Liven up your Halloween party with these crowd pleasing Pumpkin Dirt Pudding Graveyard Parfaits.
The church I went to as a kid had epic Sunday potlucks once a month. It was always my favorite Sunday. I’d sit anxiously all throughout the service as the smells of cheesy casseroles and lasagnas and crockpot meatballs filled the sanctuary. As soon as the final AMEN crossed the pastor’s lips, all of the kids rushed to get in line for the food. There were always dishes we looked forward to– Aunt Betty’s Chicken and Noodles, hashbrown cheesy potatoes, taco salad, and all sorts of unidentifiable dishes lurking under a cover of melted cheese.
But the real rush was for dessert. At the end of the food line sat an entire table dedicated to the sweet stuff. There were chocolate chip cookies and custard pies, fudgy brownies, and cherry delight. But we only wanted one thing: dirt pudding. A mixture of crumbled Oreos and creamy chocolate pudding, dirt pudding is pretty much every kid’s dream. For potlucks, it was often piled into a plastic flower pot and finished with Oreo “dirt”, gummy worms, and a big plastic flower for effect.
It. was. awesome.
I’ve shared the recipe for classic Dirt Pudding before. But with Halloween right around the corner, I decided it was time to update this dessert and give it a spooky fall makeover.
First step? Pumpkinize it! Obviously. This pumpkin pudding is as easy as tossing a can of evaporated milk, a can of pumpkin puree, and a box of instant vanilla pudding into the mixture then blending it until creamy. I added a little cinnamon to bring out the flavors then stirred in some Cool Whip to make it nice and fluffy. Guys? There is a time and place for instant pudding and Cool Whip. This is one of those times.
Second step? Messy, crumbly, filthy dirt! (AKA: Delicious bits of crushed Oreos)
Third step? Tombstones. Have you ever noticed how much Milano cookies look like tombstones? Yeah, me neither. Until I saw these Fudgy Graveyard Brownies over at Picky Palate. Eerie isn’t it? A little bit of melted chocolate and a plastic baggie is all you need to pipe a few creepy “RIP”s on the stones.
Last but not least? Parfait it! Of course, there’s nothing particularly Halloweenish about parfaits, except that they’re awesome and infinitely more adorable than giant bowls of pudding.
As cute as these little guys are, the best part about them is the taste. Pumpkin and Oreos are a surprisingly delightful combination. Except reaaaaally, it’s not surprising at all. Pumpkin spiced pudding and chocolatey cookies? This stuff was bound to be good.
I’m so excited to see all the other Halloween recipes my fellow Sunday Supper contributors came up with this week. Whether you’re looking for creepy, cooky, fun, or just plain delicious ideas for your Halloween party, you’re sure to find them in the list below!
Pumpkin Dirt Pudding (Graveyard Parfaits)
- 1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
- 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree (1 3/4 cup)
- 1 (5 oz) box instant vanilla pudding
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 an 8 oz container cool whip
- 1 package oreos, crushed
- 4 Tablespoons butter, melted
- 8 Milano cookies
- Handful chocolate chips
For the pudding:
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine evaporated milk, pumpkin puree, and pudding, and beat until mixture is smooth and well combined, about 2 minutes. Refrigerate for 5 minutes. Stir in cinnamon and the cool whip. Refrigerate mixture until ready to serve.
- In a bowl, combine melted butter and crushed Oreos. Set aside until ready to serve.
For the RIP cookies:
- Line the Milano cookies up on a baking sheet or wax paper.
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave then place it in a plastic bag. Cut a teensy tiny hole in the corner of the plastic bag then push the chocolate to the corner.
- Use the melted chocolate to write out RIP on the top of each of the cookies. Allow to dry.
- To serve, layer Oreos in the bottom of the glasses. Spoon pudding to about 3/4 of the way full then finish with another layer of Oreos. Stake the Milano cookies in the pudding mixture, with the RIP on top. **This will serve different amounts depending on how big your glasses are. This will be enough for 8 juice size glasses or 4 large drinking glasses.
Recipe by Neighborfood
Sadly this was not a home run for us. It felt like something kids would like but as an adult it was not for me. The pumpkin and cookies did not seem to go together.
Do you make the vanilla pudding and then add it or do you simply add the powder?
How fast in advance can I take these for a party? The day before ok?
The day before would be fine! You can save the top layer of crumbs and put it on right before the party if you want them to have a little crunch.
Hi there! I need to use organic pudding, and they did not have it in instant form. How do I adjust the recipe using cooked pudding?? My party is tomorrow evening.
Do you think if I doubled the recipe that I could make a graveyard in a cake pan. I’m not really wanting to individualize the servings.
You can definitely do that Mary! This recipe will fill an 8 inch pan, doubled should be plenty for a 9 x 13.
do you cook the pudding or just throw in the dry mix?
It’s no cook! Just be sure to use instant pudding.
This is such a great recipe! It was so great that I included it in my “Best Halloween Party Desserts” post that just went up. Check it out! I think guests of any halloween party will love your dessert!
