I can remember exactly where I was when I first ate dirt cake. I was in Copeland, Alabama and it was the summer of 1990.
I'm pathetic, I know.
I was at my stepfather's brother's house and he was having a huge get-together. They were roasting a whole hog, but who really cares because there was dirt cake. And I had never heard of it before and when I took a bite, I was like "What on earth is this stuff?"
And someone said "Dirt cake."
And then my life had meaning.
Dirt cake is ridiculously rich, but it's so yummy it's almost irresistible. Or, in my case, it is irresistible. It's basically crushed Oreo cookies in a vanilla pudding and cream cheese mixture. I'm not sure why it's called cake. That part is confusing. But the recipe is easy. I got it from a church cookbook years ago.
I usually only make this about once or twice a year, and usually only for events involving children. This week was perfect because my cousin was visiting with her family, and when we all got together, there were lots of children.
So this was for the children. Yeah.
|Please notice was his shirt happens to say. :o)|
-I found this milk chocolate rock candy at Wal-Mart, and I used it to decorate the top, as well as placing some of them in the cookie crumb layers (as long as it doesn't touch the actual pudding because it will melt and make the pudding discolored and ugly--I found this out the hard way) to look like rocks in soil.
-And by the way, Wal-Mart has all kinds of cute gourmet candy, in case you haven't visited their candy aisle lately. Since it just takes a few to worms to decorate, I actually froze all of the gummy worms I bought from the last time I made dirt cake, that way I don't have to go out and buy more.
-I don't like putting worms in the actual pudding, either, because they melt and create a bad flavor and color. I usually just decorate the top with them.
-The green grass clumps are a tube of green frosting using a #233 grass tip.
-This is better if it chills overnight. I decorate it right before I serve it.
-I'm sure you've seen this served in a (unused) flower pot with some plastic flowers sticking out of it. That's another way to present it. Or little individual flower pots. Cuteness. But how about adding some fondant flowers on top? Or maybe some candy Easter eggs for an Easter dinner dessert? Lots of different ways to make this special.
3 1/2 cups whole milk
2 small packages instant French vanilla pudding
1 stick butter, softened to room temperature
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 (16-ounce) container non-dairy whipped topping
2 packages chocolate sandwich cookies
Milk chocolate candy rocks
A tube of green frosting
Assorted gummy worms
Whisk the milk and pudding together in a large bowl until smooth. Let stand five minutes. In another large bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese together with a hand mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Beat in the powdered sugar until smooth. Add the pudding and beat until smooth. Fold in the non-dairy whipped topping.
Crush 1 package of cookies so that there are some fine crumbs, but also some larger pieces. There needs to be a variety. Fold this into the pudding mixture until evenly mixed.
Finely crush the other bag of cookies. In a large clear glass trifle dish, pour about a third of the pudding mixture into the bottom and spread to smooth. Sprinkle with a layer of about a third of the finely crushed cookies. Stick several of the candy rocks in the cookie layer, especially around the perimeter of the dish where they will be visible. (To look like rocks in the soil.) Top with another third of the pudding mixture on top of the cookie layer, then repeat with another cookie layer and some more candy rocks. Spread the remaining third of the pudding on top, then top with the remaining cookie crumbs. Add clumps of grass in different spots using a grass tip and the green frosting, then place more rocks and gummy worms on top to decorate. Chill for several hours to overnight before serving.