Homemade Coconut Cream Pie

This coconut cream pie recipe features a thick and creamy coconut filling, crispy homemade pie crust, mounds of sweet whipped cream, and toasted coconut. Blind bake the pie crust first, then chill the pie filling until thick and lush.

slice of coconut cream pie on a plate

Coconut. You either love it or hate it.

Considering my adoration for coconut cake, you know I fall in the first category. And if you’re reading this, I assume you do too. Obviously this is what you need to make next!!

If you’re not in the coconut gang, you should probably skip this one. But coconut cream pie isn’t *just* for coconut lovers. If you appreciate thick creamy pies, flaky pie crust, and all that fresh (not store-bought!) whipped cream has to offer, you’ll enjoy each forkful.

Coconut cream pie

I’m hosting Easter Sunday this year and have my heart set on coconut cream pie for Easter dessert. I worked HARD on this recipe, taking what I learned from butterscotch pudding and banana cream pie, then incorporating both into a coconut variation. Let’s dive in.

Video Tutorial: Coconut Cream Pie

Let’s watch how to make coconut cream pie in a quick video tutorial. I walk you through each part of the recipe, including blind baking the pie crust.

3 Parts to Coconut Cream Pie

This pie is made completely from scratch!

  1. Pie Crust – Pie crust shell must be fully blind baked. Don’t worry, I teach you how.
  2. Creamy Coconut Filling – We’ll make this on the stove.
  3. Whipped Cream – Very simple. You can add toasted coconut on top, too.


Coconut cream pie slice on a plate

Fully Blind Bake Pie Crust

Some pie recipes call for fully baked crust and some recipes need a partially baked crust. Lemon meringue pie requires a partially baked pie crust because it will continue to bake with the filling. Coconut cream pie, like French silk pie for example, is a no-bake pie– the filling does not go in the oven. We obviously don’t want to eat raw pie dough, so we need a fully blind baked pie crust.

I published an entire tutorial about blind baking pie crust. I repeat *some* information here, but I encourage you to review the tutorial prior to beginning this coconut cream pie recipe.

  1. Make pie dough ahead of time, then refrigerate or freeze until you’re ready to make the pie. Pie crust must chill for at least 2 hours before rolling out.
  2. Roll it out, then fit into your 9-inch pie dish. Crimp or flute the edges.
  3. Chill the shaped pie crust for at least 30 minutes. This prevents shrinking. Remember that pie dough must be cold.
  4. Fill with pie weights. As the pie dough bakes, its fat will melt. The melting fat causes the pie crust to shrink down the sides of the pie dish. To prevent the pie dough from completely losing its shape, weigh it down with pie weights. Carefully line the pie dough with parchment paper first, then pour in pie weights or even dry beans. (Note: 2 packs of these pie weights is needed!)
  5. Bake until the edges are lightly brown, about 15 minutes.
  6. Remove pie weights, then prick the bottom with a fork. This lets air escape the bottom.
  7. Return to oven until the entire pie shell is golden brown.
  8. Cool pie shell completely. You can do this up to 3 days ahead of time!

This baked pie crust “shell” is crispy, flaky, and ready for a creamy coconut filling.

Blind baked pie crust in glass pie dish

Can of coconut milk

Coconut Cream Pie Filling Ingredients

Most of the time, coconut cream pie is nothing more than vanilla pudding with some coconut thrown on top. Let’s make a REAL coconut filling using thick coconut milk. Since coconut milk doesn’t have a very strong flavor, we’ll add sweetened shredded coconut and a splash of coconut extract. Don’t have coconut extract? Leave it out. The sweetened shredded coconut adds plenty of flavor. Here is a run-down of the ingredients:

