Dirt Cake For A Crowd

A rich and creamy filling sandwich between chocolate cookie crumbles makes a delicious Dirt Cake. This recipe is easy to make a big batch of in a large aluminum foil pan to feed a crowd. 

Spoon full of delicious dirt cake on a white plate full of the Oreo covered pudding dessert next to a large pan full on a blue and white napkin

If you like this recipe you may also enjoy our Banana Pudding for a Crowd and Fruit Salad for a Crowd.

Big Batch Recipe of Dirt Cake

Always popular with kids and adults alike at graduation parties, family reunions, holiday meals, and big church dinners. This is one of the first pans to be cleaned out on the dessert table.  

The combination of cream cheese, instant vanilla pudding, and Cool Whip sandwiched between layers of ground up Oreos is irresistible.

Since the Oreo crumbles look like dirt it is so easy to decorate this unique pudding dessert for a crowd. Simply add a few gummy worms to the cream layer before sprinkling the final cookie crumbs on top and you have an Oreo Pudding Dessert that’s even more fun!

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We also enjoy serving our Homemade Brownies for a Crowd and Cherry Cobbler for a Crowd.

Long handled silver serving spoon scooping into the layers of Oreo cookie crumbs and the creamy filling in this dirt cake dessert

This Big Batch Recipe is adapted from our very popular Dirt Cake.

Ingredients Needed:

  • Oreos
  • Butter
  • Cream cheese
  • Powdered sugar
  • Instant vanilla pudding
  • Milk
  • Cool Whip

How Many People Does This Serve?

Being one of the most popular potluck desserts this is a recipe that the majority of people are likely to take a scoop off. 

If a reasonable, consistent size scoop is served this recipe could feed 40 – 50 people.

Since it’s so popular and we know that people eat with their eyes, in a self serve situation this dish may only make 30 extra large scoops. Especially if kids see the pan and there aren’t a lot of other fun deserts to chose from.

Big serving spoon of dirt pudding with Oreo cookie pieces over top of a pan full

The big variables are how many other options are on available in the potluck or serving line.

Individual cups sound nice, but are a bit tricky to make and keep clean without pudding smears on the top. It can also be tricky to store those in a home refrigerator.

Carrying a plate of food, a drink and a cup of dirt cake can also be tricky too.

What To Serve Dirt Cake In

I use a large rectangular rack aluminum roaster pan that is about 16 x 11 x 2 1/2″. The approximate square inches are 197 in this type of foil pan. The size of large foil pans do vary greatly.

A 9 x 13″ pan is about 117 square inches, so this recipe can also be made in two 9×13″ pans.

Pan dimensions don’t have to be exact. When adjusting the size of the pan the thickness of the Dirt Pudding will change.

How to Make Dirt Cake For A Crowd

A day or two ahead of time or when you’re ready to make the dessert crush up the Oreos in a food processor.

If making ahead of time store in an airtight container.

In a large mixing bowl (one that you typically use for regular sized recipes) add softened butter, cream cheese and powdered sugar.

Softened butter and cream cheese with powdered sugar in a large white mixing bowl

Use an electric mixer to stir well. There should be very minimal if any lumps.

In a very large commerical sized 16 or 20 quart mixing bowl measure out the milk.

Add boxes of instant vanilla pudding and use a whisk to stir well.

Instant vanilla pudding with a whisk in it mixed up in a 30 quart mixing bowl to make a big batch dessert for a crowd

Then add the defrosted Cool Whip and use a spatula to fold until mixed.

Cool Whip being stirred into pudding mixture in a metal commercial sized mixing bowl

Finally add the cream cheese mixture in a few different spot to make stirring easier

Cream cheese, powdered sugar and butter mixture poured in the center of the pudding and Cool whip mixture to make a rich and creamy filling for a batch of dirt pudding for a crowd recipe

Using a long handled, solid metal spoon stir everything together gently.

Creamy dirt cake filling in a huge bowl to make a really big batch

Take half of the crushed Oreos and sprinkle in the bottom of the large metal pan.

I like to take a couple minutes and press them out evenly to make the top a bit more smooth.

Hand patting crushed Oreo sandwich crackers in an even layer across the bottom of a large foil pan

Carefully take the large mixing bowl and pour the pudding mixture as evenly as possible over top of the crushed cookies.

Large foil pan with a layer of Oreo crumbs on the bottom and the white, creamy filling poured in the center of the pan ready to be spread out

Use a spatula to gently smooth out the mixture.

Spread remaining cookie crumbs on top.

Over head view of crushed Oreos sprinkled on top of a large foil pan of Oreo Dirt Cake for a Crowd

Cover with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate. I prefer foil because it’s more durable with the large pan, especially if carrying or transporting is necessary.

Place in the refrigerator for a few hours until chilled.

This Oreo pudding dessert will be best if served within 1 -2 days.

Tips & Tricks For A Big Batch:

  • Have a commercial sized 16 or 20 quart mixing bowl to make this recipe. What we typically refer to as a “large mixing bowl” will not give you adequate room to stir.
  • We have a mini food processor which can take a while to crush the Oreos, so we like to do that step a day ahead of time.
  • Ensure that the whipped topping (Cool Whip) is properly defrosted in the refrigerator so that it easily stirs into the other creamy ingredients. If you stack three bowls on top of each other it may take longer to thaw.
  • Use a long handled serving spoon that is firm to stir the ingredients and to serve with so that the handle doesn’t fall in the large pan while serving.
  • If there’s a generic chocolate sandwich cookie that you like as much as Oreos it should work fine, but don’t use stale cookies or cookies that lack flavor.
  • Plan ahead to make sure there is adequate space to store the pan in a level spot in your refrigerator.
  • Always support the bottom, center of the pan when moving to avoid mixing the layers of dirt pudding.

