Dirt Cake

Deliciously addicting Oreo Dirt Cake preps in minutes for a cool, creamy, family-favorite treat. It’s perfect for Oreo lovers!

Our family makes this Dirt Cake recipe year-round, but especially in the summer because it’s a cool and refreshing no-bake dessert. If you like this, you’ll definitely love Oreo No Bake Cheesecake, or Oreo Ice Cream Cake, which are also summer favorites!

A slice of Dirt Cake served on a white plate.

Long time family favorite

I know I’ve shared this before, but I love Oreos. I’m not a fan of eating them by themselves, but they are probably my favorite ingredient to add to dessert recipes. They make everything so yummy!!

They also make today’s recipe a family favorite that we’ve made ever since we were kids; it’s called Dirt Cake.

I’m not sure where we found the original recipe, but it’s one we’ve been making for potlucks and family get-togethers and one we still make for holidays and special occasions.

Yes, this is called Dirt Cake, but for some reason when we first got the recipe it was called Kansas City Dirt Cake. I was told that’s because Kansas City is made up of a lot of dirt – but no matter the reason, this Dirt Cake Recipe is amazing!

How to Make Dirt Cake

From start to finish, this Dirt Cake only takes about 10 minutes to make. It needs to set up in the fridge for a few hours, but it takes little work and the result is amazing!

OREO. Crush all the Oreos in a large resealable plastic bag or in the food processor until they are crumbs. Press two-thirds of the crushed cookies into the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish and set aside.

Reserve the remaining cookie crumbs.

CREAM CHEESE MIXTURE. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter together with a hand mixer until smooth. Mix in powdered sugar. Fold in whipped topping until well combined and set aside.

PUDDING MIXTURE. In a separate bowl, mix pudding, milk, and vanilla. Let sit until thickened.

COMBINE. Fold this mixture into the cream cheese mixture.

LAYER + CHILL. Carefully pour the pudding/cream cheese mixture over the crumb crust in the pan. Sprinkle with the reserved crushed Oreos. Refrigerate for 3–4 hours before serving.

How to make it look more like dirt

Whether using this Easy Dirt Cake Recipe as written or replacing the white chocolate instant pudding mix with classic chocolate pudding, make this look and feel a little more like dirt:

  • add some candy bugs and gummy worms
  • serve it out of a bucket or flower pot
  • divide the dirt cake mixture into plastic cups, place the plastic cups in mini terra cotta flower pots, and stick a mini shovel in each one to use as a spoon

recipe tips

Crushing Oreos. Crush the entire cookie – do not remove the filling. Crush Oreo cookies in a blender or food processor for super fine crumbs. Crush in a Ziploc bag for both small and chunky pieces (we prefer it this way).

Pudding flavors. The recipe calls for white chocolate pudding or instant vanilla pudding mix, but I’ve also used cream cheese pudding and instant chocolate pudding and gotten good results. If you’re feeling adventurous, try using a different flavor.

Soupy dirt cake. This dessert should be able to hold its shape and have a fluffy creamy texture. If it turned out runny there are a few things to check and try:

  • Make sure to use INSTANT pudding. Whisk the pudding and milk until it takes on a creamy pudding consistency. To be extra cautious, refrigerate it for 5-10 minutes before combining it with the other ingredients.
  • Use chilled metal bowls to mix and fold the ingredients in.
  • Use whole milk for the creamiest texture.
  • FOLD do not mix: Fold gently when adding the Cool Whip to the cream cheese mix and then again when adding the pudding.
  • Use softened butter and cream cheese, but not too soft and definitely not melted.
  • Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

storing info

Make ahead of time. We almost always make this Oreo Dirt Cake Recipe ahead of time. We typically make this the morning of, but it can be made up to 24 hours in advance. Place the crushed Oreos on top right before serving – those can get a little soft with the moisture of the cake.

STORE. Cover Oreo Dirt Cake tightly with Saran Wrap or foil and refrigerate for up to 3 days. We love to have this cake for leftovers, but admit we rarely have them. It’s just so good!

FREEZE. I do not recommend freezing this ahead of time to serve on another day, it will not thaw well. However, leftovers can be divided and frozen to eat more like ice cream. 

More dirt cake recipes

This recipe happens to be one of our favorites to change up for seasons and holidays.

In fact, with so many OREO varieties, it’s easy to change up with your favorite cookie variations – the Peppermint Oreo is great for Christmas!

We now have an Easter Dirt Cake and Graveyard Dirt Cake – perfect for Halloween. We also like to make Parfait versions of this recipe to make fancy single-servings for parties as well as the classic Dirt Cake with Worms.

Square slice of Oreo Dirt Cake served on a white plate.

Recipe FAQ

Can I substitute the cream cheese?

If the cream cheese is too rich for you or it’s just not your favorite, simply leave it out! My family loves the richness that the cream cheese adds, but this dessert will still be delicious if you choose to leave it out.

