This Chocolate Eclair Cake is loaded with delicious vanilla pudding, graham crackers, and chocolate. It’s a classic icebox favorite that’s so easy to make and so delicious.
Raise your hand if you love chocolate eclairs. We know you’re reading a post on the internet, but we’re confident that you raised your hand. After all, who doesn’t love all the chocolatey, cream-filled goodness that we get with those hand-held bites of heaven?
Nobody. Nobody doesn’t love them.
Do you know what else nobody doesn’t love? Cake! That’s why we’re sharing one of our favorite dessert recipes with you today. The chocolate eclair cake is the perfect marriage of chocolate eclair and cake, and a huge bonus is that it’s incredibly easy to make.
No Bake Chocolate Eclair Cake
Everyone who reads our blog knows we love no bake desserts. This chocolate eclair cake is at the top of the list. It is not only easy to make but so delicious too! No bake desserts and ice box cakes are such an easy handy dessert to make any time of year.
Icebox cakes are a summer favorite. This cake can be make ahead of time for a BBQ, potluck or family gathering. The traditional pudding for this dessert is vanilla but you could also use chocolate if you’re a chocolate lover. You can also use chocolate graham crackers to change things up a bit. The sky’s the limit with this cake. You can change things up when the mood strikes. either way you will always come out with a yummy dessert.
The Sugar Dusted Road to Chocolate Eclair Cake
Chocolate eclair cake is a sort of amalgam of the flavors of the classic French dessert, the eclair, and that dessert favorite we all know from pretty much every party we’ve ever attended, the cake.
Without either of these confectionary inventions, we’d never have a recipe like chocolate eclair cake to share with everyone. So let’s take a look at how we got here with the brief history of both the eclair and the cake.
History of the Elcair
The eclair is an oblong pastry made with choux dough and filled with some kind of cream and topped with chocolate icing. A pastry bag is generally used to pipe the dough into an oblong shape and then baked until crisp and hollow.
Once cooled, the pastry is filled with vanilla, coffee, chocolate, and sometimes Boston Cream custard filling. It can also be filled with whipped cream. After that, it’s finished off with fondant icing.
This pastry was born in the 19th century in France. Called a pain a la Duchesse, or petite Duchesse, until around 1850, this French treat is believed by some food scholars to have first been made by Antonin Careme, and we see the first English reference to the eclair in the Boston Cooking School Cook Book published in 1884.
History of the Cake
Traditionally, a cake is a sweet baked food made from flour, sugar, and various other ingredients. In their oldest and simplest form, cakes were actually modified bread. These days cakes are made in more ways than you can count, being as simple or as complex as the baker wishes. We even call certain desserts cakes that aren’t actually cakes, strictly speaking.
The cake has been around for centuries. The word cake itself is actually Viking in origin, coming from the ancient Norse word kaka. Ancient Greek called this baked good plakous. Believe it or not, Romans called cakes placenta.
Cakes remained nothing more than sweetened bread even until their earliest appearance in England. The first “modern” cake, the sponge cake was invented during the Renaissance period. Most food historians agree that this probably happened in Spain.
Chocolate Eclair Cake
Today, cakes take many forms. They can be sheet cakes, round cakes, layer cakes, and more. Sometimes, they’re not cakes at all, strictly speaking.
This chocolate eclair cake is a perfect example of that. While not actually being a cake per se, it is a layered dessert made with graham cracker “cake layers”, pudding filling, and chocolate frosting.
Whether you call it a cake, a dessert casserole, or something else, there’s one thing everyone will call it – delicious.
It’s so delicious and absolutely one of the easiest desserts you’ll ever make, which makes it perfect for weeknight desserts along with a great addition to special occasions like backyard parties, birthdays, holiday get-togethers, and potlucks.
From the very start, you can see that this chocolate eclair cake is one of the easiest recipes you’ll ever make. It only takes four ingredients to make the cake itself and another five ingredients to make the chocolate topping.
The best part is that all of these ingredients are probably already in your kitchen. Here’s all it takes to make this tasty treat.
- Heavy whipping cream
- Instant vanilla pudding
- Graham crackers
- Granulated sugar
- Unsweetened cocoa
- Salted butter
That’s all there is to it. It only takes a small handful of ingredients for both the cake and the chocolate topping. It couldn’t be simpler!
Making the Chocolate Eclair Cake
Speaking of things being simple, let’s take a look at actually making this delicious cake. All it takes is about 5 or 6 minutes of cooking in a pot, some mixing, and then layering. That’s all there is to it!
We’ll be covering the highilghts here to show you how easy this recipe is. You’ll find the full recipe complete with amounts and specific instructions in the recipe card at the end of the post.
- Whip cream to stiff peaks.
- Mix instant pudding.
- Fold whipped cream and pudding together.
- Make 3 layers of graham crackers and pudding.
- Top with chocolate topping.
- Bring milk, sugar, and cocoa powder to a boil.
- Turn off heat, add butter, and stir.
When the cake and chocolate topping are made and put together into the chocolate eclair cake, refrigerate for a minimum of several hours. Overnight is even better.
Serving Chocolate Eclair Cake
This simple recipe is easy to make and easy to serve. All you need is a plate, a knife, and perhaps some coffee. That’s it. Don’t even top this with whipped cream. It’s perfectly sweet already, you don’t need any added sugar of any kind.
Storing the Cake
You can store this chocolate eclair cake for up to three days in the refrigerator in an air-tight container. You can’t freeze this cake because pudding gets… odd after it’s been defrosted.
Chocolate Eclair Cake is a Must Make
This chocolate eclair cake is so delicious and so easy to make, you should absolutely give the recipe a try. The ease of making this dessert makes it perfect for almost any occasion, and it’s always so popular with a crowd.
Grab your ingredients, and start the absolutely minimal work required to make this recipe. You’ll be glad you did!
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This Chocolate Eclair Cake is loaded with delicious vanilla pudding, graham crackers, and chocolate. It's a classic icebox favorite that's so easy to make and so delicious.
- 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 (5oz.) Instant Vanilla Pudding
- 2 ½ cups milk for pudding
- 1 (14 oz.) box graham crackers
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa
- ⅓ cup salted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Whip cream to stiff peaks and set aside.
Mix instant vanilla pudding with milk until thick.
Fold whipped cream and vanilla pudding together.
In a 9×13 pan put a layer of graham crackers. Then half of the pudding mixture.
Then on the 2nd layer of graham crackers put the rest of the pudding mixture.
Then put a 3rd layer of graham crackers on top of pudding. Then make chocolate topping.
In a saucepan over medium heat add milk, sugar and cocoa powdered and bring to a boil.
Once it starts to boil, boil for 2 minutes.
Then turn off heat, add butter and vanilla and stir. Then pour over top of graham crackers.
Refrigerate for several hours and it's even better overnight.