#3: Coconut Cream Brownies


These brownies…speechless. Please beware: these are painfully easy, but involve about 5 hours of waiting time, so they’re best made on a lazy weekend afternoon, while wearing pajamas.

These brownies were born out of my frustrating inability to find creme de menthe anywhere! The original recipe, from How Sweet It Is (the most compelling recipe blog, I swear), calls for creme de menthe. But when I was at Trader Joe’s, I saw a can of coconut cream, and I remembered the shaved coconut flakes I had sitting in my baking cupboard at home. A little lightbulb went off, so here we are.


Coconut Cream Brownies

9 x 13 baking pan

Foundation: Brownie 

1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened

1.5 c. white sugar

2 eggs

a glug of vanilla extract

1 t. sea salt

1 & 1/4 c. white flour

3 T. cocoa powder

1/4 c. dried coconut flakes

2/3 c. chopped dark chocolate

Middle: Coconut Cream

2 c. powdered sugar

1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened

1/4 c. dried coconut flakes

about 4 – 6 oz. coconut cream

Top: Chocolate Fudge

1.5 c. chopped dark chocolate

4 T. unsalted butter

Optional Topping

1/4 c. dried coconut flakes, toasted in butter


Before you start this recipe, make sure you have 1.5 cups of butter (1 cup of it, softened), and a little over 2 cups of dark chocolate chopped. First, we will be making the foundation: the brownie layer.

Preheat your oven to 350F, and have your 9×13 pan nearby.

Using a large mixing bowl and an electric mixer, cream the softened butter and sugar on high speed for about 5 minutes. Then incorporate the eggs, and the vanilla (when I say incorporate, or combine, I mean do not mix any more than what’s necessary to make the ingredients one).

Turn the speed down to low, and add in the dry ingredients: flour, salt, coconut flakes, cocoa powder. Once all ingredients are combined, fold in the chopped dark chocolate. We used milk chocolate, and it was almost too sweet, so I recommend using dark for a richer flavor.

Spread batter in pan, using a flexible scraper.


Bake for 20 minutes, and let cool completely. Be patient! During this time, lick/wash out your mixing bowl and scraper, so you can re-use them for the next layer.

When the brownie layer is completely cooled, move onto making the coconut cream layer.

In the mixing bowl, use the electric mixer to beat the softened butter and powdered sugar together until combined. Mix in the coconut cream and coconut flakes with the scraper, until the mixture is relatively smooth. Spread the coconut mixture on top of the cooled brownie layer, and refrigerate for 2 hours.

During the 2 hour wait, I recommend cleaning up your kitchen, and getting out a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl.

After the 2 hours have passed, it’s time to make the chocolate fudge (final) layer. Melt the chocolate and butter together in your microwave-safe bowl by microwaving it for 10 second intervals, stirring well at each break, until smooth and melted.

Using your scraper, pour the melted mixture over the coconut cream layer of the brownies.

This is optional, but tasty: heat less than 1 T. unsalted butter in a small skillet over medium heat, and toast the coconut flakes until they’re barely browned (they will go from brown to burnt more quickly than one might think). Sprinkle atop the final layer.

Refrigerate for 2 more hours. Wait, impatiently.


Whether you eat them straight out of the fridge, or let them sit and get a bit melty on the kitchen counter, you will love these brownies. You will go into the kitchen late at night to sneak furtive bites. You will fantasize about them when eating your bland salad for lunch at work. It will all be worth it.

P.S. Don’t forget to share some with any new, or grouchy, neighbors. If these brownies don’t endear you to them, they were a lost cause to begin with.

P.P.S. Use the leftover coconut cream in fruit smoothies! It keeps for nearly a month when refrigerated in a jar.

Original Recipe: Creme de Menthe Brownies from 1988


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