Jump to RecipeJump to VideoLeave a ReviewPin Recipe

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

It doesn’t get any easier than this no-bake chocolate Eclair Cake! Layers of graham crackers, vanilla pudding and Cool Whip are finished with a rich chocolate frosting for a creamy, dreamy dessert recipe that’s perfect for any special occasion!

Long overhead shot of no bake eclair cake on a blue and white plate

You can’t beat an easy dessert recipe that doesn’t require an oven and that can be prepped a day in advance. If you’re planning a party or hosting a holiday gathering, this old fashioned chocolate eclair cake is a must on your menu!

What is Eclair Cake?

A French Chocolate Éclair is an oblong pastry made with choux dough, filled with cream, and topped with chocolate icing.

This no bake dessert borrows the same flavors from the original French pastry, but transforms them into an easy-to-assemble eclair icebox cake! An Eclair Cake is not French, though!

Overhead shot of two plates with slices of eclair cake

How to make Eclair Cake:

My friend Amanda first introduced me to this recipe when she brought the dessert to a potluck party at our house about 3 years ago. Needless to say, it was a popular item on the buffet and it disappeared fast! Best of all, it only requires 5 simple ingredients and about 15 minutes of hands-on prep. The hardest part is waiting for the the cake to chill!

Eclair Cake Ingredients:

  • 2 small boxes of vanilla instant pudding mix, plus the milk called for on the package
  • Cool Whip (or other similar frozen whipped topping, thawed)
  • Graham crackers
  • Chocolate frosting
Ingredients for eclair cake

First, prepare both boxes of pudding according to the package instructions (I used 4 cups of milk and the two packets of pudding mix).

Vanilla pudding in a glass mixing bowl with whisk

Gently fold in the whipped topping, and set aside. This is the creamy filling for your cake.

Creamy filling for eclair cake in a glass mixing bowl

Next, arrange graham crackers in a single layer in the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch dish. You may need to break the graham crackers in order to cover the bottom of your pan. Don’t worry — it doesn’t have to be perfect!

Graham crackers in dish for eclair cake

Next, spread half of the cream filling over top of the graham crackers.

Long overhead process shot of preparing eclair cake

Top with another layer of graham crackers, the remaining cream filling, and a final third layer of graham crackers on top. Then spread the chocolate frosting over top.

I like to microwave the frosting for about 15 seconds, which makes it just a bit softer and easier to spread.

Spreading chocolate ganache on eclair cake

How to serve Eclair Cake:

This cake is best when prepared a day in advance, because it requires at least 8 hours (or more) to fully “set.” Once the cake is properly set, you can slice it into squares and serve!

Want to make it even more decadent? Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or an extra dollop of whipped cream on top!

Close up front shot of bite of eclair cake on a fork

Cook’s Tips and Recipe Variations:

  • You may need to break the graham crackers to get them to cover the bottom of your dish. That’s fine! And don’t worry — a few small gaps are okay (it doesn’t need to be perfect).
  • I used Jell-O Vanilla Instant pudding, but you can use French Vanilla flavor or even the Cheesecake flavor.
  • This eclair cake has just 250 calories per slice. However, for an even lighter, lower-calorie cake, use two small boxes of Sugar-Free Instant Vanilla Pudding mix, prepared according to package instructions; use sugar-free or lite Cool Whip; and use reduced-fat graham crackers.
  • For an eclair cake without graham crackers, try using saltines or Nilla wafer cookies instead!
  • The can of chocolate frosting is a really easy shortcut; however, if you prefer an eclair cake with chocolate ganache, you can see Martha Stewart’s recipe here.
  • Variations include adding banana slices to the layers, using chocolate pudding to make a double chocolate eclair cake, or adding peanut butter like this version on the Kraft website!
  • How long does eclair cake last in the refrigerator? This cake will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days!
  • Can you freeze eclair cake? Yes! To make the cake far in advance, wrap it tightly with foil and keep in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
Side shot of a piece of no bake chocolate eclair cake

More easy no bake dessert recipes that you might enjoy:

Long overhead shot of no bake eclair cake on a blue and white plate

Eclair Cake

5 from 6 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 0 minutes
Chilling Time 8 hours
Total: 8 hours 15 minutes
Servings 16 slices
Calories 250.3 kcal
This no-bake chocolate Eclair Cake with layers of graham crackers, vanilla pudding, Cool Whip and chocolate frosting is an easy dessert for any occasion!

