No bake Chocolate Eclair Cake is a nostalgic, crowd-pleasing favorite that's made with creamy vanilla pudding, graham crackers, and rich chocolate frosting. It tastes like a classic eclair with none of the work!
Chocolate Eclair Cake
This no bake chocolate Eclair Cake is as simple as could be to make! No oven, no stove, no heat or cooking at all! But it still has all the richness and decadence you'd want in an eclair.
Layers of cool and creamy vanilla pudding in between soft, cakey layers, and topped with a rich and velvety chocolate frosting (that's so quick to make, it's not even funny!).
The hardest part is waiting to eat it!
What is Chocolate Eclair Cake?
Eclair Cake is an icebox cake, which is a no bake dessert made by layering ingredients and chilling in the refrigerator until the layers set and the cookie or wafer layers become cake-like in texture.
Since Eclair cake is inspired by the French chocolate eclair pastries, it has layers of vanilla pudding to mimic the vanilla pastry cream and is topped with a chocolate glaze, just like the original. It has similar flavors as Boston Cream Pie as well.
Can I Eat Chocolate Eclair Cake Right Away?
Nope! It has to be chilled first to set the pudding layers and soften the graham cracker layers. This takes about 6-8 hours or overnight.
Variations of Eclair Cake
There are quite a few fun variations you could try with this icebox cake. Here are a couple ideas:
- Pudding: Use a different flavor pudding instead of vanilla. Some other flavor options are chocolate, banana, caramel, coconut, pistachio, white chocolate, or cookies and cream.
- Graham Crackers: You can also switch up the cracker portion by using chocolate graham crackers, vanilla wafers, chocolate wafers, or shortbread cookies.
- Frosting: A different flavor of frosting can also be used such as vanilla or strawberry, or even something fun like funfetti.
Can Eclair Cake be Made in Advance?
Yes, it should be made in advance because it takes about 8 hours for it to set and soften. For best results and maximum freshness, prepare no more than 2 days before you plan on serving.
Do I Have to Use Whipped Topping?
No, you can use homemade whipped cream. Just whip 1 cup of heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Then fold it into the filling mixture.
Can You Use Canned Frosting on Chocolate Eclair Cake?
Yes. Instead of the homemade chocolate frosting in the recipe, use one tub of milk chocolate frosting instead. Open container, remove foil wrapper, and microwave for 20 to 30 seconds until soft. Stir and pour over top of cake. Then cover and allow to set in the refrigerator as described in the recipe.
More No Bake Dessert Recipes You'll Love
- No Bake Banana Pudding - another classic family favorite made with layers of pudding, vanilla wafers, fresh bananas, and of course whipped cream.
- No Bake S'mores Cheesecake - fluffy no bake marshmallow cheesecake swirled with a rich ganache sitting in a graham cracker crust for all the classic s'mores flavors.
- Strawberry Pretzel Salad - a no bake layered dessert with fresh strawberries on a cheesecake filling with a pretzel crust for that perfect salty-sweet combo.
- Butterfinger Pie - peanut butter filling in a chocolate Oreo crust with Butterfingers mixed in and lots more on top.
- 2 Ingredient Peanut Butter Fudge - unbelievably easy to make. No one will be able to tell how quick and simple it is to make because it is so darn good.
- 2 packages instant vanilla pudding (3.5 ounces each)
- 3 cups milk
- 8 ounces whipped topping thawed
- 2 sleeves graham crackers
For the Frosting
- 1½ cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4-6 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together pudding and milk.
- Fold in whipped topping. Set aside.
- In a 9"x13" baking dish, layer ⅓ of the graham crackers. Spread half the pudding mixture on top, being sure to spread all the way to the edges to seal. Repeat layers until all ingredients are used. (3 graham cracker layers, 2 pudding layers)
- Put plastic wrap over dish and put in fridge for about 30 min to an hour to allow pudding to set.
For the Frosting
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Whisk together to incorporate. Consistency should be like a thick syrup or thin batter. Add milk a tablespoon at a time to thin until desired consistency.
- Pour glaze over cake.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
- This cake really is better with time. The 8 hour chill time will allow the graham crackers to soften.
- Frosting: In a time crunch, you can soften store-bought chocolate frosting in the microwave (uncovered without the foil wrapper) and pour over the cake. Although, personally I feel the homemade chocolate glaze is worth the extra couple of minutes.
- Storage: Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 5-7 days.
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