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BEST Chocolate Eclair Cake

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5 from 10 votes

Layers of graham crackers, creamy vanilla filling, and homemade chocolate ganache make for a no-bake dessert for eclair lovers without the sweat.

What Is an Eclair Cake?

An eclair cake is a no-bake dessert made with layers of graham crackers, creamy vanilla filling, and topped with chocolate ganache. It’s a delicious and easy-to-make icebox cake that resembles the flavors of a traditional eclair!

While many other recipes call for vanilla pudding mixed with Cool Whip and canned chocolate frosting, this recipe is a bit more homemade while still being easy to make! 5-minute fresh vanilla whipped cream is added to the pudding mixture instead of Cool Whip, and 5-minute minute chocolate ganache replaces the canned chocolate frosting. Eclair lovers beware…this recipe is irresistibly easy and delicious.

Love no-bake desserts? Try Icebox Cake!

Ingredients for Eclair Cake

  • Graham crackers – you’ll need a standard box of graham crackers for this recipe!
  • Cold milk – I use non-fat milk but you can use any type of dairy milk. I have not tried this recipe with non-dairy milk but as long as you choose one that is flavorless, it will likely work (except for soy milk).
  • Instant vanilla pudding mixes – look for the word “instant” on the front of the pudding mixes. I like Jell-O brand (this is not an ad).
  • Bittersweet chocolate chips – bittersweet chocolate chips make the best chocolate ganache topping. You can also use semi-sweet chocolate chips but the topping will be softer. You might want to reduce the heavy cream amount a bit to compensate.
  • Heavy cream – heavy cream will help create the ganache and the homemade whipped cream that’s mixed into the vanilla pudding to create a semi-homemade vanilla eclair filling.
  • Butter – a small knob of butter creates a rich, luxurious, glossy ganache that’s perfection.
  • Vanilla extract – vanilla extract is added to the homemade whipped cream to intensify the vanilla flavor of the pudding.
chocolate eclair cake recipe ingredients

Eclair Cake Recipe Variations

Looking to offroad a bit? Here’s some suggestions to shake up this eclair cake recipe:

  • Flavored graham crackers, like chocolate or cinnamon
  • Chocolate pudding mix, for a chocolatey filling
  • Cool Whip instead of homemade whipped cream, to add into the vanilla pudding in a pinch. Add in about a cup of Cool Whip to the set vanilla pudding.
  • Instead of homemade chocolate ganache, use a can of chocolate frosting!

How to Make Eclair Cake

Learn how to make an eclair cake! Full instructions in the recipe card; this is just an outline!

  1. Pudding.

    Mix together both pudding mixes and 4 cups of cold milk, following the instructions on the back of the pudding mix box to set.

  2. Whipped cream.

    Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, add ½ cup cream and vanilla extract. Use whisk attachment on medium speed to whip cream to stiff peaks.

  3. Combine.

    Add whipped cream to vanilla pudding and stir to combine.

  4. Layer 1.

    In a 9×13” pan, place a layer of graham crackers on the bottom of the pan.

  5. Layer 2.

    Add about half of the vanilla eclair filling, spreading out evenly.

  6. Layer 3.

    Add another layer of graham crackers.

  7. Layer 4.

    Add the rest of the vanilla eclair filling.

  8. Layer 5.

    Add a final layer of graham crackers.

  9. Ganache.

    In a separate bowl, add chocolate chips and butter. Microwave in increments of 30 seconds, stirring every increment, until the chocolate melts. Add 1 ½ cups of cream. Stir until ganache forms.

  10. Layer 6.

    Add ganache to top of the graham cracker layer.

  11. Chill.

    Refrigerate for 1-2 hours if you prefer the grahams to still be a bit crispy, or 3+ hours for soft grahams.
    Let chill before slicing chocolate eclair cake.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do you store an eclair cake?

Store eclair cake, covered, in the fridge.

How long does an eclair cake last?

Eclair cake is best enjoyed within 4 days. Over time, the pudding filling can start to separate and the grahams soften, which is completely harmless but may look more “messy” over time.

Can you freeze eclair cake?

I do not recommend freezing eclair cake.

How do you serve eclair cake?

Serve eclair cake chilled or left at room temperature for up to an hour. Serve as-is or garnish with fresh berries, Homemade Whipped Cream, ice cream, coffee or hot chocolate, or mint leaves.

More No-Bake Desserts You’ll Love!

BEST Chocolate Eclair Cake

Layers of graham crackers, creamy vanilla filling, and homemade chocolate ganache make for a no-bake dessert for eclair lovers without the sweat.
5 from 10 votes
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, French
Keyword: summer
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 478kcal
Author: Tastefully Grace

Equipment

  • 9×13" pan
  • Hand or stand mixer

Ingredients

  • 1 standard box plain graham crackers roughly 14.4 ounces
  • 4 cups cold milk
  • 2 standard boxes instant vanilla pudding mix like Jell-O brand
  • 2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Pudding: Mix together both pudding mixes and 4 cups of cold milk, following the instructions on the back of the pudding mix box to combine and set pudding. Note: if pudding mix box lists a different amount of milk, add the amount of milk specified on the box instead of 4 cups.
  • Whipped cream: Using a hand mixer or stand mixer in a separate medium bowl, add ½ cup cream and vanilla extract. Use whisk attachment on medium speed to whip cream to stiff peaks (about 2-4 minutes until whipped cream stands straight when the beater is lifted).
  • Eclair filling: Add whipped cream to vanilla pudding and stir until completely combined.
  • Layer 1: In a 9×13” pan, place a layer of graham crackers on the bottom of the pan, breaking graham sheets as necessary to cover the entire pan.
  • Layer 2: Add about half of the vanilla eclair filling, spreading out evenly over the top of the grahams.
  • Layer 3: Add another layer of graham crackers so all of the filling is covered in grahams.
  • Layer 4: Add the rest of the vanilla eclair filling, spreading out evenly over the top of the grahams.
  • Layer 5: Add a final layer of graham crackers, covering the top of the eclair filling completely. You may not use all of the grahams.
  • Ganache: In a separate bowl, add chocolate chips and butter. Microwave in increments of 30 seconds, stirring every increment, until the chocolate melts. Add 1 ½ cups of cream (does not need to be warm). It may look like too much cream, but keep stirring until ganache forms.
  • Layer 6: Add ganache to top of the graham cracker layer, spreading out with a spatula.
  • Chill: Refrigerate for 1-2 hours if you prefer the grahams to still be a bit crispy, or 3+ hours for soft grahams (how I like it). Slices will be messy but divine.

Video

Notes

  • You can use semisweet chocolate but the texture of the ganache may be softer. You may want to use ½ cup less heavy cream.
  • I use non-fat milk but any milk should work. I have not tried non-dairy milks but assume they will work (except for soy milk).
  • You don’t need to use heavy whipping cream. Either heavy cream or heavy whipping cream works.
  • Over time, the pudding mixture may start to separate and the grahams will soften. The filling will still be delicious, but just less uniform.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 478kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 309mg | Potassium: 425mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 782IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 252mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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2 Comments

  1. Noelle
    June 29, 2023 / 8:49 pm

    5 stars
    Why have I never heard of the is cake until now!? Absolutely incredible. If I could 10 stars, I would!

    • June 30, 2023 / 8:40 am

      Noelle,

      I’m so glad you enjoyed! I love this recipe so much too!

      Grace

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