OCP (about 15)

I’ve waffled on whether or not to publish this recipe for six months, but at this point I figure: what the heck. This recipe has a lot of ingredients and a lot of steps, but it tastes exactly like a Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pie should. I wish I could make it simpler, but then they wouldn’t be quite right.

stack of oatmeal cream pies

You can substitute commercial marshmallow fluff for the “marshmallow creme” filling recipe below, but something about making the whole thing yourself is so much more satisfying…

Oatmeal Cookies
8 ounces all purpose flour
4 ounces rolled oats
1/2 ounce cocoa powder
2 ounces dried apple rings
3 ounces unsalted butter
2 1/4 ounces neutral flavored oil, like safflower
7 ounces sugar
1 1/2 ounce molasses
3 ounces corn syrup
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon mace
1 egg
2 ounces milk

Marshmallow creme
1 1/2 teaspoons gelatin powder
2 1/2 ounces water, divided
1 1/2 ounces corn syrup
1/4 ounce molasses
4 1/2 ounces sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 ounce unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 350° and line two cookie sheets with parchment; set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, oats, cocoa and apple rings. Process continuously for 2-4 minutes, or until no distinguishable oat flakes or apple bits remain. The mixture should look mealy, but uniformly textured. Set aside.

Cream together the butter together with the oil, sugar, molasses, corn syrup, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices on medium speed until thoroughly combined and lightened; about two minutes.

Add the egg and beat another minute. Reduce speed to low, add the dry ingredients all at once, then drizzle in the milk. Turn off the mixer, scrape the bowl thoroughly with a rubber spatula and mix another 30 seconds to combine.

Use a small ice cream/dough scoop (2 teaspoon capacity) to portion the dough, leveling each scoop by scraping it against the edge of the bowl. Portion the dough 15 to a cookie sheet, giving the cookies ample room as they will spread considerably during baking.

Bake for about 8 minutes, or until the cookies have puffed and set around the edges, but are still steaming. They will firm significantly as they cool; so if you bake them until they look perfectly done, they will wind up quite crisp.

The perfect bake time will probably differ from oven to oven, just remember that real oatmeal creme pies are a symphony of softness; so soft they can be folded in half without breaking. When in doubt, err on the side of underbaking.

While the cookies cool, make up the marshmallow “creme” filling.

half of an oatmeal creme pie

The marshmallow filling can be made with all corn syrup, but as I’ve experimented with the recipe, I’ve found using just a touch of molasses gives it an extraordinary flavor, even if it’s a little more sophisticated than the original.

To make the filling, combine gelatin with 1 1/4 ounces water in the bowl of a stand mixer; mix with a fork. Set aside.

In a very small pot, combine the remaining water, corn syrup, molasses, sugar and salt over medium heat. Use a heat resistant spatula to stir gently until the sugar dissolves. Cook until the syrup registers 240° on a candy thermometer. (When measuring the temperature, make sure the bulb of the thermometer is fully submerged in the liquid for an accurate reading.)

When it reaches 240° remove the pot from the heat and cool to 210°. Once cool, add the sugar syrup to the gelatin mixture and, using the whisk attachment, mix on low speed until the gelatin dissolves. Increase the speed to medium high and whip until light and fluffy and the bowl feels cool to the touch.

Add in the vanilla and the butter and whip until homogenous. Transfer the mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a small, plain tip.

If you haven’t wrangled a pastry bag into submission before (or if you have and found it frustrating), these 12 tips for using a pastry bag will make the process mess and stress free.

If the filling looks a little soft, refrigerate it for about 30 minutes before piping. This will help it thicken faster and be easier to pipe. When ready, pipe a quarter sized dollop of filling onto half the cookies, then sandwich together with the remaining cookies.

oatmeal cream pies in a row

The oatmeal creme pies will keep up to one week at room temperature, if stored in an airtight container, and up to six months if frozen.


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Any questions?

Sep 03, 2012 ·  8:22 PM

These look fantastic. Do you have any suggestions of what flours to start with if one wanted to attempt to make a gluten free version?

