Éclair cake, layers of vanilla whipped cream, graham crackers and topped with a decadent chocolate glaze. If you’re a regular reader of this blog then you know I don’t bake a lot. But since it’s Valentine’s Day coming up, I thought I’d make a couple desserts for the special day. I also noticed that these desserts are from my BFF in Minnesota. Like, I think this is the fourth dessert I’ve shared of hers. Éclair cake, no baking required!
Almost 20 years ago we moved to the Twin Cities. My friend had us over for a birthday party for one of her sons and she made this éclair cake. So good, everyone loved it and she gave me the recipe. I have been making this ever since. I took it to a potluck once and people went nuts over it, someone thought it was tiramisu. Ha!
The recipe calls for non-dairy whipped topping, i.e., Cool Whip. Yuck. I have a thing about certain things, this is one such thing. I prefer the real McCoy. I use it anyway, but this time I decided to try using real whipped cream. The inspiration comes from the banana pudding at Magnolia Bakery in NYC. They use real whipping cream, vanilla pudding mix and sweetened condensed milk. So that’s what I tried and it was a perfect fit for this cake.
I’m giving you the recipe as I’ve made it for years, and I’ll footnote the real whipped cream filling if you want to try that. Both ways are very good, and maybe you’re not weird about Cool Whip like I am. I’m also weird about cream of whatever soups and non-dairy coffee creamers. But, hey, that’s just me.
Happy Valentine’s Day ~ Kelly
Makes 9 by 13-inch pan
- 1 pound box graham crackers
- Two 3-ounce boxes instant French vanilla pudding
- 3½ cups cold milk
- One 9-ounce container non-dairy whipped cream (like Cool Whip)
- Two 1-ounce squares unsweetened chocolate, melted (can substitute: 3 tablespoons cocoa + 1 tablespoon butter = one 1-ounce square)
- 2 teaspoons white corn syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1½ cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
- 3 tablespoons milk
- Lightly butter bottom of 9 X 13-inch glass baking pan. Line bottom with graham crackers.
- Mix pudding mix with milk in large bowl and beat with electric mixer for 2 minutes at medium speed. Fold in Cool Whip and mix gently until combined, no streaks.
- Pour half of mixture over graham crackers in pan. Place a second layer of graham crackers over pudding mixture. Add remaining pudding mixture over crackers and spread evenly. Top with final layer of graham crackers. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Make chocolate glaze: Beat remaining 6 ingredients until smooth. Spread over cake. If glaze is too thick or starting to harden, microwave on 50% power for 15 – 20 seconds to make more desirable consistency.
- Cover and refrigerate at least 24 hours before serving. Keeps 1 week.
Note: To make real whipped cream filling, combine 1 box instant vanilla pudding mix, 1½ cups water and 1 9-ounce can sweetened condensed milk in a large bowl. Whisk until well combined. Cover and refrigerate until firm, at least 4 hours. In bowl of mixer, place 3 cups heavy whipping cream and whip until stiff peaks form. Fold in pudding mixture, half at a time, and gently combine until there are no streaks. Assemble cake as per instructions above.
*Inspired by the banana cream pudding at Magnolia Bakery in NYC.