Cream Puff Chocolate Eclair Cake

Cream Puff Chocolate Eclair Cake at @amandaformaro

This cake is one of those recipes that people have been making for years. Seems like everyone I mention it to has either made it themselves or their grandma or aunt or mom used to make it. It’s also one of those recipes that everyone loves and it never goes to waste. Every crumb and morsel is devoured, it’s just that good.

Cream Puff Chocolate Eclair Cake at @amandaformaro

This is one of those desserts that makes a person’s head tilt backwards, their eyes roll back in their head, and moans of pure enjoyment pass through their lips. I would call it purely orgasmic, but the kids love it too, so I think I’ll keep it G rated instead.

Cream Puff Chocolate Eclair Cake at @amandaformaro

Now I’m sure the calorie and fat count on this is ridiculous. So, if that’s a factor for you, maybe you shouldn’t make it. Or maybe you should, and factor in a piece then give the rest to a neighbor. Or, maybe you should make it and take it to the next barbecue you are invited to. I guarantee you’ll be the star of the afternoon.

Cream Puff Chocolate Eclair Cake at @amandaformaro

I actually had never had this cake, nor had I ever heard of it before a few months ago. But, once I started searching around and reading comments and reviews (this cake recipe is posted just about everywhere), I realized that it’s definitely made the rounds over the years. I originally found it on Pinterest, which led me to a post titled Jean’s Cream Puff Cake.

Cream Puff Chocolate Eclair Cake at @amandaformaro

From there, I started searching. I found a comment on All Recipes saying that an added layer of chocolate in between the puffed pastry and the pudding layer made it taste just like an eclair. I was sold! So that’s what I did. I used the recipe that’s plastered all over the Internet, and I added in that chocolate layer. This cake is some kind of amazing! Definitely worth the extra calories. :)

ANOTHER DELICIOUS IDEA >>  Creamy Raspberry Jell-O Parfaits

Cream Puff Chocolate Eclair Cake at @amandaformaro

The pastry will bake up rather puffy and random. You can press the center down a bit to allow more room for the fillings.

Cream Puff Chocolate Eclair Cake at @amandaformaro

Spread the chocolate filling all over the pastry, then add the pudding layer on top of that.

Cream Puff Chocolate Eclair Cake at @amandaformaro

See how mine overflowed? I’ll admit I was wondering why at first, I followed all the directions. But, in the end, I didn’t care. It tastes that good.

Cream Puff Chocolate Eclair Cake at @amandaformaro

One final note. I did wonder why there wasn’t any sugar in the pastry layer. In fact, I thought maybe it was wrong, so I searched and searched and every recipe I found was free of sugar. Now I know why. There’s absolutely no need for the pastry layer to be sweet. I promise. :)

5 from 1 reviews
Cream Puff Chocolate Eclair Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
For the Pastry:
  1. In a large heavy saucepan, heat butter and water to boiling over medium-high heat. Add flour and reduce heat to low. Cook and stir until it forms a ball and pulls away from the pan. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl. With a wooden spoon, beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg.
  2. Spread in bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 9x13 inch pan. Bake at 400 degrees F for 35 minutes. Cool completely.
For the Chocolate Filling:
  1. Melt chocolate and butter in the microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir. Continue heating at 20 second intervals until smooth. Stir in vanilla. Sift in the powdered sugar, a little at a time, stirring as you go. Dribble water in to the mixture until smooth and spreadable (you may or may not use all the water). Spread over the cooled pastry.
For the Cream Filling:
  1. In mixing bowl beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Slowly and gradually add the milk while still beating. Once these are well combined, add dry pudding mix and beat until thickened. Spread over chocolate layer in cooled pastry.
  2. Top with whipped topping, and draw lines of chocolate syrup across the top, then run a knife down the top in the opposite direction of the syrup lines, about every 2 inches. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.


    • Linda says

      I make cream puffed pastry from scratch and this pastry sounds just like it. It is easy. I ca not wait to try this one for Easter…

  1. says

    My mom makes this for family dinners all the time, and everyone loves it. We call it cream puffs in a pan, though. I like the chocolate eclair cake title better. Maybe I can get all 45 of us to buy in?