 · Amy · 

Sep 03, 2012 ·  8:34 PM

Hi Amy! I haven’t tried it just yet, but I think that buckwheat flour would make for a really nice substitute. Alternately, you could try an even blend of buckwheat, cornstarch and rice flour. If you try it out, let me know. Otherwise, I’ll post my GF results here as soon as I am able to test them out for myself.


Sep 04, 2012 ·  8:32 AM

You have absolutely made my morning. I even have all the ingredients, and oatmeal pies were my drug of choice as a kid.

 · Renee · 

Sep 04, 2012 ·  9:27 AM

Thank you so. very. much. for sharing. I can only imagine the work that went into developing this recipe and I know that sometimes it’s hard to share freely (key word being FREE) when you’ve done all of the work! I can’t WAIT to try these! (P.S. Martha Stewart’s recipe for Homemade Marshmallow Fluff is also awesome but requires no gelatin.)

 · lipster · http://lovelylayercakes.wordpress.com

Sep 04, 2012 ·  9:55 AM

Ohh my favorite junk food I never ever buy! I can’t wait to try these!

 · rleal · 

Sep 04, 2012 · 11:12 AM

What a flashback of memories I had while reading this post. Yummo – must make these!!

 · ButterYum · http://butteryum.blogspot.com

Sep 04, 2012 · 12:24 PM

Stella, you’ve done it again…I remember these and they were really yummy! I was wondering though (I know I may be asking a lot), any chance this could be converted into cupcakes and is the marshmallow creme pipeable?? Thanks!

 · SamCyn · http://samcynsedibledelights.com

Sep 04, 2012 ·  4:20 PM

I’m glad you decided to post the recipe! These look delicious and fun!

 · Tracy {Pale Yellow} · http://paleyellow.net

Sep 04, 2012 ·  6:23 PM

These are awesome! I LOVE wholesome, autumn treats like this! I was never a huge fan of any Little Debbie snacks, because to me they all taste like the plastic wrapper they are kept in for only God knows how long. These, on the other hand look amazing, and I will absolutely be giving them a go!

 · Rachel · http://lifeinbatches.com

Sep 04, 2012 ·  6:45 PM

Any ideas on what to use if one doesn’t own a food processor?

 · Jadzia · http://cafenervosa1.blogspot.com

Sep 04, 2012 ·  6:54 PM

@Renee, so happy to oblige!

@lipster, oh! That reminds me. I did figure out a vegan version of the filling for a friend of mine, I’ll need to dig up my notes and post that here!

@rleal, now you’ve got no excuse to avoid them

@ButterYum, awww, mission accomplished!

@SamCyn, Oh goodness. I am not sure how to go about transitioning them so drastically. You might try making a carrot cake, but with lots of oats and ground apples in the mixture instead. It might get you close! And the filling is pipeable, but it won’t hold a mound.

@Tracy, now I’m glad I did.

@Rachel, yes! There is something inescapably autumnal about these; they make me feel like it’s cooler outside than it is…

@Jadzia, oh boy. I hate to be a party pooper, but I’m dubious this could be done without one. You may be able to grind the oats a blender, and chop the apples by hand, but you’d have to be extremely committed; this recipe won’t work at all if the chunks are too big (which makes them bake up like a lace cookie, riddled with huge holes). Your best best may be to find a friend with a food processor and have an adventure together!


Sep 04, 2012 ·  8:59 PM

Could one add cocoa and make these chocolate oatmeal cream pies??

 · Adeluta · 

Sep 05, 2012 ·  4:36 PM

@Adeluta, do you mean to the filling? If so, you could add in melted chocolate or a little cocoa during the last stage of whipping the marshmallow fluff. There’s already a little cocoa in the cookie itself (real Oatmeal Cream Pies have cocoa too!) but you could definitely increase the amount for pronounced chocolate flavor.


Sep 05, 2012 ·  5:09 PM

Can you use Agar Agar or something else instead of gelatin to make it vegetarian?

 · Linds · http://thewholesomehome.com

Sep 05, 2012 ·  6:09 PM

I love oatmeal cream pies! Since moving to the
UK it’s not often I get to satisfy cravings from my childhood! Might have to try these out!
Have you ever had a little Debbie peanut cluster? Apparently they don’t make them anymore, but i loved them more then oatmeal cream pies!

