Halloween Dirt Cups (Ghosts in the Graveyard)

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These easy-to-make Halloween Dirt Cups are the perfect spooky dessert! Delicious chocolate pudding is topped with cookie crumb dirt, gummy worms, Cool Whip ghosts, cookie tombstones, and other spooky decorations.

Kids love this classic Ghost in the Graveyard dessert. And what is not to love? It has lots of chocolate flavor along with cookies and candy! Plus, it is simple to make, and kids can easily help decorate the graveyard scene.

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And when you make this chocolatey treat in individual dessert cups, it is perfect for a Halloween party. Follow along and make this fun, themed Halloween dessert!

Looking for more easy Halloween desserts? Check out Halloween Cake Mix Donuts, Halloween Candy Bark or Halloween Fudge.

🎃Pudding Cup Ingredients

For exact amounts needed see the recipe card below

Instant Chocolate Pudding – You can make homemade pudding if you like, but using instant pudding is the quick way to make this dessert.

Milk – The milk is used to make the pudding. Make sure the milk is cold.

Whipped topping – Fold a topping like Cool Whip into the pudding to give it more of a chocolate mousse consistency. Completely defrost it before using.

Oreos – These are crushed to make the layer of dirt on top of the graveyard.

labeled dirt cup ingredient photo

👻Decoration Ingredients

You can change up the decorations to suit your tastes! These are the decorations I used but see below for suggested variations.

Oval or rectangular cookies – A cemetery has to have tombstones! I used Milano cookies and chocolate-covered graham crackers for the tombstone cookies.

Writing gel – This is ideal for writing on the tombstones.

Gummy worms – These are classic dirt cup decorations.

Whipped topping – Use extra whipped topping to make ghosts.

Candy eye balls – For the ghost eyes.

Chocolate almond bark – I used this to make optional chocolate trees for the pudding cups.

🥣How to Make Halloween Dirt Cups

1. Make the Pudding

Put the instant pudding mix and milk in a medium bowl. Whisk them together until smooth. Then put the bowl in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes, so it soft sets.

soft set pudding
Make the pudding
adding the cool whip
Add Cool Whip

Reserve about 1 1/2 cups of whipped topping to make ghosts on top of the Halloween dirt cups. Then take the chocolate pudding mixture out and fold the remaining whipped topping. Put it back in the refrigerator to chill for at least 15 minutes or up to 3 days.

2. Crush the Oreos

Put 8 Oreo cookies in a food processor and pulse them until they reduce to crumbs.

3. Make the Tombstone Cookies

Lay the cookies out on a baking sheet. Use the gel frosting to write RIP or years on the cookies.

decorating the tombstone cookies
Making Tombstone Cookies
making spook halloween trees from chocolate
Making Spooky Trees

4. Make the Trees (optional)

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Put 2-3 blocks of almond bark in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 1 minute. Take the bowl out and stir.

Continue to microwave in 20-second intervals until the chocolate is almost melted. Stir until it is completely melted and smooth.

Put the chocolate in a resealable bag or decorator bag and snip off the tip. Pipe the chocolate onto the parchment paper to make tree shapes. Let them set for 10-15 minutes until the almond bark hardens.

5. Assemble

Divide the pudding mixture into 4-8 serving cups. The number of servings this recipe makes will depend on your glass size.

You can use small mason jars or clear plastic disposable cups if you don’t have dessert cups. Just make sure your cup has a wide enough top to add a tombstone and a gummy worm! Or, you can skip the individual cups and make the dessert in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.

Sprinkle the Oreo cookie crumbs over the top of the pudding layer. Take the reserved cool whip and use it to make ghosts for the top of the pudding cups.

You can just plop a freeform dollop of whipped topping or pipe them with a pastry bag for more elegant ghosts. Then add the tombstones, trees, gummy worms, pumpkin candy, or whatever else you like.

closeup of halloween dirt cups

🍴Can I Make Halloween Dirt Cups in Advance?

You can make the individual components of this dessert in advance, but you should assemble it within a few hours of serving. The cookie crumbs and tombstones will get soggy if left in the pudding too long. You can complete these in just a few minutes if you prepare everything beforehand.

The pudding will keep for 3-5 days in the refrigerator. Cover it with plastic wrap, so it doesn’t form a skin on top. The tombstone cookies, candy trees, and crushed Oreos can be kept in an airtight container for 2-3 days before using. Add the Cool Whip ghosts right before serving.

