Chocolate Eclair Cake Recipe

This Chocolate Eclair Cake recipe is an old fashioned icebox cake with layers of graham crackers, pudding, and chocolate frosting. An easy no bake dessert recipe that everyone loves!

If you love no bake desserts, be sure to try this easy S’mores Icebox Cake and of course my no bake cheesecake recipe is always a hit!

One square slice of chocolate eclair cake with layers of graham cracker, pudding, and chocolate frosting, on a white plate and teal napkin.


What is an Eclair Cake?

There are desserts on this website that I have created over the years, and then there are some that my family made that are childhood treasures.

For example, this cinnamon swirl zucchini bread is the only one I grew up eating, even though I have created dozens more zucchini bread recipe variations!

And these Pecan Tassies were at every holiday gathering. You’ll love their buttery crust with pecan pie filling!

Today’s Eclair Cake though is the one dessert that I knew how to make at a young age. It’s easy enough for the kids to help make, and it tastes incredible.

Similar to our family’s dirt cake recipes, you’ll love the pudding filling!

A chocolate eclair cake is an easy, no bake dessert the resembles chocolate eclairs. Very similar to a Boston Cream pie.

Slightly different than my cream puff cake and cream puff desserts!

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed to make chocolate eclair cake.

Today’s recipe has layers of graham cracker with pudding and whipped cream filling. It’s topped off with a homemade chocolate frosting!

  • Graham Crackers– you’ll need a whole box for this recipe!
  • Pudding Mix– be sure to choose INSTANT pudding. I like french vanilla, but regular vanilla works great too!
  • Milk– any variety
  • Cool Whip– or homemade whipped cream
  • Frosting- you can use canned frosting, or follow my homemade frosting recipe below!

Step by Step Instructions

How to make chocolate eclair cake step by step photos.

STEP 1: In a medium size bowl, whisk together pudding and milk. Fold in thawed cool whip and set aside.

STEP 2: In the bottom of a 13×9 baking dish, layer graham crackers, then half of the pudding mixture. Top with second layer of graham crackers and remaining pudding mixture. Finish with third layer of graham crackers.

STEP 3: Frost the cake by either making the homemade frosting recipe below. Or use a can of milk chocolate frosting. Remove foil liner, microwave 20 seconds. Stir and spread over the top of the cake.

STEP 4: Refrigerate cake for at least 8 hours. This is NON-negotiable. Refrigerating the cake allows the graham cracker layers to soften, which gives this dessert it’s signature flavor and texture.

Fork with chocolate eclair cake

For the frosting

STEP 1: In a small saucepan, with double boiler, combine the baking chocolate with corn syrup. Heat on medium heat until chocolate is melted. Remove from heat.

STEP 2: Add vanilla, butter, milk and powdered sugar. Mix until thoroughly combined.

STEP 3: Frost the top layer of graham crackers. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Or, heat up a can of chocolate frosting and pour over the top of the cake! Either way works!

Recipe FAQs

How many packages of Graham Crackers for an eclair cake?

You will need one box of graham crackers. Each layer is approximately one packs (9 crackers), and there are three packs in a box.

How to do you store Eclair Cake?

Cover cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate 8 hours before serving. Store leftovers covered in refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Can Eclair Cake be made in advance?

Yes! You can prepare and refrigerate eclair cake up to two days in advance.

Can you use canned frosting on eclair cake?

Yes. Instead of the homemade chocolate frosting, use one can of milk chocolate frosting instead. Remove lid and foil wrapper. Microwave 20 seconds. Stir and pour over top layer.

Slice of chocolate eclair cake on a stack of two white plates, with one forkful removed.

