Love and Confections: French Vanilla Eclair Cake #IsabelsBirthdayBash

August 4, 2015

French Vanilla Eclair Cake #IsabelsBirthdayBash

Creamy and delicious French vanilla pudding, graham crackers and chocolate frosting combine into one of my favorite semi-homemade desserts - French Vanilla Eclair Cake

French Vanilla Eclair Cake from

Today's recipe is in honor of Isabel Laessig from Family Foodie. Isabel is the creator of the Sunday Supper Movement and the Food and Wine Conference, and someone I am happy to call a friend. She is an amazing, caring, devoted and remarkable person and I am so glad that 35 members of the Sunday Supper Family could come together today for a surprise celebration of her birthday.

For today's recipe, I could have recreated Isabel's famous Chicken in a Caramelized Onion Wine Sauce, which I have made a few times for my family, or her Angel Hair Pasta with Spinach and White Wine Sauce that I made with shrimp in place of chicken, but I wanted to make something sweet for her birthday today. I don't think I could ever top Vo-Vo's Famous Strawberry Cheesecake, so I created one of my favorite treats to share today.

French Vanilla Eclair Cake from

While I love cake, I tend to have more nontraditional birthday desserts. I have had doughnuts, pies, and fondue before, but this Eclair Cake definitely tops the list. My Mom made it for me a few years ago for my birthday and I can't tell you how many times I have recreated the recipe for holidays and gatherings. It is so easy to make and absolutely delicious. It tastes like an eclair, but in cake form. I am hoping I also get a chance to make another one this week for myself, since my birthday is on Friday!

French Vanilla Eclair Cake from

This cake is prepared the night before you want it served, so plan accordingly.The graham crackers have to soften a bit and the chocolate icing has to solidify. All the flavors meld together in a creamy, slightly crunchy, and chocolatey layered "cake" that will leave everyone asking for the recipe. Happy Birthday Isabel! Enjoy!

French Vanilla Eclair Cake from

French Vanilla Eclair Cake
Adapted from a Love and Confection Family recipe
Click here for a printable recipe
Serves 16-20

French Vanilla Eclair Cake Ingredients:
- 30 Graham Crackers (more if some are broken)
- (1) 3.5 ounce package French Vanilla Instant Pudding
- (1) 5.1 ounce Vanilla Instant Pudding
- 4 cups cold Whole Milk
- 1 & 1/4 cups Heavy Cream
- 1/4 cup Powdered Sugar

- 1 cup Granulated Sugar
- 1/3 cup Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder
- 1/8 teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 cup Whole Milk
- 1/3 cup Unsalted Butter, cut in pats or slices
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- Sprinkles (optional)

French Vanilla Eclair Cake Directions:
1. Place the Heavy Cream in the bowl of your stand mixer and into the refrigerator until ready to use. Cold cream whips up better.
2. Line the bottom of a 9x13 cake pan with the Graham Crackers. I use 10 per layer (10 for the bottom crust, 10 for in between and 10 for the top crust). You will need to cut off a small portion of some of the Graham Crackers to fit them all in snugly.
3. Whisk the Pudding and Whole Milk for 2 minutes, until it thickens. Add Powdered Sugar to the Heavy Cream and whip on high until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream gently into the pudding.
4. Spoon half of the pudding filling mixture on top of the first set of Graham Crackers. With an offset spatula, spread the mixture, making sure it is evenly distributed and level. Place the next set of 10 Graham Crackers on top, just like the first.
5. Spoon the rest of the Pudding filling mixture on top of the second set of Graham Crackers. With an offset spatula, spread the mixture, making sure it is evenly distributed and level. Place the last set of 10 Graham Crackers on top. Place the cake in the refrigerator while preparing the frosting.
6. In a small saucepan combine Sugar, Cocoa Powder, Salt and Milk. Bring to a boil, while whisking continuously. Boil for 1 minute, then remove from the heat and add in the Butter and Vanilla Extract. Whisk until the Butter is completely melted.
7. Remove the cake from the refrigerator and slowly pour the chocolate frosting over the top of the cake. With an offset spatula, evenly distribute the frosting over the entire cake. If desired, sprinkle with Nonpareils or other colorful sprinkles. Place the cake in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, wrap it in plastic wrap, making sure the plastic wrap does not touch the chocolate on top. Refrigerate until using. Enjoy!

French Vanilla Eclair Cake from

Join me in celebrating Isabel's Birthday with all the delicious food and drinks her #SundaySupper family prepared!

Birthday Drinks:
Birthday Appetizers:
Birthday Main Courses:
Birthday Desserts:
Until next time,


  1. What a simple concept, Terri, making a "cake" that is so much greater than the sum of its parts! I can see why it's a family favorite. Thanks so much for organizing us to celebrate Isabel's birthday!

  2. Simple and delicious is always the best way to go and I am all for non-traditional birthday desserts :) I am sure Isabel will love every recipe made for her birthday and a happy early birthday to you too! :) Thanks for bringing this all together Terri!

  3. Eclair cake--what a cool idea! Sounds absolutely delicious. Looks like the perfect way to celebrate a birthday too :)

  4. looks divine. I wish I knew about this virtual birthday bash, I would have loved to participate

  5. This looks so delicious! I won't like, I made something similar when I was pregnant a few years ago. I ate almost the WHOLE thing!

  6. A beautiful cake for a beautiful person. Happy Birthday, Isabel!

  7. I love eclairs so I'll have to give this a try.

  8. Love that you celebrate birthdays untraditionally, Terri. Now I'm thinking about birthday doughnuts and this cake, of course. Thank you for sharing the family recipe. Very much appreciate too your hard work in organizing this terrific party =)

  9. That looks appropriately decadent! Thank you so much for being our ringleader! -- Dorothy at

  10. I haven't made one of these delicious cakes in years!!! Perfect for any celebration. Thanks so much, Terri, for all your hard work in organizing this bunch for Isabel's birthday. xo

  11. Terri, first of all, thank you sooooooo much for thinking of today's surprise party, for organizing us and putting all this work in. You're the best! And I'm so sorry your sweet baby girl isn't feeling well :( I hope you had some of this cake left over to brighten up your day - seriously, this look AH-MAY-ZING! So simple but so impressive and elegant. I adore eclairs, cake, anything filled with custard so this is a total winner. Beautiful photos too, my friend!

  12. So easy and elegant looking!

  13. A perfect summer cake to celebrate a birthday!!

  14. YUM!!! I need to give this cake a try ASAP!

  15. Oh my goodness what a creamy dreamy dessert you made.
    Thanks so much for organizing this birthday party. It's such a fun and wonderful event.

  16. This looks like such a wonderful, creamy cake! I love that it is made ahead too. Thanks for putting together the party. It was so much fun!