"Character is the one thing we make in this world and take with us into the next."
- - Ezra Taft Benson
June 16, 2015
Old-Fashioned Coconut Cream Pie
by Melanie Gunnell

Classic coconut cream pie. Really, there may not be a better pie-for-all-occasions. Unless you are a coconut hater. In that case, you might want to look away.

I happen to love the stuff. And this silky, creamy, decadent pie is just about all that my coconut pie dreams are made of. I’ve been making this pie for a few years now and we enjoy it with either a graham cracker crust or a traditional pie crust.

One thing I’ve changed as I’ve made it over and over is that I prefer not adding the toasted coconut to the custard filling. I like the smooth richness of the custard without the texture of the coconut and instead smother the top of the pie with the delicious toasted coconut. Follow your instincts and do what you like best. Either way, this pie is an absolute coconut knock-out!

Old-Fashioned Coconut Cream Pie
Yield: Makes one 9 or 10-inch pie


Coconut Cream Pie:

  • 1 can coconut milk (can be found in the Asian foods section)

  • Half-and-half or heavy cream (enough to add to the coconut milk to make 3 cups)

  • 3 egg yolks

  • 3/4 cup white sugar

  • 1/3 cup cornstarch

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup flaked coconut, toasted*

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract

  • 1 recipe graham cracker crust (below) or traditional pie crust

  • Fresh Whipped Cream, lightly sweetened

Graham Cracker Crust:

  • 12 whole rectangular graham crackers

  • 1 stick butter, melted and slightly cooled

  • 3 tablespoons sugar


  1. For the pie: In a medium saucepan, combine half and half, coconut milk, egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Mixture will become very thick. Remove from heat, and stir in coconut extract and the vanilla extract (at this point you can also stir in 3/4 cup of the toasted coconut, although I prefer to use it all to garnish the top of the pie). Pour the custard into the baked and cooled pie shell and chill 2-4 hours or until firm. Top with whipped cream and the toasted coconut.

  2. For the crust: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Finely crush graham crackers in a food processor or in a zipper bag with a rolling pin. Pour crumbs into a bowl and add sugar, stirring to combine. Drizzle butter over the top and mix with a fork until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Press the crumbs evenly in the bottom and up the sides of a 9- or 10-inch pie plate. Bake for 13-15 minutes until the crust is just barely beginning to brown. Remove from oven and cool completely before filling.

*To toast coconut, spread coconut on rimmed baking sheet in an even layer and bake at 325 degrees, tossing often, until lightly toasted, about 12-15 minutes.

Pie Recipe Source: Aunt Marilyn
Crust Recipe Source: adapted from ATK’s Family Baking Handbook

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About Melanie Gunnell

Melanie Gunnell is a food-loving, chocolate-obsessed mom who has a desperate need to share her favorite tried-and-true recipes with the world. In a past life she graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in public health, but for the past ten years, stay-at-home motherhood has been her job along with blogging-from-home for the past five.

She resides in the brilliantly cold tundra of Northern Minnesota with her husband and their brood of five children: four boys and one tiny, bossy girl. Dark chocolate (particularly the act of shoving chocolate chips in her mouth whilst hiding in the pantry) is her coping skill of choice for both the never-ending winters and the never-ending wrestling matches in her front room.


Calling(s): Primary pianist, CTR 6/7 Primary teacher, Activity Day leader

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