A no-bake chocolate eclair cake is a delicious chilled dessert that turns a few simple ingredients into a cake that tastes like a chocolate eclair! It’s always a hit and perfect for parties.
When you’re looking for an easy chilled dessert that’s always a crowd-pleaser, you have quite a few options. There’s Layered Banana Pudding or No-Bake Strawberry Jello Pie, but if you want something loaded with chocolate flavor and a little bit of French flair, there’s only one easy dessert recipe to choose: the no-bake chocolate eclair cake.
A chilled chocolate eclair cake consists of layers of graham crackers, vanilla pudding, and chocolate frosting. The graham crackers soak up the pudding mixture, creating a cake-like texture, while the chocolate frosting provides a rich flavor reminiscent of the icing on top of a traditional chocolate eclair.
Classic No-Bake Chocolate Eclair Cake
Whether you’re looking for something fun to bring to a potluck or just want to whip up a weeknight dessert for your family, this quick and easy no-bake recipe is sure to please. And if you love chocolate eclairs? Well, this is going to be your favorite cake from here on out! The vanilla pudding and Cool Whip mixture really mimics the flavor of the pastry cream piped into the choux dough in an authentic French eclair.
No-bake chocolate eclair cake can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until you’re ready to serve it. It’s also easily customizable—you can make it in individual serving cups, serve it with fresh strawberries, or even top it with chopped nuts or bits of candy. (It would be so good with chopped Heath bar!)
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Vanilla instant pudding mix – French vanilla pudding will work too, or try cheesecake pudding for something different!
- Whole milk – I recommend using whole milk rather than reduced-fat or skim milk; this will keep the filling rich and creamy.
- Cool Whip – Whipped topping is more stable than homemade whipped cream, which means your no-bake eclair cake will last longer in the fridge.
- Graham crackers
- Chocolate frosting – You can also use homemade chocolate frosting.
How to Make No-Bake Chocolate Eclair Cake
1. Make the Cream Filling
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the pudding mix and milk for 2 minutes. Fold in the Cool Whip, then stir for another 2 minutes.
Line the graham crackers in an even layer on the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Pour half of the pudding mixture over the top and smooth it with a spatula, making sure it’s evenly distributed. Repeat with another layer of graham crackers, the remaining pudding mixture, and end with a final layer of graham crackers.
Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate the cake for an hour.
Microwave the frosting for 15 to 20 seconds, then spread it over the top layer of graham crackers with a spatula.
5. Chill Again
Cover the dish with plastic wrap and return it to the refrigerator. Let the chocolate eclair cake chill overnight, then slice and serve.
How to Store No-Bake Chocolate Eclair Cake
To store the cake, simply cover it with plastic wrap and keep it chilled in the fridge. The cake will keep for up to three days. When you’re ready to serve it, simply remove the plastic wrap and enjoy.
For longer storage, freeze the cake for up to 2 months. Wrap the cake in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, or place any leftovers in an airtight storage container. Thaw the cake overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
A chocolate eclair cake is a cake made to mimic the flavor of a chocolate eclair pastry. It usually consists of some kind of cake or pastry, a vanilla cream, and a chocolate glaze or chocolate ganache.
Chocolate eclair cake could be two different things! There are chocolate eclair cakes that are made with layers of yellow cake and pastry cream, then topped with chocolate frosting. These are delicious, but a lot of work! A no-bake chocolate eclair cake is much easier, as it’s made with layers of graham crackers, pudding, and frosting. It’s kind of like an icebox cake!
Eclairs are a popular treat in France, and they can be found in many cafes and bakeries. The word “eclair” is derived from the French word for “flash of lightning,” because they’re eaten so quickly!
An eclair and a cream puff may seem like very similar chilled pastries, but there are actually a few key differences between these two popular treats. To begin with, the two are shaped differently—a cream puff is round, while an eclair is oblong. Both are made with choux dough and a cream filling, but eclairs are more commonly topped with chocolate icing and cream puffs are usually (but not always!) dusted with powdered sugar.
More No-Bake Dessert Recipes for Chocolate Lovers
- No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie
- No-Bake Oreo Cheesecake Dessert
- Chocolate Lasagna
- How To Make THE BEST No-Bake Oreo Dessert EVER
No-Bake Chocolate Eclair Cake
- 2 3.5oz boxes instant vanilla pudding mix
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 8oz tub Cool Whip
- 2 sleeves graham crackers
- 1 16oz container chocolate frosting
- Mix together the pudding mix and milk and whisk to combine for 2 minutes. Fold in the Cool Whip and stir for another 2 minutes.
- Line the graham crackers in an even layer on the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Pour half of the pudding mixture over the top and smooth it with a spatula, making sure it’s evenly distributed. Repeat with another layer of graham crackers, the remaining pudding mixture, and end with a final layer of graham crackers.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour to set.
- Soften the frosting by microwaving for 15-20 seconds. (remove the lid and foil)
- Spread frosting over the top of the cake with a spatula.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight before serving.