Easter Dirt Cake is layered no bake dessert of pudding, crushed cookies and Easter candies. It can be made as a whole dish or individual servings.
Update: This recipe was originally posted in March 2016. The recipe and photos have been updated and republished in April 2023.
If you're looking for an adorable Easter dessert, you've come to the right place. Easter Dirt Cake is not only super easy to make, but it looks really impressive and can be customized to your preferences.
What is Easter Dirt Cake?
Let's start off with Dirt Cake first - which is a no-bake "cake" made of pudding mixed with whipped topping and covered with crushed sandwich cookies. From there, you can decorate the cake however you'd like. For this Easter version, I used sweetened coconut flakes, Peeps and chocolate egg-shaped candies.
- instant chocolate pudding
- whipped topping, thawed
- chocolate sandwich cookies, such as Oreos
- sweeetened coconut flakes
- green food coloring
- Peeps marshmallows
- egg shaped candies such as peanut M&M's
Note: Images are for a half serving (4 mini trifle bowls)
First, prepare the pudding. In a large bowl whisk the instant chocolate pudding mix and milk together until smooth. Then fold in the whipped topping. Set aside.
Next, crush the sandwich cookies. Add the cookies to a food processor and pulse until the consistency is like dirt, or add to a Ziplock bag and crush with a rolling pin or meat mallet.
After that, turn the coconut into grass. Add sweetened coconut flakes to a sandwich or quart sized ziptop bag, along with a few drops of green food coloring. Seal and shake around, pressing up the lumps of coconut until all of it is dyed green. Add more food coloring if needed.
Then start assembling the Easter Dirt Cake. Spread the pudding mixture into the bottom of your prepared dish. Next, top it with the crushed sandwich cookies. Repeat with another layer of pudding and crushed cookies. Spread an even layer of coconut "grass" on top and follow that up with the Peeps marshmallows and egg-shaped candies.
The first time I made Easter Dirt Cake, I prepared it in a glass 9x13 baking dish. The next time, I used mini trifle bowls. This recipe will fill 8 mini trifle bowls.
It's believed that Dirt Cake is a variation of Mississippi Mud Pie. Dirt Cake can be adjusted for many holidays with the substitution of different candies.
When making Dirt Cake not for a holiday, I use gummy worms. You can use any type of candy you prefer, holiday themed or not.
This version has a chocolate flavor, but you can change out the cookies or pudding for other flavors, such as vanilla, lemon, mint, etc.
Substitutions and Tips
For an even richer pudding base: cream together 8 oz of softened cream cheese, 8 oz softened unsalted butter and 1 cup powdered sugar. Then add in the instant pudding, milk and whipped topping.
Individual Serving Bowls: If serving in individual bowls, transfer the pudding mixture to a piping bag and pipe into the bowls or glasses for a cleaner look. After cookies are added, gently press down with the back of a spoon to flatten the layer.
Marshmallow Bunnies: help the bunnies to stand up by inserting a toothpick into the bottom of the marshmallow and then into the cake.
Storage: This cake can be made in advance. Prepare and layer the pudding and cookie layers. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve, then decorate.
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Easter Dirt Cake
- 1 9x13 baking dish OR
- 8 mini trifle bowls
- 2 packs instant chocolate pudding (3.4 oz boxes)
- 1 ¾ cup milk
- 8 oz whipped topping thawed
- 1 package chocolate sandwich cookies such as Oreos
- 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
- 6 drops green food coloring
- 8 Peeps candies
- egg-shaped candies such as peanut M&M's
- Whisk together the pudding and milk until smooth. Then fold in the thawed whipped topping.2 packs instant chocolate pudding (3.4 oz boxes), 1 ¾ cup milk, 8 oz whipped topping
- Add sandwich cookies to a food processor and pulse until it turns into crumbs. (Alternately, add to a ziptop bag, seal and crush with a rolling pin or meat mallet)1 package chocolate sandwich cookies
- Add coconut flakes and green food coloring to a ziptop bag, seal and shake until coconut flakes turn green.1 cup sweetened coconut flakes, 6 drops green food coloring
- Spread pudding layer into a 9x13 dish. (If using individual dishes, transfer pudding mixture to a piping bag with large tip and pipe into dish for a cleaner look.) Sprinkle crushed cookies on top, pressing down lightly with the back of a spoon. Repeat layers.
- Then spread green shredded coconut on top. Decorate with Peeps and egg-shaped candies.8 Peeps candies, egg-shaped candies