Best Dirt Cake Recipe. Ever.

dirt cake recipe

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I love some dirt cake.  Seriously. L-O-V-E. I mean, any recipe that includes an entire package of Oreo cookies ranks up there, am I right? Plus, it is a super fun recipe to cook with the kids!

oreo dirt cake trifle recipe

So without further ado, this is my Aunt’s recipe dirt cake recipe and it is scrum-delicious.  I hope you agree!

dirt cake recipe


1/3 cup butter or margarine
1 8 oz container of Cool Whip
1 package Oreos (yeah, I used reduced fat, a girl can kid herself, right?)
8 oz container Cream Cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
3 1/2 cups milk
  1. Cream together butter, cream cheese, and powdered sugar.
  2. In a separate bowl whisk pudding mix, milk, and Cool Whip.  Add in cream cheese mixture.
  3. Crush Oreos.  (I like to put mine in a gallon Ziploc bag and let the boys crush them with a rolling pin, just make sure the bag is all the way closed!)
  4. Layer cookie and pudding mixture and chill!

****Chill at least 2 hours before serving****

dirt cake recipe

Voila! Easy-peasy! I usually make mine in a trifle dish so I can see all the yummy goodness awaiting me but my aunt likes to serve hers in a clean terra cotta pot which is super cute! Gummy worms and a faux flower also maximize the cuteness when serving.  My boys just love the gummy worms in the “dirt!”

I hope you love it-I’m not sure how anyone can not love dirt cake though! Let me know if you give it a try or if you have another variation!

dirt cake recipe

So now that you know my very favorite dessert to make it’s your turn to weigh in on what I share next-let me know which of these recipes is your favorite in the comments and I’ll post a reader favorite soon!


For more yummy dessert ideas check out my other desserts:

peanut butter dirt cake trifles

Peanut Butter Dirt Cake Trifle

strawberry heart cheesecake bites close

Strawberry Heart Cheesecake Bites

peanut butter swirl brownies

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

marshmallow pops

Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Pops!

Or you can browse my Recipe Gallery to see everything!

Like what you see?  Follow me on Facebook and Pinterest-I have some great projects in the works coming up that you won’t want to miss!

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  2. says

    Stopping by from Triple T Mum. Thanks for sharing on the Kids Co-op! This looks so good I just have to feature it in my Kids Co-op Showcase this week and pin to Kids Co-op board. You might want to stop by and pick up a Featured at badge.

  3. says

    I am literally eating this right now!! I will never use another recipe again! This is totally reminding me of when I was in middle school and we made this for our bake sales! MMMMMMMMMMM totally delish! Thanks for posting this and having it wind up on Pinterest!!

  4. says

    @mommyofgoingon4 I’m SO glad you like it! It is seriously one of my weaknesses (along with French Onion dip!) I only allow myself to make it about 2-3 times a year because I can’t stop eating it once I start!

  5. Stacy says

    I love this recipe! Would it be just as yummy with chocolate pudding instead of vanilla, I wonder?
    Thanks for sharing this !

  6. Manny says

    Any substitute for cream cheese? Not available where I live. Does the happy cow cheese available in a round container containing individually wrapped triangular cheese work?

  7. says

    Your Pudding seems to be white in color is that because of the whipcream and cheese cake or is there a white vanilla instant pudding

    • Melissa says

      It’s just the combination with the whipped cream and cream cheese-the pudding alone has a yellowish tint. :)

  8. Samantha Porter says

    Hi. I was wondering what the serving amt feeds usually?? Also, can you use a different pudding choice??

    • Melissa Riker says

      I’d say it could serve about 10 depending on serving size! Using different pudding will change the flavor a bit but give it a try! I recently made a peanut butter version with peanut butter oreos and it was great too!

  9. Jessica says

    I attempted this 2 times in 24 hours because I was supposed to bring dessert. Needless to say I wasted money that we did not have to have this dessert flop both times. I read the instructions and so did my mom, husband & grandma. We could not come up with any reason that the pudding did not form either time. I was so embarrased it’s not funny. I’m know if my family for my desserts and on Thanksgiving of all days I couldn’t deliver. I am very thankful that I know about this recipe before I tried to make it for my exstended family Chrismas party. I’d be really embarrassed infront of 300 people. Needless to say this link is getting taken off my FB & my favorites list. You apperently need to add more detail because there’s no reason I should have had to waste money for pudding soup.

