Eclair Cake

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Eclair cake is moist and sweet, made with vanilla filling, a buttery crust, and whipped cream topping. There are so many toppings to choose from and you will be amazed at how insanely soft and delicious this cake is!

You can’t go wrong with cake! Switch up your dessert routine and try making butter pecan, pineapple, and glazed walnut butter cakes next!

A slice of eclair cake topped with chocolate drizzle and sliced strawberries.

Easy Eclair Cake Recipe

I live in a neighborhood with some amazing cooks. As soon as we moved into this area, they were bringing us fresh-baked bread, soups, and treats to welcome us. It is almost a little intimidating because there are so many great cooks! A few weeks ago, I was able to get a copy of our neighborhood recipes. All of the recipes in this cookbook are fabulous. This eclair cake recipe is especially delicious! I see eclair cake everywhere and knew I wanted to give this one a try! I love eclairs and wondered how close it would taste to the real deal.

But honestly, after making it and taking one bite, it was one of the best desserts that I have put in my mouth! I think it’s because the crust was so light and flaky and tasted just like an eclair. Not to mention, the filling was the best! So creamy and delicious. There was a note in the book that said be prepared to serve seconds and not have any leftovers. I can confirm that this is true! It’s the perfect dessert for any occasion! And if you’re looking for more knockout dessert recipes, find my full list here!

Layered Eclair Cake Ingredients

I’ll admit that it was a little bit daunting when I saw an eclair cake recipe in the cookbook.  I honestly figured there would be a ton of bizarre ingredients that I didn’t have.  However, after reading through it, I found that it was surprisingly made of things I already had in my pantry and fridge! Most of these are pantry staples that you will already have on hand as well! Measurements for each ingredient can be found below in the recipe card.

  • Butter or Margarine: Salted or unsalted work, just adjust additional salt as needed.
  • Flour: Adds structure to the crust. I used all-purpose flour!
  • Water: Needed for adding moisture to the dough.
  • Salt: Salt keeps your crust from tasting bland!
  • Sugar: A little white sugar is a must for that perfect sweetness!
  • Eggs: This will bind the crust together.
  • Cream Cheese: Softened to easily combine for the filling.
  • Vanilla Instant Pudding: Adds the perfect flavor and helps the filling to mix up smoothly.
  • Milk: For adjusting the consistency of the filling and also adding creaminess.
  • Cool Whip: For topping
  • Optional Toppings: Strawberry or banana slices and chocolate sauce for drizzling.
Process shots of preparing cream puff crust.

How to Make an Eclair Cake With Cream Puff Crust

This impressive cake takes less than an hour to make from start to finish! Trust me, it’s well worth it for a cake that tastes just like an eclair! It has top-notch bakery flavor! Follow these simple steps and you’ll have this creamy dessert baking in no time.

  1. Preheat Oven: First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a jelly roll pan or a 9×13 inch pan with cooking spray.
  2. Make the Crust: On low heat in a medium saucepan, melt the butter on low. Add water and bring to a boil. Next, turn off the burner and quickly add flour, salt, sugar and mix until you form a ball. Let cool for 5 minutes. Then, add eggs one at a time and mix in with a fork until incorporated.
  3. Form Crust: Spread the crust mixture out on the jelly roll pan or 9×13 inch pan. If using a 9×13, slightly bring the mixture up on the sides.
  4. Bake: Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes. The crust will bubble up and the edges will turn slightly brown. Let it cool until room temperature.
  5. Prepare Filling: In a stand mixer or using beaters, mix 1 cup of milk with the cream cheese and mix until creamy. Add pudding mix and the rest of the milk and mix well together until creamy.
  6. Layer and Serve: Spread filling over the cooled crust. Spread the cool whip on top of the filling mixture. You can top with sliced fruit and drizzle with chocolate syrup if desired.
Adding layers to eclair cake.

Tips, Toppings and Variations

There are so many ways to make this eclair cake your own. The possibilities are endless. Add in the things you enjoy, and leave out what you don’t. Here are some ideas to get you started!

  • Allow to Set: I recommend refrigerating the cake for anywhere between 8-24 hours before serving. Good luck waiting… waiting is HARD!
  • Crust: Use cinnamon or chocolate graham crackers in place of original OR even better, try vanilla wafers!
  • Fresh Fruit: Add in a fruit layer to add a bit of freshness. I always like adding strawberries, but blueberries, raspberries, sliced bananas, and blackberries are delicious too!
  • Filling: Add cream cheese to the pudding mixture for a thicker filling. Peanut butter added into the filling will also give you an extra stand-out flavor and thicker consistency. You can also experiment with other flavors of pudding like banana (and garnish with sliced banana to match).
  • Make it Diet-Friendly: Use low-fat graham crackers, sugar-free pudding with skim milk and fat-free cool whip if you are wanting a guilt-free dessert option.
  • Toppings: Chocolate or caramel drizzle is a must! I also love to sprinkle the frosting with things like chopped nuts, shaved chocolate, or oreo pieces.
Picking up a slice of eclair cake with a cake spatula.

