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High-Protein Oatmeal Cream Pies (Little Debbie Copycat)

I only publish recipes that I truly enjoy, but every once in a while, a recipe absolutely blows me away.

These oatmeal cream pies did exactly that.

Watch out, Little Debbie, because these protein-packed oatmeal cream pies are even better than your classic Oatmeal Creme Pies. No offense, of course.

Oatmeal creme pie with bite

I mean, doesn’t that look like an ACTUAL oatmeal cream pie? You’d never know that it had only 145 calories AND 8.5g of protein!

Confession time: I had never had a Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pie prior to attempting this recipe. I know I know, that’s unheard of.

I asked my Instagram audience to give me some ideas for snacks for me to try to recreate as a high-protein version, and oatmeal cream pies were the runaway favorite.

So, I went out to the store, grabbed a box, and promptly gave them a try.

The appeal of oatmeal creme pies is obviously the nostalgia of them, but the flavors really fall flat. The cookies are pretty bland, and the filling leaves a lot to be desired.

My healthier high-protein oatmeal cream pies are packed with so much more flavor, and if I’m being 100% honest, I like them significantly more.

If you love oatmeal cream pies, I promise you that my healthier version will not disappoint you.

 

Do these taste like ACTUAL oatmeal creme pies?

Before I dive into the recipe, I want to set the expectation here.

Generally speaking, if you’re making a healthier version of a classic snack, you’re going to need to sacrifice some flavor.

But that’s not the case here!

Stacked oatmeal creme pies

Above we have my high-protein oatmeal cream pies alongside a Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pie, and while you can clearly see some differences, they are very similar.

When it comes to flavor, they are shockingly close.

I went through 6 test batches of this recipe before I landed on a recipe that I found to be perfect, and the flavor truly mimics that of Little Debbie.

My goal with this recipe was to make a cookie sandwich that was nearly indistinguishable from the real thing.

Oatmeal creme pie in package

Give this recipe a try and give them to someone to taste test. Tell them it’s just a homemade oatmeal cream pie without mentioning anything about them being healthy, then report back here to let me know how it goes! I’m willing to bet that they won’t bat an eye.

If I’m wrong, I owe you a cookie.

 

How to make high-protein oatmeal cream pies

Protein oatmeal cream pies

These oatmeal creme pies are surprisingly easy to make, and you won’t need to bother with letting your cookie dough chill, creaming butter & sugar, or any other “fancy” baking methods.

To make these soft oatmeal cookies, here what you’ll need:

  • Oat flour (you can make your own at home just by grinding up oats!)
  • Oats (for some texture)
  • Vanilla protein powder
  • Cinnamon
  • A tiny amount of cocoa powder (you won’t taste it, but it helps)
  • Brown sugar substitute (or regular brown sugar)
  • Molasses
  • Light butter (or regular butter)

Pretty simple, right?

One thing I’d like to mention is that I only tested these oatmeal cookies with my go-to protein powder, PEScience.

PEScience is a blend of whey & casein protein, which I find to work the best in recipes (see my protein powder substitution guide to see why).

If you swap out a different type of protein powder, I can’t guarantee these cookies will come out as good! I highly recommend picking up some vanilla PEScience protein powder, especially if you plan on making any other cookie recipes of mine. You can use my code, Matt, at checkout to save 10% too!

Once everything is mixed up into cookie dough, you’ll break the dough apart into 10 cookie dough balls.

The cookie dough will be a little bit sticky, but you’ll be able to form cookie dough balls no problem.

There’s no need to press these down into cookies.

Simply bake at 350 degrees F for exactly 6 minutes, then remove the oatmeal cookies from the oven.

When you remove the cookies from the oven, they’re going to look pretty puffy and cakey, which is definitely not what we’re after.

To turn these into flat oatmeal cookies with crackly tops, use your fingers to press the cookies down while they’re still hot.

 

When you press them down, you may find that the shapes get a little bit funky.

To turn these cookies back into perfect circles, use the “cup trick.”

Take a cup, mug, or glass, turn it upside down, and quickly slide it around in a circular motion around each cookie to round them out.

If you’ve never tried the cup method, it works very well for most cookie recipes!

Now, the important part: let the oatmeal cookies sit for one hour.

Waiting is the worst, but it’s vital to allow these cookies to firm up, which is something I learned when making my giant protein cookie recipe.

After one hour, the interior will be fully set, but these oatmeal cookies will remain incredibly soft.

Top of oatmeal creme pie

When you’re ready to assemble these oatmeal cream pies, you’re going to make a very simple vanilla filling by mixing together whipped vanilla frosting with a small amount of vanilla protein powder.

By mixing these two ingredients together with a tiny splash of milk, you’ll have a cream filling that you can break apart with your hands to add to your cookies.

If you don’t have whipped vanilla frosting, you can use regular vanilla frosting in its place. I did try a version with marshmallow fluff, and while it worked, I found it to be a little bit too grainy when mixed with protein powder.

Break off a small amount of the cream filling, add it to the bottom of one of your cookies, then sandwich another oatmeal cookie on top.

Oatmeal creme pie interior

If you have self-control and don’t eat an entire batch in one sitting as I did, these keep very well as leftovers.

