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Award-Winning Millionaire's Pie Recipe

Thomas is an award-winning chef with 40+ years of experience. He loves to cook and share recipes.

Millionaire's pie is a rich, decadent dessert from South Carolina.

Millionaire's pie is a rich, decadent dessert from South Carolina.

Legend has it that this delicious pie was first made in the Myrtle Beach area of South Carolina. The pie was so rich and delicious that they decided to name it "Millionaire's Pie." Before long, the recipe had spread all over the country, but the name stuck. There are several versions, but here is what I consider to be the best one. Try it and see what you think and post a comment below.


  • Graham cracker pie shell
  • One 8-ounce package of softened cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • One 8 ounce can of crushed pineapple, undrained
  • One cup fresh frozen coconut. (Save 1 tablespoon)
  • One cup pecans, finely chopped
  • One 8-ounce container Cool Whip


  1. Cream together cream cheese and sugar with a hand mixer for 3-4 minutes. Add in the pineapple, coconut, and pecans and mix together very well.
  2. Now fold in half of the whip and mix well together
  3. Pour into the graham cracker pie shell.
  4. Take the other half of the cool whip and place it on top of the pie.
  5. Toast the tablespoon of reserved coconut to golden brown under your broiler and sprinkle it on top of your pie for garnish.
  6. Cover the pie and place back in the freezer. When ready to serve, let the pie thaw just enough to be able to be able to cut into it.
  7. Serve on saucers or plates that you have had in the freezer for at least four hours—it will work even better if they have been in the freezer over night.
  8. If you wish, you garnish the top of your pie with a maraschino cherry.

My Experience

I was one of the first people to make this pie at Hanna's Cafeteria in Surfside Beach South Carolina in 1979. I got the recipe from my Mom and, over time, I would say I have made tens of thousands of these pies. I know I make it better than anyone else on Earth.

Here are some of the accolades I have received for this pie alone:

  • I won a gold ribbon for it at the 1999 Miami Food Show and $500.00 cash.
  • I won a first place trophy and $100.00 cash for this recipe at the Pikes Place Pie Contest in 2000.


I hope you will make the pie and let me know what you think. I think the recipe as made is wonderful, but you can add to it or take away things if you want to. However you do it I bet it will be delicious. I hope one is in your future real soon.

  • You can choose to add cherries to the pie or not. Sometimes I make it with and sometime I don't. If you really want it to stand out, then by all means, make it with the cherries.
  • I recently made this pie into cupcakes and people just simply loved it that way as well. I used tin foil cup cake papers and made the pie in the cup cake papers and then I served one little millionaire pie cupcake to each person, and they loved it that way. You can do them this way for a dinner party and people will be sure to love them.

I do believe the first pie of this kind was made in and around Myrtle Beach and Charleston South Carolina. I know that in the summer of 1979, I made several thousand of these pies and I know I am always told it is the best that people have ever tried. In fact, I'm going to be making several of these and entering them in a local cooking contest soon. I will be sure to post photos of the pies.

I believe that I make this pie better than anyone else, and if you need help making it just post a comment below and post your question.

Thanks! Enjoy.


Laura Alexander on November 22, 2018:

I made this pie my senior year in high school

I won first place, they announced it at lunch time over intercom. That was 1985

I’ve made every year for thanksgiving

Terry on May 01, 2017:

Could I use this pie filling as an icing on a cake?

queenie on March 27, 2015:

Does anyone else make this with fruit cocktail.

Kim Honeycutt on February 22, 2015:

Congratulations on your QVC Award!! Sounds awesome!

Thomas Byers (author) from East Coast , United States on November 28, 2014:

Thanks for the report and comment Amber. It is a great pie. And I'm glad it turned out great for you. Thanks.

amber on November 28, 2014:

We tried this for Thanksgiving this year and it was AMAZING!!!!!! Best ever!

lynn on March 13, 2014:

millionarie pie option would be great with glaze pecans. Or bananas on top.

Thomas Byers (author) from East Coast , United States on December 16, 2013:

Yes the cool whip is thawed.

Suzette on December 13, 2013:

Is the Cool Whip thawed first for the Millionaries Pie recipe?

Barbara on June 13, 2013:

This is the exact pie I have been making for 30 years or so. My daughters favorite, but we call it Million dollar pie

Suzette on April 16, 2013:

I just made this pie tonight and its chilling in the fridge. I can't wait to dig into it! Added a can of mandarin oranges to the cream cheese mixture and then cut up a banana in thin slices to lay down directly over he crust layer. Thanks for posting this! I'm sure this will be one that I will need to add to the rotation. :)

Thomas Byers (author) from East Coast , United States on March 20, 2013:

In the freezer section of most grocery stores.

Karin on March 19, 2013:

I've been making these since I was a child and that was many, many years ago. We call them Million Dollar Pies. I also got the recipe from my mom.

mary, on March 19, 2013:

where do u get fresh frozen coconut

dannasims@yahoo.com on November 24, 2012:

I use to watch my Aunt make this pie when I was a kid. I couldn't wait for it to get ready so I could have some. She has been gone for a long time, and I am thrilled to find this receipe so I can make it. Thank you so much.

Thomas Byers (author) from East Coast , United States on November 18, 2012:

I use both. In the photo it is a indeed a traditional crust. But you can easily use a graham cracker crust.