How long can dirt cake sit out of the fridge?

Since this recipe has perishable ingredients in it, you don’t want to leave this dessert out of the fridge for too long. We don’t recommend keeping this dirt cake at room temperature for more than 1-2 hours before you put it back in the fridge. Plus, this dessert tastes best when nice and chilled!

For more Oreo desserts:

Dirt Cake Recipe

4.98 from 67 votes
Deliciously addicting Oreo Dirt Cake preps in minutes for a cool, creamy, family-favorite treat perfect for Oreo lovers.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Refrigerate 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 146 kcal
Author Lil’ Luna


  • 1 (14.3-ounce) package Oreos
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese softened
  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 (16-ounce) tub whipped topping (or 4 cups whipped cream)
  • 2 (3.4-ounce) boxes instant white chocolate or vanilla pudding
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Crush all the Oreos in a large resealable plastic bag or in the food processor until they are crumbs. Press two-thirds of the crushed cookies into the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish and set aside. Reserve the remaining crushed Oreos.
  • In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter together with a hand mixer until smooth. Mix in powdered sugar. Fold in whipped topping until well combined and set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, mix pudding, milk, and vanilla. Let sit until thickened. Fold this mixture into the cream cheese mixture.
  • Carefully pour the pudding/cream cheese mixture over the crumb crust in the pan.
  • Sprinkle with the reserved crushed Oreos. Refrigerate for 3–4 hours before serving.



Make Ahead: Crush the Oreos as directed and keep them in a closed resealable plastic bag. Make the filling as directed and place in a large airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. When ready to serve, assemble as directed above.  Make It Look Like Dirt: Use chocolate pudding instead of white chocolate pudding. Once assembled, add some candy bugs and gummy worms to the top. You Can Also Make This In Individual Cups: Add a scoop of crumbs to each cup, pipe in some filling, and top with more crumbs before adding the worms, dangling over the edges.

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About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Recipe Rating


  1. Nom, nom, this looks amazing!!! I love the name too, it’s always fun to have a fun name for something we love to make (and eat!)

    xoxo, Tanya

  2. Looks fabulous! Unfortunately I just started a healthy diet and exercise routine this week, so I’ll have to file this away for the someday-when-I’m-skinny-and-oreos-are-calorie-free file… that day will come, right???

    And I have to ask what’s probably a totally dumb question… as a Kansas Citian, I can’t figure out what on Earth makes this a “Kansas City” dirt cake… I was looking for BBQ sauce, or a side of beef, maybe something jazzy… but alas, I couldn’t find any Kansas City in the cake… so where’s the name from??? 🙂 🙂 🙂


    1. Good question!! I have NO idea!! Our fam got the recipe so long ago and when we did it was called this, so we’ve kept the name. I’m thinking maybe someone from Kansas City made it up. ??

  3. hello!
    I’m on my way to purchase ingredients for the cake…but a question: the kansas city dirt cake recipe states white chocolate or vanilla pudding, is the pudding instant?

      1. Getting ready to make this recipe for my sons birthday tomorrow, does it matter if the cool whip is frozen or sofTened?

  4. One of my co-workers (in Kansas City) brought this layered in a new, clean, lined with plastic wrap clay flowerpot and had “buried” gummy worms in the “dirt”. Sprinkled more gummy worms on top. It was a fun treat.

  5. I’ve been making the dirt cake by an old printed recipe that I have that’s labeled “Oreo Delight”. Guess someone renamed it somewhere along its travels through the ether.

  6. Yummy I love it. I make oreo truffles by taking one 8oz. Package of crram cheesr one package of any flavvor oreos. A12oz bag of chocolate chips (or any flavor chips you like). Crush oreos to crumbs mix with the cream cheese set in refridgarator for 30 minutes. After mixture is chilled take a tsp.full roll into a ball set on cookie sheet lined with wax paper after rolling all the mixture set pan in fridge. Melt chips in double boiler. Take out the balls insert toothpicks into the balls dip into melted chocalate put back on tray refrigaratr until set. Enjoy.

    1. You mix the dry mix with the 3 cups of milk and vanilla so it starts to thicken up like regular pudding. Then you add this to the cream cheese mixture and mix well. 😉

  7. Now with this dirt cake do you mix the pudding an cook it first or just pour the powder in with the mix. Let me know

    1. It’s the Instant Pudding so no cooking involved, but you add the pudding mix to the milk and vanilla as noted in Step 3. 😉

  8. This recipe looks so good! I am going to make this for a BBQ tomorrow. I wanted to know if you use the large or small boxes of instant pudding?

    1. I usually use 2 small boxes, since I’ve never seen white chocolate pudding in the large boxes. Would love to know how it goes! 😉

  9. I lived in kansas city all my life and never heard of kansas city dirt cake and i never been to any restaurant with it on the menu

    1. Not sure what you did, but you just add the pudding mix with 3 cups total of milk, and the vanilla. I know some have made the pudding according to directions and added the 3 c milk, which would make it runny. Hope that helps!!

