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This old-fashioned Coconut Cream Pie is the stuff dreams are made of. Flaky, buttery crust filled with a creamy, homemade custard and topped with lots of whipped cream and toasted coconut! It’s heaven for coconut lovers.

a coconut cream pie with slices removed and placed on plates to the side

When it comes to cream pies, it’s a hard, hard call for me to choose between banana cream pie and this coconut cream pie. It’s not a big deal if they are both on the dessert table and I can have a slice of each, but deciding which to make between the two of them is nearly impossible. They are both so delicious!

I made this particular pie for our annual Pi Day party this year and it was a hit! Even Paul likes this pie, and coconut isn’t even his thing. He typically opts for chocolate cream or banana pudding instead, but he went back for a second slice of coconut cream before it was gone, and that’s definitely saying something.

At some point I got it in my head that coconut cream pie is associated with Easter, although I really don’t know why. The other pie we typically make around Easter is a blueberry sour cream custard pie that is also divine. 

Obviously we love pie around here and I look for any excuse to make it!

A slice of homemade coconut cream pie with a bite taken out of it. An image of a slice of the best coconut cream pie recipe on a white plate.

What is a Cream Pie?

A cream pie is a pudding or custard filled pie with sweetened whipped cream on top. I strongly prefer homemade, completely from scratch cream pies over ones made with a packet of instant pudding, which is easy, but never as rich and scrumptious, in my opinion. 

The pudding or custard is usually made from milk, cream, sugar, flour or cornstarch for thickening, and eggs. 

There are many flavors of cream pies, but these are some of the most popular ones:

  • banana
  • lemon
  • peanut butter
  • coconut
  • chocolate

In the case of this coconut cream pie, we are amping up the coconut flavor by replacing some of the cream and milk typically called for in a cream pie recipe with coconut milk instead. You could make this pie without coconut milk and it would still taste good, just not with as strong of a coconut flavor as when you use coconut milk.

Also, while I usually use whole milk for coconut cream pies, you can use half-and-half for a richer pie, or even use 2% milk instead of whole milk and still get good results.

How to Make Coconut Cream Pie

  1. Blind-bake your pie crust.  I always prefer a homemade crust. This is my favorite pie crust recipe with all my best tips on how to make pie crust, including how to blind-bake a crust. But I know a lot of people are intimidated by pie crusts, so you could use a premade store-bought crust or even a graham cracker crust if pastry crust isn’t your thing.
  2. Whisk coconut milk, whole milk, cornstarch, sugar, and salt, in a pan over medium heat.  Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture starts to thicken, then cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Some people prefer to do this in a double boiler to avoid scorching the custard, but I’ve never had a problem with that and do it right in my regular saucepan.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a separate bowl.
  4. When the milk mixture is hot and thickened, pour 1 cup of the hot milk mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly to temper the eggs.  This gently heats them without scrambling the eggs. 
  5. Pour the hot egg mixture back into the pan with the hot milk mixture.  Cook and stir another 2 minutes until thick.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat and immediately stir in the butter and vanilla.  Add the shredded coconut and stir to combine.
  7. Pour the coconut cream pie filling into the prepared pie crust, then cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 6 hours, until set.
  8. When the pie is completely chilled, top with sweetened whipped cream and sprinkle with toasted coconut. I like to go heavy with the toasted coconut, even though there is already coconut in the pie filling itself, but you can do less if you like.

How to Toast Coconut

The easiest and best way to toast coconut is to spread it on a baking sheet in an even layer and bake for 12-15 minutes at 325 degrees F, stirring frequently, until toasted. 

An image of a homemade coconut cream pie made from scratch, covered in toasted coconut. An image of a slice of coconut cream pie made from scratch.

More Recipes for Coconut Lovers

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A slice of coconut cream pie on a plate with a bite taken out of it
Yield: 10 slices

Coconut Cream Pie

This old-fashioned Coconut Cream Pie is the stuff dreams are made of.  Flaky, buttery crust filled with a creamy, homemade custard and topped with lots of whipped cream and toasted coconut!  It's heaven for coconut lovers.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 25 minutes

Ingredients

Filling

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup sweetened coconut
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Topping

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted, for topping

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add the coconut milk and whole milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture starts to thicken and bubble. Continue to cook for another 2 minutes, stirring frequently.  Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a separate bowl.
  2. When the milk mixture is hot and thickened, pour 1 cup of the hot milk mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly to temper the eggs. This gently heats them without scrambling the eggs.
  3. Pour the hot egg mixture back into the pan with the hot milk mixture. Cook and stir another 2 minutes until thick.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and immediately stir in the butter and vanilla. Add the shredded coconut and stir to combine.
  5. Pour the coconut cream pie filling into the prepared pie crust, then cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 6 hours, until set.
  6. When the pie is completely chilled, top with sweetened whipped cream and sprinkle with toasted coconut. I like to go heavy with the toasted coconut, even though there is already coconut in the pie filling itself, but you can do less if you like.

Notes

To toast coconut, spread coconut in an even layer on a baking sheet and bake at 325 degrees F for 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, toasted.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 377Saturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 103mgSodium: 222mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 1gSugar: 24gProtein: 3g

Even More Amazing Easter Desserts You Will Want to Make!

Chocolate Covered Peeps
Easter Egg Hunt Rice Krispies Treats 
No Bake Lemon Cheesecake 
Toasted Coconut Marshmallow Cups
Marshmallow Easter Bars
Italian Lemon Drop Cookies
Easter Cake Pops
Spring Jello Salad
Easter Skillet Cookie
Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

HAVE YOU TRIED THIS RECIPE?

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