This Dirt Cake recipe with Chocolate Covered Strawbery Pumpkins is one of the best fall dessert recipes and crafts. It has a chocolate brownie base topped with Nutella frosting, crushed Oreos, and chocolate covered strawberries that look like a pumpkin.
Our fall dirt cake is sliceable and so easy to whip up for potluck events, Halloween parties, and even take to a holiday gathering. This recipe is crazy simple and full of rich chocolate flavor.
We love that this pumpkin patch dirt cake is a delicious dessert to make and a fun fall craft all at once.
- Brownie Mix: Grab your brownie mix and the ingredients listed on the back of the box. This is the base of your dirt cake recipe.
- Oreos – I used plain Oreo cookies but feel free to use any flavor you enjoy. Even a mint or peanut butter would be tasty.
- Fresh Strawberries – You want to reach for ripe medium sized berries for this recipe.
- Candy Melts – I used orange candy melts that make chocolate covered strawberries look like pumpkins.
- Mint Leaves – The mint is optional, but it really gives the effect of pumpkin plants growing in the Oreo dirt.
- Nutella – This is the base of your frosting. I love the rich hazelnut flavor next to the brownies.
- Unsalted Butter – Make sure to use softened room temperature butter. Otherwise, you won’t get a creamy frosting.
- Powdered Sugar – If your powdered sugar has a lot of clumps, just sift quickly to break up any of the larger clumps.
- Vanilla – This sweetens and balances out the frosting quite a bit.
- Salt – If you use salted butter, leave out the salt in the frosting.
- Heavy Whipping Cream – This is going to offer the ultra-creamy texture but also enhance the richness quite a bit.
For the full ingredient amount and full instructions on how to make Oreo dirt cake for Halloween and fall, see the recipe card below.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
The first step is to work on your berries. Grab a baking sheet and place parchment paper on top. Then melt down your orange candy melts.
Now dip each berry in the orange frosting all the way to the top of the strawberry. Place the berry on the lined baking sheet to harden.
Repeat until all the berries are done. Then place leftover chocolate in a piping bag and place a tip on it.
Create lines on the berries to look like pumpkins. I added about 4-5 lines per berry depending on the size.
Next, grab a bowl and add your brownie mix and ingredients into a medium size bowl.
Mix until the brownie batter is fully mixed. Make sure all the ingredients are mixed well.
Pour and bake the brownies as directed. You will then remove the brownies and place them on a cooling rack.
Once the brownies are cooled, mix up your frosting ingredients and begin spreading it all over the brownies. Make sure to get around the edges of the pan as well.
Next, crush up your Oreo cookies into a fine sand-like texture.
Sprinkle the Oreos all over the top of the cake. You can use your hands to move the cookies around to cover the whole top.
You don’t want it to be level. Having dimension in the dirt gives it more of a real garden look.
Place your berries on top and pieces of the mint leaves to mimic baby pumpkin plants growing.
Recipe tips and variations
- You can use any type of brownies you would like. Just bake as directed on the box.
- Consider swapping brownies with a chocolate cake mix. Mix and bake as directed on the box of cake.
- If you don’t want to make a homemade Nutella frosting you can use any chocolate frosting to spread over the brownies, like our Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting!
- Leave off the mint leaves if you do not want that on the cake. I loved the look of them.
- Change up the flavor of the cookies you use. They even have a mocha latte flavor that would really elevate the flavor.
- Don’t like brownies? Use cake instead, and try out our Best Chocolate Cake Recipe!
Storage and reheating tips
- Refrigerate: Store any brownie dirt cake leftovers in an air-tight container in the refrigerator and enjoy within 3-5 days. Refrigerate the strawberries separately as they create condensation and will leave a soggy spot under them if left on the cake.
- Freeze: To freeze leftover dirt cake, place it in an airtight freezer-safe container and freeze for 3-4 months.
How to serve
Slice and serve up this fall dirt cake recipe with a tall glass of milk! Or, if you want to go another step further, add a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on the side.
Frequently asked questions
Brownies are done when you can stick a toothpick in the center of the pan, and it comes out clean of wet batter. You will also find that the brownies pull away from the edge of the pan.
Dirt cake can be made in so many ways. It’s usually a layer of chocolate cake or brownies followed by frosting and then topped with crushed Oreos or even chocolate graham crackers would work. Many love making it with construction trucks, gummy worms like our dirt cupcakes, dirt pudding cups, or even graveyards with Milano cookies as tombstones. This recipe is made with a brownie bottom, rich and creamy Nutella frosting, crushed Oreos, and chocolate covered pumpkin shaped strawberries.
Yes, you do need to allow the brownies to cool fully. Otherwise, the frosting will melt, making the dessert mushy.
You can make the brownies and frosting ahead of time, but we like to do the strawberries and Oreo cookie crumbs the same day it will be served. The chocolate covered strawberries will have condensation and start to “sweat”. and the Oreo cookies will become softer.
Dirt Cake with Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pumpkins
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- 1 box brownie mix follow package instructions
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 15 Oreos crushed
- 1 package mint optional
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
- 16 oz strawberries
- 12 oz orange candy melts
- 2 sticks 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup Nutella
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
- Preheat the oven to 350 F and spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, prepare the brownie mix as per the box instructions, and make sure not to overmix the batter. We used 2 eggs, 1/4 cup water, and 1/2 cup oil per the instructions on Duncan Hines Brownie Mix.
- Pour the prepared brownie batter into the greased baking pan and spread evenly across, filling the corners as well. Place the brownie pan into the oven and bake per box instructions, usually about 20-23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted an inch from the edge comes out clean. When finished, let cool on a wire rack completely before decorating.
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
- Wash and fully dry the strawberries. You can lay them on a clean kitchen towel or paper towel while you prep the chocolate. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the candy melts in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 15 seconds. Stir it with a spoon and microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring between each time, until fully melted and creamy. Do not overheat as it will burn and become thicker. You could also use a double boiler if you prefer.
- Hold the strawberry leaves on top and carefully dip each strawberry into the melted orange chocolate. Then place the chocolate covered strawberry onto the parchment paper lined tray. Repeat until all strawberries are dipped and covered in the chocolate. Place in the refrigerator to set.
- Pour the leftover melted chocolate into a piping bag fitted with a Wilton #4 tip. If you don’t have a bag or tip, you can use a ziplock bag and snip a small piece of the corner off for piping. Don't snip too much, as you only want a small hole for the chocolate to come out.
- Once the chocolate is dry on the strawberries, you can add the pumpkin lines. Hold the piping bag firmly and decorate lines on your strawberry pumpkins. Repeat until all strawberries are done and then set aside.
- Place the Nutella in a microwave safe bowl and microwave to soften it for about 15 seconds, and stir it with a spoon.
- In a large mixing bowl using a standing or handheld mixer, cream the butter on medium speed until fluffy and creamy. Then add the Nutella and mix until it is well incorporated. Gradually add the powdered sugar and mix until combined. Next, add in the vanilla, salt, and heavy whipping cream and mix again until it is fully incorporated. Make sure to scrape down the sides and mix as needed. Set aside.
- Add Oreos into a food processor and pulse until you get fine crumbs. Don't have a food processor? You can also place them in a Ziploc bag and use a rolling pin to crush them. Set aside.
- Once the brownies have cooled, spread the frosting over the brownies and spread it evenly across. Sprinkle generously with the Oreo crumbs for the dirt and then top with the mint for vines and chocolate covered strawberries for the pumpkins.
The nutritional information is automatically calculated and can vary based ingredients and products used. If the nutrition numbers are important for you we recommend calculating them yourself.
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