This fool-proof perfect coconut cream pie made completely from scratch is cool and creamy with whipped cream and toasted coconut on top.
Coconut cream pie is a classic
Who here loves pie?! It’s sweet, ultra creamy, and absolutely divine!
I came up with this perfect homemade coconut cream pie recipe that is sure to be a success no matter what corners you cut. And yes, I’m totally fine with cutting corners here and there. My time/sanity are more important than a flawless pie. 😉
This has a fool-proof homemade crust, a homemade pudding/custard, and homemade whipped cream on top.
It’s dang good. But you know what? You can easily use a store-bought crust and a tub of whipped cream for the top. No judgements here!
Homemade Pie Crust
I’ll walk you through every step of it. It’s easy, I promise!
To start, you’ll want to blind-bake a homemade pie crust and let it cool while preparing the rest of components.
BLEND. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, salt. Cut butter into tablespoons. Add to the dry ingredients. Using a pastry blender, cut butter into pea-size pieces.
COMBINE. Add 6 tablespoons of water, using a fork, mix until combined. If too dry, continue adding water until the crust comes together and is clumpy. It should be shaggy and slightly dry.
FOLD. Turn the mixture onto a lightly floured surface. Fold the dough into itself (kneading lightly) until it comes together. Form it into a ball and divide into two. Pat into flat discs and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
ROLL. On a lightly floured surface, using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 13-inch circle. Place into a 9-inch pie dish. Flute the edges and dock the bottom of the crust with a fork.
BLIND BAKE. To blind bake the crust, line with parchment paper or foil, and fill with pie weights, beans, or rice. Refrigerate crust for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 60 minutes, then remove the foil and beans and continue baking for an additional 6-8 minutes or until the bottom is fully baked through.
Let cool completely before filling.
My coconut cream pie gets it’s flavor from three, easy-to-find ingredients:
- Full-fat unsweetened coconut milk
- Flaked unsweetened or sweetened toasted coconut
- Coconut extract
STEEP. The filling is smooth and creamy. No chopped up bits of coconut, because most people can’t stand the stringy, chewy texture of it once its cooked. I steep the coconut flakes in the milk mixture to help enhance the flavor of the finished product. Then, I use my favorite pasta clip (it attaches to the side of the pan) to strain the mixture.
TEMPER. The strained milk gets gradually poured into a bowl with egg, egg yolks and cornstarch. Since it’s warm, you’ll have to whisk it continuously to prevent the eggs from scrambling. This process is called tempering.
THICKEN. Discard the coconut left in the pan, and place the pan back onto medium heat. Gradually pour the filling back into the saucepan and whisk every 30 seconds or so until the mixture thickens. Allow the mixture to cook for about 6-12 minutes until it becomes VERY thick. You’ll have to continually whisk to prevent scorching. If you need to, you can turn down your heat a little. The goal here is to get your filling as thick as possible (as thick as you’d want it for the final product) because you’ll add in butter which will loosen it up.
COOL. Once the filling has reached the desired consistency, remove it from the heat and add the vanilla bean paste or extract, coconut extract and butter. Whisk for about 2 minutes, then let cool for about 20 minutes. Letting the filling cool will prevent it from softening the bottom of the pie crust. We definitely don’t want to do all of this work and then end up with a soggy bottom as Paul and Mary like to say (Great British Baking Show reference in case you were wondering).
PUt the pie together!
ASSEMBLE. Pour the filling into the pie crust and cover it with a piece of plastic wrap, pressing it gently on top of the surface of the custard.
REFRIGERATE. Chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.
WHIPPED CREAM. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, beat the cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until stiff.
SERVE + ENJOY!! Top with whipped cream and lots of crunchy toasted coconut… the more the merrier. Serve chilled!
This perfect coconut cream pie is a 10/10. It’s going to be a hit all spring and summer long! We hope you will enjoy it as much as we did!
We highly recommend using unsalted butter for this recipe, if all you have on hand is salted you will want to omit the added salt from both the crust and the filling.
