Hawaiian Cheesecake Bars

4.97 from 57 votes
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Drop everything and make these Hawaiian Cheesecake Bars as soon as you can, but be warned, you will have to make sure there are people around to share with or you WILL eat the entire pan. You guys, I’m not even kidding. These are my new favourite bar and I am totally enamoured with them. These are going to be on my Easter dessert table every single year! I’m also thinking of making them for Christmas.

Stack of Cheesecake Bars in a pink ruffle plate
Cheesecake Bars

The Best Cream Cheese Dessert: Hawaiian Cheesecake Bars

You guys, if you love pineapple and coconut you simply have to make these squares. Oh oh and shortbread! These squares have a decadent, sweet buttery shortbread base as well. Forget cheesecake, forget all other bars, these squares are the love child of both and has all of their best features! I wasn’t exaggerating when I said that these were my new favourite bar- these are now my go-to cream cheese dessert bar of choice for when I need something for my own parties or to take with me. This is a crowd-pleaser and you will have people begging you for the recipe, so make sure you tell them! Or you know, pretend it’s a secret family recipe, I won’t tell anyone.

Hawaiian Cheesecake Bars unsliced in the pan
Hawaiian Cheesecake Bars unsliced in the pan

Tips & Tricks for Baking with Cream Cheese

  •  You now how I knew that this was an old recipe? Because it told me to bake the bars for 15-20 minutes. That my dears is only long enough to toast the coconut and NOT get the cheesecake to a safe eating temperature! It takes a good 40 minutes to heat the cheesecake layer to the 165 °F mark which means that you have heated the eggs enough to kill any possible bacteria. Ah, the good old days, when you threw raw eggs in anything and just baked the topping. You have to heat cream cheese layers up to the safe temperature if you use eggs in them.
  • If you constantly have problems with cream cheese not smoothing out, microwave it to the point of ALMOST melting. I kid you not, it works like a charm! Just don’t cook it and it’s fine. I actually don’t even work with cream cheese until I’ve warmed it up anymore, it’s not worth the lumps!
  • You can adjust the sugar to taste if you like, simply add the sugar BEFORE the eggs and taste test! This is perfect for me however!
 Close up Stack of Hawaiian Cheesecake Bars
Hawaiian Cheesecake Bars on a vintage pink Hazel Atlas plate

These bars slice up incredibly well considering how they are cream cheese filled and they freeze perfectly! Make them ahead of time for your holiday meal and then freeze them. Simply defrost them the day of the dinner and serve! These are so perfect for a sideboard dainty tray, or tea time or breakfast Monday morning.

Side note : if you are like me and like frozen chewy squares, these are a good choice! Just let the shortbread defrost so that it doesn’t hurt your teeth. Am I the only one that like to eat frozen dessert squares?

Are you wanting some other fabulous squares recipes? Try these:

  1. Raspberry Coconut Bars
  2. Easter Dessert: Pineapple Slice
  3. Ambrosia Salad Squares
  4. Cream Cheese Filled Red Velvet Bars
  5. Mars Bars Squares

Happy baking! Let me know if you tried them in the comments below!



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The old fashioned Hawaiian Cheesecake Bars have a shortbread crust followed by a pineapple cheesecake layer, topped with buttery toasted coconut!#pineapple #hawaiian #dessert #bars #squares #coconut #baking #cheesecake #creamcheese

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Hawaiian Cheesecake Bars

The old fashioned Hawaiian Cheesecake Bars need to come back in fashion! A shortbread crust followed by a pineapple cheesecake layer, topped with buttery toasted coconut makes these my new favourite bar! 
4.97 from 57 votes
Close up Stack of Hawaiian Cheesecake Bars
Prep Time
25 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Total Time
1 hour 10 minutes
North American
Karlynn Johnston


Shortbread Crust

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup salted butter room temperature

Pineapple Cheesecake Filling

  • 16 ounces cream cheese room temperature, very soft
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 16 ounces crushed pineapple well drained (about 1 1/2 cups of pineapple when done, you can use two cans)

