Carina has been typing on the internets before there was a www in front of everything. This is why she’s cranky and wants to know when you’ll get off her lawn. She resides in a hopelessly outdated home in the Mountain West with a mathematician and three children hell-bent on destruction. Her laundry is not done, but her Twitter is totally up to date. Carina does not have a Tumblr, because get serious.

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The World’s Best Coconut Cream Pie Recipe Ever

The World’s Best Coconut Cream Pie Recipe Ever

This is the world’s best coconut cream pie recipe ever. I’ve perfected this recipe over the past decade until it’s become my most-requested pie. It’s unreal. And I’m spilling the secrets to you.

Seriously the world's best coconut cream pie recipe ever from @todaysmama and @jetsetcarina

I love coconut cream pie, but I get frustrated with the overly-sweet, stringy, and fake tasting pies that people kept trying to pass off. Some horrible people even put almond extract in their coconut pies–and you need to stop that, it’s over the line. Shut that down.

I decided to make my own recipe with tons of real coconut flavor, without all the pitfalls, and that starts with coconut milk instead of dairy milk.

Seriously the world's best coconut cream pie recipe ever on

The coconut milk adds a subtle, true coconut flavor that helps you avoid the fake coconut taste that ruins too many pies. (Make sure it’s coconut milk and not cream of coconut.) The milk and coconut solids usually separate while in the can, so you’ll need to whisk it together before adding it to the recipe. Some people might use all coconut milk, but I find that some dairy milk adds a balance of taste and flavor.

difference between sweetened and shredded coconut for coconut cream pie

My second secret? Using finely shredded unsweetened coconut instead of the regular sugared, flaked kind. I find mine at natural food stores or at grocers with great bulk sections, like Winco. It’s unsweetened and more finely cut, avoiding a hallmark of inferior coconut pies: stringy coconut. You can use regular flaked coconut, but try putting it through the food processor to break it up, and then reduce the amount of sugar in the pie.

ingredients for coconut cream pie

Cooling the custard properly before pouring it in the blind-baked crust will help it retain a crisp shell. Don’t chill it all the way to set, you want it barely warm, yet still pourable, when you put it in the crust. Did I use the snow on my back porch to help cool the custard? You bet I did.

Coconut Cream Pie Filling Cooling in Snow

I was able to cut the chill time of the pie by an hour by cooling the custard in the snow! (Then again, I had to stir it the whole time so it wouldn’t get a skin, so I probably didn’t save much.) You can just cover it with plastic wrap and let it cool down for 30 minutes or so.

Sometimes, I will even put a tablespoon or two of the unsweetened coconut into the pie crust; it’s your pie, you do what you want.

world's best coconut cream pie recipe ever

Carina’s Best Coconut Cream Pie Recipe

Coconut Custard Filling:
4 egg yolks
1/3 c. plus 2 tsp cornstarch
3 cups of whole milk (1 can of coconut milk + enough milk to equal 3 cups)
3/4 c sugar, plus 1 TBL
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
2 TBL butter
1 c shredded coconut*

1 baked pie shell, 9 or 10″ (I use the Cook’s Illustrated Perfect Pie Crust recipe, the one with vodka.)

1/2 cup toasted coconut
1.5 cups whipping cream
1/3 c sugar
3/4 tsp unflavored gelatin (opt)

*I prefer unsweetened, finely ground coconut, but if all you have is sweetened flaked, cut the sugar to a 1/2 cup. I like to process the coconut in a food processor so that it’s fine instead of stringy.

Whisk the yolks in a bowl, set aside. Stir cornstarch, sugar, salt together in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the milk carefully to avoid lumps. Cook, stirring constantly over medium heat. Let it boil one minute, then add half the filling into the yolks, whisking to temper the yolks. Add the mixture back into the pan and cook over heat, boiling for another minute. Remove from heat. Add vanilla, butter, and coconut. Cool the filling slightly (about 30 minutes) and pour into a baked pie shell. Cover custard with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours until set.

To toast coconut: spread sweetened, flaked coconut over a cookie sheet and put into a 400 degree oven. Stir occasionally and shake around until coconut is golden brown. Don’t walk away (I’ve burned many, many sheets of coconut walking away.) Cool before using as a topping.

Beat the cream and sugar together until whipped to soft peaks, spread over the pie. Sprinkle with toasted coconut.

–If you want to keep the pie for a couple days, it’s best to stabilize your whipping cream before you beat it. Sprinkle the gelatin over 2 tablespoons of cold cream. Allow it to bloom (just hang out for about 5 minutes) and then nuke the mixture for about 20 seconds (watch it closely!) to melt the gelatin and cream together. Stir with a fork until combined, warming it as needed until melted. Add the mixture in a slow stream into the rest of the whipping cream, and finish beating the cream to soft peaks.

Look! I saved the last bite for you!

last bite of coconut cream pie

World’s best coconut cream pie recipe ever? I think so.

