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Delicious vegan coconut cream pie (gluten-free) topped with coconut whipped cream, and toasted coconut flakes! Easy to make using only 9 simple ingredients and a no-bake graham cracker crust.
Although we really love cheesecakes in our house, like our, Vegan Strawberry Swirl Cashew Cheesecake, we also enjoy making and eating pies!
Pie is special! It reminds me of stories that my dad has shared with me, how he always had pie after supper growing up. It was a normal daily occurance that he now misses very much.
Did you know that there is a National Pie Day?
It is a real thing and it is on January 23rd. No pie is left out; fruit pies, savory pies, and/or filling pies are all celebrated!
Not to be confused with National Pi Day, National Pie Day has nothing to do with math and everything to do with that sweet American treat. Created in the 1970s by Charlie Papazian (who conveniently placed the day on his birthday), National Pie Day encourages us all to take a break with America’s favorite dessert.National Today
Coconut Cream or Coconut Milk?
The key to a really good vegan and gluten-free coconut pie with whipped cream is definitely the quality of coconut milk and cream that you buy!
Make sure that you purchase coconut cream and coconut milk for this recipe, as you will need both.
Coconut milk is made with more water and that is what makes it the consistency of other milk on the market. Our favorites are Cha's Coconut Milk or Thai coconut milk, make sure to get the full-fat can, not light.
We don't use carton coconut milk because it doesn't separate and often has ingredients such as carrageenan.
There is also, cream of coconut. It is a heavier consistency, similar to condensed milk, and loaded with sugar. It is used in drinks such as Pina Colada. That is not what you are looking for here...
For the cream in this recipe, we chose Cha's Organic Coconut cream. It makes the perfect whipped cream topping because of its high-fat content which allows it to form peaks when it is mixed, the same as regular dairy whipped cream would.
It's also perfect for anyone that is looking for a paleo option of whipped cream! Note though, that this pie is not paleo-friendly.
Types of Coconut
Coconut comes in many different forms, aside from the liquid form. In this recipe we are using coconut flakes.
You could use shredded coconut in this recipe to replace the flakes but we recommend that you stick with the flakes as that is what really gives the texture to this pie.
If you do go with shredded, you can purchase either sweetened or unsweetened. We suggest that you choose unsweetened because this recipe has enough sweetness without adding more.
Desiccated coconut is another option that you can use to replace the flakes but we avoid that as desicated has much less moisture in it which will not give the same consistency.
- GF Graham Cracker Crumbs: You can buy GF Graham Crackers and crush it up yourself but why would you? Dump a package into a bowl, mix with cold vegan margarine and you have yourself a pie crust!
- Vegan Margarine: You only need 5 tablespoons for the whole recipe.
- Coconut Milk: Premium is best (yes, I'm fancy)! You need a full can for filling.
- Maple Syrup: My favorite type of sweetener. You only need ⅓ cup for the filling and it provides such a nice flavor.
- Cornstarch: You need 3 tablespoons but it is essential to thicken up the filling and provide the consistency you are looking for in your pie.
- Coconut Flakes: This is optional as it depends on your preferred texture. Some people will use shredded coconut or no coconut at all. I used ½ cup of flakes in this recipe plus another ¼ cup for sprinkling on top of the finished product.
- Vanilla Extract: When don't we use vanilla in baking? You will want 1 tablespoon in the filling and another full tablespoon in the whipped topping.
- Coconut Cream: Use a full can of good quality coconut cream for your whipped topping. If you don't have access to a full can of cream simply put a can of full-fat coconut milk in your fridge overnight to allow the cream to separate from the liquid. Scoop the cream out and use it in this recipe.
- Cinnamon: I used 1 teaspoon in both the filling and the whipped topping.
How to Make Coconut Cream Pie
This is a very easy recipe to make in only 3 basic steps.
Step 1: Make the Crust - Pour a full package of Graham Cracker Crumbs (usually 400g) into a mixing bowl and add 5 tablespoons of cold vegan margarine or Earth Balance spread. Mix together with your hands until the mixture resembles a crumbly dough.
