Desserts

August 25, 2022

Healthy Dirt Cups (sugar free!)

Made with clean ingredients like sugar free chocolate pudding, protein graham crackers, and sugar free gummy worms, these Healthy Dirt Cups are the better version of the classic childhood treat. They're also easily gluten free and vegan too!

If I asked you what your favorite childhood treat was, what's the first one that comes to mind?

It could be something simple like Little Debbie's oatmeal cream pies or something special like your grandma's marshmallow brownies.

One of my favorite sweet treats was dirt.

And yes, it's called "dirt."

I loved the combination of crumbly Oreo crumbs with smooth chocolate pudding (I'm a huge fan of chocolate!) and, of course, the gummy worms!

But now that I'm older and sugar doesn't sit well with me, I knew I needed to recreate these classic Oreo dirt pudding cups with a healthier twist.

And guess what? These healthy dirt pudding cups are refined sugar free and high protein. Win win!

A jar of dirt pudding


Why you'll love this recipe

  • Simple ingredients: all you need is five main ingredients plus some gummy worms.
  • Perfect for celebrations: whether it's birthday parties, a Halloween party, or just because, this dirt pudding recipe is a fun treat the whole family will love!
  • It's secretly healthy: this low calorie treat has 15 grams of protein but only 6 grams of sugar per serving. But you'd never know!


What is the dessert dirt?

Dirt cake, also known as Oreo dirt dessert, Oreo dirt cups, or Oreo dirt pudding, is an American no bake dessert recipe traditionally made with instant pudding, cool whip, Oreo cookies with a cream cheese mixture, and gummy worms.

It can be served as one big cake or in individual cups and is usually served as a party food, especially halloween parties.

Ingredients for dirt pudding

Ingredients you'll need

First, I want to proudly say what is NOT in this dirt pudding recipe:

  • NO artificial ingredients
  • NO added sugar or artificial sweeteners
  • NO food coloring or artificial dyes
  • NO whipped topping
  • NO gummy worm mold

Here's what IS in this chocolate dessert:

  • Kodiak Cakes Bear Bites: these are Kodiak Cakes' version of graham crackers. They are made with whole grains and give another boost of protein to the recipe. See below for substitutions!
  • Neufchatel cream cheese: also known as 1/3 less fat cream cheese. This replaces the cream filling from the Oreo cookies and helps mimic the "dirt" texture.
  • Sugar free pudding mix: same creamy texture, just with no sugar. You won't even notice, I promise!
  • Chocolate protein powder: adds a boost of protein to your snack so you're not hungry 30 minutes later.
  • Unsweetened almond milk: a low carb, dairy free alternative to regular milk. See below for substitutions.
  • Sugar free gummy worms: my favorite brand is Lily's (not sponsored) because their texture is just like regular gummy worms but they're sweetened with Stevia! You could also use SmartSweets, but those aren't as good in my opinion.

Jars of dirt pudding


Substitutions and variations

Gluten free: use your favorite gluten free chocolate graham crackers or gluten free chocolate cookies. I love Simple Mills crackers and Back to Nature chocolate sandwich cookies.

Bear bites: if you can't find the Kodiak Cakes chocolate graham crackers, use equal amounts of the original honey graham crackers with 2 tablespoons cocoa powder and 1 tablespoon stevia. You might need a splash of milk to bring it all together.

You can also use regular chocolate graham crackers, regular Oreos, or even golden Oreos! If you use any kind of Oreo, omit the cream cheese.

Milk: feel free to use any plant based milk like cashew milk, oat milk, or coconut milk. If you choose to use coconut milk, I recommend using unsweetened lite coconut milk, not full-fat coconut milk.

If you choose to use regular milk, 1% or skim milk is best, but you'll have to double the amount of milk.

More goodness: fold in extra cookie crumbs, chocolate chips, or cacao nibs to the pudding mixture,

Candy: swap out the gummy worms for gummy bears!

Whipped cream: for a healthier whipped topping, add 1-2 tablespoons sugar free vanilla pudding mix to some greek yogurt.

A bowl of chocolate pudding


How to make healthy dirt cups

Step 1: make the pudding. In a large bowl, whisk together the protein powder and sugar free pudding, then pour in the almond milk as you continually whisk the dry ingredients. (If you want to ensure a super smooth pudding texture, you can use a hand mixer.)

Once the powders are well incorporated, let the pudding mixture sit for 5 minutes while you prepare the dirt.

Step 2: make the "dirt." Pulse your graham crackers in a food processor until you have a fine crumb. Add in the cream cheese and pulse again until the crumbs resemble sand (or wet dirt haha).

Step 3: layer the dirt pudding. Alternate layering the dirt crumbs with the pudding mixture until you have 3 layers of graham cracker crumbs and 2 layers of chocolate pudding. Top with gummy worms (aka the best part) and enjoy!

A man sprinkling graham cracker crumbs in dirt pudding


How to store dirt pudding

If you're making this delicious dessert ahead of time, prepare it in an airtight container like these small mason jars. I recommend using glass instead of plastic to keep your dessert fresh.

You can also make the dirt in advance and store in a resealable plastic bag until you're ready to put everything together.

If you're making these dirt cups for a party, just use disposable plastic cups to minimize clean up.


More healthy childhood favorite recipes

Easy Skillet Mac and Cheese

Healthy Edible Brownie Batter

Sheet Pan Honey Mustard Pretzel Chicken Nuggets

Healthy Chewy Monster Cookies

Fluffy Chocolate Chip Pancakes (in the blender!)

Sugar-free Birthday Cake Puppy Chow

30 Minute Homemade Pizza Bagels

Jars of dirt pudding


I know you will LOVE these healthy dirt cups! They're made with whole grains, protein powder, and naturally sweetened gummy worms, so you get all the fun without the tummy ache.

Be sure to leave a star rating and review if you try this recipe so other readers know how you liked it!

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Healthy Dirt Cups (sugar free!)

Made with clean ingredients like sugar free chocolate pudding, protein graham crackers, and sugar free gummy worms, these Healthy Dirt Cups are the better version of the classic childhood treat. They're also easily gluten free and vegan too!

Author:

Brooke Harmer

Prep:

20

min

cook:

0

min

total:

20

min

servings:

5

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Pulse the chocolate graham crackers in a food processor until you have fine crumbs. (Alternatively you can pulse in a high speed blender or crush in a ziploc bag.) Pulse in the cream cheese until the texture resembles...dirt :)
  2. In a very large bowl, whisk together the pudding mix and protein powder. Whisking continuously, pour in the almond milk and continue to whisk until everything is well combined and smooth. Let sit for 5 minutes, then stir again a few times to finish mixing the pudding.
  3. In 8 ounce mason jars*** layer 1 tablespoon dirt, then 1/4 cup pudding, 1 tablespoon dirt, 1/4 cup pudding, and 1 more tablespoon of dirt. You should have 3 layers of graham cracker and 2 layers of pudding.
  4. Top with lots of gummy worms and enjoy!

Notes

*See blog post for substitutions.

**These should be the 0.9 oz packages (the standard 4 serving size), not the big ones.

***You can also use glasses or disposable plastic cups that are transparent. Whichever you choose, it should have an 8 ounce capacity.

Nutrition facts are a calculated estimate of 1 jar of dirt, including gummy worms.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 jar / Calories: 260 / Fat: 6.2g / Saturated fat: 1.1g / Carbohydrates: 46g / Fiber: 11g / Sugar: 6.8g / Protein: 15.2g