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Easy Dirt Cake that starts with a chocolate cake mix, filled with hot fudge sauce, and topped with instant chocolate pudding, Cool Whip, crushed Oreo cookie crumbs, and gummy worms. An easy dessert recipe that is kid-friendly, easy to make, and a delicious twist to the classic poke cake.

For more Oreo dessert recipes be sure and try this Oreo Poke Cake or this no bake Oreo Icebox Cake

A piece of Oreo dirt cake on a white plate with crushed cookies and gummy worms.

Easy Dirt Cake Recipe

This Oreo dirt poke cake is such a nostalgic recipe for me. I grew up eating those dirt pudding cups with layers of chocolate pudding, crushed Oreo cookies, and of course gummy worms! This recipe is a fun twist to that with an easy chocolate cake base, filled with hot fudge, and topped with chocolate pudding, Oreo crumbs, and gummy worms. 

Kids will love this fun cake. It’s always the first to go at gatherings and family dinners. 

Overhead picture of a chocolate dirt cake with worms on top.

Ingredients Needed

Here are the ingredients needed to make this dirt cake recipe. I also share suggestions for each ingredient so you can have the best results. 

  • Chocolate Cake Mix – This can be any variety of chocolate cake mix. I normally use a milk chocolate cake mix but you can use a chocolate fudge cake mix, or a devils food cake mix.
  • Ingredients For The Cake Mix – Follow the directions on the back of the box to make the chocolate cake. 
  • Hot Fudge Sauce – This is the small jar of chocolate fudge sauce, which you can usually find by the other ice cream toppings & syrups. 
  • Half & Half – This is the best milk to use for this recipe. It has more fat in it, which helps the pudding set up thick and hold it’s shape well even when cutting. 
  • Cool Whip
  • Oreo Cookies – You need about 12 Oreo cookies to top the cake with. 
  • Gummy Worms – This is for that classic dirt & worms cake that everyone loves. 

Ingredients laid on a white background with each one labeled in black text with what it is.

How To Make Oreo Dirt Cake with Chocolate Pudding

Learn how to make this dirt cake recipe, and be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page to see the detailed recipe instructions and ingredients needed. 

Step One : Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside. 

Step Two : Prepare chocolate cake mix according to package directions. Bake for 31-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 

Step Three : Immediately poke holes into the cake using the end of a wooden spoon. Warm up the hot fudge sauce and pour it into the holes and smooth it out over top the cake. Allow the cake to cool completely before proceeding to the next step. 

Step Four : Whisk together the half & half and instant pudding mix. Let sit for 3-5 minutes until thick. Stir in the Cool Whip and stir until combined. Spread it evenly over the cooled cake. 

Step Five : Crush the Oreo cookies and sprinkle over top the cake. Top the cake with gummy worms. 

Steps needed, with picture instructions, to make this chocolate cake recipe with pudding and worms.

Steps needed, with picture instructions, to make this chocolate cake recipe with pudding and worms.

Steps needed, with picture instructions, to make this chocolate cake recipe with pudding and worms.

Steps needed, with picture instructions, to make this chocolate cake recipe with pudding and worms.

Steps needed, with picture instructions, to make this chocolate cake recipe with pudding and worms.

Steps needed, with picture instructions, to make this chocolate cake recipe with pudding and worms.

Tips For Success

Here are my tips that will hopefully make this recipe a success in your own kitchen. 

  • Use Half & Half Milk : You want to make sure that you are using a higher fat milk, like half & half, to help the pudding thicken so it will set up nicely and cut nicely. 
  • Let The Cake Cool Completely : After adding the hot fudge sauce to the warm cake, make sure that you let the cake cool completely before spreading on the instant pudding + cool whip topping. 
  • Warm Up Hot Fudge Sauce : Do not skip the step of warming up the hot fudge sauce. Place the glass jar in the microwave and heat it for about 45 seconds. The hot fudge needs to be warmed so that it will smoothly go into all the holes in the cake. Otherwise, it will just clump up and crumble the cake. 

Slice of cake with a fork on a plate.

Layered cake inside a glass baking dish.

Dirt and Worms Cake FAQs

  • How Do I Store Leftovers?
    • Store the cake, covered, in the fridge for 4 days. Because of the pudding, the cake will get softer and softer, but it’s still yummy. 
  • What Do I Use If I Don’t Have A Food Processor?
    • The best way to get Oreo cookie crumbs is by using a food processor. But if you don’t have one, put the Oreo cookies inside a Ziploc bag, and smash them with something heavy like a meat mallet or rolling pin. 
  • How Do I Poke The Holes Without A Wooden Spoon?
    • You can use anything that has about a 1/2-inch end on it. The end of a wooden spoon is the easiest way and what I always use. The larger end of chopsticks. Or anything else with a larger end that will poke decent sized holes for the hot fudge to go into. 
  • Can I Make This Cake Ahead of Time?
    • Yes you can. I actually prefer the cake cold which is why I usually make it ahead of time.
    • I make the cake, poke the holes, pour the hot fudge sauce, let it cool, and then cover it with the pudding mixture. I then cover it with plastic wrap and let it refrigerate for a few hours before serving. Before serving, top it with the Oreo cookie crumbs and gummy worms right before serving. 
    • You can also make the cake + pour the hot fudge over it. Cover the cake and let it refrigerate overnight. Top it with the pudding + cool whip topping and let it refrigerate for a few hours before serving. Top with the crumbs and gummy worms just prior to serving. 

Slice of cake on a white plate.

Gummy worms on top of a cake

 More Dessert Recipes That Use Oreo Cookies

Slice of cake on a white plate.
Together As Family Logo

Oreo Dirt Cake


Author Jessica - Together as Family
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Cooling Time 2 hours
Servings 18
Easy Dirt Cake that starts with a chocolate cake mix, filled with hot fudge sauce, and topped with instant chocolate pudding, Cool Whip, crushed Oreo cookie crumbs, and gummy worms. An easy dessert recipe that is kid-friendly, easy to make, and a delicious twist to the classic poke cake.

Ingredients
  

  • 1 box (15.25 oz) chocolate cake mix (plus ingredients called for)
  • 1 jar (11.75 oz) hot fudge sauce
  • 2 cups half & half
  • 1 box (3.9 oz) chocolate instant pudding
  • 8 ounces Cool Whip thawed
  • 12 Oreo cookies finely crushed
  • gummy worms

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray.
  • Follow the directions on the back of the cake mix box to prepare the cake. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Once it's done cooking, take it out of the oven, and immediately poke holes into the cake using the end of a wooden spoon (or anything that is about 1/2-inch thick).
  • Warm the hot fudge sauce in the microwave for 45 seconds, or until it's thinned out. Pour the hot fudge over the holes in the cake making sure to get some in every hole. Allow the cake to cool completely, on a cooling rack, before the next step.
  • In a mixing bowl add the half & half and chocolate instant pudding mix. Stir with a wire whisk for about 2 minutes until it's combined well. Let sit for 5 minutes until it's thick and set.
    Stir in the Cool Whip and mix until it's combined well with the pudding.
  • Evenly spread it on top of the cooled cake.
  • Spread the finely crushed Oreo cookies on top and gently press the gummy worms into the cookie crumbs.
  • Cut into 18 pieces and serve. Store any leftover cake in the fridge, covered, for up to 4 days.
    * The cake cuts nicer and cleaner if you refrigerate it for about 2 hours before cutting and serving. If you want to refrigerate for longer (I prefer too) leave off the crumbs and gummy worms, cover the pan and let it refrigerate for up to 8 hours. When ready to serve, add the crushed Oreo cookies + gummy worms.

Video

Notes

Chocolate Instant Pudding : Make sure you are using the instant pudding and NOT the cook n' serve pudding mix. 
Crush Oreos : For best results use a food processor to finely crush the Oreo cookies. If you don't have one, place the cookies inside a Ziploc bag and smash them with something heavy like a meat mallet or rolling pin. For that classic "dirt" texture you want the Oreo cookies in crumbs. 
Chocolate Cake Mix : Use any variety of chocolate cake mix. I normally use a milk chocolate cake mix. You can also use chocolate fudge cake mix or even a devil's food cake mix if wanted. 
Gummy Worms : You need about 1 cup of gummy worms for the cake. You can of course use more or less depending on preference. 
Make It Ahead of Time : I prefer the cake cold which is why I usually make it ahead of time. I make the cake, poke the holes, pour the hot fudge sauce, let it cool, and then cover it with the pudding mixture. I then cover it with plastic wrap and let it refrigerate for 2-3 hours before serving. Before serving, top it with the Oreo cookie crumbs and gummy worms right before serving. 
You can also make the cake + pour the hot fudge over it. Cover the cake and let it refrigerate overnight. Top it with the pudding + cool whip topping and let it refrigerate for a few hours before serving. Top with the crumbs and gummy worms just prior to serving. 

Nutrition

Calories: 323kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 410mg | Potassium: 214mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 118IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 2mg

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