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Rediscover an old fashioned icebox cake with layers of graham crackers, pudding and frosting in this amazing Chocolate Eclair Dessert. The different layers and textures will make your mouth so happy.

Pudding adds the creaminess in this sweet treat! It’s so fun use in all sorts of desserts. Try out some ways to use pudding in recipes like Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding, Sticky Walnut Toffee Pudding Cake, or Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies. They’re all amazing!

Chocolate eclair slice of cake on a white plate with fork.

Chocolate Eclair

It might seem like a special occasion dessert, but it’s really so easy to make and you only need a few ingredients. Since it’s so simple to make, the kids can easily help prepare it. The only thing to remember is, it needs to be refrigerated overnight, so make sure to plan in advance. This is guaranteed to be a big hit and it tastes great for several days.

This is the perfect dessert to make for those busy dinner times, potlucks, holiday get togethers or any time where you need an amazing dessert that you make ahead of time. It’s so simple and easy but tastes so amazing with the softened graham crackers, creamy pudding and rich icing. Light and fancy, you have to love it!

No-Bake Dessert Ingredients

Classic ingredients for this amazing dessert! This eclair is SO delicious. The graham crackers soften up, but they don’t get soggy. The firm chocolate icing is thick and rich and PERFECT on top of the pillowy pudding layers and soft graham crackers.

  • Graham Crackers: 1 whole box – 3 packages in a box
  • French Vanilla Instant Pudding: Make sure they are the 3.4 ounce size
  • Milk: To mix up the pudding
  • Cool Whip: 8 oz carton thawed

Chocolate Icing Ingredients

  • Sugar: Balances the bitterness of the cocoa
  • Cocoa Powder: Rich chocolaty flavor
  • Milk: Just enough to make it spreadable
  • Butter: Helps keep the frosting smooth
  • Vanilla: Perfect punch of sweet flavor

Making this Simple Eclair Dessert

This is super simple to throw to together, the hardest part is to remember that it needs to refrigerate overnight. So plan ahead!

  1. Pudding:In a large bowl combine both boxes of dry pudding and milk till well mixed.
  2. Add: Fold in the thawed Cool Whip and set aside
  3. Layer: In a 9×13 pan place a single layer of graham crackers. Pour half of the pudding mixture over the crackers and spread evenly. Cover completely with another layer of graham crackers, followed by the remaining pudding mixture. Then a final layer of graham crackers.
  4. Refrigerate: Place in the fridge to chill while you make the icing

Decadent Chocolate Eclair Icing

  1. Whisk: In a medium saucepan whisk the sugar, and cocoa till no lumps of cocoa remain.
  2. Heat: Place over medium heat and add the milk whisking till sugar is dissolved.
  3. Boil: Bring the mixture to a boil and boil for 1 minute
  4. Remove: Remove from heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla and stir until butter is melted and smooth.
  5. Pour: Pour the warm icing over the slightly chilled dessert and spread out evenly
  6. Chill: Return to the fridge and chill overnight.

Steps to making eclair cake.

What is an Icebox Cake?

This No Bake Chocolate Eclair Dessert is a classic take on an Icebox cake, so what does that mean anyway.

  • Definition: In its simplest form, an icebox cake is a layered dessert of crispy cookies and fluffy whipped cream. But it is one that transforms into something truly magical and complex when placed in the fridge to firm up, as the cookies absorb the cream, softening into something downright caky and luscious. Yum!
  • History: The icebox cake stormed onto the culinary scene during WWI and became popular in the 1920s and 30’s. This eclair dessert is the perfect way to bring back a nostalgic classic.

Four slices of cake on white plates.

Tips For the Best Chocolate Eclair Dessert

  • Crackers: You will need to break some of the graham crackers into smaller pieces to fully cover the pudding. Trust me you’ll want to cover it all. Pretend it’s a tetras game.
  • Cover the Dessert:  Wait till the icing on top of the dessert has cooled completely before covering it with a lid or plastic wrap. Otherwise it will sweat and form water droplets on top.
  • Cutting:  The key to getting a nice clean slice is to use a sharp knife and wipe it clean after each cut.
  • Chilling: The dessert needs at least 8 hours to chill and soften the graham crackers. It can be made the night before or in the morning.
  • Cool Whip: If you prefer to use your own whipped cream, you’ll need to add gelatin to stabilize it so it is thick enough, and not runny. Take 2 Tablespoons of water and  1 1/4 teaspoons gelatin mix and let sit for 5 min. Then microwave till the edges bubble and the gelatin dissolves. Set aside while you whip 2 cups of heavy cream till soft peaks form. Add in the gelatin and mix till stiff peaks form. Stir into the pudding.

Eclair cakes on white plates with forks.

More No-Bake Recipes to Try

Whether we just want something a little different or don’t want to turn the oven on, everyone loves a good no-bake recipe, try these winners!

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No-Bake Chocolate Eclair Dessert

By: Alyssa Rivers
An easy, no-bake, dessert that is layered with graham crackers, pillowy pudding and a rich chocolate icing.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 12 Servings


  • 1 14.4 ounce box graham crackers (3 packages in a box)
  • 2 3.4 ounces boxes French Vanilla Instant Pudding Mix
  • 2 and 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 8 ounce carton Cool Whip, thawed

Chocolate Icing


  • In a large bowl, combine both boxes of dry pudding mix and milk and whisk together until well combined. Fold in the thawed Cool Whip; set aside. Cover the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking pan with a single layer of graham crackers. Pour half of the pudding mixture over the top and spread out evenly. Cover completely with another layer of graham crackers, followed by the remaining pudding mixture and then a final layer of graham crackers. You will have to break some of the graham crackers into smaller pieces to fully cover the pudding. Refrigerate while you prepare the chocolate icing.

For the Chocolate Icing:

  • In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar and cocoa until no lumps of cocoa remain. Whisk in the milk and heat over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil and boil for one minute.
  • Remove from heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla until the butter is melted and mixture is smooth. Remove dessert from the refrigerator and pour the hot chocolate icing over the slightly chilled dessert; spread out evenly. Return to the refrigerator and chill overnight.
  • Note: Once the icing on top of the dessert has cooled, cover the baking dish with a lid, foil or plastic wrap. The following day, slice and serve. The key to getting nice clean slices is to use a sharp knife and wipe the knife clean after each cut.


Updated on December 10, 2020
Originally Posted on July 12, 2016


Calories: 409kcalCarbohydrates: 67gProtein: 5gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 367mgPotassium: 201mgFiber: 2gSugar: 43gVitamin A: 368IUCalcium: 121mgIron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Cake, Dessert
Cuisine: French
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic!

About Alyssa Rivers

Alyssa Rivers is the author of 'The Tried and True Cookbook', a professional food photographer and experienced recipe-developer. Having a passion for cooking, her tried and true recipes have been featured on Good Morning America, Today Food, Buzzfeed and more.

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  1. Hello!
    Wonderful recipes!
    I like them.
    I`m from Europe. Can you indicate the weight in grams of the products.
    Thank you!
    Greeting, Maria

    1. I usually use a converter online to see out the grams or other measurements that I am looking for. Hope that helps and you can find what you are looking for, Thanks so much for following along with me from Europe!! XOXO