Jane's Dirt Cake


Martha's friend Jane Heller serves her dirt cake creatively: She presents the cake in a sterilized terra-cotta pot, then inserts sunflowers (wrap stems in plastic) into the cake for decoration.


  • 1 package Oreo cookies (16 ounces)

  • 12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 4 packages (3.9 ounces each) instant chocolate pudding

  • 4 ¾ cups milk

  • 3 recipes Sweetened Whipped Cream, or one 16-ounce carton frozen whipped topping, thawed

  • Candy, for decorating


  1. If using a flowerpot with a drainage hole, reserve 1 cookie to place over hole to prevent leaking. Place remaining cookies in the bowl of a food processor. Process until mixture resembles dirt. Set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and butter, and stir until creamy. Set aside.

  3. In another large bowl, whisk together instant-pudding mixes and milk; stir until well blended. Using a rubber spatula, fold pudding mixture into cream-cheese mixture. Fold in whipped cream.

  4. In a flowerpot or bucket with a 5-quart capacity, alternate layers of cookie "dirt" and pudding mixture, starting and ending with cookie "dirt." Chill at least 4 hours or overnight before serving. Garnish with candy.

Cook's Notes

Sterilize the pot by placing it in the oven at 350 degrees for two to three hours. Avoid using any pot that has been glazed.

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