Buttery Coconut Topping

  • 2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter melted


  • Preheat your oven to 350 °F.
  • Combine the flour,granulated sugar and butter until well combined and crumbly. Press the mixture into ungreased 9 X 13 pan. Bake in the oven for 14-19 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly while prepping the other layers.
  • Beat the cream cheese until smooth, then add in the granulated sugar, eggs and vanilla. vanilla. Stir in the drained pineapple. Spread over the baked crust.
  • Combine the coconut and the melted butter. Sprinkle over the pineapple layer filling.
  • Cover the pan with tinfoil.
  • Return to the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the tinfoil and bake another 15-20 minutes until the coconut is well browned.
  • Let cool and slice. This freezes exceptionally well!

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

I couldn't find a 16 oz can of crushed pineapple so used two cans and it ended up being 1 1/2 cups of very well drained pineapple. 

Nutrition Information

Calories: 287kcal, Carbohydrates: 23g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Cholesterol: 57mg, Sodium: 145mg, Potassium: 110mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 14g, Vitamin A: 550IU, Vitamin C: 1.9mg, Calcium: 29mg, Iron: 0.9mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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Site Index Bars and squares Cheesecake Coconut Pineapple

Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Alicia N says

    i just used a 20oz can of pieapples. This will fine too

  2. annette says

    I made this as well and had problems with the crust. It turned out like concrete, but the top layer was great and all was very easy to do. I wonder what went wrong with the crust????

  3. Steve says

    Great recipe, but last time I checked, we use the metric system in Canada…. 16oz?? Can I have that in grams please? Let’s make our recipe measurements a little easier to follow for those of us who aren’t copycat Americans. Thanks 🙂

    • Tanya says

      After living in Germany for a year, I understand the struggle when converting ingredients across different measurement systems. All you have to do is google it and you’ll have your answer immediately. (Example to type: 16 ounces is how many grams?). Your answer should pop right up! Hope that helps!

  4. SaraM says

    I don’t know why, but my crust stuck like glue to the bottom of my pan. I’m not even sure soaking it is going to loosen it enough to get out. I just used the butter (2 sticks), flour, and sugar, so I’m really not sure what happened. Anyone else have a crust issue? The cream cheese/pineapple/coconut had a great flavor, though. But I’m afraid my pan is ruined. I guess my suggestion would be to line the bottom of your 9x13s with parchment paper before baking.3 stars

    • annette says

      I made this as well and had problems with the crust. It turned out like concrete, but the top layer was great and all was very easy to do. I wonder what went wrong with the crust????

  5. phyllis says

    CAN i subsitute the crust with graham wafer crust?

  6. Beverly says

    Thin sliced almonds, lightly toasted. That’s the only thing I can think of that would still keep with the lightness of the bars and not make a drastic flavor change.

    To those who wish a stronger pineapple flavor – we love pineapple at my house so I keep an 8 oz bottle of Olive Nation Pineapple Emulsion around. (And a few other flavors. Lorann also makes emulsions)

    Hope this helps!

  7. Sheralyn says

    So, I tried to make this dessert and was sooo excited. The difference is, I used the fresh pineapple that is perfectly ripe, peeled it, cleaned and used the processor to crush it… I dont know if this is the reason why it turned out BITTER. And also the texture is still soft and juicy. I did strained the pineapple for like 30minutes after I crushed it. Dont know whats weong makes it BITTER like this… im so disappointed and all the ingredients turn into waste😢😭😭😩

    • Brooke says

      That probably is why. I once read that when baking- you shouldn’t substitute fresh pineapple for canned. This was for pineapple upside down cake- but fresh isn’t nearly as soft. I made these one year for teacher appreciation. Our theme for that week was Luau. Everyone LOVED them.

