Dirt Dessert

Dirt Dessert Recipe

I tend to think I’m a “regular Joe” when it comes to the type of desserts that I enjoy. You’d be surprised how many times I steal a handful of chocolate chips from a bag, eat a chocolate-covered pretzel left over from my last birthday, frequent the local soft serve establishment, and enjoy otherwise very “regular” types of desserts. Yes, I absolutely love creating sky-high layer cakes. No, they are not the only types of things I make or eat. Many times, I crave what I loved when I was a kid.

This “dirt” recipe is one that I remember fondly. I distinctly remember eating it while visiting my parents’ friends during the summer. They had two daughters roughly the same age as my sister and I, and we all got together very often when I was little. My mom’s friend Karen would serve this in individual cups or faux flower pots to all of the kids. I thought it was the coolest thing, and I still appreciate all of the wonderful flavors as an adult. (I even secretly enjoy eating the gummy worms!)

Dirt Dessert Recipe

The old-fashioned Dirt recipe consists of alternating layers of crushed Oreo cookies and a chocolate pudding mixture that has been lightened up with cream cheese and Cool Whip. You can make this dessert as quick and easy as you’d like, or you can substitute homemade versions of the Oreo cookies, chocolate pudding and Cool Whip for a 100% from-scratch dessert. I have written the dessert as it was made by my family, but feel free to make any of those substitutions if you’d like. The combination of flavors is bound to be delicious no matter what!

What were your favorite childhood desserts?

Dirt Dessert Recipe

One year ago: Bacon and Cheese Quiche Tart
Two years ago: Mushroom Barley Risotto
Three years ago: Honey-Oatmeal Sandwich Bread
Four years ago: Mushroom Spinach & Gruyere Quiche
Five years ago: Traditional Madeleines

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Dirt Dessert

A summertime favorite! Dirt dessert is alternating layers of crushed Oreo cookies and a lightened chocolate pudding mixture that is made to look like “dirt”, complete with (gummy) worms!


  • 1 package (about 15 ounces) Oreo Cookies
  • 2 (3.9-ounces) packages instant chocolate pudding
  • 4 cups milk
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ΒΌ cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 8 ounces Cool Whip
  • Gummy worms (optional)


  1. Crush the Oreo cookies into fine crumbs using a food processor (or, place the cookies in a resealable plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin); set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together both boxes of the instant pudding with the milk for about 2 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, beat together the cream cheese and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to low, add the powdered sugar, then gradually increase the speed back to medium until a fluffy texture is reached.
  4. Using a rubber spatula, fold the cream cheese mixture into the chocolate pudding, then fold in the Cool Whip until completely combined.
  5. The dessert can be assembled in a number of ways – in a rectangular or square serving dish, in a trifle dish, or in individual cups. However you plan to serve it, layer the dessert with alternating layers of the crushed Oreos and pudding mixture, beginning and ending with the crushed Oreos. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or overnight) before serving. Decorate the top with gummy worms before serving, if desired.

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