More Recipes for a Crowd:

If you like pasta our Big Batch of Macaroni Salad is delish! Our Mac & Cheese in a Roaster is also very popular. And our Pasta Salad for a Crowd is colorful and cool.

Brisket in a Roaster makes great sandwiches.

Cheesy Potatoes for a Crowd are popular all year around and Green Beans for a Crowd are big around the holidays.

Another Oreo dessert that is easier to portion out is this Oreo Pudding Pie, however multiples would be needed to feed a crowd.

Close up large serving spoon full of Dirt pudding generously topped with Oreo crumbs over a large foil pan

Dirt Cake For A Crowd

Servings 40 people
Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life
A rich and creamy filling sandwich between chocolate cookie crumbles makes a delicious Dirt Cake. This recipe is easy to make a big batch of in a large aluminum foil pan to feed a crowd. 
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Chill Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients
  

  • 30 ounces Oreos
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 16 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 7 cups milk
  • 20.4 ounces instant vanilla pudding 4 large boxes
  • 24 ounces Cool Whip 3 small containers

Instructions
 

  • Crush Oreos or other chocolate sandwich cookies in a food processor.
  • Sprinkle half in the bottom of a large ungreased aluminum foil pan with approximate dimensions of 16 x 11 x 2 1/2". Use fingers to spread out and gently press into an even layer.
  • Set aside remaining Oreos.
  • In a large mixing bowl cream butter, cream cheese and confectioners sugar.
  • In a commerical sized 16 – 20 quart mixing bowl Whisk pudding and milk together.
  • Add Cool Whip to pudding and fold in.
  • Gently add scoops of the creamy mixture to the pudding mixture and continue to fold until mixed.
  • Pour filling over top of the Oreo base. Take care not to displace bottom layer of Oreos while spreading out the filling evenly.
  • Sprinkle remaining Oreos on top, cover with foil or plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours until ready to serve.

Notes

*7 cups of milk is almost a 1/2 gallon

Nutrition

Calories: 288kcalCarbohydrates: 41gProtein: 4gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 257mgPotassium: 151mgFiber: 1gSugar: 31gVitamin A: 323IUCalcium: 88mgIron: 3mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Plowing Through Life” is not a dietitian or nutrition professional. Any nutritional information shared is an estimate and can vary greatly depending on specific products are used. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator of your choice.

Tried this recipe?Mention @PlowingThroughLife or tag #PlowingThroughLife!

One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    I do not enjoy cooking or baking or many of those domestic things I feel like I should love , but I had to make dessert for a baby shower this past week, so I searched for a delicious, but easy recipe that would feed a large crowd. I LOVE dirt pudding, so this seemed ideal! Minimal ingredients, no complicated steps, and Oreos! Plus, Jennifer has easy steps with helpful tips and photos! If you don’t need all of those, just scroll down to the recipe and condensed instructions.

    Needless to say, it was a huge hit! I overestimated the number of people who would be eating and the amount they would be eating, so I had lots left over. Darn… I shared it with one of my small classes of high school students the following day – a brutally honest age. They ate multiple helpings and I even got the highest compliment, “Don’t tell my mom, but this is better than hers.” I still had a bit left, so my husband tried some, said it was too sweet for him, and put the rest in the fridge. When I got the container or later to eat it myself, there was about a spoonful left. I guess it wasn’t too sweet, after all!

    Trust me, I’ll be making this again!

    A few things I learned:
    1. Make a lot if you’re feeding teenagers, but do not make a lot if you’re feeding adult women who probably want to eat more, but don’t want to look like they want more, so they will not eat as much as you think (unless you happen to invite me). I had around 15 women show up, and they ate approximately 1/3 of the pan.

    2. If you don’t have a food processor, put the Oreos in a Ziploc bag and use a rolling pin to crush them. Or a can of soup or whatever you have that can crush something crunchy. I only had a small bag, so I did multiple rounds of crushing and then transferring into a different container.

    3. If you don’t have huge bowls, you can still make this! Just do it in multiple rounds, like with the Oreos. Be sure to mix well. I did have a few places where there was a hunk of cream cheese that hadn’t gotten mixed as well. I attribute that to trying to mix too much together in my mixer. It didn’t affect the taste or bother me, but you might want to pay closer attention.

    4. I used half regular Oreos and half vanilla (the ones that are sort of whitish-yellow?) Oreos. I really liked the color once they were all mixed together and I got compliments on that choice.

    5. It is definitely heavy. Do not carry the pan by the handles only. I actually put the pan in the base for my griddle, which fit perfectly by some stroke of luck. My plan was to look around for a thin piece of wood or even a large book for underneath the middle of the pan. You can carry it just with your hands under the middle, but having something sturdier would definitely help.

    I highly recommend Jennifer’s recipe! I’m going to check out her smaller version of dirt pudding for smaller groups, and I’m also getting ready to see what else she has that I can make for the next shower in three days! (I’m also NOT going to drink the water at work! Lol)

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