Samoa Cookie Cheesecake

Gale LuQuette


A coconut and caramel cheesecake over a shortbread crust topped with a caramel and coconut glaze. Inspired by the Girl Scout cookie, it was an instant hit with my family and friends. Don't be daunted by the length of the recipe- it's really not that hard. I hope you all enjoy!

pinch tips: How to Measure Ingredients





1 Hr 15 Min


1 Hr 45 Min





1 c
1/2 c
2 c
all purpose flour
1/4 tsp
baking powder
1/2 tsp
2 Tbsp
1/2 tsp
pure vanilla extract
1 c
toasted coconut
1 c
milk chocolate chips
1 c
melted unsalted butter


1 c
toasted coconut
2 lb
cream cheese
4 large
3/4 c
15 oz
cream of coconut
1 c
heavy whipping cream
1 tsp
pure vanilla extract
1 tsp
caramel extract


2 pkg
kraft caramels
2 c
toasted coconut
2 Tbsp
heavy whipping cream


3 pkg
milk chocolate bars

Directions Step-By-Step

Shortbread Cookie Crust

First of all, you could just cheat and use store bought shortbread cookies and run them through the food processor. If you do, buy two packages, process away, and go to step two. But for the purists:

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

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.

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 a standard cookie cutter. Shape doesn't matter as you're going to be running them through a food processor anyway.

Place the 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 rack to cool completely.
Put the cookies in a food processor and process away until you get a fine crumb.

Process toasted coconut until fine then mix well with shortbread crumbs.

Add 1 cup melted butter to the cookie/coconut mixture then press into a 9 inch springform pan slowly working up the sides.

Pour chocolate chips into the crust and spread evenly.

Place in oven for about ten minutes. Remove from heat and, with a spoon or offset spatula, spread the melted chocolate chips over the bottom of the crust. If the chocolate isn't pliable enough, put the crust back in the oven for a few minutes. Repeat until the consistence allows you to spread the chocolate over the bottom. Set aside to cool.
Cheesecake Mixture

Process toasted coconut until very fine.

Beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl into well blended. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add cream of coconut, whipping cream, processed coconut, vanilla and caramel extract and beat until well blended.

NOTE: If you have a metal cup (I used a steel martini shaker) you will save yourself a LOT of time and trouble later by place the cup, edge side down, into the middle of the springform pan (A round ramekin will also suffice if it is tall enough to stand above the cheesecake mixture. Why? If you want your finished product to actually look like a samoa cookie, you'll need the hole in the middle. It's a lot easier to make the hole now than after the cheesecake is cooked- believe me, I know!

Once you've placed your metal cup or ramekin (or decided not to do so) Pour filling into crust.

I always bake my cheesecake in a water bath. Wrap the springform pan in aluminum foil and place in a roasting pan (I use a disposable aluminum one and it works great). Pour just enough hot water in the roasting pan so that it comes up about halfway up the side of the springform pan.

Because you are baking the cheesecake so long, I also lightly cover it with a sheet of aluminum foil to keep the top for overcooking. While I strongly suggest this, be aware it will add about another 30 to 40 minutes to the cooking time.

Bake until puffed and set in center, about 1 hour and 25 minutes (this is an estimate, you will need to constantly check after the hour and 25 minutes).

Turn off the oven and leave the door open. Let the cheesecake in the oven until cool. Remove and place in the refrigerator overnight (at least 6-8 hours) so it can set.
Remove from the fridge and carefully remove the metal cup or ramekin (run a small paring knife around the edge to loosen it. Next remove the sides of the springform pan (again using the paring knife to loosen the edges).

Place the cheesecake on your serving platter now. Be very careful as shortbread is not the most sturdy of crusts. If cracks form in the cheesecake, don't be too concerned as the caramel/coconut topping will probably hide any imperfections.

Once placed in you platter, use a sharp knife to cut away the crust in the "donut hole" center. Again, don't worry too much about imperfections as the caramel/coconut glaze will hide most.

If you weren't able to create the hole before cooking, now comes the tricky part. If you have a metal cup or something similar, cut a hole into the middle of the cheesecake similar to cutting out a cookie from cookie dough. The cheesecake part will be easy to go through, but the shortbread crust will prove more difficult.

If you don't have a metal cup, or if the crust is to thick, cut out your donut hole in the cheesecake and scoop that portion out. Next take a sharp pointed knife and cut through the crust. Again, any imperfections can be hidden under the caramel/coconut glaze.
Caramel Glaze

In a double boiler, place the caramel cubes and heavy cream and heat until the caramel is melted. If you find it necessary, add a little more cream.

Once the caramel is melted, add the toasted coconut and mix well.

Carefully pour or spoon the glaze over the top of the cheesecake paying special attention to any imperfections.
Place a basketweave or similar decorating tip in a pastry decorating bag (I like a 1D or 2B Wilton tip or similar). Put the bag in a tall glass and drape the bag over the sides of the glass. This will greatly aid in pouring the chocolate into the bag.

Melt the chocolate bars in a double boiler. Allow the chocolate to cool somewhat before placing into the decorators bag as it will be very hot.

Being very careful not to burn yourself, pour the chocolate into the pastry bag. Tie or clip the top of the bag securely so the chocolate does not drip out the top and scald you. You may want to wrap the bag in a dishtowel as it will still be hot to the touch and will burn.

Pipe lines onto the top of the caramel/coconut glaze similar to what you see in the picture to give it that Samoa cookie look.
Let the chocolate stripes and caramel mixture cool.

Cut and serve. One great advantage of the "donut hole" center is that it makes cutting so much easier.

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Cakes, Other Desserts
Main Ingredient: Dairy
Regional Style: Cajun/Creole