  2. Linda Niles says

    Does anyone ever make anything like this without cream cheese? I hate cream cheese and won’t make anything that has cream cheese in it!

    • says

      Hi Linda. I am not speaking from experience with this, but I’ve heard you can puree cottage cheese and use it as a substitution (equal measurement to the cream cheese). I’ve also heard the Greek yogurt or plain yogurt strained over night through cheesecloth will work too.

        • Sheila says

          You could use mascarpone cheese instead. It’s creamier than cream cheese and has a different flavor. I use it in place of many things, cream cheese and ricotta are 2 expamples.

      • Kathy Whitman says

        I make this and it is very good. You do not need the cream cheese. Just do the instant pudding with a little less milk. The pudding box has a recipe for making it for pie and it sets up just fine.

    • Wendy J says

      I don’t like cream cheese, either. The first time I made a recipe that called for it, I did it just because my children wanted it (can’t remember what it was now). Turned out that I did like the final product. I’ve made other desserts using it; After I got past the idea that I was using cream cheese. I don’t think I could do the cottage cheese thing, though. :)

      • Margo says

        I used to make cream puffs all the time. For the filling I used a French Vanilla cream filling (like pudding) from my Betty Crocker Cookbook. It was heavenly! I haven’t done it for years now that my children are grown and gone. Time to try it again.

  3. mz says

    To make it even more of a chocolate eclair, I’m thinking maybe I could either double the recipe or put in two smaller pans using one for the top and then adding the custard filling from my other choc eclair recipe (the one with the graham crackers) which is french vanilla pudding mixed with coolwhip and then put an actual chocolate icing on top instead of the syrup- what do you think?

  4. mz says

    or better yet – let’s just go ahead and make the puffs with the pastry dough- my mom used to do that and every one loved them

  5. Regina says

    This looks delicious, I;ve seen it in the Amish Bakeries. I never purchased it because I don’t like pudding. Can it be made withy custard instead?

    • says

      I really don’t see why not Regina! However, I believe custard packages are cook and serve. This recipe calls for instant pudding. So you would need to adjust accordingly. My thought would be to prepare the custard, and then if you wish, add cream cheese to it after it cooled. You could probably leave it out and it would be fine too.

  6. Comet says

    CHOUX PASTRY–the base for this Eclair Cake–never has sugar! And it is exactly the SAME recipe to make Cream Puffs or Eclair Shells. The only difference is how you portion out the dough after you beat the eggs in–if you either make a “log” or pipe a THICK hot dog bun shape/ dough shape and then bake you will get an Eclair shell. If you use a piping bag or zip-lock to make a circular puff pastry–or you can just drop a blob of dough from a large spooon!!!–this makes a Cream Puff case or a case for a savory filling–think cheese or scrambled eggs or roasted veggies—-any other substance that can be spooned or piped into these–

    To use–For a standard Eclair you would pipe the custard into the center using a piping bag—zip bags prob would NOT hold up to this. OR you can carefully slice OFF the top using a serrated knife; fill; and then frost with chocolate for a traditional Eclair. For a Cream Puff you can again pipe the filling in or slice off the top OR you can slice in half and have TWO cases! You can also use any other filling for sweet cases–ice cream; cheese cake fillings; pie fillings—endless!

    The only “trick” to these is when you remove them from the oven you WANT them to cool and lose their steam–so pierce the side with a sharp knife just a bit and lay them on their SIDES to cool on a rack.

  7. cathi says

    I didn’t change a think and it was super easy and delicious! I even was able to make it while my 1 yr old grandbaby was here visiting!

  8. ESTHER CARR says

    I just came back from FL where I spent a month with my dessert Chef son Stephen. We worked together on making desserts and have a ball. I’m back home in GA now, and went wild when I saw the Cream Puff Chocolate Eclair Cake recipe you posted.

    It looks easy and most of the ingredients are staples so am going to also share with my other children and all my new neighbors in Buford, GA. Thanks so much.

