This Ghosts in the Graveyard dessert is quick, fun, and easy enough to let the kids help make them! Chocolate pudding, Oreo cookies, whipped cream, and fun Halloween sprinkles are all you need to make these spooky Halloween party-worthy treats!
Oh, it’s the last week of October?
Aht, aht, Christmas commercials, we haven’t passed Halloween yet so back off.
It’s still spooky season and this Ghosts in the Graveyard dessert is what my spooky soul needs at the moment. The peppermint white chocolate mochas can wait til pumpkin spice season is officially over, you know?
I saw a glimpse of a ‘ghosts in the graveyard’ cake/dessert on Pinterest, turns out to be made by a big brand, and I knew I wanted to have something fun and cute for Greyson and his friends (and me! I, too, like dessert!). So a kid-sized, no-bake, quick and easy version of Ghosts in the Graveyard was whipped up in just fifteen minutes!
What is the Ghosts in the Graveyard dessert?
Ghosts in the Graveyard is originally a game you play outside, but this is a delicious trifle-like Halloween dessert made with instant chocolate pudding, whipped cream, crushed Oreo cookies, and some fun Halloween sprinkles I found on Amazon and at Target. I’ll make sure to link to them in the recipe because besides the homemade ghosts, those candy tombstones, bones and bugs really make this dessert so much fun.
What is needed to make Ghosts in the Graveyard?
Skeletons and the souls of the undead. Just kidding.
Chocolate Pudding. You can make your own, use instant mix, or even use those premade pudding cups.
Heavy Whipping Cream. Not only do we use this for the ghosts, but I mix it into half of the pudding mixture to give a different texture in the graveyard. You could substitute Italian meringue for the whipped cream for more stable ghosts if you’re not serving the dessert immediately.
Chocolate Sandwich Cookies. This is what I used, but you can also crumble up brownies, chocolate cake, or chocolate cupcakes to make the ‘dirt’ layers.
Fun Halloween candies, sprinkles, etc. These are what make the graveyard a graveyard. Tombstones, bugs and bats, bloody bones and skulls, I even have some mini sour gummy worms in the pudding mix to really emphasize that ‘dirt’ part. All of these can be on top and inside the dessert, they make it really fun!
Mini Trifle Cups. These are the perfect size, they’re wide enough to make a cute graveyard but still small enough to be handheld for everyone to have their own dessert. You can also use parfait cups or make a giant graveyard in a trifle bowl.
How to make Ghosts in the Graveyard
- Make the pudding as per package instructions.
- In a food processor or blender, crush up the cookies. They need to be nice and fine to make the dirt layers. Both the cookies and pudding can be prepared days ahead.
- Whip up the heavy cream until it’s a stiff whipped cream. We need it to be very stiff to handle being mixed into the chocolate pudding and to stand as spooky ghosts in the graveyard.
- Mix half of the pudding and half of the whipped cream gently.
- Layer a small amount of the pudding, the whipped cream/pudding mixture, and the crushed cookies. Add some bug, bones, or whatever spooky sprinkles and candy over the cookies before repeating the layering process, ending with a generous layer of cookies.
- Decorate the top with more sprinkles, adding a few tombstones to each graveyard.
- Add the rest of the whipped cream into a piping bag or zip-top bag with a corner cut off, then swirl a ghost or two into the graveyards. Decorate them with eye candies or dot with melted chocolate or icing.
And that’s it! As you can see, a lot of the recipe is decorating the graveyards, so let the kids join in on the fun.
Is this dessert make ahead?
You can make the pudding and crushed cookies days in advance. Whip the cream and assemble the day of!
Can Ghosts in the Graveyard be dairy-free?
Use any non-dairy pudding, use your favorite non-dairy whipped topping, and vegan chocolate sandwich cookies in lieu of all the dairy products in the recipe.
Looking for more desserts? Check out:
Homemade Marshmallows, these would make excellent ghosts if you use a ghost cookie cutter.
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- 24 chocolate sandwich cookies
- 2 (3.4 oz) packages instant chocolate pudding mix
- 4 cups (960 mL) milk
- Halloween Sprinkles and Candies of Choice
- 1 cup (240 mL) heavy whipping cream, cold
- 1/2 cup (95 g) granulated sugar
- 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
- In a blender or food processor, crush the chocolate sandwich cookies until they are fine crumbs. Set aside. This can be done up to three days in advance.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the chocolate pudding mix and milk according to package instruction until smooth and creamy. Set aside, covered in plastic wrap in the fridge until ready to use. This can also be done up to three days in advance.
- In a large bowl with an electric hand mixer, a whisk, or using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream until frothy. Gradually add in the sugar, shake a little in at a time, and add vanilla extract as the whipped cream becomes thicker.
- Whip the cream until it becomes very thick, holding a stiff peak. Do not overwhip, you'll make butter. Once the whipped cream is thick and stiff, set aside covered with plastic wrap in the fridge until ready to assemble.
Assemble the Ghosts in the Graveyard
- Take half the pudding and half of the whipped cream in a medium-sized bowl and gently fold them together using a spoon.
- In your serving dishes, layer small amounts of the pudding, the pudding-whipped cream mix, and the crushed cookie crumbs. Add candies and sprinkles in layers as desired. Repeat until the serving dish is full, ending on a layer of the crushed cookies.
- Take the rest of the whipped cream and put it into a piping bag with a very small round piping tip or zip-top bag and snip a small hole in the corner. Make sure the top of the zip-top bag (if using) is closed fully before piping small ghosts on the top of the cookie 'dirt'. Add tombstone candies.
- Serve chilled, or keep in the fridge until ready to serve.
The crumbs and pudding can be made days ahead. Whip the heavy whipping cream right before assembly.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 188Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 117mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 1gSugar: 14gProtein: 3g
Eden Westbrook is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Sweet Tea and Thyme. A classically trained chef, Eden has inspired home cooks into the kitchen with cultural comfort foods, easy family-friendly eats and sweets, and glorious spreads for date night and entertaining since 2015.