I’ve been working on a few different pies over the last few weeks and I finally landed on a combination of them that I think might be one of my favorite pies I’ve made. This banana Coconut Cream Pie has a crunchy cookie crust and creamy coconut filling and I’m having a hard time not going to grab a piece out of my fridge literally as I write this.
I went back and forth on whether to call this a Banana Coconut Cream Pie or a Coconut Banana Cream Pie. I went with the former option because the Cream filling of the pie is made from coconut so that seemed closer to me.
So, there is a layer of fresh bananas in the pie, but the filling is coconut flavored and sets up so beautifully!
Pie Crust vs. Cookie Crust
There are two ways to make this pie. You could use a standard butter crust recipe (like in this Buttermilk Pie for example) and that would be just fine. Just be sure to blind bake the crust well so it doesn’t get soggy.
Personally though, I think cream fillings like this do better with a graham cracker or cookie crust. I chose to make the vanilla cookie crust from this Food and Wine Banana Cream Pie recipe.
How to make this cookie crust
This is a very easy pie crust to make. Just add the cookies to a food processor with the roasted macadamia nuts and pulse until it’s in a pretty fine crumb texture.
Then transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in the salt and melted butter.
Pour this mixture into your pie dish, I like to use a springform pan so it releases easily. Use a measuring cup to lightly pack the mixture into the corners of the pan.
Once the crust is evenly distributed, bake it at 350˚F for 14-15 minutes until it’s golden brown.
Be sure to let this cookie crust cool while you make the coconut cream filling.
Making the coconut cream filling
There are lots of tricks and hacks on the internet on how to make a filling like this. Many of them use pudding packs, but trust me that this is a very easy filling to make from scratch. It’s incredible how fast it sets up and has wonderful flavors and a silky smooth texture.
To start, whisk together the eggs with the sugar in a medium bowl. Whisk in the flour and cornstarch until the mixture is smooth.
Meanwhile, in a medium pot, heat the coconut milk, coconut cream, and heavy cream. Heat this until the mixture is steaming hot, but not simmering (170-180˚F).
Slowly whisk about half of the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture. Then whisk the egg mixture back into the hot pot. Return the pot to the stove over low heat and whisk until the mixture thickens. It will get very thick, similar to pudding, as it warms up.
After a few minutes it should be a very thick coconut pudding that holds its shape.
How to toast coconut for the pie
You’ll want to top this pie with toasted coconut. This is easy to do. In a dry skillet, add the shredded coconut and cook over low heat for 3-4 minutes until the coconut is fragrant and browned.
Watch the coconut closely as it toasts as coconut will go from perfect to burned really fast.
Let the toasted coconut cool before adding it to the pie so it doesn’t melt the whipped cream.
Finishing the banana coconut cream pie
Finishing this coconut cream pie is pretty straightforward.
Add a layer of thin banana slices to your baked pie crust.
Once you have your custard filling cooked and it has thickened, pour it over the layer of bananas. It should fill up the pie crust entirely. Transfer the pie to the fridge to set up for at least a few hours or overnight is best.
When the pie is cooled and set, top the pie with fresh whipped cream and toasted coconut.
Slice and serve and trust me this will be an instant favorite for you!
Substitutions and ideas
There are some easy ways to change-up this pie if you are so inclined.
- Substitute the cookie crust for a standard graham cracker crust (like I did for this pumpkin bourbon cheesecake)
- If you aren’t a coconut fan, you could just use cream in the filling and add vanilla for a vanilla pie filling.
- Mini desserts! If you wanted to make personal versions of these, just divide the filling and crust into small tins. You can probably get 6 personal pies out of the recipe.
Banana Coconut Cream Pie
- 3 cups vanilla wafers
- 1 cup macadamia nuts
- 6 tbsp butter, melted
- ¼ teas salt
Coconut Cream Filling
- 1 egg
- 3 egg yolks
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- ½ cup cream of coconut
- 1 can coconut milk (15 oz.)
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp butter, cubed
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 teas vanilla
Other Pie Ingredients
- 1 banana, sliced thin
- ½ cup coconut flakes, toasted
To make cookie crust:
- Preheat oven to 350 °F. Add vanilla wafers to a food processor with macadamia nuts. Process until the mixture is a fine mix. Then transfer to a bowl and stir in melted butter and salt.
- Press this mixture into a springform pan, working it slowly up the edge of the pan so it goes about ¾-1 inch up the pan.
- Bake the crust for 14-15 minutes until it's golden brown. Then remove and let cool.
To make the coconut filling:
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, yolks, sugar, flour, and cornstarch.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the coconut milk, coconut cream, and heavy cream. Heat until the mixture is steaming hot, stirring constantly. No need to boil the mixture.
- Slowly whisk the hot coconut mixture into the egg mixture. Whisk in about half of the hot cream mixture and then whisk the egg mixture back into the remaining hot cream mixture so the entire custard mix is in the saucepan.
- Return the custard mixture to low heat and stir constantly as it cooks. It will thicken quickly as it heats.
- When the mixture is thick like pudding, remove it from the heat.
- Slice a banana and add slices to the bottom of the pie crust. Then pour in the pudding mixture. Transfer the pie to the fridge to chill completely, probably four hours or overnight is fine.
Finishing the pie
- Finish the pie by topping it with whipped cream. I whip together heavy cream with sugar and vanilla for my homemade version.
- Toast coconut in a dry skillet over low heat for a few minutes until fragrant and tan in color.
- Decorate pie with whipped cream and toasted coconut. Slice and serve.