Guest Post: Samoa Donuts

So I haven’t ever done a guest post. Never! But I’ve wanted to do one with Jenni from Urban Poser ever since I first came across her blog. Not only are her pictures by far some of the best out there, but her recipes are incredible. I don’t understand how her brain comes up with some of these recipes she makes. She is an inspiration in the blogging and paleo food world, and I feel incredibly lucky to have her as my first guest post. She’s the best. Be sure to check out her blog right away and spice up your kitchen! 

Oh and by the way, you’re welcome. This recipe is UNREAL. Bravo, Jenni. Bravo.


Picture this: You’re sitting in your cave, shooting the breeze with your buddies Grok and Brog. It’s a nice day outside and you’re all feasting on the last of this month’s wooly mammoth. As you polish off the last bit you think, “dang, I could really go for something sweet.” Almost on cue, the doorrocks clank together and lo and behold, there’s a Cave-Girl Scout at the door with your favorite post-mammoth treat: Samoa cookies!

Ok, ok….so historically speaking that’s probably not 100% accurate. But seriously…..who cares? And who doesn’t love Girl Scout cookies?!?

When Juli asked me to guest post on her blog, I immediately started trying to figure out what I wanted to make for her. She left it wide open for me to choose and I had a lot of options in mind. But when the idea to reinvent my old favorite Girl Scout standard in “Paleo-friendly” donut style hit me, I knew that I had my answer.

Sometimes when I’m creating a recipe, it takes a little while to zero in on the perfect balance of ingredients and complimentary flavors, but in this case, literally millions of people have already stamped their seal of approval on the classic combination that is the Samoa cookie. (I know, I know….we’re not supposed to call them “Samoas” anymore but hey, I lived on the islands so I get a pass. Deal with it.)

All that was left for me to do was to see if I could reasonably create a Paleo friendly version of this classic treat. And surprisingly enough, I nailed it on nearly the first try. They came together beautifully and even though it may seem like a lot of steps, it’s actually incredibly simple to pull together and the caramel can even be made ahead of time, so don’t be afraid to dive right in and give it a shot.

Now I know that people come to “Paleo” for a lot of different reasons; and I’m not saying that these donuts will make you live any longer or be significantly healthier, but I do know that pretty much everyone agrees that one of the biggest keys to longevity is happiness, and these donuts will make you happy, guaranteed. So as far as I’m concerned, these donuts will make you live longer, healthier and make you an overall better person.


Guest Post: Samoa Donuts



For the Donuts

  • 2 1/2 cups blanched almond flour (such as Honeyville)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • A scant less than 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, softened or liquid
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon juice
  • 3 whole large room temp eggs

Coconut caramel topping

  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk (about 1 1/2 cups), I used guar gum-free Natural Value
  • 1/2 cup mild flavored honey or maple syrup,
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 1 rounded tablespoon ghee or butter (can sub palm shortening or coconut oil)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup finely shredded coconut, plus 2 more tablespoons for garnishing

For the Dipping Chocolate

  • 1 bag Enjoy Life Chocolate chips (melted in a double boiler)


  1. Preheat your mini donut making machine OR preheat the oven to 350 degrees if you are using a regular donut pan or making into muffins.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the almond flour, baking soda and salt.
  3. In another bowl, combine the honey, oil, vanilla, lemon juice and eggs.
  4. Add the oil/honey mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix till just combined.
  5. Add about 2 tablespoons of batter to each mould in the donut machine or scoop the batter into a ziplock bag, twisting the other end to close it. Snip the end off of one of the corners with a scissors. Start with a small cut. You can always make it bigger if you need too. Squeeze batter into moulds.
  6. Close the lid and allow to cook for about 2 minutes. Times will vary with each machine. Open the machine and flip over each donut using the forked ‘skewer’ that comes with most machines. Close the lid again cook for about one more minute. Remove donuts and let cool on a wire rack. Repeat with the rest of the batter.
  7. If using a regular donut pan, fill each well-greased mould about ¾ full. Smooth the tops if needed and bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
  8. Makes 12-15 mini donuts or 6 regular sized ones (depending on how much batter you eat during the prep time.)

