Does anyone remember that “Lime in the Coconut” song?
More specifically, does anyone remember the somewhat creepy rendition sung by Kermit & Co. on the Muppet Show?
Because I do, quite vividly.
I was raised on the Muppets virtually from birth, and just about wore holes in the tape on our compilation video cassettes (it wasn’t hard to do, because most of them came from thrift stores and were nearly destroyed to begin with). So ever since watching that odd little vignette as an impressionable 5-year-old, limes and coconuts have been inextricably linked in my brain.
The Muppets did other things to my brain too, but let’s stay on topic.
I’ve been trying to come up with tasty, chocolate-free alternatives to brownies recently. I do miss brownies terribly sometimes, and lemon bars just aren’t near as popular when you bring them to a party (which of course forms the entire basis of my self-worth). I needed to come up with something that could compete.
And, thanks to my childhood imprinting, I knew the perfect flavor combination.
These guys are somewhere between a cake and a bar — denser than a sheet cake, but not chewy-gooey like a blondie. I therefore gave them the cop-out designation “cake bars.”
I had a lot of fun figuring out this recipe, especially as I’m slowly growing accustomed to baking with eggs and discovering their many uses. I used to think eggs only worked as a binder, but I’ve since learned that they’re also useful for leavening. So thanks to the eggs in this recipe, no baking soda or baking powder is needed in order for it to rise, and consequently, no vanilla is needed to counterbalance the acrid flavor.
I love science!
So next time I’m facing down some brownie-bearing partygoer, I will be confident knowing that my dessert offerings can hold their own against the seductive dark powers of chocolosity.
And if that doesn’t work, I can just burst into a rollicking round of Put the Lime in the Coconut to distract them while I surreptitiously slide their brownies off the table. Oops.
for the cake bars:
1 c flour
3/4 c sugar
1/4 c (1/2 stick) butter, softened
1/4 c unrefined coconut oil*
2 tbsp lime juice
1/4 tsp salt
1-2 drops green food coloring (optional)
for the glaze:
1 c powdered sugar
2 tbsp lime juice
1/2 c sweetened shredded coconut
1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together flour, sugar, butter, coconut oil, & salt until it forms a crumbly dough.
2. In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, lime juice, and food coloring (if using). Add to the first bowl and use an electric mixer to beat until smooth.
3. Pour batter into a greased 8×8 pan and bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes **
4. To make the glaze, combine powdered sugar and lime juice in a small bowl and mix until smooth. Pour over cooled cake, then top with shredded coconut & serve!
* make sure the butter and coconut oil are the same temperature. If the butter is colder than the coconut oil, the oil will get grainy & lumpy.
** the top may still be shiny and look undercooked after 25 minutes, but trust me — it’s done.