Homemade Samoas Girl Scout Cookies

Homemade Samoas Girl Scout Cookies. I don’t think I’ve ever typed sweeter words in my life. Move over Pepperoni Pizza Pull-Apart Bread because mama’s got a new favorite recipe, and it involves the perfect ratio of cookie and coconut to caramel and chocolate.

As far as I’m concerned, there are two types of people in the world: Samoas lovers and Thin Mint lovers. You are one or the other. You cannot be both. I picked my side two decades ago during my days as a Daisy and a Brownie. Team Samoas for life.

Homemade Samoas Girl Scout Cookies

We have Instructables to thank for this recipe. Just imagine a buttery shortbread base piled high with a mix of toasted coconut and caramel that’s dunked and drizzled in dark chocolate. The result is a homemade take on the iconic Girl Scout cookie, ordinarily only available a few months out of the year. So quit hoarding those purple boxes and free up that freezer space by baking up sweet and chewy Samoas from scratch.

Homemade Samoas Girl Scout Cookies

Homemade Samoas Girl Scout Cookies

Homemade Samoas Girl Scout Cookies

Homemade Samoas Girl Scout Cookies

Homemade Samoas Girl Scout Cookies

Homemade Samoas Girl Scout Cookies

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Homemade Samoas Cookies

Make sure you never run out of Girl Scout cookies again with this recipe for Homemade Samoas Cookies.
4.57 from 23 votes
Homemade Samoas Girl Scout Cookies
Prep Time 2 hrs
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 15 mins
Servings 48 (2-inch) cookies


For the cookies:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the coconut topping:

  • 3 cups shredded sweetened coconut
  • 15 ounces store-bought or homemade soft caramels
  • 3 Tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces dark chocolate (See Kelly's Notes)


Make the cookies:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In three increments, add the flour mixture to the creamed butter, mixing between each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the milk and vanilla extract, blending until combined and the dough begins to come together in large pieces.
  • Use your hands to divide the dough in half, pressing it together to compact it into two disks. Wrap the disks securely in plastic wrap and refrigerate them until firm, about 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  • Once the dough has chilled, roll each disk out onto a lightly floured surface until it is 1/8-inch thick. Cut out as many cookies as possible with a doughnut-shaped cookie cutter. (See Kelly's Notes for cookie cutter alternatives.) Place the cut-out cookies on a Silpat or parchment paper-lined baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.
  • Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the baking sheet half-way through, until the cookies are pale golden brown. Transfer the cookies to a wire wrack to cool completely.

Make the coconut topping:

  • Spread the coconut flakes onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake the coconut for about 10 minutes in a 350ºF oven until toasted, stirring frequently to ensure even browning and so that it does not burn. (See Kelly's Notes.) Remove the toasted coconut from the oven and set it aside.
  • Melt the caramels, milk and salt in a double-boiler by placing the caramels in a medium saucepot set over a large saucepot of simmering water. Cook, stirring, until the caramels are fully melted. Remove the saucepot from the heat and combine ¾ of the caramel with the toasted coconut in a large bowl.
  • Carefully spread the remaining ¼ cup of caramel atop the cooled cookies then press on a portion of the coconut mixture. Let the cookies cool for 30 minutes. If the caramel-coconut mixture thickens too much at any point while pressing it onto the cookies, return it to the double-boiler and warm it until it's spreadable again.
  • Melt the dark chocolate in a double-boiler or in the microwave. Dip the bottoms of the cookies in the chocolate and place them on a wax paper-lined baking sheet. Use a fork to drizzle the tops with chocolate. Let the cookies sit until the chocolate hardens fully.

Kelly's Notes:

  • If you don't have a doughnut-shaped cookie cutter, you can use two cookies cutters (such as a circular 2-inch and a circular 1-inch) to form the ring shape. Alternately, you can use the caps to any dry spices to serve as cookie cutters.
  • If the dough is too firm to roll out after being refrigerated, let it rest at room temperature for 10 minutes before rolling and cutting out the cookies.
  • The shortbread should be very pale golden in color. When in doubt, underbake it!
  • If using dark chocolate chips, 8 ounces is equal to about 1 ⅓ cups chocolate chips.
  • Coconut burns very quickly, so keep an eye on it and stir often!
  • Spreading the cookies with the reserved ¼ cup of caramel gives the coconut mixture a stickier base to adhere to.
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!