    1. It can feed quite a few, depending on how much you give. I bring it to family functions & we can get all of us 25-30 a scoop. Hope that helps!

        1. I’m sorry it was soupy. It shouldn’t be, so I’m not sure what happened. Did you make the pudding, then added more milk? That might be the only thing what would make it soupy.

          1. It shouldn’t be soupy. Did you make the pudding according to the box, then add ingredients? Some have done that, which would definitely make it soupy.

          2. 5 stars
            My husband and I made this back to back. His was soupy, mine was fluffy and great. The only DIFFERENce was I only used the electric mixer on the butter, cream cheese, cool whip and powdered sugar. then hand mixed the pudding mix,milk and vanilla (WHere he used the electric). Then hand mixed the TWO together ( he again electric mixed). I have noticed the same thing happens with cookies. Hope this helps

  10. Just a tip for crushing the cookies. put them in a sealed baggie and then crush them to how you want them. no mess and clean hands. be sure to push the air out of the bag before crushing. i do this with a lot of things that need crushed. Hope this helpful.

  11. 5 stars
    This is my favorite!! The combination of the oreos, pudding, & cream cheese is so good!! My family requests this all the time!

  12. 5 stars
    We have so many favorite desserts! If I had to pick one this would be the one! Its creamy,cool and has oreos in it. WHat a combination! Totally a top dessert in our family.

  13. 5 stars
    This is one of my famiLies favorite reciPes. I usually choose this when im asked to bring a dessert to a family/friend gathEring and its always a hit.

  14. 5 stars
    My kids are so excited about this recipe!! DElicious- This is on the menu for this week! For our super bowl party we have so many of your amazing recipes! Thanks for sharing

  15. 5 stars
    I like more of a cream cheese taste, so I added an etra 4 more 0z of cream cheese into the mixture, with a tad more butter. I mixed in only half of the 16oz cool Whip. After spreading, I tOpped IT off with the rest of the cool whip. Its makes it heavier, but the taste of the creaM cheEse mixture is fabulous! Oh, hands done white CHOCOLATE pudding!

  16. 5 stars
    This was simply amazing! It did not last long with a house full of teenagers! Definitely making again soon!

  17. Getting ready to make this cake but don’t understand why you would put butter in the cream cheese and powder sugar? Nor Vanila

  18. 5 stars
    This recipe inspired me. I’m going to make a Christmas dirt cake, using chocolate pudding and grasshopper thin mint cookies instead. It would look great with some little edible pine trees on top 😉

  19. 5 stars
    A great success at my Grand daughters 9th Birthday party. I laid gummy worms & gummy bugs on top. What a hit ! They loved it & adults too.

    1. Oh yay! These would be so fun to serve at a birthday party. Glad to hear they were a hit for all!

    1. Just your basic/regular size of Oreos … I believe it’s about 14 oz. It’s not the family size package.

  20. 5 stars
    I’ve been making this particular recipe for YEARS! And I keep coming back to it. This is truly a crowd pleaser that never misses. If you haven’t tried it, what are you waiting on?!?

  21. 5 stars
    This one is so easy to make gluten free. A couple of years ago the gluten-free Oreos changed my daughter’s lives! Haha swapping out the cookies is the only thing you need to do to make this one gluten-free. Another bonus, they don’t get soggy nearly as quick. Thanks for all your great recipes.

    1. That is so good to know!! Thank you for sharing! So glad she can still enjoy the dessert. 🙂

    1. I always use whipped topping for this recipe… if you try regular whipped cream, I’d suggest not the kind from the can that you spray out. It won’t hold it’s texture. Possibly if you made homemade or something. If you do use regular whipped cream, you’ll have to let us know how it turns out!

    2. I recently made a dirt cake using homemade whipped cream, using instant pudding to stabilize, and it worked. Instant pudding is a great whipped cream stabilizer cause it has modified cornstarch; for every cup of heavy whipping cream, set aside 1 tablespoon of instant pudding to add to the cream before whipping.

    1. It is definitely more of a pudding, but got it’s name because it is chilled in a cake pan and cut into slices like you would a cake. 🙂

  22. 5 stars
    I’ve made this recipe the last 4 years for Easter and it’s always a hit and turns out perfect every time. The toppings vary each year depending on ingredient availability.

  23. Oh, it just depends on how big your servings are. I take this to family functions & it can feed anywhere from 12+ We usually do small scoops, so we could get more, because everyone wants it. It’s a family favorite 🙂 Hope that helps! (I could get almost 20 small scoops for all the grandkids)

  24. I am sorry if the recipe got messed up, because of that. For this recipe, you just mix the pudding mix with the milk & vanilla. That will make the pudding 🙂