  9. Jennifer says

    I have to tell you, I kinda squealed when I saw this. I got really super excited, because anything that involves a less sweet dessert makes me semi-giddy. So, here’s what I did to temper the sweetness even more:
    I increased the semi-sweet chocolate by half and cut the powdered sugar by 1/3 for the chocolate filling. Instead of Cool Whip, I used a block of Philadelphia Cream Cheese, a pint of heavy whipping cream, 1/4c powdered sugar and 1t vanilla (just beat it all till it’s stiff. The cream cheese stabilizes the whipped cream. Good for frosting cakes too).
    I have died and gone to calorie overload Heaven and am, from here on out, wearing only sweat pants and stretchy clothes. It was the puff pastry – oh, the glorious, glorious puff pastry – that lured me with its siren song. I was a goner after that. I’m not sure if I should thank you, or curse you. But I’m definitely going to have my cake and eat it too!

    • says

      Ha ha, what a great comment Jennifer, thank you! I’ve heard of a similar cake using graham crackers and happened to stumble across the recipe yesterday. Looks pretty similar, but I have a feeling the puff pastry one is better :)

      • says

        Sorry for the confusion Mike. I always include the exact measurements and sizes in the printable version at the end of the post. The printable recipe states 8-ounces. :)

  10. Cristy says

    Do you think you could use almond milk instead of cow milk? I’ve made non-dairy custard before with it (using an egg yolk and corn starch), but I’ve never made pudding.

    • says

      Hi Cristy. I have not personally used almond milk with boxed pudding. However, I did ask a few friends and one of them told me that she has made pudding with almond milk and that it worked just fine! Let me know your results :)

  11. Swan says

    I cooked 3 small boxes vanilla pudding mix with 4 cups milk in the microwave until thick boiling. Stirred in 8 oz mascarpone and 1oz tn honey. Cooled over ice water This is the best idea using the pastry recipe you provided. Thanks

  12. Don says

    Help! I’m new at this. Do you add the butter to the pastry dough by hand, or while using a mixer? Also! For the cream filling. Do you prepare the pudding as shown on the boxes, or do you just add the dry pudding mix to the milk and cream? Sorry if these are dumb questions, but I don’t want to mess it up anymore than I probably will.

    Thank You

    • says

      Hi Don! I’m thinking you meant to ask about adding the eggs to the pastry dough by hand? If so, then yes. After you have heated the butter and water and added the flour and completed that step, transfer it to a large bowl and use a wooden spoon to mix in the eggs, one at a time. And for the pudding, ignore the instructions on the back of the box. Just use the ingredients listed in the recipe and when adding the pudding, you are just adding the dry mix (step #5). There are NO dumb questions, so always feel free to ask away :)

  13. Don says

    Could you please help me with a couple of things here. I am new to this and am not sure about how to prepare the dough. When adding the butter to the dough do you mix by hand or with a mixer? Also! When preparing the cream filling, do you add the pudding mix right from the boxes, or prepare it first, as per directions on the box?
    Thank You

  14. Rose Doan says

    Amanda, in reading the comments you stated there are no dumb questions but there is one really “DUMB QUESTION”! It is the question that goes unasked.

  15. Rose Doan says

    I should have added that I have the cream cheese out on the counter warming to room temp so I can make this. I am anticipating a very light dinner tonight. I can see changing the flavors, how about chocolate pudding or lemon pudding and instead of the chocolate frosting, use lemon curd? This puff pastry is the easiest thing in the world to make and you can do so much with it.

  16. Melissa Lovejoy says

    I personally, thought you gave “many, excellent examples of how to make several options out of what one receipe expertise called for. It was a good easy for you to learn, and if you didn’t catch onto the expert receipe then you should none onto an easier blog.

  17. Melissa Lovejoy says

    Keep it moving if you don’t get it, but don’t make some chef/person feel harassed….Please.

  18. Sue McEndree says

    Although I don’t like chocolate, this looks good. I’ve made the cream puffs before but have never tried them with chocolate filling.

  19. Johnnie Hudson says

    I haven’t tried this recipe. I have, though, tried the eclar cake and really liked it. I will be doing this one soon for a family gathering soon. Thank you, I will continue to use your recipes. Thanks .. Godbless you!

  20. Dan Yerigan says

    for the past 20 years I’ve had this and this alone for my birthdays, as I’ve yet to find a cake I like more…..though always used a kinda family recipe which calls for a raw egg in cream part lol. Used your recipe though for the 3 birthday ppl this week (I work in a deli that is side by side with a bakery), lol mostly women work there and they ended up giving me a group hug.