    • Melissa Riker says

      I’m sorry you had such a problem with my recipe Jessica. This is the exact way I make mine every single time and I have never had an issue. I do not know what extra details I can add to the recipe as it’s very simple and many, many readers have had success with it as you will see from the comments. I wish you the best of luck in trying the other versions that you’ve found. ~Melissa

        • Melissa says

          It’s 3.5 cups of milk Suzanne, listed in the ingredients-is it not showing up for you? Please let me know so I can fix it if necessary, I can see it on my end but stranger things have happened on the blog than things disappearing!

  10. Jessica says

    She needs more then a few. After 2 flops & turning to actual books I found one that tells in detail how to make it without getting pudding soup.

    • Melissa Riker says

      I’m so sorry Bridget…for the life of me I can’t figure out why a few people haven’t had luck with the recipe-I’ve been using the same one for going on 20 years and have never had it turn out thin like that. Did you make any substitutions? I’m determined to figure out why a few people are having “soupy” results.

  11. Bridget says

    I followed the exact recipe. I am definitely not a “natural” cook which is why I search out recipes. With that being said, I wonder if it has anything to do with the humidity of southern living. I have always heard it effects baking! Just a fat guess!

    • Melissa Riker says

      Where are you? I’m in NC and have always been in the south… I’m going to make it Friday to try and figure out what might be going wrong.

    • Melissa Riker says

      Hey there, me again! Did you chill the dirt cake before serving it? I recreated it tonight and I could see how it may seem thin as you are layering it but after chilling it per the recipe it was perfect. I made a video when I made it today and will add it to the post in the coming week to see if it helps. ~Melissa

  12. Bridget says

    I added another 8 oz cool whip and chilled it overnight. It did solidify after being in the fridge.
    I suppose the other dirt cake recipe I had tried didn’t have the same consistency. I was looking for another one simply because the first one I tried left me with a lot of extra pudding mixture. You have been very helpful. I will view the video!

  13. Bobbi says

    This recipe is not turning out!!!!! This recipe needs to be edited to call for “INSTANT PUDDING”. Use instant pudding to not have pudding soup!

    • Melissa Riker says

      I’m so sorry the recipe didn’t turn out for you Bobbi but I wanted to thank you IMMENSELY because I have been trying to figure out for a year and a half why every now and then it doesn’t turn out for someone!!! It never occurred to me that I hadn’t specified Instant pudding because I’ve never bought the other kind myself! Thank you!

    • Melissa Riker says

      Hi Tonya, I crush the entire Oreo! I usually dump a package into a gallon zip lock bag and seal it then use a rolling pin to crush them. (Just make sure the bag is all the way closed!)

  14. says

    I noticed there wasn’t a size on what pudding box you bought. There are a couple different sized in INSTANT pudding box option. Going to the store tomorrow and need to know which to purchase! Thanks!

    • Melissa Riker says

      Hi Katrina, they are the smaller boxes, I don’t know what the exact size is but I am going to the store tomorrow and will look and update the post-looking online it looks to be the 3.4 ounce size. I’ll check for sure tomorrow though. Thanks so much for pointing that out so I can fix it! Take care!

  15. H says

    We always use instant chocolate pudding instead of vanilla and it’s the best!! Also we use a pre-made oreo crust you can buy in the baking aisle. Then the mixture of pudding then the crushed Oreos on top. And some gummy worms if desired. Once you try it with chocolate pudding, you’ll never go back to vanilla :)

  16. amanda nicholson says

    For those wanting a different flavor than the traditional vanilla/chocolate, I have used banana, peppermint, and strawberry extract in the pudding mixture. Will prob be using cherry next as my kids (5 Girls!) love this as their birthday cake. I use a garden pot (no holes on the bottom), a gardening trowel as the serving spoon, and each girl has their own set of fake flowers that goes in the pot on their birthday. I have been making this for years and it was previously made for me and my sisters by my parents when we were growing up.

