Tropical Escape Soft Pineapple Crumble Bars
Soft Pineapple Bars — In need of a tropical pineapple dessert? Look no further than these pineapple bars! There’s an abundance of pineapple chunks in every bite, which are surrounded by a custardy, creamy filling!
Tropical Pineapple Dessert
I love pineapple. I’ve made cakes, breads, dips, and umpteen smoothies with it. It was time to make bars with it. These pineapple bars are soft, sweet, and the pineapple makes me feel like I’m on a tropical vacation.
This pineapple dessert is made in one bowl, without a mixer, and even though they’re a layered bar, they’re not fussy. The crust and crumble topping are made from the same mixture to save time. It’s not always possible to make both the crust and topping from the same mixture, but if it is, I use the double-duty approach.
They’re similar to lemon bars because of the tender shortbread crust and the signature citrus filling, but these have the crumble topping and an abundance of pineapple chunks.
I love being able to sink my teeth into the pineapple pieces and I relish the texture.
Surrounding the pineapple chunks is a custardy, creamy filling that’s made using an egg, sugar, flour, and McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract. I grew up watching my mom and grandma bake with McCormick’s Vanilla. Cookie dough and beater licking just wasn’t the same without it. Nor were my mom’s cakes or my grandma’s signature cinnamon rolls and the powdered sugar frosting with plenty of vanilla that topped them.
The pineapple bars are tender, delicate, and the firmer crust, in contrast with the soft, custardy interior, and the crumble topping make for so many great textures in each bite.
The bars are a perfect springtime or summery dessert and would be a great Mother’s Day or Easter treat. What I wouldn’t give to have these show up on a breakfast-in-bed tray with a pot of coffee along with a mimosa or two!
I can dream, right?
What’s in Pineapple Bars?
To make this tropical spring dessert recipe, you’ll need:
- Unsalted butter
- All-purpose flour
- Granulated sugar
- Sour cream
- Vanilla extract
- Canned pineapple chunks
How to Make Pineapple Bars
You’ll first need to make the buttery crust. Combine the flour, butter, sugar, and salt and use two forks (or a pastry cutter) to cut the butter into the dry ingredients. Reserve 3/4 cup of this mixture, and press the rest into an 8×8-inch baking dish.
Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then make the pineapple custard filling. To do so, simply stir together the sugar, sour cream, vanilla extract, and more flour.
When the crust is out of the oven, top with pineapple chunks and then pour the custard mixture on top. Return the pineapple bars to the oven and bake until the edges and top are set.
Can I Use Fresh Pineapple Instead of Canned?
I used canned pineapple in this easy pineapple recipe, but I’m sure you could use fresh or frozen, although I haven’t tried.
Can I Double This Pineapple Recipe?
Readers have reported success with doubling this pineapple dessert recipe and baking it off in a 9×13-inch baking dish. I haven’t tried it myself though!
Tips for Making Pineapple Bars
I’ve always adored vanilla and use it liberally. And then some. Many of my recipes call for 1 tablespoon of vanilla and I’m frequently asked if I meant a teaspoon. No, I meant a tablespoon. Pineapple and vanilla are just made for each other and it helps accentuate the tropical vibe.
If you keep this tropical dessert covered, as time passes the topping becomes softer, less pebbley, and looks less like a true crumble topping due to the overall moisture level in the bars from the juicy pineapple. Juicy beats dry any day.
You can likely freeze these pineapple bars for later, although there are never any left over for me to do so!
For the Crust:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (1 stick)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- pinch salt, optional and to taste
For the Filling:
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup sour cream (plain or vanilla Greek yogurt may be substituted)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- one 20-ounce can pineapple chunks, drained (fresh or frozen could likely be substituted)
- Preheat oven to 350F and line an 8×8-inch pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
- To a large bowl, add the butter, 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and optional salt. Using two forks or a pastry cutter, cut butter into dry ingredients until a sandy mixture with peas-sized buttery bits forms.
- Reserve 3/4 cup of this mixture; set aside.
- Transfer remaining mixture into prepared pan and using your fingertips or the back of a spatula, lightly press crumbs evenly into pan to form a crust.
- Bake for 10 minutes. While crust bakes, make the filling.
- In a large bowl (same one used to make the crust mixture is fine) add the egg, 1/2 cup sugar, sour cream, vanilla extract, 1/4 cup flour, and whisk until smooth; set aside.
- Remove crust from oven and top evenly with pineapple chunks. About 90% of the surface area will be covered with pineapple; chunks will be very close to each other but not quite touching.
- Carefully and evenly pour the sour cream mixture over the pineapple, making sure to get it into the corners.
- Evenly sprinkle the reserved crust mixture over the top to create the crumble topping.
- Bake for about 35 minutes, or until edges and top are set.
- Place pan on top of a wire rack and allow bars to cool for at least 1 hour before slicing and serving.
Make the Crust:
Make the Filling:
- Bars will keep airtight at room temp for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 6 months. If you keep them covered and as time passes, the topping becomes softer, less pebbley, and looks less like a true crumble topping due to the overall moisture level in the bars from the juicy pineapple.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 304 Total Fat: 13g Saturated Fat: 7g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 4g Cholesterol: 53mg Sodium: 28mg Carbohydrates: 46g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 32g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 3g
More Pineapple Desserts:
The Best Pineapple Upside-Down Cake — So soft, moist & really is The Best! A cheery, happy cake that’s sure to put a smile on anyone’s face!
Pineapple Coconut Oil Banana Bread — No butter used in this soft, moist, fluffy loaf that reminds me of a tropical vacation
Pineapple Poke Cake with Pineapple Glaze — This pineapple cake is an easy, from-scratch poke cake recipe! It’s screaming with pineapple flavor from the crushed pineapple in the cake and the pineapple juice in the glaze.
Angel Pineapple Lush Parfaits — This is a 4-ingredient, no-bake dessert that’s ridiculously easy, you don’t need a mixer, and you don’t have to turn your oven on. It’s fluffy, light, airy, and refreshing.
Pina Colada Seven Layer Bars — I combined my love of pina coladas and seven layer bars into a fast, easy, no-mixer dessert that tastes like the tropics.
This post was brought to you by McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract. The recipe and opinions expressed are my own.