A slice of Samoa cake on a white plate.

Samoa Cake

  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 2 hours 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 2 hours 55 minutes
  • Yield: 10-12 servings


This Samoa cookie cake is a decadent chocolate cake layered with caramel coconut cream cheese, wrapped in fudgy chocolate frosting. It’s an easy homemade cake recipe inspired by the iconic Girl Scout Cookies!


For the Cake:

  • 1 ½ cups (285g) Granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (118 ml) Vegetable oil
  • 3 Large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) Pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (118 ml) Full-fat sour cream, at room temperature
  • 2 cups (280g) All-purpose flour, sifted
  • ½ cup (40 g) Cocoa powder, sifted (I use Hershey’s Special Dark)
  • 2 ½ teaspoons (9 g) Baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (2 g) Baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) Salt
  • 1 ¼ cup (296 ml) Hot brewed coffee

For the Filling

  • 8 ounces (226g) Full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup Caramel sauce (store brought or homemade)
  • ¼ cup (48g) Granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) Pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup (90g) Sweetened shredded coconut, toasted

For the Frosting

  • 2 cups (454g) Unsalted butter, cold
  • 1 cup (111g) Cocoa powder, sifted (I use Hershey’s Special Dark)
  • 5 cups (650g) Powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) Pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) Heavy whipping cream


  • ¾ cup – 1 cup toasted coconut
  • 2 ounces dark chocolate (chocolate chips or a finely chopped chocolate bar)
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
  • Additional Caramel sauce for drizzle


For the Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare two 8-inch round baking pans, line the bottom with parchment paper, and grease and flour the sides of the pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until the eggs and oil are well incorporated and the batter is lighter in color. Next mix in the sour cream and beat until well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Add half the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, followed by half of the coffee, and mix until the flour is just incorporated at a low speed. Then add the remaining dry ingredients and coffee. Beat until all of the ingredients are well combined. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir the batter from the bottom to the top to ensure it’s well mixed.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans. Bake at 350°F for 28-32 minutes.  Test the cake for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is done. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

Toast the Coconut

  1. While the oven is still warm, toast the coconut. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Spread the coconut thinly on the baking sheet.
  2. Bake at 350°F for 5-10 minutes until it reaches the desired color. Turn the coconut with a spatula once it starts to cook to prevent burning. Keep a close eye on it because it can burn quickly once it starts to toast.
  3. Transfer the coconut to a plate to prevent it from further cooking. Cool completely.

For the Filling

  1. Beat the cream cheese and sugar at a medium high speed until light and fluffy. Slowly add caramel sauce and vanilla extract until well combined. Finally, add toasted coconut and mix into cream cheese. Set aside.

For the Frosting

  1. Cut the butter into pieces (about 1 tablespoon in size). Using the paddle attachment, whip butter for 5-7 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally. Beat until the butter is really light and fluffy. Next, beat the cocoa powder into the butter until well-mixed.
  2. Alternate adding 2 cups of powdered sugar at a time with the liquid ingredients: vanilla extract & heavy cream. Ensure the powdered sugar is well combined, and whip for 1-2 minutes before adding more powdered sugar. Once all the powdered sugar has been added, increase the speed to medium-high and beat for another 2-3 minutes to whip additional air into the frosting.

To Assemble and Decorate

  1. Level off the cakes by removing any domes. Place a dollop of frosting on your cake board and place the bottom layer of cake centered on the cake board.
  2. Spread the caramel cream cheese filling evenly over the first layer with an offset spatula. Add the second layer of cake, inverted (so the bottom of the cake layer is now the top of the cake). Apply a crumb coat the cake and put in the freezer for 5-10 minutes. Proceed to frost the top and sides of the cake.
  3. Combine the chopped chocolate with the heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30 second increments, stir and repeat until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Allow it to cool for a few minutes.
  4. Spread the toasted coconut over top of the frosted cake and then drizzle the melted chocolate over top and additional caramel sauce.
  5. Finally, use a large open star tip (Ateco 846) and add rosettes to the boarder of the cake.


  • If using two 9″ pans, baking times will be altered accordingly.
  • Keep an eye on the coconut while toasting. Watch the coconut carefully while bakes. Exactly baking times will vary depending on the quality and moisture in the coconut, as well as the oven temperature.
Nutrition Information:
1 Slice
90.5 g
392.7 mg
59.1 g
116.2 g
4.7 g
8.3 g
159.9 mg
  • Category: Cakes
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American