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Eclair Cake

close up shot of a slice of Eclair Cake on a spatula
For those hectic times when you need to entertain, this chocolate eclair cake is such an easy recipe requiring very few ingredients.
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Table of Contents
  1. ECLAIR CAKE INGREDIENTS
  2. HOW TO MAKE THIS ECLAIR CAKE RECIPE
  3. HOW TO SERVE
  4. STORAGE
  5. MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

A decadent éclair cake simply takes all of the flavors of a classic eclair and makes them bigger and better—in cake form. Its stacked in sweet, creamy, delicious layers of graham crackers and pudding with a rich chocolate frosting finishing it off.

For other no-bake desserts, try our no bake peanut butter pie and icebox cake recipes. So delicious!

ECLAIR CAKE INGREDIENTS

You’ll need:

  • 1 box of cinnamon graham crackers
  • 2 (3.4-ounce) boxes of instant French Vanilla pudding with ½ teaspoon removed from one of the bags.
  • 16 ounces of Cool Whip 
  • 3½ cups of whole milk
  • 1 (16-ounce) tub dark chocolate fudge frosting

PRO TIP:

The pudding will not set with dairy-free or lactose-free milk. Make sure you are using regular milk in this recipe.

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

TOPPINGS: Cut the éclair cake into generous squares and make it yours with whichever toppings you prefer. What doesn’t go with chocolate and vanilla filling? Sprinkle your piece with some chopped nuts or if you believe you can never have too much chocolate, add chocolate chips. I like to smother mine with some whipped cream or a layer of Cool Whip and top it off with strawberry slices. You could also add sliced bananas or even pour hot fudge sauce on top. If you want to stick with simple, a dusting of powdered sugar would be a simple and elegant way to top off your treat.

PEANUT BUTTER: Try a variation with peanut butter by adding 1 cup to the pudding and milk.

PUDDING: For a real twist of flavor, change it up with banana or lemon pudding. Try strawberry pudding or chocolate pudding for one layer and vanilla for another. Mix and match. Éclair cakes are both versatile and beautiful so you can really play with flavor combinations.

GRAHAM CRACKERS: Get creative by alternating between honey or chocolate graham crackers.

FROSTING: If you’re a milk chocolate fan rather than dark chocolate, go for it! Kids love the sweeter taste of milk chocolate and I don’t blame them! The frosting could even be delicious cream cheese frosting. The options are endless! If you have a preferred homemade chocolate frosting recipe, you are more than welcome to use that too.

MILK: Skim or 2% milk can be used for this recipe but it will change the thinness and consistency of the pudding layers resulting in a thinner cake. Whole milk works the best to get the thick creamy layers.  

Text

HOW TO MAKE THIS ECLAIR CAKE RECIPE

STEP ONE: Spray a 9×13×3-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray on the bottom and lightly on the sides. It’s very important to use a dish that is 3 inches deep because it creates space for the graham crackers to be snug up against all of the edges.

PRO TIP:

Don’t forget to remove ½ teaspoon from one of the 2 pudding box bags before dumping them in your bowl! The ½ teaspoon you remove can be discarded, you won’t need it for anything in this recipe. 

STEP TWO: Mix pudding and milk using either a mixer with a whisk attachment or a mixing bowl and a whisk.

STEP THREE: Fold in the Cool Whip until it is fully incorporated and there are no more white and yellow swirls. You want the mix to be fully yellow and uniform.

STEP FOUR: Layer graham crackers along the bottom of the pan covering the entire bottom to the edges.

PRO TIP:

A box of graham crackers usually comes with a broken piece or two, these pieces work great to fill in the gaps along edges or along the uneven edge of a cracker that’s slightly broken

STEP FIVE: Divide the pudding mixture in half.

PRO TIP:

 If you want to weigh your pudding mixture after it’s been mixed to get a more precise measurement of it divided in half, you can! Humidity can affect the weight and swell of Cool Whip so that could slightly impact your weight. But generally, you want each pudding mixture in 2 different bowls to each weigh approximately 1468 grams or 3.2 pounds.

STEP SIX: Spread the first half of the pudding mixture on top of the first graham cracker layer using an offset spatula until fully covered. Do your best to get each layer as level as possible so your end product is evenly distributed.

STEP SEVEN: Spread the second layer of graham crackers on top of the pudding layer to the edges.

STEP EIGHT: Fully spread the remaining pudding mixture over the second layer of graham crackers.

STEP NINE: Lay the third and final layer of graham crackers to the edges.

STEP TEN: Microwave your tub of dark chocolate fudge frosting (DO NOT microwave the frosting in the tub, move to a microwave-safe bowl) for 30 seconds, remove and stir fully.

STEP ELEVEN: Microwave for another 30 seconds, stir and remove any lumps. Immediately pour the frosting onto the final layer of graham crackers and spread gently to the edges. With two hands give your whole dish a gentle shake back and forth for a few seconds to level out your layers!

STEP TWELVE: Cover in saran wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 10 hours or overnight.

PRO TIP:

Chilling your dessert is not optional. It is very important that this step happens because the pudding and frosting need to set and the graham crackers need to soften up.

STEP THIRTEEN: When you’re ready to serve your cake, remove it from the fridge and let the cake thaw uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes for it to get that beautiful shine restored to the frosting topping. 

