We Used Oat Milk to Make Oatmeal Cream Pies and They’re Delicious

oat milk oatmeal cream pies

This Little Debbie riff just so happens to be vegan, too.

oat milk oatmeal cream pies

Two soft, uncomplicated oatmeal cookies sandwiching soft, uncomplicated, marshmallowy vanilla icing. They were (are!) pure, soft, uncomplicated pleasure.

Even those who didn’t grow up on the Little Debbie variety had friends who did, and coveted them: two soft, uncomplicated oatmeal cookies sandwiching soft, uncomplicated, marshmallowy vanilla icing, wrapped in pleasing-in-itself crinkly cello.

They were (are!) pure, soft, uncomplicated pleasure. The appeal of an oatmeal cream pie—or creme pie, if you insist—is not in its elegance (it hasn’t much), nor in its seasonality (ditto), but in its cheerfulness. Looking at an oatmeal cream pie without a grin creeping its way across your face? It can’t be done.

In this version, the classic takes a couple of turns: The squishy cookie and filling stay put, of course, but go vegan (and, if you want, gluten-free). They lean hard into their oaty roots but link arms with longtime-crush coconut, too, for a crisp-edged, toasty-caramel wink of a cookie that would be good on its own, sans creamy coconut filling. The result is something very comfy and familiar and smile-inducing. Slip one into someone’s lunchbox and see what happens. Or nibble one yourself with a big, hot cup of coffee to cut the sweetness.

Vegan Toasted Oat and Coconut Cream Pies
Makes 8 large (3½-inch) sandwich cookies
Time: 1 hour, plus chilling

INGREDIENTS

For the cookies:

1½ teaspoons ground flax (flaxmeal)
1 tablespoon water
½ cup (62g) rolled oats
¼ cup (25g) finely shredded unsweetened coconut
¼ cup (50g) virgin coconut oil, room temperature and creamy
½ cup (112g) light brown sugar
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup (60g) gluten-free or all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup Oatly oat milk

For the cream filling:

¼ cup (50g) virgin coconut oil, room temperature and creamy
1¼ cups (137g) powdered sugar
1 tablespoon Oatly oat milk
Big pinch kosher salt

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Make the “flax egg”: Combine the ground flax and the water in a small bowl and set aside to gel up.

Place the oats and shredded coconut on one of the baking sheets, keeping the oats on one side and the coconut on the other. Toast in the oven for 4 to 6 minutes, until golden and very fragrant. Set aside.

In a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the coconut oil and the brown sugar on medium-low speed until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the flax egg and the vanilla and combine thoroughly; the mixture will be glossy and smooth.

Pulse ¼ cup of the toasted oats in a food processor until powdery, then empty into a medium bowl. Add the remaining oats and the coconut to the food processor and pulse until finely chopped, then add to the bowl with the powdered oats. Whisk these together with the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Add the dry mixture to the coconut oil mixture in three additions, alternating with the Oatly oat milk and scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Place the batter in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to firm up.

While the batter firms, make the cream filling: Cream together the coconut oil, powdered sugar and Oatly oat milk until thick but smooth and thoroughly combined. Place in the refrigerator to chill.

Scoop the chilled cookie batter into 2-tablespoon mounds on the prepared baking sheets (a cookie scooper is great for this), leaving at least 2 inches between the scoops—they’ll spread a lot. You should be able to fit 6 cookies per sheet.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes, rotating trays from top to bottom and front to back halfway through. The cookies are done when very fragrant and golden at the edges. Allow to cool 5 minutes on the sheet tray before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

To assemble, flip half the cookies over, so that their bottoms face up. Using the same 2-tablespoon cookie scoop you used to shape the cookies, place a scoop of the cream filling onto each of the bottom-up cookies. Use the back of a spoon to gently flatten and spread the filling, then top each iced cookie with an un-iced cookie and press down lightly to adhere. Store cream pies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

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Caroline Lange

Caroline Lange is a writer and cook based in Brooklyn, NY.