Vegan Samoas (Caramel DeLites) with Date Caramel

Girl Scout Cookies.

Yummy Vegan Caramel Delites (Samoas) with Date Caramel

Don’t pretend you don’t like them. Almost everybody has a soft spot for at least one of those delicious, seasonal sweet treats.

Delicious Vegan Samoas with Date Caramel

Coincidentally, several varieties of Girl Scout Cookies are vegan (#bless). Which is honestly such a gift to dairy-free and vegan people. It’s so nice to not miss out on the Girl Scout cookie fun.

Vegan Samoas with Date Caramel

Thin Mints: vegan. S’mores cookies: vegan. Peanut butter patties: vegan.

Delicious Vegan Samoas:Caramel Delites w: Date Caramel

But what’s not? Sadly, samoas (or caramel delites, depending on who you ask). Boo.

Vegan Caramel Delites with Date Caramel

Now. I have seen a million line-extensions of Girl Scout cookie products on the shelves that hypothetically I could enjoy. Girl Scout cookie cereals, granola bars, candy bars, even teas – but nothing is quite as satisfying as the cookies themselves.

Amazing Vegan Samoas with Date Caramel

So when life won’t give me a vegan Caramel DeLite, I will make one myself. Because I am a strong, independent woman and I do not need a mass-bakery to support my inner-cookie-lover. I will get creative and I will succeed. Just watch me.

Vegan Caramel Delites (Samoas) w: Date Caramel

So here we are: vegan samoas. I played around with two versions. One batch I made used date caramel. The other used this Coconut Milk Caramel. You could also just melt a bunch of these heavenly nuggets and use that instead. You do you. I’m not here to tell you how to live your best samoa life.

Anyways ~ On to the cookies. A little prep work is involved, yes, but I promise it’s worth it. Perfect and impressive and tasty for your next party or Instagram. Or in my case, empty Friday night.

#bless up, Girl Scouts:

Vegan Samoas (Caramel DeLites) with Date Caramel

Delicious Vegan Samoas with Date Caramel

Prep Time:  30 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins, but require at least 20 minutes refrigeration
Total Time: ~50 minutes
Servings: 12 bars

Ingredients:

Shortbread Cookies:

  • 1/4th cup vegan butter, softened (such as Earthbalance)
  • 1/4th cup coconut oil, melted (can sub more vegan butter)
  • 3/4th cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (can sub additional all-purpose flour or vice versa)
  • dash of salt
  • Date Caramel Coconut Layer:

  • 8 ounces of pitted dates (about 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seed butter, cashew butter, or coconut oil (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups shredded coconut
  • Alternatively, you can sub date caramel with one batch of this Coconut Milk Caramel.Chocolate:

  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (optional)
  • Method:

    1. Preheat oven to 350F.
    2. In a large bowl combine softened vegan butter and melted coconut oil. Add sugar and vanilla extract and whisk well. Add flour and fold into dough until just combined. If dough seems dry, add a tablespoon or 2 of water or non-dairy milk. Place dough in refrigerator to set, about 30 minutes.
    3. Meanwhile, soak dates in 1 cup water for at least 10 minutes. Once dates have softened, drain them and place in a food processor. Add sunflower seed butter, vanilla and salt. Pulse until a smooth caramel dough forms; the caramel should be sticky.
    4. Transfer date caramel to a bowl. Add shredded coconut and mix until coconut is coated in date caramel.
    5. Remove dough from refrigerator. Roll out dough to be about 1/8th inch thick. Use a circle cookie cutter, and/or an inverted drinking glass to cut dough into circles. Use a knife to cut a smaller hole in the middle of each cookie, to resemble a doughnut shape.
    6. Place cookies onto a parchment paper-lined pan and place in the oven until golden brown, about 18-23 minutes.
    7. Remove cookies from oven and allow to cool.
    8. Once cookies have cooled, use a spoon or your fingers (fingers are much easier, honestly) to distribute date caramel around cookies. Aim for about 1/4-1/3th inch of date caramel.
    9. Once cookies have caramel layer, melt chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave using 30 second increments, and stirring occasionally. This will take 2-4 minutes. Once chocolate is melted, stir in coconut oil.
    10. Pipe chocolate or drizzle it in a zig-zag pattern using a pastry bag, and/or by letting it run off the back of a spoon. Once all cookies have a chocolate drizzle, dip the bottom of each cookie into the remaining chocolate, placing back onto the parchment baking sheet after each dip.
    11. Allow cookies to set in the refrigerator until chocolate has hardened, at least 30 minutes.
    12. Enjoy!

    Vegan Lemon Olive Oil Coconut Cake

    Before yesterday, I had never in my life gotten a car wash. True fact. It was something someone always did for me in high school, and then when I was in college, I rarely drove because that’s just not something that happens at NYU. I actually used to chuckle when people asked me if I had a car “out there.” I’d be like HECK NO and I don’t want one.

