Dirt Cake

Deliciously addicting Oreo Dirt Cake preps in minutes for a cool, creamy, family favorite treat 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 some summer favorites!

A slice of Dirt Cake 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 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 cake is amazing. Everyone loves it!

How to make Dirt Cake process shots and mixing bowls.

How to Make Dirt Cake

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

PUDDING. Begin by making your creamy pudding mixture in a large bowl. To make this, cream your cream cheese and butter until smooth. Mix in the powdered sugar with a hand mixer and fold in whipped topping. Set this aside.

In another bowl, make pudding by mixing milk, pudding mix and vanilla. Let this set up for a few minutes and then pour into the cream cheese mixture. Use your hand mixer to mix well. Set aside.

OREOS. Then, crush all the Oreos by putting them in a food processor or Ziploc bag and crushing with hands, rolling pin, or the bottom of a cup. Pour about 2/3 of the Oreos into the bottom of a 9×13 pan.

LAYER. Pour the cream cheese/pudding mixture over the Oreos. Then top with remaining cookie crumbs.

CHILL. Place in fridge and let set for a few hours before serving.

How to make it look more like dirt

Whether you use the recipe as written or replace the white chocolate instant pudding mix with classic chocolate pudding, you can make this look and feel a little more like dirt in a couple of ways.

  • add some candy bugs and gummy worms
  • serve it out of a bucket or flower pot
  • divide the dirt cake mixture into plastic cups, then place the plastic cups in mini terra cotta flower pots, to finish it off I stick a mini shovel in each one to use as a spoon
Process Shots of layering the Dirt Cake Recipe in a glass baking dish.

recipe tips

Crushing Oreos: Crush the entire cookie—do not remove the filling. Crush your Oreo cookies in a blender or food processor if you want them to be super fine crumbs. Crushing the Oreos in a Ziploc bag will give you both small and chunky pieces (we prefer it this way!).

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

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

  • Make sure you bought INSTANT pudding. Whisk the pudding and milk until it takes on a creamy pudding consistency. To be extra cautious you can 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: When you add the whip cream to the cream cheese mix and then again when you add the pudding make sure you are gently folding the ingredients together.
  • Make sure your butter and cream cheese or softened, but not too soft and definitely not melted.
  • Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
Dirt Cake Recipe Variations in three pictures.

More dirt cake recipes + How to store

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 that are holiday favorites. We also like to make parfait versions of this recipe to make fancy single-servings for parties.

storing info

Make ahead of time. We almost always make this dessert ahead of time. We typically make this the morning of, but you can also make this up to 24 hours in advance. If possible, we recommend placing the crushed Oreos on top right before serving because those can get a little soft with the moisture of the cake.

STORE. Dirt Cake is best stored when covered tightly with Saran Wrap or foil and placed in the fridge 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. If you are looking to freeze this ahead of time to serve on another day, then I would not recommend freezing it because it will not thaw well. However, if you have leftovers that you want to divide and freeze so that you can eat more like ice cream, then you certainly can. 

Square of Oreo Dirt Cake on a white plate.

I seriously LOVE this recipe and have loved it since I can remember. Hope you like this Oreo treat just as much as my family. 🙂

For more Oreo desserts, check out:

Dirt Cake Recipe

4.95 from 40 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 472 kcal
Author Lil’ Luna

Ingredients

  • 1 package Oreos
  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup Margarine or butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 16 oz cool whip
  • 2 boxes INSTANT White chocolate or vanilla pudding 3.3 oz box size
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Crush ⅔ package of Oreos and place in the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Set aside.
  • Mix cream cheese and margarine (or butter) until smooth. Mix in powdered sugar and fold in whipped topping. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl mix pudding, milk and vanilla. Fold this mixture in with the cream cheese mixture.
  • Pour over crumb mixture.
  • Sprinkle with the reserve crushed Oreos. Let set for a few hours and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Video

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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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Comments:

  1. 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!

  2. 5 stars
    This was simply amazing! It did not last long with a house full of teenagers! Definitely making again soon!

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

  4. 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 😉

  5. 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.

  6. 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?!?

  7. 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.

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