Eclair Cake

I am a huge fan of Eclairs. I'm always on the hunt for a bakery that sells a good one -- which by the way, is not an easy task. Most places make Eclairs filled with fake whipped cream. So disappointing! My sweet friend Kathy Beamish used to make this for me on my birthday when I worked with her at Nielsen's Construction Company back in 1989. This has the taste of an Eclair without the labor and it's an impressive dessert when you have to take something to a pot luck!

1 stick butter
1 cup water
1 cup flour
4 eggs
1 large package instant vanilla pudding
8-oz. cream cheese, softened
chocolate sauce (see below), or Hershey’s chocolate syrup
1 pint whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon sugar
Hershey's chocolate syrup

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Crust: Place the water and the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Add 1 cup flour. Beat with a fork until well combined. Let cool slightly. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Spread mixture evenly in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes. (It will look like light brown mountains when it’s done.) Remove from oven and let cool.

Filling: While the above mixture is baking, prepare the instant pudding as directed on the box. Add the softened cream cheese and mix well. Once the crust has cooled completely, pour the filling on the crust and let stand 15 minutes.

Whip the cream with the vanilla and sugar. Spread over the top of the cake.

Drizzle with the Hershey's chocolate syrup.

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