Desserts,  Easy,  Recipes,  Vegetarian

Chocolate-Éclair Icebox Dessert

Layers of graham cracker and vanilla pudding are topped with a layer of chocolate in this light yet decadent make-ahead dessert.

This is one of those recipes that I had bookmarked for yeeeeears, but hadn’t actually made it until recently.

A few weeks back, a friend hosted a BBQ potluck for a bunch of my husband’s high school buddies and their families. I knew this dessert would be a big crowd-pleaser.

Chocolate-Éclair Icebox Dessert

I love that this is a classic dessert from Cooking Light, and that they took care to lighten up a typically decadent recipe. I wasn’t able to find fat-free pudding mix that wasn’t also sugar free, so I went for regular here.

I also split this up between 2 square pans, which worked out beautifully. We had one at home that held up really well for a few days. Dessert on demand… I like it!

Chocolate-Éclair Icebox Dessert

The recipe didn’t call for letting the cream cheese soften to room temperature, but I think it might have helped a little. My filling turned out a bit lumpy, but it wasn’t really noticeable by the time the dessert sat overnight.

I really liked the way the graham crackers softened, making them more and more cake-like the longer it hung out in the fridge.

Chocolate-Éclair Icebox Dessert

This was a big hit with our friends, as well as some neighbors that lucked out with getting a few slices the next night.

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2 plates of Chocolate-Éclair Icebox Dessert with forks.

Chocolate-Éclair Icebox Dessert

  • Author: Cooking Light January 1998
  • Prep Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 18 Servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: American


Layers of graham cracker and vanilla pudding are topped with a layer of chocolate in this light yet decadent make-ahead dessert.


Units Scale
  • 22 1/2 sheets (about 1 [14-ounce] box) low-fat honey graham crackers, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 3 cups fat-free milk
  • 2 (3.4-ounce) packages fat-free vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 1 (8-ounce) tub fat-free cream cheese
  • 1 (8-ounce) tub frozen reduced-calorie whipped topping, thawed
  • 1/4 cup fat-free milk
  • 2 tablespoons stick margarine or butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar


  1. Arrange 7 1/2 graham cracker sheets in the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Combine 3 cups milk, pudding mix, and cream cheese in a large bowl, and beat at low speed of a mixer 1 minute or until thick. Fold in whipped topping. Spread half of the pudding mixture over graham crackers, and top with 7 1/2 graham cracker sheets. Repeat the procedure with the remaining half of pudding mixture and 7 1/2 graham cracker sheets.
  2. Combine 1/4 cup milk, softened margarine, honey, and unsweetened chocolate in a medium bowl, and beat well with a mixer. Gradually add powdered sugar to milk mixture, and beat well. Spread chocolate glaze over graham crackers. Cover dessert and tent with foil; chill 4 hours.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 234
  • Sugar: 36 g
  • Sodium: 516.4 mg
  • Fat: 7.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 61.4 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 5.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 8.2 mg

Keywords: ice box cake, chocolate eclair cake, graham crackers, pudding

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Ashley Covelli is a food photographer, recipe developer, and culinary instructor based in Ossining, New York. She loves helping people become enthusiastic and adventurous in the kitchen so that they can build skills and confidence to cook for themselves and their loved ones. She can almost always be found with at least 3 different beverages within arm's reach.

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