November 18, 2017

How to Make a Dirt Cake


I continue to marvel at how God reveals himself through the minuscule, seemingly “meaningless” things.
My daughter happened to mention that she wanted a dirt cake for her birthday months ago. Agreeing wholeheartedly with her, that thought went in one ear and out the other. (Am I the only one that happens too?)
Well, her first ever “friend” party had to be postponed, and dirt cake was the last thing on my mind, (I have enough dirt on my floor lest I create some unnecessarily), that was, until I arrived at a fabulous yard sale.

I glanced at this adorable pot, and the woman volunteered, “Oh, we never planted flowers in there, I just used it for dirt cake. Have you heard of that recipe?”

Had I ever? Well, I about hugged and squeezed off her little neck in excitement, graciously stole it from her for a mere $0.50, and skipped on home.
Entering the door, my daughter was beside herself because this meant that a real life friend party was actually coming to fruition.

I marvel at how the Lord ministered to me through a little old flower pot.
Isn’t that so cool? I mean He knew for sure I would never pay retail for one this nice, so He let someone else do it for me. ๐Ÿ™‚

How hard can a dirt cake be to make?
Not hard at all. It’s so simple and has such great visual impact that I recommend it for every birthday party, except for the fact that my daughter requested a dirt cake made out of ice cream.
And every single recipe that I googled featured only pudding and cream cheese, so I improvised…which is what I am known for.

Now its official title is Dirt Soup, but I’ll know for next time that the freezer is a good thing.
And yes, we still had candles.

And I don’t think she minded the Dirt Soup one little bit, do you? ๐Ÿ™‚

Dirt Cake

(This is the traditional recipe. I will highlight how I changed it to suit my daughter’s request).

Crush: 1 large package Oreo cookies in blender.

Cream together: (I completely skipped this step)

  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 c. powdered sugar

MIX (along with this mixture I added a half gallon of vanilla ice cream)

  • 3 1/2 c. milk
  • 2 pkg. French vanilla instant pudding
  • 12 oz. Cool Whip
Add to cream mixture and mix well.
Place Cool Whip lid in bottom of clean 8-inch flour pot. (Umm, I missed this line…huge mistake. I tried sticking some gummies into close the hole after the fact…don’t laugh. You are at Balancing Beauty AND Bedlam).
Layer cookie mixture and creamed mixture alternately, ending with cookie mixture on top.
Chill overnight. (I put it in the freezer only about an hour before serving it. With ice cream replacing the cream cheese, I needed to put it in for most of the day. It was absolutely delicious anyhow.)
Garnish with artificial flowers and serve with a garden trowel or, layer in a sand bucket.
Place shovel in the middle or towards the side. Have gummy worms “crawling” out of the dirt. Make sure you end with cookie mixture.

I just found flowers that I had in my home instead of purchasing special ones. Yes, a wire cutter would have been nice for those long stems. I’ll be on the look out though for some cute ones for next time.

And yes, now my other daughter wants this next year. Enjoy this dirt cake…it’s all about the delicious memory.


  1. Amy @ Finer Things says:

    Dirt cake is so much fun. A great treat for a "spring" party, too. I like to serve in individual cups.


  2. Kim @ Forever Wherever says:

    I'll have to try this! You're a great mom!!!



  3. Meal Planning with Connie says:

    I remember the very first time I made this cake for a group of kids at our church over 20 years ago! It was a huge hit! I see it still is!!

    Many blessings!


  4. kristi_temple says:

    My kids love dirt cake. In fact, they love to get the dirt sundaes at Bruster's as well. I liked the idea of the flower pot. I always make mine in a 9×13 pan because the boys like to decorate the top with all manner of gummie creepy crawlies. They never want any flowers because they say it is too girly. Glad your daughter enjoyed her birthday party.


  5. I LOVE Dirt Cake! I was just telling Josh about it last week. He has never had one! We had this alot as kids – it was such a special treat. Yours looks fabulous!


  6. You can't go wrong with dirt cake! Looks yummy!


  7. Maryann @ Domestically-Speaking says:

    I have yet to make a dirt cake, but I'm sure my 3 kiddos would LOVE it. Thanks for doing Tasty Tuesday. I love coming every Tuesday do find some new recipes to try with my family. Blessings!


  8. Smelling Coffee says:

    What fun!!! And, yes… Isn't God so good to do the big AND the little things for us???

    Blessings to all of you – I'll be back to catch up on your posts and the awesome recipes.



  9. This is fun and delicious! When teaching 4H kids about soil every spring, we have them make "dirt." Crumbled Oreos, chocolate pudding, vanilla pudding, sprinkles, and gummy worms – these represent the different soil horizons – and they LOVE making (layering) it in their own see-through cup.


  10. I want to make my husband dirt cake for his birthday next year… I don't think he's ever had it! Poor guy *L*


  11. Dirt cake is a fun idea for a kid's party. Who doesn't like oreos? Yum!


  12. Wow! That looks great! I bet my youngest son would love that for his next birthday!
    You're such a good Mum. I get very inspired whenever I visit your blog. Thanks so much .. for everything! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Have a lovely day.


