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Coconut Meringue Pie

With a sweet coconut filling and a light, fluffy meringue, it’s no wonder this Coconut Meringue Pie recipe is a favorite springtime dessert!

A slice of pie on a white serving plate.

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Coconut Meringue Pie is one of my personal all-time favorite desserts and one that just screams “Spring!” for me. Its combination of rich, tropical coconut with the ethereal lightness of meringue, creates something really special.

This scrumptious dessert can, of course, be made year round, but I’ve always associated it particularly with spring and Easter. When I was young, we always seemed to have an abundance of coconut treats during the Easter season. There were coconut cakes, chocolate covered coconut eggs, coconut macaroons, and there was always this pie!

The crust, filling, and meringue do require some attention to detail and a little finesse, but don’t worry! I’ll guide you through each step of the process so that you get picture-perfect, delicious results.

❤️ Why You’ll Love This Recipe


  • It’s a classic, timeless dessert that has been around for generations and never goes out of style.
  • The combination of butter crust, coconut filling, and meringue makes for a perfectly sweet and creamy dessert to satisfy any sweet tooth.
  • It uses simple ingredients that you may already have in your kitchen.

🍳 Tools You’ll Use


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🛒 About the Ingredients


All ingreidents needed for the recipe.
  • Pie CrustYou can use a purchased pie crust (Pillsbury’s pie crusts are great!) or make your own from scratch. If making your own, use a recipe that makes a 9-inch pie crust.
  • Shredded Coconut I use only sweetened shredded coconut in this recipe. Baker’s Angel Flake gives a very familiar and pronounced coconut flavor to the filling.
  • Cornstarch Used to thicken the filling.
  • Cream of TartarStabilizes the egg whites and helps them hold their shape.
  • SugarWhite, granulated sugar.
  • Milk I recommend whole milk for this recipe. The higher fat content is needed to create a rich custard base.
  • Vanilla ExtractUse pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.

You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.

🥄 How to Make Classic Coconut Meringue Pie


Prepare the Pie Crust

  1. Fit the crust into a 9-inch pie plate and cook it according to the package instructions. Allow the crust to cool completely before going ahead with the recipe.

Make the Filling

  1. Separate the eggs into two bowls. Lightly beat the yolks. Set both yolks and whites aside.
  2. Combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in the top of a double boiler.
  3. Bring the water in the bottom of the double boiler to a steady medium boil. Add the milk gradually into the sugar and cornstarch mixture and cook over boiling water stirring constantly until thickened (about 10 minutes).
  4. Quickly add about ¼ of the hot mixture to the slightly beaten egg yolks stirring constantly.
  5. Immediately stir the tempered egg yolks into the hot mixture in the top of the double boiler and continue cooking for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  1. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the butter, vanilla and coconut. Stir together until well combined.

👉 PRO TIP: You probably noticed from the photo above that I’m not the best with pie crust. The fact is I don’t like working with it and it feels the same about me. If you have trouble shaping a perfect crust, don’t worry!! Once you spread the meringue on top and finish the pie, it’s going to look gorgeous! And if it doesn’t? It’s still going to taste fabulous.

Fill the Pie Crust

  1. Pour the hot mixture into the cooled pie shell. Set this aside while preparing the meringue.

Make the Meringue

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  1. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium high speed of an electric mixer until they look foamy but have not yet started to form peaks.
  2. Gradually add the sugar and vanilla. Continue beating until the meringue holds a semi-stiff peak.
  3. Spread the meringue over the warm pie filling being careful to seal the meringue to the edges of the crust.
  4. Place in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes or until the meringue is golden brown.

Cool Completely Before Serving

  1. Remove from the oven and allow the pie to cool completely. Refrigerate the cooled pie for several hours before serving.
A slice of pie on a white serving plate.

🔀 Recipe Variations


  • Pineapple Coconut Meringue Pie – Add 1 cup of crushed pineapple (well-drained) to the filling. Top with meringue and bake as directed.
  • Almond Coconut Meringue Pie – Add 1/2 cup of ground almonds to the filling for a nutty flavor. Top with meringue and bake. Garnish individual portions with toasted shredded coconut and toasted sliced almonds.

❗ Recipe Tips


  • When making the meringue, make sure to beat the egg whites until they are foamy but not yet forming peaks before gradually adding the sugar.
  • Be sure to allow sufficient time for cooling and refrigerating the pie before serving. This step allows the filling to set up and yields neater cut portions.

