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I have been making Dirt Cake since I was in high school. My kids have all grown up on it. I started making it for Easter for the “kids” dessert about 20 years ago. Occasionally I’ve had a child request it for their birthday. I’ve also turned it into a “Ghosts in the Graveyard” cake for Halloween.

I bought a flower pot and trowel/little shovel 20 years ago, that I keep in our Easter bins, and it is ONLY used for dirt cake.

The Dollar Store usually has some great flower pot options this time of year.

I’ll be honest, as a kid I LOVED this dessert. As an adult… Not so much.

I have updated the recipe. Back in the day, it called for cool whip. I have adjusted it to use whipping cream instead.

Start by crushing about 50ish Oreos. I use my food processor. Another way of doing this is putting about 10-15 Oreos in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag, seal it shut, and roll over with a rolling pin til thoroughly crushed. Empty the crumbs into a bowl and repeat till all the cookies are crushed.

After the cookies are crushed so thoroughly that it looks like soil, then gather the rest of the ingredients.

I prefer to use my stand mixer with the whisk attachment for the cream filling. Electric beaters will also work.

Start by creaming together the butter, cream cheese, and powdered sugar. Add in the instant vanilla pudding.

Slowly add in the milk while whipping at a lower speed. Gradually add more speed. Scrape the sides of the bowl, and then whip it on a medium-high speed for about 3 minutes. Scrape the sides again if needed.

Next, gradually add a pint of whipping cream while mixing.

Whip it on medium-high for 5-6 minutes, till it is thick and gloopy.

If you are using a pot with drainage holes, it’s time to block them off. I use a small paper plate or cut around the edge of a big paper plate to fit in the bottom. Or you could press aluminum foil in the bottom to cover the holes. If you are using a 9×13 dish or a pot with no drainage holes, then skip this step.

I use a small plate or cut down a plate to fit in the bottom of the flower pot to cover the drainage holes.

Now layer the cookie crumbs and then the cream repeatedly till the dish is full or the stuff is gone. Each layer should be about an inch thick. These measurements fil perfectly in my flower pot every time.

For fun I like to add a few gummy worms here and there in the dirt layers.

Definitely let the kids help. My boys love helping with the layers and especially with placing the worms. I always leave lots of worms for the top.

The kids are always thrilled with the worms all over the top.

Serve up with a large spoon or with a small gardening shovel or trowel.

Dirt Cake

A cookies and cream layered pudding cake. Really fun to use for a garden or springtime theme, or can transform into a "Ghosts in the Graveyard" cake for a Halloween theme.
Prep Time 35 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 15


  • 1 Flower pot About a foot deep and 10 inches wide
  • 1 9×13 baking dish In place of a pot, if you do not have a pot.


  • Oreos
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 ½ cups milk 2% recommended
  • 2 small boxes vanilla instant pudding
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • gummy worms optional
  • fake flowers optional


  • Start by crushing all the Oreos into fine crumbs. Leave the cream fillings in. This is best done in a food processor, about 15-20 cookies at a time, with a sharp blade. It can also be done by putting about 10 Oreos at a time in a large Ziploc bag. Seal it shut with little to no air inside. Roll over them with a rolling pin or crush with a meat mallett. Continue the process over and over till all the cookies are crushed. Collect the crumbs in large bowl. It will look and feel like dark, rich soil.
  • Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment or a hand mixer and large bowl, cream the butter, cream cheese and powdered sugar.
  • Add in half of the milk and continue to mix till the milk is mostly mixed into the butter and cream cheese. Add in the boxes of vanilla pudding and the rest of the milk. Whisk or mix for 1 minute.
  • With the mixer or beaters on, slowly add in the whipping cream. Whip it on high for 4-5 minutes, or until it has thickened to a soft pudding texture.
  • Layer in the pot or baking dish beginning and ending with the Oreo crumbs and alternating with the pudding. If you wish, for a little fun, spread in a few gummy worms here and there in the layers. Make each layer about an inch thick. Repeat until all the crumbs and pudding are used up or the dish is full.
  • Decorate the top with fake flowers if you wish, or little gravestones with ghosts for a spooky look. I like to serve it up with a clean, unused garden trowel (shovel).
Keyword kid food, oreos, party food, Spring, Summer, summer dessert