Halloween Dirt Cake is an easy Halloween dessert with chocolate cake, chocolate pudding and crushed Oreo cookie crumbs with gummy worms decorated as a graveyard. This easy recipe is perfect for a Halloween party and so much fun to make!
If you're looking for a fun dessert for Halloween, you will love this super cute Halloween cake! It's one of my family's favorite Halloween cakes.
Some call this Ghosts in the Graveyard or graveyard cake or Halloween graveyard dirt cake because it's decorated to look like a cemetery -- in a cute way!
This graveyard cake is made without cream cheese. It has a chocolate cake as the base topped with creamy chocolate pudding frosting and Oreo crumbs on top.
Throw in some gummy worms, candy pumpkins, marshmallow ghosts (ghost peeps) and cookie tombstones to achieve the graveyard look! My kids have so much fun with this part!
You only need a few simple ingredients for this Halloween dirt cake recipe. Find them in your grocery store or online. Exact amounts are in the recipe card below.
- Chocolate cake mix -- and ingredients to make the cake
- Instant Chocolate Pudding mix -- not cook and serve
- Milk -- 2 percent milk or whole milk to make the pudding
- Cool Whip -- or any whipped topping
- Powdered sugar -- for the frosting
- Oreo cookies -- crushed into fine crumbs or any chocolate sandwich cookies
- Milano cookies -- or Nutter Butter cookies for gravestones
- Candy -- for decorating. We used candy corn, sour worms, Halloween sprinkles, candy bones and marshmallow pumpkins
You will also need melted chocolate, gel food coloring or edible markers to decorate the tombstone cookies. We used a toothpick and melted chocolate chips.
How to Make Halloween Dirt Cake
First, make the cake according to package directions in a 9 x 13 baking dish. I used a Pyrex dish. Then, allow it to cool completely.
Crush the Oreos in a plastic bag using a rolling pin or flat edge of a meat mallet. or, crush them in food processor or blender.
In a large bowl, mix the instant pudding mix with the milk and powdered sugar with an electric mixer. Then, fold in the Cool Whip until light and fluffy.
The combination of chocolate pudding and other ingredients make a delicious, light frosting.
Frost the top of the cake with the pudding mixture. An offset spatula is perfect for this!
The frosting thickens and firms up as it sets, so don't worry if it seems runny.
After you spread the frosting on the top of the cake, spoon the crushed Oreos on top of the pudding mixture.
Make sure the pudding is completely covered with the Oreo cookie crumbs.
Next, pop the cake into the refrigerator while you make the tombstones and get the decorations ready.
How to Decorate Halloween Graveyard Cake
Gently press the tombstone cookies into the top of the cake. Be careful not to smear the writing on the tombstones as you handle them!
Pro tip -- If you are using Peeps ghosts or pumpkins, stick a wooden toothpick into the bottom of each candy, leaving the edge of the toothpick sticking out.
Then, press the ghosts in the graveyard. This will help them stay upright. Just be sure to remove the toothpicks before eating!
Add gummy worms, marshmallow pumpkins and candy bones. We added candy sprinkles shaped like fall leaves and Halloween sprinkles for extra sparkle.
You can add your favorite Halloween candy to this Halloween graveyard dessert. There are so many different fun toppings to choose from -- the possibilities are endless!
How to Store Dirt Cake
Place this graveyard Oreo dessert into the refrigerator until you're ready to serve. You can make the cake a day ahead of time, but it's best to decorate the cake the day you are serving.
Cover leftover cake with plastic wrap, or place in airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The cookies will get softer the longer the cake sits.
You can leave the cake layer out for a more traditional dirt cake or Halloween dirt pudding. The cake layer makes it easier to serve and serves as a base for the decorations.
For a no bake Halloween dirt cake, make Halloween dirt pudding cups in clear plastic cups. Individual cups are a great idea for feeding a crowd.
You can see my Dirt Pie recipe for the instructions.
If you want to make a homemade chocolate cake, use your favorite recipe.
You can make this cake a day ahead of time. Just decorate it the day you are serving it for best results.
Make sure to buy instant pudding mix and not cook and serve pudding as these are 2 different products.
Use toothpicks to place peeps ghosts in the cake.
If you are taking this dessert to a party away from home, use a disposable foil cake pan with a plastic cover for easy transport.
More Halloween Desserts
For more Halloween recipes for Halloween parties or for your family, try my Halloween Cake Pops or easy Halloween Oreo pumpkins or my no bake Nutter Butter Ghost cookies, Halloween Popcorn snack mix and check out even more easy Halloween Recipes.
Halloween Dirt Cake Recipe
- 15.25 oz chocolate cake mix Plus ingredients to make cake
- 3.9 oz instant chocolate pudding mix
- 1 cup milk 2 percent or whole
- 2 tablespoon powdered sugar
- 8 oz Cool Whip thawed
- 25 Oreo cookies crushed
- Milano cookies
- Halloween candy
- Make cake according to package directions, and allow to cool completely
- In a large bowl, mix the instant pudding, milk and powdered sugar with a hand mixer until combined
- Fold in the Cool Whip until well combined and smooth
- Spread the pudding mixture over the top of the cake
- Spoon the crushed Oreo cookies over the pudding layer
- Decorate with Milano cookie tombstones, candy corn pumpkins, gummy worms and Halloween candy of your choice
- Store in refrigerator until ready to serve
Nutrition information is estimated. Please do your own calculation to fit special diets.
I hope you enjoy this Halloween Oreo dirt cake recipe as much as do!
If you do make this delicious dessert, please leave a comment and star rating below.
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