The Best Oreo Dirt Cake

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This Easy Dirt Cake Recipe (Oreo Dirt Pudding) is one of our favorite no-bake desserts! Crushed Oreos are layered between a French vanilla pudding mixture for a kid-friendly, make-ahead dessert recipe perfect for any potluck or BBQ! Add gummy worms for a whimsical touch! 

Front view of this Oreo Dirt Cake Recipe in a glass trifle dish with three layers of pudding and three layers of crushed Oreos with gummy worms on top and a spoon and a single-serve dish of Oreo Dirt Cake next to it


The first time I took a bite of this Oreo Dirt Cake at a friend’s graduation party I knew I had to have the recipe. His mom graciously shared her recipe with me and I have been making it ever since. 

Since then (many, many years ago), I have dialed it in and tweaked it to perfection, down to the exact type and brand of pudding to use to make the absolute best Oreo Dirt Cake you’ll ever taste. 

This dirt pudding is one of our favorite no-bake desserts! It’s a kid-friendly, make-ahead recipe that’s perfect to serve at any potluck or BBQ! 

Front view of a small glass dish of Oreo Dirt Cake with two layers of pudding and two layers of crushed oreos with gummy worms on top. A large glass trifle dish of Oreo Dirt Cake is in the background and a silver spoon is in the foreground

Dirt Cake Recipe: Ingredients & Substitutions 

This dirt pudding is the absolute best when it’s made exactly as written. However, let’s discuss the ingredients & possible substituions. 

overhead view of the labeled ingredients in this Oreo dirt cake recipe
  • Milk. I recommend using 2% milk or whole milk.
  • French Vanilla Pudding. This is the secret ingredient that makes this recipe the best. I use Jello Instant French Vanilla Pudding & Pie Filling and it is the absolute best. I once bought an off brand french vanilla pudding and Ritch could actually taste the difference! Now you could substitute regular vanilla pudding or chocolate pudding (to look more like dirt), but I really think the secret to making the best dirt cake ever is using french vanilla pudding!
  • Oreos. I only ever buy double stuffed Oreos, but any variety with any amount of “stuff” work well. This recipe calls for a 15 oz package, but you can add more if you wish! You can also use gluten-free sandwich cookies or another cookie if you prefer (such as JoJos). 
  • Butter. salted or unsalted butter works perfectly in this recipe. I use salted.
  • Cool WhipAny cool whip variety works great in this dirt cake recipe. I chose extra creamy because we are already indulging when we make this recipe, so I want it to be as rich and creamy as possible! Choose your favorite! Or you can make your own homemade whipped cream.
dirt pudding in a small individual serving dish with gummy worms on top

How to Make Dirt Cake

This dirt cake recipe is really easy to make! Let’s walk through it step-by-step, and don’t forget to watch the video! 

Step 1: Combine the Pudding & Milk

The French vanilla pudding needs to be mixed with the milk and then put in the fridge to set. Which is why I recommend doing this step first so that it can set while you’re mixing the rest of the pudding ingredients together and chopping the Oreos! 

two photos showing how to make dirt cake - combining milk and pudding

Step 2: Chop Some Oreos

Remove eight Oreos (or more if you bought a family-sized bag) from the package and chop them into ¼” to ½” pieces. This simple step makes this dirt cake recipe extra special. 

My absolute favorite bites of this dirt pudding are the ones that contain big chunks of soft Oreos. They have the best texture after they’re pudding-infused from chilling overnight! Trust me, don’t skip this step!

two photos showing how to make dirt cake -chopping oreos on a cutting board

Step 3: Crush the Rest of the Oreos 

After you’ve chopped a few Oreos, crush the rest. It’s very easy to do this in a food processor fitted with an “S” blade. Just be aware that you may have to pause, release any Oreos that get stuck to the blades, and process some more!

If you don’t have a food processor you can use a rolling pin. Just be sure to crush them into a fine powder so they look like dirt!! 

two photos showing how to make dirt cake - Oreo cookies in a food processor before and after processing

Step 4: Make the Pudding Layer

Begin the pudding layer by creaming together the butter and cream cheese. The key to this step is to make sure the butter and cream cheese are softened and at room temperature so they’re easy to combine!

