Coconut cream pie: Coconutty vanilla-scented custard nestled into a toasty crust & crowned with billows of soft whipped cream. Truly amazing!

A slice of coconut cream pie on a lacy porcelain plate.

It’s coconut season!

Lol! I don’t know why I always associate this time of year with coconut, but somehow it works!

I have to be honest with you: I never really thought coconut cream pie could be something I’d really love. I’ve been iffy on coconut in general for most of my life, and something like this just never held a whole lot of appeal.

But that all changed after I tasted this coconut cream pie recipe!

It’s really a “wow” dish. All the components come together for a dessert that’s beautifully balanced, loaded with chewy coconut, and whisper-light yet completely satisfying!

I’m a convert!

If you’re someone who has always loved coconut, then you probably won’t need much convincing. This recipe is definitely worth making!

And you may also want to check out my coconut cake, my coconut bread, and my coconut macaroons!

Coconut cream pie recipe, made, sliced, and served with a vintage silver fork.

Table of Contents

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What is coconut cream pie?

Coconut cream pie is a classic dessert that’s been around for generations.

It consists of a slightly sweet, eggy, vanilla-scented custard folded into shredded coconut and nestled into a toasty pie crust. It’s then topped with billows of whipped cream, and garnished with toasted coconut.

If you’re a coconut lover, this pie has your name written all over it!

Why this is the best coconut cream pie recipe

  1. Tastes amazing: I love how this pie isn’t overly sweet. There’s a really nice balance of flavors.
  2. Few ingredients: You’ll only need a handful of pantry staples to make it.
  3. Easy to make: Follow the steps one by one and you’ll have no trouble making it!
  4. Seasonal: Coconut desserts are great at any time of year, but they’re especially nice around Easter-time.

What does coconut cream pie taste like?

You’ll notice the light, airy sweetness right away. But it’s tempered by the toasty, slightly savory flavor of the pie crust.

And the filling is positively packed with chewy coconut!

There’s also the sweet aroma of vanilla and a rich, eggy quality of the custard itself.


Ingredients for making coconut cream pie, with text labels.

Pie dough: A half batch of my incredibly flaky, buttery homemade pie crust will suit perfectly, or you can use store-bought dough or a premade crust if you’re on a time crunch. Use a cup for cup gluten-free flour blend and a plant-based butter substitute to make this gluten-free and dairy-free!

Yolks: Just the yolks from large chicken eggs, or a 1:1 plant-based substitute. You can either toss the whites or reserve them for another use (such as royal icing, s’mores brownies, or Key lime cake).

Sugar: You’ll need granulated white sugar for the custard, plus a little bit of powdered sugar to sweeten the whipped cream on top.

Cornstarch: Cornstarch thickens the filling. It’s a colorless, odorless, flavorless starch. Make sure you’re using cornstarch, which is white and powdery, and not cornmeal, which is yellow and gritty and tastes like tortilla chips.

Salt: Salt balances the flavors and intensifies them. The end result won’t taste salty, just more flavorful. I like kosher salt best because it doesn’t have any bitter-tasting additives (like iodized table salt), plus it’s cheap and easy to find in the regular grocery store.

Milk: Use whatever kind you have on hand. I especially love to use coconut milk for this recipe. You could also use cream of coconut. Just check the label, if it’s sweetened you’ll want to omit the granulated sugar.

Vanilla: Vanilla extract adds a sweet perfume that compliments the coconut flavor.

Cream: Heavy whipping cream goes into the topping. Make sure you’re using full-fat heavy cream. If you’re not in the US this product may be called “double cream.” Half and half won’t work, and neither will light cream. You need that high fat content for it to whip up properly. For a dairy-free option, whip the solidified cream that rises to the top of the can of coconut milk.

Special equipment

How to make coconut cream pie

This easy recipe comes together in just 4 simple steps.

Step 1: Blind-bake the crust

Roll the pie dough out to an inch or so larger in diameter than your pie dish.

Then ease it in, turn the edges under, and crimp. If you want to see how this is done, check out the video on this post: Homemade Pie Crust.

Next, take a fork and prick little holes all over the bottom of the crust.

A docked, unbaked pie crust in a green pie dish.

This is called “docking” the dough, and it helps ensure that hot air doesn’t collect underneath and expand, creating a big bubble instead of a flat base.

Scrunch up a piece of parchment paper, then flatten it back out and slip it into the unbaked crust. Place ceramic pie weights or dry beans on top to keep everything where it should be.

Blind-baking a pie crust with ceramic pie weights.

Blind-bake the crust in a preheated oven until it’s nicely browned.

Step 2: Make the coconut custard

Start by placing the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a big bowl.

Egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a large glass mixing bowl.

Whisk them together until smooth, then dribble in hot milk, just a little bit at a time.

Tempering egg yolks with hot milk.

You can heat the cream in the microwave or in a pot on the stove. You just want it steamy, it doesn’t have to be boiling.

