Golden Oreo Sand Pudding (easy summer dessert cups)

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Golden Oreo Sand Pudding is such a fun summer treat! You make Oreo cookie “sand” and layer it with pudding to create a beach themed dessert that looks just like sand. Serve it out of a bucket for a crowd or individual pudding cups.

layered sand pudding cup with a drink umbrella.

My mom first made this sand pudding recipe for my brother’s graduation party (in 2011) and it was a huge hit.

I’ve since made it for a beach themed bridal shower and it also got rave reviews.

What is sand pudding?

Sand pudding is a fun dessert, much like a trifle or parfait, that uses crushed Oreo cookies to look like sand. And let me tell you, it really does look like sand!

You layer the crushed cookies with pudding to make an easy dessert that everyone loves.

Much like chocolate lush or a banana split dessert, but this sandy version is perfect for the summer or beach themed events!

Why you’ll love this sand pudding dessert

Easy Summer Dessert – Whether it’s for a pool party, summer picnic, grad party, or a beach themed birthday party or shower, this fits the bill.

Fun Treat – It really looks like real sand! Kids and adults are impressed and enjoy it.

Easy Dessert Recipe – It’s no-bake and comes together in minutes.

spoon lifting a bite of sand pudding from a cup.

Tools you’ll need

  • Food Processor – to crush all of the cookies. Or a ziptop bag & rolling pin will get the job done!
  • Hand Mixer – It’s easiest to mix the cream cheese with an electric mixer but the pudding will do fine with just a whisk.
  • Sand Buckets & Shovels – These are usually readily available at the dollar store, but if it’s off-season ordering is always an option.
  • Clear Plastic Cups – If you go the individual cup route, shown are 9 ounce plastic cups.
  • Mixing Bowls – You’ll need a few mixing bowls to prep the layers for the sand pudding.


Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe, why you need them, and possible substitutions. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card with measurements.

  • Golden Oreos – You’ll need the whole package, but you’ll scrape the centers out. We like Oreos but vanilla wafers will also work.
  • Classic Oreos – When you mix in a few classic Oreos, it makes the sand look really realistic!
  • Cream Cheese – I use full fat cream cheese though reduced fat will likely work fine. Make sure it is softened to room temperature before you start so it will blend nicely.
  • Butter – Unsalted butter, also softened to room temperature.
  • Powdered Sugar – Sometimes called icing sugar or confectioners’ sugar – all the same.
  • Pudding – You’ll need two 3.9 oz packages of instant pudding mix. I use vanilla. Banana will work, too.
  • Milk – I use 2% because that’s what I usually have on hand.
  • Whipped Topping – You could make your own homemade Cool Whip or pick some up from the freezer section of your market. If you go that route, make sure it is thawed.
overhead shot of labeled ingredients laid out to make sand pudding.

How to make Sand Pudding

This section shows you how to make this recipe, with process photos showing the steps to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.

Making Golden Oreo Sand Pudding is really easy since it’s a no-bake treat, but it does require a little bit of time to assemble.

  1. STEP ONE: First, scrape all of the fillings out of the Oreos. This step is optional, to some, but I find this dessert to have enough sugar, so I scrape out the centers.
  2. STEP TWO: Next, crush the Oreos in a food processor (use the entire package of Golden Oreos with a couple black/classic Oreos to make the sand realistic looking) until you have a sand-like texture.
  1. STEP THREE: Then, in a large bowl, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar.
  2. STEP FOUR: In another large bowl, whisk together the pudding mixes and milk. Then add it to the cream cheese mixture. Finally, gently fold in the Cool Whip.
collage of 4 photos showing the process of making pudding.
  1. STEP FIVE: Now you’re ready to assemble your dessert. I like to serve it out of a bucket (the dollar store usually has cute ones!) to keep with the theme, or you can do individual cups. Start with a layer of sand, then alternate sand/pudding until your bucket is full, making sure to end with sand.
spoon sprinkling cookie crumbs into a pudding cup.

That’s it! You’re ready to serve and enjoy.

Optional Toppings

layered sand pudding cup with star gummies.

Tips & Suggestions 🏖

To serve these to a crowd, layer into a 7.5″ sand bucket.

To make individual cups, use 9″ cups and layer the pudding with the Oreo crumbs, starting with crumbs, and making the pudding layer a bit thicker (approximately 1/4 cup). It should make about 6 individual cups.

Golden Oreos or Lemon Oreos will work. Oreo often has limited edition flavors that may work as well.

I use vanilla instant pudding but banana cream, cheesecake, or lemon would work.

How to store it

Sand pudding should be kept covered in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it.

If making it ahead of time, prep the layers & wait to assemble until closer to the time you’ll be ready to serve.

How long will sand pudding last in the fridge?

About 5 days, when assembled.

Can I freeze pudding?

I don’t recommend it. The taste and texture will change as it thaws so you’ll get the best results enjoying it while it’s fresh.

Golden Oreo Cookie Sand Pudding - perfect for a summer/beach party! | Persnickety Plates


Do I have to scrape out the cream filling?

No, you don’t have to, but that’s the way I prefer it. It takes longer, but I don’t find the extra sugar necessary (at all).

What if I got cook and serve pudding instead of instant?

If you picked up cook and serve pudding, make it according to the package instructions, let it cool, and then proceed with the recipe.

How many individual cups does this make?

If you use 9 ounce plastic cups, this recipe will make about 6 individual cups.

Recipe for Sand Dessert

Need more no-bake recipes? Try these:

Click here for my entire collection of no bake dessert recipes.

layered sand pudding dessert with a mini umbrella.
Golden Oreo Cookie Sand Pudding - perfect for a summer/beach party! | Persnickety Plates
layered sand pudding cup with a drink umbrella.

Golden Oreo Sand Pudding

Melissa Williams | Persnickety Plates
Golden Oreo Sand Pudding is such a fun summer treat! You make Oreo cookie "sand" and layer it with pudding to create a beach themed dessert that looks just like sand. Serve it out of a bucket for a crowd or individual pudding cups.
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Assembly Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 6 cups
Calories 483 kcal


  • bucket & shovel OR
  • Six 9 ounce plastic cups


  • 13.29 ounce Golden Oreos centers scraped out
  • 4 classic Oreo cookies centers scraped out
  • 8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • cup powdered sugar
  • 6.8 ounces vanilla instant pudding two 3.4 ounce boxes
  • 2 ¾ cup milk I use 2%
  • 12 ounces whipped topping thawed


  • Scrape out the center cream in the Oreos.
  • In a food processor, combine the golden Oreos and the regular Oreos & crush until sand-like.
  • In a separate bowl, cream together the softened cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar.
  • In another bowl, mix together the pudding mixes & milk. Add to cream cheese mixture.
  • Fold in whipped topping.
  • Layer into 9 ounce plastic cups – using approximately 1/4 cup of pudding between each layer of cookie crumbs, repeating until out of both.
  • Layer into a bucket – sand, pudding, sand, pudding, etc. making sure you end with sand.
  • Scoop out with the shovels & enjoy!



Recipe should make approximately six 9 ounce layered pudding cups OR one large (7.5″) bucket.
Vanilla, lemon, or banana pudding can be used.
If you don’t have a food processor, place the cookies into a large zip top bag and crush them with a rolling pin.
If making ahead of time, keep components separate until ready to serve.
Once assembled, keep leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 5 days.


Serving: 1gCalories: 483kcalCarbohydrates: 56gProtein: 6gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 348mgPotassium: 208mgSugar: 37gVitamin A: 615IUCalcium: 149mgIron: 1.5mg

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Tried this recipe? Tag me!Mention @melissa_pplates or tag #persnicketyplates!

Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying/pasting and/or screenshots of full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited. Content and photographs are copyright protected.

Originally published July 10, 2012

Golden Oreo Cookie Sand Pudding - perfect for a summer/beach party! | Persnickety Plates

Check out the chocolate dirt pudding here.

Golden Oreo Cookie Sand Pudding - perfect for a summer/beach party! | Persnickety Plates

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  1. Mama Jodi says

    This is so much fun. It would be great for any beach party. Thanks!

  2. Heidi Fowler says

    What a fun idea! My daughter would love it for her swim party. I’m hosting a linky party “One Creative Weekend” at OneCreativeMommy.com. I’d love for you to visit and link up this idea and/or anything else you’d like to share.

  3. Toodie says

    I haven’t done anything like this in a very long time, like ever. LOL What fun this would be for a beach theme dinner!

  4. Christa says

    I adied the cream from the middle of the cookie to the cream cheese butter powder sugar mixture and it worked well

    • Melissa Williams says

      I’ve heard quite a few people say they leave the middles in but I was hoping to slightly cut down on the sweetness 😉

  5. Amanda Inman says

    How much of each ingredient does the recipe call for?

    • Melissa Williams says

      Do you see the recipe card just above the comments?

    • Amanda Inman says

      I do now, not to begin with. Sorry

    • Melissa Williams says

      Ok, good. I wanted to make sure everything is working right! 🙂

  6. Phyllis says

    Hi. I am about to make the golden Oreo sand. I am tripling the recipe as I need it for 30 people. Just to make sure, I need 64oz of pudding mix right from box. Before mixing. It just seems like a lot.

    • Melissa Williams says

      Hi Phyllis. No, not 64 oz. The recipe as written calls for two 3.9 oz boxes of instant pudding so to triple it, you would need 6 boxes (23.4 oz total).

  7. Sheryl L Deiter says

    5 stars
    I have made this recipe as well as the dirt recipe for many years. I was a little confused when you scraped out the centers. I changed my recipe totally and I omit the butter and sugar.
    It’s not as sweet and I crush up all the oreos, not scrape them out.
    I also use nilla wafers instead and add a few chocolate oreos.

    • Melissa Williams says

      That’s the beauty of recipes – this is my version & you can make yours however you prefer 🙂

  8. Becky says

    Hi Melissa,
    I love this idea so much. Do you think it would be okay for me to make these the day before in the 9 oz cups and keep them in the refrigerator?

    • Melissa Williams says

      Yes, day before will definitely be fine, the cookies just get softer the longer it sits 🙂

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