Best-Ever Dirt Pudding

published Oct 8, 2021
Dirt Pudding Recipe

This simple, no-bake dessert is the easiest Halloween treat you'll make all season.


Prep10 minutes to 15 minutes

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Dirt pudding (also known as Oreo Dirt Cake or just Dirt and Worms, is an American dessert made of crushed Oreo cookies layered with chocolate pudding that's been blended with cream cheese and whipped cream) in a white porcelain pan
Credit: Shilpa Uskokovic

Dirt pudding is a simple, no-bake dessert that’s magically way more than the sum of its parts. In this recipe, the addition of a little cocoa powder, salt, and vanilla extract is the reason everyone will wonder why yours is better than any dirt pudding of their childhood.

Using instant pudding not only makes this dish super easy, but it’s also essential to the success of its no-bake nature. The store-bought ingredient thickens without cooking and gives dirt pudding its velvety texture. Although many recipes call for frozen whipped topping, we highly suggest you make your own whipped cream. It’s not at all difficult and it’s a million times tastier. 

Gummy worms are a typical garnish for dirt pudding and are part of what makes this such a fun dessert for kids (or those of us who are kids at heart!). But there are so many other options. For instance, this graveyard cake uses pumpkin candy corns and Milano cookies. Use your imagination — just like a kid playing with dirt!

What Is Dirt Pudding Made of?

Dirt pudding is simply thick, fluffy chocolate pudding — usually chocolate, but some people favor vanilla — topped with crushed chocolate sandwich cookies as the edible “dirt.” Gummy worms crawling out of the dirt make a deliciously squirmy garnish. 

How Long Does Dirt Pudding Last in the Refrigerator?

Dirt pudding keeps well in the refrigerator, making it a great make-ahead dessert! Make it up to two days in advance and store, tightly wrapped, in the refrigerator. Any leftovers are best stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. 

Credit: Shilpa Uskokovic

Dirt Pudding Toppings

Add any candy that will service your dirt pudding as garden creatures. This can include the following:

  • Chocolate rocks
  • Fruit chews shaped into flowers and vegetables 
  • Shredded coconut dyed green to resemble grass

Dirt Pudding Recipe

This simple, no-bake dessert is the easiest Halloween treat you'll make all season.

Prep time 10 minutes to 15 minutes

Serves 8

Nutritional Info


  • 18 ackage

    chocolate sandwich cookies, such as Oreos

  • 1/2 cup

    powdered sugar

  • 2 tablespoons

    Dutch-processed cocoa powder

  • 2 cups

    whole milk

  • 2 (3.5-ounce) boxes

    instant chocolate pudding mix (not cook-n-serve)

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 2 cups

    cold heavy cream

  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

  • Gummy worms, for garnish


  1. Place 18 sandwich cookies in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse until crushed into fine crumbs. (Alternatively, place cookies in a zip-top bag, seal, and crush with a rolling pin or heavy bottle.)

  2. Sift 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder into a large bowl. Add 2 cups whole milk, 2 (3.5-ounce) boxes instant chocolate pudding mix, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Whisk until smooth and thick, about 2 minutes.

  3. Add 2 cups cold heavy cream and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed with an electric hand mixer until the pudding is thick and resembles chocolate mousse, 3 to 4 minutes.

  4. Spoon the pudding into a 2 1/2-quart glass bowl or serving dish. Smooth the top with the back of a spoon, then cover the surface of the pudding with the chocolate cookie crumbs. Tuck a few gummy worms into the “dirt” and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: Dirt pudding can be made and assembled up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated.

Storage: Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container or tightly wrapped in plastic wrap for up to 3 days.