This No-Bake Chocolate Eclair Cake is an easy icebox dessert made with a wonderful creamy custard filling between layers of softened graham cracker and topped with a rich chocolate glaze. I love to serve it with strawberries for a garnish.

For other delicious no-bake recipes, be sure to check out my Easy No-Bake Blueberry Delight, Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies, Strawberry Pretzel Icebox Pie, Easy Lemon Icebox Cake, and No-Bake Sour Cream Lemon Pie.

An image of a piece of no-bake chocolate eclair cake with a sliced strawberry on top.

No-Bake Chocolate Eclair Cake

A funny thing happens sometimes where I make something that has been around forever and that I think everybody in the world knows about, and then it turns out no one in my social circle seems to have ever experienced it before. That's the case with this easy chocolate eclair cake. 

I swear I saw this on every potluck table when I was growing up. But I made this for a dinner party recently and no one, not even my husband, thought they had tasted eclair cake before! Then I polled my friends, SIL, BIL, and others and not one person I asked had ever had an eclair cake!

Our oldest daughter is named Clara and immediately started calling this e-Clara cake, or even just Clara cake, which has stuck. It's such an easy recipe that she can even make it by herself, which she loves. We love classic French eclairs, but this delicious no-bake cake is an even easier alternative with the same flavors!

An image of three slices of chocolate eclair cake on dessert plates.

What is Chocolate Eclair Cake?

This dessert is called an eclair cake because it's flavor, and even texture to an extent, is reminiscent of French éclairs, which are cream filled pastries coated with a chocolate glaze on top.

It's one of those recipes that is so simple and easy to make that it feels like cheating.

The fudgy frosting/glaze/topping is super easy to make and pour over the top. It's just melted butter whisked with cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and milk. But it's literally the icing on the cake. You pour it on and it mostly smooths itself out, then sets into a thin, fudgy layer of chocolate indulgence that perfectly balances the light, creamy vanilla pudding underneath.

The pudding layer is ridiculously easy as well. It's just a package of instant vanilla pudding mixed with cold milk (but not quite as much as the package directs), which is then combined with a container of Cool Whip or stabilized whipped cream. It makes for a super light, custard with the most wonderful consistency!

An image of three slices of eclair cake on plates next to the pan with the rest of the dessert still in it ready to be served.
An image of a layered icebox cake dessert with softened graham crackers, creamy pudding and whipped cream, and chocolate glaze on top.

How to Make No-Bake Chocolate Eclair Cake

  1. Make the pudding:  Combine the contents of a small package of vanilla pudding with cold mix and whisk together for 2 minutes, then let it set up in the fridge for 5 minutes to thicken slightly.
An image of prepared vanilla pudding from a mix.
  1. Make whipped cream: Beat 1 cup heavy cream and ¼ cup powdered sugar using an electric mixer until soft peaks form.
  2. Combine pudding and whipped cream:  Just stir the two together with a spatula until no streaks remain.
An image of a bowl of stabilized whipped cream.
An image of whipped cream being folded into vanilla pudding.
  1. Arrange whole graham crackers in an even layer on the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish:  You may need to break some apart to cover the edges.
An image of graham cracker squares arranged in the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish.
  1. Pour half of the custard filling over the graham crackers:  Spread it to the corners to create an even layer.
An image of a layer of creamy whipped cream and pudding spread over graham crackers in a 9x13-inch baking dish.
  1. Repeat with another layer of graham crackers, the remaining custard, and a final layer of graham crackers on top:  As the dessert sets up in the fridge, the custard will soften the graham crackers without making them soggy so they get this cake-like texture to them that is to die for!
  2. Mix the chocolate glaze and pour over the top:  Just whisk all of the glaze ingredients together and use a spatula to spread it evenly over the top layer of graham crackers.
  3. Chill in the fridge:  If you were to slice into this dessert right away, you would end up with crunchy graham crackers and pudding goop. It really needs at least 4 hours in the fridge to set up so that it can actually be sliced and served. I think adding a berry or two to each slice for presentation is not only pretty, but a delicious addition.
An image of a sliced eclair cake with a spatula for serving.

Eclair Cake Variations from Others

More No-Bake Desserts You'll Love

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No-Bake Chocolate Eclair Cake

5 from 3 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 18 servings
This No-Bake Chocolate Eclair Cake is an easy icebox dessert made with a wonderful creamy custard filling between layers of softened graham cracker and topped with a rich chocolate glaze.  I love to serve it with strawberries for a garnish.


Filling Layers

  • 2 (3.4-ounce) boxes instant vanilla pudding
  • 3 ½ cups cold milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 3 sleeves graham crackers


  • 4 Tablespoons salted butter
  • cup milk
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Combine the pudding mixes and milk in a large bowl and whisk for 2 minutes, until smooth and beginning to thicken. Refrigerate for 5 minutes.
  • Beat whipped cream and powdered sugar in a separate bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold whipped cream into the vanilla pudding, stirring until completely incorporated.
  • Arrange graham crackers in the bottom of a 9x13-inch dish in an even layer, breaking them up as needed to fit the pan. Spread ½ of the pudding mixture over the bottom layer of graham crackers. Arrange additional graham crackers in another even layer on top of the pudding, then repeat with the remaining pudding mixture and a final layer of graham crackers.
  • In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the butter and milk until the butter has melted, then add the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla and stir until smooth. Pour over the top graham cracker layer, spreading the glaze out to create a smooth top.
  • Transfer the eclair cake to the refrigerator and let it chill for 8 hours until set. Slice into squares and serve.


  • You can use one 8-ounce container of thawed Cool Whip in place of the heavy cream and powdered sugar, if desired.


Calories: 170kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 123mg | Potassium: 111mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 184IU | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

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About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

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Reader questions and reviews

  1. We love this dessert!  This has been Lilly's contribution to the Thanksgiving dessert table for a couple of years now.  Because we are lactose intolerant over here we have to make a few modifications, including using whipped topping AKA Cool Whip, but it is so nice to be able to have something fancy & fun and simple enough for a teen to make.

  2. I love your recipes. I have been trying to bake successful french macarons all year and after many, many failed batches, yours was the only no-fail recipe that gave me success!
    Would you consider posting a traditional French chocolate eclair recipe?

    1. Hi Muriel! I'm sorry it's taken me so long to respond to your comment! I definitely got behind there on replying for a bit, but I wanted to tell you that your comment inspired me and I made classic French eclairs! Let me know if you try them out!

  3. This no bake cake was absolutely delicious! My last recipe to make for the June no bake dessert challenge and it was my favorite for sure. I feel like the possibilities are endless on different versions of this cake - change up the graham crackers to chocolate or change the pudding to banana or chocolate or add some hazelnut chocolate between layers. I am definitely going to be making a few of these cakes this summer!

  4. 5 stars
    Exellent ! just looking at theese culinary delights, I'm salivating all day & I'm gaining weight ! . . . still love watching & dreaming