I am so excited to share this recipe with you I don’t even know where to start! There are so many things I love about this dessert. I’ll start with the obvious, it is delicious! I recently made it for some family members we were having over for lunch, and everyone raved about it! Second, it is super easy. There are no power tools required, which I love. Don’t get me wrong, as much as I love my Kitchen Aid mixer, sometimes I just want something I can easily make by hand. Ice box cakes started popping up on the scene about a year ago (that I knew of, anyway), and I see why – they are SO easy! Third, this isn’t too terrible for you as far as desserts go. I mean, I wouldn’t go so far as to call it “healthy”, but there really are worse. And I could definitely make it even lighter by using skim milk instead of 2%, which I will do next time.
Finally, I am super excited about this because you could mix it up so many different ways. The “original” version I am posting is an Éclair Icebox Cake, but it would be delicious with bananas in it, cream cheese mixed in with mini chocolate chips to make a cannoli version, peanut butter, berries, there are so many options! I’ll keep you guys updated on different versions throughout the summer. I have a feeling this is going to be my go-to since it’s easy and it’ll be a refreshing cold dessert throughout the summer months.
Let’s just take a moment and talk about the frosting on this little beauty. Oh heavens. I could eat it with a spoon. It’s rich, fudgy, and oh so decadent. Again, no power equipment involved! Well, other than a microwave, which doesn’t really count. You just whisk it all together and you have this blissful chocolate frosting! How awesome is that? I used 4 Tablespoons of milk chocolate cocoa powder and 2 Tablespoons of dark cocoa powder just to add some richness, and I thought it was perfect. If you don’t care for dark chocolate or you can’t find dark cocoa powder, just use regular cocoa powder and I have no doubt it will be delightful.
Just a heads up, you will need to refrigerate the cake overnight to allow the graham crackers to soften and everything to get friendly together. If you don’t have that long, at least give it a few hours.
Éclair Icebox Cake
- 2 (3.4 oz) packages vanilla instant pudding
- 3½ cups 2% milk
- 12 oz. whipped topping (I used lite)
- 1 (14.4) oz box graham crackers
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the frosting:
- 6 Tbsp. butter
- 6 Tbsp. milk
- 6 Tbsp. cocoa powder
- 2 cups powdered sugar
In a large bowl, whisk the pudding mixes and milk. Let stand for about 5 minutes to thicken. Fold in the whipped topping. Place an even layer of graham crackers in the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. You may need to cut some of the crackers to fill in all of the crevices. Pour half of the pudding mixture over the crackers and spread out evenly. Place another layer of graham crackers, being sure to cover all of the pudding in an even layer. Pour and spread the second half of the pudding mixture on the crackers, and top with a third layer of graham crackers. It is very important on the third layer to make sure there are no gaps in the crackers because the frosting is pretty thin and gaps will show.
For the frosting, heat the butter and milk in the microwave until the butter is melted. Whisk in the cocoa powder and powdered sugar. Taste with your finger. Repeat. Pour over the graham crackers and spread out evenly. Lick the bowl. Refrigerate the cake overnight.