If you’re in the midst of holiday prep and want an easy, relaxing, dessert that the kids can help make, here’s one of our family’s favorites. It’s Small Batch Chocolate Éclair Cake — an icebox cake made with graham crackers, instant pudding, whipped cream and frosting. I think most people would agree, it tastes better than the sum of its parts!
Since I have a lot of other desserts coming up next week, I made the Éclair Cake in an 8 inch square dish. Most recipes are double this and made in a 13×9 inch dish. Éclair Cake in an 8 inch square dish is just the right size for a small family. And if you are a very small family or baking for 2, it freezes well.
Chocolate Eclair Cake in an 8 Inch Pan
Here’s a more recent photo of the whole cake. I usually make Small Batch Chocolate Eclair Cake with three layers of crackers and two layers of pudding, though the one one in the photo above was made with 4 layers of crackers and 3 layers of pudding. The 3 layers of graham cracker is probably the best.
Here’s one with two layers of pudding. French Vanilla is our instant flavor pudding of choice, but if you can’t find the French Vanilla regular Vanilla is perfectly fine.
A Few More Pudding Desserts
Small Batch Chocolate Éclair Cake
- 1 3.4 oz box of Jell-O instant vanilla pudding
- 1 1/2 cups milk 2%
- 1/2 of an 8 oz tub Cool Whip or you could use 1/2 cup whipping cream, whipped and sweetened with some powdered sugar
- 1/2 a box graham crackers or however many you need to make 3 layers
- 3 tablespoons softened butter
- 3 tablespoons natural unsweetened baking cocoa
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons of warm milk
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
- Whisk pudding mix and milk for about 2 minutes. Pudding should start to thicken. Fold in the whipped topping or freshly whipped cream.
- Arrange graham cracker squares across the bottom of an 8 inch baking dish. You may need to break some of them into small pieces to cover the bottom of the dish. Spread some of the pudding mixture across the graham crackers. Layer on more graham crackers and more pudding mix twice so that you have a total of 3 layers of graham crackers and two layers of pudding mixture.
- To make the icing, beat the butter, cocoa powder and sugar together, then add milk and beat until creamy and smooth. Beat in vanilla.
Glad it’s useful, Annette! My husband likes this so much he requested it as his birthday cake.
Also, it does freeze well if you are making it for two. One little trick is to line the square pan with plastic wrap, assemble in the plastic wrap lined pan, chill, freeze, then lift from pan and slice into squares while frozen. Let the squares thaw in the refrigerator and keep the remainder frozen and tightly wrapped.
Its amazing how such simple ingredients make such an amazing desert ! Thanks for posting the family size recipe !
Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.
This looks amazing! Hope you are doing well! Alison
this looks really delicious, This was my all time favorite dessert, Still my mouth is melting to seen this delicious,thanks for share it.
[email protected] The Caramel Cookie
Oh my gosh Anna! This was my all-time favorite dessert that my mom used to make for me! Her recipe used sour cream but I had to stop eating it since I couldn’t find a good lactose-free replacement for it. This recipe looks great and I can make it lactose free! You rock!!!!
Hi!!! This cake sounds awesome, but I am looking for something to bring for the holidays, so need the full size recipe. Do I just double it, or can someone let me know the website for the fullsize one. I did a search for it but nothing came up.
I LOVE this stuff!! I haven’t made it in years. I think I need to make for the holidays.
Kathy, if you like pumpkin you might want to see if your grocery store has the pumpkin flavored Jell-O pudding mix. I looks like it’s a seasonal product, but I saw it and *almost* bought it to make a pumpkin flavored eclair cake. In the end, I opted to go for our old favorite, but I think this same recipe made with pumpkin pudding and topped with either chocolate (though not in your case) or vanilla frosting with a touch of cinnamon mixed in would be great.
I make a version of this with Nutter Butter cookies. Yum!
I cant eat chocolate so the pumpkin idea sounds pretty good. What do you think would be a good topping?
Amy at TheSceneFromMe
Fantastico! Anything that has the same name as a doughnut or would resemble its taste is a must in my food book. I will be trying this recipe soon!
the blissful baker
yum, this looks decadent and delicious!
Yum, I’m thinking a simple homemade chocolate ganache for the top and we’re good to go! Thanks for the recipe.
Denise Michaels - Adventurous Foodie
Just right for those in a hurry dinner and desserts when you want something everyone will ooh and ahh over without the fuss and muss. I like to think when I bake I’ll do it from scratch. And usually that’s true.
But let’s be honest – there are moment’s in every cook’s life when it’s just not realistic to start sifting and all and mess up the whole kitchen. Great idea!
Thanks for posting a scaled down version of this recipe. I tried the large version for the first time this past Easter and it was a hit. This size will be perfect for small families.
It is amazing how versatile Jello products are. I’m using sugar-free instant vanilla pudding along with pumpkin, spices and cool whip for a lo-cal dessert after Thanksgiving. Perhaps I will layer it with graham crackers.
Love this dessert, especially after it “ages” a day or so. Your photo of it is gorgeous~
Chicken on the Green
This is my absolute favorite dessert- you are so right that it is so much better than the sum of its parts! Thanks for posting the “small version.”