Coconut Cream Pie

Tested & Perfected Recipes

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy.

Filled with coconut custard, whipped cream and heaps of toasted coconut, this coconut cream pie is downright dreamy.

My husband’s all-time favorite dessert is the signature coconut cream pie served at The Capital Grille in Washington, DC. I wanted to bake it at home, so, on a long shot, I emailed the manager and asked for the recipe. I was thrilled – he sent it to me! Like most restaurant recipes, the quantities were huge so I had to fiddle with it a bit, and the crust was mysteriously missing so I had to improvise. But the results were spectacular: a coconut-scented cookie crust filled with creamy coconut custard, pillowy whipped cream, and heaps of toasted coconut. This pie is downright dreamy.

What You’ll Need To Make Coconut Cream Pie

how to make coconut cream pie

This recipe calls for four different forms of coconut:

  • Sweetened flaked coconut is the most common form of coconut used in baking. Typically sold in plastic bags in the baking aisle, it is the dried, shredded and sweetened meat of the coconut.
  • Coconut milk is made from shredded coconut flesh puréed with water. It has the consistency of cow’s milk and is unsweetened.
  • Cream of coconut is thicker and richer than coconut milk with a higher fat content, and it is sweetened. It is often sold with the drink/cocktail mixers at the supermarket.
  • Coconut flakes (or chips) are the dried, shaved, unsweetened meat of the coconut. Toasted, they make a pretty garnish for desserts; they are also delicious in granola. Most large supermarkets carry them but you can always find them in organic markets.

Step-by-Step instructions

Step 1: Make The Crust

Place the shortbread cookies, coconut, and melted butter in a food processor.

how to make coconut cream pie

Process until the coconut is finely ground.

how to make coconut cream pie

Press the crumbs into firmly and evenly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan or 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. (Tip: start with the sides.)

cookie crust crumbs pressed into pie pan

Bake until golden, about 15 minutes, then set aside to cool. If the crust shrinks or cracks a bit, simply press it back together and up the sides while it’s still hot.

baked crust

Step 2: Make the Filling

In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt.

how to make coconut cream pie

Whisk well and set aside.

how to make coconut cream pie

In a medium saucepan, combine the Malibu rum, cream of coconut, coconut milk and whole milk.

how to make coconut cream pie

Bring to a boil; then turn off the heat. Whisking constantly, slowly ladle about a cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture; whisk well to combine. Whisking constantly, gradually add the remaining milk mixture to the egg mixture in 3 or 4 additions; whisk well to combine.

how to make coconut cream pie

Return the mixture to the sauce pan.

how to make coconut cream pie

Cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture reaches a boil and thickens, about 2 minutes. The filling must boil for at least 30 seconds in order to fully thicken.

how to make coconut cream pie

Off the heat, whisk in the butter until fully incorporated.

how to make coconut cream pie

Pour the hot filling into the cooled pie shell and smooth the surface with a spatula; press plastic wrap directly against the surface of the filling and refrigerate until firm, at least 6 hours and up to 12 hours. (Any longer than 12 hours and the crust will start to soften.)

filling poured into crust

Step 3: Make the Whipped Cream

Up to 3 hours before serving, whip the cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. When it starts to thicken, add the sugar and rum. Continue to whip until it forms soft peaks.

whipping heavy cream in mixer

Top the pie with whipped cream.

coconut cream pie topped with whipped cream

Step 4: Toast the Coconut Chips

Place the coconut in a small, dry skillet over medium heat and cook until golden.

how to make coconut cream pie

Let the coconut chips cool, then sprinkle the pie with the toasted coconut. Refrigerate the pie until ready to serve. Use a sharp knife to slice the pie, wiping in between slices for the prettiest cuts.

Note: This recipe was updated in 2019 to use a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan. The original recipe called for a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, which still works without any adjustments.

You May Also Like

Coconut Cream Pie

Filled with coconut custard, whipped cream and heaps of toasted coconut, this coconut cream pie is downright dreamy.

