These gluten free Oreo Cakesters style pies are the cream-filled deep chocolate, pillow-soft snack cakes of your dreams. Remember when Nabisco made Oreo Cakesters? They’ve been discontinued, but they were never gluten free anyway so it’s all the same to us. 😬
What are cakesters?
Like big, fluffy Oreo cookie sandwiches, these are kind of like chocolate whoopie pies in concept. They’re also similar to whoopie pies in texture.
Think soft and springy, almost like Devil Dogs but more moist so they stick to your fingers a bit but not to the roof of your mouth. They do taste like soft Oreos, which are different from any other chocolate sandwich cookie and you know it!
Are Oreos gluten free?
No, the original Nabisco Oreo sandwich cookies are not gluten free. But there are a few brands of crispy gluten free Oreo-style cookies available to buy in most larger grocery stores.
“K-Toos” is the name of the cookies made by Kinnikinnick, and they’ve been around for a number of years. They’re actually really good but tend to be expensive.
Trader Joe’s even sells its own brand of Oreo-style chocolate sandwich cookies, called “Joe-Joe’s,” in a gluten free variety. I tried them when they first came out, researched whether they were reliably gluten free, and gave them the thumbs up. 👍🏻
The right cocoa powder
Part of what makes Oreos look like Oreos is their super dark color. Instead of buying black cocoa powder (it’s a thing!) I just use and recommend that you use Hershey’s Special Dark unsweetened cocoa powder.
It’s a pretty magical blend of unsweetened natural cocoa powder (which is not alkalized) and Dutch-processed cocoa powder (which is alkalized). And it bakes up more black than brown, just like “real Oreos.”
Using Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder doesn’t affect the taste, though. Natural unsweetened cocoa powder or Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa powder will each work just as well.
Can you freeze them?
These pies freeze perfectly, since no part of them freezes solid. Make a big batch, then wrap them individually in plastic. You can pull them out of the freezer one at a time, when the need strikes.
In fact, they’re even a little easier to eat when they’re chilled. The filling won’t squeeze out at all from between the layers, and the cakes don’t stick to the tips of your fingers like a lot of snack cakes do.
I don’t mean to suggest that a snack cake’s sticking to your fingertips is really a bad thing. It’s slightly uncomfortable, but it’s the sort of discomfort that you want your gluten free child to experience, the same as the rest of us.
Ingredients and substitutions
There is dairy in these soft Oreo-style cakes, but it can all probably be replaced with dairy-free alternatives. In place of the butter in the cakes, try using Earth Balance buttery sticks or vegan butter.
In place of the cow’s milk in the cakes, use unsweetened nondairy milk. I like unsweetened almond milk best. Oh, and be sure that your melted chocolate in the cakes is dairy-free.
There is also dairy in the frosting in the form of butter. Earth Balance buttery sticks are not good for frosting.
Instead, try using butter-flavored Spectrum nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening. Or vegan butter (I like Melt brand and Miyoko’s Kitchen brand).
There is one whole egg in these cakes that might be able to be replaced with a “chia egg” (1 tablespoon ground white chia seeds + 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, mixed and allowed to gel.
The egg whites are a bit more difficult to replace. I haven’t heard great things about using aquafaba (the brine from a can of chickpeas) in place of egg whites in baking. In place of the two egg whites, you might be able to use another “chia egg.”
Really, though, I would prefer a whole different recipe. One that is created to be egg-free, since most egg replacers are just not good enough.
There’s also the matter of the egg whites in the Swiss meringue buttercream filling. I think maybe a “regular” buttercream would be better. Or our gluten free ermine frosting!
In place of cornstarch, you can use arrowroot or potato starch. You can also use an equal amount of additional all purpose gluten free flour.
The cornstarch is just there to help lighten the flour blend a bit. If you’re using a more starchy blend, like Cup4Cup, you should instead use more Cup4Cup instead of the cornstarch called for in the recipe.