Oatmeal Cream Pies {Little Debbie Upgrade}


One of my favorite treats growing up were the Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies. My mom rarely made dessert so my options were to make dessert myself (which I often did) or eat something like the Little Debbie cookies – if I were lucky enough to find some stocked in the cupboard. Back then I really didn’t know good dessert, I thought those cookies were completely delicious. In my little mind, I thought they were somewhat of a delicacy really. Yeah I didn’t get out much =). Well someone gave me one just a few days ago as a little thank you. I was pretty excited because I hadn’t had one in over 10 years (simply because I try to avoid buying stuff like that. I don’t like the flavor of the preservatives and also the over abundance of shortening they contain). It totally took me back in time though and I was fun to enjoy one of those tasty little treats again.

little debbie oatmeal cream pies

As I was eating that soft cookie oatmeal cream filled cookie sandwich, I was inspired. I thought of course, I need to make these at home and recreate a childhood favorite – but skip out on the overload of shortening and leave out all the preservatives. I looked up the ingredients list (is their anything Google can’t help you find?) and went to work. Yes I skipped out on the ground raisins and concentrated apple puree (I think it was), then I tried to keep all the other flavors in this upgraded copycat. And how is it upgraded you may be asking? Upgrade 1. They’re homemade. Everything is better homemade. Upgrade 2. Butter is used in place of much of the shortening/oil. The flavor of butter is far better than shortening, that’s just a fact of life. However. I did still use some shortening for textural purposes. Upgrade 3. Fluffier filling. It basically melts away in your mouth. Upgrade 4. A little more flavor. I added just a bit more spice then the Little Debbie version has. I also went with a full 1/4 tsp of coconut extract in mine because I love the flavor of coconut. If you are looking for an upgrade 5. you could make the homemade marshmallow creme I have posted and add 7 oz of that to the filling instead of a store bought (just store the filling in the fridge until ready to serve, then bring to room temp and spread on cookies). If you are (or have been in the past) a Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pie fan then you will most likely love and appreciate these cookies as much as I do. Two of these old fashioned – what your great-grandmother made style, chewy oatmeal cookies are loaded with so many exciting flavors which surprisingly all blend so deliciously well together, then they sandwich this dreamy marshmallow buttercream filling that has the softest, creamiest, most luxurious texture. Yeah, this is a recipe you don’t want to miss out on. I love making copycat recipes, it’s so nice knowing what goes in my food. Enjoy!

oatmeal creme pie cookies


Oatmeal Cream Pies {Little Debbie Upgrade}

4.34 from 3 votes

Yield: 15 Cookie Sandwiches

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes


  • 1 3/4 cups + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup quick oats , slightly ground in a food processor*
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup butter , softenend
  • 1/2 cup shortening (unflavored)
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp molasses
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp coconut extract (for a slightly more noticeable coconut flavor - increase to 1/4 tsp)
  • Red and yellow gel food coloring , optional

Marshmallow Buttercream Filling

  • 1/2 cup butter , nearly at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup shortening (unflavored)
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 7 oz . marshmallow creme


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, oats, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, set aside. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fit with the paddle attachment, whip together butter, shortening, sugar and molasses on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Stir in eggs, mixing until combine after each addition. Mix in vanilla and coconut extract. Slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until well combine. Stir in a bit of food coloring if desired (more yellow than red if using. You won't need much at all - a little goes a long way). Scoop dough out about 2 Tbsp at a time and shape into balls (or drop on cookie sheet without shaping), transfer to a Silpat lined baking sheet, fitting 9 per sheet. Bake in preheated oven 10 - 12 minutes (cookies should still be soft, not fully set - don't over bake). Allow to cool several minutes on baking sheet before transferring to wire rack to cool. Cool completely then spread marshmallow buttercream filling along bottom side of one cookie and sandwich to the bottom side of another cookie. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.
  2. *Pulse until ground to about half their original size. I just used my mini food processor for this and pulsed about 15 times.
  3. For the marshmallow buttercream filling:
  4. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fit with paddle attachment, whip butter and shortening on medium-high speed, until pale and fluffy, about 3 - 4 minutes. Add powdered sugar and blend on low speed until combine, then increase speed to medium-high and whip for 1 minutes. Mix in marshmallow creme.
  5. Recipe Source: Cooking Classy