    • Melissa Riker says

      Great ideas Amanda! I grew up with dirt cake too and my aunt served it in the pot too, love it!

  17. Paige says

    Just a thought, what if people are adding the 3.5 cups of milk on top of the milk that the pudding calls for, that would be a reason why it’s extremely runny. Trying the recipe out right now!! Pinned it a few days ago and have been wanting it every time I see it on my Pinterest :)

    • Melissa Riker says

      True Paige. Be sure to only use the 3.5 cups and make sure it’s instant pudding! I hope you like it- it’s my absolute favorite!!

  18. Courtney says

    I also have an aunt who serves hers in a flower pot. In our family we call it “dirt dessert”. I love how pretty it looks in a trifle.

  19. Barbara says

    This recipe is excellent. It is a lovely simple trifle recipe. You can use other cookies too. Pecan sandies with butterscotch pudding, vanilla wafers with banana pudding, etc are all excellent combinations. If using cookies other than those with a icing middle add melted butter and a small amount of sugar so there is some sticky body to the mixture to layer. Dirt cake is similar to the very well known Southern classic trifle Banana Pudding made with Vanilla Wafers which is served warm. These recipes are fun to experiment with to find your own favorite.

  20. anne says

    This is a good recipe. For those that think it is too runny. I only use 2 – 2.5 cups of milk because I like mine thick anyways. I also use 12 oz of cool whip instead of 8. I do one batch vanilla and one chocolate and layer with the chocolate on top.

    • Mandy says

      You want to follow the directions as they are written. In one bowl, mix the cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar until it’s smooth. Don’t over mix cream cheese – that can also cause some of the runny/soupy results the previous commenters are saying they have had.

      In another bowl, mix your milk and pudding together. I would then add the Cool Whip once the pudding and milk have combined.

      Then you dump the pudding/Cool Whip mixture into the cream cheese mixture.

      Hope that helps and isn’t too late!

      • Melissa says

        Totally agree Mandy, follow the directions exactly as written and it should turn out perfect! This is one of my very favorite recipes!

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  22. anna says

    Made this for work….stuck some fake eyeballs on the top to make it more Halloweenish….everyone loved it!!! Super easy and a great hit!!! Thxs for sharing.

  23. Dana says

    I just wanted to say that mine turned out fine and I accidentally poured the milk in the cream cheese,butter and powdered sugar mixture Before I had creamed it…. I am having a Hectic Night been busy all day so I messed up!
    Anyway,I just dumped in the pudding and I beat it like
    I then folded in the cool whip and it turned out Great!! Thank God!!
    Thank you so much for this recipe it is So So Good!! Happy Thanksgiving!! :)

  24. Lynn says

    First….I love this recipe! The recipe actually says “Instant Pudding” so that’s not the problem. The reason why people are having “pudding soup” is because they’re making the pudding with the 2 cups of milk the box is requesting(which is a total of 4 cups for the 2 pudding boxes) AND…. they’re adding the 3.5 cups the recipe is requesting.

  25. Patrick says

    Please specify measurement amounts of packages. It is helpful for overseas readers and also, over time, packaging may change.

  26. Amanda says

    Thank you for sharing this recipe! I cannot wait to try it! I may have missed it, but do you have an idea of how many it will serve? I think I need to double the recipe but wanted to check if you had a guesstimate. Thank you!

  27. Heidi says

    So…just to clarify- I don’t need to boil the instant pudding powder/milk ahead of time? I’m just adding the powdery packets along with 3.5 cups milk and cool whip? I’ve tried both ways…the second time not doing any boiling-but it seemed super soupy (hoping as it chills it all thicken up) Then I started reading all the comments. But maybe the recipe could read “whisk pudding powder mix” for those that are confused like me :)

    • Melissa says

      I’ll make that clarification Heidi. You don’t do anything with the instant pudding mix but whisk it into the milk and cool whip. It does thicken quite quickly when it chills-I just made this again for my husband’s military promotion party this past week!

  28. Laura says

    This IS the best dirt cake ever! I made it two weeks ago for one of my son’s birthday celebrations (he’s at the age where the are at least three occasions marking his birth) and my daughter whose birthday is today insisted this be her birthday cake. Thanks for the great and so easy recipe!


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