What’s not to like about a cake that has all the delicious components of a bakery-fresh eclair, but is easier to make? The rich chocolate sauce, the fresh whipped cream, the creamy vanilla custard, and the light, cream puff pastry each, in their own right, are special, but combined they are divine! I made this scrumptious Eclair Cake for my son’s birthday and everyone loved it from top to bottom – as evidenced by some serious, post-devouring, fork licking!
Adapted from a recipe in the 50th Anniversary Best of our Favorite Recipes – Maui Association for Family and Community Education cookbook:
1 cup water
1 cube of butter
1 cup flour
1 (8 oz.) cream cheese, room temperature
2 small packages of vanilla instant pudding
2-1/2 cups fresh milk
1 (8 oz) container of whipped topping or freshly whipped cream
Chocolate sauce or syrup
Toasted sliced almonds, optional
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Put water and butter in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
3. Reduce heat and stir in flour all at once. Keep stirring until mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan.
4. Remove from heat and stir in one egg at a time, beating well after each one is added.
5. Spread evenly into a greased 9 x 13-inch pan.
6. Bake for 20-30 minutes until puffed up and golden. Cool.
7. While crust is cooling, prepare filling by mixing the cream cheese and the dry pudding mix together. Slowly add the milk. Batter will be thick and smooth.
8. Spread filling on cooled crust.
9. Spread whipped topping or whipped cream over filling.
10. Drizzle chocolate syrup on top.
11. Refrigerate to set and until ready to serve.
Serves about 15.
1. The base layer or crust is made exactly like cream puff shells are made. The only difference is that the batter is spread out in a pan instead of being dropped by teaspoons onto a baking sheet.
2. For the whipped cream layer, I used 50 percent whipped topping and 50 percent fresh whipped cream. First I whipped the cream and then gently folded in the thawed whipped topping.
3. Instead of using a chocolate syrup, I used a hot fudge sundae sauce that was not overly thick or too heavy.
4. I lightly toasted almond slices in the oven and let them cool before sprinkling them over the cake top.
5. Another way to decorate the cake top would be to drizzle the chocolate sauce in rows over the whipped cream and then drag a knife or toothpick through the rows of sauce to create a marbleized appearance.