I’m feeling sort of nostalgic today.
Well, I was feeling it yesterday when I made these. And again today as I enjoy them.
I remember eating Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies when I was a runt. Unwrapping and crumpling the cello wrap between my fingers, trying desperately (and failing) to stuff the whole squishy soft cookie sandwich into my mouth all at once. Love, people. Love.
I LOVED oatmeal creme pies! And still do.
I haven’t had them in a long time – homemade cookies and cupcakes have taken precedence over my favorite mass-produced packaged snack, but that doesn’t mean I don’t remember how incredible they are. So… I set out to bake my own from scratch.
Little Debbie/Little Sally, whatever.
I made Oatmeal Pumpkin Creme Pies last fall and adored them. The oatmeal cookies are tiny, puffy, and very chewy. They have texture. I filled them with a pumpkin cream cheese frosting, one of the frostings I developed in my pumpkin rampage last September. This pumpkin version isn’t particularly a copycat recipe to Little Debbie, as the cookies had some texture and chew and they were very small in size.
Today’s oatmeal cookies are made with super soft, large, and delicate oatmeal cookies – full of brown sugar, molasses, and butter. The cookies melt in your mouth. I sandwiched them between a bright white vanilla creme center. They are much oat-ier than Little Debbie’s version. Sometimes I wonder where the oats are in hers!
Are you ready for these?
Let me begin by telling you how much butter you’ll need for this entire recipe. 2 and 1/2 sticks just for the cookies and 1 and 1/2 sticks for the creme filling. New Years resolutions can take the back seat. These are not a healthy cookie and I do not suggest making them into a healthy cookie. They are oatmeal creme pies, not diet food.
Cream together your butter, sugar, and brown sugar. I highly suggest using dark brown sugar in these cookies. You want all of the moisture and softness you can get – dark brown sugar brings more of the two than light brown sugar.
Next, mix in your egg, vanilla extract, and your molasses. The source for this recipe does not call for molasses. I added it for two reasons: (1) more moisture so we get a soft, squishy cookie like Little Debbie and (2) a darker brown cookie, again… just like Little Debbie’s.
Next, combine your dry ingredients. Flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ground cloves, and quick oats. Let’s back up for a second. Are you measuring your flour correctly? Make sure you are doing so because this cookie recipe is very precise.
The source for this copycat recipe does not call for ground cloves, but I wanted to pack some flavor into the buttery oatmeal cookie. Paired with cinnamon, cloves are one of my favorite spices to bake with. I love how pungent it is in my Chocolate Gingerbread Bundt Cake.
For the cookie’s proper texture and spreadability, it is imperative to use quick oats in these cookies. Old-fashioned whole rolled oats will not work. You want very fine, small pieces of oats in the dough. Since I prefer whole rolled oats in my granola recipes, my pantry is never stocked with the quick kind. I make my own quick oats if I need them for a recipe. For today, I measured 3 cups of whole rolled oats and pulsed them in the food processor 4-5 times. Now you have quick oats.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients with your mixer. The dough is quite thick; I had to stop the mixer after about 10 seconds to mix the rest by hand. Unlike most of my cookie recipes, this dough does not require chilling prior to baking. More often that not, I chill my cookie dough before baking since cold dough assures a thicker cookie. Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies are not thick cookies, so not dough chilling is necessary. You want the cookies to spread and stretch out in the oven.
I used my favorite OXO large cookie scoop (thanks for the gift, Amy!) to scoop the cookies into uniform sized balls. Typically, I do not use a cookie scoop for m cookies. But I knew I needed one today since the cookies have to all be equal in size to sandwich together. If you do not have a cookie scoop, be sure to roll 3 Tablespoons of dough for each cookie.
The cookies only take about 10 minutes to bake. Be sure to watch them. I left one batch in for 11 minutes and they were fine. My oven is sort of wonky sometimes, so I advise you stay at the 10 minute mark. The cookies will spread and they’ll be darker around the edges when they are done.
The cookies will be VERY soft when you remove them from the oven. That is OK.