  21. Mary Claire MIller says

    So did this as a demonstration for my foods class. They get to make it as practice next week in preparation for the Cream Puff Lesson. Turned out awesome for puffiness but I needed to take the dough further up the sides to hold the filling. At least my students will not be making the same mistake!

    We are halving the recipe because six 9×13 pans would just be too many. So I will let you know how it goes.

  22. Melody says

    I have made this numerous times, although I sprinkle two crushed Heath bars over the drizzled chocolate on top. I never have to worry about taking any leftovers home!

  23. G storm says

    This can be lightened up in a couple of ways. Use Neufchâtel cheese – it’s usually 1/3 the calories and fat and basically same taste and consistency. Also, use sugar-free/fat-free instant pudding. It’s a staple in my house cause I have a notorious sweet tooth and tastes great. Of course use fat-free milk, and also use light cool whip. I don’t use the 0-calorie cool whip cause then it’s all chemicals, but the light has excellent flavor and consistency. So you can cut a lot of calories but keep all the flavor. I use these tricks all the time and no one can ever tell.

  24. Jennifer Crewe says

    Amanda will using your vanilla pudding mix work? I have some in my pantry. I can’t get CoolWhip here in Australia but I see someone asked if whipped cream would work. I am 70 and never seen this recipe before.

    • says

      Hi jennifer, yes that will work! Just prepare it as pudding first and it should be fine. Or if you get custard mix there that will work too. And yes, whipping cream is perfect :)

  25. ash says

    please tell me what can i use instead of vanilla pudding powder and how much quantity of the substitute.waiting for ur reply

  26. Patricia says

    The Cream Puff Chocolate Éclair Cake, could you substitute Banana pudding and put a layer of banana in before you put the pudding over the cake. This sounds yummy.

  27. Lisa says

    I just made 2, 1 for my family and they just loved it!! and the other I am taking to my BUNCO club today!! yeay can’t wait for my friends to taste it!!!

  28. Regina Catalanotto says

    These recipes look so DELICIOUS that I have to stop at xxx the store to pickvup the ingredients. I’m sure they’ll be DELICIOUS

  29. Judy negri says

    for the cream puff chocolate eclair cake can you use coconut flour instead of unbleached all purpose flour

  30. gerri says

    On your Cream Puff Éclair Cake recipe. For the pastry I beat the eggs one at a time with a wooden spoon then do I mix it in the flour mixture. Thank you

    • says

      Hi gerri, the eggs go in after the flour. Here are the instructions for that part (see printable version)

      In a large heavy saucepan, heat butter and water to boiling over medium-high heat. Add flour and reduce heat to low. Cook and stir until it forms a ball and pulls away from the pan. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl. With a wooden spoon, beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg.

  31. Kelley says

    I made this today for Easter dessert. I am not a baker. So the easier, the better. This was really easy and fun to make. Mine looked just like the pictures! And I got RAVE reviews!! I was really proud of myself. Thanks for the great recipe!

  32. Debbie Yackanicz says

    Can I use salted butter. I never use unsalted. I do not use unbleached flour can regular flour be used? Thanks.

  33. Megan Crisp says

    I’ve had this recipe bookmarked for awhile but just made it today. It came together really easily and tasted AMAZING! It tastes just like an eclair. My fiancé knew he would be going back for a second piece after the first bite, and he did! Thanks for sharing.

  34. Eufemia says

    Why would one use a wooden spoon specifically? Since I use a calphalon pot to prep the butter & water, I then use a non-metal whisk when adding the flour, then after I’ve transferred to the (glass) bowl and start adding eggs, I switch to a metal whisk (b/c the other is too large). Nothing seems “off” with the batter — please explain. More importantly if there’s a mixing tool one should specifically NOT use. THANK YOU! P.S. And this recipe is incredible on so many levels!

    • says

      Hi Eufemia ::) A wooden spoon is suggested so that people don’t over beat the eggs, it’s just a gentler method for a delicate pastry dough. Sounds like your method works fine, so keep doing what you are doing! :)


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