A Better Chocolate Eclair Cake

"This is the classic potluck dessert, but from scratch - SOOOOO much better! I got this from Cook's Country mag. I make the custard the night before, assemble in the morning and by afternoon, bliss..."
photo by a food.com user photo by a food.com user
Ready In:
8hrs 10mins




  • Combine sugar, cornstarch and salt in a large saucepan. Whisk milk in until smooth and bring to a boil, scraping the bottom with a rubber spatula over medium high heat. Immediately reduce heat to medium low and cook, continuing to scrape bottom, until thick and large bubbles appear on the surface, 4-6 minutes. Off heat, whisk in butter and vanilla. Transfer pudding to a large bowl and place plastic wrap directly on the surface. Refrigerate until cool, about 2 hours or overnight.
  • Stir water and gelatin together in a bowl and let sit until gelatin softens, about 5 minutes. Microwave until mixture is bubbling around the edges and gelatin dissolves, 15-30 seconds. Using a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, whip 2 cups cream on medium low speed until foamy, about a minute. Increase speed to high and whip until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Add gelatin mixture and whip until stiff peaks form, about a minute more.
  • Whisk one-third whipped cream into chilled pudding, then gently fold in remaining whipped cream, one scoop at a time until combined. Cover the bottom of a 13 X 9 inch baking dish with a layer of graham crackers, breaking the crackers as necessary to line the bottom of the pan. Top with half of the pudding mixture and another layer of graham crackers. Repeat with remaining pudding mixture and remaining graham crackers.
  • Microwave chocolate chips, remaining 3/4 cup cream and corn syrup in a bowl, stirring occasionally until smooth, 1-2 minutes. Cool glaze to room temp, about 10 minutes.Cover graham crackers with glaze and refrigerate cake for 6 - 24 hours.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Cakes2006
    Very good but not really what I expected.. I may or may not make again. The entire process was pretty simple and I have been wanting to make it since seeing the episode of Cook's Country where they made it. I think everything turned out the way it was, I'm just not sure of the flavor. Good though. Creamy with a nice ganache topping, maybe it was the grahams I used? Not sure.
  2. NancyLeeIL
    I wasn't sure if I should really rate this recipe because I never feel like its fair if you "change" it to rate it, but I trust Cooks Illustrated Recipes and when I was looking for a recipe that didn't use cool whip in the making of this cake I found this one. I did NOT make the custard but used the usual 2 pkgs of french vanilla pudding (and 4 cups of milk rather than the 3 most call for). But I did use the recipe part for the stabilized whipped cream (unflavored gelatin and whipping cream) instructions and used the topping. I thought the topping really was yucky and really ruined the whole cake. I used semisweet chocolate chips as I read the original (on the site) recipe and it used semisweet chocoate. It definitely was NOT what I had tasted in other eclair cakes. It looked pretty (i.e. glossy) but just to me ruined the cake's "eclair" taste. Milk chocolate chips might work better and I will try that the next time.


Hi! My name is Nanci. I have lived in the Cincinnati, Ohio area for my entire life and love it here. I worked for nearly 27 years as a pet groomer and am now a receptionist in an awesome little grooming shop. I live with my boyfriend of 10 years and our 4 cats. I have 3 kids and 7 grandkids whom I adore. I make special occasion cakes as a hobby. My favorite cooking story is from when I catered my niece's wedding in North Carolina. I had finished displaying the 5 tier cake with 7 minute frosting and was in the kitchen finishing the food when we heard a huge crash in the reception room. The cake had collapsed from the heat and humidity! I quickly made up a new batch of frosting and put it back together before the guests arrived. The bride didn't even notice the difference!</p>
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