Samoas Cake

Girl Scout cookie season strikes again! 

Welllll it’s been Girl Scout cookie season around here – so I’ve had cookies coming out my ears and they always make me want to use them to decorate a cake!

I remember seeing a chocolate/caramel drip cake somewhere on Pinterest a while ago – and it seemed like a perfect fit for a Samoas Cake! I filled chocolate cake with chopped Samoas cookies, caramel frosting, and a drizzle of ganache and caramel topping and OH man. This cake went SO fast when I took it in to work!
Recipe below!

(Disclosure: As a way to keep my kitchen stocked with butter, sugar, and flour I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn a commission by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. My posts often contain affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you!)  

Chocolate Cake layers: 
I've borrowed, doubled, and slightly modified one from @thescranline, and it's *amazing.* Check out Nick's site and his Instagram feed if you haven't already; he does some incredible work! 
Of note...you'll need either a kitchen scale to measure ingredients in grams OR - you can use this fancy ‘grams to cups converter’. Or just use the conversions I ballparked for you. You’re welcome! 

Ingredients:
350g all purpose flour (roughly 2 ¼ c)
450g caster sugar (roughly 2 ¼ c)
100g cocoa powder (roughly 1 ¼ c)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 c /250g /16 T unsalted butter, softened
4 large eggs, at room temperature
350ml buttermilk (about 1 ½ ; buttermilk powder with water is an option if you can’t find liquid buttermilk at your grocery store!)
2 t vanilla extract

Instructions: 
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (180C) or 320 FC (160C) for a fan forced oven. Grease 3 8-inch cake pans with baker's floured spray and/or line pans with parchment paper

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Turn mixer on low speed and allow it to mix for a couple minutes to help everything combine well (or sift the ingredients together). Add in the softened butter until it’s well incorporated into the dry ingredients and no lumps of butter are visible. 

Next, combine milk, eggs, and vanilla and whisk until well mixed. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients in a slow and steady stream until no dry ingredients are visible. Scrape down the bowl and mix for another 20 seconds.

Fill the three pans evenly - I find a kitchen scale helpful for this part, and each of mine weighed out to about 550g. Bake for 30-35 min or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow cake layers to cool for 10-15 minutes on a wire cooling rack before removing from pans, and cool completely before frosting. Set in the fridge or freezer to accelerate the cooling process if desired.

While you’re waiting, make your frosting and ganache for the filling and drip!

Cream Cheese Buttercream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz (one package) cream cheese, softened
16 Tablespoons (two sticks) butter, softened
6-7 c powdered sugar
2-3 Tablespoons milk
2 Tablespoons caramel topping (you can purchase this online – Smuckers Salted Caramel is the thickest I’ve found and one of my favorites – or make your own!)
1 T clear vanilla extract
1/4 t. salt (if using unsalted butter)
Beat together softened cream cheese and butter; slowly add in powdered sugar alternating with milk until frosting reaches desired consistency. Add vanilla and salt and beat until well combined.

Chocolate ganache drip:
12 oz (2 cups) semisweet chocolate chips
12 oz (1 ½ cups) heavy whipping cream
Meanwhile, make your ganache. Place chocolate chips in a heat-proof bowl. Place whipping cream in a small saucepan and bring almost to a boil over medium/low heat. Pour over chocolate chips and let rest for 2 minutes, then stir until smooth and silky. (If desired, this can also be done in the microwave – combine ingredients and microwave on half power in 30-second intervals, stirring in between until smooth).

Additional Supplies/Equipment:
- 1 8- or 10 -inch cardboard cake circle (I prefer Wilton’s center-punched circles) or an 8” acrylic cake disc (I started using these so I wouldn’t waste so many cake circles!)
- Small offset spatula
- Cake leveler, cake turntable, large offset spatula, and pastry cutter/bench scraper - not all 100% necessary but incredibly helpful! (Here’s a link to the cake turntable I use)
- Squeeze bottle OR piping bag OR spoon – whatever you’d prefer to use to add your ganache to the cake!
- Chocolate ganache (recipe above) plus about ¼ cup caramel topping (you can purchase this online – Smuckers Salted Caramel is the thickest I’ve found and one of my favorites – or make your own!)
- 1 box Samoas Girl Scout cookies – I chopped about 16 to fill the cake, and used almost as many to decorate the top! You may not use the whole box, but if you have extras you can eat some while you decorate! 😉
- Piping bag and small tip (for adding frosting to secure your decorations) - This set has been one of my favorites! 

Once your cakes are cool, level them (if needed/desired). This can be done with a cake leveler  or a large serrated knife and a ruler. Place a smear of frosting or ganache on your cake circle (to keep the cake from sliding while you decorate it) and center your first cake layer in the center of the circle. Spread the layer with frosting. I piped a rim of frosting around the outer edge and filled the cake with chopped Samoas and a drizzle of chocolate ganache and caramel. Optional but absolutely recommended! Repeat the process with your remaining cake layers – I like to flip the last one upside down to make the top edge of the cake easier to frost.

Now you're ready to crumb-coat . If you're unfamiliar with crumb-coating, it's just what it sounds like - a thin layer of frosting over the entire outside of the cake to keep crumbs out of your final layer.
Once your crumb coat has set (this takes about 5-10 minutes in the fridge), add your final layer of frosting and smooth. I like to use an offset spatula and bench scraper for this part. Once your cake is covered, place it into the freezer to set the frosting and to chill the cake in preparation for adding the ganache drip! 

Okay - the fun part! Decorating!

When your ganache has cooled to a moderate temperature – it should feel slightly warm but still be fairly liquid – transfer to a squeeze bottle or piping bag. A spoon will work if you don’t have either of those, I've just found spoons to be a bit more difficult to work with.
Slowly drizzle ganache around the upper edge of your cake, pausing every couple of inches to let more ganache fall in a drip down the side of the cake. Repeat the process with caramel sauce and return cake to the fridge or freezer to set the drips.

Now – options! I chilled the rest of my ganache and used that to decorate the top, but frosting will work as well. Add a swirl of ganache or frosting and tilt a Samoas cookie against the frosting swirl. Repeat this process around the top edge of your cake. Sprinkle on a few more chopped cookies and add another drizzle of caramel/ganache if you like – do whatever you think looks the best! More candy=more better in my book. :: wink::

And you’re done! Enjoy!

Make this recipe? Let me know how it went - or find me on Pinterest or on Instagram and tag @IntensiveCakeUnit in your photo!

2 thoughts on “Samoas Cake

  1. I’m a little confused about a ingredient where you typed 1 c / 250g /16 T unsalted butter. Do you mean I can measure out 1 cup of butter or 16 tablespoons of butter ?!

    1. (I know I replied by email already; responding here in case anyone else has the same question!)
      I put those conversions in because different measuring methods are easier on how you buy butter – if you buy multiple pounds at a time, it’s usually easiest to measure by cups. But if you buy in pre-packaged sticks like I usually do, there are 8 Tablespoons or a half cup in each stick. Same amount in any case, but I put the conversions in to make measuring less of a pain point. Sorry to be confusing! Have a great day!

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