Dirt cakes were a fixture at just about every birthday party or other celebration my sister and I had growing up. They were hugely popular with us and with our cousins. My grandma, Ardelle, would make them using the recipe below (in her own handwriting).
Recently, I inherited the planter and spade that were dedicated solely to dirt cake. Since my wedding shower was in spring and had a gardening theme (my mother filled about 25 planters with cuttings from her plants as favors!), I decided to try my hand at making a dirt cake to bring to the party.
I have to admit that I didn't follow Ardelle's recipe to the letter. For example, her recipe called for an entire stick of butter and I only used about a tablespoon. I used one package of vanilla pudding and one package of banana because its what my partner brought home from the store--this did give the cake a slight banana flavor but people seemed to really like it. I omitted the Cool Whip (which mysteriously appears in the directions but not the ingredients list) entirely. Also, instead of smashing the Oreos between two sheets of wax paper, I sealed them in a large ziplock bag (a few handfuls at a time) before attacking them with the rolling pin.
Here is the final result:
Complete with gardening spade and flower, exactly as Ardelle would have served it. Although I didn't add any gummy worms, which she liked to do.
While there weren't any children in attendance at the shower, the dirt cake was a universal hit with the guests, and was more popular than any of the other desserts we had. Leftovers, if you have any, hold up well in the fridge for a few days, although you may need to transfer them to a smaller container.
Enjoy, and if you give this recipe a whirl, let me know what you think of it!