Allow the cookies to cool completely before filling. The creme center is unlike many copycat creme center recipes I’ve found before. There is no shortening, marshmallow creme, corn syrup, or gelatin. I do not use shortening in my frosting recipes, I like marshmallow fluff on my peanut butter sandwiches, and I just didn’t want corn syrup or gelatin in my recipe.
My creme filling isn’t a dead ringer of Little Debbie’s, but it’s just perfect for us.
The filling is quite simple to make – 1.5 sticks softened butter to start. Whip the butter around a few times with your mixer. Add 3 cups powdered sugar – no need to sift. Mix on medium speed for 1 – 2 minutes. Pour in 3 Tablespoons of heavy cream and 1.5 teaspoons of vanilla extract. Mix on high for 3-4 minutes. I added a pinch of salt to the buttercream to balance the sweetness.
Spread on the bottom of one cooled cookie (pictured above) and sandwich with another. Easy peasy.
I am infatuated with these oatmeal creme pies. I can honestly say that they are one of the best cookies I’ve ever made. The taste comparison to Little Debbie’s version is uncanny!
They are soft, ultra-moist, and squishy like Miss Debbie’s. I made them large, reminiscent of the originals (3 Tablespoons of dough in each cookie – 6 in the whole cookie sandwich). When you eat one, the filling will squeeze out the sides – perfect for licking the creme around the edges. Get ready to have some sticky fingers.
Some of my cookies had a slight chew around the edges, Not much, but those were the ones I left in the oven for 11 minutes. The centers of the cookies will simply melt in your mouth. Soft cookies, creamy filling, brown sugar/molasses taste. Pure heaven right here.
I’m so glad I now have a perfected copycat Little Debbie oatmeal creme pie recipe. Whenever I’m in the nostalgic mood, missing those lunchbox days, craving those perfectly soft and melt-in-your-mouth sandwiches… I will turn to this surefire recipe.
What’s your favorite Little Debbie snack?
makes 14-15 sandwiches
- 1 and 1/4 cups unsalted butter (2.5 sticks), softened to room temperature
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 Tablespoon dark molasses
- 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 3 cups uncooked quick-cooking oats (NOT whole-rolled oats)
- 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 3 Tablespoons heavy cream (using anything with less fat will result in a much less creamy consistency)
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- pinch of salt, as needed
- Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Set aside.
- With a stand or handheld mixer, cream the butter and sugars together at medium speed until light and creamy. Add egg, vanilla, and molasses, scraping down the sides as needed. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cloves. Whisk it all around. Add the quick oats and combine.
- With the mixer running on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to wet ingredients. The dough will be quite thick and you may have to mix it all by hand after a few seconds in the mixer. Drop dough with a large cookie scoop, or make sure each ball of dough is 3 Tablespoons in measurement. Cookies will spread in the oven, so drop each ball of dough 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 10 minutes, until cookies are lightly golden around the edges. Allow cookies to cool on cookie sheet for 3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- For the filling: With a stand or handheld mixer, beat butter for about 1 minute until creamy. Add the powdered sugar and mix on medium speed for 1-2 minutes. Pour in heavy cream and vanilla extract. Mix on high for 3-4 minutes until fluffy. Taste and add a pinch or two of salt, as needed. If filling is way too thick, add a couple more teaspoons of heavy cream. Spread 1.5 Tablespoons of cream filling on the bottom side of half of cookies; top with remaining cookies, right side up.
Cookies stay fresh and soft (with creme filling) at room temperature for 2 days in an airtight container. After that, store in the refrigerator to keep the creme center fresh. These are best eaten within 2 days.
RECIPE SOURCE: MYRECIPES, with adapted ingredients and baking methods
© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.
Cannot get enough of these!
Here are my Oatmeal Pumpkin Creme Pies. I made them for a bake sale last September.
I have another copycat recipe – my Homemade Orange Sweet Rolls are dead ringers for Pillsbury’s version. I made them over New Years and we LOVED them. Remind me of home.
If you like oatmeal cookies as much as I do, you’ll love these too: