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!
Pin This Recipe
Tropical Escape Soft Pineapple Crumble 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!
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: 304Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 28mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 1gSugar: 32gProtein: 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.
I had my 11 year old make this (yes I supervised) and overall the flavor was good, albeit a little underwhelming. Maybe fresh pineapple would’ve had more of a tart bite? I think we will try this again with some more citrus to brighten it up, possibly lemon and blueberry or even cranberry
I don’t know if you are looking for tart or sweet – I find this dessert reads on the sweeter side. I used canned pineapple and enjoy it and it would depend on the fresh pineapple you get if it’s going to be more tart or sweet as they can really vary. You could incorporate other citrus flavors too if you wanted. This is more of a nice and mellow dessert, not dramatically one way or the other. I have other pineapple recipes if you are looking for bolder flavors https://www.averiecooks.com/the-best-pineapple-upside-down-cake/
And I also have some stunning lemon desserts if you’re looking for tart https://www.averiecooks.com/lemon-olive-oil-cake/ one of my fave lemon desserts of all time!
I made the Tropical Escape Soft Pineapple Crumble Bars and they are delicious! I didn’t have canned pineapple so I used fresh pineapple. My bars crust and top turned golden brown but I don’t think that had a negative effect on taste.
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad they turned out great with fresh pineapple. Due to the sugar content in pineapple, and with it’s juice, that is why it browned. You could drape a sheet of foil over it about halfway through next time to reduce the visual browning but as you said, doubtful it effected the taste.
These were so delicious! I made them gluten free but only had crushed pineapple. I think gf needs to bake longer as they got increasingly most the few days following, or it was wetness in the drained/squeezed crushed pineapple? Still has outstanding flavour. Will definitely make again!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad you will make them again!
Multiple factors with the moistness: time of year being humid, using crushed pineapple because it has so much liquid in it, GF flour is not absorbent like AP flour is.
Was looking for something to do this morning with my three and a half year old during this time of quarantine. I was lucky enough to come across this recipe. She loved that she was able to help in every step if the recipe. Other than putting it in and taking it out of the oven of course. My 9 month old even helped to stir the wet ingredients. This is delicious and simple. Thank you for taking the time to put this out where we could find it. Delicious!
Thanks for the five star and glad these turned out delicious and were a nice little project!
Haven’t made these bars but will soon!
Love this recipe! I made it with fresh pineapple and it turned out great. I’m not a baker but was able to follow the easy instructions (with my toddler “helping”) for a delicious and fool-proof result. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad you and your toddler baked this together!
The Tropical Escape Pineapple Bars are some serious deliciousness. I used canned, crushed pineapple in place of the chunks since that is what was in the pantry. Some toasted coconut would be good on top. Husband says they need a scoop of vanilla ice cream, which would just be decadent. This is a keeper recipe for sure and will make it again. Love this recipe!!!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad these came out delicious for you and is a keeper recipe you’ll make again!
While in quarantine I was really craving a (fresh) pineapple dessert with the limited ingredients we had at home. I decided to make this one. I made it for a bunch of my friends and family. All of them loved it. I also made a second batch (of filling, just split the crust a bit thin) with brown sugar, a little less vanilla, and a hint of cinnamon. Such a good recipe overall!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this has been a hit with your family and friends!
Hi Averie. I made this with fresh pineapple. It was very mushy, so I sliced it and froze the portions separately. We love it this way. I will make this more come summer time.
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad you will make this again come summer! These bars are super soft, you are right about that. Fine line between super soft-vs-mushy but glad the freezer trick worked!
I’ve made this recipe with fresh pineapple and Greek yogurt dozens of times. It’s always a hit! And so seamless and quick to make!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad you’ve made this dozen of times and that it’s always a hit!
I made this. Sadly only had half a cup of sugar so subbed agave nectar. And had no butter so use veggie oil. I think it would have came out better if I hadn’t all ingredients. But I added a twist to it with a lime glaze using 1 cup or confectioners sugar, 2 teaspoons of lime juice, and lime zest!!!
Delicious! These bars turned out perfectly — my new alternative to lemon bars.
Thanks for the five star review and I’m glad they’re your new alternative to lemon bars!
Living in Singapore for the past 3 years I’ve tried tons of traditional Chinese New Year recipes for all the different festivals and seasons. This year I wanted something with pineapple, which is traditional for the CNY, but I also wanted something to remind me of home (USA). Ta da! Your amazing, easy recipe answered my craving perfectly. I made this today and it turned out golden and sweet, delightfully delicious. Thank you so much for a new way to celebrate the Lunar New Year.
