This decadent No Bake Chocolate Eclair Cake is the perfect summer dessert. This eclair-style cake is made with graham cracker layers, creamy pudding layers and a layer of rich chocolate ganache!
An Easy No Bake Chocolate Eclair Cake
This easy eclair cake tastes even better than the traditional pastry! The pudding layers are cool and creamy and the ganache layer will take you to chocolate heaven. The graham cracker layers give this cake a light flakiness to balance out the creamy whipped pudding.
I can’t tell you how much I enjoy making this cake in the summer. Not only is it made without an oven or stove, but it’s as refreshing as can be. Everyone loves this cake because it’s chocolatey and decadent – and I love making it because it’s simple and stress-free!
What is an Eclair Cake?
This eclair cake is a twist on the classic cream-filled, chocolate covered French pastry. It’s easy to make with layers upon layers of deliciousness! You have the velvety creaminess of the whipped pudding, the cake-like texture of the softened graham crackers and the richness of the chocolate ganache.
I know what you’re thinking – eclair cake? That sounds very fancy which means it must be complicated to make, right? Nope! This no bake cake is so easy the kids can help you make it (and of course they will definitely help you devour it). Here’s what you’ll need to make this chocolate eclair cake:
For the Cake
- Graham Crackers
- Cold Milk
- Instant Vanilla Pudding
- Whipped Topping
For the Chocolate Ganache
- Unsalted Butter
- Cocoa Powder
- Powdered Sugar
- Vanilla Extract
How to Make a Chocolate Eclair Cake
- Combine Milk & Pudding: To a large bowl, add the pudding mix and cold milk, whisking until the mixture is thick with no lumps. You can also use a hand mixer.
- Add Whipped Topping: Fold in the whipped topping until well combined.
- Assemble Graham Cracker Base: Add a single layer of graham crackers to the bottom of a 13×9 glass pan. Cut the crackers to fit as needed.
- Add Layers of Pudding & Crackers: Add half of the pudding mixture on top of the graham crackers. Top with another layer of graham crackers and add the remaining pudding mixture. Then, top with a final layer of graham crackers.
- Start Making the Chocolate Glaze: Add the butter and milk to a medium microwave-safe bowl and heat until there are a few small pieces of butter left, about 1 minute. Stir until the butter is completely melted.
- Add Cocoa, Sugar & Vanilla: Add your cocoa powder, powdered sugar and vanilla extract to the bowl. Beat with a hand mixer, or whisk, until completely smooth, at least 5 minutes.
- Pour Glaze Over Cake: Pour the chocolate ganache slowly over the graham crackers and spread it evenly with an offset spatula to cover the entire top of the cake.
- Set in the Fridge: Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator overnight, or for at least 8 hours.
- Serve & Enjoy: Serve chilled and store any leftovers in the refrigerator!
- Chill for At Least 8 Hours: Don’t skimp on the chill time for this no bake dessert – it’s necessary for the cake to reach the right consistency!
- Whisk Ganache Until Smooth: Since you’re pouring your ganache over the cake, you don’t want it to have any lumps in it. Beat it until it’s smooth so you get a nice, even glaze on top of your cake.
- Store Covered: Don’t forget to put the lid on your pan or cover it with plastic wrap while the cake chills.
- Serve with Berries & Cream: I love serving this eclair cake with fresh strawberries or raspberries and an extra dollop of whipped cream!
Does this No Bake Dessert Need to be Refrigerated?
It’s crucial that you chill this cake for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight, before you serve it. The longer you let your cake rest in the fridge, the more your graham cracker layers will soak up moisture from the pudding. This will soften them and give them the cake-like texture that really seals the deal for this dessert!
Can I Make Eclair Cake in Advance?
Another thing I love about this recipe is that it’s great for making ahead of time. It actually tastes better the longer it chills in the refrigerator! You can prepare this cake 2-3 days in advance.
For the Cake
- 21 (about 3 packages) graham crackers
- 3 cups cold milk
- 2 boxes (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding
- 1 tub (8 oz) whipped topping, thawed
For the Chocolate Ganache
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a large bowl, add pudding mix and milk, whisk until thick and no lumps. You can also use a hand mixer.
- Fold in whipped topping until well combined.
- Add a single layer of graham crackers to the bottom of a 13x9 glass pan. Cut crackers to fit as needed.
- Add half of the pudding mixture on top of the graham crackers. Top with another layer of graham crackers and add the remaining pudding mixture. Then, top with a final layer of graham crackers.
- Add the butter and milk to a medium microwave-safe bowl and heat until there are a few small pieces of butter left, about 1 minute. Stir until butter is completely melted
- Add cocoa powder, powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Beat with hand mixer, or whisk, until completely smooth, at least 5 minutes.
- Pour slowly over graham crackers and spread evenly with an offset spatula to cover entire top.
- Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight, or for at least 8 hours.
- Serve chilled and store leftovers, covered, in the refrigerator!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 164Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 100mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 1gSugar: 18gProtein: 5g
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