20 - 30 minutes.
  6. As the bars bake, make the frosting. Beat cream cheese till smooth. Beat in butter. Add sugar, starting with 2 cups. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add 2 Tablespoons pina colada mix. Add more sugar and pina colada mix, as desired.
  7. After bars are baked, let cool completely. Frost and top with 1/4 cup toasted coconut. Cut into 9 big roughly even squares. Cut each square in half diagonally to make triangles. 

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