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Dirt Cup Recipe for Thanksgiving – Oreo Teepee Dirt Pudding Cups

This dirt cup recipe for Thanksgiving is creamy, rich and crunchy with a fun teepee top, candy pumpkin and Swedish fish accent to give the dessert a real holiday look.

Thanksgiving is a time for gathering with family and friends. One of the highlights of the holiday, for me, is preparing some fun with food projects.

I love to share my gratitude for the people in my life by making them sweet treats. This Thanksgiving dirt cup recipe is the perfect way to do that this holiday season!

Dirt pudding cups, green pumpkin sign and, fall leaves.

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My Halloween dirt cup recipe and Christmas dirt cups are two of the most popular posts on the blog for Halloween, so it’s time to do a version of the recipe for the next holiday to come in the last few months of the year – Thanksgiving.

I discovered a fun take on dirt pudding cups when I came across the website I can teach my child. The author of the blog used a similar dirt pudding recipe to mine, but added teepees made from sugar cones to give the dessert a look more suited to Thanksgiving

I have adapted the recipe for the pudding dirt cups slightly to make my version of her idea and love the way it came out.

Teach your child about Native American nomadic tribes and give them a tasty dessert at the same time with this teepee dirt cup dessert for Thanksgiving. #thanksgiving #teepees #nativeamericans Click To Tweet`

For another fun “first Thanksgiving” inspired recipe, be sure to check out my pilgrim hat cookies. The kids will love to help you make them.

Making this dirt cup recipe for Thanksgiving

I made a few changes to the original recipe that inspired me. Instead of normal Oreo cookies, I used Oreo thins.

Doing this meant that I didn’t have to remove the center filling area, since there is not as much of it as in a normal Oreo.Dirt recipe chocolate pudding shaped like teepees, with sign towel, leaves and pumpkin.

I also made the pudding dessert with a fat free, sugar free pudding mix and used a sugar free frosting. 2% milk, instead of normal milk to save on fat and calories, was another adjustment.

The final adjustment to the recipe was adding a candy pumpkin for extra seasonal decoration.

Gather the supplies for the Thanksgiving pudding cups

To make these Thanksgiving dirt cups you’ll need the following supplies:Clear cups, sprinkles, Oreos, milk, sugar cones, pudding mix, candy and frosting.

  • Fat free, sugar free pudding mix
  • 2% milk
  • Oreo Thins cookies
  • Sugar cones
  • Chocolate frosting
  • Stick pretzels
  • Leaf shaped sprinkles
  • Candy pumpkins
  • Swedish fish
  • Plastic cups

Making the dirt pudding cups recipe

Dirt pudding is simply normal pudding mix which is layered with cookie crumbs for texture. Start by making your pudding. 

An instant pudding gives you the taste in just five minutes, instead of making it on the stove top. No heat, no mess and easy for the kids to help!Chocolate pudding with a blue whisk.

Next, make your dirt crumbs. Place the Oreo thins in a food processor and pulse until they are crumbly and look like dirt. 

For my Halloween dirt cup recipe, I removed the center frosting. Using Oreo Thins made this step unnecessary. The texture is similar and the taste is a bit sweeter.Cookie crumbs in a food processor the texture of dirt.

The final step is to layer the chocolate pudding with the “dirt” crumbs. Start with the pudding, add a layer of crumbs and end with the pudding.

Be sure to save about 1/4 of the mixture for the top layer of dirt, after you add the teepees.

Cups of pudding with an empty pudding bowl and food processor bowl of cookie crumbs.

Let’s make the teepees!

Use this dessert as a teaching moment for your child. You can discuss shelters that were used by Native Americans while giving them a dessert that they will really love.

Many nomadic Native American tribes use teepees as their homes. Teepees (also correctly spelled tipi and tepee) were made using long poles, tied together, as a frame. 

The outside of a tepee was covered in buffalo hide. When it was time to move on, the whole thing was rolled up and moved to a new location.

To get the shape of the teepee for our Oreo dirt cups, we’ll be using sugar cones. Not only are they the right shape, they are also rolled like a teepee hide is.

Start by cutting off the pointed end of the sugar cone with a serrated knife. You will need an opening large enough for three thin pretzels to fit into.

Female hand cutting off the tips of sugar cones.

Place the sugar cones into the pudding cups with the opening upward.Sugar cones in three bowls of pudding.

Spread chocolate frosting over the opening at the top and insert three thin pretzels into the frosting. Adjust the pretzels to look like the top of a teepee and add a few of the leaf sprinkles.Thanksgiving teepee shaped pudding ups with sprinkles.

Finish the teepees with the rest of the Oreo crumbs around the base of the teepees.Adding Oreo crumbs to dirt cup recipe with tipis in them.

Garnishing the teepee dirt cups

Nomad tribes thought that adding fish to the soil helped with their crops. A Swedish fish candy gets this idea across and gives you another teachable moment.

