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Easter Dirt Cake

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Easter Dirt Cake recipe s a fun twist on an old-fashioned recipe! Make this into a delicious Easter dessert with some Oreo cookies chocolate eggs, bunnies, chicks, peeps and a little colored coconut. With a creamy, pudding layer and a cream cheese layer between two luscious crumby layers of “dirt” cookie crumbs.

Roll up your sleeves and invite the kids (big and little) to help you decorate this simple, make ahead, no-bake dessert.

And if you love no-bake desserts, you have to try my Oreo Pudding Dessert, Magnolia Banana Pudding and this dreamy Lemon Cream Pie.

Easter Dirt Cake Recipe square image of slice of dirt cake on plate with chocolate chick and coconut grass.

Why You Will Love this Easter Dirt Cake Recipe

  • Easy peasy | This dessert doesn’t require any special equipment or skill, just pure fun!
  • Make Ahead | Free up your Easter meal planning, make this a day head!
  • Kids in the Kitchen | Get the kids involved in making and customizing this dessert, guaranteed fun!

So whip up this easy dessert ahead of time and tuck it in the fridge, pulling it out at the last minute like you slaved on it all day long! The longer it sits, the more delicious it is, so let it hang out. 

Easter Dirt Cake Simple Ingredients 

Full list of ingredients in the printable recipe card at the end of the post.

  • Oreos or chocolate sandwich cookies (natural like Newman-O’s), one family size package of Oreos
  • Butter | Use the real stuff here, if it’s soft coming out of the fridge, it’s a blend.
  • Whipped Topping | Use TruWhip (no hydrogenated oils) or make my homemade Cool Whip, or use Cool Whip.
  • Cream cheese | Use regular or Neufchatel cream cheese, softened
  • Powdered Sugar | You could also use a powdered sugar sugar-free replacement
  • Instant Pudding | Use white chocolate or vanilla instant pudding, I like using all natural pudding mixes
  • Whole Milk | I just like using whole milk in recipes, but try other % as well.
  • Favorite Edible Decorations | Tinted coconut for grass, chocolate bunnies and chicks, jelly beans, chocolate rocks, marshmallow peeps — whatever suits your fancy!
Suggested toppings for Easter Dirt Cake recipe.

Decoration Ideas for the Cake

HOW TO MAKE EASTER DIRT CAKE 

Place cookies (whole) in a food processor, crush your cookies – cream filling and all until fine Oreo crumbs.

No food processor? Simply place your cookies (might need to do in batches) into a gallon size ziploc bag and crush with rolling pin, then roll until fine crumbs. Reserve about 1/3 of the cookies, about 1 1/2 cups, enough to cover the top of the Easter cake. 

For the Oreo crust, mix melted butter into cookie crumbs then press 2/3 of crumbs into the bottom of a 13×9 inch glass pan. This dirt cake recipe 9×13 pan, works really well, see tips for how to make dirt cake cups.

Step 2 | Make Pudding and Cream Cheese Layer

Mix cream cheese in a large bowl, until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes on medium-high.

Slowly add in powdered sugar on low until combined, about a minute. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed, fold in whipped topping.

Using a microplane, grate between 1-2 oz of white chocolate bar into the cream cheese mixture and set aside. 

In a large mixing bowl, pour the instant vanilla pudding into milk whisking for 1-2 minutes until smooth and thick.

Step 3 | Layer Dessert and Chill

Gently fold pudding mixture into cream cheese mixture until evenly incorporated. Spread pudding mixture on top of cookie crumbs, using an offset spatula to spread evenly over the top of the dirt cake. Top evenly with remaining crushed cookies. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. 

Pudding and cream cheese mixture on top of Oreo cookie crust for Easter Dirt Cake.

Step 4 | Decorate Dirt Cake

When ready to serve, decorate as desired, creating your own little scene, or let your littles (or bigs) go a little crazy and decorate the entire cake or just their piece! 

Decorated Easter Dirt Cake Recipe.

Our good friend, being silly as I was snapping pictures of the cake! Go ahead, this is an Easter dirt cake that inspires silliness!

Friend's face near the Easter Dirt Cake.

HOW TO TINT COCONUT

If tinting your coconut, place desired amount of coconut in a baggie, add a little green food coloring (I used natural green food coloring) seal and shake until desire color is achieved. Spread on top of cake in piles or cover the entire cake. My family doesn’t care for coconut, so I just did little tufts of “grass.”

Variations & Substitutions

  • Add a splash of vanilla extract to the cream cheese mixture, up to 1 teaspoon.
  • Easter Dirt Cups | Instead of making this in a 9×13 inch pan, make this fun dessert into individual desserts, by following the layering process in individual cups.
  • Use your favorite toppings, if you love marshmallow peeps, then by all means use them!
  • Replace Vanilla and White Chocolate pudding with your favorite pudding mixes.
Easter Dirt Cake recipe image with slice on plate with chocolate chick on top.

Dairy Free Dirt Cake Recipe

It will be easy to adapt this recipe to be dairy free! Just follow my tips below:

  • Replace cream cheese with plant based cream cheese — or omit altogether
  • Use plant based whipped topping or whipping cream
  • Oreo’s are naturally vegan!
  • Use your favorite plant based milk when making the pudding, noting that it might not set up as thickly, but should firm up as you chill it.

This is one of my favorite Easter desserts and I know it will become yours too!

Easter Dirt Cake image with chocolate bunny nestled in the dirt with coconut grass.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Dirt Cake made of?

A great question! There is no actual dirt in dirt cake. Instead you make a dirt substitute by using Oreo cookie crumbs for the crust and the topping. This is best make-ahead, no bake dessert too!

Why is it called Dirt Cake?

Since it is a dessert that has cookie crumbs resembling the rough, messy, and dirty look of dirt, it was long ago called dirt cake. Ask your kids, they will know what dirt cake is!

Can I make Dirt Cake Recipe without Cream Cheese?

Yes! If you prefer without cream cheese, then simply omit the cream cheese — I suggest you double up on the amount of whipped topping if you decide to omit the cream cheese.

Can I make Gluten-Free Dirt Cake?

You bet you can! Now with the new Gluten-free Oreos, this Easter dirt cake recipe is easier than ever to make Gluten-free! Make sure all of your other ingredients are GF and you are all set!

LOVE IT? PIN IT!

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12 Comments

  1. What a delightfully fun Easter dessert! And all the more enjoyable with crazy friends like Jim to enjoy it with!

    Happy Easter, my friend.

    Hugs,

    Lynn

  2. Hi Kathleen!

    I LOVE your blog! I thing your recipes are incredible!

    I wanted to let you know that because I love The Fresh Cooky so much, I nominated you for the Sunshine Blogger Award!

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    Have a wonderful day!
    Heather

    1. Heather, you made my month, quite possibly my year this far, it’s been a hard first quarter!! Thank you! I briefly read through the link and yes, I would love to be a part of this fun award process. Just let me know what I need to do next!