    Easy Lemon Olive Oil Coconut Cake Vegan kbaked

    I’ve just never been a fan of driving, nor have I ever been particularly good at it.  Some people enjoy it; it not my piece of cake. Cake is my piece of cake, thank you very much.

    Lemon Olive Oil Cake Vegan Coconut

    Back to the carwash. So, I finally get my car washed for the first time EVER at the ripe age of 24 and feel super adult and whatnot, and manage to somehow almost die and get my car totaled in the process. During a carwash. I kid you not. It was a highly stressful two minutes full of James-Bond worthy car-escape-ism, fast running, dramatic yelling of “STOP IT’S AN EMERGENCY” and returning to my car and saving my cute little car’s butt just in the nic’o time. It was a stressful two minutes, to say the least.

    Lemon Olive Oil Coconut Cake Vegan

    Anyways I decided to listen to “Shake it Off” like a basic bitch, go to Target to walk around, space out and calm down. I even treated myself to an iced coffee with soy milk, just to prove how basic I could be, in case anyone had doubts. I proceeded to realize it was beautiful out, and took my dog to froyo. Any time life feels a bit off, I look at my dog and feel like life is going to be okay because she’s so damn cute.

    The nice weather had sunny vibes had me craving spring. The stress of the day had me craving sugar. I wanted something fresh and light. I wanted an old favorite, Lemon Olive Oil Coconut Cake. This was the cake I made for my sister’s bridal shower. *excuses self for nostalgic moment/sigh* She digs it. So do I. Somehow it’s still one of my most “viewed” recipes according to stats. Probably because it’s darn tasty.

    Lemon Olive Oil Coconut Cake Vegan

    Lately I’ve been on such a kick of making new things that I haven’t made this old favorite in quite some time. But yesterday felt like the day. And so, I revisited my old recipe, revamped it a bit, and veganized it, which was super easy to do because the only thing that needed changing was nixing/replacing the eggs. It’s as light, luscious, fluffy and lemony as ever, and a seriously good recipe to place in your arsenal for crowd-pleasing entertainment, especially in the spring and summer months.

    kbaked Lemon Olive Oil Coconut Cake Vegan

    I made this cake two ways yesterday, to make sure I gave you guys the best vegan-ized recipe possible. My result was that both cakes were delicious. And then I had two cakes. Because kitchen experiments are my piece of cake. And for those of you love driving, I’ll leave that to you, and stick to cookies. Peace out gurlscouts. Happy Spring/Easter/Passover, etc. 😎

    Lemon Olive Oil Coconut Cake Vegan

    Prep Time: 30 minutes
    Bake Time: 30-40 minutes
    Level: easy

    makes 2 9″-inch round cakes, 2 9×9″-inch square cakess, or one 9×13″ sheet cake

    Ingredients:

    • 1 1/3 cups olive oil
    • 2 cups granulated sugar
    • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk or almond milk, unsweetened (can use ‘lite’ canned coconut milk, or out of a fat-free out of a carton, like the kind you put in cereal. both work!)
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons cider (or any) vinegar
    • zest of 2 large lemons (about 3-4 tablespoons)
    • juice of 2 large lemons (1/4-1/2 cup)
      • *note, you can make this as lemony or as plain as you desire, by increasing or decreasing lemon juice and zest within given ranges
    • 2 cups all purpose flour
      • could also sub 1 cup cake flour & 1 cup all-purpose flour
      • gluten-free: use 2 cups gluten-free flour blend, or oat flour with varied results
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 1/3 cup shredded coconut
    • whipped cream, powdered sugar, and/or fresh berries for serving (optional)

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350 F. In a small bowl or measuring up combine almond/coconut milk and vinegar. Allow to sit, at least 10 minutes.

    2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine olive oil and sugar and whisk together. Zest lemons and place zest aside. Juice lemons and place juice aside n another small bowl.

    3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine. Add lemon zest and whisk again.

    4. Add half flour mixture to olive oil and sugar mixture, and fold gently with spatula. Add half non-dairy milk and vinegar mixture. Repeat with remaining half of flour mixture and remaining half of non-dairy milk mixture. Pour into 2 9″-inch round pans, 2 9×9″-inch square pans, or one 9×13″ pan.

    5. Bake for 25-35 minutes until lightly golden, fragrant, and/or cake begins to pull away from sides of pan, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the pan comes out clean upon removal.

    6. Serve with powdered sugar, whipped cream, and/or fresh berries.

    Lemon Olive Oil Coconut Cake Vegan whipped cream

    Adapted from my original Lemon Olive Oil Coconut Cake, circa July 2013.