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Coconut Squares

Of late, our household has been on a "strict" diet (except little ninja) in our effort to shed that few centimeters off our waistline, which is why I haven't been baking much sweet stuff. But when 5 o'clock rings, our mouth really start to crave for something sweet to go with that cup of tea. It doesn't help either that our friends dropped by with delicious pastries. Resist as I might, I caved in to temptation yesterday, browsing excitedly through my pastry books, salivating at each and every cake and cookie (oh gosh, there are so many delicious cakes to make *swooning with pleasure at the photos*). And these little coconut cakes caught my attention - nice beautiful squares looking so inviting and tempting... and coconut plus strawberry? That sounded like an interesting combo.

Coconut Squares

(taken from Le Grand Livre des Desserts)

Preparation: 40 minutes
Baking: 45 minutes
Makes: 20

  • 120 g plain flour
  • 60 g self-rising flour
  • 150 g butter (cubed)
  • 60 g icing sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 150 g strawberry jam


  • 3 eggs
  • 120 g sugar
  • 270 g grated coconut
  1. Preheat oven at 180°C
  2. Lightly greased the sides of a 22 cm square baking dish and lay baking paper with sides overhanging a little out of the opposite sides of the tray (to enable lifting the biscuits out of the tray easily).
  3. Put the flour, icing sugar and butter in the processor. Using the pulse action, press button for 30 seconds or until mixture is fine and crumbly. Add the egg yolk, process a further 20 seconds until mixture forms a dough.
  4. Roll the dough out onto the baking dish and refrigerate it for 10 minutes.
  5. Bake it for 15 minutes till it is slightly golden.
  6. Let the dough cool down before spreading the strawberry jam on it.


  1. Beat the eggs and sugar in a bowl until it is light and creamy.
  2. Stir in the grated coconut.
  3. Spread this coconut mixture on top of the jam and lightly press on it with the back of the spoon.
  4. Bake it for 25 to 30 minutes: the cake should be lightly golden.
  5. Let it cool down completely before lifting the cake out and cutting it into squares
  6. These squares can be stored up to 4 days in an airtight container.
Coconut squares ingredientsCoconut squares
The Verdict

It turned out very delicious: yummy sweet tasting coconut flavour! However the strawberry jam is probably too thin and remains rather quiet (we do taste it a bit, but the coconut flavour is more pronounced). Perhaps it's because the home made jam I used is thin and runny. I'm usually not a big fan of coconut but this one is really good:-D

These coconut squares are more like a pastry than a cookie or biscuits. It's soft and moist - prefect as little cakes (as the book calls it 'les petits gateaux') for tea or coffee time - just what I was looking for;-).


I found the dough to be a bit too soft and sticky to roll out onto the baking dish. If I bake it again, I will let the dough sit in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes or more to firm up before rolling it out on the tray.

I baked my dough at 220°C for 10 minutes instead of following the book.

Coconut squares
#1, by Kelly Mahoney (10/01/2007)

Sounds like a great find. My household tried to eat lean for a while, but we really missed spending time together in the kitchen.

#2, by Amy (10/01/2007)

Ooh these look fantastic! I have to make them now.:-)

#3, by Sylvia (10/01/2007)

I love the coconut crunching top. here in Buenos Aires is made whit dulce de leche filling.I presume that made with strawberry jam is so flavor too

#4, by Coffee & Vanilla (10/01/2007)

Delicious recipe, I love all things with coconut.
And opposite to your better half, my better half loves mushrooms... so I cook things with mushrooms quite often, but this was the first time my mushroom soup came out the way I wanted, probably because of fried mushrooms;-)

#5, by Kevin (10/02/2007)

Those look really good. Coconut and strawberry jam...mmm...

#6, by keeyit (10/02/2007)

Do you own a cake shop ? Hehe..

#7, by teckiee (10/02/2007)

hahahha i would get your stuff if you answer yes to keeyit's comment

#8, by Bee Ean (10/02/2007)

Gosh everything looks so delicious in this website. You have lots of recipes that I would like to try out like the phad thai and this coconut cake. The only dessert I know how to make is crumble.

Do you live in Nantes?

#9, by Nora (10/02/2007)

wow, that looks so good. I've also not been making much desserts lately. I stocked up on fresh fruits and yogurt hoping that will help our sweet tooth. I am trying to get ready for summer and also going back to Singapore to visit relatives. I'd hate for them to say that I look "healthy" (you know what they are really trying to say....". I think I migh cave in, those squares look so moist.

#10, by Cynthia (10/02/2007)

Those coconut squares look so delicate and tempting but I am going to resist. And so to resist, I'm not going to bookmark the post:-D

#11, by lynn (10/02/2007)

You're right - these look perfect for tea time.

