Tuesday, August 13, 2013

No-Bake Chocolate Eclair Cake

My fourteen-year old, Allanah, gave this cake "two thumbs up" and announced that it's as good as Oreo Dirt Dessert. That, my friends, is HUGE. Oreo Dirt Dessert is her all-time favorite and is requested at EVERY one of her birthday parties in place of a traditional cake. So, rating this dessert on the same level is pretty significant. It may not be the prettiest or most-vibrant of desserts. It certainly isn't the most complicated or labor-intensive sweet treat to make. And, it, admittedly, is not the healthiest or from-scratchiest {that's a thing, right?} of desserts. But, it's damn tasty and kinda magical, to be honest.
Allanah and my six-year old, Ayvah, helped me assemble this cake. Putting it together is so stinkin' simple and quick. {Frankly, my girls did it almost completely on their own. So, yeah ... easy peasy.}
While making this dessert is a breeze, waiting overnight to devour it is the another story. {Patience, grasshopper.}
Yes, the key to this recipe is waiting, at least, twelve hours {I know!} before serving the cake. The crackers must soften up in order for the cake to resemble the texture of an éclair. {If you've got twenty-four hours, even better.}

NOTE:  This cake can be made using only graham crackers, but we throw in one layer of saltines, too, to give it a slightly salty kick. The saltiness is in no way overpowering or in-your-face. It's subtle and perfectly balanced. If you prefer, you can use only graham crackers for every cracker layer, however.

Serves 12.


2 - 3 sleeves graham crackers {you may not use them all}
1/2 sleeve {approx.} saltine crackers
2 - 5.1 oz. boxes instant vanilla pudding
2 ½ cups milk
16 ounces non-dairy whipped topping, thawed
1 - 16 oz. container/tub chocolate frosting


Chocolate sprinkles, curls or flakes


Line the bottom of a 9 x 13 or similar pan with graham crackers. Break or cut them as necessary to fit around the edges. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine pudding and milk. Whisk until just starting to thicken. Fold in whipped topping until incorporated.

Spread a third of the pudding mixture over the graham crackers. Cover with another layer of graham crackers {or a layer of saltines}, another third of the pudding mixture, another layer of graham crackers, the remaining third of the pudding mixture and top with a final layer of graham crackers.

Remove lid and aluminum seal from frosting. Place in microwave for 45 - 60 seconds, or until frosting becomes melted and thin. Stir. Pour over top of cake and spread in an even layer to cover.

Immediately sprinkle on any desired chocolate sprinkles, curls or flakes.

Cover tightly. Refrigerate for 12 - 24 hours. Spoon or slice to serve.

01/08/18:  Updated photos and made clarifications to post/recipe.

Adapted from Baking Junkie


  1. I made this for my husband and he LOVES them! I was a little surprised at the size, but he assures me that there won't be any left in the refrigerator for long :) Thank you for sharing. I found you through FB and am so glad I did. You have some great recipes that I can't wait to try.

    1. Hi there. So glad to have you here at Joyously Domestic! And, I'm happy that your husband enjoyed this recipe! We think it's a real winner, too! Thank you for stopping by and leaving feedback! :)

  2. hi..what ingredients did u use for the top?

    1. Chocolate frosting - I used store-bought, but you can make homemade if you prefer. It is listed in the ingredient list and the directions for slightly warming it before pouring it over the cake are listed, too. Hope that helps. :)

  3. Hi,this looks really yummy! Could you use 2 percent milk instead of skim milk?

    1. I'm sure that 2% would work just fine. :) Hope you enjoy it! :)

  4. Does it have to be refrigerated 12-24 hours?

    1. Yes, it does. The crackers must soften up in order for the cake to resemble the texture of an éclair. If you served it sooner, the crackers would still be hard and crunchy. I know it's a long time to wait, but it's totally worth it! :)

  5. This look delishious! I will defiantly have to try it!

  6. Oh my gosh this looks so good will be very hard to wait but looks worth it. Thank you.

  7. This is easily the most popular dessert I make. Family and friends actually beg me to make this. It’s easy and tasty beyond the few steps it takes to make.

  8. I made it, did not wait 12hrs only 3 & it was slightly crunchy & delicious....:)