Indulge in spooky sweetness with our Halloween dirt cups. We put a boozy twist on a classic treat to make it just for adults!
Halloween isn’t just for kids anymore! While children may enjoy dressing up in costumes and going trick-or-treating, adults can also have their own fun by indulging in spooky treats. And what better way to celebrate the spirit of Halloween than with these deliciously eerie dirt cups?
This classic childhood dessert gets a grown-up twist with indulgent layers of chocolate pudding, crushed Oreo cookies, and creepy-crawly vodka gummy worms.
Whether you’re hosting a frightful soirée or simply looking to satisfy your sweet tooth this October 31st, these Halloween dirt cups are sure to bring some wicked delight to any adult gathering.
What are Dirt Cups?
Have you ever had Oreo dirt pudding when you were little or a go-to dirt pudding recipe for your mom-life arsenal?
Dirt cups are typically made by layering chocolate pudding or a similar creamy dessert like cool whip with crushed chocolate cookies or graham crackers to create a dirt-like texture.
Gummy worms or other candy decorations are often added to mimic plants or creatures peeking out from the “dirt.” The result is a playful, visually appealing treat that’s enjoyed for its combination of creamy, crunchy, and sweet elements.
Eating dessert cups as a kid was always so fun, ick factor from eating “dirt” with “worms” and all! I, Ashley, wanted to serve a spooky but chic cocktail at a Halloween party and was inspired by these nostalgic tricky treats.
So we mixed up some layered dirt cups but in cocktail form! However, you can easily leave out the liquor to make a traditional dirt pudding recipe for the kids.
For the Halloween dirt pudding:
Traditionally instant pudding is used but we made our own that highlights the liquor.
Creme de cacao
Heavy cream — Or substitute with milk.
Chocolate bitters — Optional to complement the cocoa.
For the garnish:
Whipped cream — Or substitute for a non-dairy whipped topping
Crushed Oreos or any chocolate cookie crumbs — You can purchase Oreo crumbs or make some yourself by crushing your cookies in a food processor. Or simply, place the cookies in a Ziploc bag and crush them with a rolling pin or mallet. They don’t need to be finely crushed or have an even texture since you’re recreating “dirt”.
Vodka gummy worms — To prep your gummy worms, arrange your gummy worms in a container (with an airtight lid). Then, slowly pour vodka over the gummy worms, making sure they are fully submerged. Allow the gummy worms to soak for at least 6-12 hours. For a stronger infusion, you can let them soak for up to 24 hours.
How to Make Boozy Dirt Cups for Adults
1 — In a cocktail shaker with ice, add the bourbon, Creme de Cacao, heavy cream, chocolate bitters (optional), and cocoa powder. Shake well until chilled.
2 — Strain the cocktail pudding mixture into glasses or clear plastic cups.
3 — Add a layer of whipped cream to the glass, just below the rim, being sure to cover the pudding.
4 — Top crushed cookie crumbs over the whipped cream.
5 — Garnish with mint sprigs and edible flowers. Insert gummy worms into the cookie crumbs so they appear to be coming out of the “dirt”. You can let some of them hang over the edge for a more realistic effect.
How to Make a Mocktail Version
If you want to offer a non-alcoholic version for party guests or kids, you can easily make these into dirt cup milkshakes!
To make a milkshake, combine 1 cup of milk, 4 tablespoons of sugar and 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder in a blender. Then, add 4 cups of vanilla ice cream and blend again. This should make 2 large servings.
Or if you’d like more traditional dirt cups, use instant chocolate pudding mix, French vanilla pudding, cool whip or whipped cream. We’ve even seen some recipes use cream cheese.
Recipe Notes and Tips
Best served chilled:
If time permits, place the cups in the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Garnish right before serving.
Can you substitute the liquor?
Yes! Some great alternatives for the bourbon and/or Creme de Cacao are chocolate liqueur (like Godiva or similar), coffee liqueur (like Kahlua) or Baileys Irish Cream
Dirt cup variations:
Now that you’ve got the Oreo dirt cup recipe down, feel free to experiment with toppings to create different scenes. You could turn them into graveyard dirt cups by using a as a tombstone and icing to write “RIP”. Or create sand dirt cups to create a beach scene for a Fourth of July party with Golden Oreos or graham crackers.
Halloween Party Ideas to Pair with the Dirt Cups Recipe
Since we’re no stranger to an easy Halloween recipe, DIY, entertaining idea, or Halloween costumes, we put together a list of my favorite pairing recommendations!
- Serve the Oreo dirt cups on our DIY Halloween bar cart.
- Add pumpkin decals to your fun Halloween dirt cups.
- Be the host of the town as a power couple with 41 ideas for couples costumes.
- Or throw on some Halloween wigs and whip up a few cocktails to call it day!
- Let your cocktails shine next to our DIY sequin pumpkins
- Pair your dirt desserts with our sophisticated Halloween table decor.
Boozy Dirt Cups Recipe
- 3 oz bourbon
- 3 oz crème de cacao liqueur
- 3 oz heavy cream
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 dash chocolate bitters optional
- 6-8 tbsp crushed chocolate cookies
- 4 vodka gummy worms or regular gummy worms
- 2 mint sprigs for garnish
- Edible flowers for garnish
- Whipped cream for garnish
- In a cocktail shaker with ice, add the bourbon, creme de cacao, heavy cream, chocolate bitters (optional), and cocoa powder. Shake well until chilled.
- Strain the cocktail pudding mixture into glasses.
- Add a layer of whipped cream to the glass, just below the rim, being sure to cover the pudding.
- Layer crushed cookie crumbs over the whipped cream.
- Garnish with mint sprigs and edible flowers. Insert gummy worms into the cookie crumbs so they appear to be coming out of the "dirt".
Don’t forget to share your dirt cups with us on Instagram using the hashtag #sugarandclothloves. We always love seeing all of your creations! Looking for more quick and delicious recipes? You can find them all right here!