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Eclair Cake

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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!

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

ECLAIR CAKE INGREDIENTS

Eclair Cake raw ingredients that are labeled

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.

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.

Eclair Cake process shot of ingredients whisked together in a bowl

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.

Eclair Cake process shot of whip cream folded into a bowl of ingredinets

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

Eclair Cake process shot of graham crackers placed in a baking dish

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.

Eclair Cake process shot of pudding mixture spread on top of graham cracker crust

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

Eclair Cake process shot of graham crackers layered on top of pudding layer

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

Eclair Cake process shot of pudding mixture spread on top of graham crackers

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

Eclair Cake process shot of graham cracker layered on top of pudding mixture layer

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.

Eclair Cake process shot of dark chocolate fudge melted in a bowl

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!

Eclair Cake process shot of dark chocolate frosting spread on top of the cake

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.

close up shot of Eclair Cake in a baking dish

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.

MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE

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

Eclair Cake

5 from 68 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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    Comments

  1. Hazel says

    This looks so good! I’m from New Zealand and we don’t have Graham crackers over here, are they kind of like pastry? Could I cook a couple of sheets of puff pastry to use in their place? And is cool whip just like cream? Thank you so much!

  2. Serena says

    Love the recipe! My 5 year old had so much fun making it. I did find it to be a tad too sweet. Any suggestions on how to make it less sweet?
    Thanks!

  3. Kera says

    How many days could you make this in advance and it still be ok? Would 3 days be too many? (I have so many things going on and travel for Thanksgiving so I’m trying to plan my time wisely)

    • Layne Kangas says

      You could make it a day ahead of time, like maybe Wednesday morning for serving at Thanksgiving. I think three days and it would be a little too soggy to enjoy. Good luck 🙂

  4. Carla says

    5 stars
    One of my family’s favorite desserts! I add one additional ingredient … one 8 oz package of cream cheese! Adds some extra richness! (Not that it needs it, but so delish! )

  5. Ginnie says

    5 stars
    My husband loves eclairs so I had to try this. He really likes it. I won’t use the cinnamon Graham crackers next time. I would also use more pudding and less cool whip. But overall an easy and tasty crowd pleaser!!

  6. Michaelene Bush says

    5 stars
    Everyone loved it! I agree about the sweetness so the second time I made it, I didn’t put a full layer of chocolate on top. Instead I just kinda slung it around making a design. That helped a lot but everyone likes it however its made.

  7. 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

  8. 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!

  9. 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 🙂

  10. Sharon Adkins says

    5 stars
    Years ago I made this recipe, I kind of remember spreading frosting on the second layer of Graham crackers and then continued layering as usual.

    • Hannah says

      5 stars
      Delicious! Peanut butter is always a must to add to a recipe! How can You go wrong with adding peanut butter to a dessert?!☺️

  11. Rene' says

    I love eclair cake, but haven’t made it because my son in law is allergic to cinnamon. I never thought to use chocolate graham crackers! Maybe I can surprise him this year! Thanks!

  12. Karen says

    5 stars
    I am making this recipe now but what is with the 1/2 teaspoon of powder to remove -would 1/2 tsp make such a big difference???

  13. Laurie says

    This looks delicious! And pretty easy!

    Thank you for sharing the is recipe at the Homestead Blog Hop 389

    Laurie
    Ridge Haven Homestead

  14. Sarah Ryan says

    • have you ever made an eclair cake before?

    No I have not, although I would definitely like to give it a try. It seemed simple enough and it looks delicious.

  15. Jody says

    5 stars
    OMG this cake looks amazing I might actually try it with an Oreo crust (Oreo cookies and butter) rather then the graham crackers

  16. Jenna says

    5 stars
    I love this cake! I started making it with my niece when she was about 5 and she is now 13. It is a family favorite and I recently made it for my CEO that is from Sweden as he requested a treat for a luncheon. He loved it so much he had 2 servings. I would highly recomment this recipe for any gathering that is inside or kept on ice outdoors. You can also change up the pudding for different flavors to match your occasion. Try strawberry pudding and fresh strawberries on top. It is DELICIOUS.

  17. Pauline Gudas says

    5 stars
    I am going to make this tomorrow. I have never made one but had a piece at a friends house

  18. Gail says

    5 stars
    I’d use the cinnamon graham crackers. Also I think I’d make my own frosting as i’m not crazy about the canned stuff

  19. Denise Carpenter says

    5 stars
    My Aunt Sissie gave me this recipe several years ago and I always smile when I make it because it reminds me of her. She INSISTED I use FRENCH vanilla pudding and not regular vanilla but I’ve always thought that banana pudding would taste great too. I’ve never made any changes to it, but thanks to your suggestion, I might have to!

  20. Denise says

    5 stars
    Oooh, this looks SO good! I used to make a similar recipe for Easter to take for dessert. Haven’t done that in a long time, thank you for posting this, I need to make it!!

  21. Erin D says

    5 stars
    This sounds amazing! I would add peanut butter to it as peanut butter makes everything even better!

  22. Liz Walter says

    5 stars
    Very easy and attractive. Yes-I’ve made this before. I would use vanilla icing (applied just as you suggest) but then put some lines of melted chocolate across the top and draw a knife through it alternating directions. This makes it resemble the vanilla slice that you can sometimes get at a bakery.

  23. ALP says

    5 stars
    I would sub lemon pudding for vanilla and add a layer of seedless raspberry jam for a lemon raspberry eclair and keep a dark chocolate top.

