WW Recipe of the Day: Skinny Chocolate Coconut Cake Mix Cookie Bars
(115 calories | 5 5 5 myWW *SmartPoints value per serving)
Don’t these skinny chocolate coconut cake mix bar cookies look yummy? When you’re craving a sweet chocolate treat, these easy chocolate bar cookies will do the trick. And they are super easy because they begin with a box of cake mix.
Thoughts on Baking and Weight Watchers
For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a longtime recipe collecting fanatic and cookie lover—who enjoys the occasional kitchen shortcut—especially when it comes to cookie baking.
I discovered how quick and easy it was to make cookies using a cake mix a couple of years ago and have been enjoying experimenting with them ever since.
I’m also a lifetime member of Weight Watchers who still tracks (most days) how many Points I’m taking in.
The good thing about cookies, is that they are naturally portion-controlled, making them a good choice for those of us who struggle with our weight and overeating.
I’m always experimenting with ways to make my favorite cake mix cookie and bar cookie recipes lighter and healthier. This chocolate coconut cake mix bar cookies recipe was my first attempt and it turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself!
Skinny Chocolate Coconut Cake Mix Cookie Bars Recipe Notes
These cookie bars definitely looked a little underdone when I pulled the pan from the oven. But when it comes to baking brownies and bar cookies, it’s better to err on the underdone (not overdone) side, especially if you like your cookie bars soft and chewy. If you bake them too long, they will be dry and hard – probably not what you want!
This is a super-simple basic recipe that you can modify dozens of ways, depending on what flavor of cake mix and kinds of mix-ins you choose. For this attempt, I chose a package of chocolate cake mix because that was what was in the pantry.
Since I love the combination of chocolate and coconut (think Mounds candy bar) – I stirred in some sweetened flaked coconut, white chocolate chips and semisweet chocolate chips. And I had a bottle of coconut extract in the cupboard, so added a little for good measure.
I lightened up the recipe for these chocolate coconut cake mix bar cookies by cutting back on the oil and using some nonfat Greek yogurt in it’s place. And I used fewer mix-ins, since they can be calorie-heavy.
Everyone who got to tried them gave them a hearty thumbs up.
Do you have a favorite bar cookie flavor combination? Oh, please let us know in the comments below!
How Many Calories/WW Points in these Skinny Chocolate Coconut Cake Mix Cookie Bars?
According to my calculations, each cookie bar has about 115 calories and
5 *SmartPoints (Green plan)
5 *SmartPoints (Blue plan)
5 *SmartPoints (Purple plan)
3 *PointsPlus (Old plan)
If you like these lightened up chocolate cake mix cookie bars made with coconut, be sure to check out my other Weight Watchers friendly sweet treat recipes including Banana Coconut Chocolate Chip Bars, Orangesicle Cake Mix Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches, Soft & Chewy M&M Cookies, 2-Ingredient Pumpkin-Chocolate Muffins & Cookies and Chocolate Cake Mix Crinkle Cookies
Baking Tips – Helping You Become A Better Baker
Why Bake Cookies and Bars with a Cake Mix?
A box of cake mix gives home bakers the same head start for baking cookies and bars that they get for baking cakes. Starting with a cake mix will simplify the steps in the recipe and offers consistent results since the mix ingredients (flour, sugar and leavening) are accurately measured.
Just a few extra ingredients (mix-ins) are all that’s needed to give you satisfying home baked sweets, time and time again. For spur of the moment cookie bar baking, be sure to keep chocolate, yellow, white, lemon and spice cake mixes in the pantry.
Why is Some Coconut Sweetened?
Unsweetened and sweetened coconut are two different ingredients that may give you unexpected results, if you use the one not called for in the recipe. Generally speaking, you’re more likely to find unsweetened coconut in savory recipes like homemade granola and curry sauces, while sweetened coconut is usually used for sweets, like cakes, cookies and brownies.
Both sweetened and unsweetened coconut are shredded (or flaked) from coconut’s ripe flesh.
Sweetened coconut is then partially dried and sugar is added. It has a much stronger coconut flavor and is likely to have a shorter shelf-life than unsweetened coconut and should keep fairly moist, soft and chewy on the pantry shelf in an airtight container for about months 4-6 months (or any cool, dry, dark location between 50F and 70F degrees). If refrigerated, you can expect your sweetened coconut to last in the neighborhood of 6-8 months.
Unsweetened coconut is then completely dried and remains fairly brittle compared with the sweetened coconut, with a much milder ‘coconut’ flavor. Your unsweetened coconut should last for up to 1 year when kept in an airtight container in a cool, dry location.
Easy Skinny Chocolate Coconut Cake Mix Cookie Bars Recipe
- 1 package (18.25 ounces) chocolate cake mix
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
- 1/4 cup white chocolate chips
- 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350F degrees.
- Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan and set it aside. (Or for easy cleanup, line the pan with foil and grease the foil.)
- In a large bowl, stir together the dry cake mix, oil, yogurt, and eggs with a wooden spoon until well blended.
- Stir in the coconut, and both kinds of chocolate chips.
- Spread the cookie batter evenly into the prepared pan. (The batter will be very thick.)
- Bake, 15 to 20 minutes, until the bars are just set. (They will still look a little underdone.) Don't overbake or they will be dry and hard.
- Remove the pan from the oven and place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely. Cut into 30 bars.
*PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc. All recipe ingredients except optional items included in determining nutritional estimates. SmartPoints® values calculated WITHOUT each plan's ZeroPoint Foods (Green plan, Blue plan, Purple plan) using the WW Recipe Builder.
More Favorite Weight Watchers Recipes Using Cake Mix
WW 3-2-1 Microwave Mug Cake (Simple-Nourished-Living)
Funfetti Cake Dip (EatYourselfSkinny)
Pineapple Bliss Cupcakes (SkinnyTaste)
Pumpkin Angel Food Cake (SnackGirl)
Watch this short video to learn more about Weight Watchers Freestyle:
Virginia Cooperative Extension – Food Storage Guidelines for Consumers
Baking Bites – Sweetened vs Unsweetened Coconut in Baking Recipes
Update Notes: This post was originally published on April 30, 2012, but was republished with updated recipe notes, new photos, updated instructions and baking tips in April of 2018.
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