🍚 How to Store


Leftovers may be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. 

You can also freeze individual slices of this pie for up to 3 months. The best part? There’s no need to reheat leftover pie! Simply allow it to come back up to room temperature before digging in!

Whole finishe dpie with a white tile background.

🍽️ Serving Suggestions


Coconut Meringue Pie is a delicious ending to almost any meal. I enjoy serving it with fried chicken, green beans, and potato salad. It’s also great as the finale to a casual dinner with pulled pork sandwiches and coleslaw.

One bite of pie suspended on a gold fork.

❓ Questions About Coconut Meringue Pie


How is this different from coconut cream pie?

Coconut cream pie has a much smoother, creamier filling and is topped with whipped cream. Coconut meringue pie has a much more coconut-forward texture and flavor and is, obviously, topped with a cooked meringue.

What does cream of tartar do in a meringue?

Cream of tartar stabilizes the beaten egg whites and prevents the meringue from deflating during baking. 

Lana Stuart.

More Questions? I’m happy to help!

If you have more questions about the recipe, or if you’ve made it and would like to leave a comment, scroll down to leave your thoughts, questions, and/or rating!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

📖 Recipe

A slice of pie on a white serving plate.

Coconut Meringue Pie

With a sweet coconut filling and fluffy meringue, it’s no wonder this classic Coconut Meringue Pie recipe is a favorite springtime dessert!
5 from 3 votes
Print It Rate It Save
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 453kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • 1 pie crust for 9-inch pie
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 ⅔ cups milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 4 egg whites
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  • Fit the crust into a 9-inch pie plate and cook according to the package instructions. Allow it to cool completely before proceeding with the recipe.
  • Separate the eggs into two bowls. Lightly beat the yolks. Set both yolks and whites aside.
  • Combine sugar, cornstarch and salt in the top of a double boiler.
  • Bring the water in the bottom of the double boiler to a steady medium boil. Add the milk gradually into the sugar and cornstarch mixture and cook over boiling water stirring constantly until thickened (about 10 minutes).
  • Quickly add about ¼ of the hot mixture to the slightly beaten egg yolks stirring constantly.
  • Immediately stir the tempered egg yolks into the hot mixture in the top of the double boiler and continue cooking for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Remove the pan from the heat. Add the butter, vanilla and coconut. Stir together until well combined.
  • Pour the hot mixture into the cooled pie shell. Set aside while preparing the meringue.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium high speed of an electric mixer until they look foamy but have not yet started to form peaks.
  • Gradually add the sugar and vanilla. Continue beating until the meringue holds a semi-stiff peak.
  • Spread the meringue over the warm pie filling being careful to seal the meringue to the edges of the crust.
  • Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes or until the meringue is golden brown.
  • Cool Completely Before Serving
  • Remove from the oven and allow the pie to cool completely. Refrigerate the cooled pie for several hours before serving.

Notes

  • When making the meringue, beat the egg whites until they are foamy but not yet forming peaks before gradually adding the sugar.
  • Allow sufficient time for cooling and refrigerating the pie before serving. This step allows the filling to set up and yields neater cut portions.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze individual slices for up to 3 months. Thaw before serving.

Nutrition Information

Serving 1slice | Calories 453kcal | Carbohydrates 62g | Protein 7g | Fat 20g | Saturated Fat 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat 1g | Monounsaturated Fat 6g | Trans Fat 0.2g | Cholesterol 122mg | Sodium 295mg | Potassium 249mg | Fiber 1g | Sugar 46g | Vitamin A 437IU | Vitamin C 0.1mg | Calcium 121mg | Iron 1mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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— This post was originally published on April 22, 2011. It has been updated with new photos and additional information.

Say hello to spring with a luscious, custardy Coconut Meringue Pie from @NevrEnoughThyme https://www.lanascooking.com/coconut-meringue-pie/

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27 Comments

  1. I just made this recipe for my Mom for Mother’s Day. It is her absolute most favorite pie in the world! It was a fantastic pie. When I cut her a piece the filling just spilled out all over the pie pan! :-( I am gonna make her another one…any suggestions? I cooked the ingredients for well over 20 minutes and it did not really thicken so I kept adding cornstarch…but I guess it still wasn’t enough. You expert bakers all feel free to chime in. I’ve made a coconut merignue twice and the first time my meringue was a complete fail…now the filling. Helpful comments all welcome! Thanks all!!!!

