It's easy but seems fancy, this no-bake cake is an all-round winner. All the cooking that's needed for our chocolate eclair cake is for the vanilla pudding or custard that's the filling. It's chilled, then when the cake is assembled it's sandwiched between layers of graham crackers. A rich chocolate frosting or ganache, simply made with semisweet chocolate and heavy cream, is the finishing touch. The hardest part is waiting for this make-ahead dessert to set before you serve.


Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary

45 mins
4 hrs 45 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan. Whisk together milk and egg yolks in a bowl. Add milk mixture to the saucepan, along with butter. Cook, stirring, over medium until mixture comes to a boil. Let boil, stirring, 1 minute. Remove from heat and add vanilla.

  • Strain pastry cream through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto surface of pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.

  • Whisk 1/2 cup heavy cream until firm peaks form. Whisk chilled pastry cream until smooth, then fold whipped cream into pastry cream.

  • Arrange 1/3 graham crackers on the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch pan. Spread half of the pastry cream mixture on top, smoothing it with a spatula to make an even layer. Repeat with half of remaining crackers and remainder of the pastry cream. Arrange remaining crackers on top of pastry cream.

  • Heat remaining 1 cup heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium-high until just boiling. Pour over chocolate in a small heatproof bowl; cover with a plate. Let stand until chocolate melts, then stir until smooth. Spread over graham cracker layer, smoothing top with an offset spatula. Refrigerate to set, at least 2 hours and up to overnight.