Dirt Cake is a classic summer dessert that I grew up eating, and is still a favorite. Grab a spoon and dig in!
You know when you update a classic recipe you grew up with such as tuna noodle casserole or, I don’t know, ham loaf, to not include 8 sticks of butter or heaps of sickeningly sweet brown sugar, then cleverly title the new concoction Not Yo’ Mama’s Something Or Other?
Well I’m doing the exact opposite.
For the second day of new recipes for your 4th of July celebration, I’m goin’ old school with another 80’s dessert that my Mom made every summer growing up, and despite the indulgent pudding, whipped topping, and Oreos in the recipe, I wouldn’t change a thing!
Who’s up for yo’ Mama’s Dirt Cake?!
Dirt cake is a CLASSIC summer staple that I remember my Mom making for nearly every BBQ, picnic and special occasion when I was young, and is one of the best tasting things EVER. I practically wept with joy when she busted it out at a Sunday lunch a couple years ago for the first time in over a decade!
Crushed Oreo cookies are layered with a luscious pudding and cream cheese mixture, then topped with ooey-gooey gummy worms for a fun and festive touch. This dessert is a total crowd pleaser.
Dirt Cake is crazy decadent and delish, plus it’s no-cook and only takes 15 minutes to whip together. How bad can that be?
Start the Dirt Cake by assembling zee ingredients:
- Instant vanilla pudding
- Skim milk
- Cool whip
- Powdered sugar
- Butter, softened
- Cream cheese, softened
Begin by whisking 2-3.4oz packages instant vanilla pudding with 3 1/2 cups cold super cold skim milk in a big bowl.
Whisk using what yo’ Mama gave ya’ for 5 minutes, or until the pudding is soft set.
Next fold in 12oz Cool Whip. You could use regular or sugar-free here, if you wanted to.
Now, in a separate bowl, stir together 1/4 cup softened butter, 1 cup powdered sugar, and 8oz softened cream cheese until smooth. Make sure yo’ butter and cream cheese are super soft, btw!
Now, stir the cream cheese mixture into the pudding mixture until it’s completely smooth.
Next, bust out a package of America’s favorite sandwich cookies – Oreos.
Did you know that Oreos used to be sold in 20oz packages, per my Mom’s original recipe from the 80s? You could practically see the steam coming out of her ears the day she found out they shrunk the package down to 15.5oz, and were selling it for more money. Hell hath no fury like a consumer scorned!
Pop the cookies into a food processor or blender, then process until they’re fine crumbs and deposit said crumbs into a bowl.
Spoon 1-1/2 cups cookie crumbs into the bottom of a large bowl, followed by half the pudding mixture. FYI – I used a really WIDE bowl, which made the layers appear uneven. If you want yours to come out a little more even, use a big, tall bowl.
Add 1 1/2 cups cookie crumbs on top…
followed by the remaining pudding mixture, and the remaining cookie crumbs.
Top with gummy worms, and fake (new) flowers, if you wish, and serve!
2-3.4oz packages vanilla instant pudding
3 1/2 cups cold skim milk
12oz Cool Whip
8oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1-15.5oz package Oreos
Gummy worms, fake flowers (optional)
- Combine instant pudding and skim milk in a large bowl. Whisk for 5 minutes, or until pudding is soft set. Fold in cool whip then set aside.
- In a separate bowl, stir together cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar until smooth. Add to pudding mixture and stir to combine.
- In a food processor or blender, process Oreos to fine crumbs.
- Spoon 1 1/2 cups cookie crumbs into the bottom of a large bowl. Top with 1/2 the pudding mixture, then 1 1/2 cups cookie crumbs, the remaining pudding mixture, then the remaining cookie crumbs. Chill for at least 1 hour then top with gummy worms and/or fake flowers before serving.
Eating dirt cake is like devouring a sweet & fluffy cloud! It is seriously irresistible.
The pudding and cream cheese combine to make a dense and mouthwatering filling, while the Oreo cookie crumbs provide some texture to the dessert. There is absolutely nothing I would change!
I love the rustic look of the Dirt Cake too, which lessens the pressure of feeling like you need to make an elaborate, star spangled banner-esque 4th of July dessert, know what I mean?
Besides, we’ve got more got more important things to do, like figure out how to finagle yo’ Daddy’s Beergarita recipe out of him in time for the 4th!
I’ll let you know how that goes… ;)
What’s your go-to sweet, summertime treat?