    1. Oh wow, Sara, I’m so sorry you had a problem with the recipe! This is one that I’ve made several times and I’ve not had a problem with a runny filling. You do have to cook the custard until it is good and thick. I don’t think adding cornstarch is the solution. Sounds like maybe you didn’t have enough heat to thicken the filling properly. Was the water in the bottom of your double boiler at a good, steady slow boil for the whole cooking time? You do also have to be sure to let it cool completely. I would even refrigerate it overnight if the house is very warm.

      1. I did have it at a slow boil. However, I didn’t refrigerate it first because I read previously that the warm filling cooks the bottom of the meringue! Well, I konw it is something I’ve done and certainly not your recipe so I will do it your proven effective way! Thanks for a quick response.

        1. No, I didn’t mean to refrigerate it before putting the meringue on. I just meant to refrigerate the completed, cooked pie before serving. And although the filling does thicken up a little when it’s cool, you do have to be sure to get it quite thick while cooking.

          1. So mine took ages to thicken too (more than 30min) but I kept at it. I had been tempted to stop earlier not knowing exactly how thick it was supposed to be before egg yolks had to be introduced but thanks to this comment I went looking at other recipes that had pictures of how thick it was meant to be so I kept at it!

  2. Barbara @moderncomfortfood says:

    You’ve got my number with this delicious pie, Lana. We’re coconut fanatics at my house, and oh this would go down oh SO well!

  3. Nutmeg Nanny says:

    Oh man this looks delicious! I love pretty much anything that has coconut in it :)

  4. Had no plans for Easter this year. My nephew Billy called and invited me and Polly to Easter dinner, hooray!!! Wish we could have had some of this mouth watering coconut pie. Looks delicious. Hope your week-end was restful.

  5. Bunkycooks says:

    Happy Easter Lana! I am with you this Easter. No plans, no meals. It’s weird, but will be a day to catch up. Enjoy your day!

  6. Barbara | VinoLuciStyle says:

    Looks wonderful Lana. I’m having the same sort of weekend, my oldest daughter is out of town with the choir she leads singing at a different church and the youngest? Well, she’s in that space where she wants to spend the day with friends in the mountains. I’ve been invited to neighbors for dinner and I’m OK with not having to work all weekend preparing a feast.

    I love coconut too and your pie looks wonderful. What time is dessert? :)

  7. I cannot think of a much better pie for Easter, this and lemon are two of my favorite spring type pies that say ‘welcome summer’… around here anyway, it feels like the beginning of summer… Hope you and Beepop have a wonderful weekend, enjoy it and blessings to you both

    1. Easter blessings to you, too, Drick.

  8. Nisrine M. says:

    What an awesome coconut pie, Lana. Coconut is such a wonderful, godsend ingredient!

  9. SMITH BITES says:

    love coconut ANYTHING Lana – including this pie!!

    1. Me, too, Debra. Coconut is just about my favorite flavor. My favorite coconut candy is those little old-fashioned caramel-y coconut haystacks. Hard to find them these days.

  10. Alison @ ingredients, Inc. says:

    This one is calling my name. Omg yum

    1. It’s a pretty decadent pie. I serve really small wedges of it because it’s quite rich but worth a little splurge.

  11. This reminds me so much of Nanny….she made coconut cream pie often (she made a lot of pie!) and I loved it so much!

    1. It’s definitely an old-fashioned recipe. I’m sure my grandmothers and great-grandmothers all made a very similar one.

  12. Cookin' Canuck says:

    What a pretty pie, Lana! It must be a little bittersweet to have the weekend to yourselves, but I hope you enjoy some relaxation time.

    1. Thanks, Dara. It might be nice to just rest for a couple of days :-)

  13. Happier Than A Pig in Mud says:

    Your pie is beautiful! I just took Lemon Coconut Macaroons out of the oven! I’ll only have two this year too, my oldest is on vacation. I’m throwing a ham steak and some pineapple on the grill! I think that will be fun! Happy Easter Weekend Lana:@)

    1. Those lemon coconut macaroons sound great! I’d like to try them.

  14. I don’t have any thing planned for Easter yet either–except of course dessert, that’s always first. ;)

    1. So you have the most important part figured out!

  15. Helpful hint — when you buy the rolled pre-made refrigerated pie crusts, you can use the rolling pin to stretch them out a bit to fit your favorite dish.

    Happy Easter.

    Miss P

    1. Yes, but me and pie crust are not good friends. Even rolling it out…I don’t know.