Coconut Cream Pie

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The best homemade Coconut Cream Pie recipe, featuring a creamy custard base, fluffy whipped cream topping, and toasted coconut flakes. Perfect for coconut lovers, this easy-to-follow recipe guarantees a delicious dessert!

This Old Fashioned Coconut Cream Pie recipe is the timeless dessert, perfectly blending a homemade custard base with the rich flavors of coconut cream. Whether you’re using a traditional baked crust or a crumbly graham cracker base, this pie promises to be a hit.

Learn how to create a smooth filling, homemade whipped cream and toasted coconut. It’s homestyle cooking at its best.

overhead view of coconut cream pie with toasted coconut on top

What is a cream pie?

There are different cream pie recipes. Some start with ingredients as simple as instant pudding. These pudding cream pies are no-bake and no cook. They are quick and easy.

But the best cream pie is one that starts with a homemade custard filling that you cook on the stovetop. This thickens up, tastes like a homemade pudding and is the base to the cream pie.

Ingredients

ingredients for coconut cream pie on a table
  • Pie shell. Use a homemade pie crust or graham cracker crust. Just make sure the pie crust is baked since this is a no bake pie filling.
  • Milk and cream. 2% milk will work, but I prefer whole milk along with the heavy cream which will make a creamy coconut filling.
  • Cornstarch and flour. These both work together to thicken the custard base.
  • Egg yolks. You’ll only use egg yolks, so save the whites for roasted pecans, meringue or an omelette.

Preparing the Pie Crust

A homemade crust gives your pie a personal touch. Make my grandma’s pie crust recipe (the base of all of my favorite pies), oatmeal pie crust or a graham cracker crust.

Whichever you choose, make sure the crust is baked in advance. Bake until the crust is golden brown, usually around 15-20 minutes, for that perfect flaky pie crust.

Make the Creamy Coconut Custard

  • Using a heavy bottomed medium saucepan over set to medium heat, warm 1 ¾ cup milk. Heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring often, just until the milk starts to get warm.
  • While the milk is heating, mix together the sugar, salt, cornstarch, and flour in a small bowl. Add the remaining ½ cup of milk and whisk until smooth. Drizzle the milk/sugar mixture into the hot milk, whisking constantly as you drizzle it in. Cook, stirring constantly until it starts to simmer slightly and thicken, then reduce heat to low heat, cover the pan and cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring often.
  • Place the egg yolks in a small bowl and whisk them to break up the yolks. Remove ¼ cup of the hot cream mixture and add it to the eggs, whisking constantly. This is called tempering the eggs. Drizzle the egg mixture into the hot cream, whisking constantly. Cook for an additional 2 minutes or until thickened, again, whisking constantly. It should be the consistency of pudding when it is ready.
  • Remove the pan from the heat. Add in the butter, coconut flavor and shredded coconut. Stir well with a rubber spatula.
collage of 4 steps to make coconut cream filling

Allow the custard to cool for 10 minutes, then fill the pie shell.

coconut cream pie without whipped cream in a pie pan

Homemade Whipped Cream

To make whipped cream, begin with cold heavy cream, coconut flavor and powdered sugar. Whip until stiff peaks form.

whipped cream in a glass bowl

You can substitute homemade whipped cream with Cool Whip whipped topping for convenience if you prefer. 

a spatula spreading whipped cream over coconut cream pie

Finishing Touches

This pie looks gorgeous with toasted coconut on top.

Spread shredded coconut on a baking sheet. Toast the coconut at 325ºF for 7-8 minutes or until golden brown.

untoasted coconut and toasted coconut collage

This not only enhances the flavor but also adds a lovely texture and color contrast to the top of the pie.

a piece of coconut cream pie on a plate with one bite out

Serving and Storage

  • Serving Temperature: Serve the pie cool, right from the refrigerator.
  • Storage: Store any leftovers in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap to keep the pie fresh.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a store-bought pie crust instead of making one at home?

Absolutely! A store-bought, pre-made crust is a great time-saver. Just remember to pre-bake it as per package instructions for that perfect crispy base.

Can I make this pie ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the pie a day in advance. Store it loosely covered in the refrigerator.

Can I make this with coconut pudding?

Yes! For an easy coconut cream pie, use two small boxes of coconut pudding and add half of the milk so that it sets up firm. Before the pudding sets, fold in the shredded coconut. Then pour it into the bottom of the crust and top with whipped cream. Using pudding makes such an easy pie with coconut cream filling.

Does coconut cream pie need to be refrigerated?