For the Coconut Caramel

  1. In a small-medium heavy bottomed sauce pan, bring the coconut milk, honey and salt to a boil over medium high heat, being sure that they are well combined. Reduce to a medium heat, and let the mixture boil down for about 35-40 minutes.
  2. Add the ghee and vanilla, stirring it in till well incorporated. Continue cooking for another 5-15 minutes or as long as needed until it is a deep caramel color. Don’t rush the process. Depending on how hot your burner is this process could be faster or slower. Stir often toward the end to keep the bottom from burning too much. A little burning is fine as long as you are stirring it in to the mixture. It will give it a darker flavor.
  3. Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl and let cool for 5 minutes then stir vigorously until it’s creamy, shinny and smooth.
  4. While the caramel is cooking, spread the coconut out on an ungreased cookie sheet and toast the coconut in a 325 degree oven. Stir often till golden, about 5-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  5. Mix the toasted coconut into the caramel minus a tablespoon or so for garnishing later. Use coconut caramel while still warm for best spreading results. Caramel can be made ahead of time(w/o the shredded coconut) and reheated in a double boiler.

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PaleOMG Guest Post: Samoa Donuts

SamoaClose  SamoaStack

Oh, Hi! I’m Juli.

I’m a food hoarder. And a really bad dancer. If you don’t know me well, you will probably not understand my humor. Therefore, I apologize ahead of time. Thanks for listening to my ramblings of my ever-changing life and trusting my kitchen mishaps. Your trust in me is appreciated.


131 thoughts on “Guest Post: Samoa Donuts”

  1. Ha, so funny, I just made paleo samoa cookies last night, and just had one for breakfast… Everyone has girl scout cookies on their minds… damn those girl scouts!! All I can think about is cookies now.

  2. So creative and WOW – this is a fun cooking project for my own girl scout (who bridges to Brownies today!) I think this would be fun for the entire troop! Thank you so much for sharing. Now I have to get a donut maker!

  3. Well I have news for you…Girl Scouts have returned to using the name SAMOA’S!! So woohoo!! 🙂

  4. Wow, these look so incredible!!!! After I get a donut maker I will be allll over these! Can’t wait!

  5. OMG, these look absolutely ahhmazing!!! I absolutely love Jenni’s blog – her gingerbread donuts are absolutely heavenly!!

  6. I think I just died and went to heaven. Donut heaven. The most delicious heaven there is.:) Must make these pronto!

    1. Hopefully you found an answer by now, but don’t just leave out the lemon juice. You need it to react with the baking soda. If you’re allergic to lemon juice or are just out of it, sub an equal amount of apple cider vinegar, or any vinegar for that matter.
      Happy cooking 🙂

  7. This is awesome. I love samoas. But I’ve never heard of a donut baking pan before. I must go out and acquire one of these now.

  8. I may be a complete moron, but how in the heck do you Pin this?! I so want this on my recipes board and can’t for the life of me figure out how to do it. Help!!! LOL

  9. I might make these. Or I might just make the caramel sauce and eat that. All. With a spoon. YUM.

    1. You read my mind, I don’t have the stuff to make the donuts…but that caramel sauce…mmmmm and with the big spoons that are usually used for serving…not the wimpy little ones. lol!!

  10. My caramel came out super runny…did I not cook it long enough before I added the vanilla/coconut oil? Although, I think I have a nice caramel to add to coffee or put on some paleo ice cream. 🙂

    1. The Urban Poser

      Just cook it longer. It should be quite dark. As I said times will vary due to how hot your burner is and how thin or thick your pan is. It can take anywhere for
      50 minutes to a little over an hour and that’s after it has come to the orig

    2. If the caramel is runny once cooled it is not done. As the instructions say”times will vary” It all depends on the heat of your range and the type of pot you use. For some it could be done in 35 minutes (after the initial boil) and others 50 minutes to a little over an hour. So if it’s still taking a long than these times then you need to turn up your heat some. The caramel should be quite dark and look like caramel does. If it is light colored cook it longer. If it doesn’t thicken as it cools…..put it back on the heat and cook it longer. Stir constantly toward the end to prevent too much burning.

