This Easter Dirt Cake recipe has two layers of chocolate pudding in between classic and carrot cake-flavored Oreo crumbs and is topped with festive Easter candies, like chocolate eggs and Peeps marshmallow bunnies. This is an easy dessert to pull together for an Easter or spring gathering with just 15 minutes of prep work!
- Chocolate Instant Pudding + Milk + Cool Whip: These make up the pudding portion of the dirt cake. Using whole milk and cool whip will make the pudding extra creamy and smooth.
- Oreos: I like to use a mix of the original Oreos and carrot cake flavored Oreos to add a little extra Easter flavor. The contrasting color of the carrot cake oreos is also great for creating a path along the top of the cake.
- Easter Candies: You can use whatever your favorite Easter candies are to decorate the top of the dirt cake. I recommend using some edible grass, chocolate egg candies of some kind, and of course, some Peeps marshmallows!
Please see the full list of ingredients and measurements at the bottom of the post.
How to crush oreos for dirt cake
Use a food processor: The easiest way to crush the Oreos into crumbs is by using a food processor. Add your Oreos to the food processor and pulse until they form a fine crumb.
Use a zip-top bag and rolling pin: Add the Oreos to the zip-top bag and seal it. Then roll over it with the rolling pin, applying enough pressure to break the Oreos into little pieces. Keep rolling back and forth with pressure until the Oreos resemble crumbs.
This Easter dirt cake is so easy to make and easily customized with your favorite flavors and candies! Read on for step-by-step instructions and photos.
Step 1: Make the pudding
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the instant pudding mix and milk for about one minute. Make sure the mixture is smooth and there aren't any lumps of the pudding powder. As you're whisking the pudding will begin to thicken. Set the bowl aside to rest and further thicken for five minutes.
Step 2: Crush the Oreo cookies
While the pudding is resting, crush the Oreos, one flavor at a time, inside a food processor. Pulse until they form a fine crumb.
Step 3: Fold in the cool whip
Now the pudding should be thick enough that it's more of a solid than liquid consistency. Add the cool whip, ¼ cup carrot cake Oreo crumbs, and ¼ cup original Oreo crumbs. Use a rubber spatula to fold them in. Gently fold the cool whip and crumbs in so that you keep the light and airy texture of the cool whip.
To fold, run your spatula along the bottom of the bowl, lift up the side and fold the mixture over itself into the center. Turn the bowl a quarter turn and repeat until you no longer see streaks of cool whip.
Step 4: Assemble the dirt cake layers
The first step in assembling the cake is to create the bottom layer of oreo crumbs. Add one cup of Oreo crumbs to the bottom of a 9 x 9 pan. Press down with your hands or back of the measuring cup to create a solid layer. I chose to put the carrot cake crumbs on the bottom of the cake, but feel free to switch the order if you'd like.
Top the layer of crumbs with half the pudding mixture. Use a rubber or offset spatula to smooth it into as even a layer as possible.
Repeat: topping the pudding with a new layer of Oreo crumbs followed by a second layer of pudding.
To create the very top layer of the cake, cover the entire top of the cake with original Oreo crumbs and then create a pathway using carrot cake Oreo crumbs.
Step 5: Chill the cake
Once the layers of the cake are built, place it in the refrigerator for one hour.
Step 6: Decorate!
Get creative with your decorations! I broke pieces of green candy grass into to a varying sizes and lined the carrot cake crumb path with them, as well as shaped some pink candy grass into a nest, filling it with chocolate egg candies. I placed a few marshmallow Peeps bunnies into the top and then filled in the empty spaces with chocolate eggs.
I love these kinds of recipes because of how customizable they are. You can switch up the flavors of just about every portion of the recipe! Try changing:
- Pudding flavors - You can use any flavor of pudding you like! Vanilla, White Chocolate, or cheesecake would all be delicious variations!
- Oreo flavors - I chose to mix and match between carrot cake flavored and original Oreos here, but you can keep it classic and just use the original flavor throughout.
