Vegan Samoa Girl Scout Cookies (a.k.a. Caramel deLites)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This recipe is a slightly adapted version (for online) from the Caramel Delight Girl Scout Cookies Recipe in the 2nd Edition of Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 24 cookies (2 dozen)
Vegan Shortbread Cookies
  • ½ cup dairy-free buttery spread or Bakeable Butter (a simple recipe in Go Dairy Free)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dairy-free milk beverage (I sometimes just use a little of the canned coconut milk that's open for the caramel topping)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 to 1¼ cups all-purpose flour (up to 1½ cups above 4,000 feet)
  • ⅛ teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
Caramel-Coconut Topping (Adapted from the Dulce de Coco recipe in Go Dairy Free)
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk (I use the full-fat version, not light)
  • ⅔ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut (or use sweetened coconut if you prefer a sugary treat)
Samoa Assembly
Shortbread Cookies
  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Put the buttery spread, sugar, milk beverage, and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl. Beat with a hand mixer until creamy.
  3. Add the 1 cup flour, baking powder, and salt to the wet ingredients and beat until well combined. Stir in up to ¼ cup of additional flour (up to ½ cup above 4,000 feet) to keep the dough from sticking to your hands.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll or pat the dough out until it is ⅛ to ¼ inch thick. Cut the dough with a 2¼-inch round cookie cutter, biscuit cutter, or glass. Carefully transfer the cut dough rounds to your prepared baking sheets. (I sometimes roll the dough out on the parchment paper and gently cut the dough, without cutting the paper, since the dough can be hard to move.)
  5. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes (up to 16 minutes above 4,000 feet), or until the cookies just begin to brown around the edges. Let cool on the baking sheets while you prepare the caramel topping.
Caramel-Coconut Topping
  1. Combine the coconut milk, brown sugar, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer or low boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and let simmer for 10 minutes. Keep an eye to be sure it doesn’t threaten to boil over.
  2. Uncover and continue to let the dairy-free caramel simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. It should become somewhat thick, like a caramel sauce. But keep in mind, it will thicken more as it cools and when you add all of that coconut!
  3. Remove the caramel mixture from the heat, and stir in the vanilla, followed by the coconut. I used all of the coconut, which made it very thick, and almost dough-like to handle.
Samoa Assembly
  1. Top each shortbread cookie with the caramel-coconut mixture. I use it all up, making a fairly thick layer of topping. My topping was thick, so I wet my hands (to prevent sticking) and pressed it down to evenly cover the tops of the shortbread.
  2. Melt the chocolate chips with the coconut oil, buttery spread, or shortening.
  3. Dip the shortbread bases in the chocolate. You can either coat just the bottoms, or submerge up to the caramel layer. I make them both ways.
  4. Place the cookies chocolate side down on parchment paper or a silicone baking mat to firm up.
  5. Drizzle the top of the cookies (over the caramel layer) with any leftover chocolate. I’ve read that you can drizzle with a fork, but that doesn't work well for me. For the pretties results, you can pipe the chocolate.
  6. Let the cookies sit in a cool area so that the chocolate can set up. Usually this will happen at room temperature. But if your heater is set on “melt chocolate” (over 70 degrees), or you're antsy, you can place the cookies in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  7. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week, or put them in plastic freezer bags and freeze to enjoy later.
Recipe by Go Dairy Free at