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


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


  • 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.


  • 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.



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. What is the difference in taste, between the vanilla and French vanilla pudding mix(I know taste can be hard to describe)?

  2. My family loved this! I will say next time I make it I will double the Graham crackers on the bottom to make a thicker base for the crust , also I put mine in the freezer to firm it up because after 10 hours in fridge it still was very sloppy. Other than that I love it and will make again. Made original recipe. No subs

  3. I added about a teaspoon of instant coffee granules to the pudding mix and turned it into a quick tiramisu-like desert. It was super yummy.

    1. Just use canned icing. Melt in microwave and pour over graham crackers. So much easier and cheaper. It’s great

  4. You truly have to be patient when waiting for this to be done in the fridge but boy, is it worth it!! So delicious and the perfect easy treat.

  5. What can I substitute the Graham crackers with as live in UK and unable to find the crackers you mention in many of your excellent recipes I’m wanting to try. Thanking you in anticipation of your reply

      1. Do you make the pudding up first then add cool whip or do you pour dry pudding mix in bowl then whipped together?
        Freida Johnson

  6. Hi 
    We don’t have honey graham crackers here in Portugal . Can I use regular graham crackers? Or what could I use instead of the honey graham crackers?

    1. I have made my own graham crackers. Not any more difficult than making cookies. Plus they taste awesome when they are fresh! I have used chocolate graham crackers….vanilla wafers….whatever I have on hand. This is a great recipe! I have been making chocolate eclair cake for years. Always ends up disappearing… left-overs. lol

  7. I’ve been making this for over 40 years. My son asks for it every year for his birthday. He likes it made exactly like this. For my husband & I, I add sliced bananas on top of both layers of graham crackers (before pudding mix). After trying the bananas (use about 1 1/2 per layer), you won’t go back. This is then called “Banana Chocolate Eclair Cake”. I also agree the homemade frosting is better.

    1. Can the pudding be made from scratch? It’s very hard to find pudding mix here in the Philippines plus it’s quite expensive. You have any suggestion for a pudding recipe? I would love to try this. Thanks!

  8. Just wondering if it would turn out good if i pour some coffee over the graham crackers. i’m afraid the crackers could fall apart.

    1. I saw you mention this on facebook. I would be afraid that it would get too soggy. You could replace 1/4 cup of the milk with strong brewed coffee instead and that should work!

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