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90 Minutes
8 Servings
90 Minutes
8 Servings

Coconut Cream Pie

Course – Dessert
Cuisine – American
Keyword – Coconut Cream Pie
Cook Time – 90 minutes
Serving – 8 Servings
Skill level – Moderate
Author – Bobby Hicks

A common thread you’ll see me pull Is that pie will always be better than cake. That’s not saying cakes aren’t great, but when you compare against – say – Coconut Cream Pie, you never stood a chance, Devil’s Food.

As debatable as it might seem, Coconut Cream Pie might be one of the few original dishes that came from the United States.

With Tropical flavors booming from the Islands and the south, Coconut found itself in the limelight in the 1800s and voila the Coconut Cream Pie was created!

This recipe came from Bake Like A Champion, a 1936 pamphlet made by the Swans Down Flour Company, as a way to promote their superior cake flour. The company was kind enough recently to send me several of their historic cookbooks, and I felt it was the perfect time to test out another treat.

Let’s get Into It.

What is Coconut Cream Pie?

  • Coconut Cream Pie Is a custard-based pie that uses shaved coconut flakes in the custard base and on top, offering a blend of sweet and toasty coconut flavor!

Can we use sweetened coconut flakes?

  • You can use unsweetened or sweetened coconut flakes, but this recipe factors in the added sweetness from using Sweetened Coconut.

Can you use Coconut Milk?

  • I wouldn’t use coconut milk over dairy milk for the custard, as it will cause the custard to behave differently, but the addition of coconut cream added to the custard would impart a really wonderful and powerful coconut taste!


  • 4 tablespoons of Sugar
  • 5 tablespoons of Swans Down Cake Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Kosher salt
  • 2 cups Whole Milk
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups Baker’s Sweetened Shredded Coconut
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 egg whites
  • 4 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 baked pie shell


Preheat your oven to 350°F/176°C. (Pie Shell at 400ºF/ 204ºC) Combine your sugar, flour and salt in a metal bowl and gently whisk.

When everything is combined, add your egg yolks and milk and place the metal mixing bowl on top of a pot of boiling water, like a Bain Marie or Double Boiler. Continue to whisk for about 10 minutes and you’ll find the liquid will become airy, and eventually will begin to thicken as it heats.

When the custard has a pudding-like texture, remove from the heat.

Add 1 cup of coconut flakes and your vanilla extract to the custard base and allow to cool on the counter or in your fridge.

While that’s cooling, blind bake a pie shell with a bag of dried chickpeas and crushed parchment paper for about 12 minutes.

While that’s baking, you can whip together your egg whites until they are foamy and aerated, spooning in the sugar a little at a time until it’s fully incorporated. After about 5 minutes of whisking, your egg whites will begin to form silky ribbons of meringue – keep going until they can hold their shape. Congratulations! You just made French Meringue!

When your shell and custard are cool enough, spoon and level your Coconut Cream filling in the pie shell and then top with the whipped French Meringue and the remaining shaved coconut flakes.

Pop that back into the oven at 350ºF/176ºC for about 15 minutes.

Allow to fully cool down and then cut into this beauty and give it the love it deserves.


  • You can prepare the custard base up to 5 days in advance.
  • Try adding Coco Loco cream to the custard for a really bold coconut flavor!
  • If using unsweet coconut shavings, add 6 tablespoons of sugar, rather than 4 for the custard.
  • Real vanilla beans are going to offer the best flavor and you can infuse your milk with the vanilla pods a day in advance!

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