#12, by Happy Cook (10/02/2007)

Wow they just looks so delicious. I can just imagine myselfhaving a big piece of it.
Hey join the club, here in my home we too are trying to cut down on sweets etc to loose the extra kilos:-((((

#13, by Susan (10/02/2007)

These remind me of an old classic American layer cake called a Metropolitan - raspberry jam between the layers, then frosted white and covered with sweetened shredded coconut. Now look what you've done! I may have to bake a layer cake sooner than expected. ; )

#14, by Valli (10/02/2007)

These are one of my favourite squares. You can purchase something similar at M & M Meats frozen foods. I have been searching for a recipe for years where the coconut won't fall off the shortbread crust. These look great so I will have to give them a try!

#15, by Iris (10/02/2007)

Hey girl, this looks delicious. You promised to make some of these coconut squares for our next party!!! I can't wait to try them!!! yummyyyyyyyyyyy

#16, by The Cooking Ninja (10/02/2007)

@Kelly: Have tea time together in the kitchen;-) That's what Pierre's family does with no cakes or cookies ... just simple tea and a family chit-chat.

@Amy: Have fun making it.:-)

@Sylvia: ooh...a crunchy coconut top would be great. Although it doesn't come out crunchy on top, it still tastes very delicious with the strawberry jam. I'm going to make this again with blackberry jam for my friend's party.:-)

@Coffee & Vanilla: I have never tried making mushroom soup yet.

@Kevin: Yes. It's delicious - it's a great combination.

@Keeyit: Sadly not. How I wish. It would be hard to compete with all those pastry chef shops in France. Just down the corner of my home, there are already 3 bread/pastries shops.:-p

@Teckiee: Oh, you are so sweet.:-) I will definitely let you know if I do open one one day.

@Bee Ean: Thank you and welcome to my blog.:-) Yes I live in Nantes. Do you too?

@Nora: I know what you mean. My mom is the opposite. Every time I go home on holidays, she is forever saying I'm too skinny even though my bathroom scale tells me otherwise. So she will cook up a storm to fatten me up some more. hahaha

@Cynthia: hehehe...you don't know what you are missing, Cynthia;-) mmm...yummy...I'm having one right now on your behalf.

@lynn: We are having them right now with our tea. Even my 1 year old loves it.

@Happy Cook: We are having salad for lunch or dinner but the weather is getting cold now ... so we get hungry sooner.

@Susan: mmm...Metropolitan sounds delicious.:-)

@Valli: The coconut toppings definitely stays on even after I cut it and keep it in a container. Hope this is what you are looking for and that you like it as much as we do.:-)

#17, by Little Corner of Mine (10/02/2007)

So delicious looking, pass me a piece please!

#18, by Judy (10/02/2007)

Something I would love to try. The girls at work would help me eat it and give verdict.:-) Thank you for the recipe

#19, by The Cooking Ninja (10/02/2007)

@Little Corner of Mine: With pleasure:-) Hop over to my house:-)

@Judy: I wish I'm still at the university so that my classmates can finish it for me.:-p Then again, if I'm back at the university, I wouldn't have time to bake, cook nor write my blog. I would be so busy with my 32 hours of classes plus lots of project work. It's a bitter sweet feeling.

#20, by Veron (10/03/2007)

Oh, God those sweet cravings that come during tea tme! I hear ya. These coconut squares look lovely indeed!

#21, by bluezebra (10/03/2007)

Wow I'm so thrilled you visited my site so that I could find yours.:-D I quickly read through your front page of posts.:-D Big smile here. Can't wait to try so many things. Am heading to the nutritionists in about an hour so have a feeling I will be joining you on your weight watching adventures lol!

In the meantime, I'm going to have to pick your's and Anh's brain about staple ingredients to get at the Asian market when I go!:-D


#22, by kellypea (10/03/2007)

As soon as I saw the combo of coconut (YUM!) and strawberry, I was curious. They sound delicious, and easy to make. Thanks for the comments about the dough and the jam. And count yourself lucky that you only have a few centimeters. I've recently gotten out my "healthy" cookboook. Sigh.

#23, by Bee Ean (10/03/2007)

Yes I live in Nantes! Is it possible for you to send me an email?
tbeeean@yahoo.com, or where can I find your email?

#24, by Cakespy (10/05/2007)

I just came across your blog through your comment on another blog...and am glad I did! These look amazing. I wish you sold these at bakeries in Seattle, I would buy them!

#25, by Deborah (10/06/2007)

I love anything with coconut! These sound wonderful!

#26, by Ashley (10/11/2007)

Ooo those do look very tasty! I'm never keen on jam in things but those bars look very tempting.