Eclair Cake tastes 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. It's topped with a three-ingredient chocolate ganache and then chilled in the fridge until ready to eat. No baking required!
PUDDINGFILLING: 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.
ASSEMBLECAKE: 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.
REPEATLAYERS: 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.
Note 1: 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.