This Coconut Cream Pie showcases the harmonious blend of coconut’s creamy sweetness with the rich, buttery texture of a homemade pie crust. It’s a dessert that promises to transport you to tropical shores with every bite, making it a perfect ending to any meal.

Creating this coconut cream pie was an exploration of flavors and textures. The process of creating custard from scratch, with its smooth, rich coconut base, and marrying it with the homemade pie crust, was a fulfilling endeavor. This pie has become a cherished recipe in my collection, beloved for its comforting flavors and elegant presentation.

coconut pies being served

The Chemistry of Coconut Cream Pie

The custard filling’s silky texture results from the careful tempering of eggs, which prevents them from scrambling when introduced to the hot coconut milk mixture. The cornstarch acts as a thickening agent, ensuring the custard sets to the perfect consistency. Meanwhile, the coconut milk and half & half create a rich, creamy base that’s enhanced by the sweetness of the sugar and the tropical aroma of the coconut flakes and extracts.

How to temper eggs

  • Heat the cream, milk and sugar in a sauce pan
  • Crack and separate the egg yolks into a bowl, then whisk them up
  • Once the cream mixture is piping hot, but not yet boiling, slowly pour in about 1/4 cup of the hot mixture into the egg yolks while you are rapidly whisking the yolks
  • Repeat that process 5 times
  • Slowly pour the egg yolk mixture into the sauce pan with the remaining cream mixture, while rapidly whisking the cream

By following this process, you will cook the egg yolks without having to worry about them solidifying.

slowly pouring the hot cream mixture into the egg yolks
slowly pouring the egg yolk mixture into the hot cream mixture

Can I substitute the canned coconut milk with something else?

While canned coconut milk offers a rich flavor and creamy texture, you can substitute it with light coconut milk for a less rich filling. However, the overall coconut flavor may be less intense.

How do I prevent the pie crust from shrinking or puffing up during baking?

Using pie weights or an alternative like uncooked rice or dried beans prevents the crust from puffing up. Chilling the crust before baking helps minimize shrinking.

Can this pie be frozen for later use?

Yes, the coconut cream pie can be frozen. Wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and freeze. Thaw in the refrigerator before serving. Note that the texture of the custard may change slightly upon freezing.

How can I ensure my custard is smooth and not lumpy?

Whisk the custard continuously while cooking, especially when adding the cornstarch, to prevent lumps. If lumps do form, you can strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve before pouring into the crust. Note, you will want to add the shredded coconut after you strain the custard.

Freshly made coconut cream pie

What is in coconut cream pie?

All-Butter Pie Crust

Provides a flaky, buttery base.

Canned Coconut Milk and Half & Half

Create a rich, creamy custard filling.

Granulated Sugar

Sweetens the custard.

Egg Yolks

Thickens the custard, giving it a smooth, rich texture.

Cornstarch

Acts as a thickener, ensuring the custard sets properly.

Sweetened Coconut Flakes

Add texture and coconut flavor to the custard

Unsalted Butter

Enhances the custards flavor, adding depth and richness

Coconut Extract

Adds a sweet tropical flavor to your treats.

Vanilla Extract

When using pure vanilla extract, as opposed to imitation flavoring, it will add the deep rich flavor that everybody wants in a treat.

coconut cream pie being served

Storage Tips

Store the coconut cream pie in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 3 days. The custard and whipped cream topping are best enjoyed fresh.

Freezing Options

The pie can be frozen without the whipped cream topping. Wrap tightly and freeze for up to a month. Thaw in the refrigerator and add fresh whipped cream before serving.

Making Ahead

The pie crust can be baked ahead of time and stored at room temperature for a day. The custard can also be made in advance and refrigerated until assembly. This allows for easier planning and preparation for special occasions.

Coconut cream pie being sliced

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Sprig Ceramics

I have to take a moment on this pie post to highlight a local potter who makes the most beautiful and quality dishes. I baked both the pies in this post in her beautiful pie dishes. She makes so much more than just pie dishes, I am sure you will fall in love with all her pieces. Check out her site here.

Why make coconut cream pie?

The coconut cream pie recipe is a blend of simplicity and sophistication, offering a creamy, coconut-infused delight that’s sure to impress. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or new to the kitchen, this pie is a testament to the joy of baking and the timeless appeal of coconut.

Recipes You May Love

Coconut Cream Pie

5 from 1 vote
Author: Madison Reid
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 17 minutes
Chill Time: 5 hours
Servings: 16
Creamy, sweet coconut cream pie. Encased in a flakey all-butter pie crust.

Ingredients 

  • 1 all-butter pie crust
  • 1 3/4 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cup half & half
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 4 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp coconut extract

Instructions

  • First make your all-butter pie crust. Wrap it in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees
  • Roll the pie crust out and prepare in two greased small pie dishes or one large greased pie dish.
  • Poke with a fork all over the bottom, place cut piece of parchment paper on top of the prepared dough and place pie weights on top. You can also use uncooked rice or dried beans.
  • Bake the pie crust for 17 minutes. Remove and allow the crust to cool while you prepare the coconut custard.
  • In a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat combine the coconut milk, half and half and granulated sugar.
  • While that is warming up to a simmer, separate your egg yolks into a dish. Whisk until combined.
  • Once the coconut milk mixture is simmering, grab a 1 cup measuring cup and fill with the hot mixture & turn the stove top off.
  • With a whisk in hand, whisk your egg yolks rapidly as you very slowly pour the hot coconut milk mixture into the egg yolks. Do not go quickly, you need the egg yolks to temper up, not scramble.
  • Now take the whisk and start stirring the remaining coconut milk mixture in the sauce pan, slowly pour the warmed egg yolk mixture into the sauce pan. Go slowly again, making sure to not scramble your egg yolks.
  • Now turn the stove top back on to medium heat.
  • Quickly whisk the cornstarch into the sauce pan.
  • Add the salt and coconut flakes and continue whisking. Add the butter and extracts.
  • Keep whisking until your custard becomes thick. Remove from heat and allow to cool down a bit.
  • Pour the custard into the cooked pie crusts. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
  • When ready to serve, top with whipped cream and toasted coconut flakes.

Nutrition

Calories: 236kcal Carbohydrates: 22g Protein: 3g Fat: 16g Saturated Fat: 10g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0.03g Cholesterol: 83mg Sodium: 116mg Potassium: 137mg Fiber: 1g Sugar: 13g Vitamin A: 200IU Vitamin C: 1mg Calcium: 40mg Iron: 1mg

Have you tried this recipe?

I’d love to see it! Follow @_mrs.madi_ on Instagram and tag your photos with #mrsmadi.

coconut cream pie titled