  1. Egg Yolks & Cornstarch: Egg yolks and cornstarch thicken the pie filling. Combine the two first, then temper into the cooking mixture.
  2. Canned Coconut Milk: Canned coconut milk is a cooking ingredient, not a beverage. It’s very thick and usually found near the Thai food products. Do not use refrigerated carton coconut milk because the two are very different.
  3. Half-and-Half: I found heavy cream to be too thick, while whole milk was too thin. Half-and-half proved to be the best choice for this coconut cream pie recipe.
  4. Sugar: Use 2/3 cup to sweeten the filling. The sweetened coconut also helps!
  5. Salt: A bit of salt adds flavor.
  6. Sweetened Shredded Coconut: Sweetened shredded coconut is soft, moist, and sweet, so you won’t find dry crunchy chunks inside the creamy filling.
  7. Butter: Add 2 Tablespoons of softened butter for a soft, buttery consistency.
  8. Vanilla Extract & Coconut Extract: Both add phenomenal flavor.

2 images of egg yolks for coconut cream pie in glass measuring cup

How to Make Coconut Cream Pie Filling

Like most homemade pudding, the coconut filling is made on the stove.

Bring the coconut milk, half-and-half, sugar, and salt to a boil. Whisk the egg yolks & cornstarch together and have them ready for tempering. To temper, add *some* of the boiling coconut mixture into the egg yolks, then add it all back into the pot. This *slowly* raises the egg yolk’s temperature. The purpose of tempering is to prevent scrambling them. You can watch me temper the egg yolks in the video above.

Off-heat, stir in the coconut, butter, vanilla, and coconut extracts. Next, pour the warm pudding into cooled crust, then cover and chill until thickened.

Coconut cream pie filling in saucepan

Perfect Make-Ahead Dessert!

The coconut filling must “set” inside the baked pie crust shell. This usually takes about 3 hours, though it keeps in the refrigerator for up to 1 full day… as long as you keep hungry eyes away from it!! This pie is way too tempting, even without whipped cream on top.

Whipped cream in glass bowl

Homemade Whipped Cream

Obviously we must add decoration and this pie’s favorite accessory is whipped cream. It’s simply… a must! You can go heavy or light on the whipped cream. I love a big mountain of the stuff, especially paired with the thick coconut filling and crispy pie crust. You need heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract. Add a splash of coconut extract too, if desired. Beat the ingredients together until medium peaks form. When you lift the mixer out of the bowl, a slightly sturdy peak should form. It won’t be liquid-y, nor will it be curdled. Keep your eye on it and don’t be afraid to stop the mixer and check the consistency as you whip.

You can pipe or spread the whipped cream on top. I used Ateco 849 piping tip and you can watch me pipe swirls in the video above. Don’t forget to top with more coconut! I actually used coconut flakes that I found at the grocery, but you can use sweetened shredded coconut or any form of coconut flakes you desire. Feel free to toast them, too!

Chill the pie for a few hours or you can serve it immediately.

Want to make coconut cream pie with meringue topping instead? Meringue is a convenient way to use up the egg whites. I recommend this meringue topping. You can toast it with a kitchen torch if desired. It tastes like marshmallows!

top of coconut cream pie zoomed in

Coconut cream pie slice

Coconut Cream Pie Success Tips

  1. Follow the recipe closely including using canned coconut milk, half-and-half, and tempering the egg yolks.
  2. Chill the pie crust inside the pie dish before blind baking. Pie dough must be cold.
  3. Thoroughly chill the pie filling before serving. Otherwise the pie will completely fall apart… and no one appreciates warm coconut pudding.

And if you dig creamy pie recipes…

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Coconut cream pie slice on a plate

Homemade Coconut Cream Pie

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 6 hours
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 6 hours, 35 minutes
  • Yield: one 9-inch pie
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Cooking
  • Cuisine: American


This coconut cream pie recipe features a thick and creamy coconut filling, crispy pie crust, sweet whipped cream, and toasted coconut. There are plenty of ways to make this coconut cream pie recipe ahead of time. See various steps.


