Gluten-Free Samoas Cookies

Looking for my versions of other classic Girl Scout cookies? Here they are:

Mint Slims

Gluten-Free Tagalong Cookies

Gluten-Free Shortbread Cookies 

When I took it upon myself to make paleo and gluten-free homemade versions of the ever popular Thin Mint & Tagalong cookies, I knew I also had to include a Gluten-Free Samoas Cookie for my coconut lovers out there! Although I use coconut products in my recipes often, I’m actually not the biggest coconut fan. That said, when you throw caramel and chocolate into the mix, I can be convinced!

These copycat Gluten-Free Samoas Cookies have a buttery shortbread base, topped with toasted coconut and creamy caramel; all dipped and drizzled with dark chocolate. Like the gluten-free Tagalongs that I recreated, I already had a recipe for each component of a Samoas; so it was a no-brainer!

stacks of thin mint, tagalong and samoa cookies on a white surface with one cookie placed in front of stack for display

Cutting and Filling the Cookies

While these cookies can certainly be a labor of love, they’re the perfect recipe to get your kids involved in. My kids love to cut out the cookies and re-roll the extra dough. A little extra help can’t hurt, right? When it comes to punching out the middle of the cookie, I used the largest size piping tip from my piping set. I found it was the perfect size! If you don’t care for the classic Samoas shape, you can always leave the center intact

It can be a little tricky to get the coconut and caramel mixture on the cookie though, so sometimes I take over when we get to that step. When you’re putting the coconut and caramel mixture onto the cookie, you’ll have to use your fingers and get your hands a little dirty! At first, I tried to dip the top of the cookie with the caramel “glue” into the coconut mixture, but I found it wasn’t sticking or that the cookie would break. Don’t be afraid to roll up those sleeves! Just pinch little bits of the coconut mixture and firmly press them onto the cookie, working around the circle until it's full.

up close view of samoa cookie cut in half with a blurred view of a cookie stack in the background; all on a white surface.

A Few More Tips for You!

You can skip the cutting and pressing steps completely and just make Samoa Bars if you want to make these even easier! Bake the shortbread in an 8×8 pan for 15 minutes, or until golden. Then spread half of the chocolate on top of the hot shortbread so it melts. Pop the pan in the freezer for 15 minutes to set the chocolate, then spread the coconut-caramel mixture on top of that. Melt the remaining chocolate and drizzle it overtop, and you have Samoa bars!

If you have kids that are nut-free, you can always swap out the shortbread in this recipe for the nut-free shortbread crust in my Lemon Bars (Celebrations, page 117) and swap out the almond butter for sunflower seed butter in the caramel.

I hope that you all love this recipe and that it brings back some normalcy and reignites those childhood traditions in your family!

On a white surface; view of homemade samoa cookies with chocolate drizzle on a cooling rack with parchment paper. In the image, shortbread cookies and coconut mixture in clear bowl is visible. Up close view of samoa cookies with chocolate drizzle and caramel on a white surface with shortbread cookies in the background


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Gluten-Free Samoas Cookies


SERVES: 2 dozen

Cuisine: Dessert

PREP TIME: 60 mins

COOK TIME: 12 mins TOTAL TIME: 72 mins




*use raw cacao butter or palm shortening for dairy free


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silpat. Place the shredded coconut on the baking sheet and toast in the oven for 7 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until golden brown. Transfer the toasted coconut to a bowl and set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer or food processor, combine the almond flour, arrowroot powder, sea salt, baking powder. Add the maple syrup and mix until combined. Drop the palm shortening into the mixing bowl in 1 tablespoon increments for easier incorporation. Pulse a few times until a crumbly ball forms.
  3. Use your hands to gather the dough, pressing it together to compact it into a disc. Roll the disc out between 2 pieces of parchment paper until it’s 1/8-inch thick. Cut out as many cookies as possible with a 2-inch round shaped cookie cutter. Use a smaller round cutter to cut out the center of each cookie, creating a donut shape. Repeat with remaining dough. Carefully transfer the cut cookies onto the baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown and firm. Place the cookies on a cooling rack to cool.
  4. While the cookies bake, make the caramel. Bring the honey to a low boil and simmer for 10 minutes, swirling the pan occasionally until the honey is deep amber color and a candy thermometer reads 240 degrees F. Remove from the heat and stir in the almond butter, unsalted butter, vanilla, salt and water. Let it cool for 10 minutes in the pan until it thickens. Reserve 1/4 cup of the caramel in a small bowl.
  5. Pour the remaining caramel into the bowl with the toasted coconut and stir to combine.
  6. Use a spoon to coat the tops of each cookie with a bit of the reserved caramel, then use your fingers to press the coconut-caramel mixture onto the tops, coating fully.
  7. Dip the bottoms of the cookies in the melted chocolate and place the cookies back on the parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle chocolate over the tops of the cookies and let chocolate set. 

Keywords: gluten-free, paleo diet, clean eating, danielle walker, against all grain, clean eating, healthy diet, healthy desserts, girl scout cookies, samoa cookies,