Thanks for the 5 star review and I’m glad you loved it! Happy Lunar New Year!
I made these as an Easter dessert with fresh pineapple that I crushed slightly into chunks and drained. It worked wonderfully with the fresh pineapple and has excellent texture. I doubled and used a 9×13, used parchment paper to line the pan so it lifted out with ease. Thank you for this great recipe!
Glad to hear this was a success with fresh pineapple!
I’m hobbling around the house with a torn Achilles & wanted something to bake using what I had on hand & found this recipe I’d saved. I only had crushed pineapple & didn’t use quite the whole can – didn’t want them too wet. These were so buttery & delicious! Thanks for a great recipe.
Glad the recipe worked out great for you based on what you had on hand! Sorry about your torn achilles! OUCH! Feel better!
Can the pineapple crumble bars be frozen?
I think they’ll hold up fine, although I haven’t personally tried since it’s a small pan and they go fast!
I froze some, forgot about one and found it months later. I let it thaw and tasted great!
I do that all the time with desserts…lol. They are usually always just fine for me too :)
this sounds AMAZING!!! must make soon!
Thanks for the Instagram info. I forgot to tell you I doubled the recipe and made a 13×9 pan. Only a few pieces left!
Oh even better that it was a 9×13 double batch – that’s great to hear they were so popular! :)
Averie, I made these last night to bring to work today. Love pineapple and absolutely love these bars. They are over half gone already. I posted a picture of them on Instagram and tried to credit you but I am not sure of your Insta name. Thank you for a wonderful recipe.
averiesunshine is my Insta name http://instagram.com/averiesunshine But you totally don’t have to worry about it. Glad the pan is half gone! That’s awesome! I just posted bread today that reminds me of these bars – similar flavors and overall vibe! https://www.averiecooks.com/2014/05/peach-mango-coconut-oil-banana-bread.html
I made these and absolutely loved them. I only had pineapple tidbits on-hand so that is what I used & will probably use the same any time I make these in the future (which I will be doing). I doubled the sour cream batter recipe because the called for amounts just did not seem like enough. I will also so that in the future. Next time I make these, I am going to also sprinkle on shredded coconut and coarsely chopped macadamia nuts on top of the pineapple. Other ideas are to substitute craisins and chopped walnuts, or fresh strawberries and slivered almonds, marchino cherries and choc chips, the possibilities are as endless as your imagination. Thanks for a great base recipe Averie. These pineapple bars were wonderful!!
I think tidbits and chunks are fairly similar – I think the tidbits are just smaller although some brands the tidbits are big and the chunks are small :) And the amount of the batter does make enough (I promise!) but what you did sounds great and I would love to add berries to this, choc chips, coconut (purposely kept it out bc lots of people hate it and I didn’t want to hear about it..ha!). LMK if you try other variations!
These will haunt me until I surrender… Unfortunately I am the only
Pineapple LOVER in the household… Any substitution suggestions (until I get the house to myself for a weekend).. I figure I could have them made and eaten in that time ;)
You could likely use most any chunky fruit…like mango chunks, strawberries, peaches (fresh or frozen on any of those) and just bake until done!
I made these this afternoon and had to hold myself back to wait the one hour of cooling time to dig in! Oh my! So delicious and so different!
These pineapple bars were SO easy to make. I DID add a layer of shredded coconut flakes over the pineapple…and instead of reserving some of the shortbread for the topping, I used it all for the bottom crust. I made a brown sugar and walnut streusel topping instead.
This is the first recipe I’ve made from your blog Averie, and I can’t wait to try more of them!
Thanks for trying these, Debbi, and what you said about unique and different, YES! I totally agree. They’re unlike many of my other bars and set up so nicely with that filling… hard to describe. It’s custardy, but not overly, and we just loved these. Your idea of the brown sugar and walnut streusel topping instead and using all the crust mixture as crust, and then with the coconut, you sound like you totally know what you’re doing in the kitchen and are very creative! That’s wonderful! Please LMK what else you try from my site!
I adore pineapple upside down cake and lemon bars…and this looks like the perfect combo of the two! Really scrumptious! Can’t wait to try!
If only your daughter read every word of your blog… You’d have the best Mother’s Day breakfast in bed ever! Using pineapple to create sweet buttery bars is such an awesome idea. It makes me miss our Hawaii family vacations where we’d sip pineapple smoothies and watch hula shows and watch the deep rosy sunsets over the ocean. Maybe an extra bar or two would make me feel a little better! ;)
Wow your vacays sound amazing and that you remember them for a lifetime is the best! One day I hope I can somehow put my entire blog into a book and give it to my daughter. She’ll have every recipe I ever made and the stories!