  • 1 unbaked Flaky Pie Crust (what I used) or All Butter Pie Crust*
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup (30g) cornstarch
  • 1 (14 ounce) can full fat coconut milk*
  • 1 cup (240ml) half-and-half
  • 2/3 cup (130g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (80g) sweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • optional: 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract

Whipped Cream

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (360ml) cold heavy cream or heavy whipping cream
  • 3 Tablespoons (20g) confectioners’ sugar or granulated sugar*
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • optional for garnish: unsweetened coconut shavings, coconut chips, or sweetened shredded coconut*


  1. Pie crust: I like to make sure my pie dough is prepared before I begin making coconut cream pie. Make pie dough the night before because it needs to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before rolling out and blind baking (next step).
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Fully blind bake your pie crust. (Follow blind baking instructions through step 10. I skip the optional dough strip trick in step 4, though that trick guarantees thick pie crust edges.) Cool pie crust completely. You can do this up to 3 days ahead of time. Cover cooled crust tightly and refrigerate until ready to fill.
  3. Make the coconut filling: Whisk the egg yolks and cornstarch together. Set aside. Whisk the coconut milk, half-and-half, granulated sugar, and salt together in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisking occasionally, bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, then reduce temperature to medium-low heat. Once boiling, remove about 1/2 cup of the mixture and, in a slow and steady stream, whisk into the egg yolk and cornstarch mixture. Keep those egg yolks moving so they don’t scramble. In a slow and steady stream, pour and whisk the egg yolk mixture into the pot.
  4. The pudding will immediately begin to bubble and thicken. Stand back and use caution as the bubbles may burst. Whisk and cook for 1 minute and 30 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in the coconut, butter, vanilla, and coconut extract (if using).
  5. Pour warm filling into cooled pie crust. Cover tightly with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding (to prevent a skin from forming) and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight until chilled and thickened. Pie may be refrigerated for up to 1 day.
  6. For the whipped cream: Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract on medium-high speed until medium peaks form, about 3-4 minutes. Medium peaks are between soft/loose peaks and stiff peaks and are the perfect consistency for topping and piping on desserts.
  7. Pipe or spread the whipped cream on top. I used Ateco 849 piping tip to pipe. Garnish with extra coconut, if desired. Chill the pie uncovered up to a few hours or you can serve it immediately.
  8. Cover leftovers and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: The pie dough can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. There are plenty of ways to make this recipe ahead of time. See end of step 2, end of step 5, and end of step 7. You can freeze the pie after step 5. Make sure the filling is completely cool inside the pie shell prior to freezing. Cover with an extra layer of plastic wrap before freezing. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator or on the counter prior to topping with whipped cream.
  2. Pie Crust: Both linked pie crust recipes make 2 crusts. You only need 1 crust for this pie, so freeze the 2nd half for another use.
  3. Coconut Milk: You need one 13-14 ounce can of full fat unsweetened coconut milk. (It’s usually never sweetened.) Canned coconut milk is a cooking ingredient, not a beverage. It’s very thick and usually found near the Thai food products. Shake it up before using. Do not use refrigerated carton coconut milk.
  4. Sugar in Whipped Cream: Some swear by granulated sugar in whipped cream, while others swear by confectioners’ sugar. If you’re only working with a few Tablespoons of sugar, it doesn’t really make a difference. Use whichever.
  5. Coconut Topping: I used unsweetened coconut flakes that I found at the grocery, but you can use sweetened shredded coconut or any form of coconut flakes you desire. Feel free to toast them: Bake in a 300°F (149°C) oven for 6-8 minutes or until browned to your liking.

Keywords: coconut cream pie, pie


  1. I have been making coconut cream pie for years, since it’s my husband’s favorite. I decided to try your recipe. I followed it exactly, and I have to say this is the best! It will be my new recipe from now on.

    1. Eden Stringham says:

      Hi Sally! I’m so excited to make this tomorrow. My grocery store didn’t have the sweetened coconut can I use unsweetened?

  2. This was the first pie I have made and it was so much fun! It was also absolutely delicious. My family loved it!

  3. trish mancuso says:

    Can I use lite coconut milk that was all they had?

    1. It’s not quite thick enough and the filling won’t set properly. Stick to full fat.

    2. All I had was the light coconut milk on hand and the pie turned out fine. I used half cream and half 2% milk as that was what I had on hand. And with Covid, I wasn’t going out to the store.