Once all the hot milk has been whisked in, transfer the mixture to a pot and place it on the stove over medium-low heat.

Cook the custard, whisking constantly, until it thickens up. The amount of time this takes can vary based on how many btu’s your range has, but keep in mind that it won’t reach its full thickening potential until it comes to a simmer.

Then just fold the shredded coconut and vanilla into the pastry cream.

Step 3: Fill the pie

Transfer the coconut custard into the baked and cooled crust, smoothing it into an even layer.

Spreading coconut custard into a pre-baked pie crust.

Step 4: Garnish

Whip the heavy cream and powdered sugar together until the mixture can hold soft peaks.

Then top the pie with big clouds of whipped cream.

Topping coconut cream pie with freshly whipped cream.

I also like to sprinkle on some toasted coconut chips.

These are more like big shards of desiccated coconut, whereas the shredded coconut in the filling is finer. I prefer the unsweetened kind, but sweetened works too.

You can toast the coconut flakes in a dry skillet over medium heat until they brown slightly and become fragrant. Or you can put them on a little baking sheet and toast them in a toaster oven. Just stick close by- they can burn quickly!

How to serve

Cut this pie into individual slices and serve it chilled or at room temperature.

It really doesn’t need a single thing, but a drizzle of chocolate syrup or salted caramel sauce could be really nice!

Expert tips

Toast the crust: I really like the flavor a deeply golden brown crust adds to this pie!

Don’t stop whisking: Whisk the custard constantly as it cooks, so you don’t get lumps of scrambled egg.

Let it cool: The custard will become even thicker as it comes down in temperature.

Don’t overwhip the cream: I love the look of soft billows of whipped cream. This can be hard to achieve if your whipped cream is too stiff. Aim for soft peaks.

Wipe the blade: For neat, clean slices of pie, give your knife blade a thorough wipe after each slice.

Coconut cream pie being served on white plates.

Frequently asked questions

Why is my custard runny?

If you don’t cook your custard long enough, it could come out runny. Make sure to bring it all the way up to a simmer, and whisk it constantly to avoid lumps.

Should I use sweetened coconut?

You can use unsweetened OR sweetened coconut. It’s up to you!

Personally, I always prefer my desserts to be a little less sugary, so I used unsweetened shredded coconut.

Can this be made ahead?

The answer is yes! It’s a good idea to allow yourself plenty of extra time so the custard can cool.

And if you have any concern at all about a soggy crust, wait until the last minute to transfer the filling into the pre-baked pie crust.

As it sits, the whipped cream may lose a little of its volume. To prevent this, you may want to use my whipped cream frosting instead. It’s a bit more stable and less likely to collapse or weep.

What is the serving size?

This pie can be cut into 6 generous slices. The nutritional info below is for 1/6th of the whole pie, using sweetened shredded coconut in the filling and unsweetened toasted coconut chips on top.

Easy coconut cream pie, assembled, sliced, and served on a marble background.

A few more of my best pie recipes

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A slice of coconut cream pie on a lacy porcelain plate.
5 stars (1 rating)

Coconut Cream Pie

Servings: 6 slices
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Cooling time: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 55 minutes
Coconut cream pie: Coconutty vanilla-scented custard nestled into a toasty crust & crowned with billows of soft whipped cream. Truly amazing!



  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pie dough to an inch or two larger in diameter than your pie dish.
  • Ease the dough into the dish, trim away any excess, roll the edges under, and crimp.
  • Prick holes in the bottom of the unbaked crust with a fork, then line with parchment and pie weights or dry beans.
  • Pre-bake the crust until it's golden brown and crisp (approx. 1 hour).
  • Whisk the egg yolks, granulated sugar, cornstarch, and salt together in a large bowl.
  • Heat the milk until steamy (in the microwave or in a small pot on the stove) and dribble it slowly into the egg mixture while whisking.
  • When all the milk has been added, pour the mixture into a pot and cook over medium-low heat (whisking constantly) until thickened* (approx. 5 to 10 minutes).
  • Fold the shredded coconut and vanilla into the custard, then press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the coconut custard and chill for 2 hours.
  • Transfer the chilled coconut custard to the pre-baked pie crust.
  • Whip the cream and powdered sugar together until the mixture can hold soft peaks.
  • Top the pie with whipped cream and toasted coconut flakes.


*The custard will not reach it’s full thickening power until it comes to a simmer.  It will thicken even more as it cools.
Serving: 1slice, Calories: 609kcal, Carbohydrates: 48g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 45g, Saturated Fat: 31g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 269mg, Sodium: 332mg, Potassium: 319mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 40g, Vitamin A: 1233IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 145mg, Iron: 1mg
Cuisine: American
Course: Dessert, Snack
Tried this recipe?Mention @bakingamoment on Instagram or tag #bakingamoment.


  • Allie

    Allie is the creator and owner of Baking a Moment. She has been developing, photographing, videographing, and writing and sharing recipes here since 2012.

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