That’s the sweetest idea, and your daughter will really appreciate it! I really hope you do. It’s so special to share something with our families, especially something that they remember and were a part of too. One of the best ways to bond!
I recently rediscovered my love of pineapple. These bars look like quite a treat! There’s just something about a custardy filling and shortbread crust.
Laura knowing what I know about your tastes, you would LOVE these bars. They’re delicate, custardy, full of citrus flavor, creamy, and that’s all contrasted with the shortbread crust. I think you’d love them!
I made these last night and they were so good, and I usually can’t eat pineapple. I used crushed instead of chunks and I added coconut flakes. There is only half of it left already.
Thanks for trying the recipe and glad that half of it was gone the first day. That means it was a successful recipe :) And so glad you are able to eat the pineapple in this recipe. And I bet coconut would be great in them (I kept it out purposely b/c so many people don’t like it and then I get all kinds of questions but yes, I know it would be so good!)
I love how gooey and buttery these are — a total tropical dream, since we aren’t all lucky enough to experience the Aruba beaches ;) the pineapple chunks look so heavenly, too!!
Thanks for the comments today and the linkup the other day with your bars you made :) I have a feeling knowing that you really like lemon desserts that you’d be into these pineapple bars!
Loving all the pineapple in these beautiful bars, Averie. The pineapple I had in Mexico was out of this world, I’m sure you can imagine how juicy and sweet it was! Probably have some just like it in Aruba. Pair a couple of these with a tall glass of your pineapple sangria and it certainly would feel like vacay!
Either pineapple sangria or a pina colada, wouldn’t matter…LOL :) The pineapple down there is yes, so sweet. It’s almost like candy! Nothing like American grocery-store pineapple, that’s for sure. Boy, I miss it! I am so glad you had a great trip! xo
These are brilliant Averie! I don’t think I’ve ever seen pineapple bars before and they sound amazing! They look insanely delicious! I love anything pineapple and your pictures are gorgeous as always – love this – pinning :)
Thanks for pinning! :)
I am loving the flavors here!
I can’t figure out where to use that last 1/4 cup of flour…. is it supposed to go into the custard part?
Yes it does go with the custard part. I rewrote it to make it more clear. Hopefully that clears it up now :)
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.
These make me so happy just looking at them! I want a few of these babies right now! Yum!
Thanks, Sommer :)
Thanks for the comment and tweet – you’re the best! :)
I have a feeling I’ll be dreaming about these bars tonight, Averie! They look crazy good and they make me think of tasty tropical drinks with pineapple and rum. One of these bars with one of those drinks would be perfect. Pinned!
Thanks for pinning!
These looked so good/1 I went in to make up a batch but I am out of Pineapple ! Sooooo Made them up with mandarin oranges instead and put pineapple on the list. They re in the oven now…
Oh wow, mandarin oranges, what a fun twist! I bet they’re great. LMK how they turned out!
These sound amazing! I’ve never paired pineapple and vanilla together, but you’re making me think about it. I think the clincher though was the “one bowl no mixer” line. That just called out to me as dishes are my enemy! I could use a bit a tropical vacation over here :)
Dishes are my enemy too! And yes to one bowl no mixer whenever possible!
Probably I will substitute pineapple for another fruit. I love pineapple but my body does not tolerate it:( Great recipe!
I’m sure you know this, but there are enzymes you can take to help you digest pineapple. It’s a pretty common issue that I learned about from my naturopath years ago. Sorry to be the bearer of (old) news if you already knew this or it’s not relevant :)
Looks like we both have tropical flavors on the brain! These bars look wonderful Averie….pinned!!
Yeah except yours has rum in it. You’re the smart one :)
These are seriously so brilliant!!
Averie, you mind-reader you! I was just craving something tangy sweet and these bars would totally hit the spot. Looks like you’re enjoying the LA summer weather as well ;) thanks for sharing these!
Have never heard of a crumble bar before but this sounds lovely! Crust + pineapples + creamy filling + crumb would be so good. Pineapple is the perfect fruit for this too it has such a nice chew to it. Would maybe go full-on with the tropical theme and add coconut to it (I adore coconut).
I do too and almost did BUT there are some coconut haters out there and I figured, well, I’ll do my best not to upset the apple cart on this one :) But it would be great in this…even some coconut extract!
I love pineapple…eat it everyday…these bars are calling my name!!!!
