This Christmas Crack recipe is sweet, salty and super easy to make with crunchy crackers, buttery toffee and melted chocolate. Made with just 4 ingredients and takes less than 15 minutes to make! Includes 7 variations and the perfect simple baking project for the holidays. Gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free with paleo, grain-free, low carb and keto options.
Updated December 2021
Easy Christmas Crack Recipe
Saltine Toffee, Cracker Candy, Toffee Cracker – have you guys heard of it? Also known as Christmas Crack and easily one of my kids’ favorite holiday treats we make every year in December. If your kids are home from school for the holidays, these toffee crackers make a super easy and fun baking project and we’ve got 7+ fun ways that you can decorate them!
What is Christmas Crack
This popular Christmas candy is super addictive and usually made with saltine crackers covered in a layer of sweet toffee, and smothered in melted chocolate. There are tons of different names and variations across the web. This holiday candy recipe is usually topped with chopped nuts, sprinkles, peanut butter – the possibilities are endless!
Why we love this easy holiday treat
- Only 4 ingredients and takes less than 20 minutes with NO candy thermometer required
- Easy to customize with simple kitchen pantry ingredients
- A healthy, delicious sweet and salty treat the entire family will love
- Kid-friendly and a fun baking project
- Options for grain-free, low carb, keto, vegan, gluten-free and paleo
What we love about making your own Christmas crack candy is that you can customize them with whatever you like or have on hand. This healthy Christmas Crack can easily be made grain-free, paleo, low carb, keto and vegan.
- Crackers: use your favorite regular or gluten-free saltine crackers. You can also sub with Simple Mills Sea Salt Grain-Free Almond Flour Crackers to keep this recipe paleo. For keto or low carb use your favorite low carb crackers such as Real Phat Foods Almond Flour Crackers or Hu’s Kitchen Grain-Free Sea Salt Crackers. Graham Crackers (homemade, gluten-free or regular), grain-free pretzels or swap with your favorite crackers.
- Vegan Butter: you can use also use unsalted butter, ghee, butter flavored coconut oil.
- Coconut sugar: we swapped out the usual brown sugar to keep this Christmas toffee recipe unrefined sugar-free but you can also use your favorite brown sugar substitute such as golden monk fruit sweetener OR brown SWERVE.
- Vanilla extract + salt: optional but recommended to add flavor and balance out the sweetness.
- Chocolate chips: you can use your favorite regular or dairy-free chocolate chips. For keto Christmas crack, use Pascha’s, Lily’s Sweets or Hu’s Kitchen Gems for paleo. Semi-sweet chocolate chips, dark chocolate chocolate chips, white chocolate chocolate chips, peanut butter chip, butterscotch chips and cinnamon chips would be so fun too!
How to Make Christmas Crack
This is the easiest Christmas dessert recipe you can make. Follow the step-by-step recipe and watch the video to see how easy Christmas Crack is to make.
- Line the pan: First, you’re going to line a large baking sheet or square baking pan with either parchment paper or foil sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
- Arrange the crackers: Then you arrange your crackers in a single layer.
- Make the toffee: Bring the easy toffee mixture to a boil and simmer.
- Pour over crackers: Pour evenly over the crackers and pop the tray into the oven and bake for 5 minutes until it bubbles.
- Spread with chocolate: Remove from the oven and immediately pour melted chocolate chips over the toffee and use an angled spatula to spread the chocolate evenly.
- Add toppings of choice: Top with chopped nuts, shredded coconut or festive sprinkles.
- Chill in the fridge: Cool in the refrigerator for 1 hour or place in the freezer for 20 minutes, until the chocolate is set.
- Enjoy: Break into pieces and enjoy or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Storage and Freezer Instructions
Cracker candy is one of those Christmas candy recipes that you can make ahead of time to enjoy all throughout the holidays.
How to store: Simply store your saltine cracker candy in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
How to freeze: Once your saltine candy has cooled down, simply break them apart and place the baking pan in the freezer for 20 minutes or until firm. Transfer the crackers to an airtight container or a large ziptop bag and store in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Christmas Crack Candy Swaps and Substitutions
The classic Saltine Cracker Toffee is delicious as is but feel free to change things up depending on what you like. This is where you have fun and just go nuts with sprinkling on whatever you like. Here a few fun ideas I used:
- Crackers: Saltine Crackers, Simple Mills Grain-Free Almond Flour Crackers to keep this recipe paleo, low carb or keto. Graham Crackers (homemade, gluten-free or regular), grain-free pretzels or swap with your favorite crackers.