Servings: 8 to 10
Prep Time: 45 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes

Ingredients

For the Crust

  • 7½ ounces shortbread cookies, such as Walker's Pure Butter Shortbread, finely ground (if you don't have a baking scale, it's 11 Walker's rectangular cookies, from 2 boxes)
  • 1¼ cups loosely packed sweetened flaked coconut
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Custard

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, packed
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch, packed
  • Pinch salt
  • 1½ tablespoons Malibu Rum (coconut-flavored rum)
  • 5 tablespoons Cream of Coconut (stir well before using)
  • 1 cup coconut milk (stir well before using)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

For Whipped Cream and Topping

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Malibu rum or light rum
  • ¾ cup unsweetened coconut chips or flakes, toasted in a skillet until golden and cooled (see note below)

Instructions

For the Crust

  1. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Pulse the cookie crumbs, coconut, and melted butter in a food processor until coconut is finely ground. Press the crumbs firmly and evenly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan (the crust should be about ¼-in thick). Bake until golden, about 15 minutes, then set aside to cool. If the crust shrinks or cracks a bit, simply press it back together and up the sides while it's still hot.

For the Filling

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the rum, cream of coconut, coconut milk and whole milk. Bring to a boil; then turn off the heat. Whisking constantly, slowly ladle about a cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture; whisk well to combine. Whisking constantly, gradually add the remaining milk mixture to the egg mixture in 3 or 4 additions; whisk well to combine. Return the mixture to the sauce pan. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture reaches a boil and thickens, about 2 minutes. The filling must boil for at least 30 seconds in order to fully thicken. Off the heat, whisk in the butter until fully incorporated.
  3. Pour the hot filling into the cooled pie shell and smooth the surface with a spatula; press plastic wrap directly against the surface of the filling and refrigerate until firm, at least 6 hours and up to 12 hours. (Any longer than 12 hours and the crust will start to soften.)

For the Topping & To Serve

  1. Up to 3 hours before serving, whip the cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. When it starts to thicken, add the sugar and rum. Continue to whip until it forms soft peaks. Top the pie with the whipped cream and sprinkle with cooled toasted coconut chips.
  2. Slice the pie into wedges, wiping your knife clean between slices, and serve cold.
  3. Note: Unsweetened coconut flakes can usually be found at Whole Foods or organic markets. If you can't find them, feel free to substitute ½ cup sweetened flaked coconut (the stuff in the blue bag available everywhere). Simply toast it in a 350°F oven, stirring often so it browns evenly, until lightly golden.
  4. Note: For an even prettier presentation, this pie can be made in a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Note that the crust won't be quite as thick.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (10 servings)
  • Calories: 563
  • Fat: 39 g
  • Saturated fat: 26 g
  • Carbohydrates: 50 g
  • Sugar: 35 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 6 g
  • Sodium: 180 mg
  • Cholesterol: 131 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

See more recipes:

Comments

  • This was absolutely delicious. I wanted to add a few comments about minor changes I made based on some of the ingredients availability since I always read the comments for tips. First, our Whole Foods didn’t have cream of coconut but had coconut cream. I didn’t know there was a difference but apparently the cream of coconut has a higher sugar content. I used the same ratio and honestly thought the pie was plenty sweet! I also couldn’t find coconut rum so I just used a little extra coconut milk like Jenn suggests. Last, I accidentally added 4 tablespoons of butter to the custard instead of 3 (extra butter never hurts 🙂 ). Regardless, this was a pretty straight forward recipe thanks to Jenn’s detailed instructions and I will definitely make it again.

    • — Liz on August 6, 2022
    • Reply
  • I made this for my mother-in-laws birthday party. She almost cried! She said it was the most delicious dessert she had ever had and was sooooo appreciative of my efforts. That’s what I love about your delicious recipes, not only are they all so tasty, but sharing with my family under a warm summer sunset outside is one of my favorite memories. Thank you for sharing these and making it so “anyone can cook”. Ratatouille is my daughter’s all time favorite movie, and she always reminds me (as I’m Not a chef) that “anyone can cook!”🤨😊😂

    • — Andrea M on July 26, 2022
    • Reply
  • This was delicious……………but next time I make it, I’m going to add some coconut extract to give it more of a coconut flavour. There were no complaints from my dinner guests but I felt it was lacking in coconutty-ness.

    • — Jillian on July 15, 2022
    • Reply

Add a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]