  8. Thom says

    I love fresh pineapple but I have never been a fan of canned pineapple. Kind of like canned asparagus and canned shrimp. Just makes me wanna hurl. So I leave out the pineapple and sub in the zest of one lemon. I know, I know, I know, “you didn’t make the recipe!” Well, of course I didn’t make the recipe because I knew I wouldn’t like it. But I did follow everything else to a T. Well I’m here to tell you that the lemon zest adds zip, zing and fresh brightness to the cheesecake filling and plays really well with the coconut topping. Since I don’t use pineapple I had to change the name though to Tropical Cheesecake Bars. I’ve made them probably a dozen times and everyone loves them! The TCB’s, as my wife calls them, are always gone in a flash!5 stars

  9. Tasya says

    I made these tonight, and the crust seemed overly buttery. I know the recipe calls for 1 cup of butter (2 sticks) for the crust, but on the video, it looks like there’s only 1 stick of butter being mixed. Can anyone confirm for me?

    • Brooke says

      I see what you mean!! Well these are sitting in my fridge chilling now and I’m taking them to school for teacher appreciation tomorrow. In the video my shortbread crust was not crumbly at all- it was more of a sugar cookie dough consistency, and I used 1 cup of butter (2 sticks), like the recipe states. And after it was baked but before I put the cream cheese mixture on it, I touched my palm to it to make sure it was kind of cool and my hand was greasy. I guess I’ll taste them in the morning to see if they are ok.

    • Judy says

      So my first time I do love pineapple and coconut.. but i found these to be something i wouldn’t do again..
      I followed the instructions, and i felt that it wasn’t say pineapple-ly enough, i thought i would really taste it more. I wasn’t please with cream cheese filling kind of blah..The crust was too brown
      I really wanted to like these..I’m so sorry .. i did really want to like these

  10. Chrissie says

    Oh my gosh. You had me at Hawaiian with these delicious bars!5 stars

  11. jessica | Novice Chef says

    these look so good! can’t way to try this!

  12. amanda @ fake ginger says

    I love all things pineapple and coconut! These look amazing!

  13. Erin | Dinners,Dishes and Dessert says

    These look incredible! I love the pineapple flavor!5 stars

  14. Toni | Boulder Locavore says

    These look really good! Thanks for sharing your tips!5 stars

    • victor says

      Made these for my co-workers.
      They are waiting for more.
      They loved them

  15. Krista says

    These sound amazing! I want to grab one or two right now!

    • Liz Lauster says

      Based on previous comment about amount of butter in shortbread layer, 1 stick did not make a crumbly mix. I stuck with 2 sticks. A 20oz can of crushed pineapple yielded 1 1/4 cups pineapple when well drained. I just stuck with that qty.5 stars

  16. Amanda says

    Cream cheese desserts are amazing, and this Hawaiian version looks awesome!

  17. Mary says

    I’m not fond of coconut…any suggestions for another topping?

    • Natalie Fincik says

      I made more of the crust crumbled it on top before baking.5 stars

  18. Thelma says

    Can I use almond flour instead of regular flour?
    Thank you. Recipe looks amazing.

  19. Patricia @ Grab a Plate says

    This is such a fun dessert! Love the flavors and love the shortbread crust!

  20. Erin | Dinners,Dishes and Dessert says

    These looks fantastic! So flavor!5 stars

  21. Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet says

    Oooh, those sound awesome, love this idea!

  22. Nutmeg Nanny says

    I love pineapple and coconut — will have to make these!!

  23. Catalina says

    I love these flavors! I can’t wait to try it!5 stars

  24. sherry says

    Hi Karlynn, these sound awesome. I love cheeses cake anything. I am going to make these today. It is similar to another recipe that doesn’t require cooking the cream cheese. Powder sugar & butter of coarse cream cheese. Recipe is almost the same as the other i have used. Everybody loves this pineapple cream cheese recipe i make. i want to try your recipe- see what the difference is with adding eggs and baking these bars. I am a fanatic with cheese cake recipes. such as german chocolate upside-down cake. ooey-gooey butter cake. Love anything with coconut- thank you for your recipe. i look forward to more from you… have a great day time to bake the cheese cake-lol5 stars

    • Karlynn Johnston says

      You are going to love these! The eggs help them hold together better than a cream cheese with icing sugar bar. These can be squares on a tea tray – and they freeze AMAZINGLY! You can eat these with your hand as a little snack, while the no bake ones aren’t that solid. These are seriously my go-to bar from now on, all of my favourite flavours!5 stars

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