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This is quite literally the best OREO Dirt Cake recipe (OREO Dirt Pudding) on the internet. In just 15 minutes plus chill time, you can make this delicious dessert with yummy chocolate and cream OREO cookies layered with a rich, creamy custard.
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What is dirt cake?
Dirt Cake is a classic all American dessert recipe, also called Dirt Pudding. It features layers of crushed OREO cookies and a thick, creamy custard that just melts in your mouth. It is often served with gummy worms on top (pictures below.)
No only is it a no bake dessert, but it is perfect to make ahead for entertaining or potlucks.
This recipe is very easy to make, in just 15 minutes you can have it ready to go. It does need to chill in the refrigerator at least two hours for the best taste though so plan ahead. I personally prefer to let it sit overnight so I try to make it the day before ideally.
- OREO cookies
- cream cheese
- powdered sugar
- French Vanilla pudding mix
- Cool Whip
Step by step
Step 1: Combine sugar, butter, and cream cheese
You can make the OREO dirt pudding mixture with either a hand mixer or stand mixer .
Combine softened cream cheese, softened butter, and powdered sugar and cream together in the mixer until combined.
Step 2: Make the pudding
In a separate large bowl whisk together the milk, pudding mix, and whipped cream as shown in photo 1 below.
As the mixture combines you will notice the whipped topping stays on the top like in photo 2 below.
Continue mixing until the mixture is completely uniform like photo 3 and a lovely buttery yellow color.
Pour the whipped cream mixture into the cream cheese mix as shown in photo 4 above and mix on medium speed until completely blended. The pudding will be thick and thicken further as it sits.
STYLING TIP: For a pretty presentation, set aside one OREO to top the dirt cake with after it’s finished!
Step 3: Crush OREOS
Use a food processor or blender to crush the OREO cookies into fine crumbs as shown above.
You can also crush the OREOs by hand by placing them in a gallon size Ziploc bag, sealing it, and crushing with a rolling pin. (The kids love to help with this!)
Step 4: Layer the dirt pudding and OREOs
To layer in a trifle dish, you will need your pudding mix, cookie crumbs, a ladle, and two spoons-one for the cookies and one to spread the pudding.
Now it’s time to layer the dirt cake! I like to make this recipe in a trifle dish so you can see all the deliciousness! If you don’t have a trifle dish you can easily make it in a 9×13 pan, the layers will just be thinner.
How to make perfect layers in a trifle dish
Use a ladle to scoop about a cup of pudding mixture (photo 2) and plop it right down in the middle of your trifle dish.
Use the back of a spoon (photo 3 above) to push the pudding out from the middle to the edges of the dish.
TIP: If you are worried about smudges showing on the glass, use a paper towel to wipe them clean as you go as in step 4 above.
Sprinkle about 1/4 inch even layer of OREO crumbs over the pudding (step 1 above).
Continue layering the pudding adding new layers to the middle of the cookie layer (step 2) then gently pushing the pudding to the edges (step 3).
Add the pudding and remaining cookie crumbs until it is gone, usually four layers of each.
TIP: For the prettiest layers always place the custard in the middle over the crumbs and push outward gently with the back of a spoon. Pat the top layer of OREO down with the back of a spoon as well (step 4 above).
Top with a whole OREO or gummy worms if desired.
Tips & Tricks
- Be sure to thoroughly soften the butter and cream cheese before creaming together to ensure your pudding layer turns out smooth without lumps.
- If your dirt cake turns out runny instead of thick, check to make sure you used INSTANT pudding mix, not traditional stovetop pudding.
- If you do not have a food processor or blender to crush the OREOS, simply place them in a large gallon storage bag and crush with a rolling pin.
- You can eat the dirt cake right away but it tastes so much better if you let it chill to let the flavors blend. I recommend no less than 2 hours of chill time or preferably overnight.
- To achieve the pretty layers in a trifle dish, ladle the pudding mixture into the direct center of the dish then use the back of a spoon to gently push it towards the edges. Keep the spoon away from the crumbs so they don’t mix together.
- Milk: Use any milk for this recipe, I usually use 2%
- Pudding: For the very best results use Jello Instant French Vanilla pudding, regular vanilla can be used if necessary. Make sure it is INSTANT, not stovetop. I have readers who have used instant chocolate pudding for another variation with good results.
- Cool Whip: Any brand of whipped topping is fine, there is no difference between brands.
- OREOs: I have made this with both regular and double stuffed OREOs. If you use Double Stuff you may want to add a little more than one package so there is plenty of cookie in the dirt layers. I don’t suggest off-brand sandwich cookies.
- I usually use a trifle dish so you can see all those delicious layers but you can also serve this in a 9 by 13 inch glass baking dish.
- My aunt always served her dirt cake in a plastic flower pot with gummy worms and fake flowers stuck in. It is a super cute, especially for kids.
- This recipe is also cute in a sand bucket with a shovel for serving.
- You can also serve it in clear plastic single serve cups like I did with these strawberry “carrots” for this Easter dirt cake recipe.
If you’ve tried this recipe please comment and rate it below, I love hearing from you!Print