Flavor Substitutions

  • This Strawberry Eclair Cake is made using Cheesecake JELL-O in the filling. Plus there’s no oven needed which means it’s perfect for the warmer weather!
  • Layers of cinnamon graham crackers, vanilla pudding and fresh banana make this no bake Banana Eclair Cake a huge summer hit! To top it off, I literally topped it off a cinnamon glaze!
  • I couldn’t resist making a No Bake Pistachio Eclair Cake recipe, using pistachio pudding mix! Topped with a classic chocolate frosting, you’ll love this version.
  • Too hot to turn on the oven? Try making this No Bake Peanut Butter Eclair cake version of a Chocolate Eclair Cake! Packed with Reese’s and peanut butter, it’s a chocolate lover’s dream.
13x9 baking dish with chocolate eclair cake. Teal napkin in background.

More Easy Dessert Recipes:

Chocolate Eclair Cake Recipe

4.71 from 116 votes
By: Aimee
This Chocolate Eclair Cake recipe is an old fashioned icebox cake with layers of graham crackers, pudding, and chocolate frosting. An easy no bake dessert recipe!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 24 servings

Ingredients 

For the Cake:

  • 1 box honey graham crackers 14.4 ounce
  • 2 packages instant french vanilla pudding 3.4 ounce each
  • cups milk
  • 12 ounce cool whip thawed

For the Frosting:

  • 2 ounce unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 2 teaspoons corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons milk

Instructions 

  • Mix pudding with milk in a medium size bowl. Fold in thawed cool whip.
  • Layer in a 13×9 dish: graham crackers, pudding, graham crackers, pudding, graham crackers.
  • For the homemade frosting, mix the baking chocolate with corn syrup in a double boiler over medium heat. Stir until smooth. Add vanilla, butter, milk and powdered sugar. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  • Frost the top layer of graham crackers. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours until serving.

Notes

  • You can swap out homemade frosting for one can of milk chocolate frosting. Remove lid and foil cover. Microwave 20 seconds, stir, and spread over graham crackers.
  • If you can’t find french vanilla pudding mix, swap it out for instant vanilla pudding mix.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 131kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 6mg, Sodium: 46mg, Sugar: 12g
Course: Cake
Cuisine: American
Did you make this recipe?Mention @shugarysweets or tag #shugarysweets!

This Eclair Cake recipe is an old fashioned icebox cake with layers of graham crackers, pudding, and chocolate frosting. An easy no bake dessert recipe!



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About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

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Posted on October 5, 2020

Comments & Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    I made the cake exactly as described, no substitutions or variations for an informal lunch. I live in Canada and we are on the metric system so some of our packaging is different.
    A box of Graham wafer crackers corresponds roughly to the recipe box. Ditto the Jello instant vanilla pudding. The issue was the Cool Whip, which comes in 500 ml and 1 litre sizes. Did some digging and found that 12 ounces of Cool Whip is about 4 1/2 cups.
    The dessert held together beautifully and was easy to cut. I had no issue with the icing coming off because I didn’t cover it.
    Anyhow, it was a big hit. Pleasantly surprised for what I call a junk dessert.
    One thing to consider: perhaps you could provide weights or measurements in cups for your Canadian readers given the two different systems.

    1. Hi Lee,
      Thank you so much for your review 🙂 I typically don’t weight or provide metrics for my recipes as the majority of my readers are from the US and I am most comfortable with our current system. But it sounds like it worked out perfect for you 🙂

  2. I made the eclair cake for a graduation party and it was a hit… I also added powdered vanilla to the pudding and sprinkled cinnamon sugar on top of crushed Graham crackers. I should of made two

  3. I made this for Christmas, It tasted good, but it did not cut well, the icing stuck to the cling film and pulled right off the cake. It seems to me that it would be better to freeze it, my refrigerator is very cold, I made it the day before, followed the directions, but it did not firm up well at all.

    1. Make it in a Tupperware Lg snack store container. Plenty of room and the frosting won’t stick to the seal.

  4. Delish dessert. Not able to make day ahead as suggested. I improvised and dipped each graham square in milk plus 1/2 tsp of almond flavoring. This method was used for each graham cracker layer. I also used a basting brush with any extra milk to ensure the graham crackers were completely moistened.

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