💭How to Store

If you have leftover Ghosts in the Graveyard cups, you can store them, covered, in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. The cookies will absorb moisture from the pudding, but they will be fine to eat.


Some other cute Halloween-themed variations for this spooky treat are:

  • candy pumpkins
  • candy sugar skulls
  • marshmallow ghost Peeps
  • candy corn
  • bone shaped sprinkles
  • spiders

You can also make this for other holidays, like with candy eggs for Easter. Or use vanilla pudding and golden Oreos for summer beach dirt cups.

halloween dirt cups surrounded by decorations

⭐Tips for Making the Best Spooky Graveyard Dirt Cups

Be sure to check out the step by step instructions

  • Make the components ahead of time but don’t assemble the chocolate dirt cups until right before serving.
  • If possible, use a food processor to make the Oreo dirt. Crushing them with a rolling pin won’t result in fine crumbs.
  • Let your kids help choose decorations and assemble this fun dessert so they can be creative with the toppings!

Did You Make This? Leave a Star Rating!

closeup of halloween pudding cup
5 from 1 vote

Halloween Dirt Cups Recipe

Published By Anne
Chocolate pudding is topped with Oreo cookie crumbs, gummy worms, ghosts and tombstones for a fun, spooky dessert.
Prep Time20 minutes
Chilling Time30 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Servings: 6
Print Save Rate Pin


  • 2 boxes instant chocolate pudding mix 3.9 ounces each
  • 3 cups milk cold
  • 2 8 ounce whipped topping tubs thawed
  • 8 Oreo Cookies or other chocolate sandwich cookies


  • 6 Milano cookies
  • 6 Chocolate-covered graham crackers
  • 1 tube Writing gel black and white
  • 1 1/2 cups Whipped topping reserved from making the pudding
  • 12 Candy eyeballs
  • 12 Gummy worms
  • 1/2 cup Chocolate Almond Bark optional, to make trees


  • Whisk together pudding mix and cold milk in a mixing bowl until smooth.
    2 boxes instant chocolate pudding mix, 3 cups milk
  • Place bowl in the refrigerator to soft set, about 10 minutes.
  • Reserve about 1 1/2 cups of whipped topping to make ghosts later. Then take the pudding out and fold in the remaining whipped topping.
    2 8 ounce whipped topping tubs
  • Place the bowl back in the refrigerator to chill for at least 15 minutes or up to 3 days.

Make Tombstones

  • Lay the Milano cookies or chocolate-covered graham crackers out on a baking sheet.
    6 Milano cookies, 6 Chocolate-covered graham crackers
  • Write years or RIP on the cookies.
    1 tube Writing gel

Crush Oreos

  • Add 6-8 Oreo cookies to a food processor and crush them into crumbs.
    8 Oreo Cookies

Make Trees

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Add 2-3 blocks of Almond Bark to a microwave-safe bowl.
    1/2 cup Chocolate Almond Bark
  • Heat in the microwave for 1 minute, remove and stir. Continue cooking for 10-20 seconds until the chocolate is almost melted. Stir until completely melted and smooth.
  • Transfer chocolate to a plastic decorator bag or resealable bag and snip off a small amount of the end of the bag.
  • Create trees by piping melted chocolate onto parchment paper. Let set for 10-15 minutes until hard.


  • Divide chocolate pudding filling into serving dishes or a 13×9 glass dish. **see notes
  • Sprinkle a layer of chocolate cookie crumbs over the pudding mixture.
  • Use the reserved cool whip to make “ghosts.” Then add the decorations and gummy worms to the cups.
    1 1/2 cups Whipped topping, 12 Candy eyeballs, 12 Gummy worms


  • The number of servings for this dessert will depend on the serving dishes chosen. Use dessert cups, clear plastic party cups, or a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
  • Make the components ahead of time but don’t assemble the dirt cups until right before serving, or the cookies might become soggy.
  • If possible, use a food processor to make the Oreo dirt. Crushing them with a rolling pin won’t result in fine crumbs.

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Nutrition Information

Calories: 293kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 243mg | Potassium: 254mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 207IU | Calcium: 166mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition facts are estimates.

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ghosts in the graveyard dessert in a cup

Hi, I’m Anne!

I love to cook and I want to share my recipes with you. I believe cooking should be approachable and fun, not a chore. I want to make simple recipes using everyday ingredients that you can make again and again, whether it is for a busy weeknight, a summer cookout or a special dessert. Read more...

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