Press the crust into an 8-inch pie plate, trying to make it as even as possible. Put the crust into the freezer for 30 minutes to 1 hour to set.
Step 2: Make the Filling - Add vanilla extract, coconut milk, maple syrup, and cinnamon to a small saucepan over medium to low heat. Whisk in the cornstarch until well blended and cook until the mixture thickens. This usually only takes 5 minutes.
Once the mixture is off the heat add your coconut flakes and fold until well blended. Pour your filling into the prepared pie crust and return the pie to the freezer to set.
Step 3: Make the Coconut Whipped Cream - In a large mixing bowl add your can of coconut cream, a splash of maple syrup, vanilla extract and cinnamon. Mix on high speed to incorporate well and add a bit of air to the whipped topping.
Using a spatula, add the whipped topping to your pie (once it is set) and top with coconut flakes!
- Some people prefer graham cracker crusts with cheesecakes as opposed to pie. Personally, I love it but feel free to swap the crust with a nut or oat-based crust.
- I mentioned this in the ingredients, but, if you are not a fan of the texture you can make this pie without coconut flakes or shreds in the filling.
- If you find it is coconut overload with the coconut cream topping try using Aquafaba (liquid from canned chickpeas) to make meringue for the top of the pie.
- The brand of coconut cream matters. We have run into problems with some and you want to make sure that you get good quality.
- You have to really keep an eye on the filling as you cook it. It is very easy to burn and thickens up very quickly. Keep your whisk handy and make sure you are on top of it.
- The pie sets up really nicely in the freezer but once it is set you can store it in the fridge.
- Toast the coconut flakes briefly before using in the pie. It adds such a nice flavor when it is toasted.
Fridge: Must be kept in fridge, this pie will keep in fridge for up to 5 days.
Freezor: This is the perfect pie for making ahead and storing in the fridge for when guests come to visit.
It is much easier if you cut into pieces before freezing. If not, allow it to thaw first for about 20 minutes before you cut it to serve.
Common Questions and Answers
We have tested this recipe and ever time it lasts well in fridge with all 3-layers.
If you get good quality milk, then the cream will settle at the top of the can (some have to be stored in the fridge, right side up, for the seperation to occur) and you can carefully scoop the cream off the top and use that.
You will know that it has separated by giving the can a shake, if you don't hear the liquid moving around then it has separated.
We highly recommend NOT doing this because often a small bit of the milk liquid gets mixed in and your whipped cream will not be as successful or maybe not work for you at all.
It can be, but we don't recommend it. The graham cracker crust give sthe best texture and flavor because it does add some sweetness.
More Vegan and Gluten-Free Desserts
Here are a few more of our favorite desserts that we love to make for our family!
We would love to know if you give this Vegan Coconut Cream Pie a try. Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to follow us @coupleofseeds on Instagram.
Decadent Coconut Cream Pie
- 300 grams graham cracker crumbs
- 5 tablespoons vegan margarine
- 400 millileters coconut milk 1 can
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons corn starch
- ½ cup coconut flakes
- 400 millileters coconut cream 1 can
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- ¼ cup coconut flakes as desired
- Combine the graham crumbs with margarine and mix with your handles until it resembles a fine crumble.
- Press the graham crumb mixture into an 8-inch pie pan, spread it out evenly.
- Place pie crust in a freezer for 30 minutes or until set.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat mix together the coconut milk, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
- Carefully whisk in the corn starch and heat until small bubbles start to appear and the mixture thickens up significantly (stirring constantly to avoid burning).
- Remove the pot from the stove, add the coconut flakes, and mix until well combined.
- Take the pie crust out of the freezer, and add the filling into the prepared pie crust.
- Place the pie back to the freezer, and leave it in for an additional 30 minutes.
- In the meantime make the coconut whipped cream. Add the coconut cream, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and maple syrup to a stand mixture and whip on high until well blended and soft peaks are present.
- Remove the pie from the freezer. Using a spatula spread the whipped topping evenly on top of the pie. Sprinkle coconut flakes on top, and return to the fridge to set until you are ready to serve. It is best to sit in the fridge for an additional 60 minutes for best results.