Tropical Escape Soft Pineapple Crumble Bars

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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 Escape Soft Pineapple Crumble Bars - Sweet, soft bars with big pineapple chunks that taste like a tropical vacation!

Ultra Tender Pineapple Bars

This easy pineapple dessert is made in one bowl, without a mixer, and even though they’re layered bars, 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.

I love being able to sink my teeth into the pineapple pieces and I relish the texture. 

Tropical Escape Soft Pineapple Crumble Bars - Sweet, soft bars with big pineapple chunks that taste like a tropical vacation!

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!

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?

Tropical Escape Soft Pineapple Crumble Bars - Sweet, soft bars with big pineapple chunks that taste like a tropical vacation!

Pineapple Bars Ingredients

To make this super easy dessert with canned pineapple, gather the following:

  • Unsalted butter
  • All-purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar
  • Salt 
  • Egg
  • Sour cream
  • Vanilla extract
  • Canned pineapple chunks

A Note About the Amount of Vanilla

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.

Note: Scroll down to the recipe card section of the post for the ingredients with amounts included and for more complete directions.

Tropical Escape Soft Pineapple Crumble Bars - Sweet, soft bars with big pineapple chunks that taste like a tropical vacation!

How to Make Pineapple Bars

This is such a simple canned pineapple dessert recipe. Here’s an overview of how the bars are made:

  1. 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.
  2. Reserve 3/4 cup of this mixture, and press the rest into an 8×8-inch baking dish. 
  3. Bake the crust for 10 minutes.
  4. Make the pineapple custard filling: Stir together the sugar, sour cream, vanilla extract, and more flour. 
  5. When the crust is out of the oven, top with pineapple chunks and then pour the custard mixture on top.
  6. Return the pineapple bars to the oven and bake until the edges and top are set.
Tropical Escape Soft Pineapple Crumble Bars - Sweet, soft bars with big pineapple chunks that taste like a tropical vacation!

Recipe FAQs

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 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! 

Can these bars be made in advance?

Yes! If you keep the bars covered, as time passes the topping becomes softer, less pebbly, 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!

Can you freeze pineapple bars?

You can likely freeze these pineapple bars for later, although there are never any left over for me to do so! 

Tropical Escape Soft Pineapple Crumble Bars - Sweet, soft bars with big pineapple chunks that taste like a tropical vacation!
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! 

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4.60 from 101 votes

Tropical Escape Soft Pineapple Crumble Bars

By Averie Sunshine
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! 
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Cooling Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 9
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Ingredients  

For the Crust:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened (1 stick)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • pinch salt, optional and to taste

For the Filling:

  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • cup sour cream, plain or vanilla Greek yogurt may be substituted
  • 1 ½ teaspoons McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • one 20-ounce can pineapple chunks, drained (fresh or frozen could likely be substituted)

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350F and line an 8×8-inch pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.

Make the Crust:

  • 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.

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.

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 304kcal, Carbohydrates: 46g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 53mg, Sodium: 28mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 32g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

More Easy 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!

The Best Pineapple Upside-Down Cake 

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.

Pineapple Poke Cake with Pineapple 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.

Angel Pineapple Lush Parfaits

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.

Pina Colada Seven Layer Bars

This post was brought to you by McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract. The recipe and opinions expressed are my own.

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.

Recipe Rating




Comments

    1. I’m sure you could, although I haven’t tried. Baking time may vary depending on how soft or juicy the other fruits are but just keep an eye on it.

  1. 3 stars
    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 

  2. 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 

    1. 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!

  3. 5 stars
    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.

  4. 5 stars
    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.

    1. 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.

  5. 5 stars
    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! 

  6. 5 stars
    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! 

    1. 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.

  7. 5 stars
    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!

  8. 5 stars
    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!

    1. Thanks for the five star and glad these turned out delicious and were a nice little project!

  9. 5 stars
    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! 

  10. 5 stars
    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! 

  11. 5 stars
    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!!!