Add any leftover cookies to a sealed container or Ziploc bag and enjoy them throughout the week, no refrigeration is necessary.

 

More protein cookie recipes to explore

These may very well be my favorite high-protein cookie recipe, but I have a ton of other protein cookie recipes on my blog that still deserve mentioning.

If you like the sound of this recipe, here are some of my other favorites to check out:

 

Protein Oatmeal Cream Pie Recipe

High-Protein Oatmeal Cream Pies (Little Debbie Copycat)

Yield: 5 Cream Pies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 16 minutes

Just like your favorite childhood snack, but dare I say, even better! These oatmeal cream pies are more flavorful than the packaged version and contain fewer calories and much more protein (they're gluten-free, too!)

Ingredients

Oatmeal Cookie Ingredients:

Cream Filling Ingredients:

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients for the oatmeal cookies.
  3. Add the molasses and butter, then mix with a silicone spatula until it comes together to form cookie dough.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Break off pieces of the cookie dough (it will be a little sticky but still easy to work with) and roll them into 10 small cookie dough balls. Space them out on your baking sheet.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 6 minutes.
  6. When you remove the cookies from the oven, they will seem cakey. Don't you worry! Use your fingers to press down the cookies into flat discs and create that cracked effect (see the photos above this recipe card for reference).
  7. Let the cookies cool for one hour to firm up. They will stay very soft (like a real oatmeal cream pie) but we need the inside to firm up completely.
  8. Make the cream filling by adding the vanilla frosting to a bowl, then adding the protein powder. Add a very small splash of milk just to help incorporate everything, and mix it up until smooth. If you want to use marshmallow fluff instead of frosting, you can, but I found that version to be slightly grainy.
  9. Flip the oatmeal cookies over and add some cream filling to 5 of them. Add another cookie on top of the filling and press down, then you're ready to enjoy!
  10. These 5 oatmeal cream pies will stay super soft, so you can save the leftovers in a container or Ziploc bag to enjoy throughout the week.

Notes

  • I didn't test these oatmeal cookies with whey protein, but I would imagine that the cookie dough would be very sticky with whey protein alone.
  • If you press the cookies down and they're not perfectly circular, you can turn a cup or glass upside down and move it around in a circular motion around the outside of the cookies to form them back into perfect circles.
  • I'm sure you can play with omitting certain ingredients (like the small amount of cocoa powder or molasses) but I wanted these to taste as close to Little Debbie's as possible, and every ingredient helps that! Trust me, this is the result of 6 test batches, so I'd try to follow the recipe as closely as possible.
  • For a few test batches, I played around with food coloring to try to match Little Debbie exactly. If you notice some of the colors look a little different than your own version, that's why.
  • If you wanted to leave the cream filling out and make 10 small oatmeal cookies instead, each cookie will be 50 calories, 3g fat, 4g carbs, and 3g protein.
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    Nutrition Information
    Yield 5 Serving Size 1 Oatmeal Cream Pie
    Amount Per Serving Calories 145Total Fat 7gCarbohydrates 12gProtein 8.5g

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    Share The Love

    Roberta

    Sunday 26th of March 2023

    I know this is an older post, but I just found your site and made these.

    I did a few substitutes. For the basic recipe: Used Whey Protein Powder What I had on hand for brown sugar vs low/zero calorie etc.

    The icing, I did 2 substitutes to bump up the protein even more:

    For milk substitute: 3 teaspoons of Premier Protein Vanilla Shake Vanilla Frosting became 3 tablespoons of whipped cream cheese

    Mixed them both with the 1/2 scoop of vanilla protein powder AND VOILA!

    Macros were awesome: 1 sandwich with filling...Protein 10g; Net Carbs 15g; Fat 4g; Calories 139

    Good stuff! Thank you for the recipe. We will be making these again.

    Lila

    Friday 10th of March 2023

    I made these and they seemed a bit dry, I only used half the amount of brown sugar. Do you think that’s why they came out the way they did?

    Matt

    Saturday 11th of March 2023

    Assuming all the other ingredients (especially the type of protein) were the same, then definitely. Brown sugar helps cookies retain moisture to keep them soft vs regular sugar (which usually works better in cakey recipes) so it would make sense that lowering the amount would cause them to be dry.

    Frank Calderon

    Wednesday 25th of January 2023

    Thank you Matt!

    Laurie

    Friday 5th of August 2022

    Oh my! You nailed this one. I love all your stuff, but these are crazy good. Should have doubled the recipe. Thoughts on freezing them?

    About Matt Rosenman

    With over 15 years of experience in health and fitness, Matt Rosenman is the expert voice behind Cheatdaydesign.com. Matt’s philosophy is simple: no foods are off-limits, and a healthy lifestyle shouldn't be complicated or restrictive. As a former certified personal trainer with a bachelor’s degree in Health Behavioral Sciences, Matt brings well-rounded expertise to his blog. From revamping classic recipes with a nutritious twist to breaking down fast food menus, his goal is make healthy living less confusing for everyone. Featured in major publications and with a strong following on social media, Matt is committed to making “healthy” uncomplicated—no matter where you are in your health journey. Join Matt on his mission to simplify health without sacrificing flavor. Learn More

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