Thursday, April 28, 2016

Samoa Eclair Cake

We've celebrated Luke's birthday three times every year.  That's not including each time Luke asks to blow out birthday candles every time we had leftover cake (we sang Happy Birthday every night for a week straight this year).  Besides his birthday at home with Matt & I, we also have a small "party" with his Grand & God parents.  Then Matt's family celebrates birthdays at their weekly Sunday brunch so Luke gets a third birthday celebration.  I make some sort of cake for each.  I usually do my most time-intensive one for his grand/godparent party and look for something a little easier for the other two (although, brunch also gets leftover fancy cupcakes too because it's always been the day after his "party").  I like baking but making three (or more) fancy cakes/cupcakes in just a few days is too much for me.

Luke picked out his fancy cupcakes (strawberry) and I picked out the other two.  This one won in part because Luke could "help" me make it.  It was also easy, few ingredients, and I'm always a sucker for things labeled "Samoa" flavored (which usually just means coconut, chocolate and caramel present, all of which are things I enjoy eating!).  To make it even better, it has to be refrigerated overnight so I had to do all the work the day before, meaning no work needed on his birthday!

I would definitely make this again but maybe when I had more than two other people to share it with.  We ate this and the brunch leftovers every night for a week.  I was about done with both after a week!  But the first few days I would start thinking about this hours before we'd be eating it.  It's very rich and very good!

Samoa Eclair Cake
yield: 9x13 pan cake
-2 boxes (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix
-3 cups whole milk
-¼ cup caramel sauce or ice cream topping (I happened to have homemade leftover from something, but would have just bought it otherwise!)
-8oz Cool Whip
-14.4 oz box graham crackers (probably won't need the whole thing)

-6 TB butter
-6 TB milk
-6 TB cocoa powder
-2 cups powdered sugar

-1 cup toasted coconut (saucepan over low heat, stirring pretty much constantly until toasted, only a few minutes)
-caramel sauce

1) For the cake, beat together the pudding mix and milk for about two minutes.  Add the caramel sauce and stir.  Add the cool whip and stir. 
2) In a 9x13 pan, place a layer of graham cracker in the bottom, making a full layer as best you can (breaking and/or cutting to fit).  Cover with half the pudding/cool whip mixture and spread evenly.  Follow with another layer of graham crackers and then the rest of the pudding/cool whip.  Level.  Top with another layer of graham crackers (third layer overall). 
3) To make the frosting, Microwave the butter and milk together, just until the butter is melted.  Add the cocoa powder and powdered sugar, stirring until smooth.   Pour over top graham cracker layer and smooth.
4) Top with toasted coconut and drizzle with caramel sauce.  Refrigerate at least overnight.

Source: Chef in Training

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