- Candy - Candy grass, some kind of chocolate egg candy and Marshmallow peeps are go-to toppings for Easter dirt cake, but the brand and variety of each is up to you! I used Jordan Almonds and Mini Whopper Chocolate Eggs, but there are so many kinds of Easter candies to choose from! Try out the different kinds of Easter M&Ms, Mini Cadbury Eggs, jellybeans, etc.
What You'll need to make this recipe
- a large mixing bowl
- plastic wrap, or an eco-friendly cover sealant
- rubber spatula
- 9 x 9 baking dish
Can you make this dirt cake recipe in a 9 x 13 pan?
You can make this in a 9 x 13 pan, but it will be a thinner cake than in a 9 x 9 dish. I would recommend omitting the middle layer of oreo crumbs and just doing a bottom and top layer, putting all the pudding in between the two.
Dirt cake is made up of a pudding filling and Oreo crumb topping. Many dirt cakes have some kind of dairy added to the pudding mixture, typically cool whip or cream cheese, to add extra creaminess. Dirt cakes are then topped with some kind of seasonal candy; traditionally, gummy worms, to make a dirt and worms dessert.
The Oreo crumb topping that covers the pudding cake resembles the texture of dirt. Adding gummy worms to dirt cake further enhances the idea that the worms are coming out of the "dirt". The combination of pudding and oreo cookie crumb cakes are well known enough as "dirt cake" that it's still referred to as such, even without the addition of gummy worms.
The basic formula for making an oreo dirt cake is to make instant pudding, place it in a baking dish, top it with Oreo cookie crumbs, and chill it in the refrigerator. You can make all kinds of variations following that as a base recipe, switching up the flavor of puddings and seasonal candy toppings or turning them into dirt pudding cups.
Easter Dirt Cake
- 5.8 oz chocolate flavor instant pudding
- 3 cups milk
- 8 oz cool whip
- 1½ cup carrot cake flavored Oreo crumbs (about 15 Oreos)
- 2 ¼ cup oreos crumbs (about 22 Oreos)
- edible candy grass
- marshmallow Peeps bunnies
- mini chocolate eggs I used both jordan almonds and mini whopper eggs
- Whisk together the milk and pudding in a large mixing bowl for one minute until smooth. It will begin to thicken as you whisk. Let sit for 5 minutes.
- While it sits, add the carrot cake oreos into a food processor and pulse until they form a fine crumb. Add the crumbs to a small bowl and set aside. Wipe out the food processor and repeat to make crumbs with the original oreos.
- After the pudding has rested for 5 minutes, fold in the cool whip and ¼ cup carrot cake oreo crumbs and ¼ cup original oreo crumbs.
- Press 1 cup of carrot cake oreo crumbs onto the bottom of a 9 x 9 dish. Use your hands or the back of a measuring cup to press the crumbs down.
- Spread half the pudding on top of the carrot cake crumb layer and use your spatula to make an even layer as best you can.
- Sprinkle 1 cup of original oreo crumbs on top of the pudding in an even layer. Top with the remaining pudding mixture. Add an additional cup of original oreo crumbs on top to create the dirt layer. Optional, use another ¼ cup of carrot cake oreo crumbs to create a pathway across the dirt layer.
- Place in the refrigerator to chill for one hour.
- To decorate: top the cake with bunny peeps, chocolate eggs, and edible grass across the top layer as desired.
StorageThis dessert is best served the day it's made, but may last a day or two (undecorated) in the refrigerator. However, because the decorations and oreo crumbs will begin to soften as they sit in the pudding, I recommend enjoying the day of. If you want to do some prep work ahead of. time: you can make the pudding in advance and store it sealed in the refrigerator for about 5 days and then assemble the cake when you're ready to serve it.
Please note, Holiday Sweets N Treats isn't a professional nutritionist. Any and all nutritional information shared is an estimate. If you're following a specific diet or counting calories, we suggest you use the nutrition calculator of your choice. Calories can vary depending on the brands and products used.