Lauren Miyashiro is a freelance contributor for Delish, and formerly worked as Food Director. She graduated culinary school in 2016 and mastered the art of the crunchwrap in 2017.
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What's up with dirt pudding?
Dirt pudding (aka dirt cups) is a classic kids recipe that everyone should know how to make. Using crushed Oreos to mimic dirt and garnishing with gummy worms might sound kind of silly, but the truth is this: This creamy and indulgent layered dessert tastes ridiculously good, is incredibly easy to whip together, and is equally as fun to make as it is to eat.
To use Cool Whip or not to use Cool Whip? That is the question.
Most recipes call for folding "whipped topping" into the pudding. But, whipping your own cream with some powdered sugar and pure vanilla extract upgrades the overall taste in a major way. Don't worry! You're still using instant pudding mix (chocolate is our fave, but vanilla-flavored is also popular) and store-bought sandwich cookies, so the whole thing comes together in less than 30 minutes.
When should I make dirt pudding?
If you're hosting or attending a Halloween party, this is the best recipe to make—it's always a crowd pleaser. However, we would like it to be known that dirt pudding isn't really seasonal. You can make this no-bake treat any time of year, and each time you do, you'll be met with giddiness—from both kids and adults.
For more spooky inspiration, check out our other amazing Halloween desserts. And if you make this recipe, please rate it below and let us know what you think. We love hearing from you!
How can I thicken the pudding?
Luckily instant pudding thickens only a few minutes after mixing milk and pudding powder. But if you want a thicker pudding you can try heavy cream instead of milk, adding gelatin- follow instructions on the gelatin pack- or even cornstarch. Usually cornstarch is activated when added to hot liquid. Heat the milk, whisk in cornstarch, let cool slightly and add the pudding mix and allow to set up.
You can substitute:
- Whole milk for heavy cream, oat milk, or coconut milk
- Instant chocolate pudding for homemade chocolate pudding
- Gummy worms for gummy bears or other gummy critters
Other ways to serve the pudding
Individual cups are really nice when you have a classroom full of children to feed. However, there are other fun ways to make this pudding stand out. Try medium trifle dishes perfect for 2– you and your hunny can grab a couple spoons and share. You can make these in fun little food proof plant pots or large plastic shovels.
Instead of throwing your pudding cups away, wash and recycle them. You can also pour into a casserole dish or portion into mason jars.
Made this recipe? Let us know in the comments below!
Editor’s Note: This recipe was updated on August 24, 2022.
- 5 serving(s)
- Prep Time:
- 10 mins
- Total Time:
- 25 mins
(3.5-oz.) packages instant chocolate pudding mix
- 3 c.
- 2 c.
cold heavy cream
- 1/4 c.
- 1 tsp.
pure vanilla extract
(14-oz.) package Oreos, crushed, divided (about 2 cups)
Gummy worms, for garnish
- Step 1In a large bowl, whisk together pudding mix and milk until combined. Let sit until thickened, about 3 minutes.
- Step 2Make whipped cream: In the bowl of a stand mixer using the whisk attachment, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat heavy cream with powdered sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form.
- Step 3Fold whipped cream and about ⅓ of crushed Oreos into chocolate pudding.
- Step 4Divide between serving cups (or transfer to a trifle dish), then garnish each serving with more crushed Oreos and gummy worms.