No Bake Chocolate Eclair Cake is an easy to make dessert that totally satisfies your sweet tooth! Layers of creamy vanilla pudding and crunchy graham crackers are topped with decadent chocolate fudge. This recipe has everything you love about eclairs, and you never have to preheat your oven!

A slice of cake is being lifted from the baking dish.

No Bake Chocolate Eclair Cake

Summertime is when I whip up most of my favorite no bake recipes! When it’s too hot to turn on the oven, I instead turn to recipes like this one that call for a refrigerator instead. This recipe can be summarized pretty simply – everything you love about eclairs is turned into an easy to make no bake layered dessert. It’s got creamy pudding, graham crackers, and chocolate fudge.

During the warmer months, I usually find myself making all of my desserts with various fruits and berries. However, I still have my chocolate cravings, which is where recipes like this one come in handy! While it’s definitely decadent, it’s not so much that you can’t enjoy it on a summer afternoon. It’s refrigerated for at least four hours prior to serving, so it’s nice and chilled!

The fudge topping on this eclair cake might just be my favorite part. Well, I love the pudding and graham cracker crust, too, so it’s hard to say! It’s just that the chocolate fudge topping is made with just the perfect amount of real chocolate flavor, heavy cream, butter, and more. While it’s sweet, it’s not overly so – it’s got a rich cocoa flavor and lets the pudding be the main source of sweetness for the whole cake.

The ingredients for eclair cake are presented on a white surface.

How to Make It

Create the crust. Mix the crushed graham crackers and sugar together with melted butter and lightly press mixture into the bottom of the 9”x13” baking dish.

Create the pudding mixture. In a separate bowl, mix the milk and pudding together. Using a hand blender, mix on low speed for about 30 seconds, then medium speed for at least one minute. The mixture will be thick. Once combined, Fold in the whipped topping.

Layer the cake. Spread ½ the pudding mixture onto the graham cracker crust. Top this pudding with a graham cracker layer (one wrapped package, each flat broken into four). Approximately 6-7 pieces per row, about five rows. Repeat with the remaining pudding and graham crackers, spread the remaining pudding mix onto the first layer then finish with another layer of graham crackers.

Chill. Cover with plastic wrap & place the pan into the refrigerator for at least 1-2 hours.  

Melt the chocolate. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in cocoa powder until smooth, and keep in mind that this mixture will thicken.

Combine more ingredients. In a separate medium saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, cream and water, stirring constantly. Once it comes to a boil (which may be quick), reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes.   

Finish off the topping. Remove the cream/sugar mixture from heat and stir in vanilla and butter. Add the chocolate mixture to the cream/sugar mixture and stir until shiny and smooth. It may seem lumpy or separating at first, but keep whisking and it will come together!

Cool and pour. Let cool slightly, about 10 minutes then pour it over the cake.  

Refrigerate. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. This does not need to be covered. 

An elcair cake has been sliced and is still in the baking dish.

Tips for the Best No Bake Eclair Cake

  • When layering the cake, you can break a few graham crackers into smaller pieces fit around the edges.
  • When cutting the servings, make sure to cut through the bottom crust for each slice.
  • The longer you refrigerate the cake, the better! That way, the pudding has plenty of time to settle.

Can I use the microwave to melt the chocolate?

It’s recommended to melt the chocolate in a double boiler over simmering hot water. This will give you the most smooth and tempered chocolate and reduce the risk of burning, which can happen quickly when microwaved.  

If you do not have a double boiler, melt the chocolate in a microwave safe dish at 30 second intervals at 50% power. Once it’s been in the microwave for 1 minute, I reduce the power to 40% and check every 15 seconds. 

A slice of eclair cake is presented on a white plate in front of a glass of milk.

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A slice of eclair cake is presented on a white plate in front of a glass of milk.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Éclair Cake

Cool and creamy, Chocolate Eclair Cake is simple to make and perfect for summer.
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Ingredients

Crust and Filling:

  • 1 package graham crackers, 13 whole cracker flats graham crackers, crushed (which results in 1 ¾ cup)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 9 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 box french vanilla pudding mix
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 container frozen whipped topping – thawed
  • 2 packages graham crackers

Chocolate Fudge Topping

  • 8 ounce semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons butter, room temperature

Equipment

  • 9×13 pan
  • hand mixer
  • Double boiler

Instructions 

  • Mix the crushed graham crackers and sugar together with melted butter and lightly press mixture into the bottom of the 9”x13” baking dish.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the milk and pudding together. Using a hand blender, mix on low speed for about 30 seconds, then medium speed for at least one minute. Mixture will be thick. Once combined, Fold in the whipped topping.
  • Spread ½ the pudding mixture onto the graham cracker crust.
  • Top this pudding with a graham cracker layer (one wrapped package, each flat broken into four). Approximately 6-7 pieces per row, about five rows – you can break a few graham crackers into smaller pieces fit around the edges, if you’d like.
  • Repeat with the remaining pudding and graham crackers, spread the remaining pudding mix onto the first layer then finish with another layer of graham crackers.
  • Cover with plastic wrap & place the pan into the refrigerator for at least 1-2 hours.
  • Fudge topping: In a double boiler melt the chocolate until smooth.
  • Remove from heat and stir in cocoa powder until smooth, this mixture will thicken.
  • In a separate medium saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, cream and water, stirring constantly. Once it comes to a boil (which may be quick), reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove cream/ sugar mixture from heat and stir in vanilla and butter.
  • Add the chocolate mixture to the cream/sugar mixture and stir until shiny and smooth. It may seem lumpy or separating at first but keep whisking and it will come together.
  • Let cool slightly, about 10 minutes then pour over the cake.
  • Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. This does not need to be covered. The longer you refrigerate the better to give the pudding time to set up.

Notes

When cutting the servings, make sure to cut through the bottom crust for each slice.
Calories: 515kcal, Carbohydrates: 62g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 28g, Saturated Fat: 16g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 45mg, Sodium: 325mg, Potassium: 300mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 42g, Vitamin A: 545IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 133mg, Iron: 3mg