Happy almost new year! I’m spending today working on a book edit before heading down to church to ring in the new year with our church family. The organizers this year have established a Hawaiian theme for our party. Wonder if I still have time to make a grass skirt … (as if!)
Today’s recipe has nothing to do with tonight (I’m using tonight as an excuse to rid my house of all the leftover cookies and candies we don’t need), but it did make an appearance at my sister’s house Christmas night. This is a favorite of our family, and it is one of those desserts that is so easy, you wonder why you’re not making it more often.
I mean it when I say you probably have all of these ingredients in your pantry right now. Except maybe not instant vanilla pudding. Because … instant pudding. I would NEVER allow that in my house if not for this recipe. I’m a die-hard, “please pour me a bowl of that bubbling chocolate pudding so I can give my throat a third-degree burn” girl. Dave likes his cold, cold, cold. More evidence that opposites attract.
Tuck this one away for when you want to bring something easy, delicious, and sure to garner applause. I suggest you practice bowing so you don’t strain something later.
NOTE: This is ideally made 24 hours before you need it, but you can squeak by with just four hours. No one will ever know the difference.
Chocolate Eclair Cake
- one box graham crackers (16 oz)
- two 3 oz boxes INSTANT vanilla pudding mix
- 3 cups milk
- one 8 oz container of Cool Whip
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
Because my family loves this so, I’ve learned to make a double-batch of chocolate graham cracker eclair cake in one of my favorite commercial pans. This is a double-cake pan, so it really comes in handy for potlucks and large gatherings. Or for the smaller-but-ravenous Woodward clan. Feel free to make just an ordinary, dainty, single batch … but you won’t make a habit of that.
First, line your pan with graham crackers. And because I know you’ll wonder, no, you don’t have to prep the pan in any way beforehand. Also … because I know this will come up too … you can either break or crumble some graham crackers to fill those inevitable gaps on the sides of the pan, or you can ignore them and build your cake with just the crackers that will fit. I added another row of half-crackers, which didn’t fit exactly. But the overlap won’t harm the cake at all.
Next, mix together the pudding mixes and milk. When completely blended, fold in the whipped topping. Now plop half of this onto your graham crackers …
… and spread nicely.
You’re then going to do it all over again. Place a second layer of graham crackers over the topping, then add the second half of the topping over all. Finally, add one last layer of graham crackers.
Now make your frosting. In a small pan, combine the unsweetened cocoa powder, milk and sugar over medium heat. When it comes to a boil, cook for one minute, then remove from heat and add the butter and vanilla. Mix well and let cool for ten minutes.
When cooler but still pourable, pour the frosting over the last layer of graham crackers and smooth with a spatula.
What do you think?
The bite I know you wanted and had on your behalf: