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No Bake Chocolate Eclair Cake

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No-bake chocolate eclair cake is a classic icebox cake that features layers of graham crackers, pudding, and chocolate. It takes just a few minutes to put together, but the magic happens as it takes a nice long chill in the refrigerator. If you’ve never had one, you absolutely must give it a try.

Slice of eclair cake with vanilla pudding mixture, graham crackers, and fudge icing.

This icebox eclair cake is supposed to mimic the classic French dessert it is named after. However, I think this yummy treat made with layers of softened graham crackers, fluffy pudding and whipped topping, and rich fudgy chocolate is wonderful in its own right.

The best part is that there are no fancy techniques to master and no fancy equipment is needed. This approachable recipe is perfect for everyone!

About This Recipe

By now, I think you know our midwestern roots run deep. We love all of the classics that are stereotypical of our region.

That especially goes for pudding based desserts, like chocolate dirt cake and this eclair cake. The best part is that you don’t have to have great baking skills for these desserts.

Ingredients including graham crackers, milk, instant pudding, whipped topping, condensed milk, and chocolate chips ready to be made into an eclair icebox cake.

So many of these recipes were staples during my childhood. They were easy for my mom to put together, which is a must when you are caring for 6 kids.

Plus, they taste amazing. Recipes don’t have to be complicated to result in really tasty food.

We tend to think of them during the summer because they are cool and not too heavy. Plus, you don’t have to turn the oven on to make them.

However, they are wonderful any time of the year. It’s always a great time for a creamy pudding dessert!

So I think it is time to bring back all of these classics. They are just as good now as they ever were.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you make eclair cake with canned frosting?

Yes. I grew up eating my eclair cake with a can of chocolate or fudge frosting spread over the top. If you heat it up a bit, it spreads pretty easily.

However, it is also really easy to make the simple condensed milk fudge icing that is in the recipe below, and I think it tastes even better. Either way, your dessert is going to be delicious.

Can you make eclair cake ahead of time?

Yes, in fact, it is better if you make eclair cake at least several hours ahead if not the day before you intend to serve it. As the cake chills, the pudding mixture softens the graham crackers and gives it the perfect texture.

How do you store leftovers?

The eclair cake should be covered and stored in the refrigerator. It will be good for about 4 days.

For longer storage, you can freeze the eclair cake. Just make sure it is well wrapped, and it will be good for several months.

You can defrost the cake overnight in the refrigerator. Or enjoy it partially frozen for an extra refreshing treat.

Pan of eclair cake with a piece missing showing layers of graham crackers and pudding topped my smooth fudgy chocolate icing.

Can you make eclair cake without Cool Whip?

Yes. You can use homemade whipped cream instead of whipped topping if you prefer. The Cool Whip does hold up a little bit longer, but either will be delicious.

More Classic Pudding Desserts

If you are in the mood for a great pudding dessert recipe, there are so many wonderful options to try. But I think it is hard to find more that is more of a classic than banana pudding.

If you don’t mind a little cooking, Instant Pot rice pudding is a modern twist on a vintage staple. The pressure cooker helps you go from raw rice to creamy dessert in no time with almost no effort.

Caramel apple icebox cake is another great dessert that uses layers of graham crackers and creamy filling. The caramelized apples and cinnamon give it a much different flavor profile, but it reminds me of this eclair cake in a lot of ways.

For another layered treat, try making butterscotch delight. The recipe is from my friend over at Plowing Through Life, and it’s a gem.

If you tried this recipe, or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the comments. Hungry for more?  Be sure to stay in touch on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram for all of the latest updates.

Slice of eclair cake with vanilla pudding mixture, graham crackers, and fudge icing.

No Bake Chocolate Eclair Cake

Servings: 12 Servings
Author: Carlee
No-bake chocolate eclair cake is a classic icebox cake that features layers of graham crackers, pudding, and chocolate. It takes just a few minutes to put together, but the magic happens as it takes a nice long chill in the refrigerator. If you've never had one, you absolutely must give it a try.
5 from 7 ratings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Chill Time 4 hours

Ingredients
 

  • 3 cups milk
  • 7 ounces instant vanilla pudding mix 2 small boxes
  • 8 ounces whipped topping thawed
  • 16 ounces graham crackers
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • cups chocolate chips
Makes: 9 x 13inch rectangle

Instructions
 

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together milk and instant pudding mix.
    3 cups milk, 7 ounces instant vanilla pudding mix
  • Stir in whipped topping.
    8 ounces whipped topping
  • Arrange a layer of graham crackers on the bottom of a 9×13-inch pan, covering the pan as completely as possible without overlapping.
  • Spread half of the pudding mixture over the graham crackers.
  • Top the pudding with another layer of graham crackers, followed by the remaining pudding mixture. Top the pudding with a third layer of graham crackers.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, melt together chocolate chips and condensed milk using 20 second bursts in the microwave.
    14 ounces sweetened condensed milk, 1½ cups chocolate chips
  • Once you can stir the mixture smooth, spread over the chilled icebox cake. Make sure you get it all the way to the edges.
  • Cover and chill for at least 3 more hours before serving.

Notes

If you don’t want to make the chocolate chip and condensed milk fudge topping, you can use a can of chocolate frosting.
Feel free to experiment with different flavors of pudding mix.

Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 521kcalCarbohydrates: 84gProtein: 8gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 433mgPotassium: 368mgFiber: 1gSugar: 60gVitamin A: 201IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 229mgIron: 2mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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