      1. trish mancuso says:

        Thank you so much all that was in the store was lite coconut and I wanted to make it for my daughter’s birthday

      2. LOVE this recipe! I also couldn’t find full fat coconut milk so I used heavy cream vs half and half and it turned out perfect! This is a perfectly balanced recipe! Another home run from your recipe collection!

  4. I made this pie today and it was the best coconut cream pie ever! With all the extra egg whites, I made meringue rather than whipped cream as the topping. I place the meringue on the warm filling and baked it and then chilled the entire pie. Even my husband who thought he didn’t care for CC pie, said I hit it out of the ballpark. Keeper!!

  5. Lesley Heller says:

    This recipe is the Best! I’m an experienced baker so was delighted to learn a thing or two. I appreciated you educating us as to why certain things are done especially making the all butter crust which will be my new go to. I made 2, one for my son in law for his birthday and one for us. Thank you!

  6. Nicole Chase says:

    First time I’ve ever made this pie a fit was fantastic! My daughter who doesn’t like coconut cream pie absolutely loved it. A week later she is making it too. Thank you!

  7. Good morning,
    I have made many of your amazing recipes and every single one has worked! Your instruction and detail make it very easy to follow. I even made your Swiss meringue buttercream last week and it was perfect on my first try! I would like to try this recipe as coconut cream is my moms favourite and I want to make this for her tomorrow but I only have unsweetened coconut flakes. Would they work?

    1. Definitely. The pie is sweet enough already that unsweetened coconut won’t make much of a difference. Use the same amount.

      1. I am having immense trouble tempering the yolk mixture. Would it be possible to mix it in with the rest of the ingredients before thickening/ bringing to a boil?

  8. Damn good recipe!

  9. Paula Burrage says:

    Hi Sally, I have enjoyed your baking site! Your videos are so helpful for someone like me who hasn’t baked much. I was able to follow your recipe to the letter and my pie came out perfect! This is my husbands favorite pie and not many bakeries make it the way he likes it. When he tasted my pie he said “never change a thing , it is perfect!”. So thanks again for sharing your baking tips with us!

  10. Cherie Steigerwald says:

    Hi there,

    Do you think substituting unsweented coconut flakes for sweetened ones would work? I just find the latter too sweet

    1. Definitely. The pie is sweet enough already that unsweetened coconut won’t make much of a difference. Use the same amount.

  11. I have made this recipe twice now and both times it came out perfect and my family has given it rave reviews! Thank you for sharing.

  12. I made this for my mom’s birthday. The directions are very clearly written and produced a perfect custard! I was impressed – I’ve never even made custard before, and was previously intimidated by it. Thank you for this recipe! I think this is gonna be a staple around our house from now on.

  13. Best coconut pie. Believe me, I made a lot of different ones in the past. My husband is a “coconut pie snob.” He says this is by far the best one he has had ever had. Highly recommend!

  14. I made this for my daughter’s birthday and used your recipe for flaky crust. It’s the first really good pie crust I have made! I did the meringue topping and my husband couldn’t stop commenting on how good it looked…and tasted! Thank you for making it so easy.

  15. Michael Forman says:

    Can I use butter as a substitute for shortening?

    1. Hi Michael, I recommend using my all butter pie crust instead.

  16. Ben Underwood says:

    1. Would the whipped cream be better with a little bit of coconut?
    2. Can you tell me how and at what step to make the whipped cream more coconutty?
    3. How should I store the pie once whipped cream is applied?

    1. Hi Ben, If you wish you can substitute part of the vanilla extract in the whipped cream with coconut extract for even more coconut flavor! I suggest adding the whipped cream just before serving this pie.

  17. Followed the recipe exactly. Came out light, creamy and delicious. Crust was flaky and butter. Took most of the day but was well worth it. I ended up tripling the recipe to deliver to a few family members and they loved it as well. This is why I love Sally, her recipes are tested and perfected!