I recommend using a standing mixer, but I used a hand mixer (for shooting purposes) with great success!

two photos showing how to make dirt cake - creaming butter and cream cheese together

Next, beat in the powdered sugar until the mixture is smooth.

two photos showing how to make dirt cake - beating in powdered sugar

Then, beat in the chilled and thickened pudding mixture until the mixture is smooth and there are no lumps. 

two photos showing how to make dirt cake - combining the butter mixture and pudding.

Finally, fold in the cool whip. This is the only ingredient in the pudding mixture that doesn’t get beaten. Simply fold it into the pudding mixture with a spatula until it’s fully incorporated and the pudding is homogenous (uniform throughout).

two photos showing how to make dirt cake - folding in cool whip

Step 5: Assemble the Dirt Cake

Now that you have made the pudding and prepared the “dirt” (Oreos) it’s time to layer them together to make this Oreo Dirt Cake! Each layer consists of the following: 

  • 2 cups of pudding mixture
  • ½ cup crushed Oreos
  • ¼ cup chopped Oreos

Then repeat until all the ingredients have been used. Just be sure to end with a layer of Oreos! These amounts of ingredients will differ if you use a different serving dish other than this glass trifle dish. I discuss more serving options below!

two photos showing the front of a glass trifle dish. The left photo shows a hand measuring 1 cup of pudding into the dish, the right shows a hand adding crushed oreos on top of the pudding layer in this Oreo Dirt Cake
two photos showing the front view of a glass trifle dish. The right photo shows a hand sprinkling Oreos into the dish, the right shows adding another pudding layer to the Oreo Dirt Cake

Step 6: Add Gummy Worms 

For a fun addition, add some gummy worms to the top of the dirt cake once you have finished layering. You could add them as you go on top of each dirt layer if you really love them! I personally don’t prefer the fruity taste in my Oreo Dirt Cake, so I choose to just put them on top and serve extras on the side! 

Overhead view of a hand adding gummy worms to the top of this Oreo Dirt Cake in a round glass trifle dish

Step 7: Chill Overnight

Chilling this Oreo Dirt Cake recipe overnight is critical to achieve the best flavor and texture. The pudding and Oreos meld together and become an out-of-this-world delicious dessert! Simply cover the trifle dish with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator overnight. 

Sure you could only chill it for a couple hours if it’s absolutely necessary. But I recommend taking advantage of the fact that this no-bake dessert needs to be made the day before a big event, freeing you up to make other recipes (like this Pasta Salad or Asian Quinoa Salad), the day of! 

Front view of this Oreo Dirt Cake Recipe in a glass trifle dish with three layers of pudding and three layers of crushed Oreos with gummy worms on top

Step 8: Serve

After exercising amazing self-control and patience letting this Dirt Cake recipe chill overnight, it’s time to finally dig in.

There are a few different “vessels’ you can use to make this Oreo Dirt Cake recipe. 

  • Glass Trifle Dish: I used this Trifle Bowl from Crate and Barrel to make this recipe as pictured! It’s a really beautiful piece of serving-ware and it’s affordable ($25)!  If you’re an Amazon shopper then this Anchor Hocking Trifle Bowl is another great choice, and it’s only $19!
  • A Cute Bucket.  When I have felt like going the extra mile for the kids, I have made this dirt pudding to take to a BBQ or potluck in a cute metal bucket or a plastic bucket!
    • When I make this in a bucket I like to be cute and serve it with a shovel like this Garden Trowel or even a plastic Sand toy shovel!  Just be sure neither the bucket or shovel have been used to garden or play in the sand!
  • Individual Dirt Cake CupsYou can always break the recipe down and layer it into individual dirt cake cups for easy serving! These small clear plastic cups are perfect for that! 
  • 9×13″ Glass Baking DishIf you’d rather just spread this dirt cake out into a 9×13″ baking dish that works as well! You will likely only get two layers of each, and I recommend starting with a pudding layer on the bottom! Bonus if the baking dish has a lid for easy transport!

Store/Freeze

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days, or you can wrap the top of the serving dish with plastic wrap to keep in the refrigerator too.

