These oatmeal cream pies are incredibly chewy with a hint of cinnamon, brown sugar and vanilla. The filling is deliciously creamy and not too sweet either. They’re the homemade version of the classic Lil’ Debbie cookies, but so much better!
The Best Homemade Oatmeal Cream Pies
Oatmeal cream pies are a homemade version of the favorite America snack cake. To all my non-American readers or those unfamiliar with the classic American treat, these cookies have two soft and chewy oatmeal cookies with creamy frosting in the middle. This homemade version is slightly elevated (in my humble opinion) because the cookies are more flavorful and the frosting isn’t as sweet. The oatmeal cookies have a slightly chewier texture and I added a touch of cream cheese to the filling which complements the cinnamon and brown sugar in the cookies perfectly.
I wouldn’t call this a side-by-site copycat recipe, but instead we’re taking oatmeal cream pies to the next level of deliciousness.
For the Oatmeal Cookies
The oatmeal cookies are incredibly chewy and perfect for sandwiching. They have a touch of molasses (like the store bought version) for flavor and chewiness. Then brown sugar, vanilla and cinnamon all add to the flavor. They have a little more texture than the original version too thanks to more oats, but they’re extremely still soft and chewy.
Oats: For the oats, in this recipe you want to use quick oats. Because quick oats are smaller than regular rolled oats, I found they’re much better for making uniformly sized cookies (which is better for sandwiching) and are more reminiscent of the original but still have lots of texture.
For the Cream Filling
The original version has a marshmallow frosting in the middle. However, I didn’t want the filling to be too sweet. Instead, this vanilla frosting recipe has just a touch of cream cheese to balance it out. It’s not enough to be considered a cream cheese frosting, but just enough so that it’s not overly sugary and tastes extra creamy. I find the cream filling is the perfect pairing with the molasses, brown sugar and cinnamon in the oatmeal cookies.
Cookie Baking Tips
- Whenever making sandwich cookies, I highly recommend using a cookie scoop so that your cookies are all the same size. This makes it much easier for sandwiching.
- Make sure you’re using quick oats and not instant oats. Instant oats are too fine and behave like flour.
- If you’re in a pinch, you can substitute the molasses with honey. Both work in this recipe.
- Make sure the cookies are 100% cooled before frosting and sandwiching. Warm cookies will melt the frosting.
And for more sandwich cookies, then be sure to try:
- Homemade Oreos – these are soft, chewy and fudgy
- Chocolate Chip Sandwich Cookies
- Oatmeal Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies – these are like Nutter Butters
- Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies
Homemade Oatmeal Cream Pies
- Cookie Sheets
- 1 cup unsalted butter (226 grams) softened
- 1 cup brown sugar (200 grams) packed
- ½ cup granulated sugar (100 grams)
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (250 grams)
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 cups quick oats
- ¾ cup unsalted butter (168 grams) softened
- 2 ounces cream cheese (57 grams) make sure to use full-fat, brick style
- 3-4 cups powdered sugar (330-440 grams)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon cream if needed
- Preheat the oven to 350F (180C or 170C fan forced). Line cookie sheets with silicone baking mats or baking paper.
- In a large bowl beat together the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until fluffy.
- Mix in the molasses, vanilla extract and eggs until creamy.
- Turn off the mixer and add in the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Do a few stirs by hand first, then turn the mixer to a low speed and beat until incorporated. (This is to avoid the flour flying everywhere).
- Stir in the oats.
- Form the cookies into balls about 1 to 1.5 tablespoons in size and place 2 inches apart on the lined cookie sheets. I use a cookie scoop for this. I typically get about 32-34 cookies which will make 16-17 sandwiches.
- Bake 1 sheet of cookies at a time in the middle of the preheated oven. They'll bake for about 9-11 minutes, or until the tops look set.
- Cool on the cookie sheet for at least 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to continue cooling.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter until fluffy.
- Chop the cream cheeses into 3-4 pieces, then beat into the butter.
- Add in 1 ½ cups powdered sugar, vanilla and salt. Start with the mixer on a low speed, then gradually increase to a medium speed until the ingredients are incorporated.
- Beat in the rest of the powdered sugar about ½ cup at a time until the desired sweetness is reached. If needed (AKA if the frosting is too thick), beat in 1 tablespoon of cream.
Assembling the Cookies
- Take 1 cooled cookie and frost the bottom with about 1 to 1.5 tablespoons of frosting.
- Then sandwich a second cookie on top with the bottom facing down.
- Making a Smaller Batch: This recipe can easily be divided in half to make a smaller batch.
- Molasses: Molasses contributes to that classic Lil' Debbie flavor. Honey can be substituted if needed.
- Flour: Be sure to measure carefully, otherwise the cookies can become dry. Whisk first, then spoon into a dry measuring cup and level off the top. Or measure with a kitchen scale.
- Oats: I prefer quick oats in this recipe. Rolled oats will work too.
- Cream Cheese: Cream cheese can be replaced with more butter if you prefer.
- Make Ahead Tips: Cookies can be made 1-2 days in advance, cooled fully and stored at room temperature in an airtight container. Cookies can also be frozen for up to 2 months in an airtight container. Then thaw in the fridge and frost when ready to serve.
- Storage: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Nutrition: Details provided are an estimate only and based on 1 cookie, assuming the recipe yields 16 equal-sized cookies and all the frosting is used.