A homemade pie crust filled with a creamy coconut filling topped with whipped cream and toasted coconut. This homemade coconut cream pie recipe is so easy to make and delicious!
Since posting my homemade pie crust tutorial last year, I’ve been wanting to work on more pie recipes to share with you. And since a dessert table at Easter just doesn’t feel complete without some kind of coconut dessert, I felt like a coconut cream pie would be the perfect start.
If you’ve never tried a homemade coconut cream pie, this is such a great recipe to learn. Even though there are a few extra steps to making a coconut cream pie from scratch, it is easy to make and you can prep some of it ahead of time too.
If you want to make this pie even easier, you can use a store-bought pie crust instead of making your own. But, if you really want to learn how to make your own pie crust I have a full tutorial here. I promise a homemade pie crust is easy to make!
The filling in this easy coconut cream pie starts with some granulated sugar and cornstarch. Then, you’ll whisk together some half and half, canned coconut milk, and eggs. You can find half and half in the store close to the heavy cream, it’s actually just equal parts heavy cream and milk. For the coconut milk, make sure you use the correct kind. You don’t want to use refrigerated coconut milk, but rather the full fat coconut milk you buy in a can. Since canned coconut milk can separate, just make sure to shake it really well or mix it together in a bowl before measuring it out.
For the filling, you can use 2 cups of half and half instead of 1 cup half and half and 1 cup canned coconut milk. The first time I made this recipe with the half and half it was good, but I felt like it needed more coconut flavor. The canned coconut milk really helps the coconut flavor shine through in this pie, trust me!
You’ll heat the filling mixture in a saucepan and let it boil for a minute until it’s thickened. Then, you’ll whisk in some butter, vanilla, and toasted coconut.
You do want to let the filling stand in the pan covered with some plastic wrap for about 30 minutes before scooping it into your pie crust. After you spread it into the pie crust, you’ll refrigerate it for a few hours before adding the topping. I actually prefer to do all of this the night before and then make the whipped cream and add it on top just a little before serving this pie. It makes everything much easier!
If you want to make this recipe a little easier you can use store-bought whipped topping. But, I promise making your own whipped cream only takes a few minutes and tastes incredible too. I also love to sprinkle the top of this pie with some extra toasted coconut for a little more flavor.
Coconut Cream Pie
- 1 9- inch pre-baked pie crust cooled completely
- 1 and 1/2 cups (130 grams) sweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (32 grams) cornstarch
- 1 cup (240ml) half and half
- 1 cup (240ml) canned coconut milk*
- 4 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons (45 grams) butter, cut into tablespoon sized pieces
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the whipped cream:
- 1 cup (240 ml) heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup (30 grams) powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread the sweetened shredded coconut onto a large baking sheet and bake at 350°F for about 10 minutes, stirring a few times, until the coconut is toasted. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
In a large saucepan, whisk together the sugar and cornstarch until well combined. Set aside.
In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together the half and half, coconut milk, and eggs until fully combined. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the saucepan with the sugar and cornstarch mixture and whisk until fully combined.
Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil stirring constantly. Allow to boil for one minute, the mixture should be pretty thick at this point. Remove from the heat and stir in one tablespoon of butter at a time, then mix in the vanilla extract and 1 cup of the toasted coconut (reserve the rest for the top).
Cover with plastic wrap, placing the plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard, and allow to stand in the saucepan for 30 minutes.
Remove the plastic wrap, stir the filling, and scoop it into the prepared pie crust. Spread the filling out into one even layer. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate the pie for 2-3 hours or until completely chilled and firm.
To make the whipped cream:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a hand-held mixer, add the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Start mixing on low speed, then increase the speed to medium-high until stiff peaks form.
Scoop the whipped cream onto the filling and spread it out into one even layer. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup of toasted coconut. Cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Make sure to use full fat canned coconut milk in this recipe, not refrigerated coconut milk. Since canned coconut milk may separate, make sure to shake it well or mix it together in a bowl before measuring it out for this recipe.
Prep time includes 3 hours of chilling time.