Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Coconut Squares

This recipe comes from my Grandma Frances. She has been making these coconut squares for as long as I can remember. She lives in Ohio, so I have taken over the east coast baking of these coconut squares. I make these every Christmas for my parents annual Christmas Eve party. They are now becoming a favorite for my husbands family, so I will be sure to make two batches this holiday.

Coconut squares are small bites of fluffy white cake with a thin layer of chocolate syrup on the outside, rolled in extra fine coconut. I dare you to eat just one! It is impossible.

A few important steps not to overlook are to make sure the cake is frozen overnight before you dip them in the chocolate syrup and use extra fine coconut. Using shredded coconut will not work for this recipe. You can find extra fine coconut at stores like Wild by Nature, Candy suppliers and online.

Coconut Squares
Makes 40-50 squares
Time: Overnight freeze plus 1 hour assembly

1 box of white cake mix (do not use yellow cake mix)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt
1 bag of extra fine unsweetened coconut (they sell this in Wild by Nature-baking isle or candy supply stores) You cannot substitute with shredded coconut
Wax paper

1. Bake cake in a 13 x 9" cake pan, according to directions on box. Cool completely. Cut cake into 4 quarters and wrap each section with plastic wrap. Freeze overnight.

2. Once the cake is frozen, mix the following ingredients in a sauce pan over med-high heat. Cocoa powder, sugar, water, vanilla and salt. Bring mixture to a boil, mixing frequently. Remove from heat and cool mixture until luke warm, around 15 mins. I put the mixture in the refrigerator to cool quicker.

3. In the meantime, place the coconut on wax paper and set aside. Also, line a baking sheet with wax paper and set aside.

4. Working with one frozen section of cake at a time (leave the other sections in freezer) cut cake into squares, 8 bigger squares, or 12 smaller. **If your 13 x 9' baking dish was rounded, cut off the rounded edges and discard, so you have perfect squares.

5. Working with one square at a time, place each square in the chocolate mixture and coat all sides, using a slotted spoon take the square out and let excess chocolate drip off. Roll the chocolate covered square in the coconut and place on baking sheet lined with wax paper. (Try to work quickly so the cake does not become to soft) Continue until all squares are covered in chocolate and coconut. (This is a bit time consuming but worth it!)

6. Refrigerate for 10-15 mins and then keep at room temperature.


  1. These look amazing! I'm going To make them for my family Chanukah party. Can you specify amount if cocoa powder? Is it 1/2 CUP???

  2. Is the coconut sweetened or unsweetened?

  3. The coconut it unsweetened and the amount of cocoa powder is 1/2 cup. Sorry for the confusion! Enjoy