This coconut cream pie is layered with flavor from the buttery crust to the creamy coconut filling and light whipped cream topping. For being so easy to make, the results are so, so delicious!
Like key lime pie, coconut cream pie is a classic American dessert made up of crust with a coconut-flavored vanilla pudding and topped with whipped cream and coconut shavings.
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Why this recipe works
This coconut cream pie recipe is a coconut lover’s dream. The coconut cream filling is smooth and creamy, and it has the perfect amount of coconut flavor. Some coconut recipes taste artificial, but not this one- you’d think you were somewhere tropical after one bite!
- It’s completely homemade. Just as we do in a crostata or clafoutis, the recipe is made from scratch from the homemade crust to the creamy coconut filling and whipped cream topping.
- It is so easy to make. Just like my other pie recipes, this one is a cinch to make (have you tried our cherry pie yet?).
- You can be made in advance. The cream filling needs to sit overnight, so you can easily make it up to 3 days ahead.
The ingredient list for this coconut cream pie may be long, but don’t be intimidated. Each of these ingredients is essential for making the perfect pie.
- Flour. All-purpose flour is best, though you can also swap it for gluten-free flour.
- Salt. To amp up the flavor of the crust.
- Sugar. Granulated white sugar.
- Butter. Unsalted butter, chilled and cut into equal-sized cubes.
- Ice water. The water must be cold in order to make the crust.
- Sugar. Plain white sugar.
- Cornstarch. To help thicken the cream filling.
- Coconut milk. To add texture and coconut flavor to the cream.
- Heavy cream. Also known as thickened cream, be sure the brand you are using has no added sugar in it.
- Egg yolks. Don’t skip this ingredient, as it will add much-needed richness to the cream.
- Coconut extract. Gives extra coconut flavor.
- Vanilla extract. Gives a lovely vanilla flavor to the overall pie.
- Whipping cream. The main component of the whipped topping.
- Powdered sugar. To add essential sweetness to the otherwise flavorless whipped cream.
- Coconut shavings. For topping the pie, use either plain or toasted shavings.
How to make coconut cream pie
This is one of my favorite pie recipes when I have friends over since it makes a great presentation. It’s also deceptively easy, so everyone will think you went out of your way to make it. Only you will know how easy it was.
Step 1- Make the crust
First, mix the flour, salt, sugar, and butter together until you have a coarse sand consistency. Add the ice water incrementally and continue mixing until you form the dough. Then, chill the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Step 2- Blind bake the crust
When the dough has finished resting, preheat the oven to 350F/177C and roll out the dough. Transfer it to a pie dish and press to form the dough into the pie tin. Then, blind-bake the crust for 20 minutes. When the crust has finished baking, set it aside until cooled completely.
Step 3- Make the coconut cream filling
Begin by whisking sugar and cornstarch in a saucepot. Then, add the coconut milk, half cream, and egg yolks. Continue whisking until smooth. Set the saucepot on the stove and set it to medium heat. Let the coconut cream cook until thickened. Then, strain the custard through a fine mesh sieve and stir in the coconut and vanilla extract.
Step 4- Let the pie refrigerate overnight
Pour the filling into the cooled pie shell. Then, cover the filling with plastic wrap greased with coconut oil so it doesn’t stick, and chill the cake overnight in the fridge.
Step 5- Make the whipped cream and serve
Make the whipped cream topping. To do this, beat the heavy cream and powdered sugar together in a bowl until stiff peaks form. Unwrap the plastic wrap from the pie and spoon the whipped topping over the filling. Top the pie with your toasted coconut shavings, slice, and serve.
- Use a food processor to make the crust: This makes the process of forming a smooth and buttery crust so much easier.
- Opt for pre-made parts: To save time, you can use a storebought pie crust or storebought whipped cream.
- Chill the pie before serving: Allow the pie to chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours before serving. This will allow the filling to set and the flavors to meld together.
- Toast the coconut: Toasting the coconut flakes before adding them to the filling can enhance their flavor and add a crunchy texture to the pie.
- Don’t overmix the filling: Once you’ve added the coconut milk and cream to the filling, avoid overmixing it, as this is why some pies are lumpy and/or grainy.
To store: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator, covered. It will keep fresh for up to 2 weeks.
To freeze: Place the pie in a shallow container and store it in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Frequently asked questions
To avoid your coconut cream pie from becoming too watery, you’ll want to add cornstarch to the filling. This will thicken the filling and make for a smooth, creamy pie filling.
This pie recipe tastes great all on its own, but if you want to add even more flavor, you could serve it with coconut ice cream or some fresh fruit.
Yes, you can make coconut cream pie gluten-free by using a gluten-free pie crust.
Yes, you can make coconut cream pie without dairy by swapping out the heavy cream for coconut cream and by replacing the egg yolk with an egg substitute. You can also use a non-dairy whipped topping as a substitute for whipped cream.
Coconut Cream Pie Recipe
- 1 1/4 cups whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 cup coconut flakes
- Mix flour, salt, sugar, and butter until a coarse consistency. Add ice water and form a dough. Cover the bowl then chill the dough for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
- Once chilled, roll out the dough and transfer to a 9-inch pie dish.
- Blind bake the pie crust for 20 minutes, then let it cool to room temperature.
- Make the filling. Whisk sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan. Add the coconut milk, heavy cream, and egg yolks. Whisk until smooth. Place the saucepan over medium heat and allow it to simmer until it thickens.
- Strain the custard through a fine mesh sieve and stir in coconut and vanilla extracts.
- Pour the filling into the cooled pie shell. Cover the filling with plastic wrap. Chill the pie for at least two hours or overnight.
- Make the topping by beating the whipping cream and powdered sugar in a bowl until stiff peaks form. Spoon over the chilled pie and top with shredded coconut flakes.
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