Play pretend-pastry chef for a day with this no-bake Double Chocolate Eclair Cake.
To me, a good bakery’s pastry case is like an actual wonderland in this bleak real word. It gives me the feeling I always imagined I’d have as a kid if I could hop into the board game Candy Land and stroll the sugar-lined pathways. But as much I love desserts, I’ll admit I don’t have the patience for anything too fancy.
I have the appreciation for it, certainly, and I’d even argue that I do have the skills to achieve fine pastry results. But when it comes to the discipline and time required, forget it. The older I get, the less patience I have. I mean look at me, I can’t even be bothered to BAKE a cake half the time.
This Double Chocolate Eclair Cake even assembles fast. The only thing you’ve got to be patient on is the chilling overnight, which I can totally dig because I’m all “Zzzz” when that’s going down. It’s pure witchcraft that, just by chilling layers of fluffy chocolate filling and graham cracker, we’re able to make it taste and texturally feel like an eclair.
It’s super weird I know, but I swear it works! Give it a shot, and you’ll be amazed. Traditional eclair cakes are favorites as is, but I love this doubled-up chocolate twist. Talk about baking smarter, not harder; you get the decadence of an extra chocolaty eclair without all the fuss and swearing.
Heck, you’ll swear you’re ready for pastry school after this.
(Is that a thing?)
A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:
- This may be obvious but if you want to make a traditional eclair cake, simply swap the chocolate pudding mix for vanilla pudding mix and omit the cocoa powder.
- Be careful not to over-beat your filling; that’s how you make butter, which is not what we’re going for here.
- Feel free to opt for bittersweet or dark chocolate on top, if you prefer.
- You don’t have to do the cocoa powder dusting on top; it’s just for looks after I butchered smoothing the chocolate topping out nicely.
- This is a dessert that gets better the more it chills! You’ll find it even more delicious the second day.
- Since this needs at least 8 hours to chill, plan ahead to make this the day before you want to serve it!
No-Bake Double Chocolate Eclair Cake
By The Smart Cookie Cook
Yield – about 18 slices
- 1 pack Jell-O Chocolate Instant Pudding (not Cook & Serve)
- 2 cups cold whole milk
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 3 tbsp. cocoa powder
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 cups cold heavy cream
- 1 box graham crackers
For the topping:
- 8 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- optional: more cocoa powder for topping
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together pudding mix and milk for 2 minutes, until it starts to thicken. Cover and set aside in the fridge to thicken further.
- In a large mixing bowl, use a hand mixer on high speed to beat together sugar, cocoa, vanilla, and 2 cups cream until thick, fluffy peaks form.
- Fold the pudding mixture into the whipped cream mixture just until evenly combined.
- Spread a thin layer of filling onto the bottom of a 9×13 pan just to get a scarce coating down. Place a single layer of graham crackers down to cover the bottom. Spread a third of the filling on top. Place another single layer of the crackers down, followed by another third of the filling, then crackers, and finish with an even layer of filling. So that’s: crackers, filling, crackers, filling, crackers, filling. Set aside. (I marbled my topping because I was too lazy to make it smooth)
- For the topping, place the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl and set aside. In another heat-proof bowl, microwave the 1/2 cup cream on high for 30-second intervals until it starts to simmer (took me 3 times). Immediately pour over the chocolate and let sit for 1 minute before whisking together until smooth.
- Pour melted chocolate over the cake and quickly but gently spread it out in an even layer (it doesn’t have to go all the way to the edges). Use a sifter to add a layer of cocoa powder, if you like. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours before slicing and serving.