This eclair cake is one of those recipes that people have been making for years, just like my Pineapple Dream Dessert. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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. :)
The pastry will bake up rather puffy and random. You can press the center down a bit to allow more room for the fillings.
Spread the chocolate filling all over the pastry, then add the pudding layer on top of that.
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.
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. :)
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
- 4 large eggs
- 2 ounces semisweet chocolate
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 3 tablespoons hot water
- 4 cups milk
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 2 large (5.1 oz) pkgs instant vanilla pudding (or 3 small, 3.4 oz)
- 1 8-ounce container Cool Whip
- Chocolate syrup
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- 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.
- Spread in bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 9x13 inch pan. Bake at 400 degrees F for 35 minutes. Cool completely.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.