Every year for Easter, I mark the holiday with a dessert covered in coconut.

My great-grandmother and her sisters started the tradition many years ago, and their family recipes for a tasty layered cake and creamy coconut pie quickly became my favorite desserts.

I learned to love baking in mamaw’s kitchen, spending hours on a stool by the counter helping her make sweet concoctions of all kinds when I’d visit.

Almost every special occasion in my life is marked by eating one of her desserts or a treat inspired by something she would have served.

Mamaw died many years ago, but her tradition of making coconut cakes or pies on Easter lives on through my mother and me.

Every time I make this coconut pie, I’m transported back to mamaw’s kitchen, flooded with a million sweet memories that keep her love of baking for family and friends alive.

Coconut pie


  • 1 pie crust, pre-baked
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups sweetened flaked coconut


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Melt butter in heavy medium saucepan over low heat.
  3. Add sugar and stir until mixture is heated through.
  4. Transfer to bowl.
  5. Add eggs, lemon juice and vanilla and whisk to combine.
  6. Stir in 1½ cups coconut.
  7. Pour filling into pre-baked pie crust.
  8. Bake until filling is deep golden brown and set, about 40 minutes.
  9. Cool on rack.

Note: Can be made one day ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before serving. Garnish with shredded coconut, if desired.

Makes: 12 servings.

Contact M. Clare Haefner at chaefner@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7551.

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