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Vegan Gluten-Free Samoas

These Vegan Gluten-Free Samoas are about to be your latest addiction. They're pretty easy to make, made with whole foods plant based ingredients, and taste just like the real thing! This recipe is: vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, paleo, and refined sugar-free.
vegan samoas
the gluten-free samoas stacked on top of each other, some broken in half to show the cookie layers

I am beyond excited to share today’s Vegan Samoa Cookies with you guys today. Not only are these Vegan Samoas, but they’re Gluten-Free Samoas as well! This healthy twist on a classic is so delicious you won’t even be able to tell that they’re healthy.

Do These Gluten-Free Samoas Taste Like Traditional Samoas?

I know healthy food gets a bad reputation for never actually tasting like the real thing. I get it, and most of the time, I am willing to make the sacrifice for the health benefits. However considering Samoas are my favorite cookie of all time, I knew this Vegan Gluten-Free Samoa Cookie recipe needed to taste just like the real thing.

I am happy to share that these cookies taste just like the classic (honestly they may even be better than the classic). They’re loaded with all the flavors you love, and free of all the junk you don’t love!

Ingredients For These Vegan Gluten-Free Samoas:

For The Gluten-Free Shortbread:

  • Almond Flour The main flour used in the shortbread. Almond flour achieves the perfect crumbly gluten-free shortbread texture, without being too crumbly. The flavor is mild so that it doesn’t take away from the coconut flavor of the Samoas.
  • Coconut Flour – It wouldn’t be a Samoa cookie if there wasn’t a touch coconut in every bite! I don’t typically love coconut flour, because it doesn’t bake super well. However it works perfectly in this recipe to achieve a soft and crunchy cookie.
  • Coconut Butter – I love using coconut butter as an oil-free substitute when I am baking. It works super well and adds important nutrients such as fiber which is stripped from oils. However I want to make sure that it is noted that what type of coconut butter you use is vital to the success of this recipe. If you’re at the bottom of a jar and you have dry, crumbly coconut butter, that will not work for this recipe. It needs to be smooth and more liquid than solid. I recommend you use a brand new jar, mix it very well, and use that.
  • Maple SyrupAlthough it is not always my first pick for a natural sweetener, due to its lack of fiber, maple syrup works brilliantly for the shortbread. Although it does not contain fiber, maple syrup is still packed full of vitamins and minerals which makes it a great refined sugar-free sweetener.
  • Salt – Helps to blend all the flavors together to achieve the perfect Gluten-Free Samoas.
  • Vanilla Extract I always prefer to use Mexican Vanilla, however I strongly recommend it for this recipe. It gives the perfect buttery and tropical flavor to these cookies that standard vanilla just can’t give.
the vegan samoas piled on top of each other with coconut and chocolate in the background

For The Vegan Caramel:

  • Date Syrup Has to be one of my favorite natural sweeteners. It’s made with only one ingredient, contains fiber, and is full of nutrients. I also love date syrup, because it makes the best vegan caramel (see my 2 Ingredient Vegan Caramel Recipe).
  • Coconut Butter – The other ingredient I love using to make vegan caramel is coconut butter! It adds the perfect buttery taste and is perfect for these Vegan Samoas, because it adds just the right amount of coconut flavor.
  • Salt – Is there anything better than salted caramel? I don’t think so. This recipe would not be complete without a touch of salt in the caramel.
  • Vanilla Extract – Again, I strongly recommend investing in Mexican Vanilla. It is perfect for achieving the perfect tropical Samoa flavor.
  • Coconut Extract – Since classic Girl Scout Samoas (sometimes also called Caramel DeLites) are a heavily processed food, the dominant coconut flavor is achieve through combining many natural and unnatural flavors. I like to achieve a very similar flavor using natural ingredients and pure coconut extract.
  • Shredded Coconut – I’ve tested this recipe a couple times, and I have come to the conclusion that shredded coconut is the only coconut that works in this recipe. It’s also important to lightly toast half the coconut to achieve the right flavor.

For The Vegan Chocolate:

the gluten-free samoas stacked on top of each other with one with a bite taken out of it on top

How To Make These Vegan Gluten-Free Samoas:

These Gluten-Free Vegan Samoas may look bit overwhelming. However I can assure you that they are quite easy to make. All you need to make them is a large bowl, round cookie cutters (or the top of a glass cup), a baking sheet, saucepan, and oven/microwave safe bowl.

Making The Gluten-Free Shortbread:

Begin by preheating the oven to 350. Next make the gluten-free shortbread. Combine the almond flour, coconut flour, and salt together and mix. Add the maple syrup, coconut butter, and vanilla extract and mix. Honestly it’s easiest to use your hands. It should be crumbly, but able to hold it’s shape when pressed together.

Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness and then let sit for about a minute before cutting. This helps to avoid cracking. Cut big circles, and then little circle in the middle. You should get around 22 cookies. place on a greased, or nonstick baking sheet, and bake for 11-12 minutes (until lightly golden on the edges).

close up of the vegan samoas to show the gooey caramel and chocolate top

Making The Vegan Coconut Caramel:

While the shortbread is baking, begin making the caramel layer. In a saucepan (do not place over heat yet), combine the coconut butter, date syrup, coconut extract, vanilla extract, and salt. Whisk until there’s no clumps of coconut butter and it resembles caramel. Divide the shredded coconut and place half of it in the oven, or air-fryer to toast (usually only takes about 2-3 minutes at 350).

