Vegan Dirt Cake

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Stacked pieces of Vegan Dirt Cake

If you’ve never had dirt cake – or as I know it: Kansas Dirt Cake – then you haven’t lived.

This cookies-n-cream creation was one of my absolute favorite desserts growing up and now that I’m an adult not much has changed, except for the fact that dairy gives me the queezies now. But since I don’t intend to deny my dirt cake cravings for a lifetime, I decided to make a vegan version. The result was a total winner.

Bowl of Coconut Whipped Cream for making Vegan Dirt Cake

It started with coconut whipped cream. The ladies at Lunchboxbunch and Oh, Ladycakes helped me on this one and I finally got a version that actually whipped up like the real stuff! Their tips were genius. I’m forever indebted to you Ashlae and Kathy.

Big bowl of freshly whipped Vegan Cream Cheese Filling

Next came vegan cream cheese (like Tofutti), a 3-ingredient homemade version of vanilla pudding, a little powdered sugar. Look how beautifully this mixture whipped up!

Dairy-Free Cream Cheese Filling dripping cascading off hand mixer into bowl

Then we fold the two together: whipped cream into the cream cheese-pudding mixture and voila! We have dirt cake filling on our hands. All we need now is Oreos.

Using a rubber spatula to fold together ingredients for Dairy-Free Cream Cheese Filling

Mixing bowl of filling and baking dish of cookie base for Vegan Kansas Dirt Cake

After pulverizing a bag of Oreos, pour half into the bottom of a 9×13 dish, and top with the filling. Ooh lala.

Scooping Vegan Kansas Dirt Cake filling into a baking pan

Pan filled with a batch of our Vegan Kansas Dirt Cake Recipe

Dump the other half of Oreos on top, obvs.

Crushed Oreo Cookies for our Kansas Dirt Cake Crust

Baking pan filled with crushed Oreo Cookies for our Vegan Dirt Cake crust

And the finished product! Just toss in the freezer if you prefer more of an icebox-type texture. Otherwise, just chill in the fridge for 6-8 hours until completely set and chilled. then, dig in. If you freeze it you can slice it more into squares. If you refrigerate it, it’s more of a scooping situation. Either way is delicious, but I almost prefer freezing it first, then letting it set out to soften.

What’s left? EAT. EAT IT. Go on, no one’s looking.

Top down shot of slices of Vegan Dirt Cake

This cake is insanely delicious and seriously close to the original.

The only real flavor difference is that it’s infused with a bit of coconut from the coconut whipped cream. However, the Oreos are really the dominant flavor, so even if you don’t like coconut give this a try! It’s the perfect indulgent treat for dairy-free, Oreo-loving folks. Enjoy!

Stack of Vegan Dirt Cake slices alongside oreo cookies

Vegan Dirt Cake

Classic dirt cake turned vegan thanks to coconut whipped cream, vegan cream cheese, and Oreos.
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Slices of Vegan Dirt Cake on a small plate with three oreo cookies
4.74 from 15 votes
Prep Time 4 hours
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings 9 (slices)
Course Dessert
Cuisine Vegan
Freezer Friendly 2-3 Weeks
Does it keep? 3-4 Days

Ingredients

  • 2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond or soy milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 14-ounce can full-fat coconut milk (chilled overnight // Thai Kitchen brand is best)
  • 3 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 8 ounces vegan cream cheese (such as Tofutti)
  • 1 16.6-ounce pack of Oreos (Double Stuf or regular // gluten-free for GF eaters)

Instructions

  • First make sure your coconut milk has been chilling in the fridge overnight or at least 8 hours. This will allow it to harden enough to whip into whipped cream.
  • Prepare pudding by adding cornstarch and sugar to a small saucepan and whisking in almond or soy milk to avoid clumps. Cook over medium heat until it thickened and bubbling, stirring frequently. Then reduce heat to low and cook for 4-6 more minutes, using a rubber spatula to scrap the sides and bottom almost constantly. Once it appears "jiggly" and a visible ribbon forms when you drizzle some over the top with your spatula, remove from heat and let cool 10 minutes. Then transfer to a glass or ceramic bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until set - 2-3 hours. At the same time, place a glass bowl in the freezer for your coconut whipped cream.
  • When your pudding is almost set, whip your coconut whipped cream. Remove can from fridge, being careful not to shake or turn it and remove top. Gently scoop out the top hardened "cream" into the chilled bowl, leaving the liquid watery part behind. You can use this for smoothies or in baking, if you wish. Otherwise discard it.
  • Use a handheld mixer to whip the coconut cream until it begins to look like whipped cream - about minute. Then add smaller measurement of powdered sugar (3 Tbsp as original recipe is written). Beat again until light and airy - about 2-3 minutes. Set in fridge.
  • In a separate bowl whip the "cream cheese" until light and airy, then add in the remaining powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time (total 1 cup as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). By this time the pudding should be set. Add this to the cream cheese mixture and beat until well combined. Next fold in coconut whipped cream until incorporated. Set in fridge.
  • In the meantime, pulverize your Oreos in a food processor or with a rolling pin and plastic bag.
  • Spread half of the crumbs on the bottom of a 9x13 and tap on the counter to settle. Then pour over your cream mixture (see gif photo), and smooth with a spoon.
  • Top with the other half of the crumbs and chill in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours or overnight. You can also freeze this for more of an ice-box texture, which I did for photos. However, I prefer the refrigerator chilled-version because it's softer and not icy. Will keep in the fridge for several days, or in the freezer for a couple of weeks.

Notes

*Freeze cake if you prefer more of an icebox-type texture. Otherwise, just chill in the fridge for 6-8 hours until completely set and chilled. If you freeze it you can slice it more into squares. If you refrigerate it, it's more of a scooping situation. Either way is delicious, but I prefer the taste/texture when it's refrigerated and not frozen.
*Vegan pudding recipe heavily adapted from vegetarianabout.com
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.

Nutrition (1 of 9 servings)

Serving: 1 slices Calories: 439 Carbohydrates: 57 g Protein: 5 g Fat: 21 g Saturated Fat: 10 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 454 mg Fiber: 3 g Sugar: 39 g

BLOGGER RESOURCE: How I made the .GIF in this post!

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  1. Jordan says

    My favorite birthday cake as a kid, was “Kansas Dirt Cake” and this is the best version of it! I’ve been making this for 2 years now on my birthday. Thank you for baking nostalgia!

  2. Molly Mitchell says

    Hey Dana!

    Very excited to make this for my dairy free/gluten free mother in law. Do you have any recommendations for vegan/gf oreos? Most of the gluten free “Oreos” I’ve found have dairy. Thanks in advance!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, I don’t know of any gluten-free ones. But maybe trader joe’s has options? Otherwise I’d search online or amazon.

  3. Anjali Sharma-Moghe says

    I wanted to use store bought almond milk based pudding instead of making it. How much pudding do you need for the recipe?
    TIA!

  4. mindy says

    This looks tasty but I thought Oreos are not suitable for Vegans. I think “Non-Dairy” would be a less misleading name for this recipe as I wouldn’t be comfortable serving Oreos to Vegans. I am guessing there must be a certified vegan cookie similar to Oreos out there. If anyone knows of a good one please kindly let me know. Cheers.

    • Kelsey says

      Oreos and majority of the brand ones are vegan. They are just manufactored in a facility that uses dairy, so that could be what is off putting to vegans. But as a vegan, Im not bothered by it saying Oreos because I can get whichever brand of Oreos I want. But I actually just found some certified vegan ones at Trader Joe’s! I used them all for thjs but will let you know the name of them when I go back! ??

    • Christine says

      Oreos are vegan. They MAY contain traces of milk ingredients (because the industrial kitchen they are made in has other products that use milk).

      Vegans don’t need to further limit their options by taking out MAY contain ingredients

  5. SCIS says

    Hi Dana!

    I made this for a second time tonight but I don’t think this batch turned out as well. I wanted to ask for clarification on the coconut whipped cream. Here it says add harden canned coconut milk with 3 TBSP of powdered sugar and beat until light and airy, but the coconut whipped cream link says to use 3/4 cup with the canned coconut milk with 1/4c – 3/4c. I think I should have added more powdered sugar as it doesn’t taste as sweet, like it is missing something. Added some powdered sugar to the top with oreo’s hoping it helps….

  6. Gwyn says

    I made this over Easter and made four individual serves in ramekin dishes which I served from fridge and then made one large dish which I have put into the freezer. What do you think the maximum time in the freezer would be please?

  7. Marie says

    Hi! I’m really excited to do this because since I’ve became vegan I didn’t try making any desserts. Bu there’s one problem.. I can’t seem to find vegan cream cheese in my town (there are barely some vegan products here) so what could I use as a substitution? :)

  8. Jillena says

    I made a HUGE mistake while making these. I was home alone! I had to lick every bowl between every step. Only saving grace is I now have had enough sugar to do the dishes. Holy wow it was awesome!!!

  9. Simon says

    Eating from the bowl while cooking, I must say that I was not convinced, but the mixture really benefits from the hours in the fridge. In fact it seems even better now, after two days, than it was initially. That might just be my imagination though! The texture is really reminiscent of the preparation for tiramisù… In fact I think a recipe for vegan tiramisù is long overdue :)

  10. Brooke says

    Has anyone tried this without the coconut cream? I want to make it for my family but we have a coconut allergy in the house. I’m thinking it would probably still taste delicious, just be a bit less creamy. Just wondering if anyone else has done it so I don’t make something that ends up gross. Thanks!

  11. Jessica says

    Made this over the holiday’s and it was perfect. Everything I remembered from the non-vegan dirt I enjoyed as a kid!! I want to make it for my daughter’s first birthday party (Garden themed!) and was wondering if you had any success making this in trifle dish? If so would I need to double the recipe? Thanks Dana for always sharing nostalgic, allergy-friendly recipes! :)

  12. Jenn says

    Wow. Wow. WOW. I just made this and my whole family (parents, teens, little kids) LOVE it. There is no way anyone would have guessed that it is not ice cream. Thank you so much for the recipe!

  13. Ray says

    You can always add vanilla (vanilla bean if you’re worried about a texture change) to reduce the coconut flavour if it’s not your thing.

  14. Laura Ruth says

    For the whip, I used Thai kitchen coconut cream, which was much whiter and creamier than other brands. Coco Goya coconut cream was the worst texture, as if it were old. It wasn’t as white as the Thai kitchen brand, which absolutely is the best. Great recommendation.

    Out of curiosity, why isn’t this just made with coconut cream rather than the coconut milk?

    Overall, this was a big hit! So very tasty. It didn’t have me missing the dairy version one bit. Saving this recipe for the future.

  15. Larissa says

    I see lots of comments about Oreos not being vegan and I completely agree! Oreo’s my not contain animal product but they DO contain palm oil which is obtained by killing the rainforest! Many orangutans are killed in the process. Look it up! If you’re vegan for the animal part of it you should look up Jane Goodall’s research.

  16. Bee says

    Oreos contain palm oil. They are famous for it in the vegan world. Palm oil is not ethically vegan. It contributes to the biggest deforestation and loss of habitat to the worlds oranutan populations. Just because a product is ‘technically vegan’ doesn’t make them ‘ethical’.
    Cake looks great though. :)

  17. Veronica says

    Hi, just stumbled on your site and LOVE it! Can’t wait to try all the recipes. We have recently been exposed to a dairy allergy so finding delicious recipes has been a challenge. Sooooo, this dirt cake looks awesome and I apologize if my question seems dumb — remember we are new to the dairy-free/vegan cooking — but aren’t oreos made with milk? Thanks.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Veronica, alarmingly enough, they are not! They are a very processed but vegan cookie that I don’t recommend eating often (there are knockoff versions that are much healthier for you). But for the sake of this indulgent recipe, they’re just what I needed! Hope you and your family enjoy this recipe, and hopefully some of our other dairy-free recipes can help you guys out on this new journey. Cheers!

  18. Gabble says

    Do you think arrowroot powder would work for the pudding instead of cornstarch? Any idea of they would measure the same?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I’ve never used arrowroot powder, but from what I’ve learned of it, I’d say it would work. I would keep the measurement the same as the cornstarch, maybe scale back a little at first just to test how it reacts. Hope that helps!

      • Gabbie says

        Thanks for the help!Arrowroot powder worked great. I made this cake for my sons 3 year birthday. I added a second layer of your peanut butter mousse and I added gummy worms and a toy excavator digging the cake.
        3 year old approved! Thanks for the recipe!

  19. Stephanie says

    I love you! Like a lot of people, as a kid I loved dirt cake. Before reading your recipe, I’d never heard of a vegan recipe for dirt cake. To say this cake looks good is an understatement. I am going to make this cake very very soon.

    Thank you so much for creating this recipe! My nine year old self is very happy now. :)

    ~Stephanie http://www.sostephaniesays.com

  20. Kyle Ford says

    Hate to break it to you but Oreos are made white refined white sugar. Refined white sugar is sometimes filtered through charred animal bones. Take your chances but that is enough to declare this recipe NOT vegan. You could make your own Oreo cookies though!

  21. Audrey says

    I’ve made this two times now and it’s delicious! I didn’t really change anything. Except I used vanilla rice milk.. And of course I didn’t use real Oreo’s because those have disgusting ingredients. I subbed with Whole Foods 365 brand “Sandwich Creme” cookies, which are basically Oreo’s without the hydrogenated oils and GMO corn derived sweetners. Okay, so I changed some stuff. It’s soooo good.

    A lot of cans of coconut milk haven’t gotten very solid at the top for me. Is this a brand thing? I need to switch back to Thai Kitchen, apparently! Fortunately my KitchenAid mixer still whips up the runny coconut cream I skillfully sieved out into a whipped cream texture.

  22. Caron says

    I just made this and my non-veg bf said: “This is like the best thing ever.”
    I’d call that a successful recipe.

    thanks!

  23. Deanna says

    oreos are not vegan, they have milk in them… you should post an alternative it looks like you used regular oreos, which aren’t vegan so I was a little confused on why it says vegan but anywho! im sure this would work great with any other vegan cookie that resembles oreos.

  24. Deena says

    The Oreos cookies are made from sugar which sugar is filtered through animal bones, where did you find your vegan Oreos from? Are those homemade?

  25. Taylor says

    When working with the Oreos, do I need to separate them and remove the creme filling? It looked like it in the pictures, but your directions weren’t clear. Thanks!

  26. Brianna says

    I used to LOVE cream cheese anything before I went vegan, but I still can’t used to the taste of Toffutti, even mixed with something. Are there any alternatives? I haven’t found any where I live! :(

  27. Rina says

    Ohh, this looks good and simple. The only problem is, my inner child wants gummy worms on it, which clearly aren’t vegan. Any good resources for those? Dirt cake just isn’t the same without them!

  28. Lizzie says

    Wah! I’m allergic to coconut everything. Any suggestions for a suitable alternative? Maybe I’ll just have to hunt down soy whip cream and skip that step.

  29. Anita says

    This is my new favourite dessert! I made it fro Canadian Thanksgiving and everyone loved it. Next time, I think I’ll try making the oreo cookies myself :) Whipped coconut is new to me, opens up so many possibilities in vegan baking! Thank you so much or sharing this amazing deliciousness!

  30. June says

    From what I understand, Oreos are not Vegan. My daughter just went off dairy and the ingredient list for Oreos says it has milk. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    • Linda Fryer says

      Hi, I checked too. I am not vegan but my brother and sister in law are. Oreo’s are NOT vegan. They contain milk products and are cross contaminated with non vegan products. BUT there are vegan versions or a Oreo type cookie.
      Linda

  31. Lynna says

    Omg, I need to make these NOW. One of my sisters is lactose intolerant, so I can`t wait to surprise her with this when she comes to visit!

  32. admattai says

    Just made this last night and tried it this morning as part of my breakfast :) It was so good! Thanks for the great recipe. I liked that I didn’t have to use Cool Whip, instant pudding mix, or a stick of butter to enjoy this. The only small changes I made were that:

    1. I used regular cream cheese since I’m not vegan (but used the almond milk pudding/coconut cream as instructed)

    2. I used canned coconut cream from an Indian grocery store – it’s a brand called Deep, and the cream is perfect for whipping once stored in the fridge!

  33. Joy // For the Love of Leaves says

    I love dirt cake, but haven’t had it in ages for the same reasons, but now that you’ve created a dairy free version it looks like I can enjoy it once more! I never knew Oreos were vegan, never bothered to check.

  34. Sara Elle says

    I like the idea, but the filling looks a little crystalized, which I really don’t like… Perhaps an idea to make a sort of ice cream out of the filling before using in the recipe to avoid those nasty crystals? Anyways, looks easy as heck, will definitely try!

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Sara, as I said in the post I froze it so it would set up nicely for photos, but afterwards I let it thaw in the fridge, which gave it a much better taste/texture. I recommended just letting it set up in the fridge instead of the freezer.

  35. Jessica (bakecetera) says

    i had oreos for the first time today in ages (road trip!) … and i forgot how much i love them! this recipe looks yummy. and i love that it’s vegan!

  36. Alanna says

    I’ve never heard of this cake until now; it looks incredible, and your vegan version is pure genius! Gorgeous photos!

  37. Two Red Bowls says

    Ooh, these look fantastic. And the photography is wonderful (especially that awesome gif!) Thanks so much for posting, I need to try these sometime! (Also, coconut and Oreo sound divine together! Makes me think that these would taste even better than the originals.)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much! I do think they tasted better than the originals, especially considered there’s not a stick of butter in the filling! Gross! Coconut cream + oreos + deliciousness.

  38. Carley says

    This can easily be made with a gluten-free option as well. Newman’s brand make gluten-free oreos that taste great! Also if you live near a Trader Joes, they just introduced a gluten-free jojo cookie that would work perfectly.

    Can’t wait to try!

  39. Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking says

    OMG I used to bring dirt cups to school when I was younger for my birthday treat to share with the class. I love this vegan twist!

  40. Tieghan Gerard says

    Coconut whipped cream is so finicky. The only brand I have found that works for me the Native Forest Organic Coconut Milk. it is the only can I have had success with!
    I love this cake, it is so fun and so perfect for Halloween! people used to bring dirt cake to all the Halloween school class parties. it was my favorite! Your versions looks awesome!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Tieghan, it is finicky but dont’ fret! I made a happy accident this week that is a fool-proof method to making coconut whip (even if you get a “dud” can)! Stay tuned :D

    • Amanda says

      I use coconut cream. You can buy it processed in the can at Asian markets and trader Joe’s. just chill in fridge, add a little sweetener, and beat in a chilled bowl. Nom nom nom. I can’t wait to make this. I’ve never had dirt cake chilled like this. Thanks for the recipe,