Vintage 1950s Recipe: No Bake Gluten-Free Chocolate Coconut Pie Crust

Doesn't that look really good?!

I had to try it. Today. Here's how I made it:

2 oz unsweetened carob chips: 280 calories
2 tbsp butter: 200 calories
2 tbsp whole milk: 20 calories
1/4 cup confectioners sugar: 120 calories
1 1/2 cups Bob's Red Mill shredded coconut: 800 calories

As you can see I cut back on the sugar, yet it still tasted sweet enough. 

Chocolate gives me a headache, so for years I have been using carob in place of it when able. (I do eat and bake with chocolate on occasion, though.) Even if you have a harmonious (or perhaps complicated) relationship with chocolate, consider trying carob sometime anyway. Besides being delicious, it has some impressive benefits

"Carob contains chemicals called tannins, which decrease the effectiveness of certain substances (enzymes) that help with digestion. Carob might cause weight loss, reduce blood sugar and insulin levels, and lower cholesterol levels." 


I wanted to use Baker's Angel Flake coconut just like the old ad because cooking with vintage brands can sometimes feel warm and fuzzy. That is, until you read the labels and compare. There's a vintage unopened can of Baker's Angel Flake Coconut on ebay. Here are the ingredients: 

Just coconut with added sugar. Today?

What?? Why??

While the Baker's Angel Flakes look so much prettier in the finished pie crust as opposed to unsweetened no additive shredded coconut I used, it doesn't fit with eating retro. If it requires FDA approval and wasn't in the food supply in the 1950s or earlier I avoid it when possible. Don't you wish you had a time capsule food pantry in your kitchen? I always try to get as close to that as possible.

I melted the carob chips and butter in a double boiler.

I combined the milk and sugar before mixing it into the melted carob. See how chocolatey it looks?!

I removed the pot from the heat and mixed in the coconut.

I spooned it into a lightly greased pie plate and flattened it with a wet spoon. It wasn't long before the crust started to cool and harden.

I know, my crust isn't as pretty as the illustration. The coconut doesn't have the fluffy volume and festive squiggly lattice-like appearance. Also, I should have flattened it out more so it had more coverage in the pie plate. Because it began to set so quickly I was unable to keep working on it without it crumbling. But so what?! It tastes really good! But hey, if you know of additive-free coconut flakes that look like those dreamy Angel Flakes, please let me know!

1/8th of pie crust has about 180 calories as prepared. (Here's how I filled it.)

By the way, you can win a free copy of my book due out May 1st! Click here for details.


  1. Yours looks wonderful! I suppose if you had a professional food artist handy they could have pulled out the longest coconut strands, and sprayed it all with a nice chocolately looking lacquer, and you could have made it just like the advert's picture. Standing by itself it looks perfect to me!

    I'm going to try mine with cocoa powder and butter and see if it stays spreadable longer.

    1. ha! Thanks! :)

      Fun! I'd be curious to know how yours holds together afterward with using just cocoa powder. After refrigerating mine it really held together when sliced. No crumbling at all. Please report back afterward. :)

  2. I did not realize that the coconut had changed. I have old coconut recipes that I hadn't made in many years and when I started making them again,they turned out slightly different. The added "stuff" might be why.

    1. Interesting, LMS. Thanks for sharing that.

  3. Averyl,

    This looks amazing and I'm easier to try it- maybe for a holiday or special occasion. I tried clicking on the link to see what you filled the crust with, but the link seems broken. Is that portion of the recipe perhaps listed somewhere else? If it's in the cook book, please let me know. I'm just starting to read through it (and loving it!)

    Thank you,

    Andrea :)

    1. Oh! Sorry about that! I filled it, not to the top, with some almond butter whipped with a little bit of maple syrup and water! I didn't provide a recipe, and I don't recall my exact measurements for that one since it was a one time experimental type of thing. It was very rich, a bit too rich for me but very good.

  4. Averyl, I use coconut from Whole Foods. It's unsweetened and contains only dried coconut. That conventional stuff is awful. I haven't used it in years.


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