E Cooks: Banana-Coconut Bars

by on September 17, 2007
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E Cooks Kid-Friendly RecipesThe bananas were growing more spotty and fragrant by the hour, and my daughter E was experiencing a rare social slump (in other words, she was at home). I’m not a believer in signs from the universe, but I can spot a good opportunity when I see one, so I knew that if I was going to get E into the kitchen to cook something with me, this was the time. Lately she’s been completely uninterested in helping me with any dish that involves eggplant, black-eyed peas, or any other vegetable (what a surprise), but I thought that if I could offer her something sweet to cook, she’d jump at the chance.

But for some reason, when I said “banana-coconut bars,” she said “Yuck!” Maybe it was the word “bar,” but I had to coax her into the kitchen with promises of her photo on the blog. (Unlike her mother, who has been known to dive under tables to avoid being photographed, E sees a camera and practically throws herself in front of it.) Whatever reluctance she had quickly dissolved as she decreed that I was allowed to do nothing, she would do it all. Well, everything except fetch ingredients and clean up afterward–I could do that!

Making Banana-Coconut Bars

Before we started, I found a recipe that looked easy enough and made a few changes to reduce the fat, sugar, and sodium. Waikiki Banana Bars came highly rated, and they were already vegan, a definite plus. So I substituted silken tofu for the shortening and tried to take them in a more tropical direction by using coconut and rum.

I was really surprised at the way the bars turned out. The banana, vanilla, coconut, rum, and cinnamon combine to create a totally new kind of taste, something I really can’t describe. But they were good. D raved about them, and more importantly, E came very close to admitting she was wrong. Oh, she liked them–loved them, in fact–but she claims it was only because of her cooking expertise that they came out so delicious. Sheesh, what a prima donna!

Banana-Coconut Bars

Banana-Coconut Bars

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 He and She December 11, 2009 at 1:21 pm


I was wondering, about how long can these bars (and similar dessert items you list) sit out for?

Basically, I'm looking for some healthy recipes so I can make some sweets for friends and families during the holidays. Unfortunately, I live across the country and I'm not coming in till the day before Christmas eve so I'll have to make them a few days before + plane travel.

Would this be a good recipe to still try (I could put them in the fridge and then just take them out for the plane)? Any other sweet recipes on here you'd suggest? 🙂

Love the site btw.


2 SusanV December 11, 2009 at 2:18 pm

I think if you refrigerate them before and after a plane ride, they should be fine. Just be sure to pack them in a tightly padded box so that they won't be crumbs when you arrive.


3 Jazz April 28, 2010 at 3:26 am

These bars look unbelievable! I gotta try these! Thanks so much for sharing.

I pretty much love anything with bananas and coconut! Ahhh…dreamy! 🙂


4 Annalisa Bondad August 1, 2010 at 4:42 pm

These are the best non-fat bars I’ve ever made! My family usually squirms when I make something “healthy”, but they will love these. Instead of the flour I used 3/4 c brown rice flour and 3/4 c white rice flour (not the sweet rice) + 1/2 tsp xanthan gum. I also didn’t have any rum on hand so just doubled the vanilla and also added some pecans to the mix. Chocolate would have been a great addition too 🙂 Thanks for a wonderful recipe…it’s a keeper!


5 Laura August 22, 2010 at 11:26 am

Very tasty and not dry at all! Thank you so much for sharing this great recipe.


6 Magda September 17, 2010 at 11:09 am

I have 2 packages of silken tofu in my fridge, I never used it in any baking recipe, I guess I should try.


7 Allison April 25, 2011 at 11:29 pm

These are amazing! I used a mix of all purpose and whole wheat flour, for no particular reason. I think they taste like pancakes, though I’m not sure why. Mine turned out a little bit more dry than it looks like the ones are in the pictures, but not in a bad way at all. They are really delicious!


8 Lele June 27, 2011 at 9:35 pm

These & me really didn’t mix. They tasted really bland and very doughy.


9 Era August 12, 2012 at 3:07 pm

It’s been so long since I’ve made these that I almost forgot I had the recipe. I stumbled upon it when searching my bookmarks for something beyond simple banana bread. TADA! I literally gasped out loud when I saw this one waiting for me. Just waiting for my oven timer to go off! I always enjoy this! Thank you for sharing them. ^.^


10 alua September 14, 2012 at 9:55 am

Tell E she’s gorgeous in those photographs and that those bars look yummylicious! Can’t wait to make them.


11 deejay September 27, 2013 at 6:14 pm

Hi, I was wondering if I could use okara instead of tofu. How much ?

Thanks Dee


12 Jean K Dyke September 18, 2015 at 6:58 pm

was looking at yur recipe for banana coconut bars…are you aware that there is a pop up ad for Horizon Milk there?


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