This Coconut Cream Pie Recipe is creamy and decadent, making it the perfect holiday dessert. A coconut crust filled with creamy coconut-laden custard is finished off with a luscious whipped cream topping. This easy cream pie recipe will give everyone at your holiday table something to be thankful for!

Coconut Desserts are perfect for any celebration. This gem of a recipe was inspired by Tom Douglas, the renowned Seattle restauranteur, so you know it’s a winner!!

Coconut Cream Pie - Coconut crust filled with creamy coconut laden custard with a decadent whipped cream topping!

Why You Must Make

  • It’s a fabulous treat for coconut lovers!
  • If you love cream pies, this one is a winner.
  • The recipe comes from Tom Douglas, a notable American chef.

You either love or hate coconut. I’ve been a lover ever since I had a bite of my first coconut-filled chocolate in a Whitman sampler as a child. My sisters and I would walk down to Campustown to Ben Franklin’s and buy my mom a box of sweets for her birthday or Mother’s Day.

I’m not sure it was a totally altruistic move, as I think we ate way more of the confections than she did. Unfortunately, the hubby is on the other side of the fence. Not a coconut fan at all. So I made this luscious Coconut Cream Pie when we had some friends over for brunch. I’d get my fix and could send the leftovers home with our company. Win-win!

Ingredient Notes

  • Kitchen Staples – Sugar, Flour, Room Temperature Butter, Sifted Powdered Sugar
  • Milk – Use whole or 2% since this is a dessert and low fat won’t make for the richest custard filling
  • Coconut Milk – Stir first to make it homogeneous as it can separate in the can.
  • Sweetened Shredded Coconut – I use the Angelflake brand.
  • Vanilla Bean – Split in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds so they can provide flavoring to the filling.
  • Eggs – Use large eggs and have them at room temperature for easier incorporation.
  • Dough for a 9-inch Pastry Crust – homemade or store-bought
  • Heavy Cream – 36% Milkfat
  • Vanilla Extract – I like the Nielsen-Massey brand
  • Unsweetened Shredded Coconut – Optional garnish
Coconut Cream Pie | Coconut crust filled with creamy coconut laden custard with a decadent whipped cream topping!

Dinner Club Menu

This was part of my dinner club menu recently, though we met for brunch this time. We gorged on homemade sausage, grilled bacon, chicken crepes, and a spinach and Gruyere strata. Then out came the desserts—this coconut cream pie and a strawberry cheesecake trifle. One of our guests asked for a take-home serving of the pie, stating that he didn’t even like cream pies or coconut, but this dessert obviously won him over.

His wife reported that he ate a nice slab for his dinner that night! Now if that isn’t a ringing endorsement, I don’t know what is! I kept sampling sliver after sliver. I should have just cut myself a slice. If you’re a coconut fan, this is the pie for you!!

Coconut Cream Pie | Coconut crust filled with creamy coconut laden custard with a decadent whipped cream topping!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Didn’t the Custard Set?

Make sure the custard is cooked until nicely thickened. If the custard is runny, it may not not set even when chilled. Plus, make sure your crust is cool before adding the cream filling.

How Long Can You Store a Cream Pie?

If you keep it covered in the refrigerator, it will be safe to eat for up to 4 days. If it’s left out at room temperature for longer than 2 hours, there’s a chance of a food-borne illness since the custard filling is perishable.

How Do You Toast Coconut?

If you want a little color on your coconut, there are two options for toasting it. You can toast it in a skillet over medium-low heat, stirring frequently for 5-7 minutes until lightly browned. Do not walk away or your batch could burn. You can also spread the coconut out over a parchment-lined sheet pan and bake in a 325° oven. Stir every 3-4 minutes until golden.

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Coconut Cream Pie - Coconut crust filled with creamy coconut laden custard with a decadent whipped cream topping!

Coconut Cream Pie

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Yield 8 servings

A decadent, coconut packed cream pie adapted from Tom Douglas


For the coconut filling

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup coconut milk (stir first)
  • 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) butter, at room temperature

For the coconut crust:

  • Dough for a 9-inch pastry crust, homemade or store bought
  • ½-¼ cup of sweetened coconut


  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Unsweetened shredded coconut, optional garnish


  1. To make the pastry crust, roll out dough to fit a 9-inch pie plate. Sprinkle dough with coconut and roll the dough to help adhere the coconut.
  2. Blind-bake the crust by covering the crust with a round of parchment or non-stick foil and filling it with pie weights or beans. Follow your crust recipe's direction to bake (usually baking a longer time with the pie weights, then removing them to allow the crust to brown.
  3. To make the pastry cream, combine the milk and coconut in a saucepan.
  4. Add both the halved vanilla pod and the seeds scraped from the pod to the milk.
  5. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, till the mixture nears the boiling point.
  6. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and flour until well combined.
  7. Slowly whisk in about ⅓ cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture (drizzle in VERY slowly and whisk constantly so the eggs don't scramble).
  8. Then add the warmed egg mixture back into the saucepan. Whisk over medium-high heat until the pastry cream thickens and begins to bubble.
  9. Keep whisking and cooking until the mixture is very thick, 4 to 5 minutes more.
  10. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Add the butter and whisk until it melts. Remove the vanilla pod.
  11. Place the pastry cream in a bowl and place it over a bowl of ice water to chill. Stir occasionally until it is cool.
  12. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pastry cream and refrigerate till well-chilled
  13. .When the pastry cream is cold, fill the cooled pastry shell and smooth the surface.
  14. Make the whipped cream topping by beating the cream with powdered sugar and vanilla till the cream holds firm peaks when the beater is lifted from the bowl.
  15. Top the filling with whipped cream.
  16. For the garnish, sprinkle the unsweetened coconut over the whipped cream.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 543Total Fat: 38gSaturated Fat: 26gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 88mgSodium: 283mgCarbohydrates: 47gFiber: 4gSugar: 20gProtein: 7g


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