Last weekend, my sister and her husband threw a big bash in celebration of their 11th wedding anniversary. Of the several desserts served at the party, the highlight for me was the coconut cream pie courtesy of Dahlia Bakery. Chef Tom Douglas has been serving this pie at his Dahlia Lounge for nearly two decades now. It has developed quite a following here in Seattle. Even people who don’t normally like coconut cream pie are said to have become converts upon tasting Tom’s version. When I mentioned to my mom that I had the recipe, she said, “Great, then you can make it for our Easter dinner next weekend.” Doh!

For the most part, the pie was a breeze to prepare. You make a simple pastry cream using milk, sweetened coconut, fresh vanilla bean, eggs and butter. The pie crust – a basic butter crust that is spiked with more sweetened coconut – is blind baked in the oven. Once the crust has cooled, you simply fill it with the pastry cream and top it with whipped cream and even more coconut! The filling turned out great, but my crust ended up a bit doughier than I would have liked. My ingredients might not have been chilled properly or perhaps I simply under-baked the crust. Or, it could be that the shredded coconut in the pie dough results in a softer, less flaky crust. If I ever make this recipe again, I would probably try a plain pie crust instead – the extra coconut flavor in the crust really isn’t necessary.

After a lovely Easter dinner, it was time to try my pie! My family seemed to enjoy it despite the less than perfect crust. Everyone agreed that my pie had an even richer coconut flavor than the version we had sampled the previous weekend. Robert and I ate the leftovers last night – after sitting for a day and a half in the fridge, it still tasted pretty damn good! Tom Douglas’ Triple Coconut Cream Pie recipe can be found in the Seattle Kitchen cookbook and has also been written up here and here.


  1. I wonder if the coconut (with its added fat and oils) would make a difference in that crust. But seriously, from the picture it looks amazing. Truly a legendary Seattle dessert!

    Comment by CakeSpy — July 14, 2009 @ 11:53 pm

  2. I saw this pie on Food Network last night, and the chef said that when he made the crust, he used coconut WATER instead of coconut in the dough, which made for a really flaky crust. You might try that next time!

    Comment by Tiffany — July 15, 2009 @ 2:13 pm

  3. Hi! I’ve found you when Googling for the coconut cream pie. I’m going to make it and blog about it at the the end of the month and will add your link to the post.
    Nice pic.

    Comment by Nurit - 1 family. friendly. food. — July 17, 2009 @ 4:57 pm

  4. The coconut in the crust is absolutely essential. It is the BEST pie ever!!!

    Comment by rebekah — October 5, 2010 @ 7:25 pm

  5. When I initially commented I clicked the -Notify me when new feedback are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get 4 emails with the identical comment. Is there any means you may take away me from that service? Thanks!

    Comment by Desmotivaciones — April 12, 2012 @ 8:44 am

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