Vegan Samoa Layer Cake

Samoa Cake 5

When I was little and I got excited about Girl Scout cookies, it was always the Samoas. Caramel, chocolate and cookie with coconut…some of my favorite things, and so good. Of course now, they are too sweet for me and full of ingredients that are not healthy, so I would make my own before buying any and just donate money to the girl scouts instead. But you know what is better than making your own Samoa cookies? Making your own Samoa inspired desserts. That’s right, especially cake.

Samoa Cake 1

I have made a vegan Samoa Cheesecake before, but not a layer cake. So for Valentine’s Day, I made a vegan Samoa layer cake for me and Eric. He loves chocolate, I love caramel and coconut so it was perfect. We enjoyed it with a glass of wine in the evening, and I can not think of a better way the night could have ended. Enjoying delicious cake and wine with my man…all of my favorite things.

Samoa Cake 2

The cake may look complicated to make, but really it is not. I made the cake layers and caramel the day before then made the frosting and assembled the next day. There is no slicing of layers required either. I used dates to sweeten this cake, because that is what I am loving lately, and it gave it a caramel flavor.

Samoa Cake 3

The frosting and caramel of course used dates as well (yes I know there are a lot, before anyone says so), but they make the cake so good, and I would rather use them than tons of maple syrup. The frosting is nice and fudgy and the cake perfectly moist and soft. It is simply crave worthy. I like this even better than Samoa cookies honestly. I think you will too!

Samoa Cake

Vegan Samoa Layer Cake

Makes 1 6 inch 2 layer cake

2 6 inch cake pans

1 1/2 cups quinoa flour (or all purpose gluten free flour)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup packed soft medjool dates, pitted, soaked in water for 30 minutes and 1/2 cup of the water reserved
1/4 cup avocado oil or olive oil
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup filtered water
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 1/4 cups pitted medjool dates, soaked in water for 30 minutes, and 1 cup of the water reserved
3/4 cup raw walnut butter or raw almond butter
3/4 cup cacao powder
pinch sea salt

1 cup pitted medjool dates
3 Tbsp raw pecan butter
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Pinch sea salt
1/3 cup filtered water
¾ cup finely shredded, dried coconut

¼ cup chopped vegan dark chocolate

Preheat the oven to 375F degrees and position rack in center of oven. Line the bottoms of two six-inch-diameter cake pans with 2-inch-high sides with parchment paper. Coat parchment paper and pan sides lightly with oil so that the cake doesn't stick. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt in a large bowl to blend well. Place dates, reserved water, oil, water, and vanilla extract into a blender, and blend until smooth, then whisk this blended mixture into the flour mixture until well blended. Whisk in the cider vinegar until bubbles form. Transfer cake batter to prepared pans and bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool cakes completely in pan on rack, about 1 hour. Cut around sides of pan to loosen. Turn cakes out onto platter; peel off parchment paper. Let cool completely.
Meanwhile, to make the frosting, combine all ingredients in a high speed blender, and blend until smooth (since moisture content in dates varies, and nut butters may vary in runniness, if it seems too thin, add a little more cacao powder, too thick, a little more water). Set aside.
To make the caramel, combine all ingredients but the coconut in a high speed blender and blend until smooth. Stir in coconut until well combined.
To assemble, place one cake layer on a plate, and spread frosting 1/2 inch thick over it, then half of the caramel.  Place the other cake layer over that, then spread the remaining frosting on the top and down the sides of the cake. Spread the remaining caramel over the top of the cake.
Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler, then drizzle over the caramel on top of the cake (I put mine in a ziplock bag with the corner cut off and squeezed it out). Place in the refrigerator until the chocolate hardens.

***if you would like a 2 layer 9 inch cake, double this entire recipe and bake in two 9 inch cake pans.

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About the Author

I am a vegan girl who loves to make healthier desserts and dishes with lots of veggies. Recipes are meant to be shared, that is why I started blogging!

  1. Connie
    February 22, 2016 at 13:25

    you amaze me with the number of creative delicious recipes that you put out every week! Thank you!

  2. Kathryn
    February 23, 2016 at 15:51

    This cake is gorgeous!

    • Erin
      May 1, 2019 at 06:23

      Is the dried coconut unsweetened?

  3. Nichelle
    February 5, 2017 at 18:44

    This looks delicious! Can I sub almond flour? I don't have quinoa flour. Thanks for sharing your amazing vegan cooking super power!

    • February 6, 2017 at 15:45

      Almond flour would be too heavy. I usually use Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free flour instead of the quinoa flour if I don't have it (or if you have a favorite brand of GF AP flour that you like), or oat flour would work.

  4. Chris Gervais
    February 27, 2018 at 19:35

    What is the cake pictured on google? It looks like carmel or chocolate with almonds sprinkled on top but I can't find the recipe or name. Thanks, Chris

    • February 27, 2018 at 19:50

      When I google search, my 7 Layer Crave Cake comes up first: If it is not that recipe though, I am not sure which one you are talking about.

  5. Melli
    November 8, 2018 at 13:03

    Love the idea, and i loooove date sweetened cakes! I will definitely try this recipe, maybe this weekend (can't wait). I think i will try make the caramel with (homemade) sunbutter. I made it once from a recipe from feastinfonfruits and it was soooo good!

    • November 8, 2018 at 18:25

      Thank you :)! I am happy to hear you are going to try it! The caramel would definitely work with sunbutter!

  6. Jen
    November 14, 2018 at 15:45

    Hi, I came across your recipe and was planning on making it for Thanksgiving. However, I was wondering whether I could substitute the dates in the cake with stevia and was concerned how that would turn out.

    • November 14, 2018 at 18:31

      The dates are in the cake not only to sweeten it, but to give it the caramel flavor and for moisture as well. So, it probably wouldn't have a nice soft texture with the stevia and the flavor would be different. You might want to try a cake recipe like this one that was tested with stevia:

  7. Anne Vandromme
    November 15, 2018 at 19:14

    I made this cake last week for some non-vegan friends. Everyone said that it was the best cake they have ever tasted! It is going to become a new favorite in our household! Thank you Amy!

    • November 15, 2018 at 19:18

      I am so happy to hear that you made it and everyone enjoyed it :)! You are so welcome! Thank you for letting me know :)!

  8. raman
    November 16, 2018 at 17:59

    hi how much dates i need for one cup

    • November 16, 2018 at 18:02

      You need 1 cup. So take 1 cup measuring cup, and pack them in there and you have 1 cup of dates. I am not sure how much it would weigh, for this recipe you need to actually measure them into the cup to get good results.

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