Layered desserts can be amazing, especially when they are as easy as this no bake eclair cake!
Graham crackers, caramel flavored pudding, and chocolate frosting make this dessert loved by all who try it!
If you’re looking for a super simple and easy dessert recipe to take to your next party or are looking for a sweet treat that doesn’t heat up the whole house to make, then you really can’t go wrong with this no bake eclair cake. It’s a wonderful blend of pudding, crackers, and chocolate, and every chilled slice is as refreshing on a hot day as it is in winter. There’s no wrong time to serve up this cake and it’s always on the menu at our dinner parties.
What Is An Eclair Cake?
This easy cake recipe has no cake inside but is full of deliciousness. Featuring layers of graham crackers, vanilla pudding, and chocolate frosting this is really more of a dessert lasagna than anything else. But whatever the name, it still tastes as sweet. It’s truly a dessert worthy of any occasion. Made to mimic the flavors of an eclair donut, and serve several people this dessert is perfect for sharing with friends and family. Our version here adds a little salted caramel to make it especially delicious!
- Vanilla instant pudding
- Whipped topping
- Caramel ice cream topping
- Sea salt
- Graham cracker squares
- Chocolate frosting
How Do I Make This Eclaire Cake?
STEP ONE – Combine pudding and the milk in a bowl. Beat with a whisk until pudding thickens. Fold in whipped topping. Slowly stir in caramel and salt.
STEP TWO – Arrange half of the graham crackers on the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch square pan. Top crackers with half of the pudding mixture. Repeat the layering one more time. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.
STEP THREE – Once the cake has set, top cake with chocolate frosting. Store cake in the fridge until ready to serve.
- Frosting tips. Once the pudding and crackers have been chilled and set the frosting should spread across the top very easily. That said, if you have any troubles at all you can microwave the frosting for a few seconds and then just pour it over the top. This will give you a nicer finish.
- Cold milk is important! Before we talk about variations, here are a few things to consider. Make sure that you use instant pudding for this recipe and that as you are preparing the pudding, you use COLD MILK. This will ensure that the pudding is set up properly and quickly.
- Recipe scaling. This recipe can easily be halved to fit a 8 x 8-inch pan.
- Keep it in the fridge. Once the cake is assembled, make sure you allow it to refrigerate. I say at least an hour, but the truth is the longer it has to sit the better!
Substitutions and Variations
This is a favorite dessert because it is super easy and has infinite possibilities!
If you are looking for other ways to change the basic eclair cake, here are a few suggestions:
- Try using chocolate graham crackers instead of the traditional ones. You can also use chocolate wafers, vanilla wafers, and crackers for your “cake layer”.
- Chocolate pudding, white chocolate pudding, banana pudding, or lemon pudding are all great options!
- Try stirring peanut butter, chopped fruit, fruit preserves, pie filling, lemon curd, or hazelnut spread into your pudding!
- You can also feel free to prepare your own whipping cream instead of using Cool Whip.
How Long Does Eclaire Cake Last?
If you have leftover eclair cake, cover the pan completely and store the dessert in the refrigerator. The cake should be good for 3-5 days. After too long the graham crackers will become too soft.
Can I Freeze My Eclaire Cake?
Yes, you can! Cover your cake completely with a layer of plastic wrap and then with a layer of foil. Freeze the cake for up to 2 months.
Allow the cake to thaw completely before serving.
How to Make Chocolate Ganache Topping
Ganache would make a great topping for the eclair cake instead of the canned frosting. To prepare ganache: place 1 cup of chopped chocolate or chocolate chips in a bowl. Microwave ½ cup heavy whipping cream until bubbles form around the edge. Pour cream over the chocolate and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Whisk until chocolate is melted. The mixture will thicken as it sits.
- 2 3.5 oz boxes vanilla instant pudding
- 3 cups of milk
- 8 oz whipped topping
- 1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 16 oz box graham cracker squares
- 1 16 oz container chocolate frosting
- Combine pudding and milk in a bowl. Beat with a whisk until pudding thickens. Fold in whipped topping. Slowly stir in caramel and salt.
- Arrange half of the graham crackers on the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch square pan. Top crackers with half of the pudding mixture. Place the remaining crackers over the pudding. Place the remaining pudding over crackers and place the cake in the refrigerator.
- Once the cake has set, top cake with chocolate frosting. Store cake in the fridge until ready to serve.
Amount Per Serving Calories 363Total Fat 13gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 4mgSodium 370mgCarbohydrates 54gFiber 1gSugar 34gProtein 4g