Yes! This is a milk based pie so it must be stored in the refrigerator. Cover the pie with plastic wrap.

How long does coconut pie last in the fridge?

It will last for 3-4 days in the fridge. The homemade whipped cream may deflate slightly as it sits.

coconut cream pie in a pan with two slices missing
coconut cream pie in a pan with two slices missing

Coconut Cream PIe

4.73 from 85 votes
Old fashioned coconut cream pie has a creamy, homemade custard base and is topped with easy sweetened whipped cream. 
Servings 8
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chill Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 35 minutes

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Ingredients
 

  • 1 9″ pre-baked pie crust 8" crust for a thicker pie

For the filling:

For the Topping:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2-3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon coconut flavoring
  • cup shredded toasted coconut for topping

Instructions
 

  • ​To toast the coconut, line a baking pan with parchment paper. Sprinkle the coconut on top of the paper. Bake at 325ºF for 8 minutes. Watch it closely. Allow it to cool before using it to garnish the pie.
  • Using a heavy bottomed medium saucepan over set to medium heat, warm 1 ¾ cup milk. Heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring often, just until the milk starts to get warm.
  • While the milk is heating, mix together the sugar, salt, cornstarch, and flour in a small bowl. Add the remaining ½ cup of milk and whisk until smooth.
  • Drizzle the milk/sugar mixture into the hot milk, whisking constantly as you drizzle it in. Cook, stirring constantly until it starts to simmer slightly and thicken, then reduce heat to low heat, cover the pan and cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring often.
  • Place the egg yolks in a small bowl and whisk them to break up the yolks. Remove ¼ cup of the hot cream mixture and add it to the eggs, whisking constantly. This is called tempering the eggs.
  • Drizzle the egg mixture into the hot cream, whisking constantly. Cook for an additional 2 minutes or until thickened, again, whisking constantly. It should be the consistency of pudding when it is ready.
  • Remove the pan from the heat. Add in the butter, coconut flavor and shredded coconut. Stir well with a rubber spatula.
  • Pour the custard filling into the pie crust. Use a rubber spatula to smooth the top to be even. Allow it to cool for 10 minutes, then cover the pie with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the pie is completely cooled.
  • Once the pie is cool, prepare the whipped cream. Use a high powered hand mixer or stand mixer to beat the cold cream, sugar and coconut flavor until stiff peaks form.
  • Spread the whipped cream over the cooled pie. Sprinkle the toasted coconut flakes over the top of the pie.
  • Refrigerate until serving and refrigerate any leftovers.

Video

Notes

Refer to the article above for more tips and tricks.
The calories shown are based on the pie being cut into 8 pieces, with 1 serving being 1 slice of pie. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**

Nutrition

Calories: 306kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 114mg | Sodium: 151mg | Potassium: 180mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 684IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 115mg | Iron: 1mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 306
Keyword coconut pie, easy pie recipe, no bake pie

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About JulieJulie Clark

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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Jenny
6 months ago

5 stars
What a lovely recipe! I made this pie today and it turned out beautifully. Have already shared the recipe with several friends and family members. Thank you!

Judy
2 years ago

Another recipe that sounds delicious. My husband loves Coconut Cream Pie but I haven’t made it in years. Might just surprise him with this on his 🎂 birthday or sooner would be Father’s Day. Due to my lack of mobility I may need to make this in stages or at least a few hours apart. He will love it for sure. Thanks for sharing. **

Marianne
3 years ago

I always buy organic coconut which is not sweetened. Do you think that would work ok?

Debra Lee
3 years ago

5 stars
Haven’t tried this yet but it looks great! Just wondering if this should be made with sweetened coconut flakes or unsweetened coconut flakes.

Jane McStay
4 years ago

Do you have a tasty recipe for a moist creamsicle cake??

Nanci Welsch
4 years ago

I noticed you use both cornstarch and flour – what is the reasoning? Thank you Nanci

Charlotte Moore
4 years ago

I love coconut. My mother always made her own crust and her fillings from scratch. Never in my life do I know of her using instant pudding for a pie or pudding. Same with cakes. She always made from scratch.

Robin
5 years ago

5 stars
How far in advance can I cook the custard? I don’t have time to do the pie for my Mom since I’m also her caretaker which is a 24/7 job. Can I cook it and chill it and then add it to the pie crust the day of?? I don’t want to add it to the pie crust days ahead or I’m going to have a soggy crust as well. Thanks

John Grell
5 years ago

5 stars
Sounds wonderful. Question? What is coconut flavoring? Is this the same as coconut extract?