  13. Amanda @ Serenity Now says:

    She doesn't look like she's into it at all. ๐Ÿ˜‰ CUTE idea. A kid's dream come true…to get messy and eat dirt. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Thanks for hosting, Jen! ๐Ÿ™‚


  14. Hoosier Homemade says:

    That looks like great fun! Thanks for hosting!


  15. girl, you just took my dirt cake to another level!! can't wait to make another one sometime soon. i love the pics of your sweet little girl…esp. since we "happened" to meet her on her birthday!! ๐Ÿ˜‰


  16. Mum in Bloom says:

    I love dirt cake as much as the kids! Thank you for posting it! Your pictures are beautiful.


  17. What a fun and cute idea. I've never heard of a dirt cake, but have heard of baking cakes in mugs and flower pots.
    Are the oreo cookies you crumble the ones with the cream inside? I would think the cream would make it a bit sticky and not crumbly? Are there other kinds of oreos?


  18. Looks yummy! Great deal too! Your daughter looks like she really enjoyed her party!!


  19. So love that God DOES care about the details. Looks like Little Miss had a wonderful, dirty birthday. My kids would LOVE this cake. Maybe for a fall party I will do this!


  20. melissa * 320 Sycamore says:

    I love little tender mercies like this that the Lord puts in our path~He was aware of your daughter's sweet desire for a dirt cake! Somehow I missed that your husband had lost his job until your post last week, but can I tell you what an inspiration you are with your frugal living and amazing attitude through this all? Thank you for your example, Jen~


  21. Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality says:

    Hey, Jen, I love dirt cake & remember marveling the first time I saw it served in a flower pot like this. Fun!

    Loved the updates on your God watch time. Girl, you are a great role model for all of us. You tell your story so well & what a blessing for all your readers. xo


  22. Carolina Mama says:

    Jen, this is brilliant! The children are darling as always. Thanks for sharing. And yesterday, my couponing with great! Thanks!


  23. Amy Green (Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free) says:

    We used to make this at a preschool where I used to teach. The kids always loved it!! And, I love a good deal, too.

    I recently started a blog carnival – Slightly Indulgent Mondays – everyone is more than welcome to participate. Please come by – there is a fabulous give-away each week, too.


  24. Songbirdtiff says:

    I love this simple idea. I can tell that your daughter thought it was really special.


  25. I love dirt cake minus the gummy worms…a little too much and that's the reason I don't make it. I'd eat the whole thing!

    So glad everything worked out well for your daughter's cake, even if the improvisation had it's moments.


  26. What great pictures! The best part is that your daughter will always remember this and someday when she has her own kids she'll call you and be all, "Hey mom, I need that recipe for dirt cake" ๐Ÿ™‚


  27. instant flashback to when my chickens were little…somehow this always happens to me when I visit here. I love your little family, I feel like i know them

    it's hard not to eat the whole bucket, isn't it?


  28. togetherforgood says:

    What a lovely little blessing! ๐Ÿ™‚


  29. Julie@comehaveapeace says:

    Jen, love this one, and the pictures are priceless. This has been a favorite with my kids for birthdays.


  30. Sharyl Williams says:

    I just came to your site from Pioneer Woman's blog. I am loving looking around here! I also have done speaking a churchs and am currently employed full time as the weekend service producer at our church. This weekend I am doing a drama at our womans conference written by Nicole Johnson – I saw you had a video of you doing one of hers too! I am deemed "The Fashionista" at work, and never pay retail price for anything. Definitely feeling some things in common with you!


  31. The Pleasures of Homemaking says:

    I've only had dirt cake once in my life but I still have the recipe that person gave me (and that was about 20 years ago)!



  32. ~3 Sides of Crazy~ says:

    How cute!!


  33. Great testament to everything coming together and the moment being about her smiles!


  34. How cute! This looks like a fun activity too.


  35. Nicole Feliciano says:

    What is the current record for most recipes linked? Have you hit 100 yet? Love this event and love that so many moms are heading back to the kitchen.


  36. Amy@ MomsToolbox says:

    Absolutely LOVE it! Can't wait to try it out sometime.


  37. Susie from Bienvenue says:

    Hi Jen! I could not find a place to comment on your last post. I would love to check out that cook book. Lord knows I need all the help I can get. Will you be attending Blissdom? I have recieved a few emails about it but Im not sure…its such a far drive for me. Im gonna miss yall~


  38. Centsational Girl says:

    I have never heard of Dirt Cake and now I MUST make it for my critter loving daughter. I am so inspired ! Thanks for sharing.


  39. I really enjoy your blog. I grabed your button for my blog. I have seen a receipe like your dirty cake when my daughterwas in pre school.


  40. jillreynolds says:

    Hey Jen. Thanks so much for doing Tasty Tuesday each week. I try so hard to get out of the recipe rut and I always get such great ideas from the posts. BTW, I made my first dirt cake for Carson's birthday a few weeks ago. He got a huge kick out of it…a yummy memory made!


  41. I make dirt cake for my husband! Well, my recipe is a lot simpler, and around here we just call it dirt dessert. But basically the same thing. ๐Ÿ™‚ I love the photo with the great big smile on your daughter's face.


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