Chocolate Eclair Cake

Simple but fancy Chocolate Eclair CakeRecently I watched Saturday afternoon cooking show favorite, Cook’s Country, do-over one of our favorites, Chocolate Eclair Cake. It was a very involved scratch version that was nothing if not impressive. Really the whole point of the my easy version is that it’s easy and basic and aside from waiting to eat it, not that difficult. So whilst I was impressed, I tucked the idea away for some other time to try making it that way. When I had time. When I had time to invest in the ingredients.

So recently I looked up the recipe, which first appeared on American’s Test Kitchen so a simple Google search sent me to the website….and there it was momentarily but then a box asking me to login appeared. At this stage of my Internet life I’m not logging in unless there’s a good enough reason. I get plenty of junk email and don’t need more. So I checked around and didn’t find it anywhere else. Besides being more involved with more ingredients, more steps to getting the recipe made me think mine is not so bad. Why complicate life? Why over think? Why?

So let’s make Chocolate Eclair Cake/Dessert

  • 1 box of Graham Crackers plain or honey
  • 2 small boxes of INSTANT French Vanilla pudding mix (plain Vanilla is okay if your store doesn’t have French Vanilla, it will be lighter in color, like the photo above)
  • 9 ounces of Cool Whip
  • 1 container of chocolate fudge or dark chocolate frosting
  • 3 cups of milk

First lay down a layer of crackers in the bottom of a 13 x 9 pan. Mix pudding in 3 cups of milk, blend in Cool Whip. Note, the way I get 9 ounces is by drawing dividing lines on the surface of the cool whip then scooping out the amount needed. Buy a 12 ounce size, divide into fours and scoop out three. See? After you have the pudding mixture pour half onto the crackers and spread out. Add another layer of crackers, then the rest of the pudding mix. Put a third layer of crackers on top. I put a layer of plastic wrap on top then and press the layers even. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours, then frost, then put back in the refrigerator for overnight but not with plastic wrap on top. I have a covered pan I use. Cut into squares and lift out so all the layers are visible. The photo above is what it should look like. Not my photo by the way.

I’ve mentioned before I have made this using the seasonally available Pumpkin Spice pudding. Then frosted with cream cheese frosting. It was surprisingly good although that flavor is not available around here lately. (I think there’s a Pumpkin Spice revolt.)

You can make this using fat-free crackers, fat-free sugar-free cool whip, and skim milk or lactose free milk but I get gut aches from the artificial sweeteners and fat substitutes. The fact that this can be made with lactose free milk means it’s more gut friendly for me.

Years ago I put together a cookbook for my daughter and it included at least three versions of this same recipe from different people so I think it’s a family favorite which just makes me happy. I think the recipe is so old now it’s reached the level of comfort food. It’s probably really bad with all the processed ingredients but once a year seems reasonable enough. And I don’t think I’ll be making the scratch version anytime soon. Why mess with success?


Photo lifted from Google. Not mine. If it’s yours let me know so I can give you credit or remove it if requested.


About Robin Arnold

Reader, writer, gardener, geek, maker of homes in several states, now settled in Virginia with husband Bob, and Hazel and Wilson the tabby cats.
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