Oatmeal Creme Pie Cookie Bars (Little Debbie Copycat)

Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies were some of my favorite cookies growing up and I could eat a box in a day.

But these bars are even better.

In doing research for this recipe I bought a box of Oatmeal Creme Pies. It had been nearly 20 years since I last tried them and unfortunately what I bit into didn’t match my beloved memories. I made it my mission to create a new oatmeal creme cookie recipe that’s worth biting into and I think is better than the original.

I have so many oatmeal cookie recipes because when oatmeal cookies are done right and by that I mean soft, chewy, and not over-baked they’re some of my favorites. The chewiness, the perfectly hearty texture, and the nuttiness of the oats speak to me.

Rather than go to the fussiness of making sandwich cookies to recreate the classic Little Debbie cookies, I made bars. Bars are so much faster and easier than cookies since there’s no dough to chill and nothing individual to roll.

The bars are soft, very chewy from the oats, not at all cakey, and perfectly dense. It’s one-bowl, no-mixer batter and you’ll have it from the bowl and into the oven in less than five minutes with only one bowl to wash. Love that.

Use quick-cook oats rather than old-fashioned for the perfect amount of chewiness. There’s a bit of molasses and cinnamon for extra depth of flavor and the frosting is truly the icing on this cake.

You can halve the frosting portion if you’re not a huge frosting person, but I am. The more the merrier. It’s buttercream frosting spiked with a jar of marshmallow creme and makes the bars taste truly authentic. It’s sweet, decadent, soft, fluffy, sticky, rich, and you’ll want to eat it by the spoonful.

Oatmeal Creme Pie Cookie Bars (Little Debbie Copycat)

Rather than go to the fussiness of making sandwich cookies to recreate the classic Little Debbie cookies, I made bars that taste better than the original. Bars are so much faster and easier than cookies since there’s no dough to chill and nothing individual to roll. The bars are soft, very chewy, not at all cakey, and perfectly dense. Use quick-cook oats rather than old-fashioned for the perfect amount of chewiness. There’s molasses and cinnamon for extra depth of flavor and the frosting is truly the icing on this cake and makes the bars taste authentic. You can halve the frosting portion if you’re not a huge frosting person. It’s buttercream frosting spiked with a jar of marshmallow creme and makes the bars taste truly authentic. It’s sweet, decadent, soft, fluffy, sticky, rich, and you’ll want to eat it by the spoonful.

Did you make this recipe?

Ingredients:

Bars

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons medium, dark, or full-bodied molasses
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup instant oats (not old-fashioned or whole-rolled)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

Frosting (can be halved)

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • one 7-ounce jar marshmallow creme
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt (cuts some of the sweetness)

Directions:

  1. Bars – Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In a large, microwave-safe bowl melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power.
  3. Wait momentarily before adding the egg so you don’t scramble it. Add the egg, brown sugar, molasses, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, and whisk until smooth.
  4. Add the oats and stir to combine.
  5. Add the flour and stir until just combined, don’t overmix.
  6. Turn batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula. Bake for about 24 to 25 minutes, or until done. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. Place pan on top of a wire rack to cool completely before frosting. Don’t frost warm bars or the frosting will melt.
  7. Frosting – To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or large bowl and electric hand mixer), add the butter, confectioners’ sugar, and beat on medium-high speed (start on low so you don’t spray sugar everywhere) until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  8. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the marshmallow creme, salt, and beat on medium-high speed until well combined, about 1 minute.
  9. Turn frosting out over bars and lightly smooth it with a spatula or offset knife. Bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days. I’m comfortable storing buttercream-style frosting at room temp but if you’re not, refrigerate the bars noting they’ll be more prone to drying out in the fridge.
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