Gluten-free eggnog is a treasured commodity around these parts. Not only have we found gluten-free Eggnog, we’ve even found a lactose-free version! We have used it in everything from milkshakes to fudge to caramel. Then, a few weeks ago, I saw a recipe for Eggnog Eclair Cake from Six Sisters’ Stuff. Having had success with their recipes in the past, I wanted to give it a try.
The original recipe called for graham crackers and vanilla instant pudding, both of which would need to be tweaked a bit to make the recipe gluten-free and lactose-free. Since I’m working on being fearless, I decided to jump in and modify the recipe to fit our needs as a family.
Step one, figuring out the graham crackers. No problem. The Kinnickinnick gluten-free graham crackers are perfect for this dish (with a few minor notes that we’ll talk about later).
Next I needed to figure out the pudding. Not only is lactose-free pudding mix a bit trickier to find, I don’t particularly care for it. I just don’t like the taste, though I LOVE pudding. That means I make pudding from scratch. Since it was vanilla pudding mix in the recipe, I did a quick Pinterest search for vanilla pudding recipes. I found this recipe and with a few small tweaks was able to turn it into the eggnog pudding needed in the Six Sisters’ Stuff cake.
Another hurdle was the Cool Whip. While I know it is gluten-free, I’m a little unclear on whether or not it is lactose-free. Either way, I also don’t care for the taste of it. You may have figured out that I’m a little particular about dessert ingredients. Anything ‘artificial’ tasting feels like a waste to me. If I’m going to use calories on dessert, I want them to be worth the while! I can’t quite remember where we learned it, but you can make ‘whipped cream’ out of sour cream. So, that’s what I used in place of the Cool Whip in my cake. You can see here that you just whip it up with your mixer (handheld or stand) with some powdered sugar until it reaches stiff peaks. We use Green Valley Organics Lactose-free Sour Cream.
Phew! That’s all the modifications needed to make the Eggnog Eclair Cake gluten-free and lactose-free. Here are just a few more tips to make your life easier while you make the cake.
Tip #1: Should you happen to leave your eggnog pudding in the fridge to long and it sets up REALLY well, it will be hard to fold in the whipped cream. It’s going to start to look like you will have a lumpy mess instead of the smooth filling you want. Have no fear (because, hello, we’re being fearless). There is a fix. Use your electric mixer with the whisk attachment and whip them up together until they are fully mixed and creamy. Don’t ask how I know this.
Tip #2: Drop the filling onto the graham crackers by small spoonfuls (like you see in the picture below) rather than a few large globs. It will make spreading the filling much easier and keep the graham crackers from shifting wildly. Again, don’t ask how I know this.
Tip #3: Spreading the frosting for the top layer is going to go much like the filling did. The difference is, there is a way to make it even easier here. In the original recipe they suggest microwaving it for 30 seconds to soften the frosting, but I took it a step further. Microwave the tub of frosting for 30 seconds (remove the lid and the foil first), stir it, then microwave it again for 15 seconds. The frosting will basically be liquid at this point. Pour it over the top layer of graham crackers and then gently even it out.
- 3 boxes Kinnikinnick graham crackers
- 1 batch eggnog pudding
- 1 batch whipped cream
- 1 can of chocolate frosting
- 2 cups Lactaid eggnog
- 1 cup lactose-free whole milk, divided
- 2/3 cups sugar
- 5 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 8 ounces lactose-free sour cream
- 3 ounces powdered sugar
- Start by making your pudding. Combine the eggnog, 2/3 cup of the milk, and the sugar in a saucepan over medium heat and cook until sugar dissolves.
- Mix remaining 1/3 cup of milk and cornstarch in a small bowl and stir until they are fully combined.
- Bring eggnog mixture to a boil.
- Once eggnog mixture is boiling, add cornstarch mixture and begin to whisk. Whisk continuously over heat until the pudding thickens. You'll know it is ready when it no longer 'drips' off of the whisk.
- Remove pudding from heat and whisk in vanilla extract.
- Pour pudding into a bowl and cover with a layer of plastic wrap directly on top of pudding. Set it aside to cool.
- While pudding is cooling and setting up, make the whipped cream. Begin by mixing the sour cream on high speed with the whisk attachment.
- Once the sour cream has started to 'fluff', stop mixer and add powdered sugar. SLOWLY turn mixer back on and build speed back up to high. Mix until stiff peaks form.
- Once pudding has fully cooled, fold in the whipped cream.
- Grease a 9x13 pan (cooking spray, oil, butter, whichever you prefer)
- Cover the bottom of the pan with graham crackers. When using the GF graham crackers, it will not perfectly fit in the way regular ones do. Whatever you do, don't break them down in to quarters to try to fill in the side. It will become a pain when spreading the filling.
- Spread half the pudding mixture on the crackers.
- Add a new layer of graham crackers on top of the eggnog pudding filling, then spread the other half of the pudding mixture on top of that.
- Top with a final layer of graham crackers.
- Microwave can of frosting for 30 seconds, stir, microwave for another 15 seconds.
- Pour melted frosting over the top layer of graham crackers, trying your best to cover the whole thing.
- Use a clean spatula to even out the frosting.
- Cover the cake and refrigerate for a minimum of 12 hours. For best results, refrigerate for a full day.