Old-Fashioned Coconut Cream Pie

There’s something about an Old-Fashioned Coconut Cream Pie that brings back fond memories and creates new ones. This recipe, with its creamy filling and toasted coconut, is a delightful blend of texture and flavor. I recently made this pie for a family gathering, and it was the star of the dessert table. Its classic, comforting taste was a hit with both the young and the old. The process of making it is as satisfying as eating it – from toasting the coconut to watching the pie come together. It’s a perfect dessert for any occasion, embodying the essence of homemade comfort.


  • 1 9-inch pie crust, pre-baked
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Whipped cream for topping


  1. Toasting Coconut: In a medium saucepan, toast the shredded coconut over medium heat until it turns golden brown. Set aside half of the toasted coconut for later use as a topping.
  2. Making the Filling: In the same saucepan, combine the milk, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Cook this mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens.
  3. Tempering Egg Yolks: In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Gradually add some of the hot milk mixture to the yolks to temper them, then return everything back to the saucepan.
  4. Final Cooking Steps: Continue cooking for 2 more minutes, constantly stirring. Then, remove from heat and stir in butter, vanilla extract, and the remaining toasted coconut.
  5. Assembling the Pie: Pour the filling into the pre-baked pie crust. Ensure it’s evenly spread.
  6. Chilling: Chill the pie in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or until it’s set.
  7. Serving: Before serving, top the pie with whipped cream and sprinkle with the reserved toasted coconut.

Nutrition Facts

Servings: 8

Calories per Serving: Approximately 350-400 calories (Varies based on the brands of ingredients used and the amount of whipped cream topping)

Preparation Time

Total Time: About 5 hours (1 hour for preparation and 4 hours for chilling)

Additional Tips

  1. Pie Crust Options: You can use a homemade pie crust or a store-bought one. For a crunchier base, try a graham cracker crust.
  2. Milk Variations: For a richer filling, you can use a combination of milk and heavy cream.
  3. Coconut Flakes: For added texture, use larger coconut flakes for the topping.
  4. Serving Suggestion: Serve each slice with a lime wedge for a citrusy zing.
  5. Storage: Keep the pie refrigerated and consume within 3-4 days for the best quality.

FAQ Section

  1. Q: Can I use light milk instead of whole milk?
    A: Yes, but the filling might be less creamy.
  2. Q: Can this pie be frozen?
    A: It’s best enjoyed fresh, as freezing may alter the texture.
  3. Q: Can I use a different sweetener?
    A: Yes, you can substitute granulated sugar with an equal amount of coconut sugar for a deeper flavor.
  4. Q: Is there a dairy-free alternative?
    A: Use coconut milk and dairy-free butter for a vegan version.
  5. Q: Can I make the filling without egg yolks?
    A: Egg yolks are crucial for the texture, but you can try a cornstarch-based custard as an alternative.
  6. Q: How can I prevent the pie crust from becoming soggy?
    A: Ensure the crust is fully cooled before adding the filling, and chill the pie soon after assembly.
  7. Q: Can I add flavors to the whipped cream?
    A: Yes, try adding a little coconut extract or rum for a twist.
  8. Q: How do I know when the filling is thick enough?
    A: The filling should coat the back of a spoon and leave a clear line when you run your finger across it.
  9. Q: Can I use unsweetened coconut?
    A: Yes, but you may want to adjust the sugar in the filling accordingly.
  10. Q: How long should I toast the coconut?
    A: Toast until it’s golden brown, but keep a close eye as it can burn quickly.