  11. Dude, I have got to get a donut maker. I want fat donuts! In other news, a quick cheater’s way to get the chocolate streaks? Just dip a fork in the melted chocolate and make a slashing motion over the donuts. Less tidy, more *ahem* artistic. 😛

    1. No. Coconut flour is a totally different animal. If you can’t do almonds, you could try sunflower seed flour, but you’ll have to make it in your food processor//blender and sift it to get a fine powder. (Sunflower seed butter or flour can react with baking soda to turn green, but it doesn’t look like there is enough in this instance)
      There are coconut flour donuts, but you’ll need 5-6 eggs. Google a recipe or check out Real Sustenance or CookingTF for some options, HTH
      These look amazing. I’m practically drooling on my ipad.

  12. Yeah, I had super runny caramel as well, BUT it’s still delicious! I would use about half the amount of coconut milk next time probably especially since I dumped the whole can of it in the pan. 🙂

  13. You lost me at mini donut maker…..

    they look delicious… but who will ever truly make this??

    Be real.

    1. I have made this many many times now. Wonderful recipe. I used to have a donut pan… but I got a donut maker because it’s so fun to have donuts for my family and for guests who are and aren’t paleo/primal eaters!!

    1. You can generally substitute the meal for the flour but the only difference is that the meal version sometimes isn’t as pretty. If you’re slathering it with chocolate and caramel, I don’t think pretty matters. 😉

    2. I don’t recommend Bob’s. You will get really mixed results when baking because it is much more coarsly ground. Because of this the liquids absorb differently then a fine ground AF like from Honeyville or

  14. A suggestion for all of you would-be donut makers…try your local thrift stores for a mini-donut maker before you go to Target or wherever. I picked one up at Saver’s for $5.99…pretty much brand new.

  15. The donuts look awesome, but I’m distracted by that photo of the caramel on its own. Hand me that dish of caramel and I think I could eat the whole thing plain. (And feel ill afterwards, sure, but it’d be fun while it lasted.)

  16. The caramel sauce came out so runny-I used coconut oil instead of ghee and there was a very oil-y taste to it and an oil layer sat on-top of the caramel. Looked nothing like the picture??? Maybe you need ghee for the real deal? I ended up skimming off a lot of the oil and it was still runny…didn’t stick on the donut? Any tips?

    1. Mine was oily too. Perhaps it depends on the brand of coconut milk used? Mine was oily before I even added the ghee. So i just poured it off. Still became thick and creamy and caramel-y….took me about 30 minutes from start to finish. I used the Natural Value brand btw.

    2. It took about 40 minutes of soft boiling, then cooling 5 minutes, then I need to whisk it for a few minutes to get it to the right texture and really incorporate everything.

  17. I made these with my kids and they turned out great. The Carmel sauce was delicious. I had them simmering twice as long since I saw previous posts about them being runny. Patience is key here and you can tell when it is reduced. I do have a question about the texture of the doughnuts. I purchased blanched almond slivers and processed them in my food processor. The “flour” was obviously not as fine as Honeyville. My question is if I use Honeyville would the doughnuts resemble something similar to a cakey gluten doughnut or would it still be a little dense? I’m asking because my son seems to be disappointed with the textures and am wondering if I purchase Honeyville if it would make a difference or I should lower my expectations? Thank you!

    1. Jordon5–My guess is you’d get something in between. The finely ground AFs do make a big difference in texture, and I think they are worth buying. A grain-free donut is just never going to be a Krispy Kreme texture 🙂

  18. All I could get my hands on locally was Bob’s, and it was just too course for me. The TASTE of the donut was great, the texture just wasn’t to my liking.

