Samoa Cookie Cake

With five kids worth of birthdays to make cakes for every year, I am always looking for new and unique cake options. For my middle son, it can be especially tricky, because he’s especially picky (he might get some of that from me). Not a fan of chocolate or the fruit additions I often like to make to cakes, pancakes, and cookies. So, when his 14th birthday rolled around, we sat down and browsed unique cake ideas online and stumbled on a Samoa Bundt Cake. Samoas are a cookie favorite of his and mine, but there was a problem, all the recipes had a chocolate cake base and that just wasn’t going to work.

What to do? Well, I stumbled around online a bit more, used some of my new found cooking creativity, and invented the perfect solution. Our final recipe featured a brown sugar bundt cake with a butter cake (shortbread) cookie shell, all topped with a toasted coconut frosting and some Hershey frosting stripes. P.S. my 9 year old realized it before me, but the Northwest Biscotti crumb mixture from my Strawberry & Rhubarb Crumb Cake, (found HERE) would be an awesome local replacement for the butter cake. Will have to give that a try the next time we make this cake.

As always, source and buy locally when gathering your ingredients. Need ideas, try out milk and egg delivery (I recommend Klesick Farms of Stanwood, who brings eggs from Arlington and milk from Lynden) or the Sno-Isle Food Co-Op in Everett for  organic dairy and baking ingredients. When those aren’t options, try a locally owned and operated grocery store.

Preparation Time: 2 hours to 3 hours (see below)

Servings: 6

Brown Sugar Cake Ingredients:

  • 1 Stick of butter (unsalted)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup milk
  • 1 Cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 Cups flour
  • 3/4 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt

Butter Cake Ingredients:

  • 2 Sticks of butter (unsalted)
  • 2 Cups flour
  • 2/3 Cups sugar
  • 1/4 Tsp salt

Toasted Coconut Frosting:

  • 1 Can sweetened condensed milk (3 hour version, our choice) or 1 can dulce de leche (2 hour version)
  • 2 Sticks of butter (unsalted)
  • 2 Tsps vanilla extract
  • 1/2 Tsp salt
  • 2/3 Package of shredded coconut (toasted)

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Ingredients:

  • 2 Sticks of butter (unsalted)
  • 4 Cups powdered sugar
  • 3/4 Cup of cocoa powder (we used Hershey’s)
  • 3 Tsps vanilla
  • 1/4 Cup of milk
    • If you are using condensed milk instead of dulce de leche (skip this step if you are not), you will need to submerge your unopened can in boiling water for two hours, hence doing this step first. Be sure to keep about 2 inches of water above your can in the pan at all times. For us the can started to make a bit more noise in the pan every time it got to about an inch of water above, so we used that as a sign to add more water. Once done, you will need to set it aside until it cools.
    • Soften your butter if it is not already, then mix it in a large bowl with the brown sugar until it is light and fluffy.
    • Add in your eggs and milk, then mix until your batter is smooth and even.
    • Add in baking powder, baking soda, and salt then mix well.
    • Finally, add in your flour, mix well, and set aside.
    • Melt your butter, then mix with the flour, sugar, and salt (yep that’s it).
    • Your batter will be more like little balls or crumbs than like typical cake batter. Not to worry, that is exactly what you want for your cookie shell.
    • Preheat oven to 350.
    • To toast, spread out the coconut on a pan and put in the oven. For timing and even toasting, we did a total of about 12 minutes, mixing the coconut around on the pan every 4 minutes.
    • When done take out and set aside to cool.
  5. Preparing Cake for Baking:
    • Grab a bundt cake pan.
    • Slowly push 2/3 of your butter cake batter into the pan, creating a shell that your brown sugar cake batter will rest in. You will want to go about 1/2 way to 2/3up the side and middle of the pan. The layer should be fairly thin.
    • Once done, pour in your brown sugar cake batter and spread evenly. It should come up to the top of your butter cake shell.
    • Drop the remaining 1/3 or your butter cake batter around the top of the brown sugar cake, just crumble it or drop little balls.
    • Place in the oven and bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until a golden brown on bottom and a fork comes out clean. Set aside to cool for about 20 minutes.
    • Mix powdered sugar and cocoa powder on low until combined evenly.
    • Add sticks of softened butter and your vanilla, then mix again.
    • Add milk, mix, and put in the refrigerator until your cake has finished baking. You may add milk 1 tbsp at a time to adjust the consistency of the frosting if desired.
    • Your condensed milk should be ready now if you’ve gotten through everything at an average pace. Open it, or your dulce de leche can, slowly as it can squirt out a bit, especially if the condensed milk can is still a bit warm.
    • Mix your can of choice contents with your butter, vanilla, and salt until even.
    • Add in about 2-3 cups of coconut, the more you love coconut the more you should use, then refrigerate for about 30-45 minutes.
    • When your cake has cooled for about 10 minutes, go ahead and take your chocolate and coconut frosting out of the fridge so they can warm up enough to spread on.
    • After your cake is fully cooled you are going to flip it over onto a plate, gently shaking it if necessary to get your cake to fall out of the bundt pan. You will be greeted with your mostly smooth cookie shell that is perfect for frosting.
    • Your next step is to slowly spread your coconut frosting mixture onto your cake. it is okay to let some slide down into the middle (it might just be your favorite part later on).
    • Finally, you will use your chocolate frosting to make stripes. If you have bags and decorating tips, go for it. We used a star tip to create small shells for the lines (putting what we learned at our Dawn’s Candy and Cake class to work). If you don’t have bags or decorating tips, I recommend melting your frosting a bit and drizzling it on in lines, then putting your cake back in the fridge a bit so it can harden up.
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