HOW TO SERVE

This no-bake chocolate eclair cake recipe is such a simple but decadent recipe. It would be perfect for the kids to whip up since there is no baking. Serve a delicious slice with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and hot fudge sauce for a truly decadent treat.

STORAGE

IN THE FRIDGE: Store your eclair cake covered in plastic wrap in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.

IN THE FREEZER: Freeze this tasty dessert sealed in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

The creamy, rich layers of pudding, graham crackers, and chocolate make this delicious eclair cake the perfect dessert year-round. It’s cool and light in the spring and summer, and it’s the best comfort for cozying up in the house during fall and winter. You can’t beat the superb results for a treat that takes minimal effort to make.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I use different flavors?

There are several ways to change up the flavors in this cake. Try mixing and matching pudding, graham cracker and frosting flavors.

Can I serve this dessert right away?

You definitely need to plan to make this recipe at least a day in advance. It needs to chill, let the pudding set, and the graham crackers need time to soften up.

Do I have to use Cool Whip?

You can opt to use homemade whipped cream if you prefer in place of the Cool Whip.

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close up shot of a slice of Eclair Cake on a spatula

Eclair Cake

5 from 11 votes
For those hectic times when you need to entertain, this chocolate eclair cake is such an easy recipe requiring very few ingredients.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 10 hours 15 minutes
Servings 12

Ingredients
  

  • 1 box cinnamon graham crackers
  • 2 (3.4-ounce) boxes French Vanilla instant pudding with ½ teaspoon removed from one of the bags
  • 16 ounces Cool Whip
  • cups  whole milk
  • 16  ounces dark chocolate fudge frosting

Instructions
 

  • Spray a 9x13x3-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray on the bottom and lightly on the sides. It’s very important to use a dish that is 3 inches deep because it creates space for the graham crackers to be snug up against all of the edges.
  • Mix pudding and milk using either a mixer with a whisk attachment or a mixing bowl and a whisk.
  • Fold in the Cool Whip until it is fully incorporated and there are no more white and yellow swirls. You want the mix to be fully yellow and uniform.
  • Layer graham crackers along the bottom of the pan covering the entire bottom to the edges.
  • Divide the pudding mixture in half.
  • Spread the first half of the pudding mixture on top of the first graham cracker layer ( an offset spatula is great for this) until fully covered. Do your best to get each layer as level as possible so your end product is evenly distributed.
  • Spread the second layer of graham crackers on top of the pudding layer to the edges.
  • Fully spread the remaining pudding mixture over the second layer of graham crackers.
  • Lay the third and final layer of graham crackers to the edges.
  • Microwave your tub of dark chocolate fudge frosting (DO NOT microwave the frosting in the tub, move to a microwave safe bowl) for 30 seconds, remove and stir fully.
  • Microwave for another 30 seconds, stir and remove any lumps. Immediately pour the frosting onto the final layer of graham crackers and spread gently to the edges. With two hands give your whole dish a gentle shake back and forth for a few seconds to level out your layers!
  • Cover in saran wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 10 hours or overnight.
  • When you’re ready to serve your cake, remove it from the fridge and let the cake thaw uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes for it to get that beautiful shine restored to the frosting topping.

Video

Notes

TIP: The pudding will not set with dairy-free or lactose-free milk. Make sure you are using regular milk in this recipe.
TIP: Don’t forget to remove ½ teaspoon from one of the 2 pudding box bags before dumping them in your bowl! The ½ teaspoon you remove can be discarded, you won’t need it for anything in this recipe. 
TIP: A box of graham crackers usually comes with a broken piece or two, these pieces work great to fill in the gaps along edges or along the uneven edge of a cracker that’s slightly broken
TIP: If you want to weigh your pudding mixture after it’s been mixed to get a more precise measurement of it divided in half, you can! Humidity can affect the weight and swell of Cool Whip so that could slightly impact your weight. But generally, you want each pudding mixture in 2 different bowls to each to weigh approximately 1468 grams or 3.2 pounds.
TIP: Chilling your dessert is not optional. It is very important that this step happens because the pudding and frosting need to set and the graham crackers need to soften up.

Nutrition

Calories: 454kcal | Carbohydrates: 78g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 452mg | Potassium: 269mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 52g | Vitamin A: 178IU | Calcium: 149mg | Iron: 2mg
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  1. Jacqueline Deveau says

    I was wondering if this could be made by a half, I live alone and am diabetic but watch what I eat, I will use the no sugar added pudding mix and make a ganache for the top with low cal chocolate.
    I make a similar one which is called lazy lady Tiramisu….really good.
    Jackie

  2. Karen says

    5 stars
    Made this a few weeks ago. Big hit I guess because my husband just bought me all the ingredients I need to make another one! Guess what I’ll doing after while?? 5/5 stars. Super easy AND delicious!! What more could we ask for? Thank you!

    • Layne Kangas says

      Hi, Kathy – you would still use the same amount of milk for two puddings. This recipe uses 3.5 cups of milk for two 3.4-ounce boxes of pudding mix. Enjoy!

  3. Sandy says

    5 stars
    This was a huge hit at work! And so easy to make. I only had a 9.5×7.5″ pan so I made the full recipe, filled the pan I had, and used the rest to make a few single servings in small glass tupperware containers to give my family 🙂

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