Coconut Cream Pie For One

An easy single serving coconut cream pie recipe featuring a rich custard filling and topped with an simple meringue topping. Made with just one egg and plenty of toasted coconut, it’s the perfect dessert for one!

A single serving coconut cream pie in a ramekin topped with coconut shavings next to a floral cloth napkin and a shortbread cookie

This easy coconut cream pie recipe is one of my favorite dessert recipes here at One Dish Kitchen. I love a good coconut cream pie and a single serving version has been on my list of recipes to make for quite a while.

A few weeks ago, I began to work on a “coconut cream pie for one” and I’ll admit, it took a number of tries to get the ingredient amounts right.

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I made probably no less than 8 or 9 versions and when I finally found the perfect ratio of ingredients, I made it a few times more for good measure. My husband certainly did not complain, he thoroughly enjoyed being my taste tester.

A single serving coconut cream pie in a ramekin topped with coconut shavings next to a floral cloth napkin and a shortbread cookie with a dessert glass of shortbread cookies in the background
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Coconut Cream Pie Crust

First off, I should tell you that this is a crustless coconut cream pie. Instead of using a traditional pie crust, I used my shortbread cookie recipe to make shortbread cookie “sticks”. I shaped the cookie dough into strips instead of balls which made them perfect for dipping into the coconut custard.

This is by far my favorite way to enjoy a coconut cream pie. The buttery shortbread sticks are the perfect addition and the pie crust is most definitely not missed.

I decided to go with a crustless coconut cream pie because I just wasn’t satisfied with the texture of the crust when using a ramekin to hold the custard. While it’s the perfect size for one person to enjoy, the ramekin is just too small to hold a decent tasting crust.

In addition to the ramekin, I also tested this recipe with the 5-inch baking dish that I use so often in our recipes. I made the pie with the traditional crust and the crust worked well here. However, the coconut custard layer was quite thin because of the larger dish.

A mini coconut cream pie topped with meringue and toasted coconut in a baking dish

To me, a thick and rich coconut cream pudding is more important than the crust. This is why I decided to forego the crust and make this dessert in a ramekin.

If you would like to use a crust for your coconut cream pie, I would suggest using the pie crust from our pecan pie recipe and making it in a 5-inch baking dish or a dish of similar size. Just a reminder though, the filling will be thinner and the layer of meringue will also be thinner.

Both versions will still taste incredible!

Pro Tip: You could also place a store-bought shortbread cookie or butter cookie at the bottom of your ramekin for a quick and easy crust for your pie.

Two Step Crustless Coconut Cream Pie

  1. Make the coconut filling – The filling comes together quickly and easily in a small saucepan on the stove.
  2. Make the meringue – Making meringue is so easy! You’ll use the egg yolk in the coconut pie filling and the egg white in the meringue topping. Meringue is a simple mix of egg white, cream of tartar, and sugar whipped together and spread over the top of the cooked custard.

What Is In Coconut Cream Pie?

See recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

The ingredients in coconut cream pie are:

  • toasted coconut
  • sugar
  • cornstarch
  • salt
  • half and half (or whole milk)
  • egg yolk
  • vanilla extract
  • butter

Pro Tip: I find half and half to be the perfect choice of a milk in this recipe. Cream will work but it will yield a thicker custard and whole milk will yield a thinner custard.

For the meringue

  • egg white
  • cream of tartar
  • sugar

See below for ways to use leftover ingredients.

How To Toast Coconut

You don’t have to toast the coconut for this recipe but I strongly encourage you to. Toasted coconut really adds depth and a lovely flavor to this pie.

You can purchase toasted coconut in the baking aisle of most grocery stores but it contains preservatives to keep it fresh. I love making my own, especially since it’s so easy to do!

There are two ways to toast coconut; the oven and the stove. Since we’re using such a small amount of coconut in this single serving recipe, I recommend using the stove.

When using the stove method, you have a little more control over the toasting of the coconut. Frequent stirring allows for more even toasting.

Stove Method (preferred)

  1. Place 1/2 cup of coconut in a medium sized skillet.
  2. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently until the flakes are mostly golden brown.

Oven Method

  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. Spread coconut flakes on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 5-7 minutes.
A single serving coconut cream pie in a ramekin topped with coconut shavings and a shortbread cookie next to a floral cloth napkin

How To Make Coconut Cream Pie

  1. Toast the coconut following either of the toasting methods above. Set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Stir in half & half until smooth. Cook over medium heat and bring to a gentle boil, stirring frequently for 2 minutes.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat. Separate the egg white from the egg yolk and place them in two separate bowls (you will use the egg yolk now and the egg white for the meringue). You will need to temper the egg yolk. Tempering means adding a hot liquid to eggs. If you simply combine the two, you’ll end up with a cooked egg. The goal is to slowly bring up the temperature of the egg gradually. To temper the egg yolk, stir a small amount of the hot filling into the egg yolk, whisking constantly. Continue to very slowly add the hot custard filling into the bowl with the egg yolk while continuously whisking. Be sure to keep the egg moving so that it doesn’t scramble.
  4. Return the filling to the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Whisk and stir for 1 minute and 30 seconds. If you cook for a longer period of time, the custard will become thick and will curdle. Be sure to set a timer or watch a clock closely.
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla, butter, and coconut. Pour into a ramekin.

To Make The Meringue

  • Beat egg white and cream of tartar in a small bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until foamy.
  • Beat in sugar, 1 teaspoon at a time; continue beating until stiff and glossy.
Meringue in a measuring cup next to a handheld mixer
  • Spoon onto pie filling. Spread evenly over filling.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes in a preheated 350 degree F (177 degrees C), until browned.

