“Give Me Samoa That Cake” An Ode To My Favorite Girl Scout Cookie
There is nothing more exciting than having those cute little Girl Scouts ring your doorbell or chase you down in the grocery parking lot to sell you a box of their scrumptious cookies. I am always sad when our freezer stash of these crunchy, treats disappear. I was craving the famous “Caramel Delites” AKA “Samoa” cookies (that’s how old I’ve become, they changed their names?) and figured that would make the perfect dessert for tonight. Instead of cookies, I wanted to use the Samoa’s flavors and make them into a mini cake.
My dilemma lately are leftovers! I LOVE to bake and eat sweets, but now that I am older my body just can’t handle all that good stuff. So yes, I have had to limit my sweet intake. All in moderation, right? You see, my problem is that I have new, freshly, baked goods sitting and looking at me all day long. They talk to me and say “go ahead Juli, just one more bite” and I simply just can’t resist. So, I have decided that bringing a left over box of my goodies to playdates, local employees, and my daughters’ teachers and coaches was a good solution. But, it is definitely forming a bit of a habit. And if there is a day where I attend an event without a bakery box in hand, there are frowns all around. I have become known as the “cupcake lady”. That’s right, the people in my local community and family activities may not know my exact name, but they certainly know I am usually covered in sugar, flour, or some other type of baking ingredient! And having 4 young children, I am pleased when my clothes are covered in something edible .
This pretty cake is big on flavor but mini in size! I baked my decadent coconut chocolate cake in 2-4″ circle pans. It can feed 4 people a good size piece or 6 people a nice sized sliver. This will probably be my new go to size for our nightly desserts. It is really a thing of beauty and you can’t appreciate the itty bitty cuteness from the pictures. My mini Samoa cake features a moist, chocolate-coconut cake with coconut-almond cream cheese frosting. Then I coated it with toasted coconut, homemade caramel sauce and semi-sweet ganache. Double drool! Let’s get baking!
Give Me Samoa That Cake
Yields: 28 standard cupcakes or 6-4″ circle cakes
For the cake
2 cups of granulated sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup instant coconut pudding (1 box)
1 cup chocolate milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup coffee
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. If making cupcakes line pan or prepare cake pans with nonstick baking spray.
2. In a sifter over the dry ingredients bowl, sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Place aside.
3. Make coffee ( I heat 1 cup of water in microwave and add 1/2 tsp instant coffee grounds).
4. In an electric mixer combine sugar, cocoa, and pudding.
5. Add in oil. Then chocolate milk and eggs.
6. Mix in vanilla.
7. On lowest setting alternate dry ingredients with the coffee. Be sure to mix on low and stop when flour is mostly combined to prevent over-mixing.
8. Stir thoroughly by hand and be sure to incorporate the bottom.
9. If making cupcakes, fill liners 2/3rds way full. If making 4″ cakes fill with 1 cup of batter, 6″ cakes 1 1/2 cups batter, or 8″ cakes 2 cups of batter.
10. Bake cupcakes 10-12 minutes. Bake 4″ cakes 15-20 minutes or until the tops spring back after pushing in gently. Or as always use a toothpick to check for doneness.
11. Allow cakes to cool about 5 minutes in the pan, then move to cool thoroughly on a cooling rack. If making cakes, wrap in plastic wrap and place in freezer about 20-30 minutes to make cutting and frosting easier.
12. Meanwhile make the frosting.
Coconut-Almond Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 cup salted butter, softened
1 cup cream cheese, softened (8 oz)
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
6-7 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp coconut extract
1/2 tsp pure almond extract
1. Beat butter, cream cheese, and vegetable shortening in a mixer on high until smooth. No lumps PLEASE!
2. Add coconut and almond extracts. Mix well.
3. On lowest setting, mix in powdered sugar.
4. Beat on medium-high about 2 minutes to make fluffy
5. Place in piping bag with tip.
1 1/2 cups toasted coconut
1 cup homemade caramel sauce
1/3 cup ganache
1/2 cup salted butter
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup half and half
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. In a medium pot on medium-high heat, melt butter, brown sugar and salt.
2. Stir constantly until this mixture becomes thick and well combined 3-4 minutes.
3. Slowly add in heavy cream. It will bubble and spurt wildly so be cautious.
4. Stir constantly about 5-7 minutes. It will be extremely bubbly.
5. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Allow to cool to room temperature. I like to stick it in a container and set in freezer for a short while unit just warm. This will become thick once cooled.
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
1. In a large microwavable bowl, heat heavy cream until just about boiling.
2. Remove and add chocolate chips.
3. Mix well until smooth. Allow to cool slightly.
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spread 1 1/2 cups of sweetened flaked coconut on a baking sheet.
2. Bake until most flakes are golden brown 6-8 minutes. Mix intermittently it will burn easily!
Layered Cake Assembly
serrated knife or cake layer cuter
lazy suzan for cake decorating
frosting knife (I like to use straight and bent)
bench scrap for cake sides
1. After removing layers from freezer, place back in appropriate sized pan and use a serrated knife to cut off domed top. Or I have a cake layer cuter from a local cake supply store. To make this a 4 layer cake, I used my cake cutter after removing the domed top and cut the remaining cake in half. This will give you a fancier look and create 4 layers of cake.
2. I like to use thick cardboard cake boards which you can also pick up at local cake supply shops. Dampen a paper towel with water and lay on lazy suzan. Place cake board on top of wet paper towel.
3. Place a dollop of frosting in the center of cake board and place bottom layer on top. Using a piping bag and leaving 1/2″ outer circle bare, fill with frosting in a circular motion.
4. Cover frosting layer with 2 tbsp of caramel sauce. Place 2nd layer of cake on top.
5. Repeat frosting and caramel between all cake layers. But do not pour caramel on top of last layer.
6. We will now crumb coat the cake. This way we won’t get pieces of cake showing through our frosting.
REMEMBER THE CAKE IS MOSTLY FROZEN AND MAKES IT EASIER TO FROST. IF IT THAWED BY THIS POINT, PLACE BACK IN FREEZER A FEW MINUTES TO FIRM UP.
7. Coat the cake in a good thick layer of frosting and place back in the freezer just for a few minutes.
Coating With Garnishes
1. Place toasted coconut in large bowl
2. Holding cake over large bowl, using handfuls of coconut, gently push into sides of cake. Be sure to coat well to cover crack between serving plate and cake.
3. Put cake down and gently cover top of cake with toasted coconut. Try to make as even as possible so our coating will flow evenly.
4. Take the remaining warm caramel and pour over the top center of cake. It will ooze and drip beautifully over the sides.
5. Zigzag or circle ganache over the caramel.
6. Scatter some of the remaining coconut on the top.
It tastes just as amazing as it looks. I love the sophisticated look of the mini cake. If you are a lover of the Samoa Girl Scout cookies, you will swoon over this delectable dessert.