March 30, 2020


What are your favorite girl scout cookies? For me, it’s a toss-up between Samoas, Thin Mints, and Lemonades! While I do love the original, these Collagen Protein Samoa Squares were absolute perfection. Each square has a thick collagen shortbread base topped with a date caramel layer, toasted coconut, and dark chocolate. Mmmm. They’re also dairy-free, gluten-free, and easily made Paleo! Did I mention each square has 10 grams of collagen protein and 4 grams of fiber?

Did you know? Hydrolyzed collagen (aka peptides) is the result of enzymatic breakdown of full-length collagen protein, extracted and dehydrated into a white powder. The absorption rate of hydrolyzed collagen powder is over 90% compared to only 27% or less in food! (source)


Collagen recommendations

I used collagen in both the coconut flour shortbread base and also the date caramel. My favorite brand is LIV Body because it’s hydrolyzed and of the highest quality. Use my code NOEXCUSES for 20% off all! If you don’t care to use collagen, you can omit it with no other changes, but you will miss out on some of the beauty and joint health benefits associated with collagen. I do not recommend substituting whey or vegan protein blends, or any other type of protein besides collagen.


The shortbread base

The coconut flour shortbread base is sweetened with my favorite calorie-free organic sweetener that’s twice as sweet as sugar. Feel free to use any sweetener you like! Just bear in mind, if using a sweetener that measures 1:1 like sugar, you’ll need twice as much for the same level of sweetness (about three-quarter cup). In my experience, coconut flour can be substituted for twice as much of most other flours, with the exception of almond flour, which may require up to three times as much.


I also added some vegan buttery spread for that shortbread cookie flavor, but ghee or regular butter should also work. Egg whites hold the crust together (can sub vegan egg replacer or two flax eggs), while pure vanilla and sea salt add flavor. The crust seriously tastes like a cookie!


The date caramel

The date caramel is just pitted dates simmered with almond milk (any milk works) then blended smooth with more vanilla and salt. A food processor works best for this small batch, but you can always double the batch and use a blender too!

The coconut and chocolate topping

Last but not least, I topped my bars with toasted unsweetened shredded coconut, and some melted dairy-free dark chocolate. Seriously, these are so good I had to hide them from myself! I didn’t have to resist for long because my kids and hubby soon gobbled them up LOL.

Here’s the printable recipe for these Collagen Protein Samoa Squares! I hope you’ll rate and comment below if you try them 🙂

This post contains affiliate links and is sponsored by LIV Body.

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5 from 1 vote

Collagen Protein Samoa Squares

These Collagen Protein Samoa Squares are gluten-free, dairy-free, easily made Paleo! Shortbread base with caramel, toasted coconut, and dark chocolate.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chill Time 30 minutes
Servings 12 squares
Calories 146kcal
Author Sarah Wilkins, No Excuses Nutrition


Shortbread base:

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour*
  • 1/2 cup (60g) unflavored collagen protein I used LIV Body brand, discount code NOEXCUSES for 20% off
  • 1/2 cup (4 large) egg whites
  • 6 tbsp. calorie-free sweetener I used one that’s twice as sweet as sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegan buttery spread* chilled
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. salt optional

Caramel layer:

  • 1 cup (150g) pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk*
  • 1/4 cup (30g) unflavored collagen protein optional
  • 2 tbsp. calorie-free sweetener optional
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. salt optional


  • 10 tbsp. unsweetened shredded coconut toasted
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz.) dairy-free dark chocolate melted


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Combine ingredients for shortbread base and press into the bottom of a lightly greased 7″x5″ baking dish (or double the recipe and use an 8″x8″ baking dish).
  • Add dates and milk to a small saucepan and simmer over medium heat until very soft, about 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, toast shredded coconut in a skillet over medium heat until light golden brown. Set aside.
  • Add softened dates and 1/2 cup toasted coconut to a food processor with vanilla and salt and process until smooth (or double the recipe and use a blender).
  • Spread coconut caramel over shortbread layer and bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, until top is bubbly and edges are golden brown.
  • Top with remaining 2 tbsp. toasted coconut and let cool for 10-15 minutes, then place in the freezer to chill for 30 minutes.

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