Classic Coconut Cream Pie

I wanted to make a delicious coconut cream pie with the most basic ingredients and also with the most coconuty flavour but without using artificial flavours. I have made other desserts and pies with coconut extract and they are good but I wanted a richer coconut flavour and using coconut in the crust and the custard just had to happen. I found two recipes that I was happy with and I used a few components from each to get this yummy recipe right here. I’m very happy with it and so was my family. It’s a great make ahead dessert that is stress free - even the custard I promise. I made the crust and the custard the day before and topped it which whip cream just before serving. Let me break it down and talk about each layer.

Classic Coconut Cream Pie

The Crust

As I mentioned before the crust has coconut baked into it. What’s better than the flavour of regular coconut? Toasted coconut! It smelled heavenly while it baked. It’s a tender crisp crust that holds in that creamy custard perfectly. I learned something new when I made this tart from Chatelaine magazine. They suggested brushing a layer of melted white chocolate to the tart crust after its baked and once it’s cooled. Of course adding white chocolate to anything is never a bad idea but this is more than just adding white chocolate for flavour. It is added to create a seal for the crust and prevent it from getting soggy from the custard. It’s a wonderful little tip that I’m definitely holding onto and applying to other pies for sure. It was only appropriate then to add more white chocolate to the recipe as a garnish, so that is what I did. No regrets!

Classic Coconut Cream Pie

Classic Coconut Cream Pie

The Custard

This is a very simple and straightforward custard as far as custards go. Not only does it have shredded coconut in it, it’s also made with coconut milk - told you it was extra coconuty. It’s just a few minutes of whisking and your done. It tasted delicious and I dare you not to have a few spoonfuls (or more) of it as you wait for it to cool. The shredded coconut not only adds flavour to the custard but adds a bit of texture to it too. It doesn’t stay dry and crisp but softens as it cooks and adds a scrumptious texture and flavour to the custard.

Classic Coconut Cream Pie

Classic Coconut Cream Pie

It’s hard to resists this pie. The textures and flavours are a real treat for the mouth and tastebuds. The crust is tender and crisp and that custard is creamy and, what is a coconut cream pie without whip cream - I love a mile high whip on my pie but decided to be a bit more creative this time with piped the whip on. The whip adds that perfect light and fluffy layer which compliments the custard and crust so much. Over that I added toasted coconut flakes and white chocolate for extra texture and decadence. It’s a great pie and I do hope you enjoy it.

Adapted from Chatelaine and Tasting Table

Classic Coconut Cream Pie



For the Coconut Pastry Crust

  • 1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons, all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
  • ½ cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ⅓ cup ice-cold water, or more as needed
  • 2 tbsp chopped white chocolate, melted

For the Coconut Pastry Cream

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup canned, unsweetened coconut milk, stirred
  • 2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup, plus 2 tbsp, sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons room-temperature, unsalted butter

For the Whipped Cream

  • 2½ cups heavy cream, chilled
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For Serving

  • Unsweetened large-shred coconut, or substitute sweetened shredded coconut toasted in the oven on a backing sheet for a few minutes.
  • White chocolate curls


  1. For the coconut pastry crust: In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, coconut, sugar and salt and pulse once or twice until combined.
  2. Add the cubed butter and pulse to form coarse crumbs.
  3. Gradually add the water, a tablespoon at a time, pulsing each time.
  4. Use only as much water as need for the dough to hold together when gently pressed between your fingers.
  5. Place a large sheet of plastic wrap on the counter and empty the dough onto it.
  6. Pull the plastic wrap around the dough forcing it into a rough flattened round with the pressure of the plastic wrap.
  7. Chill for 30 minutes to overnight before rolling.
  8. Lightly floured board and your rolling pin and roll the dough out into a circle about ⅛ inch thick approx 12-13 inch circle.
  9. Transfer the rolled dough to a 9-inch pie plate or tart pan.
  10. Ease the dough loosely and gently into the pan. You don’t want to stretch the dough at this point, because it will shrink when it is baked.
  11. Trim any excess dough to a 1-to-1½-inch overhang.
  12. Turn the dough under along the rim of the pie plate and use your fingers and thumb to flute the edge. If using a tart pan trim dough to the edge of the pan.
  13. Chill the unbaked pie shell for at least 15 to 20 minutes while the oven preheats. 
  14. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  15. Place a piece of parchment in the pie shell, with sides overhanging the pan, and fill with dried beans.
  16. Bake the piecrust for approx 20 to 25 minutes, or until the pastry rim is golden.
  17. Remove the pie pan from the oven.
  18. Remove the paper and beans and return the piecrust to the oven.
  19. Bake for another 10 to 12 minutes, or until bottom of the crust has golden-brown patches.
  20. Remove from the oven and allow the pie shell to cool completely.
  21. For the pastry cream: Combine the milk, coconut milk, vanilla extract and shredded coconut in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Place the saucepan on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture almost comes to a boil. Then take of the heat.
  22. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and flour until very well combined.
  23. Temper the eggs by pouring a small amount (about ⅓ cup) of the scalded milk into the egg mixture, while whisking. Then add the warmed egg mixture to the saucepan of milk and coconut while whisking.
  24. Whisk over medium-high heat until the pastry cream thickens and begins to bubble. Keep whisking until the mixture is very thick, about 4 to 5 minutes more. Remove the saucepan from the heat. 
  25. Add the butter and whisk until it melts. Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl and place it over another bowl of ice water. Stir occasionally until it is cool or at least room temperature.
  26. Brush the inside of the cooled shell with melted chocolate.
  27. Once the cream is room temperature pour custard into prepared shell. Place plastic wrap directly onto custard to prevent skin forming and chill until set, about 2 hours or overnight. The pastry cream will thicken as it cools.
  28. When ready to serve make the whipped cream: Whip the heavy cream with the sugar and vanilla to peaks that are firm enough to hold their shape. 
  29. Garnish the whole pie or cut the pie into wedges and put the wedges on plates, then garnish each wedge individually with coconut and white chocolate curls.

Classic Coconut Cream Pie