Dirt Pudding

Whether you call it Dirt Pudding, Oreo Dirt Dessert, or Dirt Cake, this no-bake dessert brings joy wherever it goes! Featuring layers of creamy pudding and Oreo cookie crumbs, Dirt Pudding with gummy worms is a fabulous make ahead dessert that’s beloved by kids and adults alike!

A Family Favorite: Oreo Dirt Dessert

Dirt pudding is a classic creamy dessert that's loved by kids and adults alike!

If given the choice, the Mr. ALWAYS picks Dirt Pudding over any other dessert. It doesn’t matter what the competition looks like. Strawberry Layer Cake? No. Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies? Nata. Homemade Brownies? Maaaaaaybe.

But 6 out of 7 days of the week, Mr. NeighborFood is going to choose dirt dessert. It’s not that he doesn’t like other desserts. (Thank goodness! That would make for a difficult marriage). It’s just that he really, really LOVES Dirt Pudding.

Worms In Dirt: Every Kid’s Dream

So what is dirt pudding, exactly? All the variations–dirt cake, dirt dessert, Oreo pudding, worms in dirt–refer to a layered no-bake dessert that combines fluffy, creamy, whipped pudding with buttery crushed Oreos.

I grew up eating chocolate dirt pudding at every church potluck and family reunion. My aunt layered the dessert in a big (clean) sand bucket, sprinkled it with gummy worms, and served it with a little shovel.

All of us kids rushed to the front of the potluck line (rude) just to make sure we got a scoop. There was nothing worse than arriving at the dessert table and realizing all the dirt and worms was gone.

Thankfully, we’re adults now and can make this easy Dirt Pudding recipe any time we want–and we only have to share if we want to!

How to Make Dirt Pudding

Sure, you could do things the hard way with homemade pudding and freshly whipped cream. 

But the dirt dessert I know and love is made with store bought shortcuts like instant pudding and Cool Whip, and it tastes absolutely delicious!

This Dirt Pudding recipe is perfect for family gathering and loved by kids and adults alike!

What goes in Dirt Pudding? Here’s what you’ll need!

  • 1 1/2 (14 ounce) packages Oreos (I use regular Oreos, but double stuff also works!
  • 4 Tablespoons melted butter (salted or unsalted)
  • 3 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 small boxes of your favorite instant pudding (more on this below!)
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 12 ounces whipped topping or Cool Whip, thawed
  • Gummy worms (optional)

Making Dirt Pudding

  1. Start by crushing up the Oreos. I like to put them all in a zip lock bag and use a rolling pin to beat them into coarse chunks. I find the recipe tastes best when there are both big and small chunks of Oreo, so don’t feel like you need to pulverize them completely!
  2. Pour the butter into the Oreos and give it a shake to coat.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together the milk and pudding until starting to thicken, about 2 minutes. Set aside.
  4. In an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese and sugar on medium high speed until smooth. Add the pudding mixture and beat on low speed until combined. Fold in the Cool Whip.
  5. Layer the pudding with the crumbs in a bowl, bucket, or pan, ending with the crumbs on top. Chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Chocolate Dirt Pudding or Vanilla? That is the question.

There is disagreement in our home about what makes the absolute BEST dirt cake. My husband prefers his dirt recipe with chocolate pudding. I prefer it with French vanilla pudding.

We’ve also tried chocolate fudge pudding and a mix of chocolate and cheesecake. For Halloween, we love to use pumpkin pudding and make Halloween Dirt Pudding!

My recommendation is to try a couple different versions and see what your family likes best.

This crowd pleasing Dirt Pudding disappears at parties!

How to Serve Oreo Pudding

  • My favorite way to serve dirt pudding is in a cute sand pail like these. Place a Cool Whip lid as far down the bucket as it will go. This cuts off some of the space at the bottom and makes sure your pudding layers reach the top. This serving method is a huge hit with kids and absolutely perfect for a farm themed birthday party.
  • You can also make a “dirt cake” by spreading thin pudding and Oreo layers in a 9 x 13 inch pan.
  • Glass trifle bowls are also lovely and allow you to see all the layers!
  • You can also make individual Dirt Pudding cups–just like in our Pumpkin Dirt Pudding parfaits.

Make Ahead Dirt Cake

Dirt Pudding is ideal for parties and events because it has to be made ahead of time. The minimum chill time is 2 hours, but I find it’s best after about 24 hours. The soft, pudding soaked Oreos are absolute perfection after a full day in the fridge.

Dirt dessert lasts about 3 days in the fridge. After that, the Oreos start to go to the dark side of mushy.

