Graham Cracker Cake (Overnight Cake)

The kids are all excited about celebrating July 4th with their cousins this year, and so am I for that matter.  It’s not like we have a ton of July 4th-ish traditions, but a fun family BBQ full of craziness seems to be the perfect way to celebrate a special day.

While many people are slaving over having all the red,white and blue imaginable at their shindig (the Pinterest site must be going into overload!) , I decided to go the easy route and just make a simple yet delicious family favorite.  Just because it doesn’t look like someone threw up the national colors all over it doesn’t mean it is any less festive. 🙂  I love people who have the talent and time for throwing huge festive parties with all the fancy, homemade decorations and matching food.  But here’s the truth, I think it’s impossible for me to EVER be one of those people.   I’m content with good food, good fellowship with friends and family, and easy cleanup.  It’s not going to ruin my day because the plates and cups all don’t match the food color palate and we don’t have ribbons and balloons everywhere.   Yup, that’s me… Plain Jane at it’s best.  Haha!

I know I’ve seen this type of cake recipe floating around out there, but here’s my take on it….

Start by mixing 3 1/2 C. cold milk with 2 sm. packages vanilla pudding inside your mixer.

Beat until pudding begins to form peaks.  Don’t over-mix!

Add one regular size container of thawed Cool Whip.

Mix until well combined.  Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl since the pudding is heavier than the whip cream and likes to settle at the bottom.

You will need a full box of Graham Crackers for this cake so don’t let your kids snack on any beforehand.  You will need EVERY SINGLE CRACKER seriously!

Use a sharp knife to trim the sides of the crackers to fit the rounded corners of your 9×13 pan.  Lay your crackers out so that the entire pan is evenly covered.  It’s just like laying lasagna noodles.

Alternate sides that have the smaller “filler” cracker pieces so that the cake holds together better.

Pour half the pudding mixture over the Graham Crackers and carefully spread to cover the pan.

Repeat the last steps ending with a final third layer of Graham Crackers as the top layer.  Set aside while you make the frosting.

In a small saucepan on medium heat, mix together 2 T. butter and 1/4 C. water.  Once butter is melted, add 1/2 tsp. vanilla and 2 oz. (1/4 C.) chocolate chips.  Stir until chocolate is completely melted.  Next add 2 C. powered sugar and whisk until all lumps are removed.  Quickly pour the hot mixture over the cake and frost.  The chocolate cools and hardens quickly so you really need to move on this final step.

If you don’t want to make the frosting from scratch, take a regular size container of store-bought chocolate frosting and place opened inside a microwave for approximately 30 seconds.  Stir and heat more (if needed) then pour over the cake and spread.

Cover and place inside your refrigerator overnight (hense the name “Overnight Cake”).

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