Oh Yum! I think this would be a great recipe to try cuz I always have pineapple chunks on hand!
Me O’ MY! These look soooo good! I love pineapple and adding the crumble topping just makes these outstanding!
At least two mimosas!! I love how juicy these bars are, pineapple is my fave!! Never thought of them in a bar form before but I might need to change that!!!
These bars are so creative, Averie! I’ve never thought to use pineapple in a bar, but these are definitely a winner!
Love the simplicity of these bars, so delicious!
I just finished some coconut milk ice cream with frozen pineapple chunks blended in…one of these bars would have been soooo perfect with it!! What a great idea for a layered bar–I know I’ve never had anything like it. Crust, filling, crumble topping–perfect combination of texture and that flavor sounds incredible (yes – bring on the vanilla)!
You’re the second person in this post who’s told me they just had pineapple ice cream. I don’t know if I’ve EVER had it. Yes, pineapple topping from Dairy Queen as a kid :) but not the actual ice cream. Gosh, I want some now!
Those look amazing! I love the pineapple :-)
About time indeed! These bars look so moist and delicious! Love you pineapple addiction girl!
These make me want to lay out on a beach in Cancun. Now THAT would be an amazing Mother’s Day, especially if these came with. :)
I would defi need a pina colada or five for that :)
crumble bars and double crumb coffee cakes are my weakness!
Would love to try these with meyer lemons! If only I could find some way over here
Oh gosh Meyer lemons are even hard for me to find. Well, not hard, but very $$. I don’t ever really spring for them and just use regular. Or pineapple like this :)
This sounds fantastic. The very first thing I ever learned to bake was a pineapple upside-down cake, and to be honest, I don’t think I’ve baked anything with pineapple since then! This sounds like a great way to re-integrate it into my kitchen.
Oh I love pineapple upside-down cake but it’s a bit more fussy and makes a lot more so these are a great backup especially if you love pineapple!
Love the crumb with the pineapple! Reminds me of apple crumbly desserts, but with a great tropical twist!
It’s like the spring version of apple crumbles :)
I love pineapple! I will have to give these crumble bars a try! Thanks for sharing.
Oh MAN. These looks amazing! I love love love pineapple, especially in desserts, and lemon bars are one of my favorite kinds of cookies, so I can only imagine how awesome these must be.
What a creative recipe! I love pineapple too but never had them in bars. These look perfect.
Pineapple is my absolute FAV! I actually just made some pineapple ice cream that would go FAB with these bars! Love how easy they are, and so Summery! Pinned!
Your pineapple ice cream sounds AMAZING! Wow, that’s summer in a scoop :)
I don’t think I’ve ever seen bars made with pineapple! This is seriously creative – and incredible looking! I love pineapple. And buttery crumble bars. So yeah, I may or may not be craving an entire pan right now. :)
There are so many bars with lemon (or even lime), I wanted to do something citrus-ey but different, you know. Thanks for the creativity compliments :)
We love pineapple around here, I bet these bars are amazing!!!
Thanks, Aimee! They were really unique and different than so many bars I make!
I adore all things pineapple. These bars look so crazy good!!! LOL and I have two recipes that haven’t posted yet with pineapple. Great minds think alike all the time :-)
Between our egg cups and our peanut butter love and now pineapple, I’m not surprised! And it will go on and on. I do the same thing with Dorothy and Sally all the time, too :) Great minds! Can’t wait to see your next couple recipes!
Pineapple bars! Brilliant!! I love this idea. And they look delicious. I love anything pineapple. And your pictures are so beautiful! Pinning this!
Thanks for pinning and for the photo compliments. They don’t do these bars justice, at all. But they’re so pale and creamy it was hard to really capture the delicateness of them so thank you!
It’s pineapple season! I just posted a pineapple recipe today too. Love these bars, Averie, they look like the streusel topping on cake, which is totally the best part!
These pineapple bars look amazing! They would be perfect with a refreshing drink on a hot day!
Oh my gosh, why have I never thought of this before! I am loving this!
What a nice summery recipe! I love pineapple!
The only thing I need to go with these tropical bars is a spot on the beach! These look amazing and perfect for summer (or pretending that it’s summer)!
It went from 95 to 60 here, in like 48 hours. Such wacky weather!
Gorgeous bars, I love that crumble topping!
Pineapple bars?!! Averie how do you come up with these cool bars?!! Lovely looking bars!
There are so many bars with lemon (or even lime), I wanted to do something citrus-ey but different, you know. Thanks for the compliments :)