    My caramel sauce was not get runny, however I’m a HUGE fan of caramel and the overwhelming coconut taste threw me off a bit. It worked well for this recipe because Samoas of course have coconut, but i wouldn’t necessarily go out of my way to make it again for something else. I think ultimately I will try the recipe again with better ground almond flour. 🙂

  19. I made eight of these beauties as a gift to my mother-in-law (although I skipped the chocolate) and I had a few extras for me to try. I and my mother-in-law loved them!! Next time I will do the chocolate bottoms and drizzle.

  20. Has anyone tried these as muffins? I don’t have a donut pan and hesitate to buy one. Have you tried them without the topping? I’m in the middle of a sugar detox at the moment and really trying to watch my sugar intake. Any feedback would be appreciated!

  21. I followed the directions exactly (cooked caramel a little longer on low, probably 80 minutes or so) and cooked 1 batch in a traditional madelline pan and the other in a regular donut pan. Both came out perfectly. Awesome.

  22. I had a super craving for these last night but had no energy to make. So I just did the caramel sauce, melted some chocolate and layered it with toasted coconut and popped it in the freezer for an hour. Such yummy candy! The caramel is amazing!!!! I thought it might taste like coconut but it didn’t at all. My only problem is that I want to eat it all. Without stopping.

  23. Alright. I’ve never been one to comment on blogs (of course I like to be the creep who reads through all the comments though….duh), but I have to let you know how bomb the leftover coconut caramel topping from these donuts is on top of your banana vanilla bean pancakes. Magic. Seriously.

  24. I just made these and they were perfect. I made mine into regular size muffins, about 14. I only did 1/2 batch of caramel and 1/2 bag of chocolate chips (w/ a bit of wax) and it was the perfect amount for us, anymore would have been too sweet.

    My caramel was perfect and took a bit less than 30 minutes to cook. I have an electric stove and cooked it on med, after the initial boil and that kept it at a low boil.

  25. holy jeez…i won’t go near a box of those cookies, but the chocolate, coconut, caramel combo was glorious in my memory. this recipe is over the top and i can’t wait to try it!

  26. I made these with my 4-year old daughter this morning as a Father’s Day treat for the Hubs. SO yummy!!! It was time consuming (took us about 4-5 hours start to finish), especially with little ones helping. But, oh SO worth it!! I love the cake part and will use this as a base cake recipe for future goodies! It’s so moist and light — hard to do with almond flour baking, for sure! The caramel sauce didn’t thicken like real caramel, but I was also getting impatient since we were nearing nap time and these things HAD to be finished before nap. But, the flavor is so good that we don’t care that it’s a gooey mess of a dessert. 🙂 Thank you for this!! I am a new fan of Urban Poser now as well! 🙂

    1. That sounds about right. Coconut flour does need a lot of moisture in a recipe so you can’t do an even substitution.

      1. Would you recommend doubling the recipe? I think 6 doughnuts would equal 6 cups? My bundt pan is 12.5. Thanks!!

        1. i was able to make 18 donuts from 1 batch. each doughnut was approx 2 Tbsp of batter. so that equals out to about 2 1/4 cups if i’m doing my math right.

  27. These were so yummy! I’m one week away from delivering my first baby and have been craving donuts this whole pregnancy (but never gave in because I can’t have gluten). I added nutmeg and cinnamon to the batter and sprinkled some atop the caramel after spreading it on the donuts, which made them taste like spiced donuts-yum! I think the donuts taste even better the second day after all the flavors have melded together. Thanks for sharing this goodness!:D

  28. Do you know about how long will these keep for? A few days I’m hoping 😉 crossing my fingers so I can enjoy them on the 4th with my other paleo groupies lol!

  29. Hey! I am so excited to see this recipe!! Oh…it looks awesome! One question: could I use homemade almond flour? I don’t have any real almond flour right now. 🙁

  30. Though I’m not usually one to comment much in the blogosphere, I absolutely just have to say that I made these into muffins today (following your directions to a T), and they were an absolute hit! Hours later, I’m still so impressed by how the coconut caramel turned out so well…I could barely keep my fingers out of it! Thank you thank you thank you! I guess it goes without saying that I’ll now be a frequent Urban Poser reader!

