This Dirt and Worms Poke Cake is a fun dessert the kids will surely enjoy! Moist black chocolate cake filled with chocolate pudding, oreo crumbs and creepy-crawly gummy worms. Top with oreo cream cheese frosting, more oreo “dirt” and gummy worms for a perfectly easy Halloween dessert!
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One of my favourite elementary school memories is when our teacher gave us a science lesson that involved dessert! We were learning about the layers beneath grass or something (I don’t remember, I was just excited about the dessert).
So for our science “experiment” we all got these plastic cups that we had to layer a certain way to represent whatever was underground. So chocolate pudding to act as mud, oreo crumbs as the dirt, and gummy worms as worms, of course.
Those dirt cups were soooo much fun to make and even more fun to eat! So as a throwback to my childhood, I’ve decided to take those scientific little chocolate filled cups and give them an upgrade!
Dirt and Worms Poke Cake
It took me about 2 minutes to come up with the idea for this cake. I’ve already made 2 different chocolate poke cakes before using this same recipe, and since it was Halloween, my mind immediately thought of the classic dirt and worms desserts.
If you dug a hole in the ground, chances are you’ll find some worms, and of course, dirt and mud. A poke cake would be the perfect dessert to represent those holes in the ground! When you dig into this cake, you’ll find pockets of dirt, mud and worms — trust me, it’s far more delicious than it sounds :D!
Moist Dark Chocolate Cake
To make this Dirt and Worms Poke Cake, I started by making a moist chocolate cake using some black cocoa powder to make a black velvet cake. It’s a big batch, so you can use a mixer if you want to, but really all you need is a whisk!
Simply combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, then whisk in all of the wet ingredients. It couldn’t get easier! We bake the cake at 300°F for about 45 minutes so it can slowly bake up into a super moist deep dark chocolatey cake.
Mud, Dirt and Worms Filling
Time for the fun part: the dirt and worm filling! Start by poking holes into the top of the cake, make sure they’re big enough to stuff the worms in. Then use a disposable piping bag to pipe some chocolate pudding into the holes. You can also spoon it in, this is not a cake that needs to be clean and neat.
Then sprinkle some crushed oreos inside on top of the pudding. Here comes the best (and messiest) part — take a gummy worm or two and use your index finger to shove them into the “mud” and “dirt”!
Oreo Cream Cheese Frosting
Ok THIS is my favourite part, hands down! I already adore cream cheese frosting, but add a buttload of Oreo crumbs? Sinfully good! It’s like eating cookies and cream cheesecake in frosting form, I could eat it with a spoon (or a finger).
For the finishing touches, I sprinkled on more Oreo crumbs, then piped on some grass and added a few more creepy-crawly worms on top. You’ve probably noticed that these gummy worms aren’t the typical colourful gummy worms you’re used to — that’s because they’re halloween gummy worms!
I chose not to go with the traditional coloured gummy worms because they didn’t really give me the creepy vibes I wanted from this dessert. The dark fall coloured worms were the perfect choice for this cake!
A yummy cookies and cream chocolate cake filled with chocolate pudding and sweet gummy worms— this Dirt and Worms Poke Cake is a wonderful dessert to serve at a Halloween party!
Did you make this Dirt and Worms Poke Cake? Let me know how they turned out in the comments below! And don’t forget to leave a rating!
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Let’s get baking!
Black Chocolate Cake:
- 2 cups All purpose flour
- 2 cups granulated Sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup “black” cocoa powder
- 2 tsp Baking powder
- 1 teaspoon Baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- 3/4 cup Vegetable oil
- 2 large Eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 cup hot coffee or boiling water
Oreo Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 10 Oreos, filling remove and crushed
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup hi-ratio shortening
- 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp whole milk or heavy whipping cream, room temperature
- Leaf green gel food colouring
Dirt and Worm Filling + Topping:
- 10 Oreos, filling remove and crushed
- About 35-40 Gummy worms
- 1 cup chocolate pudding (I used store-bought)
For the Black Chocolate Cake:
- Preheat oven to 300° F. Grease a 9x13-inch cake pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using a whisk or hand mixer), sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powders, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix on low speed until combined.
- In a measuring cup, combine the egg, vegetable oil, buttermilk and vanilla. While the mixer is on low, slowly pour the wet ingredients into the bowl. Increase speed to medium and mix until combined. Add boiling water OR hot coffee and mix until combined and smooth. Batter will be runny.
- Pour batter into pan and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs.
- Remove cake from oven and allow to cool completely.
For the Oreo Cream Cheese Frosting:
- Crush Oreos into VERY fine crumbs using a food processor or by hand in a ziploc bag using a rolling pin.
- In a medium bowl using a handheld mixer, beat the butter, shortening and cream cheese until smooth and fluffy.
- Add powdered sugar one cup at a time, mixing on low until combined. Add vanilla and mix until combined. Increase speed to high and beat until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in crushed Oreos.
For the Grass Buttercream:
- Add softened butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and milk to a medium mixing bowl and beat on low speed until combined.
- Add a few drops of green gel food colouring. Increase speed to medium and beat until frosting is light and fluffy.
- Using a large wooden dowel, poke rows of holes into the top of the cake. Make sure the holes are big enough for the gummy worms to fit in.
- Spoon or pipe the chocolate pudding halfway into the holes. Spoon in some of the Oreo crumbs. Push a gummy worm or two into the pudding and crumbs.
- Spread Oreo cream cheese frosting over the cake. Sprinkle remaining Oreo crumbs on top.
- Transfer green frosting to a piping bag fitted with a grass tip. Pipe grass around the edges of the cake and on any “bald” spots in the middle of the cake.
- Place gummy worms on top, slightly pushing some of them into the Oreo so it looks like the worms are crawling out of or into the dirt! Enjoy!!
- The entire cake can be made a day or two ahead of time and stored covered in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
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