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Paleo Samoas Cookie Bars

Paleo Samoas Cookie Bars

My favorite Girl Scout cookies are the Samoas—there’s something about the combination of coconut and chocolate that I just find irresistible! However, I don’t care for the gluten in the cookie, nor do I care for the processed “stuff” that goes into them. 

So, on a quest to find a recipe for a non-processed, paleo-friendly version of my beloved Samoas, I came across this excellent recipe from Elena’s Pantry. 

Upside-Down Gluten-Free Cinnamon Apple Pecan Paleo Coffeecake


Maybe it's the cold weather, but I've been craving cinnamon coffeecake loaded with apples and pecans lately. However, being a "real foods advocate" and eating (mostly) Vegetarian-Paleo lately, I didn't want to have one made with gluten-loaded processed wheat flour, corn syrup, partially-hydrogenated anything, or tons of sugar. 

Then I got a great idea: If you can use almonds to make almond flour, why can't you use pecans to make pecan flour? I couldn't see why I couldn't try it, so I did.

Oh my goodness - it turned out SO amazing! The pecan flour ended up making the whole cake super moist and filled with authentic coffeecake flavor. You'll just have to trust me on this one - just try it - you'll love it! (Honest - even if you are not a gluten-free or Paleo advocate!)

Best of all, it's gluten-free, corn-free, uses no oil other than cooking oil, is dairy-free (unless you use butter to cook with), and has no processed sugar. And - you can do it all in just one skillet,  one bowl, and one cake pan! 

If you try it, let me know!

Upside-Down Cinnamon Apple Pecan Paleo Coffeecake

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

  • 1 medium or 2 small apples
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, butter, or olive oil
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 cup blanched almonds (or 1 cup almond flour)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup honey or agave nectar
  • 1/2 tablespoon almond extract
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup raisins or currants
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Cut apples in quarters, core each piece, then slice into 1/4 inch thick slices.
  3. Put oil or butter into a skillet over medium-low heat and warm. Drop apple slices in, and sprinkle with about 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg (use more or less as is your taste preference). Let apple slices cook until they are soft and slightly browned, about 8 minutes or so. You can just stir them occasionally as you move on to the next step.
  4. Put 1 cup of pecans into a food processor and process until the pecans look like coarse sand - if you go a bit too long, you’ll see the pecans start to form a bit into a nut butter. You’ve made pecan flour! Pour that into a mixing bowl.
  5. Do the same with the blanched almonds, or, if you'd rather, just use pre-made almond flour. (Bob’s Red Mill has a great one that is available at many supermarkets.) Pour the almond flour into the mixing bowl.
  6. Add two eggs, honey or agave nectar, almond extract, vanilla extract, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and raisins or currants to the mixing bowl, and mix up until it resembles a thick cake batter.
  7. Grease a round cake pan or a 9 x 9 square pan with coconut oil or butter. 
  8. Layer the cooked apple slices on the bottom of the cake pan, covering the bottom almost completely. Then, pour the cake batter on top of the apple slices. You’ll likely need to spread the cake batter out a bit with a spatula to get it to reach to the sides of the pan. 
  9. Put the cake in the oven in the middle of the rack for about 20 - 25 minutes (check periodically, as your oven may be different than mine). Pull the cake out when it still seems moist (a fork stuck in may not come out clean, but it’s springy to the touch). 
  10. Let the cake sit on a cooling rack (or just the top of your stove) for about 5 - 10 minutes to let it sit up. Then, flip the cake out on a plate! 
  11. Eat immediately or the next day - warm or cold, it’s delicious! 

Did you try the recipe? Did you like it? I’d love to hear!