Dirt cake, the cake with cookie crumbles made to look like dirt and filled with gummy worms, has been a longstanding favorite in my family. In fact, my aunt makes one of the best dirt cakes I’ve ever tried and brilliantly serves it up in a flower pot. When I discovered two different versions of the kitschy dessert at Walt Disney World on our most recent trip, I had to try both out! Let’s do a little side by side tasting today.
The first came from Disney’s Animal Kingdom as part of its Earth Day/anniversary/Party for the Planet. This is a beautiful cupcake to look at! The base is a chocolate cake, and it has a center filled with a chocolate, almost mocha, frosting. It is coated in vanilla frosting, dusted with chocolate cookie crumbles, and topped with a pair of gummy worms and the flower pot. Yes, the flower pot is edible, and it is filled with frosting. I kept referring to it as a frosting bomb, because it is a pure sugar rush.
Our other contender is the Worms n’ Dirt Cake from the Contempo Cafe. This version is shorter, but wider. There is no filling inside, but there are worms baked into throughout the chocolate cake. There is a thin layer of chocolate frosting, and the whole thing is topped with a pile of chocolate cookie crumbles.
Of the two, I preferred Contempo Cafe’s Worms n’ Dirt Cake. The chocolate cake was moist and spongy, and had worms throughout, which is a hallmark of this type of dessert. The white frosting on the Earth Day version could be seen through the cookie crumbles and broke the illusion that we were actually eating dirt (and yes, I realize how absurd that sounds). Part of this dirt reality braking came from the fact that the Contempo Cafe version also had way more crumbles than its park counterpart. That said, the Contempo Cafe cake would do well to add its own flower pot frosting bomb, filled with rick chocolate frosting, if you want my honest opinion.
Obviously, the Earth Day cupcake was only available for one day, but sometimes these special event cupcakes that pop up at Disney’s Animal Kingdom find their way back onto the regular menu somewhere. If so, I hope they make some more tweaks to this treat before rolling it back out. Take a page from what is already working at Contempo Cafe and just amp it up a little bit.
If you’re looking for a fun dessert that isn’t ice cream, I highly recommend the Worms n’ Dirt at Contempo Cafe! Especially if you go over the top with your kids or friends about how gross it is to eat dirt and worms, while you’re taking a huge bite out of it! I have memories of dirt cake from my childhood, and now Walt Disney World has found a way to help families make their own dirt cake memories, without the mess and fuss of having to create the cake themselves. So, dig in!