While recently trying to figure out a dessert to make for a get together and discussing with the family an Éclair Custard Cake I use to make came up. It was a favorite that I would bring to parties and get togethers in the summer as it didn’t require turning on the oven. It was chilled and refreshing but didn’t melt quick like ice cream on hot day. After thinking about it for a few days and drinking the last sip of Ripple Vanilla Milk that was left in the bottle from making a smoothie I instantly knew I had to make it! I’ve mentioned it before but I think Ripple Vanilla Milk tastes like the vanilla pudding cups and I use to eat as a kid. This is what inspired me to make it into pudding and make a vegan Éclair Custard Cake (and the “fancier” but just as simple and delicious Éclair Custard Cups)!
Layers of graham cracker soaked in vanilla custard or pudding topped with chocolate, oh so good it may have you shedding a tear after it’s gone.
Maybe I love it even more because I have a serious love for donuts. Like I want a re-do on our Family Foodie Date Donut year. Don’t get me wrong I learned to really like and enjoy donuts that year when I really didn’t care about them before but they were by far one of my biggest pregnancy cravings and still have a special spot in my heart.
I tested and tested, so many times, and tried to get the pretty layers but didn’t want to lose the delicious flavor of the custard. We ate a lot of custard, pudding, cake, and cups! There weren’t any complaints though.
Yes I could have used a box pudding mix, more whipped cream but it wouldn’t have been the same. Trust me against better judgment I tried it with a box of pudding (yes it’s dairy free and vegan) and adding more coconut cream. The box I spit out! Adding more coconut cream added more of a coconut flavor and I lost that nostalgic pudding flavor I was after.
So while the cake is delicious, family, and mom approved and didn’t last long. Oh and there was even a fight over cleaning the crumbs from the pan if you’re looking for a “picture perfect” treat with pretty layers this one might not be for you. Don’t worry though I have an option for that! I’ll be sharing Éclair Custard Cups later this week! That are not only pretty but they also in single serving individual cups but also have a lighter texture option if you aren’t a fan of thick custard.
There are notes and while I was inspired to make this because Ripple Vanilla reminds me of those pudding cups I enjoyed as a kid I also tried it with other milks. I would not sure a thin or light 30-50 calorie milk, pick a thicker milk. I would not use soy but coconut or nut based milks are options. Sweetened homemade nut milks, like my Vanilla Cinnamon Almond Cashew Milk, are great options or if you like coconut you can use that but it will have more of a coconut flavor.
I LOVE to recreate dishes, or enjoy food in general, that brings back memories!
I hope you all have a great week and 4th of July!
Don’t forget it’s Meatless Monday and there are more great recipes linked up below and as always Deborah and I hope you join us and look forward to what’s cooking in your kitchen.
Éclair Custard Cake
Éclair Custard Cake is a dairy-free, vegan, version of a family favorite dessert! Perfect for summer picnics and potlucks! Made with simple ingredients this no-bake dessert is sure to be a hit!
4.2-4.5ozchopped chocolate or chocolate chips(2 Hu Simply Dark Chocolate Bars)
1/2cdairy free milk(Ripple Vanilla Milk)
Place the can of coconut cream in the refrigerator overnight, or for at least 8 hours.
Bring 2 cups of the milk, sugar, and salt to a boil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Whisking regularly.
In a bowl whisk remaining cup of milk with arrowroot powder.
Once mixture comes to a boil add in the milk mixed with arrowroot powder and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes while whisking continuously and scraping the sides so it doesn't burn or clump.
Remove from heat, the mixture will be thick, and whisk in vanilla.
Open the chilled coconut cream and drain liquid. Reserve the liquid for another use like a smoothie.
Add only the thick coconut cream to the pudding and whisk. If your pudding has clumps from the arrowroot starch you can also blend the mixture together.
Chill the mixture for 1-2 hours before assembling the cake for best results.
Layer 9 graham cracker squares in the bottom of a 9x9 pan.
Spread half of the pudding mixture over the graham crackers.
Place another layer of graham crackers on top of the pudding mixture.
Carefully spread remaining pudding on top of graham crackers and top with the last graham crackers. Either 9 squares or you can add half squares to cover the whole top using 10 1/2 crackers.
Place pan in the refrigerator while preparing chocolate.
In a double boiler heat milk and chocolate together until melted and smooth. Alternatively heat chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals until melted and whisk in milk until smooth.
Remove pan from the refrigerator and drizzle with chocolate and carefully spread to cover the top.
Return cake to the refrigerator to chill overnight or at least 6 hours. If chilled overnight the crackers will have time to soak up the pudding and it will be thicker.
After testing many times I like to use a sweetened thicker vanilla milk like Ripple Vanilla Milk or sweetened Vanilla Coconut Milk. If using coconut milk it will have more of a coconut flavor if you are sensitive to it. If wanting to use a nut based milk I would recommend cashew milk, homemade or store bought. I would advise against using a light dairy free milk like a 30-50 calorie light version or soy milk. If using unsweetened milk you may want to increase sugar to 1/2 cup and if vanilla flavor is not strong in the milk using increase vanilla to 2 teaspoons.