These Earth day cupcakes are completely edible and look adorable. Made to look like a little plant growing in the dirt, what better way to celebrate the Earth?
Making these gardening cupcakes is super simple and fun. It only takes a few ingredients and the kids can help along the way. Or you can simply make a plate of cupcakes and tell them to dig in (dirt pun intended).
Oreo dirt cupcakes are a great Earth Day cupcake recipe to share with the kiddos because what better way to celebrate the planet than by getting the little ones interested in nature?
For similar recipes, make sure to check out my Earth Day Parfaits.
🍯 Why This Recipe Works
- They're easy to make. Made with boxed cake mix cupcakes, chocolate frosting, Oreo cookies, and sprigs of fresh mint these cupcakes are almost too cute to eat!
- The kids can help make them. Assemble the ingredients and let everyone decorate their own cupcakes.
- It can be educational for the kids. You can easily turn this snack into a full-on teaching moment with the kids explaining how plants grow and survive. The chocolate will help to hold their attention longer.
Chocolate cake mix- You will need a box of chocolate cake mix made according to the package directions for cupcakes including the eggs, oil, and water.
Chocolate frosting- You will want to use a can of chocolate frosting but you can use a homemade chocolate buttercream instead if desired.
Oreo cookies- Use chocolate cookies and cream Oreos for a "dirt" look once crumbled.
Fresh mint leaves- You'll need fresh mint leaves for the little plant on top of the cupcakes. These are edible, but kids may prefer picking them off and eating chocolate cupcakes.
For specific ingredients and measurements, please see the recipe card below.
Different cake mixes. For these easy Earth Day cupcakes, you can use any box flavor of cake mix. I chose chocolate because it looks the most like dirt but you can just as easily use a yellow cake mix, spiced cake mix, or any other flavor.
Homemade options. Homemade frosting or homemade cupcakes can be used in place of the store-bought versions.
For some more Earth Day cupcake ideas, check out these simple variations:
I enjoyed using the mint leaves because they looked the most like new plants and required the least amount of effort. (Plus, chocolate and mint are a classic duo).
You can just as easily use fresh rosemary (turned upside down to look like a pine tree with needles pointing down or you can use fresh parsley too. Fresh rosemary would be great for a holiday/winter variation!
Other options include using green-colored taffy or fondant and shaping out fake plants to use. This will take a little more effort on your part as you roll the candies in your palms to warm them and make them easier to shape.
Step 1: Prepare cake batter according to the package directions.
Step 2: Divide batter into paper lined muffin pan.
Step 3: Bake according to the package directions and let cool completely.
Step 4: Crush Oreo cookies in a food processor until fine crumbs. Pour crumbs into a large shallow dish or cereal bowl. Set aside.
Step 5: Frost the top of the cupcakes with chocolate frosting.
Step 6: Roll the frosted cupcakes in the Oreo crumbs, making sure to evenly coat the top of the frosting so that as much frosting is covered as possible.
Step 7: Repeat the frosting and crumbs for all cupcakes.
Step 8: Take a fresh mint leaf and place the stem into the cupcake's center so that it stands upright.
See the tips below on how to secure the leaves if you find this to be more difficult than anticipated.
Step 9: Repeat for all cupcakes.
Serve and enjoy!
🍴 Recipe Tips
How to make Oreo crumbs
If you don't have a food processor to turn the Oreo cookies into crumbs, you can simply place them into a Ziploc bag and crush them into crumbs by rolling a rolling pin over the top of the cookies until they're crushed.
Getting the mint leaf to stick
I found it a lot easier to get the mint into the cupcake tops when I used a toothpick to push down on the stem to get it inserted into the cupcake deeper.
While you can use any leaf off of a sprig of mint, I really enjoyed using the tip of the sprig, right where those small leaves are bundled together. I found that the stem was thicker and I could get several small leaves from the tip, which gave the "plants" a more realistic appearance.
These cupcakes are good for up to 3-5 days if kept stored in an airtight container at room temperature. I do not recommend adding the mint leaves until closer to serving time if these are made for an event. This is because the mint leaves will wilt within a few hours and should look dried by the next day.
Yes, you can eat the mint leaves from these cupcakes if you want to. They are totally safe and edible to consume. Almost all of us pulled our mint leaves off after admiring them but feel free to eat them or remove them as you please. They are safe to consume.
Yes, when you pulse or crush the Oreo cookies into a dirt-like crumb mixture you will be using the chocolate cookies and the white cream filling. Once blended the two will look practically indistinguishable.
❤️ More Delicious Spring Recipes
If you tried these Earth Day Cupcakes, please leave a ⭐️ star rating and share your feedback in the 📝 comments section below. I would truly appreciate it!
Earth Day Cupcakes
- 1 box (15.25oz) Chocolate cake mix ($1.00)
- 3 large Eggs ($0.24)
- 1 ¼ cup Water ($0.00)
- ½ cup Vegetable oil ($0.24)
- 1 can (16oz) Chocolate frosting ($1.00)
- ½ package Oreo cookies ($1.74)
- 1 pack Fresh mint leaves ($1.98)
- Prepare cake batter according to the package directions for making cupcakes. Bake and let cool completely.
- Crush Oreo cookies in a food processor until fine crumbs. Pour crumbs into a large shallow dish or cereal bowl.
- Frost the top of the cupcakes with chocolate frosting.
- Roll the frosted cupcakes in the Oreo crumbs, making sure to evenly coat the top of the frosting so that as much frosting is covered as possible.
- Repeat the frosting and crumbs for all cupcakes.
- Take a fresh mint leaf and place the stem into the center of the cupcakes so that it is standing upright.
- Repeat for all cupcakes.
- Serve and enjoy!
- These cupcakes are good for up to 3-5 days if kept stored in an airtight container at room temperature. I do not recommend adding the mint leaves until closer to serving time if these are made for an event. This is because the mint leaves will wilt within a few hours and should look dried by the next day.