Prudence Hilburn: Possibilities with pineapple, coconut unlimited

Prudence Hilburn More Content Now

For a tropical delight, try pineapple and coconut as a flavor combo. Those are two of my favorite ingredients and are great for those who enjoy experimenting in the kitchen. Everything I make with pineapple seems to come out wonderfully.

There are some recipes that once you taste them, they immediately become favorites. Several years ago a friend, Lamar Spivey, shared a great coconut cookie pudding recipe with me. Actually, it wasn’t a recipe, but rather his mother’s idea for a simple pudding using whatever she had on hand.

We both grew up in the Mill Village because our dads worked in the local textile mill. Our mothers learned to be creative in the kitchen and I must say that what we had to eat was especially good.

Mrs. Spivey’s Coconut Cookie Pudding became a favorite with everyone who sampled it. Later, I decided to add pineapple to this pudding, and it is so wonderful and simple to make that a novice should have no problems with it.

This recipe also is good made with lemon cookies and mandarin oranges.

Another great recipe with the pineapple and coconut flavor combo is a tasty bread pudding. This delicious dessert is sure to find favor with the taste buds since it is made with Hawaiian sweet bread.

The possibilities with coconut and pineapple are unlimited, so you might want to try your hand at coming up with a new dessert using these ingredients. I am considering using cream of coconut as part of the liquid in place of a little of the half and half.


2/3 cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour

3 egg yolks

2 cups milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

15 to 18 crunchy coconut cookies (not the macaroon candy type)

1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple, well drained

Whipped cream

Combine sugar and flour in heavy saucepan. Stir to mix. Add egg yolks, but do not mix yet. Gradually add milk, stirring yolks into mixture with it. Cook over medium heat until pudding begins to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, coconut cookies, and pineapple. Mix well. Allow to cool slightly. Top each serving with whipped cream.


1/4 cup butter

1 quart half and half

2 eggs

6 to 7 cups slightly packed Hawaiian sweet bread chunks

1 (15 oz.) can pineapple tidbits, drained

1 cup coconut

1 teaspoon coconut extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in 9x13x2 inch pan. Set aside. In large bowl, combine half and half and eggs. Beat until well mixed. Stir in bread, pineapple, coconut and extract. Pour into pan and bake 55 to 60 minutes. Serve with the following pineapple cream sauce.


1 (8 oz.) tub pineapple cream cheese

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/4 cup dulce de leche ice cream topping (or caramel ice cream topping)

1/4 cup milk

Combine cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar. Beat until blended. Add ice cream topping and milk. Beat until smooth. Serve with warm bread pudding.

— Prudence Hilburn of Piedmont, Alabama, has won more than 30 national cooking awards and written several cookbooks, including, “Simply Southern and More.” Write her at or visit