 · Lisa · http://www.unitedcakedom.com

Sep 05, 2012 ·  8:10 PM

Why have I never thought to make these things from scratch!? I was addicted to these as a kid! Yum and yum some more!

 · Russell at Chasing Delicious · http://chasingdelicious.com/kitchen-101-meat-cuts/

Sep 05, 2012 ·  9:00 PM

These cookies look amazing!

 · marla · http://www.familyfreshcooking.com/

Sep 06, 2012 ·  9:25 AM

@Linds, yes! I did that for a vegan friend; I need to dig up my notes on how exactly that process went down… But as I recall, I boiled a tablespoon of agar in with the other ingredients for the filling, then whipped. The agar filling set up much more quickly, so you need to be prepared to fill the cookies right away.

@Lisa, mmm, peanuts! Nope, I’d never even had OCPs as a kid. I seemed to miss out on all the wonders of Lil Deb except for Dunkin’ Stix, those doughnut stick things? Loved those! But tell me all about a peanut cluster and I’ll see what I can do!

@Russell, well, as you can tell from the ingredients list, they weren’t the world’s most intuitive cookie to put together. I hope you give ‘em a shot.

@marla, thank you! I chalk it up to Sarah Jane, who does such an amazing job of translating deliciousness to pixels.


Sep 06, 2012 · 11:48 AM

I’ve become obsessed with multi-step recipes lately, as well as high-brow/low-brow food. Now I just have to figure out where to find molasses in Paris!

 · Diane, A Broad · http://dianeabroad.com

Sep 06, 2012 ·  6:24 PM

Oh, life sounds so tough, Diane! Trudging through all those Parisian markets.. Haha. I know molasses can be tricky for those abroad, if you can find Golden Syrup or treacle, you’ll be good to go.


Sep 06, 2012 · 11:18 PM

Well, you just made my husband’s year. He loooooooves these cookies. I can’t wait to try baking them for him, as soon as we find a house to live in and unpack all our boxes. (We just moved cross-country from D.C. to San Diego.)

 · bethany actually · http://bethanyactually.com

Sep 07, 2012 · 10:09 AM

Holy crap, what a move, Bethany! One day, when you’re all settled in and need to christen your new oven, you’ll know where to find me.


Sep 07, 2012 · 10:25 AM

I made these last night and they do taste just like my childhood without the nasty shortening mouthfeel at the end I couldn’t find dried apples though, so I used dates and they worked perfectly.

 · Rachel · http://rachelcaygill.com

Sep 08, 2012 ·  2:48 AM

Gorgeous looking creme pies, I’ve never had a Little Debbie Creme Pie but I think..wait! I know I’d like them.

 · Gerry · http://www.foodnessgracious.com

Sep 09, 2012 ·  1:59 PM

Hi Gerry! The most memorable thing about Oatmeal Creme Pies is their texture. They’re just so amazingly soft and chewy.


Sep 09, 2012 ·  3:01 PM

oh man – these look delicious! i will have to make these for my husband sometime – he’s an oatmeal creme pie fanatic!

 · Lindsay · http://finedoemacarons.wordpress.com

Sep 11, 2012 · 10:53 AM

new to your blog (thanks to a friend for the link) and so excited to try these cookies (and to trawl your archives). apologies if this is a totally stupid question, but when you’re talking ounces, do you mean weight for dry ingredients and volume for wet ingredients? (i.e. I’m assuming by 2oz milk you mean 1/4 cup and that I’m not weighing out 2 ounces…?) hoping to make these for a potluck this weekend!

 · jenny · 

Sep 11, 2012 ·  3:11 PM

@Lindsay, oh wow! Well, definitely let me know what he thinks if you end up making these. I’m going to put this recipe in the book, and am looking for feedback from OCP lovers to help me tweak these even closer to perfection!

@jenny, I’m glad you found me! Since I work in a restaurant, I use weight across the board (I don’t even own measuring cups). I think it’s a much easier way to bake, and I’ve written a blog post going into a little more detail about that, so check it out if you’re curious.

Generally, a good rule of thumb is to look for the phrase “fluid ounces” in a recipe; that will always be the tip off that you can use a measuring cup rather than weight. Otherwise, ounces should always mean weight not volume. Whoever invented the terminology should be kicked in the kneecap, because “ounces” and “fluid ounces” sound so similar, but can give measurements that are completely different (honey would be a good example).