Brenda on November 18, 2012:

The crust in the picture looks like a traditional type dough pie crust. The recipe, and your discussion about it, talk about using a graham cracker crust. I imagine both would work equally well, but do you use the graham cracker crust on the pies you make that are getting such high praise?

Thanks for posting. This looks amazing!

Sue Brenner on August 31, 2012:

This has been served at Furr's Cafeterias for many years.

Danielle E on August 30, 2012:

I was wondering the same thing about using fresh whipped cream. I don't like using unnatural foods either. The trick would be figuring out how much cream to whip to get the same volume.

Diane FIRESTINE on August 30, 2012:

I do not usually like to use unnatural foods ...so might I successfully substitute whipped fresh cream for the cool whip and get a similar result? Thanks to anyone who has tried this and cares to share!

Thomas Byers (author) from East Coast , United States on July 01, 2012:

Your very welcome.

Rosemary on July 01, 2012:

Thank You!!! ;)

Thomas Byers (author) from East Coast , United States on June 29, 2012:

Yes you can use baking coconut and it should work perfect.

Rosemary on June 29, 2012:

Oh in the city,I'm on long Island, but I'll keep looking in different supermarkets.I do go to the city a times. I just have to make this. I meant could you use baking coconut?

Thomas Byers (author) from East Coast , United States on June 29, 2012:

Frozen coconut in the bag is what I'm talking about. I've bought it in New York City supermarkets.

Rosemary on June 29, 2012:

Looks so good,I love anything coconut. But we don't have frozen coconut here in NY. I guess I can't make it then ;(. Or can you use coconut in the bag?

Thomas Byers (author) from East Coast , United States on June 26, 2012:

It is a very good pie.

MomOfour on June 26, 2012:

I think I will make this tomorrow for my daughters birthday!

Thomas Byers (author) from East Coast , United States on June 12, 2012:

Fresh frozen coconut is sold in a package in the freezer section here in North Carolina.

tikitacky on June 12, 2012:

"Fresh Frozen Coconut"? Where do you get that? Or do you buy a coconut and grate the meat yourself then freeze it? I've never seen fresh frozen coconut before.

donna on May 22, 2012:

we called it million dollar pie, was always a favorite in our house!!!

sissy on May 18, 2012:

What is fresh frozen coconut, this sounds yummy and can't wait to try it

momaloney on May 02, 2012:

Looks wonderful...will try it this weekend. Hubby will think I am nuts...but he will like it! Thanks for sharing!!

fromsc on April 05, 2012:

i grew up in charleston and had a neighbor who used to make this for us. saw your photo on pintrest and recognized it right away. i haven't had this since i was a little girl- but still remember how great it was... never knew the name it look it up.

thank you, thank you... can't wait to have it again!

Christine D2 on March 17, 2012:

I just made this but I put my own spin on it..instead of pineapple, I used fruit cocktail. Also, I used the hard Italian Lady Fingers drizzled with peach schnapps for the crust..yum!

Terry on March 11, 2012:

I can hardly wait to try this. I like the add banana, maybe even a few choc chips!

Dori on March 09, 2012:

My mom made this pie back in the late 70's early 80's!! She's gone now and I'm glad to find the recipe!

Beth on March 06, 2012:

my first job was a dishwasher at a cafe they served Millionaire pie on holidays...YUM!

Patricia on March 06, 2012:

Eat in moderation! Fabulous! Yes, thank you for sharing!

Delores Routh on March 04, 2012:

Can't wait to try. Looks delicious!

cindy on March 03, 2012:

The most delicious pie ever, has all my favorite ingredients in it!!! Will make it again. Thanks for sharing it.

Treadie on March 03, 2012:

The version I've seen has no sugar or cream cheese but instead 1 can of eagle brand sweetened condensed milk. Yummy

Thomas Byers (author) from East Coast , United States on January 23, 2011:

Thanks about all the great comments about the pie. It is one of the most wonderful pies you will ever taste.

fefe on November 23, 2010:

I make it the same but I add a bananna to the bottom before I put the cream cheese in it now my family calls it war pie( they fight over the last piece)

kangakrazy on October 12, 2010:

this is a good idea for the school contest i think i'll try it!!!

Barkarker on September 12, 2010:

I first had this pie in Munson,Fla. I was around 4 years old and it was Thanksgiving Day. My Aunt brought it to my Granny's house but it was made a bit different then above, no sugar was added. It is very simple to make.

The version we had:

In a mixer mix the cream cheese (left out to get to room temp. about 15 mins) two tubs of cool whip. After that is well mixed together add drained crushed pineapple, crushed up pecans, and coconut. Mix all together then spoon into the grahm cracker pie crusts (it makes 2 pies)and let stand in fridge for an hour and serve.

I do love this pie!! I make it often. : )

Thomas Byers (author) from East Coast , United States on September 24, 2009:

Millionaire Pie is one of the best pies you will ever eat. Let me know when you make it how it turns out for you.

elisabethkcmo from Just East of Oz on September 23, 2009:

Wow, this sounds really good... bookmarked this one!


Thomas Byers (author) from East Coast , United States on September 23, 2009:

Your very welcome. I hope you make it and give it a try. Millionaires Pie is so delicious.

judydianne from Palm Harbor, FL on September 23, 2009:

Sounds delicious. Thank you!

Thomas Byers (author) from East Coast , United States on September 23, 2009:

Millionaires Pie is one of the most delicious cool whip pies ever. So tasty and delicious.

Godslittlechild on September 22, 2009:

Might have to go in the kitchen and make one of these! Yummy!

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