  18. Easy to follow and delicious!!! I’m so glad I used this recipe.

  19. Absolutely perfect!!! I made a large pie, so next time I’ll double the filling ingredients. Thank you so much for the recipe!

  20. Hi Sally! I’m planning on making this pie tomorrow, I’ve got the crust chilling in the fridge now! (Your flaky pie crust is the BEST) but I have a question, I don’t stock half and half and we are out of cows milk.. do you think I could replace the half and half with a 50/50 mix of heavy cream and almond milk? Or would the almond milk make it too thin?

    1. Hi Stephanie, I haven’t tested that exact substitution but let me know if you do!

    2. I used only cashew milk in place of half and half. It set semi- firm. I wouldn’t serve it at a dinner party but it was excellent for a weeknight dessert.
      1/4th of the recipe filled a 6″ pie tin perfectly.

      1. I had no half and half I used 1 cup evaporated milk and it worked perfect

  21. This was amazing. My husband requested a coconut cream pie for Father’s Day so I gave your recipe a whirl. I was nervous because I’d never made a cream pie before, but this was actually pretty easy to make. He said it was the best pie he’s ever had. Thank you so much for an awesome recipe!

  22. Rosa G Salce says:

    Would Graham cracker pie shell work for this pie? I have no pie tins but I do have the store bought ready graham cracker pie shells.

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Absolutely! Make sure the graham cracker crust is completely baked and cooled. The pie may be a little more difficult to cut.

  23. Absolutely the BEST Coconut Cream Pie! My neighbor is always trying to get me to expand my list of goodies for people to choose from. This month he chose this pie. Oh my goodness. I could have just given him the crust and whipped cream! It was a tasty memory from my childhood. It is definitely going to be made for my household this weekend and put on the list. Thank you so much for the incredible recipes. Mixed berry cobbler with peaches is his choice next month!

  24. I made this pie on Sunday the crust was exceptional and the pie filling as well however I would say it’s extremely sweet so next one I would break down the sugar in the filling to 1 3/4 cups of sugar I used almond and coconut essence was very delicious

  25. William Moody says:

    Best recipe yet that I have tried for coconut cream pie l have made it several times and it always gets rave reviews.

  26. Kimberly dean says:

    Can I freeze the whole pie overnight? Topping and all?

  27. This was just great! I added a little less coconut than called for and no coconut extract and it still had wonderful coconut flavor. Will definitely make this again!

  28. Hey Sally!
    This looks amazing. I’d love to use the custard as the filling for your Fluffy & Moist Coconut cake and was hoping you could give me some recommendations:
    – For a 3 layer cake (2 layers of custard), should I halve the amount of custard that
    this pie makes?
    – If I let the custard cool/set in a bowl, do you foresee any problems being able to
    spread it onto the cake with a frosting dam?
    Any other feedback / watchouts would be super helpful!!

    1. Hi Steph! I’m glad to help. Now I haven’t used this as a cake filling before, so these are my guesses. (1) Yes, I would halve the filling to yield an appropriate amount to fill the coconut cake. (2) Let the filling cool completely. It should spread just fine on the cooled cake layers.

  29. I followed the directions exactly. After cooking it on the stove, it was thick and tasted delicious. However it did not set so that it was thick when I cut it, rather runny, even after refrigerating it overnight. Maybe I let it cool down too much before I put it in the piecrust and in the refrigerator.
    I also would like to make a coconut cream pie that has a very high filling. Would that mean I just double the recipe and put it in more of a deep dish pie pan ?

    1. Hi Kath! For a thicker filling, you can try doubling it in a slightly deeper pie dish pan. (I haven’t tested this so I can’t be sure.) To thicken the filling itself, try replacing the half-and-half with heavy cream.

  30. Can I finish this with a meringue topping instead?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Mary, Baking meringue on top of this pie isn’t ideal since the pie’s filling should not be baked. But you can top the coconut cream pie with Homemade Marshmallow Creme (Meringue Frosting). It does not have to bake and it’s delicious!

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally