These Dirt Cupcakes with Gummy Worms are made up of chocolate cake mix, topped with a chocolate cream cheese frosting and Oreo cookie crumbs. They’re perfect for any holiday or occasion, like Halloween or even summer parties!
This is such a fun treat for Halloween or really any occasion. We love making these during the summer months as well as we’re teaching kids how to garden and how worms are one of our best garden buddies!
- Boxed Cake Mix – you can also use homemade cake mix that you’d usually use for cupcakes too! If you use a boxed mix, you’ll need to add eggs, water (or milk), and vegetable oil.
- Milk Chocolate Chips – We use enjoy life rice milk chocolate chips when making dairy free.
- Butter – If you’re using salted butter, you won’t need to add salt, but if you use unsalted add a bit to balance the flavors and sweetness.
- Cream Cheese – To make this rich and creamy, we recommend only using full fat.
- Vanilla Extract – Go for the pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.
- Powdered Sugar – Don’t have powdered sugar? You can make it at home in the blender quickly!
- Cocoa Powder – Only use a cocoa powder you like. Some can be lackluster in the flavor department.
- Oreo cookies – There are many allergy-friendly options if you can’t have Oreos. Check FAQ for our top pick.
- Gummy Worms – You can use regular or even sour gummy worms.
How to make Dirt Cupcakes
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and prepare the cake mix according to the package instructions.
Line a muffin tin and fill them with the cupcake batter about 2/3 full.
Bake according to package instructions. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the cupcakes to cool 2-3 minutes before transferring them to a wire cooling rack.
While the cupcakes are cooling, you can make the chocolate cream cheese frosting.
Use a stand mixer or hand mixer with a large bowl and combine the butter and cream cheese until smoothie and creamy. Then add in each remaining ingredient mixing well between each addition.
Crush the Oreo cookies in a food processor until they’re crumbs.
We use the pulse function.
Once the cupcakes are cool, you can frost them.
Top with crushed Oreo crumbs.
Then add the gummy worms! You can either use whole ones or slice them in half and stick them into the frosting.
Recipe tips and variations
- Don’t have a piping bag? Use an offset spatula or even a spoon! It will be covered in crushed Oreo cookies, so no worries about imperfections.
- Use your favorite cake mix or try our Best Chocolate Cake Recipe!
- You can use whatever gummy worms you perfect, even sour gummy worms work well too!
- Not a fan of chocolate cream cheese frosting? Use your preferred frosting.
Storage and reheating tips
- Refrigerate: These cupcakes have a cream cheese frosting, so they should be refrigerated for 3-4 days.
- Freeze: To freeze cupcakes, we like to wrap them well in plastic if frosted and then place them in a freezer bag. You can save for up to 3-4 months.
- Defrost: To defrost the cupcakes from the freeze, just set them in the fridge the day before.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, cream cheese frosting must be refrigerated to prevent it from spoiling. Weather permitting, you can leave them out frosted for up to 2 hours. If it’s too hot outside, we suggest keeping them indoors until they are ready to serve.
Some have allergies, and that’s why we love the allergy-free offerings. Oreo makes gluten-free cookies. One of our top allergy-free favorites is Kinnikinnick. Kinnikinnick cookies and treats are produced in a facility free from gluten, wheat, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, and sesame.
Dirt Cupcakes with Gummy Worms
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- 1 box Betty Crocker Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix
- 3 eggs
- 1 ¼ water or milk
- ½ cup vegetable oil
Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
- ½ cup milk chocolate chips melted
- 1/2 cup butter softened. If you're using unsalted add in 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounce cream cheese softened
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup cocoa Powder
- 15 Oreos crushed
- 1 bag gummy worms
- Preheat the oven to 350 F and line two muffin pans with desired paper liners. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, prepare the cake mix as per the box instructions and make sure not to overmix.
- Spoon the cupcake batter into the liners, filling only ⅔ of the way full (about 3 tablespoons). Then place in the oven and bake as per box instructions, about 14-19 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the cupcakes to cool 2-3 minutes before transferring them to a wire cooling rack. Allow them to cool completely before decorating.
- Melt the milk chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl for 30 seconds. Stir the chocolate with a spoon and place it back in the microwave for another 15 seconds if needed, stirring in between, until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Be careful not to overdo it, as the chocolate will burn.
- Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, place cream cheese and butter into a large bowl and mix on medium speed until there are no more lumps and the mixture is creamy. Add the remaining ingredients in intervals mixing in between each addition. (Melted chocolate, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla.) Set aside.
- Place the Oreos into a food processor and pulse until you get Oreo cookie crumbs. If you don't have a food processor, you can also use a Ziploc bag and rolling pin to crush the Oreo cookies. Pour the Oreo cookie crumbs into a bowl and set it aside.
- Once the cupcakes have cooled, they're ready to decorate. You can either spread the frosting with a spatula or use a piping bag. We used a piping bag with a 1M piping tip from Wilton. The large open star. After topping the cupcakes you can place a teaspoon full of Oreo "dirt" onto your cupcakes. Then add the gummy worms on top as a hole or half of a gummy worm.
- Serve or refrigerate until ready to serve. Just take them out of the refrigerator 15-20 minutes prior to serving.
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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