More Oreo Recipes You Might Enjoy

This Dirt Pudding is an easy dessert that kids and adults both love!
Dirt Pudding Recipe

Dirt Pudding Recipe

Yield: 15
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Creamy pudding and crumbled Oreos combine to make this much loved Oreo Dirt Dessert, or as we call it, Dirt Pudding!


  • 1 1/2 (14 ounce) packages Oreos
  • 6 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 3 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 small boxes instant pudding (use all chocolate, all vanilla, or a mix of two. I prefer all French vanilla pudding)
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 12 ounces whipped topping, thawed
  • Gummy worms (optional)


  1.  Place oreos in a large ziplock bag and seal. Use a rolling pin to crush oreos. Pour melted butter in the bag and shake to combine. 
  2. Whisk the milk and pudding mix together in a bowl until starting to thicken, about 2 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Place the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium high speed until the mixture is smooth and no lumps remain.
  4. Fold the pudding in, beating on low speed until well combined. Stir in whipped topping.
  5. If you're using a large play pail to serve the pudding, you might want to place the whipped topping lid upside down in the bottom. This shortens the pail and makes it so the pudding will go all the way up to the top. Place a layer of Oreos at the bottom. Put a layer of the pudding mixture over top. Repeat until both are gone, beginning and ending with the Oreos. Arrange gummy worms on top. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 15 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 266Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 178mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 0gSugar: 16gProtein: 4g

Please note nutritional information for my recipes is calculated by a third party service and provided as a courtesy to my readers. For the most accurate calculation, I always recommend running the numbers yourself with the specific products you use.

Did you make this recipe?

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  1. How long can this sit out during serving? Mine turned very soupy after sitting out for only like an hour. Still tasted very good and goy lots of compliments, it was just very soupy.

  2. Can you make this with regular pudding mix if you prepare the pudding and let it set up before adding it to the other ingredients?

    1. I’m sorry, I’m not very familiar with Oreo Coasters, but I probably wouldn’t recommend using them, as you want some of the texture of the regular Oreos to remain, even after adding the butter and letting them sit in the pudding.

  3. Love this! Forgot how to make it and couldn’t fine the recipe so I looked online and found this it’s honestly one of those deserts you have as a kid that even as an adult never gets old! Thank you for sharing! Made mine into a Halloween themed desert by making it look like a graveyard and I honestly couldn’t think of a better desert to do it with!

  4. It says small box of pudding in the recipe, but doesn’t have an ounce size, does small mean the 3.4 oz box?

    1. I used a pretty standard size pail here- it was about 8 inches across the top and 9 inches tall.

  5. I am not sure if this is missing a step, but I didn’t see anywhere it said to take the filling out of the Oreos. It also says that Double Stuff Oreos work as well, however I ended up with 1/3 of the Oreo crumbs stuck to the inside of the bag in a mushy paste. I think if I make this recipe again I’ll remove and save the filling to either augment or replace the cream cheese step depending on how much filling there is.

    1. I’ve made this both with butter and without, and prefer it with the butter. The butter adds flavor AND helps the Oreos to clump together. However, the recipe will still work without the butter if you decide to omit it.

  6. This looks delicious! We had a family friend who used to make this pudding when we were children and I didn’t have the recipe so I’m going to try yours. She always served it in a (new and clean) flowerpot lined with tin foil, and she’d tin foil the bottom of a fake plant and stick it in the “dirt” and serve with a trowel. I remember being totally fooled as a child the first time she served it to us!

    1. Oh what a bummer! Unfortunately this does not freeze very well. it will keep in the fridge for about a week, so hopefully you can make a dent in it or share with friends and neighbors!

  7. Thank you for sharing my children (now adults) favorite dessert. I misplaced the recipe many years ago. I’m so happy to surprise my family for this Thanksgiving!

  8. Not enough Oreos in this recipe, it didn’t turn out the way your photo looked. The pudding to Oreo ratio was way off. I should have gotten the family size package instead of regular size.

    1. It helps soften the Oreos and adds flavor. I know it sounds like just extra calories, but I’ve made it with and without and do prefer it with the butter. That said, it can absolutely be omitted if you prefer!

    1. I have not tried it with almond milk, but have heard you can make instant pudding with almond milk, but use half the amount called for on the package. If the person is lactose intolerant but not allergic to milk, I would just recommend using lactose free milk. It tastes and behaves exactly the same in recipes! Good luck!

    1. It will keep for several days, but the Oreos will start to get soggy after the first 24 hours. If you’d like, you can prepare the Oreos and pudding separately and then assemble a few hours before you’re ready to serve.

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