Copycat Samoa Girl Scout Cookies

Published September 27, 2012. Updated February 1, 2019

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Who doesn’t love a Girl Scout Samoa Cookie? They are by far my favorite Girl Scout Cookie. This past spring I purchased eight cartons of the Dreyers Girl Scout Samoa Cookie Limited Edition Ice Cream and hoarded them away in my freezer. I thought they’d last much longer then they did.

I can only wish I could buy the Samoas year round, but since I can’t I’ve had to improvise. That is why I’ve come up with my own version of the Samoa Girl Scout Cookies. These things are amazing! Tender shortbread, sweet chewy caramel, perfectly toasted coconut and a nice chocolate coating to finish things off. YUM!

I won’t lie to you, these cookies are quite a bit of work…but, they are well worth the effort. These cookies don’t use real butter or fancy caramel, it’s the cheap stuff just like what I’m quite certain they put in the real thing (it helps to read the ingredients list on the package when you are making up a copycat recipe =) . It’s not often I use shortening and until now I’ve never used a cheap chocolate coating for anything, but for these I think it’s a must.

I know some of you are going to ask, what is desiccated coconut and where do I get it? Desiccated coconut is shredded coconut that has been dried to remove as much moisture as possible. I used toasted desiccated coconut (I used this one here) in these because it looks exactly like whats in the Girl Scout ones. You can purchase it at a specialty kitchen needs stores or online.
I hope you love these cookies as much as I do! Enjoy!

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5 from 1 vote

Copycat Samoa Girl Scout Cookies

Delicious buttery shortbread-like cookie topped with caramel, coconut and chocolate.
Servings: 24
Prep40 minutes
Cook40 minutes
Ready in: 1 hour 20 minutes


  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup all vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp milk , as needed
  • 3/4 cups toasted desiccated coconut , divided
  • 22 caramels , unwrapped (such as Kraft)
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp milk
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 recipe Chocolate Coating , recipe follows (or you could use melted chocolate chips, I'd recommend half milk chocolate and half semi-sweet)

Chocolate Coating


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, salt and baking soda, set aside. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with paddle attachment, blend together shortening, sugar and vanilla until combine (only about 30 seconds). Stir in dry ingredients. Add milk 1/2 Tbsp at a time as needed, until dough comes together. Roll dough out between two large sheets of parchment paper, to about 1/6" thickness. Using a 2" cookie cutter, cut dough into circles then using the end of a small pastry tip cut a hole in the center of each circle. Using a large sharp knife or pastry scraper (floured as needed), slide knife under entire cookie and lift the cookie off of the parchment paper and transfer to a Silpat lined cookie sheet. Re-roll dough as needed until you've used it all. Bake cookies in preheated oven for about 10 minutes until lightly golden. Allow to cool 5 minutes on cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
  • Pour 1/2 cup desiccated coconut into a shallow bowl and set aside. Heat caramels, 2 1/2 Tbsp milk and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until melted and smooth. Reduce temperature to warm, add remaining 1/4 cup desiccated coconut to melted caramel and mix to combine. Leave caramel mixture over warm heat (as you coat cookies), stirring caramel occasionally. Working one cookie at a time, spread about 1 tsp caramel mixture around the top of cookie, then immediately dip caramel coated side of cookie into the bowl of desiccated coconut then set on parchment paper (or cooled cookie sheets) and allow caramel to set.
  • Prepare chocolate coating according to directions listed then dip bottoms of cookies (none caramel coated side) in coating and run the bottom of the cookie along the inside edge of the bowl scrapping excess coating off (you just need a thin coating). Place dipped cookie upside down (so the chocolate coating should be facing upward). Repeat process with remaining cookies. Once coating on cookies has set, flip cookies to opposite side. Pour remaining chocolate coating (rewarm as needed first) into a Ziploc bag, seal bag and cut a very small tip off one edge of the bag then drizzle chocolate coating over cookies. Allow drizzled coating to set then store cookies in an airtight container.

Chocolate Coating

  • In a microwave safe bowl, using a fork, blend together shortening and cocoa powder. Microwave mixture in 15 second intervals on HIGH power, stirring after each interval until completely melted. Add powdered sugar and mix until well combine and smooth. Reheat as needed on 50% power for about 15 seconds, then stir.
  • Recipe Source: Cooking Classy


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  • Marsha

    I used this recipe and Better Batter to make a gluten-free version of his favorite Girl Scout cookie. Thanks for posting this!

  • Syrai Ravenwynd

    I hate to cook, so I just buy the new Keebler knockoffs of Samoas. They taste pretty similar!

  • Tim

    This is so stupid, why would anybody want to make their own? It would cost $100 to buy all those ingredients just to make a batch of cookies? You can’t buy 3 tbls of cocoa powder, as with the rest of these ingredients, most need to be bought in bulk. If you were going to make multiple batches (300 or more) than it might be worth it, but if you just wanted 20 or 30…just buy them. It’s much cheaper that way. Some people are so penny wise and dollar foolish. It is not always cheaper to bake your own!!! And they NEVER taste as good.

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      Most of the ingredients are ones that are likely kept on hand…and girl scout cookies aren’t sold year round but wouldn’t it be nice if we all had a freezer stocked full of them until they sold them the next time around? I think these taste just as good because I tried making several batches until achieving a very similar result. But obviously no one is forcing you to make these cookies, I just offer free recipes so if you don’t want to make them then please don’t.

    • Maria

      I wonder where you live that these items can only be purchased in bulk. With the exception of the coconut, every single one of these ingredients are in my pantry – in regular sized house friendly quantities – and used quite regularly and they didn’t cost $100 to purchase…

  • Anonymous

    Buy the Keebler Coconut dream cookied! They taste exactly the same as a samoa!

  • Jaclyn

    Paula – I think they’d still taste great a few days after making (can’t say for sure because mine don’t last that long =), and I also think this is one cookie that would freeze really well because they are more of a dry cookie (shortbread basically). I hope you and your students enjoy!

  • Paula Musegades

    These look delicious!! I am hoping to make them for my students next week, but I don’t have time to make them the day of… How do they taste on day two, or better yet, do you know if they freeze well? Thanks for the delicious recipe!!