World's Best Coconut Cream Pie

Other recipes you might enjoy:

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

Mini Key Lime Pies with Gingersnap Crusts

Apple Cider Donuts

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Comments (76)

  1. Amy Weaver 05/13/2017 at 4:54 pm

    I have made this pie about six times now and it is perfect every time. It is the best coconut cream, hands down. Thank you so much for sharing it.

  2. Naomi 03/18/2017 at 1:53 pm

    So, maybe I am just used to cheap coconut cream pie but I am super confused. I just made this exactly according to directions… and the custard doesn’t taste anything like coconut??? It takes like vanilla custard to me. Delicious vanilla custard but, not coconut?!?!?!

    • Naomi 03/18/2017 at 2:12 pm

      Side note: I tasted the custard warm – could that be why???

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  5. felisa 02/03/2017 at 10:04 am

    This is the most incredible coconut pie! Everyone loved it!

  6. Jen Woolford 07/24/2016 at 9:37 pm

    This pie is incredible. I gave made it 3 times. The only change I made was painting the vodka crust with a thin layer of dark chocolate.

  7. Pingback: Coconut Cream Pie - Gluten, Sugar & Dairy Free

  8. Hannah 07/16/2016 at 4:22 pm

    Turned out beautifully!

  9. Ann 06/30/2016 at 12:04 pm

    My filling gets very thick in the pot, but after cooling with the plastic wrap on it, it gets watery and never firms up. What am I doing wrong?

    • Petra 12/06/2016 at 1:12 pm

      While the filling is cooling down to room temp never put plastic wrap on the pot while the filling is still warm or hot as it creates steam making your filling runny or watery my suggestion would be to wait for it to cool completely then cover it in plastic wrap leaving an edge open of the plastic wrap in a corner of the pot to stop steam from getting into the filling hope i helped best wishes

    • Jill 12/14/2016 at 5:06 pm

      The plastic wrap needs to gently lie right on top of the custard as it cools. If you seal the plastic wrap to the dish it traps all the steam in the dish as it cools.
      I hope this helps

  10. Pat 01/27/2016 at 11:32 am


  11. Tania Simao 01/15/2016 at 3:15 pm

    Hi I never made a Pie befor so I’m not really shore if I understood everything right.I have to bake first the pie shell then I put the cold filling in it. Then it goes in the frige and then the topping over it. The pie hasn’t to bake after take from the fridge? And I’m not shore what Pie Crust is? I mean here in Switzerland are 3 different things you can use Blätterteig, Kuchenteig or Mürbeteig. I hope you can help me I would love to try it out. I have already bought all the ingredients.

    • linda 04/20/2016 at 11:25 pm

      Pie crust. I make is 1 1/4 cup of flour. 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoon powder sugar, 1 stick of cold butter cut up in cubes. 3 tablespoon cold water. Butter and water must be cold . Use a fork or your fingers mix dry with butter till it is coarse then add water to it and make into a ball wrap in plastic wrap and cool 15 minutes before you roll out onto the light flour surface. roll out with rolling pin till a nice ring size to fit into a 9 inch deep dish pie plate. Crimp the edges and pick the bottoms and sides with a fork and brush onto with a egg wash which is a yolk and teaspoon of water whisk. Refig in freezer for 10 minutes and then bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or till golden brown. I toast a cup of coconut in oven onto the highest rack at 250 degrees slowly roast it. I take the,toasted coconut and put half into bottom of cook pie,shell . It keeps the pudding from making wet. I reserve the,rest for top. I use 4 egg whites at room temp and put into a big glass or stainless mixing bowl I put it over a double boiler after water is,hot and turn to low,heat the water should barely touch the bowl take 1 tablespoon corn starch, 1 tablespoon water , pinch of salt, 1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter,put into bowl along with the egg whites and take a hand mixer ,set timer for 7 minutes and whip till it gets to turn fluffy and white add 1 cup of sugar whip till the,7 minutes is up then add 1 teaspoon of clear vanilla. Put on top of cool pudding abd,sprinkle rest toasted coconut.

    • Sarah 10/27/2016 at 8:03 am

      I’d youtube a video on pate brisee. That will give you a great crust for the pie.

  12. David 12/04/2015 at 10:55 pm

    Have you considered using those four egg whites for meringue topping instead of whipped cream?

  13. David 12/04/2015 at 10:55 pm

    Have you considered using those four egg whites for meringue topping instead of whipped cream?

  14. Suzanne 12/01/2015 at 11:16 am

    I made this pie for thanksgiving and it was amazing! I’ve been looking for a really good coconut cream pie recipe and this is it!. Thank you.

  15. Jacquie 11/25/2015 at 12:08 pm

    I was asked to make a coconut cream pie for Thanksgiving. I just made the custard portion of this and it is WONDERFUL!! I am not a coconut cream pie person but I could eat this whole pot of custard. This will be a standard pie in our home. Easy directions and wonderful blend of flavor!

  16. Kristin 11/24/2015 at 9:37 pm

    I made this for thanksgiving in honor of my grandfather who passed away on Halloween. The last sweet treat we had together was coconut cream pie. I can upon your recipie and I’m so glad I did! It was amazing!! The tastes was wonderful, not fake at all!! I will be making this again and again!! Thank you for posting this!!