Layers of sweet cream cheese filling with whipped topping, toasted coconut and pecans, and dreamy paleo caramel. It doesn’t get any better than this!
All the recipes I created for Christmas this year were really fun, but I have to admit that this one was my favorite.
For as long as I can remember, my family’s tradition was to make a pie like this every year for Christmas. Actually, we always made about 4 pies, and not a bite went to waste. Everything would be a sticky mess by the time we were done, but I love the memories I have of all of us in the kitchen together.
These days I’m married, three of my siblings live in another state, and my parents are divorced. So Christmas definitely isn’t what it used to be. We don’t get to spend endless hours in our PJs and decorate the trees (18 of them to be exact – my mom was/is a little obsessed!), and we haven’t made pies together in years. But recreating this pie reminded me that even thought the traditions change, the memories don’t. Food is love, and I’m so thankful to share that love with you.
When my family and I would make this back in the day, we used an entire jar of caramel sauce and store-bought pie crust. Not this year!
This pie got a makeover in almost every area. Starting from the bottom, I made my go-to gluten-free pie crust from Comfortably Domestic. Her recipe is the perfect, buttery, flaky crust that I look for in a pie or quiche. Follow her recipe exactly and you’ll be very pleased! Just make sure you blind bake the crust ahead of time and let it cool completely before building the pie.
I swapped the sweetened condensed milk and cream cheese for their organic counterparts, and I used So Delicious brand coconut whipped topping to boost the coconut flavor in the pie. And then of course I swapped the jarred caramel for my favorite homemade version!
Lets talk about these layers.
First, you’ll want to get your toasted bits ready. The unsweetened organic coconut shreds and chopped pecans will toast up quickly with butter in a pan over medium heat. Be sure to watch them and stir often or it’ll burn.
Then whip up the caramel. I typically cook it down a bit more, but decided to leave it slightly liquidy this time since the pie is frozen and everything will thicken up.
Once you have those two components ready, quickly beat the softened cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk together. Then gently fold in the whipped topping so it stays light and fluffy.
See how pretty it looks when its all spread out?
You’re doing two layers of each component, so spoon half of the cream cheese mixture into the bottom of the pie crust and spread it out evenly. Then drizzle half of the caramel on top of that and sprinkle with half of the toasted coconut and pecans. Then repeat! There’s nothing like a double decker pie to say ‘Merry Christmas!’.
All thats left to do is wrap it up and place it in the freezer. I love that this pie is served cold and has a thick, cheesecake like texture. Just let it set out for about 15 minutes before serving so its easier to slice.
Look at those layers!
Gluten-free Coconut Caramel Pie Recipe
- 1 gluten-free pie crust (homemade or store-bought)
- 8 ounces organic cream cheese
- 1/2 can (7 ounces) organic sweetened condensed milk
- 9 ounces (1 container) So Delicious Coconut Whipped Topping
- 2 tbsp organic butter
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup organic shredded coconut (unsweetened)
- 1/4 cup organic butter
- 1/4 cup organic coconut cream*
- 1 cup organic coconut sugar
- 1/2 tsp organic pure vanilla extract
Melt 2 tbsp of butter in a pan over medium heat and stir in the chopped pecans and coconut shreds. Stir the mixture as it toasts, for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Make the caramel: melt the butter and coconut cream in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Once melted, stir in the coconut sugar and bring to a simmer. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. The mixture will still be very thin. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Set aside to cool.
Beat together the softened cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk. Carefully fold in the whipped topping. Scoop half of the mixture in the bottom of the pie crust and smooth into an even layer. Drizzle half of the caramel over the cream cheese mixture and top with half of the toasted coconut and pecans.
Layer with the remainder of the cream cheese mixture, then the caramel, and finally with the remainder of the toasted coconut and pecans. Place your pie in the freezer for at least 3 hours (preferably overnight). Remove from the freezer 15 minutes before serving. Slice and serve up cold – so yummy!
*Coconut cream can be made by placing a can of organic full-fat coconut milk in the fridge overnight to separate. Scoop out the thick cream to use for the recipe and then save the rest for smoothies!