South Carolina Coconut Cream Pie


People just can't resist cream pies. A Southern tradition, cream pies are the ethereal sweets of the dessert world. The phrase "a slice of heaven" must have been coined with silky cream pies in mind. Southern cream pies are single-crust pies with a sweet, rich, pudding-like filling that has a smooth, creamy texture. The crust can be made of pastry or cookie crumbs, and the pie is typically topped with meringue or whipped cream.This coconut cream pie is the perfect closer to a cookout. The thick, airy layer of whipped cream topping takes it over the top. Be sure to top the pie with a sprinkle of toasted coconut flakes to really draw out that tropical coconut flavor. For this pie, you can use a pre-made refrigerated pie crust or make your own single-crust pastry. Allow your coconut cream pie to cool completely before slicing and serving (otherwise, you run the risk of a runny pie). The chilled pie is ideal for hot summer days and is a five-star addition to any potluck. This coconut cream pie will transport you and your guests right back to Grandma's kitchen.

South Carolina Coconut Cream Pie
Photo: Southern Living
Hands On Time:
22 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 22 mins
6 to 8 servings


  • ¾ cup granulated sugar

  • 2 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 ½ cups milk

  • 3 egg yolks

  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut up

  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided

  • 1 (9-inch) baked piecrust shell

  • 1 cup whipping cream

  • ¼ cup powdered sugar

  • Garnish: toasted sweetened flaked coconut


  1. Combine granulated sugar and flour in a heavy saucepan. Whisk together milk and egg yolks. Gradually whisk egg mixture into sugar mixture; bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Boil 3 minutes or until thickened; remove from heat.

  2. Stir in butter, 1 cup coconut, and 1⁄2 tsp. vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap, placing plastic wrap directly on surface of filling in pan; let stand 30 minutes. Spoon custard into prepared crust; cover and chill 30 minutes or until set.

  3. Meanwhile, beat whipping cream at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy; gradually add powdered sugar and remaining 1⁄2 tsp. vanilla, beating until soft peaks form. Spread or pipe whipped cream over pie filling. Store in refrigerator. Garnish, if desired.

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