Sep 12, 2012 ·  9:54 PM

thanks, stella! that’s really helpful. I’m off to conquer these…!

 · jenny · 

Sep 13, 2012 ·  5:54 PM

You Rock! that is all.

 · michelle · http://confessionsofarecipejunkie.com

Sep 13, 2012 ·  7:10 PM

Awesome, Jenny! You’ll have to let me know how they turn out!

Haha, thanks, Michelle! xoxo


Sep 14, 2012 ·  3:31 AM

that looks really good and i bet it tastes great!

 · frost · http://www.childup.com

Sep 19, 2012 · 10:10 AM

These look out of this world, and I’m sure the photography can’t do them justice. A definite bookmark for the recipe folder. Thanks!

 · Mark · http://lowcarbgrub.com/top-10-carb-snacks/

Sep 20, 2012 ·  9:26 PM

Ok so I used cup for cup better batter gf flour and added the sugar at the end (because I forgot!). They didn’t spread during baking but I flattened them once done, with a spatula and perfecto! I also tried to make the marshmallow cream with agar agar but nada. I just used meringue instead. It tasted and looked perfect.

 · Linds · http://thewholesomehome.com

Jan 07, 2013 ·  3:16 PM

Hi! I just found this site! And am so thrilled, I bring back OCP from my trips to the sates, and have gotten my friends hooked. But I cannot bring back enough boxes to share and have for me!!!!Someone asked the other day, can’t you make them? And I said NO. It would be too hard! I love to bake, but could NEVER have figured this one out.. Thank you Stella!! I will make up a batch and surprise my friends!!!! I wish I had seen this before Christmas, But I guess this will be Valentines day gifts!!!

 · yucagringa · 

Jan 08, 2013 ·  8:52 AM

HI yucagringa. Seriously, nothing says love like oatmeal creme pies. You’ve got Valentine’s Day covered. The recipe is definitely a bit of a pain, with all those ingredients, but it turns out so spot-on that it’s worth the trouble. Hope you enjoy!


Jan 27, 2013 ·  7:32 PM

So I tried to make the creme filling and mine is still liquid. No matter how much I mix it, it won’t fluff or look anything like a creme. I followed all of the instructions. What could I have done wrong?

 · Aztec_SeaGirl · 

Jan 28, 2013 ·  9:38 AM

Hi Aztec SeaGirl! You might just try refrigerating the filling for thirty minutes or so, to give the gelatin a chance to set up. Give that a shot and let me know what happens, then we’ll work from there to figure it out!


Feb 07, 2013 ·  6:32 PM

let me start by saying this is one of my favoritest blogs ever!

i must agree with Aztec_Seagirl about the consistency of the filling. i think i will definitely let mine sit around for 10-15 mins before using, so it gets a chance to set a little bit.

these cookies are divine. i’ve been itching to try a version without using corn syrup in the cookie dough itself. any thoughts? should i increase the amount of butter, maybe? or replace with heavy cream? thx!

 · maya · http://www.bazekalim.com

Feb 08, 2013 ·  7:16 AM

Hi Maya! I’m working on a reformulated version of the filling (for my book!) to help with the consistency, since it’s been trouble for a few people. But I hope the 15 minute rest will help! Unfortunately, corn syrup plays a unique role that butter or cream can’t mimic.

Honey, molasses or even maple syrup would come close though they would also change the flavor. I know people have a variety of reasons for avoiding corn syrup (GMO corn issues, corn allergies, etc) but a lot of people also avoid it for the wrong reason— because they confuse it with high fructose corn syrup (a product with a totally different nutritional profile). I don’t know which camp you fall into, but if it’s the later, just look on the corn syrup label at the store. Brands like Karo are 100% corn syrup while some off-brands are a blend of corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup. So long as you stick with 100% corn syrup, you’re in good shape.