A Reader’s Review

“Oh my goodness, we just made this…it is delicious! Everyone raved! I love how it is so simple to make yet doesn’t taste like it is.”
Tania

Storing Leftovers

I doubt you’ll have any leftovers of this amazing cake, but leaving this here just in case…

  • In the Refrigerator: Wrap with plastic wrap or store in an airtight container. Your eclair cake will stay fresh for up to 3 days.
  • In the Freezer: If you want to cut clean squares of this cake, freeze before cutting.  All of the ingredients freeze well, so wrap it tightly in foil and it will keep for up to two months. To serve, simply thaw the eclair cake out in refrigerator until it is able to be cut through with a knife.
Taking a bite of eclair cake topped with strawberries and chocolate sauce.

Eclair Cake

5 from 1 vote
Eclair cake is moist and sweet, made with vanilla filling, a buttery crust, and whipped cream topping. There are so many toppings to choose from and you will be amazed at how insanely soft and delicious this cake is!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings: 15 Servings

Ingredients
  

Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups butter or margarine
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 4 eggs

Filling:

  • 1 package cream cheese 8 oz. softened
  • 2 packages vanilla instant pudding small
  • 3 cup milk
  • 1 container cool whip 8 oz., for top

Optional Toppings:

  • chocolate syrup for drizzling optional
  • strawberry or banana slices for garnish optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On low heat in a medium saucepan, melt the butter on low. Add water and bring to a boil. Next, turn off the burner and quickly add flour, salt, sugar, and mix until you form a ball. Let cool for 5 minutes.
  • Add eggs one at a time and mix in with a fork until incorporated. Spray a jelly roll pan or a 9×13 inch pan with cooking spray. Spread the mixture out on the pan. If using a 9×13, slightly bring the mixture up on the sides. Bake for 25-30 minutes in the preheated oven. The crust will bubble up and the edges will turn slightly brown. Let it cool until room temperature.

Filling:

  • For the filling, In a stand mixer or using beaters mix 1 cup of milk with the cream cheese and mix until creamy. Add pudding mix and the rest of the milk and mix well together until creamy.
  • Spread over the cooled crust. Spread the cool whip on top of the filling mixture. You can top with fresh strawberry slices or bananas if desired. Drizzle with chocolate syrup if desired.

Video

Notes

Updated on March 8, 2022
Originally Posted: February 23, 2014

Nutrition

Serves: 15

Calories365kcal (18%)Carbohydrates26g (9%)Protein5g (10%)Fat27g (42%)Saturated Fat16g (80%)Polyunsaturated Fat1gMonounsaturated Fat7gTrans Fat1gCholesterol116mg (39%)Sodium380mg (16%)Potassium135mg (4%)Fiber1g (4%)Sugar16g (18%)Vitamin A938IU (19%)Calcium101mg (10%)Iron1mg (6%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Keyword cake recipes, eclair cake
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic

Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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  1. Hello! I just tried making this but was unsuccessful. The cream cheese & milk never became creamy. It was more curdled looking & lumpy. I let the cream cheese come to room temp since the recipe says softened. I would like to attempt again. Any suggestions?

    1. Well I was all ready to try making this but now am not sure, as I don’t know whether to follow the recipe with 1 1/2 cups 0r 1/2 cup of butter. Don’t want to spend the money or time if it doesn’t come out right. Anybody know for sure?

  2. This recipe has been used in our family for many years. A few comments:
    -Jelly roll pan yields the best results for crust thickness…its light not chewy
    It also yields the most servings!
    -It freezes well! I cut into portion sized pieces and place in a plastic container
    with wax paper in between slices;
    Simply remove how many pieces from the freezer/thaw on plate in frig
    -Filling can be made with banana or lemon pudding also

  3. I have a question instead of a comment, where to store when finished, I suspect the fridge but just would appreciate conformation.

  4. Delicious. I loved the cream puff crust! Served it for a BBQ and there wasn’t a single piece left. The strawberries were a nice pop of freshness to help cut the sweet of the pudding filling. I did make my own whipped cream with a touch of sugar and vanilla. Will definitely make again. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  5. I’ve been making this recipe for years, after someone submitted it to our church recipe book, but it was
    called “Cream Puff Cake”.
    There was no chocolate syrup or strawberries as garnish.
    Most delicious, though, either way.
    Thanks Alyssa, for this recipe for an added twist.

  6. Alyassa thank you for the éclair reciepe the Rejoice and Recovery class on Monday nights were so glad for it I am the kitchen lady Its a court appointed class sponsored by our Baptist Church I bake and cook every Monday and I am always looking for reciepes to feed the girls some are very bad cases and hungary Its my mission I guess thank you for the wonderful reciepe s/Linda

  7. I made this tonight. I substituted Mounds jello pudding and home made whipped cream (what was in the cupboard). It was perfect and simple and a huge hit with the whole family.

  8. Oh my goodness, we just made this…it is delicious! Everyone raved! I love how it is so simple to make yet doesn’t taste like it is. (0:

  9. This recipe was in our grade school volunteer cookbook about 20 years ago. It is delicious, and your picture sure looks fantastic! I haven’t made it for years, or even looked at those old cookbooks. Our grade school volunteers made a new cookbook every year. It was a lot of fun! I really want to make this again, maybe this weekend. Thanks for posting, and taking me down memory lane!

    1. for the past 20 years I’ve had this and this alone for my birthdays, as I’ve yet to find a cake I like more…..though always used a kinda family recipe which calls for a raw egg in cream part lol. Used your recipe though for the 3 birthday ppl this week (I work in a deli that is side by side with a bakery), lol mostly women work there and they ended up giving me a group hug.

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