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A square picture of fresh coconut pie in a glass pie plate showing the layers of graham cracker crust, coconut filling, and a whipped topping with toasted shredded coconut.

Homemade Coconut Cream Pie

A true coconut-lover's dream pie with a graham cracker and toasted coconut crust, to a creamy coconut filling and a rum-spiked whipped cream topping.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep 1 hour
Cook 22 minutes
Chilling time 3 hours
Total 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Calories 430 kcal
Author Michelle

Ingredients

For the Crust:

  • 5 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 9 graham crackers broken into rough pieces
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter melted

For the Filling:

  • 14 ounce coconut milk, well stirred not cream of coconut
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 5 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into pieces

For the Whipped Cream Topping:

  • cups heavy cream chilled
  • tablespoons granulated sugar
  • teaspoons dark rum
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Make the Crust: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spread the 5 tablespoons of coconut in a small baking pan and toast in the oven until golden brown, about 9 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes. When cool enough to handle, reserve 1 tablespoon for garnishing the finished pie.

  2. Pulse the graham crackers and the remaining 4 tablespoons toasted coconut in a food processor until the crackers are broken down into coarse crumbs, about ten 1-second pulses. Process the mixture to evenly fine crumbs, about 12 seconds more. Transfer the crumbs to a medium bowl and stir in the sugar to combine; add the melted butter and toss with a fork until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Empty the crumb mixture into a 9-inch glass pie plate. Press the crumbs evenly into the bottom and up the sides, forming a crust. Bake the crust until deep golden brown and fragrant, about 22 minutes. Cool the crust on a wire rack while making the filling.
  3. Make the Filling: Bring the coconut milk, whole milk, shredded coconut, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and the salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon to dissolve the sugar. When the mixture reaches a simmer, whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl to break them up, then whisk in the remaining 1/3 cup sugar and cornstarch until well combined and no lumps remain. Gradually whisk the simmering liquid into the yolk mixture to temper it, then return the mixture to the saucepan, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until 3 or 4 bubbles burst on the surface and the mixture is thickened, about 30 seconds. Off the heat, whisk in the vanilla and butter. Pour the filling into the cooled crust, press a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the filling and refrigerate until the filling is cold and firm, at least 3 hours.

  4. Make the Whipped Cream Topping: When ready to serve, beat the cream and sugar in the chilled bowl of an electric mixer at medium speed to soft peaks; add the rum and vanilla. Continue to beat to barely stiff peaks. Spread or pipe the whipped cream over the chilled filling. Sprinkle the reserved 1 tablespoon toasted coconut over the whipped cream and serve. Cover any leftovers with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.

Recipe Notes

  • Coconut Milk: Be sure to stir it well before using, and ensure you are using coconut milk, NOT cream of coconut.
  • Shredded Coconut: Unsweetened coconut can be purchased in most grocery store baking aisles or online; you can substitute sweetened shredded coconut, but you may want to reduce the sugar in the filling to compensate.
  • Rum: You can omit the rum entirely from the whipped cream to make a regular homemade whipped cream. You may also substitute Cool Whip or coconut whipped topping, So Delicious Coco-whip, for the topping.
  • Storage: Store the finished pie in the refrigerator for up to 1 day covered with plastic wrap.
  • Make-Ahead: The pie can be assembled up to pouring the filling in the pie crust. Press the plastic wrap against the surface and refrigerate for up to 3 days before topping and serving.
  • Freezing Instructions: To freeze coconut cream pie, allow the filling to set in the refrigerator for 3 hours with plastic wrap directly covering the filling and then cover with an extra layer of plastic wrap and a layer of aluminum foil before moving to the freezer. Use within 3 months.
  • Thawing directions: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before topping with whipped cream and serving.
  • Recipe adapted from Baking Illustrated

Nutritional values are based on one serving.

Nutrition Facts
Homemade Coconut Cream Pie
Amount Per Serving
Calories 430 Calories from Fat 279
% Daily Value*
Fat 31g48%
Saturated Fat 20g125%
Cholesterol 170mg57%
Sodium 174mg8%
Potassium 137mg4%
Carbohydrates 35g12%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 22g24%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 939IU19%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 75mg8%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.