From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I can't for the life of me figure why this was called an eclair cake. Its layers and appearance are more like a Napoleon than an eclair, but then I wasn't asked to name it, or, for that matter, to offer my opinion on it one way or the other. That never stops me. For reasons that escape me, I never put the recipe on the blog, despite the fact we have it whenever there are youngsters in the house. This dessert scores on two levels. It is delicious and also easy to make. As a matter of fact, it's so easy to make, that I turn the task over to the children when they are around. I have two versions of the topping that is used for the dessert. One involves boiling the glaze, the other is a more simple mix and stir application that the kids can make without getting burned. The recipe is straight forward and the only caution I have to share with you regards time. You can assemble the cake in 10 minutes, but it will require refrigeration for at least 8 hours before it is served. During that time, the graham crackers soften and begin to absorb the filling as it sets. You can create a dozen variations of the basic recipe by using different puddings and adding fruit to the layers. When you are working with children, however, it is best to keep the ingredients as simple as possible. It's also imperative to let them know they can't eat it right away. Actually, they can, but the dessert will look like a hot mess on the plate if it is served before it has set. I hope those of you who have never tried this recipe will give it a try. Here is how the eclair cake is made.
Easy Eclair Cake...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
2 (3.4 oz) packages vanilla instant pudding
3 cups whole milk
12 ounces cool whip
1 box graham crackers
Topping One - Child's Version
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 cups powdered sugar
Topping Two - Adult's Version
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1 teaspoon vanilla vanilla
1) To make base and filling: Blend milk and vanilla pudding packets for about 2 minutes. Fold in Cool Whip.
Using a 8 x 11-inch pan, cover bottom with graham crackers, breaking crackers as needed to fit. Pour half of filling on top and level. Cover with another layer of graham crackers and the remainder of filling. Cover with final layer of graham crackers with bumpy side down.
2) To make child's version of topping: Microwave butter and milk just enough so that they are melted together. Add cocoa and powdered sugar and blend together. This will be a runnier frosting/glaze. Pour over top of graham crackers and smooth out nicely. Refrigerate overnight.
To make adult version of topping: Bring cocoa, milk, and sugar to a full rolling boil; boil about 1 minute, stirring very frequently. Remove from heat and cool one minute. Add butter and vanilla; stir until butter is melted. Pour chocolate topping over the top layer of graham crackers. Refrigerate over night.
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