Fun dessert is something for children to dig into

Last week was our middle son’s birthday. The happy go lucky, just wants to be around you, makes everyone laugh, all the time, little guy.

Directly corresponding with his personality, were his birthday choices. We went back and forth between theme ideas and cake ideas, until we ended up with a family get together-birthday party that had three or more themes, and two cakes.

When you’re a 5-year-old who’s turning 6, it can be hard to pick sometimes. Someday he will have to make actual decisions, but a sixth birthday isn’t the time to push silly adult constraints on him.

If he wants a Star Wars, dragon, beach themed, Toy Story birthday with Batman in attendance, then that’s what we can do.

Even if it makes my perfectionist, matchy-matchy, perfectly-coordinating birthday planning personality cringe a little bit.

This is good practice for both of us in preferring the other person.

One of the cakes that ended up at our celebration was a dirt cake. If you aren’t familiar with this dessert, it actually has a lot of variations.

Some recipes use brownies as a base, some use chocolate cake as a base, and some don’t have a baked good involved at all.

These are similar to dirt cups, which are usually just chocolate pudding (to resemble mud), crushed Oreos for dirt, and gummy worms.

Sometimes they have whipped cream or Cool Whip thrown somewhere in there.

This particular recipe that I made was a bit of a science experiment, as I had never seen it made before, and didn’t think it necessary to look through other recipes first.

I used my favorite chocolate cake recipe for the base, then chocolate pudding immediately after baking, crushed Oreos and then gummy worms.

As usual with cakes, I had to patiently wait and just hope it turned out as good as I hoped it would be when it was time to serve.

You can’t sample a piece of cake like you can sample a cookie. When it was time, I watched everyone start digging into their dessert while I kept serving, and then the requests for dirt cake for adult birthdays started coming in!

If an adult asks for, what is usually, a kids’ cake for their own birthday, that probably means it’s good.

So now comes the time when I’ll let you decide for yourself. Is this a kids’ menu crossover item?

Or on the kids’ menu should it stay?

As always, thanks for reading, and happy baking from hbk!

Dirt Cake

Chocolate Cake base

2 C. flour

2 C. sugar

1 C. cocoa

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

2 C. Water

1 stick butter

2 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla extract

Toppings

1 box family/large size chocolate pudding

3 C. cold milk

20 Oreos, crushed

Gummy worms, cut in half

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 pan.

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.

3. In a medium saucepan, bring the water and butter to a boil.

4. Use a small mixing bowl and combine the extract and eggs.

5. When butter and water reach a boil, stir into the dry ingredients and mix well. Then add extract and egg mixture and stir until well incorporated.

6. Bake for 40 minutes.

7. Prepare pudding according to package directions.

8. Using a food processor, or a rolling pin and a Ziploc bag, crush Oreos.

9. When a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean, it’s ready.

Use a straw to poke holes all over the top of the cake.

10. Immediately spread pudding evenly on the top of the cake. Sprinkle Oreos and gummy worms on top.

11. Refrigerate until serving, serves 12-16.

Katy Wise is a Fredonia resident.

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