Store it in the freezer in an airtight container for up to 1 month. Thaw slowly in the refrigerator (do not microwave).

up-close front view of a spoon holding a scoop of Oreo Dirt Cake with two layers of pudding and two layers of crushed oreos

Oreo Dirt Cake Recipe FAQs

Why is it called Dirt Cake?

This recipe is called “dirt cake” or “dirt pudding” because it the cookies look like dirt! Adding worms and a few flowers on top can make it look like a cute garden dirt plot.

What is dirt cake made of?

As you can see, this cake isn’t made of actual dirt. Crushed sandwich cookies resemble dirt in this recipe. Layered with a delicious pudding it’s as cute as it is delicious.

Can I freeze this recipe?

Yes, you can freeze this dirt cake in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

Front view of this Oreo Dirt Cake Recipe in a glass trifle dish with three layers of pudding and three layers of crushed Oreos with gummy worms on top

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Best Oreo Dirt Cake Recipe (Dirt Pudding)

Laura
This Easy Dirt Cake Recipe (Oreo Dirt Pudding) is one of our favorite no-bake desserts! Crushed Oreos are layered between a french vanilla pudding mixture for a kid-friendly, make-ahead dessert recipe perfect for any potluck or BBQ! Add gummy worms for a whimsical touch!
5 from 116 votes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16 servings (½ cup per serving)
Calories 333
Prep Time20 minutes
Chilling time1 day
Total Time1 day 20 minutes

Ingredients 
 

Instructions 

Prepare the Oreos

  • Remove 8 Oreos from the package and place on a cutting board.
  • Cut the cookies into small, ¼” pieces, set aside.
  • Put the remaining Oreos into the container of a food processor fit with an “S” blade.
  • Process until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. You may need to pause, break apart cookies that get stuck to the blades, and continue processing.
  • If you don’t have a food processor, you can crush the Oreos with a rolling pin.
  • Set aside.

Make the Pudding

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together milk and pudding. Set aside in the refrigerator to solidify.
  • In the bowl of your standing mixer or with a hand-held mixer in a large bowl, cream together butter and cream cheese. Beat until well combined & smooth (about 30-60 seconds).
  • Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
  • Add pudding to the butter/cream cheese mixture (make sure it has set before adding), and beat on low speed to combined.
  • Fold in cool whip until the mixture is homogenous (uniform throughout).

Assemble the Dirt Cake

  • Layer the pudding mixture and cookies. Start by pouring 2 cups of pudding mixture into the bottom of a trifle dish and spread it until level.
  • Sprinkle ½ cup cookie crumbs and ¼ cup chopped cookies evenly over the pudding.
  • Repeat using 2 cups of pudding, ½ cup cookie crumbs and ¼ cup chopped cookies for each layer.
  • Add gummy worms to each layer as desired, or only add some to the top.
  • Be sure the final layer is cookie crumbs.

Chill Overnight & Serve

  • Refrigerate overnight or for at least 12 hours. Then serve cold.

Video

Notes

Ingredient Substitutions
  • Milk. I recommend using 2% milk or whole milk.
  • French Vanilla Pudding. you can use instant vanilla or chocolate pudding if you can’t find French vanilla – but if you can it’s definitely the best choice. 
  • Oreos. I suggest double stuffed Oreos, but any variety with any amount of “stuff” work well. This recipe calls for a 15 oz package (normal size), but you can add more if you wish! You can also use gluten-free sandwich cookies or another cookie if you prefer (such as JoJos). 
  • Butter. salted or unsalted butter works perfectly in this recipe. I use salted.
  • Cool WhipAny cool whip variety works great in this dirt cake recipe. I chose extra creamy because we are already indulging when we make this recipe, so I want it to be as rich and creamy as possible! Choose your favorite! Or you can make your own homemade whipped cream.
Store/Freeze
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days, or you can wrap the top of the serving dish with plastic wrap to keep in the refrigerator too.
Store it in the freezer in an airtight container for up to 1 month. Thaw slowly in the refrigerator (do not microwave).

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 333kcal | Carbohydrates: 47.9g | Protein: 4.2g | Fat: 18.3g | Saturated Fat: 9.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2.8g | Cholesterol: 35.4mg | Sodium: 407mg | Potassium: 161.1mg | Fiber: 0.9g | Sugar: 33.8g | Vitamin A: 480IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 1.2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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