Add the toasted and untoasted coconut to the caramel and turn on the heat to medium. Cook for about 5 minutes stirring constantly. Once you achieve a thick payable substance, remove from heat and allow to cool to the touch.

Grabs clumps of the caramel and press into the cooled shortbread cookies. It’s okay to be messy with it, it does not have to look perfect at all.

For The Chocolate Coating:

Add the chocolate to a shallow bowl and melt until smooth and creamy. Dip the bottom of the cookies into the chocolate and allow the excess to drip off (or lightly swipe with a knife). Place the cookies caramel side down and place in the fridge to cool.

Add the remaining chocolate to a ziplock bag and cut a tiny hole in the corner. Once the chocolate has hardened on the bottom, flip and drizzle the chocolate over top of the caramel. Allow to chill for about 10 minutes in the fridge.

Serve and enjoy!

the cookies stacked vertically with one with a bite taken out of it on top

Frequently Asked Questions:

How Long Do These Gluten-Free Samoa Cookies Keep?

These Gluten-Free Samoas are great, because they can keep for quite awhile. I recommend storing them in the fridge in an air-tight container for up to 3 weeks. If you are looking to keep them for longer than that, they can be frozen. Again, make sure to store them in an air-tight container. If stored properly, these cookies will last up to 2 months in the freezer.

looking down at the cookies piled on top of each other with one that has a bite taken out of it

What Makes These Vegan Gluten-Free Samoas Healthy?

Not only are these Vegan Samoas incredibly delicious, but they’re also healthy! It’s the best of both worlds! There’s a couple different things that make these Samoa cookies healthy.

For starters, they’re vegan. That means that these cookies are butter-free, dairy-free, egg-free, etc. This means they’re healthy, because they aren’t loaded with saturated fat and hormones typically found in those products. Instead it’s full of nutrient dense whole foods plant based ingredients!

These cookies are also refined sugar-free. This means that there’s no processed sugar used, only natural sweeteners. Natural sweeteners are the best option, because they don’t spike your blood sugar as much, and because they contains essential nutrients.

Lastly, these Healthy Samoas are oil-free. I try to avoid oil when baking, because it adds a lot of saturated fat. If I am going to add a high fat ingredient to a recipe, I want to be sure that it is full of fiber and other nutrients as well. This helps the food to be more filling, and improve digestion.

the gluten-free vegan somaos all piled up. Some cut in half, some whole, and one with a bite taken out of it

Related Recipes:

vegan samoas

Vegan Gluten-Free Samoas

These Vegan Gluten-Free Samoas are about to be your latest addiction. They're pretty easy to make, made with whole foods plant based ingredients, and taste just like the real thing! This recipe is: vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, paleo, and refined sugar-free.
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Chill Time: 15 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 22 cookies

Ingredients
  

For The Gluten-Free Shortbread Cookie:

For The Vegan Caramel:

For The Plant Based Chocolate

Instructions
 

Making The Gluten-Free Shortbread:

  • Begin by preheating the oven to 350. Next make the gluten-free shortbread. Combine the almond flour, coconut flour, and salt together and mix. Add the maple syrup, coconut butter, and vanilla extract and mix. It's easiest to use your hands. It should be crumbly, but able to hold it's shape when pressed together.
  • Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness and then let sit for about a minute before cutting. This helps to avoid cracking. Cut big circles, and then little circle in the middle. You should get around 22 cookies.
  • Place the cookies on a greased, or nonstick baking sheet, and bake for 11-12 minutes (until lightly golden on the edges).

Making The Vegan Coconut Caramel:

  • While the shortbread is baking, begin making the caramel layer. In a saucepan (do not place over heat yet), combine the coconut butter, date syrup, coconut extract, vanilla extract, and salt. Whisk until there's no clumps of coconut butter and it resembles caramel.
  • Divide the shredded coconut and place half of it in the oven, or air-fryer to toast (usually only takes about 2-3 minutes at 350) if you have not already done so.Add the toasted and untoasted coconut to the caramel and turn on the heat to medium. Cook for about 5 minutes stirring constantly.
  • Once you achieve a thick payable substance, remove from heat and allow to cool to the touch. Grabs clumps of the caramel and press into the cooled shortbread cookies. It's okay to be messy with it, it does not have to look perfect at all.

For The Chocolate Coating:

  • Add the chocolate to a shallow bowl and melt until smooth and creamy. Dip the bottom of the cookies into the chocolate and allow the excess to drip off (or lightly swipe with a knife). Place the cookies caramel side down and place in the fridge to cool.
  • Add the remaining chocolate to a ziplock bag and cut a tiny hole in the corner. Once the chocolate has hardened on the bottom, flip and drizzle the chocolate over top of the caramel.
  • Allow to chill for about 10 minutes in the fridge. Serve and enjoy

Notes

  • Make sure the coconut butter is soft and creamy, and not dry. Dry coconut butter will not work for this recipe. I recommend opening a brand new jar, mixing it very well, and using the creamy coconut butter.
Keyword chocolate caramel, cookies, girl scout cookies, healthy cookies, samoa, vegan samoas
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
recipe card stating this recipe is: vegan, oil-free, gluten-free, and refined sugar-free

3 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Wow. Great samoas recipe. I love that they are vegan and gluten-free.

  2. 5 stars
    These look so tempting! Looking forward to trying them.

  3. 5 stars
    Really yummy samoas! I am definitely making them again.

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