Coconut Cream Pudding


Today I’m celebrating Dads around the world for Father’s Day. I’m celebrating mine with Coconut Cream Pudding. My dad loves food. He’ll try anything I make at least once then goes back for seconds (I can’t convince him to eat sushi or stuffed calamari though. And he doesn’t like catfish). Whenever I think of him, coconut comes to mind. And it had to be a dessert. I bounced back and forth between ideas then finally decided on this pudding.

This pudding is literally coconut cream pie but without the pie part. Want to know why I hate pie? Back around Easter, I was looking up dessert ideas. As soon as I showed my dad the picture for coconut cream pie, he immediately said yes. I was nervous because years ago, I attempted a lemon meringue pie. The filling never set, so it was liquid pie (fail 1). Then back in March, I made a graham cracker pie (think vanilla pudding pie). The meringue on top came out beautifully, so I let it cool on the counter before putting it in the fridge. When I checked on it, the meringue had deflated, and there was a pool of liquid (guessing egg whites) sitting on top of the pudding layer (fail 2). For Easter, I made the filling for the coconut cream pie, and it thickened up quite nicely. Guess what? When I cut into the pie, it never quite firmed up and oozed out everywhere (fail 3). That, my friends, is why this moose doesn’t make pie.

The coconut cream pie filling was divine though – very rich and creamy and everything you shouldn’t be eating. I told everyone it ended up being pudding with pie chunks in it, which gave me the idea that someday I should just make the filling and skip the pie. I’m also not a fan of pie crust. Most of the time, I just end up eating the filling and leaving the crust anyway, so this little cup of joy is perfect for pie-haters like me.

I topped it with some whipped cream and toasted coconut.

This one’s for you, Dad.

Yields 2

Coconut Cream Pudding
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1/2 cup shredded unsweetened dried coconut
1 (13.5 ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
1/3 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
2 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp cornstarch
Pinch of salt
1 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 Tbsp powdered sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Place the coconut onto a baking sheet and into the oven. Toast the coconut, stirring it every 5 minutes or until it is lightly brown. Remove and set aside. Reserve 2 Tbsp for garnish.
  2. Meanwhile, place the coconut milk into a medium saucepan and stir if necessary (the solid and liquid may have separated in the can). Bring just to a boil. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the sugar and egg yolks at medium-high speed until thick and pale, about 5 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium and beat in flour, cornstarch, and salt. Gradually pour in the warm coconut milk. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook until it boils and thickens. Boil 1 more minute. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter until melted. Stir in the toasted coconut and vanilla.
  4. Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl and let cool to room temperature. Cover the surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  5. After the pastry cream has chilled, whisk the cream and powdered sugar until stiff peaks hold when the beaters are lifted. Reserve 1/2 cup whipped cream for garnish then fold the rest into the pastry cream. Chill the pudding and reserved whipped cream for at least 30 minutes. Before serving, top with whipped cream and reserved toasted coconut.

Source: Adapted from Luscious Coconut Desserts by Lori Longbotham

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  1. This recipe more than makes up for any failed attempts. It looks creamy and perfect!

  2. My dad would have loved this pudding. Coconut was one of his favorites. He always requested coconut cake or pie for dessert.

  3. Pam @ The Meltaways says:

    You and I should create the crustless pie club – I can’t make crust, so we’d get along beautifully : ) This looks delicious – I need to pin it for hubby & my Dad both!

  4. Let’s make a deal. I try cheesecake and you try pie.

    Also, I’m going to be making this. OMG, Carla. This looks amazing!

  5. Oooh I’m drooling just looking at your amazing pics!!Love this yummy pudding and I HAVE to try it for sure :)

  6. And taste is what always prevails! Enjoy!

  7. Are those green cups cute or WHAT?! I adore coconut!!!

  8. Pie crust is my nemesis, so this looks like the perfect solution! I love coconut desserts…mmmmmmm.

  9. I love the idea of skipping the crust! I keep wanting to make beautiful pies, but the crust never cooperates… this is waaaaay better!

  10. Pie crust is totally overrated anyways… most of the time, I just scoop out the filling and eat it on its own. :) Love the sound of this pudding. Coconut is a big favourite of mine!

  11. Pie can be complicated. I had trouble with my strawberry pie. I made it three times and the darn thing wouldn’t firm up. It was all loosey goosey on the inside. Granted, it tasted good, but it was more like soup.

    I love your idea to put it in a mug and eat it like pudding. This sure does look divine.

  12. This looks delicious. I love coconut cream and I’m sure it’s fabulous in pudding form!

  13. How funny Moosey, I was just looking at coconut pudding recipes. I’ll have to try this one. And don’t worry Moosey, pie is overrated, cupcakes is where it’s at!!! ;)

  14. Looks yummy! I did a chocolate coconut milk pudding recently and it was so good, but I’ve been wanting to do something without chocolate. This looks great! Can’t wait to try. :)

  15. The pudding looks great.

  16. Carla, this sounds perfect! I’m not a big pie fan either, mainly because they get sloppy when you serve them, hehe. Love the toasted coconut on top! Pinned!
    I’ve given you an award so be sure to pop by and check it out

  17. Okay simply put, I adore you. And your pudding. Yup, pure bliss.

  18. Love cooking with anything coconut , so this is right up my alley ! Lovely pics :)

  19. I want to let you know the you’r being nominated for an award, check out my blog for details

  20. My dad won’t touch coconut, but I will… these sound fantastic. I love your overhead shots, too. Bookmarking these guys for a #treatyoself kinda day ;)

  21. Thank You!!!! Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a good coconut cream pudding recipe? I have no idea why this has never shown up in one of my searches (at least on the first couple pages), Google popped it up #1 this time. Will be trying it tomorrow. Thanks again.

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