Home Desserts Homemade Coconut Cream Pie

Homemade Coconut Cream Pie

This easy and luxurious coconut cream pie uses coconut milk and shredded coconut in the custard filling. So, every mouthful is sweet, tropical, and loaded with texture. 

But that’s not all! Toasted coconut on top provides a fun, fragrant, picture-perfect finish. 

Pile it high with pillowy whipped cream, and it’s one dreamy homemade pie.

Slice of coconut cream pie served on a white plate garnished with coconut shavings on top.
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Why You’ll Love This Coconut Cream Pie

Showstopping Presentation: The gorgeous layered look with the golden toasted coconut on top makes this pie a true showstopper for any occasion.

Satisfyingly Sweet: With the perfect balance of sweetness from the granulated sugar and the natural flavor of coconut, it’s sure to satisfy any sweet tooth.

Nostalgic Indulgence: This old-fashioned coconut cream pie recipe evokes wistful memories of grandma’s kitchen and simpler times.

Whole coconut cream pie in a white pie dish garnished with toasted shredded coconut.

Ingredients

  • Pre-Baked Pie Crust: For the best taste and texture, use flaky pastry or graham cracker crust. However, you can also use Oreo or Nila wafers if you like.
  • Sweetened Shredded Coconut: Moist, sugar-kissed coconut shreds add tropical flavor and delightful texture to the creamy filling and toasted topping.
  • Unsweetened Coconut Milk: Rich, creamy coconut milk (not cream) amps up the coconut flavor in the custard filling.
  • Half & Half: Gives the filling its silky, luscious texture.
  • Granulated Sugar: Sweetens the custard filling to perfectly balance the rich coconut.
  • Salt: A pinch enhances all the flavors in the filling.
  • Egg Yolks: Thicken and enrich the custard for a smooth, velvety texture.
  • Cornstarch: The secret ingredient that helps set the filling so you get clean slices.
  • Unsalted Butter: Adds richness and a glossy sheen to the filling.
  • Vanilla Extract: Rounds out the flavors with its subtle floral notes.
  • Heavy Whipping Cream: Whipped into dreamy clouds to crown the pie with a creamy topping.
Coconut cream pie filling poured over graham crust on a white baking dish.
Whipped cream spread on top of coconut cream pie in a pie dish.

How to Make Coconut Cream Pie

Nothing beats a classic coconut cream pie.

This timeless dessert has been an American favorite since the 1800s when coconuts became more accessible. 

And it’s ready in a flash!

1. PREP: Preheat the oven to 325°F. If needed, fully bake the pastry crust and set aside to cool.

2. TOAST: Spread 1/2 cup shredded coconut on a baking sheet. Bake until lightly toasted, 5-7 minutes. Set aside to cool.

3. SIMMER: Combine the coconut milk, half & half, sugar, and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer.

4. TEMPER: Whisk the egg yolks and cornstarch until smooth in a bowl. Slowly drizzle the hot cream mixture into the yolks while whisking constantly.

5. COMBINE: Pour the tempered egg mixture into the saucepan. Bring to boil, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 2 minutes.

6. STIR: Remove the pot from the heat. Whisk in the butter and vanilla until melted. Stir in the untoasted coconut.

7. POUR: Pour the filling into the pie crust, cover, and chill for at least 3 hours or overnight.

8. WHIP: When ready, beat the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla until thick and stiff peaks form. Spread over the pie and top with the toasted coconut.

Slice of coconut cream pie in a plate.

Tips For the Best Coconut Cream Pie

There’s something so nostalgic and comforting about a classic coconut cream pie, don’t you think? 

The flaky crust, the luscious coconut custard filling, the cloud of whipped cream on top… it’s like a tropical vacation in every bite! 

  • Toast the coconut. It’s an optional garnish, but you’ll love the look, smell, and golden color. 
  • Whisk constantly. Continuously whisk the filling as it cooks to prevent burning and ensure a smooth consistency. This is extra important when you incorporate the eggs so they don’t scramble.
  • Chill thoroughly. Press plastic wrap directly on the surface of the filling to prevent a skin from forming. Then, refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight so you can get clean cuts, 
  • Make ahead. The pie can be made a day in advance and kept chilled in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  • Try Cool Whip. If you don’t want to use whipped cream, feel free to top this with whipped topping instead. You’ll need about 4-6 ounces.
  • Variations. Experiment with different extracts like coconut or rum, using different cookie crusts, or top it with fresh fruit or toasted nuts. You could even spread the filling over a batch of cooked and cooled brownies!
Slice of coconut cream pie in a plate.

How to Store

This pie is like a sweet, creamy dream come true. The smell of toasted coconut alone is enough to make your mouth water!

It’s the perfect dessert to bring to a summer party or to enjoy on a lazy weekend afternoon. 

Here’s how to store it:

To Store: Cover the pie tightly with plastic wrap or an airtight lid and refrigerate for up to 3 days. 

To Freeze: Allow the pie to cool completely, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil before freezing for up to 2-3 months. Do not add whipped cream topping until ready to serve after thawing overnight in the refrigerator.

More Cream Pies You’ll Love

Peanut Butter Cream Pie
Chocolate Cream Pie
Pumpkin Cream Pie
Strawberry Cream Pie

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Homemade Coconut Cream Pie

Course: DessertCuisine: American
Servings

10

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

15

minutes
Calories

386

kcal

This easy coconut cream pie uses coconut milk and shredded coconut in the custard filling. So, every mouthful is sweet, tropical, and loaded with texture.

Ingredients

  • For the Pie
  • 1 (9-inch) pre-baked pie crust (pastry, graham cracker, nila wafer, etc.)

  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut, divided

  • 1 (14 ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk

  • 1 cup half & half

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 5 large egg yolks

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • Whipped Cream Topping
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spread 1/2 cup of the shredded coconut on a baking sheet. Bake until lightly toasted, about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine the coconut milk, half & half, sugar, and salt. Stir well, and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks and cornstarch until smooth. When the cream mixture is hot, very slowly drizzle about 1 cup into the egg yolks, whisking constantly to temper the eggs.
  • Pour the tempered egg mixture back into the saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Continue to cook and whisk until thickened, about 2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla until the butter is melted. Stir in the untoasted coconut.
  • Pour the filling into the pre-baked pie crust. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface and refrigerate until firm, at least 3 hours or overnight.
  • When ready to serve, make the whipped cream topping. Using an electric mixer, beat the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla on low until thick. Then, increase the speed to medium-high speed and beat until stiff peaks form.
  • Spread or pipe the whipped cream over the chilled pie filling. Garnish with the toasted coconut. Slice and serve chilled.

Notes

  • Toast the coconut. It’s an optional garnish, but you’ll love the look, smell, and golden color.
  • Whisk constantly. Continuously whisk the filling as it cooks to prevent burning and ensure a smooth consistency. This is extra important when you incorporate the eggs so they don’t scramble,

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

2 thoughts on “Homemade Coconut Cream Pie”

  1. If this was truly Grandma’s old-fashioned Coconut Cream Pie, she would have whipped up a meringue topping using up those two left-over egg whites with a little cream of tartar and sugar. Top the pie with the meringue and pop it back into the oven to lightly brown, and then top with the toasted coconut.

    Reply

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