Feb 11, 2013 · 12:25 AM

Hey there! So I am SOOOO excited about this recipe. I have been trying to make these things for the past week and have literally tried FOUR other recipes I have found on the internet this weekend. None of them were right, and I’m going even crazier trying to get them the way they should be. My major fall back is that I live in Shenyang, China, and I cant find most western products here. I havent seem molasses for EVER, so I have been using black forest honey as its replacement, and have been resorting to making my own corn syrup on the stove top. I have not seen shortening in 4 months (our import items are always a surprise) and I have never seen plain gelatin. Do you have any suggestions on what I can use instead of mace? My family of four is craving OCPs and its going to be at least 4 or 5 months before we get a trip back home (to Indiana). Thanks for posting this!! I am stoked. I am glad that you have had experiences overseas, so you can understand the ingredient issues. I’ll head down to the city’s “baking street” and see what I can find there.

 · Angie · 

Feb 11, 2013 ·  9:18 AM

Hi Angie! OMG, I know exactly what you’re talking about. Nutmeg makes a good substitution for mace (mace is actually nutmeg’s outer casing). They each have their own unique flavor, but are definitely similar. To me, the most important thing in OCPs is their texture, they have such a unique softness! To that end, using the honey over homemade corn syrup or molasses will help get the best texture, even if it changes the flavor a little. Maybe just try to find the lightest, blandest sort. Haha.

I made a batch of the filling for a vegan friend once, using agar instead of gelatin. Any chance of finding that, instead? I think I used a tablespoon…ahh, what didn’t I take better notes!


Feb 25, 2013 ·  2:30 PM

how many cream pies does this make?

 · kelly · 

Feb 25, 2013 · 10:17 PM

Hi kelly! Sorry, the font on the yield is a little inconspicuous, isn’t it? This makes about 15 sandwich cookies.


Apr 05, 2013 · 11:10 PM

Just made these tonight and they went flat before the cooking time was even up. Any ideas on what I did wrong?

 · Britt  · 

Apr 06, 2013 ·  5:40 PM

Hi Britt! Any chance you could snap a picture for me? That would help put me on the same page for a diagnosis. You could tweet it to me or post it on my facebook page. Crappy cell phone pix work fine!

That being said, the OCPs are pretty flat, so that they’re still a nice, slim cookie even sandwiched together with some filling. It’s hard to tell from my photos since there’s no reference, but the overall thickness of the finished sandwich cookie is about a half inch. Beyond that, a few quick questions that might impact your results: did you use a scale? Did you make any substitutions? What kind of oatmeal did you use?

Let me know and we’ll figure this out!


Apr 11, 2013 · 12:54 AM

Apple rings aren’t something I usually have in my pantry. Is the apple for sweetener or something else? Anything I can substitute?

 · Erica B. · 

Apr 11, 2013 · 10:07 AM

Hi Erica! The apple is there for texture, actually. It pulverizes into these tiny, little bits that have a fluffy, spongey texture that gives the oatmeal cream pies their unique chewiness. You can substitute other dried fruits, like apricots or raisins, but they’ll also change the flavor and texture (they’re much more dense than dried apples, and much sweeter too). If you just want a tasty cookie, they’ll work great. If you have your heart set on an OCP-clone, then you’re better off waiting until you can find some apple rings.


Apr 30, 2013 · 11:10 AM

Hi there I just wanted to say thank you for this awesome recipe. I made these for my friend who is an addict of Little Debbies and he freaking loved them, as did I and everyone else who tried them. I wrote about them on my blog here. Thanks again

 · Sarah · http://sugarybutterysalty.blogspot.com

May 01, 2013 ·  9:37 AM

Sarah, OH MY GOSH you made your own dried apples? You are out of control awesome!! And I thought the plain recipe as written was a lot of work. What a hero! Your version looks beautiful, thanks for sharing the link!


May 07, 2013 · 10:43 AM

Thank you! And thanks again for the awesome recipe!

 · Sarah · http://sugarybutterysalty.blogspot.com

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Short but very accurate info… Thank you for sharing this one.
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Jun 24, 2017 ·  3:44 PM

I refuse to buy these for my 11 year old because they are so full of nastiness — I bought her a box for her birthday lol and now she wants them even more. We don’t buy “packaged” stuff so she’s begged me to find the perfect recipe online…I think this is IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THANKS! making today and having for an old fashioned dessert tonight with friends!

 · Sabrina's mom · 


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