Eclair Cake is one of those desserts I see often at potlucks, family gatherings, and is a personal favorite of mine. If you are not familiar, it’s a no bake dessert that is made up of just a few simple ingredients: graham crackers, vanilla pudding, cool whip, and usually chocolate frosting (but I’ve also seen it with chocolate pudding on top).
I decided to make this dessert for a church dinner, and as I was getting my supplies from the grocery store, I spied this…
HOLD THE PHONE! Pumpkin Spice pudding?! I immediately scooped up several packages, and then the idea of substituting the pumpkin spice pudding for the vanilla pudding, and using cinnamon graham crackers instead of regular in the eclair cake came to me. It sounded seasonal and delicious…and it was!
I realized too late that the milk was left out of the picture, but I used skim. You could use any kind you like, and I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t use almond, soy, etc., but I’ve never tried it.
As I mentioned, I made this to take to church, so I couldn’t get a picture of the inside of the cake after I made it. However, I assumed I would be able to quickly (and discreetly) take a phone pic after people started cutting into it. Well, that didn’t go according to plan. When I got to the dessert table, it was gone! Only some crumbs of frosting remained, and someone even came along and licked the spoon before taking it to the kitchen 🙂 Luckily, I had snagged a few bites from one of my children’s plates, so I can attest that it was very tasty.
I usually make this in a 9 x 13 pan, but on this occasion, I made 2 8 x 8’s – one pumpkin spice and one regular eclair cake. (The regular cake was also eaten before I got to the dessert table!) The following recipe is for the 9 x 13 size.
Pumpkin Spice Eclair Cake with Chocolate Frosting
- 1 box Cinnamon Graham Crackers you will have some leftover
- 2 boxes Instant Pumpkin Spice Pudding mix
- 3 cups milk
- 1 container Cool Whip
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon optional
- 1/4 tsp. allspice optional
For Frosting -
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Mix 2 boxes of instant pudding with 3 cups milk. Stir until it begins to thicken.
- Fold in container of Cool Whip.
- Line a 9 x 13 pan with single layer of graham crackers.
- Spread 1/3 of pudding mixture on top of crackers.
- Place another layer of graham crackers on top of pudding.
- Repeat layers, ending with pudding mixture.
- Place in refrigerator to chill while making frosting*
For the Frosting
- Mix sugar, cocoa and milk in a medium size pot.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat - stirring the entire time with a wooden spoon.
- Boil for one minute (still stirring!)
- Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla.
- Mix until it just starts to thicken - don't let it thicken too much or it is difficult to spread over cake. Pour over pudding layer of cake. Icing will 'set' on cake.
Time Saving Tip - If you do not want to make homemade icing/frosting, you can take a store-bought can of frosting, heat in the microwave, and pour over cake.
- Allow cake to chill in refrigerator for about 4 hours or overnight before serving so the graham crackers can soften and create a cake like texture.
I like to divide my pudding into thirds when layering my eclair cake, but if you want a thicker pudding layer, you can just divide it in half, ending with graham crackers on top. I’ve made it both ways, I just prefer a thinner pudding layer. It’s an easy dessert that always goes over well! What do you like to bring to potluck/cover dish dinners?
KimM is a contributing writer for Eat at Home. She lives in NC with her husband, three children, and 2 fur babies. You can find her blogging about her kitchen adventures at Makin’ it Mo’Betta.
Angie | Big Bear's Wife says
Eclair is always the first thing to go at a potluck isn’t it! I bet this pumpkin spice version is amazing
You cannot substitute other kinds of milk (soy, almond, rice) according to the Jello packaging I have read. Something about the milk is what makes it thicken.. 🙁
Shannan Carothers says
I use almound milk with instant pudding and it thicken. I had problem with soy not setting up.
Just wanted to throw some ideas out there… My local store was out of the pumpkin spice flavor so I took the idea of it and ran! I used half a can of pumpkin and all of the typical pumpkin spices and mixed with a large box of vanilla jello and 3 cups milk. Added spices until I liked the spiciness. I also did four layers of graham crackers so that I ended with crackers on top to help the divide when topping with frosting. AND I also used cream cheese frosting to top instead of the chocolate as I wasn’t sure if I would like the chocolate with pumpkin. All that to say, this was PHENOMENAL!! And, of course, gone! Made my second one today and am so excited that it gets to stay home… Does that sound bad?? 😉 Thank you for the spin on an all time favorite! <3 This!!
Dawn, thanks for sharing your adaptations for this recipe. I love those ideas! Sounds fantastic!
Kim of Mo'Betta says
Dawn, I love your modifications! And when you add a vegetable to a dessert, it makes it totally healthy right?! 🙂 I want to make another one with cream cheese frosting!