Dirt Dessert Cups

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Looking for a fun summer dessert kids will love? Dirt Dessert Cups have a creamy chocolate pudding base topped with crushed chocolate cookie “dirt” and gummy worms.

Cups filled with pudding, crushed cookies, and a gummy worm.

Summer is here and that means I’ve been trying to find all the activities to take my son too.  One woman I know hosted a backyard VBS so I decided to attend.   I asked if I could help and somehow wound up making 100 dirt dessert cups for all the campers!

Dirt cups are one of those desserts that brings me back to my childhood.  It was all the rage way back them and I can remember people would put the dessert in flower pots with a fake flower or in cake pans with candy vegetables hiding in the dirt.

Pin Image: A bowl of creamy pudding, a bowl of whipped cream and cream cheese.

What are dirt dessert cups?

Dirt dessert is a popular dessert that is made with layers of crushed chocolate cookies, creamy pudding, and gummy worms.   It gets its name from its appearance, which resembles a pot of dirt. While there are many variations of dirt dessert, the basic recipe involves layering crushed chocolate cookies with a mixture of pudding, whipped topping, and cream cheese. The dessert is then garnished with gummy worms or other candies to further enhance the “dirt” theme.

It’s one of those desserts that you can really make your own with the decorations.  You can just top it with the cookie crumbs and gummy worm or you can get creative.

One of the things I like best about this dessert is that it is a no bake dessert so it’s great for summer activities.  There’s no need to turn on the oven or the stove top for this one.


  • chocolate pudding mix (make sure you get the instant pudding)
  • milk (you can use lower fat but whole milk works best)
  • cream cheese (again, you can use low fat but full fat cream cheese works best)
  • Cool Whip (or another brand of whipped topping but don’t use whipped cream in the can)
  • chocolate sandwich cookies (We used Oreos but you can use the generic brand)
  • gummy worms

Now I’ve seen these cups made several different ways.  You can start with a layer of cookie crumbs on the bottom or you can just add the pudding mixture.

A hand holding a cup filled with pudding.

If I’m making a big pot of dirt dessert then I usually put cookie crumbs on the bottom and the top so that everyone gets some.  However, when I made dirt cups I usually just put the cookies on top because I each person gets their own cup.

While the basic recipe is super easy there are several steps to the process.   The first thing I usually do is place the cookies in a food processor and process until they are crumbs.   You can do this up to a few days in advance.

Next you will make the pudding.   I usually use two separate bowls.   One for the pudding and milk and one for the cream cheese and whipped topping.  

Once you’ve made both mixtures you will put them together and mix.   Then you will fill your bowl or cups. Make sure you don’t fill them all the way as you want to leave room for the crushed cookies on top.

Rows of pudding filled cups.

How do you fill the dirt cups?

If you have smaller cups the best way I’ve found to fill them is by using a zip top baggie or piping bag.   Let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes or until it has thickened and then spoon it into the piping bag or zip top baggie.  Snip off the end and pipe the pudding mixture into the cups.  This is a mess free way to do this and you won’t have to wipe off the cups like you will have to do if using a spoon.

Once the cups are full you’ll want to take your crushed cookies and sprinkle them on top of the cups.  I usually use a few teaspoons and spread it around.  It’s ok if a little bit of the pudding mixture shows through. 

Then it’s time to decorate.   I usually just buy a bad of gummy worms and put 1 on top of each cup.  If I make a flower pot I like to put worms all around the top and put a fake flower in the center of the flower pot.

Four cups filled with pudding and crushed cookies

how can i decorate my dirt dessert?

As I’ve said many people just use gummy worms to decorate.   If you are going for more of a farm theme you can use candy to make “vegetables” that go in the dirt.  I made these carrot dirt cups years ago and still find them adorable.  You can also just buy foil wrapped chocolate carrots.  Use your imagination!   You could even serve it with a clean plastic shovel to keep the theme going.

How do i store the dessert?

Since the dessert is made from pudding and cream cheese it has to be stored in the refrigerator.  I generally cover it loosely with plastic wrap or foil and then place it in the refrigerator until ready to eat.

Once your dirt cups are decorated it’s time to eat!   You can keep them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.   However, if you aren’t going to serve them within 24 hours of decorating I would recommend you make the pudding, fill the cups, then decorate within 24 hours of serving so the cookies don’t get soggy.

Pin Image: Three cups filled with dirt dessert with gummy worms on top, text title, ingredients to make the dessert.

More fun desserts for kids:

I served these at VBS and the kids really enjoyed them!   I was excited because I haven’t had them in years and most of them haven’t seen them before.  It’s one of those nostalgic desserts that kids still love.

Rows of dirt dessert cups.

If you’ve tried my Dirt Dessert Cups or any other recipe on Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks please take a minute to rate the recipe and leave a comment letting me know how you liked it. I love hearing from you! You can FOLLOW ME on:

Rows of dirt dessert cups.

Dirt Dessert Cups

Creamy chocolate pudding topped with crushed chocolate cookies and gummy worms.
5 from 17 votes
Print Pin
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 12 -15 (4 ounce servings)
Author: Hezzi-D


  • 1 3.4 oz box of instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 2 c. whole milk
  • 8 oz. whipped topping thawed
  • 8 oz. cream cheese softened
  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • 16 chocolate sandwich cookies
  • gummy worms


  • In a medium bowl whisk together the pudding mix and milk. Whisk for 1-2 minutes. Set aisde.
  • In a large bowl combine the whipped topping, cream cheese, and powdered sugar.
  • Using a mixer beat the cream cheese mixture for 1-2 minutes or until smooth.
  • Fold the cream cheese mixture into the pudding mixture and mix until combined.
  • Fill 4 ounce cups 3/4 of the way full with the pudding mixture.
  • Crush the chocolate sandwich cookies. Put a few teaspoons of the cookie crumbs on top of each cup.
  • Top each cup with a gummy worm.


A Hezzi-D Original recipe

Three cups filled with dirt dessert with gummy worms on top.

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