A recipe for classic dirt dessert! This easy summer dessert features alternating layers of crushed Oreos and a chocolate pudding mixture. It is made to look like dirt, complete with (gummy) worms!

Dirt Dessert - The classic! A trifle bowl filled with layers of crushed Oreos and chocolate mousse.

I tend to think I’m a “regular Joe” when it comes to the type of desserts that I enjoy. I am more a “handful of chocolate chips” type of girl than a spun sugar, fancy cake kind of girl. Many times, I crave what I loved when I was a kid.

This dirt dessert 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 me and my sister, 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!)

Making dirt dessert - folding whipped cream into chocolate mousse!

The old-fashioned dirt dessert 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 - The classic dessert layered in a parfait dish.

One year ago: Chocolate Dump-It Cake
Two years ago: Top 10 List: Favorite Side Dishes
Five years ago: Sausage, Mozzarella & Basil Stuffed Peppers
Eight years ago: Pizzelles

Watch How to Make Dirt Dessert:

Dirt Dessert - The classic! A trifle bowl filled with layers of crushed Oreos and chocolate mousse.

Dirt Dessert

Dirt dessert alternates layers of crushed Oreo cookies and a lightened chocolate pudding mixture that is made to look like “dirt”, complete with (gummy) worms!
4.46 (64 ratings)


  • 14.3 ounce (405.4 g) Oreo Cookies
  • 7.8 ounce (221.13 g) instant chocolate pudding
  • 4 cups (976 ml) milk
  • 8 ounces (226.8 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup (56.75 g) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (120 g) powdered sugar
  • 8 ounce (226.8 g) container Cool Whip
  • Gummy worms, optional


  • 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.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together both boxes of the instant pudding with the milk for about 2 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  • 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.
  • Using a rubber spatula, fold the cream cheese mixture into the chocolate pudding, then fold in the Cool Whip until completely combined.
  • 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.


Nutritional values are based on one serving
Calories: 332kcal, Carbohydrates: 44g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 31mg, Sodium: 421mg, Potassium: 202mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 32g, Vitamin A: 405IU, Calcium: 106mg, Iron: 2.4mg

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!

This recipe was originally published on May 20, 2013.