The Petite Bijou
Hehehe we used to do something like this when I was little and put fake flowers in it. I like your version better!!
So adorable! I can imagine a little kiddo that would dive right into these.
I’m sure they would! And they’d have the orangey, cookie crumb face to prove it! 🙂
These are the cutest!
Pumpkin and oreos sound too good together. Milanos are my fav though.
Me too! They’re a weakness.
So awesome and so easy! I love the little tombstones!
I love the milano cookie-tombstones! What a fun idea! Thanks for sharing on #SundaySupper
I have plenty of memories of church potlucks too. I even have a couple of church cookbooks where they printed all the recipes. Dirt pudding (or sometimes called dirt cake) was a main feature. Love it and how you made it so fun for Halloween.
I’m glad other people have such good memories of church potlucks. The cookbooks from my church are some of my favs!
Thanks so much! I thought so too..even though I felt a little weird calling a graveyard adorable. 😉
Milanos are perfect tombstones, Courtney! How have I never noticed that before now? I love the flavors you’ve got going here. As for the potlucks, the casseroles hidden with melted cheese are always my favorites. There can never be too much cheese.
This post made me laugh out loud. I love how everything at the potluck lurked under a cloak of cheese 🙂
I’m digging everything about these parfaits, but definitely the Milano gravestones. Bravo!
It’s so true…and I LOVED it. 🙂
Yuuuum! The fam would love this
I want to go to your church, Courtney! Thank you for this fantastic pumpkin parfait recipe. My inner child (we talk like that in California) is jumping up and down with joy =) P.s. I’m a huge Cool Whip fan.
You’re always welcome! 🙂 Have you tried the Cool Whip Frosting? I’m usually not a big fan of storebought frostings, but holy moly is that stuff good!
I’ve been hesitant to buy the Cool Whip Frostings. But with your endorsement you can bet I’m going to be digging my spoon into the stuff to taste – I mean – frost my cakes =)
These look delicious! I love the use of pumpkin to make it extra Halloweeny (with the orange and black). Okay, another must-make added to my long list…
Not enough hours in the day for all these great recipes!
Dirt is so yummy! I made it last year with homemade vanilla pudding and candy corn oreos. OMG! Love the addition of pumpkin too.
I’ve never made the dish with from scratch pudding, but I’m sure it takes it to the next level!
I love these! I love what you did with them, so cute!! And yum! Love oreo’s, munching on a few with my coffee right now. 🙂
Great dessert for Halloween, love the RIP cookies!!!
I don’t think I’ll ever be able to look at Milano cookies the same way again! Dirt cake was always one of my favorites when I was a kid, too (although I wish my church’s potlucks were as awesome as your sound) and I haven’t had it in years!
I know, right?! So funny. I’d like to think my tastes are more refined than they were 15 years ago, but let’s be honest, I still go nuts over a giant bowl of pudding and Oreos.
They look so tempting, no wonder you all wanted them! A recipe to try soon!
Definitely. Kids love them, but I’ve seen adults go nuts for this too!
Seriously, how cute are these!!! I am pinning now 🙂
I loved making dirt as a kid! This is such an awesome idea for Halloween. I love all of the flavors you’ve put together! Yummmmm
Thanks Shaina. Such fun memories!
I’m not usually a pudding fan, but I LOVE dirt pudding. I love your Halloween twist on it! (And I almost bought Milanos to make tombstones, too. Great minds, eh?)
Great minds indeed! 😉
I remember my first dirt pudding with the gummy worms inside! It was awesome, but I love the colors on yours and the pumpkin pudding definitely breaks up all the chocolateness going on.
You’re right. My hubby loves the all chocolate version, but I really liked this for a change.
Ohhhh, these look adorable! I just love them! What a great combo of flavors!!! I can see these on a Halloween buffet table!! I think I would eat about two of them! Maybe more? 😉
Hey, I’m not here to judge. 😉
Chocolate and pumpkin…a perfect combination. Love the topping.
It’s actually even better than I thought. Love the two flavors together!
What a fun idea…. so cute they could even be used as a centerpiece!
That’s a great idea! I hadn’t thought of that!
These are so cute, perfect for a Halloween party.
This are perfect, delicious looking parfaits. Thank you for sharing
Thanks for hosting! Such a fun party this week!
What darling parfaits! Perfect for Halloween!!!
These are so creative, I love them! They would be perfect at the end of a Halloween meal. Pinning!
I really like the look of this recipe but, I don’t understand why your supposed to put all that butter on Oreos?
You can omit the butter if you like, and the recipe will still work find. It does make the Oreos extra delicious though and gives them a slightly softer texture which I love!
Love the idea. I don’t Understand the portion of 1/2 an 8oz of cool whipped? Help please. Thank you
Cool Whip is a prepackaged item (also known as whipped topping) that you can find in the freezer section of grocery stores in the U.S. It could be substituted for 4 ounces of sweetened whipped cream.