Savor the rich elegance of my Chocolate Eclair Cake, featuring a freshly baked, buttery pastry base layered with a creamy blend of French vanilla pudding and cream cheese, topped with a luxurious chocolate fudge sauce. This dessert strikes a delightful balance between the baked pastry and the smooth, velvety filling, making it an irresistible treat for any occasion. Its sophisticated flavor profile and stunning presentation promise to be a hit at any gathering, combining the classic charm of eclairs with the ease of a make-ahead dessert.
You’ll love this Chocolate Eclair Cake Recipe
If you’re in search of a dessert that effortlessly combines elegance with irresistible flavor, my Chocolate Eclair Cake recipe is an absolute must-try.
This delicious dessert is a symphony of textures and tastes, sure to captivate from the first bite. It’s made up of layers of light, buttery pastry, each bite melting into a rich, velvety filling of French vanilla pudding and cream cheese. The crowning glory is a luxurious fudge sauce, boasting a deep chocolate flavor that’s perfectly sweetened. Each layer of this cake is a testament to the classic eclair, but with a delightful twist that makes it uniquely satisfying.
This dessert is the perfect choice for both special occasions and those nights when you crave something sweet and comforting. Prepare to fall in love with the flavors and the joy of creating a dessert that looks as impressive as it tastes.
Eclair Cake Recipe Ingredients
Pastry Base Ingredients:
- Butter, Salted: Adds richness and flavor to the pastry base.
- Eggs: Provide structure and stability to the pastry.
- All-Purpose Flour: The main building block for the pastry, giving it structure.
- Salt: Enhances the overall flavor of the pastry.
Pudding Filling & Cool Whip:
- Whole Milk: Used to create a creamy base for the pudding.
- Cream Cheese: Adds a rich, tangy flavor to the filling.
- Instant French Vanilla Pudding: A convenient and flavorful base for the filling.
- Cool Whip: Provides a light, fluffy texture to the filling.
- Butter, Salted: Adds creaminess and flavor to the sauce.
- Cocoa Powder: Gives a deep chocolate flavor to the fudge sauce.
- Powdered Sugar: Sweetens and thickens the sauce.
- Milk: Thins the sauce to the desired consistency.
How to make Chocolate Eclair Cake
How to Make the Dough for Chocolate Eclair Dessert
The eclair pastry dough isn’t that hard, but it does take some arm muscles.
1. Bring water, salt and butter to a boil.
2. Add flour and stir until mixed.
3. Then one at a time add the eggs. This is where you need to really use those muscles! Don’t be afraid to tag team with someone!! You really want the eggs incorporated well.
4. Once the eggs have been fully incorporated into the flour mixture, spread the pastry dough onto a greased 13″x9″ Sheet Pan. The mixture can be sticky, so I like to spray my hands with cooking spray first. That way it doesn’t stick to my hands!
5. Bake the dough for 10-15 minutes or until the top is golden brown and puffy
6. Allow it to cool completely. As the dough cools it will flatten a little. That is normal, so don’t be alarmed!
How to Assemble Your Chocolate Eclair Cake
Next up, you’ll need to prepare your pudding filling!
- Start by preparing your pudding according to the instructions on the box. You’ll beat the mixture with a hand mixture or your Kitchen Aide.
- Once the pudding mixture is made, blend in the softened cream cheese.
- Mix until it is completely combined and then spread it on the cooled eclair dough.
- Place the sheet pan into the fridge to allow the pudding to set. This usually only takes like 10-15 minutes!
- Once set, spread the Cool Whip on top of the pudding!
How to Make the Chocolate Sauce for this Eclair Dessert
Lastly, let’s prepare the best chocolate sauce out there!
1. Melt together the butter and Cocoa Power on low heat in a heavy sauce pan on the stove.
2. When melted and combined, remove from the heat and add 3 ½ cups of powdered sugar.
3. Then add 4-5 tablespoons of milk until desired consistency and taste.
4. Then drizzle the chocolate sauce on top of the Cool Whip topping!
This chocolate sauce is the best, because it hardens when cooled and the flavor is delicious!
I assure you that anyone you serve this to will LOVE IT! The flavors are amazing and this is so much easier to make than real eclairs!
Chocolate Eclair Cake Recipe Tips
- Proper Layering: When assembling your cake, ensure that each layer is evenly spread. This not only makes for a visually appealing dessert but also guarantees that every bite has the perfect balance of pastry, filling, and chocolate.
- Quality Ingredients: Use high-quality cocoa powder for the fudge sauce and a good brand of French vanilla pudding. The better the quality of your ingredients, the more delicious your cake will taste.
- Softened Cream Cheese: Ensure your cream cheese is at room temperature before mixing it into the pudding. This will prevent lumps and result in a smoother, creamier filling.
