Coconut Custard Pie


Seriously, somebody take this pie away from me.

Bikini season is all but upon us, and the last thing I need to be doing is eating thick slices of custard pie.

That said, I had a request last week for one of these creamy little babies, and I couldn’t resist.

(I guess a sliver won’t hurt, right?)

So, this ain’t your average wedge from the highway diner. Made with coconut milk (most coconut custard pies are made with regular milk), flaked coconut, coconut extract, and toasted coconut, this pie is super creamy and ridiculously coconut-y. It got rave reviews.

Coconut milk vs. cream of coconut

Be sure to grab coconut milk for this recipe, not cream of coconut. Coconut milk is straight up coconut goodness. It’s made by simmering fresh, shredded coconut and water together, then straining. It’s thick and usually separates in the can (just shake it up).

Cream of coconut has sugar and can also have other ingredients added to it (think pina colada mix). I like Thai Kitchen brand coconut milk, which you can find in the Asian section of a lot of major grocery stores—or order online from If you like coconut, it’s good stuff to have in the house.

Sweetened flaked coconut vs. unsweetened flaked coconut

I used sweetened, flaked coconut in this pie, because it’s honestly the easiest to find.

If you want to use unsweetened flaked coconut, increase the sugar to a cup, or even a little more.

An old-fashioned refrigerator pie

This pie is really easy to make. Just grab a pre-baked pie shell (homemade or frozen), whip up the custard, fill the pie shell, and slide her into the fridge for about 6 hours to set up.

Top with fresh whipped cream and toasted coconut before serving.

Next up, homemade pie crust

If you want to bust out your own crust at home, stay tuned for a primer on basic homemade pie crust next week.

Coconut Custard Pie

1 (9-inch) pie crust, pre-baked and cooled to room temp

Custard Filling
2 3/4 cups coconut milk (NOT coconut cream)
5 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
pinch salt
2 cups sweetened, flaked coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon coconut extract

1/2 cup sweetened, flaked coconut
3 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar

Makes 1 (9-inch) pie

Heat the coconut milk

Put the coconut milk in a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed pot. Set it on the stove over medium-high heat. Bring it just to a simmer.

Make the base for the custard

While you’re waiting for the coconut milk to heat up, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and salt together.

Toss in the cornstarch. (This, along with the egg yolks, are going to thicken your pie filling.)

Whisk until uniform. (This will take a minute, but the yolk mixture will absorb all the cornstarch.)

You’ll wind up with a thick, golden yellow mixture.

Temper the coconut milk into the yolk mixture

When the coconut milk just comes to a simmer, yank it off the stove. You’re going to temper the hot coconut milk into the yolk mixture. This raises the temperature of the egg yolks slowly and gently, which keeps it from turning into a pot of scrambled eggs.

Take a ladle of hot coconut milk. Drizzle it into the egg yolk mixture, whisking as you go to incorporate it.

Repeat until you’ve added most of the coconut milk, and your egg yolk mixture is hot and steamy.

Pour the hot egg yolk mixture back into the pot. Return it to the stove over medium-high heat, whisking constantly.

It will thicken considerably. Don’t walk away from the pot. Whisk it constantly.

The custard is done when it’s thick as warm pudding and reaches 165 – 170 degrees on a candy thermometer. (Eggs are cooked and safe to eat at 160 degrees.)

Strain the custard mixture

Remove the pot from the stove and strain the hot custard mixture into a large bowl. Don’t skip this step. It will catch any stray bits of cooked egg that may have managed to coagulate in the pot. You definitely don’t want those in your pie.

The mixture will be thick, so push it through the strainer with a rubber spatula.

Stir in the flaked coconut, vanilla extract, and coconut extract.

The mixture will be thick. (Like, stand-a-spoon-up-in-it thick.) Give it a taste. This is what your pie filling will taste like. Add a little more vanilla or coconut extract if you like.

Assemble and chill your pie

Pour the filling into your prepared pie shell (homemade or frozen). Smooth down the top.

Chill 4-6 hours to let the custard firm up. If you’re in a rush, you can *kind* of cheat by freezing it, but keep a good eye on it. Custard can get funky if you let it freeze solid and then thaw.

Garnish and serve

Put about a 1/2 cup of sweetened, flaked coconut in a dry, nonstick pan (no oil or butter). Saute over medium heat, stirring frequently, until lightly browned and fragrant.

Again, don’t walk away from the pan. It can go from toasted to burned very quickly. When it’s done, remove from the pan and set aside on a plate to cool.

