These coconut brownies consist of a rich chocolate chip brownie base layered with a sweet and decadent coconut macaroon topping. Reminiscent of a Mounds bar (or Bounty bar in Canada + Europe) this recipe is a coconut lovers dream.
While traveling long-term in Southeast Asia, I was so happy to finally have an oven again during our time in Bali. However, since we only spent one month there, I didn't want to stock up on too many ingredients that we might not use up. So instead of buying all purpose flour, baking powder, and other things needed for from-scratch baking, I resorted to cake mixes from the box.
The only two cake mix options that seemed familiar to me were Vanilla Butter Cake and Chocolate Chip Brownies. I also tried a few Indonesian-style mixes, but they seem to make drier and less sweet types of cake. Some of the local cake flavors were quite interesting. Green Pandan-flavored cake stood out the most to me.
Coconut and Brownies Make An Amazing Combination
Another widely available ingredient all over South-East Asia is coconut. I had already tried for myself a combination of brownie mix and coconut with Brownie Macaroons. They turned out quite good (aside from the chilli-and-coconut fail), but I had yet another combination idea.
Rich and chewy chocolate chip brownies with a sweet and decadently grated coconut macaroon topping. Many recipes for a macaroon topping that I found online required evaporated milk or sweetened condensed milk. While those are widely available around Asia, I didn't have any at home and the house was quite a ways out of the city. As such, we only went grocery shopping once a week.
On to the Recipe
Finally though, I found a recipe that used a mixture of egg whites and sugar with salt and vanilla together with the grated coconut. The recipe calls for sweetened coconut, however, I freshly grated the coconut (the only packaged grated coconut I could find was chilli-flavored) so it was unsweetened and worked just as well.
You can use a regular brownie mix or your favorite from scratch recipe for fudgy brownies for a 8 or 9" pan. I've only tried the macaroon topping on regular flour brownies so far (like these fudgy brownies made with unsweetened dark chocolate). But I think it should work just as well on my gluten free coconut flour or almond flour brownie recipes, since they all bake for a similar amount of time.
If your brownie mix or batter doesn't include chocolate chips, you can spread a handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips over the brownie batter after filling into the prepared pan. Or leave them out if you prefer.
How to Make Coconut Stuffed Brownies
- Prepare the brownie batter and fill into a parchment lined square baking pan
- Sprinkle the top with chocolate chips (optional)
- Combine coconut macaroon topping ingredients in a bowl and simmer over a water bath
- Topping is ready when the coconut mixture thickens and egg whites turn opaque
- Spoon the coconut mix over top of the brownie batter
- Gently spread out the coconut filling to cover the entire top. Then bake. For clean edges, let the brownies cool then chill in fridge, before slicing
Serving & Storage
The macaroon topping is moist and chewy at room temperature and I had a hard time cutting the finished chocolate coconut brownies cleanly. I therefore recommend cutting these Coconut Macaroon Brownies when chilled, as it is much easier and allows for clean edges.
Store the finished chewy brownies in the fridge for 3-5 days in an airtight container or the baking dish with a lid or other cover.
Original Images from 2012:
Brownies with Coconut Macaroon Topping
- brownie batter for 8" or 9" square pan, from box or see recipes list in notes*
- ½ cup chocolate chips optional
- 2 egg whites
- 2 cups shredded coconut
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl prepare the brownie mix according to box directions, adding eggs, melted butter, and other required ingredients. Or whisk up a from scratch brownie batter adding chocolate chips if desired. Pour the batter into parchment paper lined 8" or 9" square pan.
- In a medium bowl combine egg whites, shredded coconut, sugar, salt and vanilla. Place the bowl over a saucepan or skillet with barely simmering water. Stir the mixture until hot and egg whites have thickened and turned opaque, 3-4 minutes.
- Spoon the coconut topping over brownie layer and then gently spread it out to cover the entire surface. Bake for about 25-30 minutes (regular brownie baking time + a couple minutes) until macaroon topping is golden brown. Let cool in pan, then chill in the fridge. When chilled, lift out of pan and cut into squares.
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There wasn't enough macaroon topping to cover the brownie layer, and it was too thick, so I had to add spoonfuls on top and try to force them together. The photo shows a thick macaroon layer - looks delicious.
Recipe calls for 1 egg white, but instruction says "egg whites" . Is there an error in how much liquid to use?
Regina | Leelalicious
Hi Carol. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. Given that the post is almost 10 years old, I had to remake it to jog my memory. And sure enough, just like you, I didn't seem to have enough topping to go around for an 8x8 inch pan. I will update the recipe to double the macaroon topping and also new photos I took just now. I hope you still enjoyed the brownies even with just a little macaroon.
Editing to add: the original recipe is actually from Alice Medrich's book Bittersweet. I am not sure how I ended up with such a thick layer of macaroon 10 years ago. Now I double the recipe to get the nice layer as you see in the updated pictures.
Looks and sounds yummy and so very moist!
Thanks so much Jacquee 🙂
Erin @ Texanerin Baking
I actually thought you were grating a pancake before I read the post.
I love how you can make do with what you have in Asia. Very creative. 🙂
Ooops..I guess one more reason to work on my composition 😉 Yeah no grating pancakes here, but I totally love freshly grated coconut.