  • Yammie @ Yammie’s Noshery: I’ve always wanted to do this!!! YUMMAY. March 1, 2013 at 3:50pm Reply

  • Averie @ Averie Cooks: I am a huge lover of OCPies. I mean, they are THE BEST. There are so many copycat recipes out there for these, and I almost have made them, many times. But literally got overwhelmed in the research and never actually embarked. I wanted to do them proud b/c I am a HUGE fan. I mean, like…could take down a box at a time when I was a kid :)

    I am also not a big shortening person. Actually, I made some whoopie pie filling with it in the fall and pretty much grossed myself out for months…and think that butter is the way to go…but some things just beg for that texture/taste of shortening. I know that if you used it, you used it deliberately and with reason and intent and I totally trust you! Pinned! March 1, 2013 at 4:19pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m glad you trust me =) and thanks for the pin Averie! March 1, 2013 at 9:49pm Reply

    • Julie: I love oc pies and have tried a few copycat recipes that I found to be really underwhelming. This recipe is incredible! I just made them today on an 80 degree day (pregnancy cravings… What are you gonna do?! ;) )They are so close to the real thing, but with a distinctly homemade flavor and richness. LOVE these! Only recipe I will use from now on. July 14, 2014 at 1:54pm Reply

      • Jaclyn: Thanks for the great feedback Julie! I’m so happy to hear you liked them! Congrats on the pregnancy :)! July 17, 2014 at 8:44pm Reply

  • Jackie: I never had the Little Debbie ones, but I tried making Oatmeal Cream Pies one time, and didn’t like how they turned out. These look amazing, though, so I can’t wait to try them out! March 2, 2013 at 1:44am Reply

    • Rhonda Walker: Didn’t understand at the end of the direction you said you pulse to half the size, what are you pulsing in the end December 14, 2016 at 3:38pm Reply

      • Michael: I think that’s a note. You’re pulsing the oatmeal in the food processor to about half it’s original volume August 18, 2017 at 6:43pm Reply

  • Beth: I love these cookies, pretty much have the same memories of them as you do! I think anything homemade is an upgrade from boughten, so I plan on giving the recipe a try! March 2, 2013 at 8:32am Reply

  • Curry and Comfort: You deserve an award for these beauties!! I loved LD oatmeal pies when I was younger too… but these look 100% better. I must try this out… fantastic idea. :) March 3, 2013 at 6:07am Reply

  • Kim @ Soliloquy Of Food & Such: I just started following your blog….I was hypnotized by this LD classic….must…want…soft oatmeal pies…. March 3, 2013 at 10:32am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Kim – I’m so happy to have you following along =), thanks for stopping by and also for leaving a comment! March 3, 2013 at 3:30pm Reply

  • Rachel @ Bakerita: These look great! I’ve never had the Little Debbie version, but yours sounds way better anyways! :) March 3, 2013 at 12:49pm Reply

  • Janet: I can’t wait to try these! Thanks so much for the time you took to do all of the research and share the recipe! :) March 4, 2013 at 9:10am Reply

  • Catie: I just made these babies. Left out coconut flavoring by accident, and used old fashioned oats b/c that’s what I had on hand…. Oh My Goodness! Your recipe is right on. These things even have the touch of fragile ness the original ones have. They are too good…too rich. Also, i can’t seem to get away from your website ever since I tried out your perfect butter cream frosting. March 5, 2013 at 9:17pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Catie – I’m so glad you liked these =)! Thanks so much for your comment! That’s great to hear you enjoyed the buttercream frosting and my site, thanks! March 5, 2013 at 10:31pm Reply

    • Tiffany Hardin: So glad to hear they are still good without the coconut! I don’t have any on hand and I want to surprise my hubby with something he’ll LOVE! June 23, 2015 at 2:04pm Reply

  • friday faves: […] Childhood Dessert: Homemade Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies.  I’m not the only one who used to throw back an Oatmeal Cream Pie and a Swiss Cake Roll […] March 8, 2013 at 6:08am Reply

  • Dina: the marshmallow filling sounds great! March 8, 2013 at 3:09pm Reply

  • Monique @ Ambitious Kitchen: OMG yes! I used to love these things. They’re addicting. Pinning! March 8, 2013 at 7:27pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the pin Monique =)! March 9, 2013 at 11:30pm Reply

