This No-Bake Eclair Cake is the Ultimate Party Dessert!
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Here’s a delicious chocolate eclair cake recipe using vanilla pudding that will impress your guests every time!
Searching for an easy no-bake dessert for your next potluck?
You have to try making this heavenly graham cracker eclair cake ASAP! What could be better than layers of vanilla pudding, cool whip, and chocolate?! I love that it tastes similar to a creamy eclair but feeds a crowd. Plus, it’s simple enough for everyone to accomplish, especially for those who don’t want to turn on the oven!
After this eclair cake sets in the fridge, the crunchy graham crackers get soft and almost cake-like! This paired with the creamy filling and chocolate topping is perfection. It’s a genius dessert you can nake-ahead and carry with you to a party to share.
Easy Graham Cracker Eclair Cake
yield: 6 SERVINGS
prep time: 20 MINUTES
cook time: 4 HOURS
total time: 4 HOURS 20 MINUTES
A no-bake cake using graham crackers, pudding, and homemade chocolate glaze.
for the cake:
- 2 (3.4 oz) boxes of dry vanilla instant pudding mix
- 3 1/2 cups whole milk
- 10 oz. whipped topping
- 14.25 oz. box of graham crackers
for the chocolate glaze:
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 5 tablespoons milk
- 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
- 1 cup powdered sugar
In a large bowl, blend the milk and vanilla pudding packets for about 2 minutes. Fold in the whipped topping.
Line the bottom of a 9×13-inch pan with graham crackers. You may have to cut some crackers so they fit neatly.
Spread half of the pudding mixture over graham cracker layer. Top with another layer of graham crackers and the remaining pudding.
Top all with a final layer of graham crackers bumpy side down. This will make the top look smooth.
Melt butter in microwave and mix well with milk, cocoa, and powdered sugar to make frosting. It will be very thin in texture.
Finally, pour chocolate frosting on top and spread evenly.
Refrigerate at least four hours or overnight before serving to allow the graham crackers to soften.
Recipe Adapted from Chef In Training
Tips for making the best no-bake eclair cake recipe:
- Be sure to allow enough time in the fridge for the graham crackers to soften. I recommend at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
- Top the final layer of graham crackers with the bumpy side down. This will make the top look very smooth after the chocolate frosting is poured on top!
- If Cool Whip isn’t desired, you can make homemade whipped cream instead and use that. I also enjoy this Truwhip with a bit cleaner ingredients.
- Adding a layer of sliced bananas with the pudding would be a delicious twist!
We honestly love graham cracker eclair cake!
There’s no need to turn on the oven during the warmer months, and it always gets great reviews. My family LOVED this creamy pudding dessert so much and the kids can have fun helping make it. Enjoy!
I love this recipe! It’s so easy & delicious! And to make it easier, I use canned frosting instead of making it from scratch (I like to use “chocolate” not “milk chocolate”). I microwave the can of frosting for a short time, stir and pour it on top. Perfect every time! Always a great crowd pleaser.
Great idea! Thanks Nicole 😀
I do the same! So quick and easy.
When do you pour the frosting over the top, before you put it in the refrigerator or right before you are about to serve it. Also, if you make this the night before when would you suggest taking it out of the frig so it’s not so cold before serving?
This recipe is sooo delicious! Our whole family loves it. Its rich in flavor but not heavy, a perfect combination in my book.
I always make this for Easter 🙂
Oh wow,looks amazing!
Does anyone know if I can use real whip cream instead of cool whip (I don’t like cool whip). If I whip my own cream and fold it in would it be ok?? TIA
Totally! That’s always better imo:)
If you use real whip cream you need to stabilize it with gelatin. If you don’t it will get watery and separate quickly. It’s very simple to do, just look up this dessert homemade, or from scratch on Pinterest. I just made it Friday using Brown Eyed Baker’s recipe, it’s so wonderful made completely from scratch.
I’ve been making this for 30 years, except for the old school recipe calls for French vanilla pudding mix. Super easy dessert that no matter where you take it, the dish is always emptied quickly.
Yes! French vanilla pudding & I heat the coco mixture on the stove until smooth & pour over top.
I make this often. My family loves it. For Halloween and Thanksgiving, I substitute the vanilla pudding with pumpkin pudding and make a cream cheese icing instead…it too is a big hit!
I’ve been making this for years, and NEVER thought of this! Thanks for the awesome idea!
I want to do that! Would you mind sharing your cream cheese frosting recipe? I know it is only May, but I’m already looking forward to Fall pumpkin treats 🙂
4 oz butter (1stick) room temperature
8 oz cream cheese room temperature
2 cups of powered sugar
1 tbsp milk
1 top vanilla
Beat together the butter and cream cheese with electric mixer. With mixer on low speed, Add powered sugar 1 cup at a time until completely mixed. Beat in the milk and vanilla until smooth. Add icing onto cake and refrigerate overnight. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Enjoy!
That’s 1 tsp of vanilla not 1 top. Sorry about that.
Yummy idea Danielle! Thanks for sharing
Make this too, always a big hit! Because it doesn’t have enough pudding in it already, I use chocolate pudding and cool whip to make the frosting… Quick and easy!
My mom has made this cake quite often back when I was a teen! We called it “lazy cake” cuz its super fast to make! We loved this a lot! By reading this post, brings back the good memories and also reminds me to make this for my hubby and children. 🙂
Wow, I’ve never heard of this… and thanks to Lina, can’t wait to make it! Thanks!
Sure! You’ll love it 😀
Can I make this the night before? Will it go too soft/soggy?
Overnight would be fine! You want the graham crackers to absorb the liquid and not be crunchy.
I’ve also heard of melting a can of chocolate icing and pouring in top of you need this to be even easier…
I always make it the night before… I think it has the BEST texture this way! Graham crackers go from crunchy, to soft- like an eclair!
Yes! It will be great overnight 😀
This dessert is yummy.
Can you use any percentage of milk or does it have to be whole milk?
I think it could be any percentage, just the pudding may be a bit thinner is all.
My mom used to make the same thing except she used to add sour cream & it was delicious! For the topping she just topped with grated chocolate bar (like Aldi chocolate or Ghirardelli bar).