This Chunky Monkey Éclair Cake is an easy no-bake dessert with layers of graham crackers, peanut butter filling, and bananas. The homemade chocolate frosting on top makes the dessert!
A year ago I was at the Ben and Jerry headquarters eating my weight in ice cream fresh off the conveyor belt. You guys, seriously – I’m still in awe. I would never have thought that I would get all the opportunities I have through this blog. While I was there, I fell in love with their ice cream. I didn’t eat a flavor (and I tried them all) that I didn’t nod and say, “Yep. That’s amazing.” And I got to monkey around in the kitchen and create my own flavor.
Of course I ate the famous Chunky Monkey ice cream with banana and chocolate chunks throughout. I was reminiscing about my trip and had a lightbulb moment inspired by the Chunky Monkey ice cream and my need to use some bananas. I’ve had your classic no-bake Éclair cake several times and thought I would come up with my own Chunky Monkey version. Layers of graham crackers, peanut butter filling, bananas, and a chocolate frosting to top it all.
My little helper arranged the graham crackers on the bottom of my pan. Then we made a mixture of vanilla pudding, peanut butter, and Cool Whip and spread half of it on top. Next, thinly slice bananas on top of the pudding mixture and top with another layer of graham crackers. Repeat the layers and top with a creamy homemade frosting. My frosting was on the thick side but you can add more milk to make it thinner.
The great thing about this cake is that it’s better the longer it sits. The graham cracker softens and the flavors blend. My husband couldn’t keep his hands off this one!
- 1 (3.4 ounce) instant vanilla pudding mix
- 1½ cups cold milk
- ⅓ cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 (8-oz) container Cool Whip, thawed
- 27 graham cracker squares (or 13½ full sheets)
- 3 bananas
- 2 ounces (2 squares) unsweetened chocolate
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons milk (more as needed)
- (optional) chopped Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
- In a medium bowl, beat the pudding mix with the cold milk for about 2 minutes and then mix in the peanut butter. Let mixture set for a couple of minutes and then gently fold in the Cool Whip.
- Layer the bottom of an 8-inch square pan with graham crackers. For me this took 9 graham cracker squares. Break or overlap graham crackers to cover the bottom.
- Spread half of the pudding mixture on top of the graham cracker. Thinly slice half of the bananas over the pudding mixture.
- Make another layer of graham crackers, top with the remaining pudding mixture, and slice the remaining bananas on top.
- Finish the cake with a final layer of graham crackers. Frost with chocolate frosting (see note; recipe below). Cover cake and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight. Slice and garnish with chopped Reese's Peanut Butter Cups if desired. As with most éclair cakes, this isn't the easiest to slice pretty pieces but it tastes great.
- For the Chocolate Frosting: Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second intervals until melted, stirring in between. Cool slightly before adding the remaining ingredients.
- Add the powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, and milk. Beat until mixture is creamy. Add more milk as desired to make thinner if wanted.
Cake: TGWAE Original