  31. These look amazing! Thank you for coming up with this for us!

    I have one question – is it possible to make this without the honey and if so, what should I sub for it? I’m not eating Paleo but rather living low carb, high fat and as sugar free as possible. I can’t do honey but would love to make these. Would a powdered or granular sugar sub work?

    Thank you!

  32. These are sooo good! I substituted the honey with xylitol as I have to keep my sugar levels down, apart from that I followed the recipe exactly. My caramel was more like toffee (I think I cooked it a bit too long), but the taste was great. There was enough mixture to make loads of mini donuts. We had them for breakfast with an almond milk & raspberry smoothie, what a fabbie treat!

    Thank you for another great recipe 🙂

  33. Could you make these if you subbed out the eggs for something else?

    (Maybe a flax egg, or ?)

    Ty! 🙂 They look amazing!

  34. After drooling over the photos of these heavenly treats, I attempted to make them. The Doughnuts turned out great- you don’t even need to dress them up, they are delicious. But my caramel didn’t turn out so well. It was fine and delicious until I added the butter and vanilla and then it separated and got lumpy- almost like a tapioca texture. I’m wondering if I cooked it too long? Any words of advice? I am planning to attempt it again this weekend. I was determined not to let all that time go to waste so I dumped the “caramel” into my vitamix and added some more coconut milk and whipped it up- turned into a butterscotch-tasting pudding, so not a total loss! I dipped the doughnuts in chocolate and dusted with the toasted coconut and they are very yummy. Thanks for any insight you can provide about my caramel issue…

    1. Jacqui – It took me 2 attempts to make the caramel because mine separated as well. I think the reason my first batch didn’t turn out was because I had it too high and was stirring it too often during the first stage. The second time, I only stirred it a couple times and had it on a gentle rolling simmer for 35 minutes. I also melted the shortening before mixing it in and didn’t stir it constantly in the last 15 minutes of cooking (just stirred every couple minutes). The caramel came out perfectly the second time! Overall, these were DELICIOUS!!! I made them for my husband’s birthday and he was stoked! A little difficult to get everything timed correctly, but worth the effort!

  35. These are great!!! Everybody I’ve made this recipe for has enjoyed the samoas and asked for the recipe. They can’t believe it when they see there is no wheat flour in it. I’ve used just the doughnut part of the recipe for cakes, muffins, etc. I just made blueberry muffins, and they came out great! I had to cook the batter a little longer.

  36. I made these today and they were incredible! Well worth the effort and the purchase of a donut maker! Jenni, you should put a link to these from the Recipes section of your blog so that everyone who visits your site can find these. They are too good to miss!

  37. These look freaking delicious, but I really don’t see how they are paleo. Maybe there’s no dairy and no wheat flour, but beyond that, they aren’t very virtuous. I’m going to try them and I’m sure I’m going to like them, but I certainly won’t trick myself into thinking these are guilt-free.

  38. for recipes like these, that require a good bit of honey, what kind of honey do you use? I usually have the raw organic honey but it’s not liquid so scooping out several tablespoons is a bit of a pain. i’m sure it’s worth it of course, just wondering what you use 🙂 Thanks!

  39. I made these last night after waiting til after my whole30, I love these, THANK YOU so much for his recipe! The donuts I made with almond meal and are great by themselves, the carmel… I think I should have boiled it down more but still, it is so good, I could eat that alone… I don’t notice a coconutty flavor from the coconut milk either. I also did not put the toasted coconut on the top. My daughter, who dislikes coconut, loves these… she said to me last night that I just made her favorite dessert.

  40. I cannot wait to make and try these!! By the way.. I love your website and have made many of your recipes! Please keep them coming. :))

  41. I made these as muffins and they came out great! The only thing I’d recommend is baking the muffins and dipping them in the melted chocolate first and letting them cool, them making the caramel topping. It certainly is a process, but totally worth the wait!!

  42. Where is the part about dipping the bottoms in chocolate and putting in the freezer to set??? I made this a while back and I swear that step was in here and now it’s missing!