If you don’t have a pastry cutter on hand you can use a cheese grater to grate the butter, then mix it into the dry ingredients. Just make sure you are using cold or even frozen butter. You could also cut the butter into small pieces and either use a fork or 2 knives held in each hand to mash it into the dry ingredients until they are combined.
When using pie weights (or beans or rice) make sure they are distributed evenly over the surface of the crust and pushed out to the sides. Placing the pie weights in an oven bag makes for easy removal!
Chilling or even freezing your crust before blind baking can help prevent it from puffing up.
Tips for toasting the coconut:
- First of all you can use either sweetened or unsweetened coconut. Keep in mind the unsweetened will take a little less time to toast.
- Our favorite method is to spread out your cup of coconut on a baking sheet and toast it in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 min, stirring it every 2 min.
- You can also toast coconut on the stovetop on medium low heat for 3-6 min while stirring constantly.
- Coconut can also be toasted in the microwave! Make sure to use a microwave safe glass container and heat it on high for 4-5 min, stopping to stir it after each minute. It will come out a little chewier this way, so take that into consideration.
If you just couldn’t finish those last few pieces of pie no worries! They will STORE well in your fridge for 3-4 days. Make sure to cover them tightly with plastic wrap or store in a sealed container. We don’t, however, recommend freezing any leftover pie as there will be significant changes to it’s texture.
FOR MORE COCONUT RECIPES, TRY THESE:
- Coconut Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Joyful Almond Bars
- Coconut Chocolate Salted Caramel Nests
- Lemon Coconut Poppy Seed Muffins
- 5 Ingredient Chocolate Coconut Mousse
- Chocolate Coconut Cream Pie
Perfect Coconut Cream Pie Recipe
For the Crust
- 2 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 ½ cup unsalted butter - (3 sticks)
- 6-9 tbsp water - ice cold
For the Filling
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 (14.5 oz) can full-fat unsweetened coconut milk
- ¾ cup granulates sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened toasted coconut flakes - OR sweetened coconut flakes
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 4 egg yolks
- ⅓ cup cornstarch
- 1 tsp vanilla extract - or vanilla bean paste
- 1 tsp coconut extract
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter - (½ stick), room temperature
For the Topping
- 1 ½ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup unsweetened toasted coconut flakes - OR sweetened
For the Crust
- In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, salt.
- Cut butter into tablespoons. Add to the dry ingredients. Using a pastry blender, cut butter into pea-size pieces.
- Add 6 tablespoons of water, using a fork, mix until combined. If too dry, continue adding water until the crust comes together and is clumpy. It should be shaggy and slightly dry.
- Turn the mixture onto a lightly floured surface. Fold the dough into itself (kneading lightly) until it comes together. Form it into a ball and divide into two. Pat into flat discs and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
- On a lightly floured surface, using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 13-inch circle. Place into a 9-inch pie dish. Flute the edges and dock the bottom of the crust with a fork.
- To blind bake the crust, line with parchment paper or foil, and fill with pie weights, beans, or rice.
- Refrigerate crust for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Bake for 60 minutes, then remove the foil and beans and continue baking for an additional 6-8 minutes or until the bottom is fully baked through.
- Let cool completely before filling.
For the Filling
- In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, add the cream, milk, coconut milk, sugar, coconut flakes, and salt. Bring mixture to a simmer, then turn heat off and let stand for 15 minutes.
- In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the egg, yolks, and cornstarch. Gradually pour the warm milk mixture through a pasta strainer or sieve and into the egg mixture, whisking vigorously to prevent the eggs from scrambling (this is called tempering). Discard coconut.
- Once fully combined, return the saucepan to the stove and place over medium heat, pour the mixture back in and heat until it reaches 165 degrees on an instant read thermometer. Continue cooking until the custard becomes very thick, about 6-10 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and add the extracts and butter, continue whisking for 2 minutes. Let cool for 20 minutes before pouring into baked pie shell.
- Cover with plastic wrap, pressing on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
For the Topping
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, beat the cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until stiff.
- Spread on to the top of the custard, then top with coconut flakes. Serve cold.