Pastry-less Pastry

Sometimes I want something decadent and I don't want to put much work into it. Usually when that happens, I opt to get a fantastic donut from Greenbush Bakery. However, sometimes the situation calls for a little effort and then I turn to one of a few favorite no bake dessert cakes I have at the ready. My favorite mimics the flavor of a chocolate eclair and really tends to impress family and guests alike:

I'm particularly fond of this recipe because it takes maybe 15 minutes to prepare and I can easily have the youngster help out with pouring milk and pudding mix into the bowl of my stand mixer, arrange graham crackers in a baking dish, spread pudding and warm chocolate with a spatula, and endure the multiple hours that must pass before serving it! A word of warning: do not attempt to enjoy this cake too early. Part of the magic of the finished product is the texture the graham crackers take on as the moisture from the pudding soaks into them. If you try it early, you will have a crunchy mess! So find a way to pass the time between assembling this simple dessert and taking your first bite of eclair bliss. Enjoy!

Chocolate Eclair Cake

  • 2 (3.5 ounce) packages instant chocolate fudge pudding mix
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 (16 ounce) package graham cracker squares
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup half & half

Using an electric mixer, thoroughly blend the pudding mix and milk.

Arrange a single layer of graham cracker squares in the bottom of a 13x9 inch baking pan. Evenly spread half of the pudding mixture over the crackers. Top with another layer of crackers and the remaining pudding mixture. Top with a final layer of graham crackers.

Place the chocolate chips and half & half in a microwavable bowl. Microwave on HIGH for 1 minute and stir the mixture until all of the chocolate chips are melted into the half & half. If needed, microwave in 30 second increments until the chips are melted. Pour the mixture over the top layer of graham crackers and spread evenly over the entire top of the cake. Cover and chill at least 4 hours before serving.

  • Yields: 15 servings
  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes, plus chilling time