  • curious: so i’m wondering… these are one of my dad’s favorites, and we live on opposite coasts of the US. would it be feasible for me to ship these to him?? i would love to make this version to encourage him to stop buying the junky ones!

    regardless, i will be making these for myself. thank you for the recipe! March 9, 2013 at 12:23am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I wouldn’t recommend it, I’d just recommend you make him a big batch to give him the next time you see him and maybe he could even freeze some =). If you did rush shipping then you may be okay and you’d likely want package them with bubble wrap. March 10, 2013 at 8:16pm Reply

  • Rosie @ Blueberry Kitchen: Oh yum, these look so good! March 9, 2013 at 11:53am Reply

  • Lindsay: I’m making these now, and I don’t see the granulated sugar in the instructions part of the recipe. I assume I cream it with the butter and shortening, just thought I’d let you know it’s missing from the directions. Thanks, can’t wait to eat these!! March 11, 2013 at 1:57pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes SO sorry about that =)! March 19, 2013 at 3:57pm Reply

  • Jen: I found your blog through Brown Eyed Baker, who posted a link to this recipe last weekend. I made these cookies the other night for a get-together with several friends of ours…they all raved about them! Including the self-proclaimed non-dessert guy who actually had 3 or 4 of them (when he normally doesn’t eat any sweets or desserts.) I did add an extra half-cup of ground oats right at the end of making the dough since it seemed a little too thin. I was impressed that the filling was the perfect amount for the number of cookies I got; usually I end up with way more filling/frosting than needed for things like cookie sandwiches or cupcakes. I’ll be making these again often. Thanks for the recipe! March 13, 2013 at 9:49pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Jen – that’s wonderful to hear! I’m so glad these were enjoyed and even by a non dessert fan =). Thanks so much for your comment! March 14, 2013 at 4:00pm Reply

  • Lara: I made these the other day and now I am mildly obsessed. I haven’t had a Little Debbie version in many years, but they tasted very similarly to how I remember them tasting and now I am thinking I need to find a better hiding place for them. :) March 15, 2013 at 8:50am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you are mildly obsessed with these Lara =)! Thanks so much for your comment! March 16, 2013 at 8:32am Reply

  • Pam: I am too a Little Debbie oatmeal cream pie lover and can’t wait to try this! What do you think about trying the recipe by substituting coconut oil for the shortening? It’s a healthier fat and will give a little bit of coconut flavor without the extract. April 4, 2013 at 3:25pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I think that would be a great alternative Pam. I hope you love them! April 9, 2013 at 6:38pm Reply

      • hannah: Can you freeze the cookies once put together and cooked. October 13, 2016 at 2:03pm Reply

  • Shannon B: I subbed the shortening for coconut oil and left out the food coloring, cocoa, and the coconut extract. There are seriously NONE left! My family of 6 devoured the whole lot. May 2, 2013 at 7:41pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad your family enjoyed them and I’m glad the susbsitution turned out for you! Thanks for your comment Shannon! May 2, 2013 at 8:14pm Reply

      • Shannon B: Thank you for the recipe! My husband said they were the best oatmeal cookie he’s ever eaten. May 3, 2013 at 5:29am Reply

        • Jaclyn: That’s great to hear Shannon! Thanks so much for your comment, so glad this recipe was enjoyed! May 3, 2013 at 8:53am Reply

  • Sean: Would a precise half-recipe turn out well?

    How about 1tbsp coconut oil to in the cookie batter to recreate that darker uncooked, oily appearance of the little debbie version? July 18, 2013 at 6:20am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes a half recipe should turn out just fine and as far as the coconut oil goes I suppose you could try it but I don’t think it’s necessary. July 19, 2013 at 11:07pm Reply

  • Karen: These are da bomb! October 16, 2013 at 1:31pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you think so Karen :)! October 16, 2013 at 2:34pm Reply

  • Homemade Oatmeal Creme Pies (Take 1) | shinycopperpig: […] particular reason – that 2014 is the year of making oatmeal creme pies. I started with this recipe from Cooking Classy, and made a few minor tweaks as a newbie to this realm of cookie sandwiches. I don’t know how […] February 12, 2014 at 7:23am Reply

  • charlotte: they tasted amazing but looked nothing like your picture what did i do wrong? they literally just stayed in ball form got puffy and spread a bit but didnt flatten like a normal cookie August 29, 2014 at 10:25am Reply

