Before I start with this recipe, I know what you’re thinking… chocolate eclair cake sounds super duper fancy, tedious, difficult, and overall one of those unfortunate situations where it is pretty to see other people make it but – ‘There is noooo way I can make an eclair that tastes great and looks beautifully Instagrammable’. But of course, if it is on this website, I made it… me, and that means that it was pretty darn easy and it will be for you too!
I absolutely love this dessert because it requires no baking, honestly- it’s only some stacking and mixing, which anyone can do! SO if you’re looking for a last minute dessert, or even a well-thought-out dessert for a special occasion (that was secretly really easy, but no one has to know that (;), then this is the perfect recipe to add to your own personal cookbook.
Speaking from personal experience (and how much I had to hide this pan of goodness from my much-approving family) I can tell you this is one heck of a crowd-pleaser, even amongst the most picky of eaters.
But before you reveal the wonderful creation you have made to your loved ones, friends, or others who are lucky enough to take a spoonful of the creamy layered goodness – take a few pretty pictures, because yes, it is as delicious as it looks. And yes, this is very difficult to mess up, quick to make, and most importantly, DELICIOUS (and very Instagrammable.).
How to Make an Easy Chocolate Eclair Cake:
The first step is to make the delicious filling which is instant vanilla pudding mixed with cool whip. You can use French Vanilla if you like, I like to use plain Vanilla. First, you’ll combine and mix two small packages of pudding with a three cups of milk (which is less milk than you would use if following package instructions). I like to use a hand mixer for making the pudding.
*I like to use whole milk or at least 2 percent milk fat rather than skim or 1 percent so that the pudding will be a nice, thick consistency.
Next, gently fold in the cool whip. You for it to be well combined, but you don’t want to over-stir. Cool whip becomes a little runny if you stir it too much.
Now that the filling is made, line the bottom of a 9×13 dish with a layer of graham crackers. You can see that I had to break some to make it work.
Next, spread half of your pudding mixture over the layer of graham crackers.
Follow that with another layer of graham crackers…
And finally, your last layer of pudding/Cool Whip…
…and top with your last layer of graham crackers.
Wasn’t that easy? We’re almost done.
For the chocolate on top the cake, I like to use chocolate ganache. Ganache is just melted chocolate combined with cream but don’t we sound fancy?
You can heat the cream to almost a boil and pour over the chocolate chips to melt, but I prefer to do the ganache in the microwave.
Combine the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl with heavy cream. Go ahead and push them beneath the surface of the cream (more than I did in this picture).
Microwave for 30 seconds and give it a stir. Then back into the microwave for 15 more seconds. Repeat if necessary, but you want to stop microwaving before every chip is melted. Once they are *almost* melted, just sit the bowl on the counter for a minute or two- the chips will continue melting.
Finally, give it a stir and gradually the cream and chocolate perfectly come together to give you this dreamy ganache… ahhhh.
You’ll want to let it cool for 5-10 minutes…or until it’s room temperature but still soft and spreadable.
Pour over your dessert and spread & swirl to finish things off.
So pretty! Next, the hard part– let it chill in the refrigerator before serving (: I would allow to chill for at least 2-3 hours before serving but it will taste best after several hours of overnight because the graham crackers will absorb the moisture from the filling and get nice and soft.
After chilling… time to dive in!
You can serve it just as it is, or with a dollop of whipped cream. A strawberry on top dresses it up even more–
Isn’t it pretty?
Thanks for stopping by! Now you know how to make another fantastic dessert – and how easy it was to make is just between you and me 😉 . It has been a favorite at our house for years and I know you will enjoy it too!
- 2 Small Packages Instant Vanilla Pudding
- 1 Box Graham Crackers
- 3 Cups Milk (I like to use Whole Milk)
- 1 8 oz Container Cool Whip (plus additional if you would like it as a garnish)
For the Chocolate Ganache
- 1 1/2 cups Semi-sweet chocolate Chips (I like to use mini chips)
- 1 Cup Heavy Cream
- *Optional: Fresh strawberries as a garnish
- Combine pudding with milk. Beat with a hand mixer at medium speed until well combined and thickened. Next, gently fold in Cool Whip.
- Layer bottom of a 9x13 dish with whole graham crackers. (You'll need to break some of them to fit the dish). It's okay if it doesn't look perfectly neat as you'll be covering the graham crackers soon!
- Spread half of the pudding mixture over the crackers. Then, top with another layer of graham crackers.
- Add the second layer of pudding mixture and end with another layer of crackers on top.
To Make the Ganache
Fill a microwave safe bowl with your chocolate chips and heavy cream. Push chips beneath the cream.
Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. If needed, microwave in 15 second increments until chocolate has softened almost completely. Allow to sit for a minute or two to continue to melt. (We do it this way to prevent overheating in the microwave.) Give it a final stir until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth.
Allow to cool to room temperature (maybe 5-10 minutes or so)- it should still be soft and easily spreadable.
Spread ganache over the graham crackers. For us, we had just the right amount to entirely cover the dessert.
Refrigerate for at least a few hours to give the crackers a chance to soften. This is a great make-ahead recipe, if time allows, make it the night before so that the crackers are completely soft.
(Makes 15-20 servings)