Best Dish To Use

I use a ramekin that holds 8-ounces. It measures 4-inches by 2.5-inches. For best results, use a dish of similar size.

Items also used:

Tips For Making The Best Coconut Cream Pie

  • Make sure to temper the eggs following the instructions above.
  • Be sure to follow this recipe closely and don’t overcook the coconut pudding.
  • If you love coconut cream pie with a crust, consider adding a soft cookie to the bottom of your ramekin.
  • You can use whipped cream as a pie topping instead of the meringue, if you’d like. Just be sure to place the pie in the refrigerator to chill before adding the whipped cream.
A spoonful of single serving coconut cream pie in a ramekin topped with coconut shavings next to a floral cloth napkin
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What To Do With Leftover Ingredients

You might consider using any leftover ingredients from this pie recipe in any of these single serving recipes:

Click on the recipe title to go straight to the recipe.

To Make Shortbread Cookie “Sticks” 

As shown in the photos

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter (1/4 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons, plus 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat lining.
  • In a small mixing bowl, beat butter, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and vanilla together with a hand mixer until creamy.
  • Add flour and beat until well mixed.
  • Knead mixture 3 to 4 times until dough forms a ball. Gently press down on the dough with the palm of your hand or use a rolling pin so that the dough flattens to about ¼-inch thickness.
  • Slice the dough into 1-inch strips and sprinkle ¼ teaspoon of sugar evenly over each of the cookies. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake for 13-15 minutes.
  • Remove cookies from the oven and let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and cool completely for 10 minutes.

How To Store Coconut Cream Pie

Cover and store coconut cream pie in the refrigerator. It will keep well for 2 days.

Scooping out the coconut cream pie filling with a shortbread cookie.

Other Mini Pie Recipes

If you like this mini coconut cream pie recipe, you might also like to try any of these pie recipes:

Best Dish To Use

For this easy coconut cream pie recipe, I use an 8-ounce ramekin which measures 4-inches by 2.5-inches. For best results, use a dish of similar size.

If you would like additional information on the cooking and baking dishes I use in our “recipes for one”, please visit our FAQ page.

For examples of the dishes used at One Dish Kitchen, please visit our Store page.

Recipe

coconut cream pie for one | one dish kitchen

Coconut Cream Pie For One

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chill: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: coconut, pie
Servings: 1 serving
Calories: 781kcal
Author: Joanie Zisk

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup half and half (or whole milk)
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tablespoon salted butter
  • 1/2 cup toasted coconut

For The Meringue

  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Instructions

  • In a 1-quart saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Stir in half & half until smooth. Cook over medium heat and bring to a gentle boil, stirring frequently for 2 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the heat. Separate the egg white from the egg yolk and place them in two separate bowls (you will use the egg white for the meringue). Stir 1 teaspoon of the hot filling into the bowl with the egg yolk, whisking constantly. Continue to very slowly add the hot custard filling into the bowl, a teaspoon or two at a time while continuously whisking. Be sure to keep the egg moving so that it doesn’t scramble.
  • Return the filling to the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Whisk and stir for 1 minute and 30 seconds.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla, butter, and coconut. Pour into a ramekin or other small baking dish.

To Make The Meringue

  • Beat egg white and cream of tartar with an electric mixer on high speed until foamy.
  • Beat in sugar, 1 teaspoon at a time; continue beating until stiff and glossy.
  • Spoon onto pie filling. Spread evenly over filling.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes in a preheated 350 degree F (177 degrees C), until browned.
  • Top with any remaining coconut, if desired and chill for a minimum of 2 hours before enjoying.

Notes

TO TOAST COCONUT
Stove Method (preferred)
  1. Place 1/2 cup of coconut in a medium sized skillet.
  2. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently until the flakes are mostly golden brown.
Oven Method
  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. Spread coconut flakes on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 5-7 minutes.
To Make Shortbread Cookie “Sticks” 
As shown in the photos
Ingredients
  •    4 tablespoons butter (1/4 cup)
  •    3 tablespoons, plus 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  •    1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •   1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Instructions
  • Heat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat lining.
  • In a small mixing bowl, beat butter, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and vanilla together with a hand mixer until creamy.
  • Add flour and beat until well mixed.
  • Knead mixture 3 to 4 times until dough forms a ball. Gently press down on the dough with the palm of your hand or use a rolling pin so that the dough flattens to about ¼-inch thickness.
  • Slice the dough into 1-inch strips and sprinkle ¼ teaspoon of sugar evenly over each of the cookies. Transfer to the baking sheet and bake for 13-15 minutes.
  • Remove cookies from the oven and let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and cool completely for 10 minutes.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 781kcal | Carbohydrates: 89g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 49g | Saturated Fat: 34g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 285mg | Sodium: 216mg | Potassium: 204mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 72g | Vitamin A: 420IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg
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The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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2 thoughts on “Coconut Cream Pie For One”

  1. This sounds delicious..
    You state that a 5X5X2 dish may be used too but, will be thinner..
    You, probably haven’t tried to increase quantities (this is onedish kitchen) but would it make sense to double ingredients for the 5X5X2 baking dish or settle for thinner??
    TIA, Ross

    1. Ross,
      The ingredients in the filling can be doubled with success so you can go ahead and make this dessert in a larger dish if you’d like. The main reason I prefer this “pie” in the size ramekin I suggest is because the filling is deliciously rich and truly, the ramekin size of this pie is more perfect for serving one person.

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