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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Yes, you can substitute coconut oil for vegetable oil in brownies. Coconut oil adds a subtle coconut flavor and can contribute to a moister texture.
To make brownies more moist, you can add ingredients like yogurt, sour cream, or even applesauce to the batter. These ingredients can help retain moisture during baking.
Brownies were first created in the United States in the late 19th century. They are classified as a bar cookie and can have various textures, from cake-like to fudgy, depending on the recipe.
The three main types of brownies are cakey, fudgy, and chewy. Cakey brownies have a lighter, airy texture, while fudgy brownies have a denser, more moist consistency. Chewy brownies strike a balance between cakey and fudgy.
Baking soda is a leavening agent that helps brownies rise during baking. It creates air bubbles, making the brownies lighter and fluffier in texture.
Brownies can fall apart if they are not baked long enough or if the batter lacks sufficient binding ingredients like eggs. Overmixing the batter can also lead to a crumbly texture.
Fudgy brownies typically contain more fat, often in the form of butter or chocolate. They also have a higher ratio of chocolate to flour and less air incorporated during mixing, resulting in a dense and moist texture.