Whip the whipping cream and sugar together until it just forms stiff peaks.

Heap the whipped cream on top of your chilled pie.

Sprinkle generously with toasted coconut flakes.

And…voila! One coconut custard pie, a zillion times better than the diner down on Route 1.

Serve and enjoy!

Serve fat wedges with steaming cups of coffee or tea.

Did you hear The Hungry Mouse got stolen?

For real. Stolen by Chinese hackers and being investigated by the FBI. We just got the site back and things back to normal. (Seriously, I can’t make this stuff up.) Check out the whole, ugly story here—and learn how you can help keep your website and email secure.

How to Print Our Recipes Without Pictures

A couple of people have asked me, so here’s how to print our recipes. One of these days, we’ll get around to coding a special print button.

For now, you can print our recipes through your browser, without pictures—just like you would print any other page on the internet.

  1. Go to the >File menu on your browser (Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, etc.)
  2. Select >Print
  3. Follow the instructions like you normally would when printing any other web page.

You’ll print all the text of a post, minus the pictures.



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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie serves as an Associate Creative Director at PARTNERS+simons, a boutique ad agency in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.


    • One of these days, we’ll get around to coding a special print button.

      For now, you can print our recipes through your browser, without pictures—just like you would print any other page on the internet. Simply:

      Go to the >File menu on your browser (Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, etc.)
      Select >Print
      Follow the instructions like you normally would when printing any other web page.
      You’ll print all the text of a post, minus the pictures.


  1. Sometimes when I find recipes I like online, I take a picture of the recipe part with my smartphone. The good thing about that is I’ll always have my phone with me when I’m at the grocery store!

    Well done Mouse, another lovely post. I’m glad your website is un-stolen!

  2. this looks divine! decadent, but divine! better than my mother’s and that’s the highest compliment i can pay you!

    i’m soooo happy you got your blog back!

  3. I made this tonight, this recipe made four 4 inch pies and is absolutely to die for! They are currently chilling in the fridge, I will do the topping tonight and plop it on!

  4. i love this pie 🙂 just made one and it gets better tasting everyday but then it never makes it past day two lol only difference is i use a coconut to get the shredded flakes…yes its time consuming but i really love the taste and texture not to mention its fresher

  5. Thanks for your answer. Normally that is what I would do but the line at the top of my screen that contains the file icon disappears on the Hungry Mouse web site so I am unable to do a print preview and then print.
    I guess I am not fully computer savvy to get it done……but thanks for your help.

  6. Made this exactly as the recipe is with the exception of coconut extract which I did not have. It came out beautiful and everyone loved it.

  7. OH this must be the most delicious looking thing in the world… well, your chocolate cream pie is pretty delicious too… I am going to make this one, YUM YUM YUM I am drooling on to my keyboard.

  8. We had a lot of fresh eggs and a sudden desire for a Coconut Custard Pie, so I did a quick Google search and randomly came up with this. It is amazing. We had extra custard left over, so I just put it into a couple of ramekins and it cooled off quickly so we didn’t have to wait for the pie to set to try it. Loved it!!

  9. So happy to find this. I am low carbing and will make this custard pie
    with Stevia Baking Blend instead of sugar and a coconut and butter crust ! So excited ! Thank you !

  10. Allergy warning: Thai House coconut milk has peanut in it. My daughter reacted from it. Scared us pretty badly. We contacted Thai House and they told us the process peanuts in the plant. NO warning on the label. Test your food.

  11. I made this and it turned out great. The custard was free from those annoying egg-y bits that sometimes show up. The only changes I made were leaving out the coconut extract, and leaving out the sugar in the whipped cream. The coconut milk really makes this pie.

    • The custard is not cooked on the stove top but added raw to the unbaked pie shell just after all the ingredients are mixed together. Immediately bake until custard is just set.

  12. Hi, I would love to make this, but the amount of sweetened coconut and sugar seems like it will be super-supersweet. Could you advise?
    Thank you,

  13. Love this recipe. However I use a meringue topping and get great reviews. I won our family Thanksgiving Pie Contest with this recipe. Best All Round of 12 pies entered.

  14. I am disappointed that this is a coconut CREAM instead of a coconut CUSTARD pie, but I might try it anyway. Just curious though…am I really supposed to use 3 cups of WHIPPING cream, or 3 cups of WHIPPED cream?? Three cups of whipping cream seems like it would make way way way too much once it’s whipped!