Strawberry coconut ice squares- delicious little squares with soft and chewy texture. Pretty layers of sweet coconut and juicy berries make this easy dessert a perfect treat for any day!
With berry season back, this easy recipe for strawberry coconut ice squares will be perfect to celebrate their return! Today's unusual bake is made with two delicious layers: strawberry + coconut and coconut + condensed milk. All combined together with soft and airy meringue, which gives it that lovely, chewy, yet light texture.
What are strawberry coconut ice squares?
Coconut ice is a British invention, and it is traditionally made with desicatted coconut. It consist of layers (normally two) of different colour of coconut and condensed milk mixture. They've been made and loved by generations of Brits and are still very popular confectionery to make at home.
Normally, this is a no-bake treat, however, the recipe I'm sharing with you today has a bit of a modern spin on it. We are adding some meringue to the coconut mixture and baking it to create this wonderful, light and airy but soft and chewy texture. It is a sensational as a dessert accompaniment or to enjoy on it's own.
This simple creation produces plenty of creamy, sweet blocks of coconut and strawberry to share. As you may have noticed, there is no flour in this recipe. Which is a great thing, if you are still struggling to get your hands on some! Plus it makes this recipe gluten-free.
How to make this recipe:
Start by prepping the strawberries. Slice the berries vertically and reserve the prettiest slices to use as a topping. My baking tin is 24 x 20 cm, and it was perfect to fin 4 rows of 5 strawberry slices in each. You may have to adjust the amount of your slices, depending on the tin.
Once you have picked the prettiest slices, blend the rest of them until smooth puree. Cook the puree until thick and allow it to cool. You can prepare this step well in advance.
Next, you will mix the coconut with condensed milk. Divide this mixture in half, mixing one half with strawberry puree and pink food colouring gel. The last one is totally optional, but it will help you achieve that lovely, vibrant colour on your bottom layer.
After whipping the egg whites into meringue, fold it with each colour of coconut mixture.
Spread and bake the strawberry layer for about 10 minutes, before topping it with uncoloured coconut mixture. Arrange your strawberry slices on top, add a pinch of sugar and bake until pale golden. Keep your eye on the bake as it can turn the colour very quickly. It took about 40 minutes in my fan-assisted oven, but the times may vary.
Allow the bake to cool before cutting it into squares.
How to slice the squares?
Firstly, make sure the bake is cooled down before slicing it. It is almost guaranteed that they will just fall apart and not hold their shape if you cut it too soon (it will still taste delicious!).
Just like with my last week's recipe for blondies , to ensure that clean cut and uniform squares, wipe the knife clean between each cut. I also run it under some hot water between each cut.
Storing the strawberry coconut ice squares
These squares will keep very well at room temperature for up to 4 days. You can also store them in the fridge, in the airtight container for up to a week.
If you tried this recipe, it will be great if you can leave me a comment and a rating below the recipe card in the comments section!
Strawberry Coconut Ice Squares
- 24 x 20 cm baking tin
- baking paper
- electric mixer
- mixing bowl
- 450 g fresh strawberries hulled
- ½ medium lemon juice only
- 100 g caster sugar
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter for greasing
- 350 g desicatted coconut
- 397 g can of condensed milk
- ⅓ tsp pink food colouring gel optional
- 4 tbsp milk any
- 4 medium eggs, whites only
- Slice roughly about half of the strawberries into vertical slices and choose 20 best looking slices. Set them aside. Place all the remaining strawberries and off cuts to a blender together with lemon juice and mix to a smooth puree.
- Transfer the strawberry puree into a small saucepan and bring it to boil. Cook for 5 minutes, over medium-high heat, stirring it often. Add 3 tbsp of sugar and cook again for another 5 minutes until you have thick puree. Transfer the mixture into a large bowl and allow it to cool.
- In a meantime, preheat the oven to 160C (fan) and grease and line the baking tin (leave plenty of baking paper overhanging, as it will help to remove the bake from the tin later).
- In a large bowl, mix the coconut with condensed milk until well combined. Transfer half of the coconut mixture to the bowl with cooled strawberry puree and add the pink food colouring gel (if using). Mix until well combined. Add 4 tbsp of milk to the bowl with remaining coconut and mix to combine.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks. Add the remaining caster sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, whisking well between each addition, until glossy. Fold half of the meringue into each bowl with coconut mixture.
- Place the strawberry coconut mixture in the baking tin and spread it with the spatula to level it out. Put in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Take out of the oven and gently spoon the white coconut layer on top. Top with slices of strawberry (4 rows of 5) and sprinkle small pinch of extra sugar on top. Bake for 40- 45 minutes or until pale golden, just set and risen. Cover the bake with kitchen foil if it starts to catch the colour too much. Take out of the oven and allow it to cool for 10 minutes in the tin. Use the overhanging baking paper to carefully lift the bake from the tin onto a wire rack and leave it to cool completely before cutting into squares. Enjoy!
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