Flaky pie crust filled with a creamy custard filling, then topped with whipped cream and toasted coconut. This coconut cream pie is sweet, smooth and rich…every bite is perfection!
This is the perfect pie to add to your Thanksgiving menu. It’s silky smooth and jam packed with flavor. It can also easily be made ahead of time so that you have one less thing to do on the big day. I always make it the day beforehand!
If you’ve never had coconut cream pie, you are missing out! The flavors are seriously out of this world and the texture is perfectly smooth and creamy. My mouth waters just thinking about it!
This recipe makes the perfect holiday dessert and will be a huge show stopper. What really puts it over the top is the toasted coconut. If you’ve never made toasted coconut before, it is fairly easy and absolutely amazing. You’ll have to stop yourself from snacking on it while making this recipe! I know I did. :)
How to make coconut cream pie
- Make custard. Cook the half and half, coconut milk, eggs, sugar, flour and salt in a sauce pan over low heat. Then add in the vanilla bean (scoop out the insides and add the outside casing too) and mix. Bring to a light simmer, then cook for 2 more minutes (make sure to be constantly stirring the whole time). The texture should look like custard/pudding at this point.
- Pour and chill. Remove pan from the heat and discard the vanilla bean casing. Stir in 1 cup of coconut flakes. Then pour the custard into the baked pie shell and chill until firm (at least 4 hours or overnight).
- Top and serve. Top with whipped cream and toasted coconut before serving.
Baking tips + modifications
- Pie crust. You can make a homemade pie crust or buy a premade pie shell. Just make sure to bake it first before you get started on making the custard.
- Whipped cream. Spread a layer of homemade whipped cream on top right before serving. You can even make a batch of stabilized whipped cream a few days in advance so that it’s already ready on Thanksgiving day.
- Toasted coconut. To take this pie up a notch, sprinkle some toasted coconut on top before serving. It adds another layer of bold coconut flavor. Simply add 1/2 cup coconut flakes to a baking sheet, then bake at 300°F for about 5 minutes (or until golden).
- Making in advance. This is the perfect pie to make ahead of time. It needs to chill at least 4 hours in advance for the custard to set, so preparing it the day before is actually ideal. I typically will make the custard, pour it into the pie shell and let it chill overnight. Then the next day, all I need to do is top with whipped cream and toasted coconut.
- Easy pudding mix version. Want to make this recipe even easier and skip the homemade filling? Use 2 boxes (3.4 ounce) instant coconut pudding mix with 3 1/2 cups milk and follow the direction on the box. Then mix in the coconut and add the toasted coconut once in the pie shell.
Storing and freezing
- To store: The coconut pie will need to be refrigerated since it contains several dairy ingredients. Simply cover the pie with aluminum foil or plastic wrap (you will want to cover loosely so that the toppings don’t stick). It should keep in the fridge for about 3-4 days.
- To freeze: You can also make the pie ahead of time and freeze it. Prepare the filling as directed, then pour into the baked pie crust. Let the custard cool completely, then cover tightly with plastic wrap and another layer of foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then add the whipped cream and toasted coconut right before serving.
Other pie recipes you’ll love:
Coconut Cream Pie
- 1 cup half and half
- 13 ounces unsweetened canned coconut milk (about 1 3/4 cups)
- 2 large eggs (beaten for 30 seconds)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour or cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 vanilla bean (cut in half)
- 1 1/2 cups sweetened coconut flakes
- 1 9-inch pie shell (baked)
For topping: 2 cups homemade whipped cream or thawed whipped topping
- Combine the half and half, coconut milk, beaten eggs, sugar, flour and salt in a medium sauce pan over low heat. Scrape the insides of the vanilla bean into the mixture and toss the bean in.
- Bring to LIGHT simmer, stirring constantly being careful to not let it burn. Once it's reached a light simmer, cook for 2 more minutes or until it has turned into a custard/pudding. Taste it to make sure it's done.
- Remove pan from heat, remove the vanilla bean pod and stir in 1 cup of coconut. Pour into baked pie shell. Chill until firm, at least 4 hours (or overnight).
- Top with whipped cream and toasted coconut before serving. Add white chocolate shavings if desired.