  43. The donut recipe does not work. They are not wet at all. I had to pull a different recipe and make a triple batch to salvage the ingredients.

  44. Help! I don’t know what I did wrong but my batter came out very thick, so thick that I couldn’t pour the mixture into the muffin moulds. I don’t know what I did wrong

  45. I have used this recipe for cupcakes and as a cake, (as I don’t own a doughnut pan) I
    just have to alter the baking time. Absolutely delicious, my favourite paleo sweet treat.

  46. Seriously?! SO GOOD!
    I think I might make this weekly 🙂
    I used all maple syrup instead of honey because I like to share all my food with my baby, turned out great and delicious!
    I also used only coconut oil for the topping (no butter) and after I stirred it, it would settle into a layer of oil on top as some other commenters stated. I just poured a little off, stirred and topped my donuts.
    Also, I have no donut pan so I made them in a waffle iron and they came out PERFECT!!
    Topped with 3 ingredient chocolate.
    Thanks so much! Gorgeous photos btw.

  47. I’m making these as we speak, very excited to try them! Only thing is that the chocolate dipping sauce part is not in the instructions. It’s not hard to figure out, I’m sure, but would have been helpful. Did you dip the bottoms in the chocolate and then refrigerate? For how long? And drizzle some on top? Thanks so much!

  48. After seeing this recipe posted almost 3 years ago, I put a donut pan on my Amazon wish list. My son got me one for Christmas and I made these donuts with my other son. They take a lot of time, but they’re delicious.

    Two donuts actually made it through new year’s eve and were delicious with my coffee this morning. This recipe is a winner.

  49. I’ve made these dozens of times successfully, delicious donuts, amazing caramel, perfect! Today my first batch of caramel jelled and the ghee separated out…so I drained it whipped the hell out of it and it was so/so texture-wise still delicious and started a second batch…same thing! But I used the Thai brand and normally I use 365 organic, the Thai brand has guar gum! I’m guessing this may be responsible for the separation and jelling. Just wanted to pass along since so many others had this issue. Opt for guar-gum free coconut milk. But if you’re stuck with separated caramel, drain the fat, cool it thoroughly and whip it! It’s still delish!

  50. My girlfriend and I are almost out of girl scout cookies but this looks SO good. I sent this over to her and she has agreed to help me make them this Friday. Thanks for the recipe, YUM!

  51. If i don’t have a donut pan but a muffin tin, does the temp or time for cooking alter at all? and should i just grease the pan or use liners in the muffin tin?

      1. Thanks for responding! The recipe just stops at number 5 for the caramel cream section but doesn’t go into how to dip the doughnut in the chocolate or caramel. Do you freeze the doughnut after you dip it in chocolate? I know this may seem like simple steps but I want to make sure I get it right. I want to make them for a friends party and I usually don’t do fancy stuff like this.

  52. OMG! I can’t thank you quite enough for these. I printed the recipe and followed tit to the letter. The results speak for themselves. So yummy.

  53. Wow, these look delicious! As someone who follows paleo strictly I can’t believe that something so delectable can come from this diet. Excited to give these a try.

  54. I made these for a friend this weekend and they are FANTASTIC!! She can’t eat gluten, dairy, or eggs, so I substituted flax eggs. Otherwise I followed the recipe exactly. As my husband said, “You would have no idea that these are made with alternate ingredients!” They were devoured, and my friend was so grateful. She hadn’t had a donut in 4 years, so this was a game changer. The only suggestion I would have is that the recipe instructions didn’t really explain how to bring them all together once you’ve made everything. I gathered from the pics that I was supposed to dip them halfway in the chocolate and then do the caramel on top, but the instructions could be clearer on that. Also, it’s really important to let the chocolate on the bottom set up before moving to the next step, as mine glued to the platter! Thanks for such an awesome recipe.

  55. Wow, looks perfect. My hostel colleague are searching for new recipe, this is perfect for Saturday morning breakfast 😀 Yumm!

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