This Dirt and Worms recipe has crunchy Oreos layered with a whipped chocolate pudding mixture. This recipe is easy, kid-friendly, and will have you step back into your childhood all over again.
Dirt and worms, also known as "dirt-n-worms" as if it were one word, is the first dessert I ever remember falling in love with. My kindergarten teacher, Ms. Edie Monticello, made Dirt and Worms for our class. I don't know what we were studying at the time, but I'm assuming it was a unit on plants and growing stuff. She brought in a terracotta pot full of this fun dessert, using a garden shovel as the serving utensil.
As a kid, this was just pure gold. We were eating dessert IN school? And this dessert was THIS cool?! I was in completely heaven. There's a reason Ms. Monticello was my favorite teacher growing up. Wherever you are now, this recipe's for you!
I carried my love of Dirt and Worms to the next generation by making this with my kids. This nostalgia treat, made with just Oreo cookies, chocolate pudding, whipped topping, and gummy worms, is a no bake dessert that kids can make every step of the way.
What's Not to Love About DIrt and Worms
Here is why this Dirt and Worms recipe (or Oreo pudding cups, dirt pudding, mud and worms...there are so many different things people call this dessert!) is an absolute hit:
- Kid-Friendly: Kids love the imaginative aspect of this dessert. Eating dirt and worms? Eww but cool? It's a fun and interactive way to engage young ones in the kitchen.
- Deliciously Chocolatey: The combination of crushed Oreo cookies and rich chocolate pudding is a match made in dessert heaven. It's a blend of textures and flavors that will satisfy any aged sweet tooth.
- Quick and Easy: Dirt and Worms is a no-bake dessert that requires minimal effort and time, making it perfect for busy parents or anyone looking for a hassle-free dessert option.
- Great for Parties: Whether it's a birthday party, a family picnic, or a playdate, Dirt and Worms never fails to steal the show. The presentation is fun and can be made in a large batch to feed a crowd.
Now, let's get into the exciting part - making this cutie patootie dessert!
Ingredients You'll Need
Here's everything you need to make dirt and worms, Oreo dirt cups,
- Oreo cookies: You'll need about 36 cookies
- Milk: Two cups of cold milk is all you need to make the instant pudding
- Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix: Get the 3.9 ounce package to make your chocolate pudding. You can also use a homemade pudding if you'd prefer.
- Whipped topping: 1 8 ounce container of Cool Whip or TruWhip will do great. Make sure it's been thawed in the refrigerator prior to using. You can also whip in cream cheese instead of whipped topping if you're into more of a cheesecake pudding thing going on.
- Gummy worms: You'll need as many as you like. I typicaly use 3-4 per cup.
- Clear cups: Clear cups are needing for serving. Since this is a layered dessert like a parfait, you'll want others to see the fun layers of Oreos and pudding.
You'll notice the pudding shown in the picture is not instant pudding (I was out!), so I had to cook the pudding on the stovetop, let it cool, then add the whipped topping. I HIGHLY recommend getting instant pudding so kids can make it. This will also shave 30 minutes of the time off.
How to Make Dirt and Worms Pudding Cups
Here's the easy steps to make dirt and worms pudding cups everyone will love. It's incredibly easy and kids can make the whole thing by themselves.
Step 1: Crush the Oreo Cookies
- Place the Oreo cookies in a large zip-top bag.
- Seal the bag and use a rolling pin or the back of a spoon to crush the cookies until they resemble fine crumbs. You can also use a food processor for this step.
Step 2: Prepare the Chocolate Pudding
- In a mixing bowl, combine the instant chocolate pudding mix and cold milk.
- Whisk vigorously for about 2 minutes or until the pudding thickens.
Step 3: Layer the Dessert
- Take your clear plastic cups and start with a layer of crushed Oreo cookies at the bottom. This will be your "dirt" layer.
- Next, add a layer of the prepared chocolate pudding on top of the cookie crumbs. This represents the "mud."
- Follow with a layer of Cool Whip, which will be your "clouds."
- Repeat these layers until you reach the top of the cup, finishing with a layer of crushed Oreo cookies.
- Finally, insert a few gummy worms into the top layer to create the playful "worms."
Step 4: Serve and Enjoy
- Chill the Dirt and Worms cups in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving.
- When it's time to enjoy, serve with a spoon and watch the delight on everyone's faces as they discover the hidden gummy worms beneath the "dirt."
Variations on Dirt and Worms
While the classic Dirt and Worms recipe is already a winner, here are some creative variations to add even more excitement:
- Peanut Butter Paradise: Replace the regular Oreo cookies with peanut butter-flavored ones to add a nutty twist to your dessert.
- Fruity Surprise: Swap out the chocolate pudding for vanilla or banana pudding and use crushed vanilla wafers instead of Oreo cookies for a fruity, tropical version.
- Healthy Twist: For a healthier alternative, use Greek yogurt or chia pudding instead of Cool Whip, and incorporate fresh fruit like strawberries or blueberries into the layers.
- Minty Fresh: Add a drop of peppermint extract to the chocolate pudding for a refreshing mint chocolate flavor.
- Double Chocolate: For the ultimate chocolate lovers, use chocolate-flavored Cool Whip and sprinkle chocolate chips between the layers.
- Vegan: Make a vegan Dirt and Worms dessert by using dairy-free milk, vegan chocolate pudding mix, and a non-dairy whipped topping.
- S'mores Love: Create a campfire-inspired version by using crushed graham crackers in place of Oreo cookies and marshmallow fluff instead of Cool Whip.
- Cupcakes: While not a cup, you can make chocolate cupcakes, with chocolate frosting, then top with Oreo crumbs and worms on top to make dirt and worm cupcakes.
How to Store Leftovers
Place plastic wrap over the desserts and store in the refrigerator. They will be delicious the next day. After one day though, the Oreos will start to get soggy. I recommend you eat the desserts within a day or so.
More Kid Friendly Dessert Options
Polar Bear Oreos are oh-so-cute. If you're looking for another layered dessert, try these No Bake Cherry Cheesecake Parfaits. A Rainbow Bundt Cake will bring cheer to you on the gloomiest of days. Check out a whole lot more desserts!
Dirt and Worms Pudding Cups
- 1 package of Oreo cookies about 36 cookies
- 1 package package (3.9 oz) instant chocolate pudding mix
- 2 cups cold milk
- 8 oz whipped topping thawed
- Gummy worms as many as you desire
- Clear plastic cups for serving
- Place the Oreo cookies in a large zip-top bag. Seal the bag and use a rolling pin or the back of a spoon to crush the cookies until they resemble fine crumbs. You can also use a food processor for this step.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the instant chocolate pudding mix and cold milk. Whisk vigorously for about 2 minutes or until the pudding thickens. Gently in a package (8 oz.) of whipped topping until the white can no longer be seen.
- In clear plastic cups, start with a layer of crushed Oreo cookies at the bottom. This will be your "dirt" layer. Next, add a layer of the prepared chocolate pudding mixture on top of the cookie crumbs. This represents the "mud." Continue alternating between Oreo cookie crumbs and pudding mixture, ending with Oreo crumbs on top. Place a few gummy worms into the top layer to create the playful "worms."
- Chill in the refrigerator for about 1 hour before serving. Enjoy!