Eclair Cake

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Eclair Cake offers the taste of traditional eclairs with less effort, featuring layers of graham crackers, French vanilla cream, and a simple chocolate ganache. It’s a no-bake, easy-to-store dessert, perfect for make-ahead situations and avoiding oven use.

A delicious slice of eclair cake with a bite taken out, revealing its creamy center.

Eclair Cake

This easy Eclair Cake, resembling a chocolate eclair, takes only minutes to prepare and tastes like a day’s effort. The vanilla pudding layer is similar to an eclair’s pastry cream, rich in vanilla but not overly sweet, and made lighter with whipped topping. The rich, thick chocolate ganache topping mirrors an eclair’s icing. Unlike time-consuming traditional eclairs, this shortcut recipe uses just eight ingredients and each part of the cake is quickly made in under 10 minutes.

QUICK TIP

Don’t worry if the ganache doesn’t look perfect; you can add on some miniature chocolate chips or crushed graham crackers to cover up any imperfections.

Making the pudding filling and layering it between layers of graham crackers.

Ingredients In Eclair Cake

  • French vanilla instant pudding: Provides the primary flavor and creamy texture for the pudding filling.
  • Whole milk: Acts as the liquid base for the pudding, contributing to its creamy texture.
  • Frozen whipped topping (thawed): Lightens the pudding mixture, adding fluffiness and a smooth consistency. Or you can use homemade whipped cream.
  • Honey graham crackers: Form the cake’s layers, offering a sweet, crunchy texture that softens over time to mimic a cake-like consistency.
  • Chocolate chips: The primary flavor for the chocolate ganache topping, offering a rich, chocolaty taste.
  • Heavy cream: Creates a smooth, rich base for the chocolate ganache, enhancing its creamy texture.
  • Unsalted butter: Adds richness to the ganache and helps achieve a smooth consistency in your eclair cake.

Image of the chocolate ganache being made and poured over the Eclair Cake.

How To Make Eclair Cake

  1. Pudding Filling: Mix milk and vanilla pudding mix until smooth, then fold in whipped topping.
  2. Layering: In a sprayed 9×13-inch pan, layer graham crackers, half the pudding, another layer of crackers, remaining pudding, and a final cracker layer.
  3. Ganache: Microwave chocolate chips, heavy cream, and butter until smooth; cool slightly.
  4. Assemble and Chill: Spread ganache over the top; chill the cake for 8 hours or overnight.
  5. Serve: Let stand for 5 minutes, then cut and serve the eclair cake.

A delicious and gorgeous slice of chocolate eclair cake ready to be enjoyed.

Tips For Success

  • Mix Pudding and Milk: Whisk them together thoroughly to ensure a smooth texture in your eclair cake.
  • Chill Adequately: Allow at least 8 hours for chilling to soften the graham crackers and thicken the ganache and pudding.
  • Choose Milk Wisely: Use whole milk for a richer filling, but 1% or 2% can be used for fewer calories. Avoid skim milk or milk alternatives.
  • Thaw Whipped Topping: Ensure it’s completely thawed for smooth incorporation into the pudding.

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Eclair Cake

5 from 5 votes
Eclair Cake tastes just like an eclair, but needs only a fraction of the work to prepare it! This simple-to-make cake starts with layers of graham crackers and French vanilla cream. We top it with a three-ingredient chocolate ganache and then chill it in the fridge until ready to eat. No baking required! 
A delicious slice of eclair cake with a bite taken out, revealing its creamy center.
Print Recipe

Eclair Cake

A delicious slice of eclair cake with a bite taken out, revealing its creamy center.
5 from 5 votes
Eclair Cake tastes just like an eclair, but needs only a fraction of the work to prepare it! This simple-to-make cake starts with layers of graham crackers and French vanilla cream. We top it with a three-ingredient chocolate ganache and then chill it in the fridge until ready to eat. No baking required! 
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Eclair Cake
Prep Time 25 minutes
Chilling Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 25 minutes
Servings 24 servings
Chelsea Lords
Calories 190kcal
Cost $5.72

Ingredients

Eclair Cake

  • 2 boxes (3.4 oz. EACH) French vanilla instant pudding or regular vanilla flavor
  • 3 and 1/2 cups whole milk (1% or 2% will also work)
  • 1 package (8 oz.) frozen whipped topping, completely thawed (like Cool Whip)
  • 1 package (14.4 oz.) honey graham crackers (See Note 1)

Chocolate Topping

  • 1 and 1/4 cups milk chocolate chips (or semi sweet chocolate chips work)
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Instructions

  • PUDDING FILLING: Pour the milk into a large bowl. Add in both packages of pudding mix and whisk to combine. Briskly whisk until completely smooth and no lumps remain, about 2-3 minutes. A hand mixer can be used instead of a whisk, if desired. With a spatula, gently fold in the completely thawed whipped topping until well incorporated.
  • ASSEMBLE CAKE: Lightly spray a 9x13-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray. Add a layer of whole graham crackers on the bottom of the pan. (You will likely need to break some graham crackers in half to cover the entire bottom of the pan.) Add half of the pudding mixture on top of the graham crackers. I like to add big spoonfuls all over the graham crackers and then use the back of a spoon or spatula to gently spread into an even layer. This takes some patience to keep graham crackers from sliding.
  • REPEAT LAYERS: Add another layer of graham crackers on top of the pudding. Add the rest of the pudding mixture and again, smooth into one even layer. Add the last layer of graham crackers on top, making sure to cover all of the pudding. Place cake in the fridge while preparing the ganache.
  • CHOCOLATE GANACHE: In a medium-sized microwave safe bowl, combine the milk chocolate chips, heavy cream, and the butter. Microwave for 30 seconds. Remove and stir for at least 20 seconds. Return to the microwave in bursts of 15 seconds, stirring after each burst for 15-20 seconds until completely melted and smooth. Let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes to slightly cool. Pour over the cake and gently spread over the graham cracker layer.
  • CHILL: Cover bars and chill 8 hours or overnight in the fridge. This allows the pudding to thicken and to soften the graham crackers into a cak- like consistency. Let cake stand for 5 minutes at room temperature before cutting and serving. Use a hot, sharp knife (run it under hot water, dry with a towel) to make cuts into the bars. Use a metal spatula to pull out bars. Serve and return any leftovers (covered tightly) to the fridge.

Video

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Graham crackers: I usually buy two boxes of graham crackers since there will usually be a few graham crackers crushed up or broken to the point of not being useable in the cake. With two boxes, you can be sure you'll have enough crackers for the cake.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 24servings | Calories: 190kcal | Carbohydrates: 31.1g | Protein: 3.2g | Fat: 5.9g | Cholesterol: 7.8mg | Sodium: 269.8mg | Fiber: 1.4g | Sugar: 19.4g

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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5 from 5 votes (1 rating without comment)

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7 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    what a fun version of an eclair, which I would not have had a clue how to make, nice use of graham crackers so thank you

  2. Can stabilized whipped cream be used rather that Cool Whip or a pkg. of dry cool whip type?
    I know, give me a a diet DP with my cake, please. Trying to cut out processed food. Thanks.

  3. if i may offer a tip – i don’t use nonstick spray, but i smear just a bit of the pudding mixture on the bottom of the pan (literally just a “smear”) to help hold the bottom layer of graham crackers in place when adding the next layer of pudding mixture.

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