Pumpkins were also a sign of the crops of the harvest season. To signify this, we’ll add a candy pumpkin next to the teepee to garnish the dessert.

I love desserts and snacks that have ingredients that signify other aspects of our life. My Thanksgiving blessing mix is another example of this. Be sure to check it out!

Sprinkle over the remainder of the leaf sprinkles. After all, it’s fall!

Dirt cup recipe with Swedish fish, candy pumpkin and teepees.

These Oreo dirt cups are smooth and rich with a luscious chocolate flavor. Crushed cookie crumbs adds extra sweetness and a nice texture to the dessert.

The kids will love the sweetness of the Swedish fish and candy pumpkins to finish off the recipe.

Making the dirt cup teepees ahead of time

If you plan to serve this snack or dessert at the time you make it,  you can use the directions as I have them posted above.

However, if you are making it ahead of time, a few adjustments will need to be made for optimal results. Since the sugar cones are inserted into the pudding, if left this way too long, the bottom of the cones will get soggy.

To prevent this from happening, prepare the pudding mixture, including the top layer of dirt and place it in the fridge in the plastic cups.

Make the teepees as suggested above and store them in an airtight container until ready to assemble the dessert. At serving time, insert the teepee into the pudding, add a Swedish fish and candy pumpkin and finish with the leaf sprinkles.

More Thanksgiving recipes for kids

If you love having fun with food and cooking with kids as much as I do, be sure to check out these recipes. All are perfect for Thanksgiving.turkey cupcakes, vegetable tray, place cards and Indian corn with text reading "Fun with Food for Thanksgiving."

  • Thanksgiving cookie train – this fun train is made of candy and cookies and looks wonderful as a Thanksgiving centerpiece.
  • Turkey vegetable tray – the kids won’t mind eating their veggies when they see this colorful vegetable appetizer in the shape of a turkey!
  • Turkey cupcakes – this one is so creative, the grownups will love it too!
  • Sweet turkey cupcakes – candy corn gets used to make feathers for a turkey in this fun recipe.
  • Turkey place card holders – turn cookies into holders for the kids names with this fun project.
  • Indian corn cakes – celebrate the first Thanksgiving with this edible dessert table centerpiece shaped like Indian corn.
  • Leaf cookies – use the colors of fall in all its glory to make these colorful leaf shaped cookies.
  • Rice Krispie Turkeys – Make these favorite sweet treat into the shape of turkeys for Thanksgiving.

If you’re bringing any of the recipes above to a holiday gathering, and are looking for an activity to go along with it, make sure to check out this Thanksgiving word search and word scramble

Pin this dirt cup recipe for Thanksgiving

Would you like a reminder of these Thanksgiving teepee dirt cups? Just pin this photo to one of your Thanksgiving boards on Pinterest so that you can easily find it later.

Three dirt desert cups with pumpkin and fall leaves and text reading "Thanksgiving teepee dirt cups."

You can also watch the Thanksgiving dirt cup dessert video on YouTube.

Yield: 8 dirt cups

Dirt Cup Recipe for Thanksgiving - Oreo Teepee Dirt Pudding Cups

Dirt recipe chocolate pudding shaped like teepees, with sign towel, leaves and pumpkin.

These Thanksgiving dirt cups are a fun way to teach your child a little about nomadic Native American tribes and give them a tasty snack at the same time.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 2 boxes of fat free, sugar free chocolate pudding mix
  • 4 cups of 2% milk
  • 13.1 oz package of Oreo Thins cookies
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of sugar free frosting
  • 24 thin pretzel sticks
  • 2 teaspoons of leaf sprinkles
  • 8 Swedish fish
  • 8 candy pumpkins


  1. Combine the pudding mix with the 2% mix and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Add the Oreo cookies to a food processor and pulse until crumbly and the texture of dirt.
  3. Use a serrated knife to cut off the pointed end of the sugar cone, large enough to hold three stick pretzels. Discard the tips.
  4. Layer 3/4 of the crumbs and pudding into the plastic cups, starting and ending with the pudding.
  5. Spread the chocolate frosting on the cut end of the sugar cone and insert the three pretzels into each opening.
  6. Use some of the sprinkles to decorate the tips.
  7. Push the wide end of the cones into the pudding mixture.
  8. Add the remainder of the dirt crumbs and decorate with the rest of the leaf sprinkles.
  9. Add one Swedish fish and one candy pumpkin to each cup to decorate.
  10. Serve cold.


You will also need clear plastic cups to complete the dessert.

If making the dessert to serve later, do steps 1-6 ahead of time, and finish with steps 7-10 at serving time. This will prevent the sugar cone from getting soggy on the base.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 437.6Total Fat: 13.6gSaturated Fat: 5gUnsaturated Fat: .01gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 672.2mgCarbohydrates: 65.3gFiber: 2.1gSugar: 3.5gProtein: 8.2g

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