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Recipe adapted from Instructables.

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Calories: 162kcal, Carbohydrates: 16g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 11mg, Sodium: 62mg, Potassium: 95mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 125IU, Vitamin C: 0.1mg, Calcium: 22mg, Iron: 1mg

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  1. 5 stars
    The shortbread recipe was spot on– I did use the paddle on my newly received mixing stand and I whipped the butter and sugar together until it was fluffy before adding the flour mixture. I also substituted cream for the milk in the shortbread recipe. I found a great and easy recipe for homemade caramel, since I didn’t have any caramel squares at home. Next time, I’ll skip adding salt to my caramel, though because it’s a bit salty. I didn’t have chocolate chips so I just melted a Trader Joe’s dark chocolate bar. Once I’d toasted the coconut, it was easy to mix with enough caramel to make the spread. I found that I had to cool the cookies all the way down in the freezer in order to get the caramel to stick. All in all, AMAZING!

  2. 5 stars
    Delicious!! Definitely worth the effort. I like to whip up a homemade batch of caramel instead of using store bought. Also love the ghirardelli old fashioned chocolate chips….bomb diggity!

  3. 5 stars
    I made these cookies last year and they were a huge hit with our christmas parties. I will be making these for christmas again but as a cookie box (due to the current situation). Many people have asked for them so I will not disappoint. While these cookies are time consuming, the presentation and flavour are so worth it. Thank you so much!!!

  4. 1 star
    Not only do these take forever to make, they don’t taste like somoas. Making the cookie shape doesn’t seem worth it… Even after chilling the dough is very soft and hard to work with. After making 8 cookies, I made the rest into a rectangle and just cut them into squares. It’s also insanely difficult to get the coconut around the cookie and make it pretty. It just isn’t worth it. The coconut Carmel mixture also doesn’t set, so when you try to dip the bottom it all falls off. Ugh!!! Extremely frustrating recipe.

  5. 4 stars
    You should revise it so people don’t preheat their ovens just to find out the dough has to chill for an hour, haha. Good recipe otherwise

  6. 5 stars
    Love this recipe! I’ve been making these for almost a year and they’ve always come out so good. I will say it’s very time consuming, but it’s worth it in the end.

  7. Is there a link to a recipe for homemade caramels? Or how can we make the caramel part of the cookie without store-bought caramels?

  8. 4 stars
    These taste really good. If I did it again, I would thin the caramel more. I had a hard time making the 1/4 cup go far enough on the tops of the cookies. Or buy more caramel.

  9. 5 stars
    Didn’t make these yet! Just commenting to say great job with a recipe that people are still excited about years later, keep up the good work!

    I do have a question, do you know approx. how much coconut mixture is going on each cookie?

    1. 5 stars
      I haven’t made the recipe yet,but it looks delish. I just tried girl scout cookies for the first time two days ago, and I think I’m your unicorn because i happened to get thin mints and samoas to try.im in love with them both. Im gunna make the recipe to compare to the boxed ones while i still have some left over. Great job btw,like i said they look amazing

    1. Hi Ed – I’ve never tried freezing them so I’m not sure what the taste/texture would be like once thawed. However, you can store them in an airtight container at room temp and they should last up to about 5 days.

  10. 5 stars
    Wow. I was looking for a multi-step pastry project, and these “rang the bell,” according to a taster. The hardest part was unwrapping all those caramels.

    When I make these again, I’d use semi-sweet chocolate because this is an unsophisticated “girl scout” cookie, so the dark chocolate felt too grown up.

    Mine have dried and the bottoms are fine, but the caramel is still a tad sticky. This doesn’t bother me, but if anyone has found a way to make the caramel harden as the chocolate does, please post!

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