Is there anything better than a lush cream pie? Cream pie recipes combine velvety fillings with crisp, flaky crusts, and the contrast is just divine. And perhaps the most beloved of these pies is coconut!
Our dreamy coconut cream pie recipe is so simple to make, especially if you take a pie crust shortcut. It and will have your friends asking for a second slice.
Coconut Cream Pie Recipe Ingredients
Before you start this diner-style dessert, make sure you have these essentials on hand:
- Pie crust: For this coconut cream pie recipe, you can use your favorite homemade pie crust as a base. If you want to save a little time, though, you can opt for a store-bought pie crust.
- Shredded coconut: This recipe calls for sweetened shredded coconut. The little extra sweetness in this type of coconut plays well with the other ingredients in this recipe.
- Whole milk: To make a rich pudding filling, it’s worth using whole milk. Skim or 1% just won’t give you the same velvety texture.
- Vanilla extract: Even though this is a coconut pie, you’ll want to have a supporting cast here. A splash of vanilla extract gives the pie more depth of flavor and enhances all those sweet notes.
Step 1: Blind bake the pie crust
Preheat the oven to 400°F. To prep the crust for this recipe, nestle the rolled-out pie pastry into a 9-inch pie pan, and flute the edge. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Then, line the crust with aluminum foil or parchment, and fill with pie weights. You can also use dried beans or uncooked rice.
Bake the crust until the edge is golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the crust liner and the weights, and bake for another three to six minutes. When finished, the bottom crust should be a light golden brown.
Let the crust cool completely on a wire rack.
Editor’s Tip: Because the pudding-like filling of this pie isn’t baked, the crust must be prepped, baked and cooled in advance. This is called blind baking.
Step 2: Start the pudding
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, flour and salt. Whisk in the milk until smooth. Cook over medium-high heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce the heat, and cook, stirring, for two more minutes.
Step 3: Temper the eggs
Next, remove the mixture from the heat. Slowly pour about 1 cup of the hot mixture into the bowl with the beaten eggs, whisking constantly and quickly. This will temper the eggs and help them incorporate into the pudding without scrambling.
Return the mixture to the saucepan, and cook over medium heat, whisking, until nearly boiling. Reduce the heat, and cook, stirring, for another two minutes. Watch the pudding carefully so it does not boil.
Remove the pudding from heat. Stir in 1 cup of the coconut, butter and vanilla extract.
Editor’s Tip: For the most flavorful results, use toasted coconut. You can crisp up shredded coconut in the oven, over the stovetop, or in the air fryer in just a few minutes. Toasted coconut will also add texture and color to any of your fave coconut desserts.
Step 4: Fill the pie, and chill
Pour the pudding filling into your prepared pie crust, and sprinkle with the remaining coconut. Chill the pie for several hours before slicing and serving.
- Add rum extract: Coconut and rum are a famously delicious pairing. If you want to echo the flavors of your favorite cocktail, substitute rum extract for the vanilla extract in this recipe.
- Top with whipped cream: Transform this coconut cream pie recipe into a mile-high pie by topping it with heaps of homemade whipped cream.
- Use a crumb crust: While a typical pie pastry crust is customary in this recipe, you can try a simple crumb crust instead. Try chocolate wafer cookies or graham crackers!
How to Store Coconut Cream Pie
Keep the coconut cream pie in an airtight, lidded container or pie keeper in your refrigerator for up to three days. Since it contains eggs and dairy, coconut cream pie should not be stored at room temperature.
Coconut Cream Pie Recipe Tips
Can you make coconut cream pie in advance?
You can make coconut pie a day in advance of serving. Because this pie is best eaten sooner rather than later, our pros don’t recommend making it too far ahead of time. The longer this pie sits, the softer the crust becomes.
Do you have to blind bake the crust when making coconut cream pie?
Yes, blind bake your pie crust to ensure your coconut cream pie doesn’t get the dreaded soggy bottom. Cream pies tend to contain a lot of moisture that could inhibit a crisp, flaky bottom crust as the pie bakes in the oven, so it’s important that you don’t skip this step.
Can you make coconut cream pie with dairy-free milk?
Absolutely! Coconut milk is a great milk alternative for this coconut cream pie. It contains a lot of fat, making it a perfect substitute for whole milk, and really boosts the coconut flavor.
Here are a few tasty coconut milk recipes if you have extra cans of coconut milk in your pantry.