I've baked a lot of desserts for my family. I've made all sorts of recipes for them really. Desserts, however, are among my favorite things to prepare for them because we're a sweets-loving crowd. We truly loved doing this brownie mix taste test together. However, not everyone in the family loves the same sweets, which can be a bit challenging.
My uncle doesn't like overly rich things, so anything draped in caramel or covered in candy pieces is out. My mom prefers recipes that are more tart than sweet. My grandmother likes cake but not frosting. My sister-in-law, like me, appreciates basically all desserts, and my niece can quickly judge any dish with an instant thumbs up or a sudden shift of the plate away from her seat.
So finding the right dessert to bring for any family gathering requires some magic skills and a bit of luck. That is, until I tried this Eclair Cake for the first time.
For me, the best thing about this cake is that it's a no-bake dessert . You're layering graham crackers with a creamy whipped topping-loaded pudding, and all of that is covered with a decadent (but insanely easy) ganache. The ganache is made with semi-sweet chocolate, so it's a nice contrast to the sweetness of the pudding. Milk chocolate would be far too sweet.
The Eclair Cake satisfies something for every single one of my family members. It's not very sweet, thanks to that aforementioned semi-sweet chocolate. It's incredibly light and fluffy. The graham crackers soften slightly while sitting so they provide a bite but aren't crunchy.
It disappears quickly, too. One serving doesn't seem like a lot because it's so light and creamy, so we all find ourselves going back for a second (and maybe third) helping.
It's also fast—from start to finish, you're only going to need about 30 minutes. But then comes the hard part: the waiting. You'll need to give this cake the full eight hours (or more) in the fridge so that the ganache topping can harden and the crackers can begin to soften just a bit.
It was so well received the first time I made it that my family requested that I immediately make it again for our next meal together, and I've been informed I must make it for Easter this year, too. Otherwise, I don't think they'd let me stay the night.