Ingredients
  

  • 2 small boxes (3.4 ounces each) vanilla instant pudding mix (plus milk called for on package)
  • 1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping (such as Cool Whip), thawed
  • 26 whole graham crackers
  • 1 (16 ounce) can prepared chocolate frosting

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, prepare both boxes of pudding according to package instructions. Gently fold in whipped topping. Set aside.
  • Place a single layer of graham crackers in the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch dish, breaking as necessary to cover the bottom (I used about 8 ½ graham cracker sheets per layer, but you may need more or less). Spread half of the pudding mixture on top of the graham crackers. Top with another layer of graham crackers and the rest of the pudding mixture. Finish with a third layer of graham crackers on top.
  • Remove the lid and foil from the frosting. Microwave for about 15-20 seconds, or just until soft. Spread frosting over top of the cake.
  • Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours, or preferably overnight, to allow the cake time to set. Slice into squares and serve!

Notes

  • You may need to break the graham crackers to get them to cover the bottom of your dish. That’s fine! And don’t worry — a few small gaps are okay (it doesn’t need to be perfect).
  • I used Jell-O Vanilla Instant pudding, but you can use French Vanilla flavor or even the Cheesecake flavor.
  • This eclair cake has just 250 calories per slice. However, for an even lighter, lower-calorie cake, use two small boxes of Sugar-Free Instant Vanilla Pudding mix, prepared according to package instructions; use sugar-free or lite Cool Whip; and use reduced-fat graham crackers.
  • For an eclair cake without graham crackers, try using saltines or Nilla wafer cookies instead!
  • The can of chocolate frosting is a really easy shortcut; however, if you prefer an eclair cake with chocolate ganache, you can see Martha Stewart’s recipe here.
  • Variations include adding banana slices to the layers, using chocolate pudding to make a double chocolate eclair cake, or adding peanut butter like this version on the Kraft website!
  • How long does eclair cake last in the refrigerator? This cake will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days!
  • Can you freeze eclair cake? Yes! To make the cake far in advance, wrap it tightly with foil and keep in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 250.3kcalCarbohydrates: 39.9gProtein: 3.6gFat: 9.8gSaturated Fat: 2.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 180mgSodium: 143.9mgPotassium: 119.6mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 31.2g
Keyword: chocolate eclair cake, eclair cake, no bake eclair cake
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

Square overhead shot of hands serving a chicken pot pie recipe with biscuits
Overhead image of a bowl of chili mac on a dinner table with cornbread
Hands serving a platter of sheet pan sausage and potatoes

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comments

  1. What a quick, fun and easy treat to make!! The best part is it can be made vegan very easily!! I’m vegan of 12 years so I’ll be doing exactly that by swapping the cool whip for Coco whip! Luckily all the other ingredients can be bought as is, lots of brands are accidentally vegan! Wahoo!!

  2. 5 stars
    I made the eclair cake& it turned out delicious!!
    My family had second helpings!!
    Thank you for the recipe❤️

  3. 5 stars
    Oh,my! So quick and easy to make! I like to provide meals for others or sometimes just surprise someone with a treat. Tonight, I decided to divide this between two 8×8 pans. Now two families will get a sweet treat! Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  4. 5 stars
    I needed a tasty quick recipe and this looked great! It was perfect! Everyone raved about it. Thank you!

  5. 5 stars
    I made this recipe for a group gathering and it was absolutely DELICIOUS, but… my Graham crackers were absolutely dissolved by the pudding mix. Was refrigerated for eight hours. What could have wrong? Or is this normal?

    1. Hi, Becky! I’m so glad that you liked it! You didn’t do anything wrong. 🙂 The graham crackers are supposed to soften like that in the pudding mix. It’s similar to an icebox cake, where you let the dish chill and “set” so that the graham crackers soften and it all comes together in a delicious pudding mess. Hah!

  6. 5 stars
    Living in England I am not able to get Graham crackers, and do not know the equivalent in this country, so decided to make the base like a cheesecake base, i.e. crushed digestive biscuits, mixed with chopped nuts and melted butter. The biscuit base sets when cool, so it is easy to place the second layer on the pudding mixture. And I ignore the calories (occasionally!) and add sliced strawberries, when available, and whipping cream to the pudding mix.
    I love all your delicious recipes, Blair, and am now going to make the gingerbread syrup.
    Wishing you a very happy Christmas and a healthy New Year.

    1. Hi, Jean! I don’t know what your equivalent would be for the graham crackers, but I bet the digestive biscuits are similar — maybe just thicker? Sounds like you found a great solution, though. I bet your version was delicious. Happy holidays!