A no bake eclair cake recipe that tastes like a creamy and decadent cross between Boston cream pie and a chocolate eclair.
Easy Eclair Cake
If you love eclairs you are going to go crazy for this no bake chocolate eclair cake. It tastes like an eclair but is much easier to make with just 5 ingredients, a bowl, and a spoon. No need to even turn on the oven or break out the electric mixer!
Also referred to as Boston cream icebox cake, this decadent dessert is made by alternating layers of graham crackers and vanilla pudding. It is then topped with a rich chocolate frosting before being place in the refrigerator to chill. As it refrigerates the graham crackers absorb some of the pudding, making them soft and cake-like.
The toughest part is waiting for the dessert to chill, which is why I recommend making the no-bake cake the day before you plan on serving it. The cake needs at least 6 hours in the fridge. But for the best results, I would recommend letting it chill for 12-24 hours.
This eclair icebox cake is perfect for potlucks, barbecues, and holiday parties. It is easy to transport, serves a crowd, and is always the first dessert to go!
You will find the full recipe with instructions and measurements and all that good stuff at the bottom of this page in the printable recipe card. But first, take a minute to read through the detailed instructions and recipe tips below.
Start by gathering everything that you will need.
- vanilla instant pudding: Vanilla or French vanilla, either work well for this recipe.
- milk: Use whole milk for best results, although you can use 1%, 2%, or skim as well — the pudding just won’t be as thick and creamy.
- whipped topping: Thawed, not frozen. Cool Whip or generic store brands both work well for this recipe.
- graham crackers: Original or honey flavored.
- chocolate frosting: The premade kind that comes in a plastic container. We like to use dark chocolate but milk chocolate would work too.
How to Make No Bake Eclair Cake
You can’t beat how super easy this cake is to make.
First, mix pudding mix and milk. Fold in whipped topping and stir well to combine. Set aside.
Cover the bottom of 9 x 13 pan with a layer of graham crackers. Break as needed to cover the entire bottom with a single layer.
Next, spoon half the pudding mixture over the graham crackers and gently spread into an even layer.
Top with another layer of graham crackers.
Add the remainder of the pudding mixture and spread evenly.
Add a 3rd and final layer of graham crackers.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Uncover frosting and remove foil wrap. Microwave for 25 seconds to make the frosting easier to spread. Stir well.
Remove cake and uncover. Pour chocolate frosting over the top of the cake and spread into an even layer.
Cover and refrigerate overnight, or for at least 6 hours. (The longer you give the graham crackers to soften up the better.)
Slice, serve, and enjoy the creamy goodness!
Recipe Tips & Variations
- Top with chocolate chips for even more chocolatey goodness.
- Try the recipe using cinnamon or chocolate graham crackers.
- Instead of 2 layers of vanilla pudding try making the recipe with one layer of vanilla pudding and one layer of white chocolate or cheesecake pudding.
- For a lighter version use fat-free Cool Whip, sugar-free pudding mix, skim milk, and just a thin layer of frosting on top.
- Don’t care for store-bought frosting? Make your own chocolate ganache by heating 3/4 cup heavy cream until simmering then pour over 1 cup of chocolate chips. Allow to sit for 2-3 minutes, stir well, then pour over cake.
More Easy Dessert Recipes
- Pistachio pudding icebox cake
- Ricotta cake
- No-bake cherry cheesecake
- Lemon lush
- Chocolate cherry dump cake
- Peach blueberry galette
- 2 (3.4 oz) packages vanilla instant pudding mix
- 3 cups milk
- 1 (8 oz) tub whipped topping, thawed
- 1 (16 oz) box graham crackers
- 1 tub chocolate frosting
- Mix instant pudding and milk together in a large bowl. Fold in whipped topping, mixing until well combined. Set aside.
- Place a layer of graham crackers in the bottom of a 9 x 13 dish, breaking as needed to cover the entire bottom with a single layer.
- Spoon ½ the pudding mixture over the graham crackers and gently spread into an even layer. Top with another layer of graham crackers and then the remainder of the pudding mixture. Add a 3rd and final layer of graham crackers.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Uncover frosting and remove foil wrap. Microwave for 25 seconds to make the frosting easier to spread. Stir well. Remove cake from refrigerator and pour over cake and spread into an even layer.
- Replace the plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or for at least 6 hours. (The longer you give the graham crackers to soften up the better.)
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