This past winter, I ran into one of my neighbors who commented on how healthy the recipes in my columns have all been over the last several months. “I told another neighbor how I’d be afraid for you to see some of the snacks that I feed my own children sometimes,” she said to me.

In my opinion, this neighbor was being too hard on herself. On the day I saw her, she had the kids ice-skating; and in warmer weather, I always see her outside with her children, running beside them as they ride their bikes up and down the street.

So after a recent Earth Day indulgence with my children, I thought I might share a little secret with my neighbors and fellow readers – we enjoy our sweet treats now and then, too.

On Earth Day, April 23, our friend Diana Sullivan brought a delicious, rich, dirt cake to my kids’ music class. After class several of us, including a certain Sun Journal photographer and his 2-year-old son, enjoyed the dirt cake – served from a plastic flowerpot – as our morning snack.

Looking very “real” in the pot, the dirt cake was full of sweet, edible ingredients, including vanilla pudding, whipped cream, cream cheese, 3½ cups of milk (the part that I focused on as my children indulged in this just an hour before lunch) and crushed Oreo cookies.

Since the cake was served to some toddlers, my friend eliminated the Gummy Worms but that could be a fun addition for older children and adults.

Diana’s friends have served the dirt cake as dessert at barbecues – and even as centerpieces at a wedding rehearsal dinner with each table decorated with a nice flowerpot full of the dessert and plastic flowers.

So as you take time to embrace spring and all of the beautiful blooming flowers, take time to enjoy a little dirt, too.

Colleen Lunn Scholer is a freelance writer living in Auburn who likes to cook with her husband and two young children.

Dirt cake recipe


½ cup butter or margarine

8 ounces cream cheese

½ cup powdered (confectioners’) sugar

2 boxes of pudding (vanilla for less chocolate overload; chocolate for a super dark and muddy dirt cake sand delicious, too)

3½ cups milk (I used skim milk.)

12 ounces whipped cream

32 ounces Oreo cookies. (This is about a bag and one-half of another). I highly recommend sticking with the Oreo brand. Substitutes are really not as good.

Optional: Gummy Worms


1. Crush cookies (This is fun for little ones. My daughter, Hannah, had a blast with the crab mallet. We put the cookies in a plastic bag to contain the mess.)

2. Cream the butter/margarine, cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar.

3. Mix up the pudding, milk and whipped cream.

4. Combine ingredients in steps 2 and 3 (and optional Gummy Worms) into one big bowl.

5. Layer your cookies with your “filling,” starting with the cookies. Top with cookies.

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