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How to make a Dirt Cake

Updated on December 31, 2012

My "dirt cake story", step-by-step instructions, variations, occasions for dirt cake, and more!

I had only recently heard of dirt cakes when my soon-to-be 6-year-old told me he wanted to have a

construction themed birthday party, but I had no idea how to make a dirt cake! As I normally do, I turned my computer on and began searching online. I found quite a few recipes for dirt cake and selected one for us to use.

It's a good thing my husband is a chef and can maneuver through poorly written recipes with success. Had I been in charge of the cake, it likely would have been a disaster. With his knowledge and experience with recipes, our dirt cake turned out well, and we ended up with a new recipe to share, too.... win-win!

[Photo is mine.]

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Cook Time

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 2 1/2 hours

Serves: Approximately 12-14


  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • softened
  • 3 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 small package instant vanilla pudding
  • 12 ounces Cool Whip
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds Oreo cookies


  1. In a standing mixer, cream together cream cheese, powdered sugar and softened butter. In a separate bowl, using a hand mixer or whisk, mix 3 1/2 cups milk and instant pudding for 2 minutes. Add 12 oz. Cool Whip. Continue to beat until mixture is smooth. Add liquid mixture into standing mixer and combine thoroughly.
  2. Place Oreo cookies in large ziploc bag and, using a rolling pin, crush to desired "dirt" texture. Layer half of crushed cookies in the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch cake pan (see below for additional serving options). Carefully pour cream mixture over crushed cookies and spread evenly with a spoon. Top with remaining cookies, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to allow cream mixture to set. Garnish with gummy worms just prior to serving.
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Additional serving options

You can get really creative with these, as you can see from the video below.

  • For our construction themed party, we used a disposable foil cake pan, but we had to place it in a glass 9x13 dish because it would not hold the weight of the cake.
  • Sandpail
  • Flower pot (lined with aluminum foil)
  • Glass jar, more of a cupcake, single-serving size (picture below)

Serving variation - Single-serving size, glass jar

[Photo used under Creative Commons by Michellesphotog ] center>

Video demonstration for making dirt cake - A variation for Spring!

You will love the end result of this one.... beautiful presentation!

Types of Occasions that Might Call for a Dirt Cake

  • Boy's Birthday Party
  • Celebrating the Beginning of Spring
  • "Old as Dirt" Birthday Party

Related Items of Interest You Can Get Sent to You through Amazon

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    • Magda2012 profile image

      Magda2012 5 years ago

      owww looks so great :)

    • profile image

      Li-Li-ThePinkBookworm 5 years ago

      I love these type of cakes, where they look icky but are really yummy. Thank you for all the helpful information!

      Li Li

    • profile image

      ideadesigns 5 years ago

      This sounds really yummy and I love the single-serve dirt worms too. I added a link to my bday lens. Thanks for the add. :) What kid wouldn't love these gummy worms in dirt, so cool!