- Whipped Cream: Consider using homemade whipped cream instead of store-bought Cool Whip for a fresher, richer taste. If you stick with Cool Whip, make sure it’s thawed properly for easy spreading.
- Sauce Consistency: When preparing the fudge sauce, aim for a thick yet pourable consistency. It should be rich and smooth, not too runny or too stiff.
Serving Chocolate Eclair Dessert
- Chill Adequately: Before serving, ensure your Chocolate Eclair Dessert has been chilled for at least several hours, preferably overnight. This chilling time allows the layers to set properly and the flavors to meld.
- Prepare for Slicing: To slice the dessert cleanly, use a sharp, thin-bladed knife. For even better results, run the knife under hot water and dry it before each cut. This heat helps the knife glide through the layers smoothly.
- Slice Sizes: Decide on the size of your servings. You can cut smaller squares for a large gathering or larger portions for a more indulgent serving. Aim for uniformity in slice sizes for a neat presentation.
- Garnishing: For an extra touch of elegance, you can garnish each slice right before serving. Chocolate shavings or even a fresh berry can add visual appeal and a hint of additional flavor.
- Serve Immediately: Once cut, serve the dessert immediately to maintain its structure. Eclair cake is best enjoyed when it’s still cool and the layers are distinct.
- Pairing with Beverages: Pair your Chocolate Eclair Dessert with a beverage that complements its richness. Coffee, tea, or even a glass of dessert wine can be excellent choices.
- Storing Leftovers: If there are any leftovers, cover them and store them in the refrigerator. The dessert usually keeps well for a few days, making it a great make-ahead option.
- Room Temperature Note: Avoid leaving the dessert out at room temperature for extended periods, as the layers can become too soft and may lose their structure.
- Enjoy!: Most importantly, enjoy your creation! Savor each bite and the smiles it brings to your guests’ faces.
Eclair Cake Recipe Storage
How to Freeze Chocolate Eclair Cake
Unfortunately no! It would ruin the consistency of the pudding layer.
Making Chocolate Eclair Dessert in Advance
However, if you’re going to be short on time leading up to the event you want to serve the Eclair Cake at, you could make the Eclair Pastry Dough layer ahead of time and freeze it. After it’s been cooked, allow it to cool completely and then cover it in Press N Seal and freeze it.
When you’re ready to prepare the rest of the Eclair Cake, allow the Eclair Pastry Dough to be completely thawed before assembling the rest of the layers!
- 13"x9" Sheet Pan
- Kitchen Aid Mixer
- 1 cup Water
- ½ cup Butter Salted
- 4 Eggs
- 1 cup All Purpose Flour
- ½ tsp Salt
Pudding Filling & Cool Whip
- 3.5 cups Whole Milk
- 8 oz Cream Cheese Softened
- 2 boxes 3.4 Oz Instant French Vanilla Pudding (this is the small box)
- 12 oz Cool Whip
- 8 tbsp Butter Salted
- 4 tbsp Cocoa Powder
- 3.5 cups Powdered Sugar
- 4 tbsp Milk
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
- Bring water, salt and butter to a boil. Add flour and stir until mixed.
- Remove from heat and add one egg at a time and mix until no longer glossy. (see notes).
- Once the eggs have been fully incorporated into the flour mixture, spread the pastry dough onto a greased 13"x9" Sheet Pan. (see notes)
- Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the top is golden brown and puffy. Cool completely. As the dough cools it will flatten a little. That is normal. Don't be alarmed!
Pudding Filling & Cool Whip
- Mix pudding with milk as directed on the pudding boxes (beat with mixer).
- Once the pudding mixture is made, blend in the softened cream cheese.
- Spread the pudding filling all over the top of the cooled crust. Put in the fridge for a few minutes to let the pudding set.
- Top the pudding with the Cool Whip. Refrigerate while you prepare the chocolate sauce.
- Melt together the butter and Cocoa Power on low heat in a heavy sauce pan on the stove.
- When melted and combined, remove from the heat and add 3 ½ cups of powdered sugar. Then add 4-5 tablespoons of milk until desired consistency and taste.
- Drizzle on top of the Cool Whip. Refrigerate until ready to serve. This dessert it meant to be served completely chilled.
- *Note* This fudge sauce refrigerates very well. If you are lazy (like I am sometimes) then you can use Hershey's chocolate, but note that it DOES NOT refrigerate well. It will run all over the top of the Eclair Cake. If you opt to use Hershey's Chocolate, then I suggest you just have it on the side to be drizzled on pieces individually as they are served.
Enjoy! This really is such a great recipe and I really hope you, your friends and your family love it as much as mine do!
If you’ve tried this recipe, I’d love it if you’d comment and rate the recipe! I love to hear feedback and answer questions!
Make sure to pin this post for later too! Thanks so much friends! Have a great day!
*This recipe was originally posted in August 2013 and has been updated!