Featuring layers of rich and moist chocolate brownie, smooth and creamy chocolate pudding buttercream, crushed oreo pieces, and sweet gummy worms. A modern take on a classic kid favorite of dirt and worms cups, these easy brownies make the best Halloween or birthday dessert recipe that's loved by kids and adults alike!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Creepy crawly gummy worms make this a super fun dessert
- Perfect for Halloween
- They taste exactly like a dirt and worms cup
- Super easy to make!
Step by Step Video
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
These dirt and worms brownies are so easy to make and so fun to eat!
- Butter- this recipe uses unsalted melted butter.
- Eggs- this recipe calls for large eggs and they can be either cold or room temperature.
- Cocoa powder- for the darkest, richest brownies, use a high quality dutch process cocoa powder. It can be substituted for regular cocoa powder, but your brownies will not be as rich or as dark.
- Flour- all purpose flour will make our brownies extra soft and tender.
- Oreos- the "dirt" of the dirt and worms. Scrape out the middle filling and just use the chocolate cookie. You can crush them in a plastic bag to get them finely crushed!
- Gummy worms- any brand will work, I do not recommend substituting for sour worms.
Note: Full ingredient measurements and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this page.
Step 1: First make the chocolate pudding base. In a small bowl, add the cocoa powder, flour, sugar, and milk and whisk well to combine.
Step 2: Pour the pudding base into a small pot and cook over medium heat for 5-6 minutes until it comes to a boil, whisking every minute or so. Once boiling, whisk constantly for 3 minutes until the pudding is super thick and pudding-like.
Step 3: Transfer the thick pudding to a small bowl and cover it with a piece of plastic wrap so that it touches the surface. Place the bowl in the fridge to cool while the brownies are made.
Step 4: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a small pot or pan, add the butter and melt over medium low heat. When the butter is melted, remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the sugar and brown sugar. Set it aside to cool for 5 minutes.
Step 5: Whisk the eggs into the butter and sugar one at a time until completely combined, then add the vanilla.
Step 6: Add the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and salt. Use a rubber spatula to fold the dry ingredients into the brownie batter. Stop mixing as soon as there are no flour streaks to not over mix the batter.
Step 7: Line a square 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper so that it hangs over the sides. Pour the brownie batter into the pan and smooth the top evenly with the spatula. Bake the brownies for 18-20 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean. Allow the brownies to cool completely on a wire rack.
Step 8: In a kitchen aid stand mixing bowl, add the soft butter. Using the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium low for 2 minutes until smooth.
Stop the mixer and add the cooled thick chocolate pudding into the butter 1 tablespoon at a time whipping well after each addition. Do not add more than 1 tablespoon at a time or it will separate from the butter. When all of the pudding has been added, whip the buttercream on high for 2 minutes or until it's light, fluffy, and pale in color.
Step 9: Remove the brownies from the baking pan by lifting up the sides of the parchment paper. Use a small offset to loosen the sides if they stick to the pan. Spread the pudding buttercream evenly over the top of the brownies.
Take 3-4 oreos and scrape out the filling. Crush the oreos into crumbs and then sprinkle them evenly over the top of the pudding buttercream layer. Cut the brownies into 9 portions and finally top the brownies with gummy worms.
FAQ + Expert Tips
If stored or covered properly, these brownies will stay soft and moist for 3-4 days at room temperature.
Gently tap the top of the brownie, if it springs back when touched its done. You can also insert a tooth pick into the center, and if it comes back clean it's done.
You added the pudding too quickly. Read above under step 8 for mixing the pudding buttercream correctly.
Keep them in the baking pan and cover tightly with a piece of plastic wrap, or store them in an airtight sealed container.
- Cook the pudding long enough to get REALLY thick- the pudding should be super super thick before taking it off the heat.
- Cool the brownies before topping- frosting the brownies while they're still warm will melt the buttercream!
More Decadent Chocolate Recipes
- Dark Chocolate Pistachio Macarons
- Malted Dark Chocolate Macarons
- Black Cocoa Miso Brownies
- Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies
Dirt and Worms Brownie Recipe
- small pot
- saute pan
- rubber spatula
- kitchen aid stand mixer
- 4 qt mixing bowl
- paddle attachment
- parchment paper
- plastic wrap
Chocolate Pudding Buttercream
- ½ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoon dark cocoa powder
- ½ cup 2% milk
- 4 oz unsalted butter, room temperature 1 stick
- ¾ cup unsalted butter
- 1 ⅛ cup light brown sugar
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup dark cocoa powder
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3-4 oreos, crushed into "dirt" filling scraped out
- ⅔ cup assorted gummy worms
Making the Chocolate Pudding Buttercream
- In a small bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa powder and milk. Whisk well to combine.⅓ cup all purpose flour, 2 tablespoon dark cocoa powder, ½ cup 2% milk
- Pour the mixture into a small pot and bring it to a boil over medium heat, about 5-6 minutes, whisking every minute. When the mixture is boiling, let it boil for 3 minutes whisking constantly, until it is very very thick and pudding-like.
- Remove from heat and transfer the pudding into a small bowl. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the top of the pudding so it touches the surface, then place it in the fridge to cool for at least 30 minutes while the brownies are made.
- When the pudding is completely cooled, place the room temperature butter into a stand mixing bowl and whip with the paddle attachment for 2 minutes on medium low until smooth.4 oz unsalted butter, room temperature
- Add the pudding into the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, whipping well after each addition until completely combined. When all the pudding has been added, whip on medium high speed for 2 minutes, until the buttercream is pale, light, and fluffy.
Making the Brownie Batter
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F/177 degrees C.
- Place the butter into a small pot and heat over medium low until melted.¾ cup unsalted butter
- Whisk the sugar and brown sugar into the melted butter, remove the pot from the heat and allow it to cool for 5 minutes.1 ⅛ cup light brown sugar, ⅓ cup sugar
- Then add the eggs in one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and mix to combine.3 large eggs, 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Add the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and salt and use a rubber spatula to fold them into the batter.¾ cup dark cocoa powder, ½ cup all purpose flour, ¼ teaspoon baking powder, ¼ teaspoon salt
- Line a square 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper so it hangs over the sides. Pour the brownie batter into the baking pan and smooth the top evenly with the spatula. Bake the brownies for 18-20 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely.
Topping the Brownies
- When the brownies are completely cooled, remove the brownies from the pan by lifting up the parchment paper. Loosen any stuck sides with an offset spatula.
- Spread the chocolate pudding buttercream evenly over the top. Sprinkle the oreo crumbs over the top. Cut the brownies into 9 portions. Add the gummy worms on top.3-4 oreos, crushed into "dirt", ⅔ cup assorted gummy worms
- Making the pudding buttercream
- The pudding should be VERY thick before removing from heat.
- The pudding should be completely cooled before adding it to the butter.
- Do NOT add more than 1 tablespoon of the pudding to the butter at one time or it will start to separate from the butter and the final buttercream will look curdled.
- Storing the brownies
- Keep the brownies in the pan wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or in a sealed air tight container at room temperature.