EASY COCONUT CREAM PIE MADE WITH INSTANT PUDDING
You will just love this easy coconut cream pie recipe! So simple to make thanks to the instant pudding mix and a store bought graham cracker crust. It's no secret that I love no bake dessert recipes around here and this coconut cream version just may be one of my very favorites.
I love using instant pudding mix in no bake pies because it's easy, tastes delicious, and it makes this pie recipe so simple to make that anyone can do it.
I have never had great success with making a cream pie from scratch (aka - without instant pudding). I find that the flavor is lacking and it's not ever the right texture. So even if you think you don't like instant pudding in pie recipes, just make this and it may change your mind.
HOW TO MAKE EASY NO BAKE COCONUT CREAM PIE
Graham Cracker Crust OR Shortbread Crust - These are the ready to use crusts that you will find in the baking aisle at the grocery store. I have used both a graham cracker crust and a shortbread crust and they have both been delicious. At some stores you can find the ready to use Nilla Wafer crusts. If my store has that one, that is the one I prefer to use in this recipe.
Coconut Cream Instant Pudding Mix - Make sure you are getting the coconut cream instant pudding (like what is pictured below) and not the cook & serve pudding.
Half & Half - This is half milk and half cream. You want a higher fat milk for this recipe so you get that really thick texture. Try and use the highest percentage fat milk that you have. Half & Half is the preferred choice but you could also use whole milk or 2%.
Cream Cheese - I use regular, full fat cream cheese because it tastes the best and has a better texture to it. Lots of people have used reduced-fat cream cheese with great results.
Granulated Sugar - Some may worry that this will give the pie a grainy texture. I can promise you that it does not. Make sure you blend it well with the cream cheese. If you're still worried about it then go ahead and use powdered sugar in it's place.
Cool Whip - This makes the coconut cream pie so easy to make! But yes, read below for ways to substitute it if you prefer not to use this ingredient.
TIPS & HELPFUL HINTS
How long will coconut cream pie last in the fridge?
- This pie will last in the fridge for several days. It does need to be refrigerated for 8 hours, or overnight, before serving. Once served it can stay in the fridge for at least 5 days. I actually think the leftovers get better and better the longer the pie sits in the fridge. I feel like the flavors come together more and the pie gets this really thick texture to it.
What can I use instead of Cool Whip?
- If you don't want to use Cool Whip in this recipe then go ahead and make your own whipped cream and use it in place of the Cool Whip. Add 1 cup heavy whipping cream into a bowl along with 3 tablespoons powdered sugar. Beat it on low speed, increasing speed as needed, until stiff peaks form. This will take about 3-4 minutes.
Can I make coconut cream pie ahead of time?
- Yes! No bake pie recipes are best if you make it the day before. This pie does need to refrigerate for 8 hours, or overnight, before serving. Don't try to rush it or else the pie won't cut as nicely and the flavor won't be as developed.
How do I make toasted coconut?
- This pie is really good with toasted coconut on top of it. To make your own toasted coconut simply put about 1 cup coconut flakes onto a baking sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for 4 minutes. Stir the coconut and bake for 4 more minutes. Stir again. Repeat this process until the coconut is lightly browned and toasted.
YOU WILL LOVE THESE OTHER NO BAKE PIE RECIPES
Banana Cream Pie - No browned bananas in this banana cream pie! Similar to this coconut cream pie but with banana pudding.
Black Forest Cheesecake Pie - Oreo cookie crust layered with no bake vanilla cheesecake, no bake chocolate cheesecake, and topped with cherry pie filling.
No Bake Snickers Cheesecake Pie - A no bake cheesecake filling loaded with chopped Snickers candy bars.
Lemon Pudding Pie - Layers of fresh lemon pudding and freshly whipped cream.
White Chocolate Coconut Cream Pie - Really old pictures but this pie is delicious with coconut cream instant pudding and a layer of white chocolate at the bottom of the pie.
Pistachio Cheesecake Pie - I love this pistachio pie! No bake cheesecake pie that tastes light and fluffy like a cream pie.
Coconut Cream Pie
- 1 ready-to-use graham cracker crust
- 2 boxes (3.4 oz each) coconut cream instant pudding
- 2 cups half & half milk
- 1 bar (8 oz) cream cheese softened
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 carton (8 oz) Cool Whip thawed
- toasted coconut for garnish
- In a bowl combine the dry pudding mix powder with the half & half. Stir with a wire whisk until completely combined and creamy.Let it sit for about 5 minutes so it can thicken up. Evenly spread 1½ cups of the pudding into the prepared pie crust (this is the 1st layer). Set aside the remaining pudding.
- In a separate bowl, combine cream cheese and sugar and beat with a handheld mixer until combined. Fold in the Cool Whip and stir, using a spatula, until completely combined.Add half of this mixture to the remaining coconut pudding mix. Stir together until combined and add to the pie crust (as the 2nd layer).
- Spread the remaining cream cheese mixture on top (for the 3rd layer) OR you can save this layer and pipe it on top of the pie (like what I did in the pictures) before you serve it. Cover the pie with the enclosed lid from the graham cracker crust and let it refrigerate for at least 8 hours, but preferably overnight.
- If you saved the 3rd layer pipe that on top of the pie before serving and garnish the pie with toasted coconut.
- Heat oven to 325°. Spread 1 cup of shredded sweetened coconut on a cookie sheet and bake for 4 minutes, stir, and bake for another 4 minutes until the coconut is browned and toasted. You may have to cook it for longer until it reaches a light golden brown color. Watch it carefully as it can burn very quickly.