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Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pie Dough and Cream Cheese Pie Dough

I’m not flaky about pie dough–a pie dough must be flaky. And I want my flake from butter.  Both Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pie Dough and Cream Cheese Pie Dough are made with butter. They are flaky, tender and reliable pie crusts–recipes you can depend on. Both are practically foolproof–and make you feel like a pie expert. Here are recipes and tips for making perfect pie crusts.

Pumpkin Pie made with either Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pie Dough and Cream Cheese Pie Dough

Click here to PIN Whole Wheat and Butter Pie Dough recipes.


Flaky and tender, healthy, and rustic flavorful, this whole wheat oatmeal pie dough is one of my favorite pie dough recipes. Unsalted butter provides just the right amount of flakiness, and an egg yolk insures tenderness. White whole wheat dough delivers sweet nutty flavor and bits of old-fashioned rolled oats offer a nutritious boost.

Like with oatmeal raisin cookies, the oats aren’t cooked into hot oatmeal first—the rolled oats just go into the dough. Here, they’re ground into meal in the food processor, leaving tiny white flecks throughout the pastry. This oat pie pastry recipe is slightly adapted from a simple pie pastry in Simple Desserts by Ken Haedrich.

Cold, cold, cold. These are the key words when working with pie and tart pastry. Start with cold butter, use cold liquids, and as you work with the dough, keep it cold!

The butter in the whole wheat oatmeal pie dough is cut in a food processor, in quick pulses, which keeps warm hands from melting the butter. For a flaky crust, you want the butter to melt in the oven, not in your hands.

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pie Dough and Cream Cheese Pie Dough making tips:

1. Refrigerate the butter until the very last minute.

cutting very cold butter for TWhole Wheat Oatmeal Pie Dough and Cream Cheese Pie Dough

2. Make “ice-cold” water with ice cubes—just fish them out before measuring.

ice cold water for Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pie Dough and Cream Cheese Pie Dough

3. Work quickly to incorporate butter, and keep your warm hands away from the mixture until you quickly gather the dough into a disc.

4. Resist the urge to add more water. Work the dough gently picking up the dry pieces with the dough until it all comes together. You want to see some pieces of butter in the dough. (The Cream Cheese Pie Dough recipe here is the exception, since the butter and cream cheese are beaten together.)

butter the size of peas, cut into flour for Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pie Dough and Cream Cheese Pie Dough

4. As with all butter pie crusts, you need to chill dough just enough so that it’s cold, but still malleable, before rolling it out and fitting it in a tart or pie pan. Chilling also lets the dough relax–to calm down the gluten that forms when the dough is mixed.

rolling pie dough--streaks of butter showing. For Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pie Dough and Cream Cheese Pie Dough

Pie and tart dough rolling tips for Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pie Dough and Cream Cheese Pie Dough:

  • For pies, roll the dough thinly into a 12-inch circle, about 1/8 inch thick.
  • For tarts, roll the dough into an 11-inch circle, a little thicker, but never more than 1/4 inch thick. Don’t feel that you must use the entire dough recipe; it is better to use less, roll it thin and do something else with the scraps. Like grandma, you can roll and cut extra dough into shapes, sprinkle with sugar and bake until light golden brown for little snacks.
  • Use enough flour, but as little as possible, to keep the dough from sticking. Train yourself to dust the work surface often, but sparingly. If you see pieces or streaks of butter when you roll, that’s good. The butter will melt in the oven and create air layers in the pastry—for that flaky crust.
  • Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface, using short strokes with the rolling pin. Gently coax both the dough into a circle, as opposed to pushing it. Roll to the edge but not over, so the edge stays the same thickness as the middle. If the dough becomes unruly or doesn’t roll smoothly, you will get a more tender crust if you patch it into the pan as is instead of re-rolling—the less handling the better.

For Pies:

  • Fit the dough into a 9-inch pie pan and trim, if necessary, leaving a 1-inch overlap around the edge of the pie pan. Crimp the edge inot a fluted edge. Refrigerate or freeze until cold.

For Tarts:

  • Fit the dough into a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removeable bottom, easing the dough into the corners and patching any tears or holes. Use your thumb to break off the excess dough at the top edge. Refigerate or freeze until cold.
easing Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pie Dough into tart pan | Letty's Kitchen

This winning delicious Walnut and Chocolate Tart uses Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pie dough.

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  • PS If you make either of these pie doughs, please consider leaving a blog post comment. Your comments help other readers learn more about the recipe.


  • The site’s looking so great! I’ll have to try your pie crust recipes soon. Happy Thanksgiving! Reply · 27 November, 2013

    • Hi Barbara thanks for the note. Went live about 15 hours ago! can’t wait to get back Monday and get really rolling on it. I am in Oregon for Thanksgiving.
      Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones! Reply · 28 November, 2013

  • I am supposed to teach a group of teen-age girls about pie-making tonight, so I’m looking at as many different pie crust recipes as possible! Good tips! Reply · 4 December, 2013

    • Letty

      I just read your Chew and Chat post about the pie-making. sounds like it was best to do it the way you did to keep it to a dull roar of an evening. I bet they learned a lot. Reply · 5 December, 2013

  • Elaine

    The title says “whole wheat” pie crust but your ingredient list says
    “all purpose flour” which sounds like white to me. Confusing. Reply · 14 May, 2017

    • Oh oh. Elaine, thank you for the edit!! I fixed it right away. I failed to change the flour when I started baking more healthfully. I use white whole wheat flour. Reply · 14 May, 2017

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