    • Jaclyn: It’s possible that something was accidentally over-measured or the flour may have been packed when measuring, those or usually the biggest problems for cookies not spreading out properly. September 15, 2014 at 10:08pm Reply

  • Oatmeal Cream Pies | Heather Homemade: […] slightly from Cooking Classy Makes 15 sandwich cookies   The marshmallow creme filling below matches the Little Debbie Cream […] September 1, 2014 at 10:20am Reply

  • Sparkels: Thank you so much Jaclyn, I made your recipe without the food coloring and it was perfect. I took it to work to share with co-workers so I wouldn’t eat them all. LOl…Thanks again and I wanted to add a picture but couldn’t. January 26, 2015 at 9:23am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so happy to hear you liked them :)! Sorry I don’t have a place to load pictures, but that’s a feature I should add in the future! January 26, 2015 at 7:51pm Reply

  • LaRae: my husband loves to indulge in the occasional little debbie Oatmeal pie, so I’m going to attempt making these for his stocking this year :)

    question–do you have to use a silpat? could i just use parchment? or another alternative? December 19, 2015 at 11:48am Reply

    • Julie: I used parchment paper and they turned out perfectly December 22, 2015 at 11:13am Reply

  • Ambre Thomas: I’m way lage to the party, but am a huge LD ocp fan. My question is in regards to the molasses… what is it’s main purpose (flavor, binding, aesthetics….)? Is there anything that can be substituted for it? I’m just not a fan of it and don’t want to purchase it if I can find a sub. Thanks for the recipe!! June 9, 2016 at 1:02pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: The molasses is for flavor and texture. You don’t really taste it itself it just adds a nice flavor to the cookies – If I’m remembering right they add it to the real thing too. You could try using dark brown sugar in place of the granulated sugar and adding in a few extra tablespoons. June 9, 2016 at 3:37pm Reply

  • carol segraves: can coconut oil be instead of shortening July 18, 2016 at 3:53pm Reply

  • Kathy: I definitely wanna try baking these they look perfect I love baking n I wanna Start my own bakery one day 😃 October 20, 2016 at 10:53am Reply

  • Stephanie: These were so amazing! BETTER than Little Debbie! January 29, 2017 at 10:04am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Aww thanks Stephanie! Glad you liked them! January 31, 2017 at 10:23am Reply

  • Shawna: Mine came out super flat. :( The cookie tastes great but definitely not the texture I was hoping for. Obviously, it was user error but I’m sure it was because during the creaming process my butter and sugar did *NOT* get nice and fluffy. Yummy yummy cookie though! February 19, 2017 at 8:20pm Reply

  • Nick: I give this recipe 3 stars.

    These cookies are good, but not close to the original. I wouldn’t call it an “upgrade”, more like a cousin or something like Lance’s version from the 80’s.

    The cookie is good, but more crispy than the original. The creme filling is good and closer to the original.

    I would appreciate it if people would not rate or speak highly for a recipe that they didn’t make. A lot of us are experimenting and looking for the real thing. Sure I could just go out and buy the commercial version, but baking and creating is a big part of the fun… especially when it’s spot on.

    If someone asked me for a spiced oatmeal cookie with cream filling recipe, I would give them this recipe, I wouldn’t give it as a Little Debbie’s recipe.

    I won’t make this again, I’m on a quest to find the real thing. January 22, 2018 at 9:40pm Reply

  • Mary: I double the recipe and dropped 1 tablespoon scoops on parchment paper to cook the cookies. This shortened the cooking time to 71/2 minutes in my convection oven. They are smaller but a better serving size than the recipe calls for. This is the second time I have made them and the original recipe ones are just way too big for my kids. My kids RAVED about these cookies!!!! I had to make a another batch to give out as Valentines. My husband took a plate to work and has a request in for another BIGGER plate of them tomorrow!! LOVE THESE COOKIES! The reason I am writing this review is because I jumped on the computer to copy the recipe for my husbands office and thought, why not! They deserved a 5 star review! February 5, 2018 at 5:47pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the great review Mary! February 9, 2018 at 11:50am Reply

  • Connie HD: Turned out great. Follow recipe exactly. Don’t use too much coconut extract. I didn’t add any yellow food coloring and they turned out fine. Easily doubled recipe. February 9, 2018 at 8:37am Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you loved it! February 12, 2018 at 10:08am Reply

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