  24. Lori A Pennington says

    5 stars
    I have never tried an Eclair pie yet but it sounds delicious and I would use peanut butter and chocolate pudding for the filling….

  25. Anna says

    5 stars
    I switched up the pudding recipe and used 1 container of instant vanilla pudding mix with 1 cup heavy cream and 1 cup whole milk. Tasted like a true eclair pastry cream flavor.

  26. Leanne Johnston says

    5 stars
    This is a super yummy dessert!! Next time I make it I’m going to try a bit of instant espresso powder to the vanilla pudding for a kick!!

  27. Barbara Lipke says

    5 stars
    I would use low calorie instant white chocolate pudding mix. That is what I use to Layer my regular chocolate cakes.

  28. Christy jenuwine says

    Mmmm! It’s been years since I made eclair cake! I have also made it with cheesecake flavored pudding. I’ve never tried it with frosting on top I usually used hot fudge. But I’m willing to try anything once! Looks like I’m going to have to find an occasion for this one soon!

  29. Mary J Lewis says

    5 stars
    I’ve not made this with cinnamon graham crackers, but I have used lemon and chocolate pudding. It’s so easy and everyone loves it.

  30. Brenda Bryan says

    5 stars
    I make eclair cake at least once per month for gatherings. For REAL chocolate lovers, I use chocolate graham crackers snd chocolate pudding.
    Need to try it with peanut butter!

  31. Kristen says

    5 stars
    I have never made this cake but it sounds delish. I would not put nots on top as too many people have food allergies if I was serving to a group

  32. Kristen says

    5 stars
    I have never made this dessert but it sounds delish. I would not put nots on top as too many people have food allergies if I was serving to a group

  33. Daphne says

    I haven’t made an eclair cake before, but I definitely want to give this a try. I think I will do it with lemon pudding and frosting.

  34. JANET EBERLE says

    5 stars
    I’ve never made this cake before, but I think my husband and neighbors will love it! I may add crushed graham crackers on top for some crunch. Then I might try it with coconut cream pudding with vanilla icing and toasted coconut on top. It sounds good in my head!! Thanks for sharing this recipe. I am really enjoying your posts.

  35. Shelley says

    5 stars
    I would use banana pudding -for my husband, and a peanut butter/choc. topping -for myself. 😉

  36. Heidi says

    5 stars
    I would try heavy whipping cream instead of milk. For me pudding isn’t rich enough with just milk. Taste like pudding not a cream. Just a personal taste preference.

  37. FAITH MCKEE says

    5 stars
    I have never made an eclair cake, but this recipe sounds so yummy I’m gonna have to try. I’ll keep you posted!

  38. S. Miller says

    5 stars
    I have made this numerous times over the years. It is a dessert that can/must be made ahead of time, so it reduces last-minute rushes on the day of serving it. Everyone has always loved it!

  39. Christy says

    5 stars
    I have never made this, but I am going to make it. Looks yummy. Thinking it will be popular with my grandchildren.

  40. Susan Ruch says

    5 stars
    This is a great Spring/Summer treat! I’m making this for my son’s graduation party this weekend. We’re having a backyard cookout, so this light and cool dessert is perfect!

  41. Jeanette Johnston says

    5 stars
    I have made this cake and it is amazingly beautiful and tasty. I would recommend this to everyone. Delicious and then some!

  42. Steve says

    5 stars
    I can’t wait to try this cake. It sounds great as is but I may try some chopped pecans on top one time. Other flavors? I’m thinking maybe orange pudding would work with the other flavors. Orange with the chocolate frosting? Yeah!

  43. Betty Kilburn says

    5 stars
    I Have made this yummy recipe lots of times ! In fact I may again real soon. But gonna put nuts on top next round ! 😋

  44. Rahema says

    5 stars
    I would definitely add some nuts to the top. I think chopped candied pecans would go great with this recipe.

  45. Lori Lasalle says

    5 stars
    I have not made an eclair cake before. You could also use banana pudding and bananas for a banana pudding!

  46. Sayedeh Sonia Alemi says

    5 stars
    I haven’t made it yet but I will make it soon as eclair cake looks really nice and delicious 😋😍😊😀😄😜😋

  47. Marcia Drost says

    5 stars
    Looks beautiful. Never tried before but this looks easy and tasty. I would not mix peanut butter in, because of the number of people highly allergic to peanut butter. My daughter went to a fundraiser two weeks ago, where everyone brought dishes, cookies, cakes, etc. She bought the Caramel corn cause she loves it. She took one bite, and spit it out. Many pieces were still stuck in her teeth. She grabbed her Epie pen and injected the medication. Her husband then drove her to the hospital. The caramel corn should have been labeled! Replacement medication is also very expensive!!!!!!

  48. Holly says

    5 stars
    I made this one layer with vanilla pudding and one layer with chocolate pudding. This is one of my grandkids favorite desserts!! So yummy 😋. Thanks for sharing.

  49. Lynette Dyas says

    5 stars
    I have been making a version of this using chocolate graham crackers and banana-flavored pudding. I also use a box of chocolate fudge pudding made pie filling style for the top instead of the canned frosting. What I love about this is how you can use sugar-free pudding as well.

  50. Celesti says

    5 stars
    I must be living in a cave, I’ve never heard of an eclair cake. lol ! But I must comment that this was delicious, and so easy to make too. I love simple, easy and great tasting desserts and this one is over the top ! Thank you for sharing. p.s. I may try Holly’s idea and add Chocolate pudding the next time. Another great idea.

  51. Elizabeth J Bann says

    5 stars
    Love eclair cake no matter what the recipe. I have made it using a couple different recipes .

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