- Chocolate chips: use regular or vegan chocolate chips. Semi-sweet, dark chocolate, white chocolate, peanut butter, Butterscotch or cinnamon chips would be fun too!
- Topping variations: you can use sprinkles, dried fruit, toffee bits, shredded coconut, crushed candy canes, holiday M&M’s, chopped or crushed peanuts, chopped pecans, or chopped pistachios
7 Christmas Crack Variations
- White chocolate chips with crushed candy canes with the white chocolate chips
- White chocolate chips with festive holly snowflake sprinkles
- Peanut butter chips with cranberries and chopped pistachios
- Peanut butter chips with chocolate jimmies sprinkles and chopped peanuts
- Dark chocolate chips with festive non-pareil sprinkles
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips with shredded coconut and chopped almonds (Almond Joy)
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips with festive mini M&M’s
More Christmas treats!
This Christmas Crack recipe is sweet, salty and super easy to make with crunchy crackers, buttery toffee and melted chocolate. Made with just 4 ingredients and takes less than 15 minutes to make! Includes 7 variations and the perfect simple baking project for the holidays. Vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free with options for paleo, low carb, keto and vegan.
- 36 Simple Mills Grain-Free Almond Flour Crackers OR sub with Real Phat Foods Almond Flour Crackers or Hu's Kitchen Grain-Free Sea Salt Crackers for keto. May also sub with regular or gluten-free saltine crackers OR 14 - 16 sheets of gluten-free or regular graham crackers
- 1/2 cup vegan butter , may also sub with ghee or unsalted butter if not dairy-free
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar , may also sub with golden monk fruit sweetener for low carb / keto
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract , optional for extra flavor and to balance out the sweetness
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt , optional for extra flavor and to balance out the sweetness
- 1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips , we like Hu's Kitchen, Pascha's OR Lily's Sweets. You can also use a mix of other chocolate chips of your choice such as 1/4 cup each of semi-sweet, dark chocolate, white chocolate and peanut butter chips
- Chocolate jimmies sprinkles
- Crushed candy canes
- Festive non-pareil sprinkles
- Festive snowflake / holly sprinkles
- Holiday mini M&M's
- Crushed Almonds
- Shredded Coconut
- Crushed Pistachios
- Dried Cranberries
- Chopped Pecans
- Chopped Peanuts
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a 9x9 square baking pan (or baking sheet) with parchment paper or foil and spray with non-stick avocado oil spray (or cooking spray of choice).
Arrange crackers of your choice above in a single layer, with no overlapping on the bottom of the prepared pan. Break the crackers if necessary to fit around the edges.
Arrange the crackers in the bottom of the pan in a single layer, with no overlapping. Combine the butter and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, and bring to a boil, while whisking / stirring occasionally.Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low and allow to gently boil, while whisking vigorously for 3-4 minutes, until the mixture is a rich brown and resembles caramel. Remove the pot from the heat then immediately whisk in vanilla and salt.
Pour the hot caramel mixture evenly over all the crackers, use an angled spatula or butter knife, only as needed to spread the caramel mixture evenly over the crackers.
Place the pan in the oven and bake for 5-6 minutes or until the caramel is golden and bubbling across the whole pan.
Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a heat-safe bowl, over a double-boiler or in the microwave in 20-second increments, stirring well in between.Once the crackers are ready, let cool for 1-2 minutes until the bubbling stops. Pour the melted chocolate on top and use an angled spatula or butter knife, only as needed to spread the chocolate evenly over the caramel.
Sprinkle evenly with chopped nuts, shredded coconut and festive green and red sprinkles / nonpareils or other toppings of choice.
Place the pan in the freezer or fridge, for 1-2 hours, or until set.
Once ready, remove the pan from the freezer / fridge, lift the parchment paper out onto a cutting board.
Use your hands or a knife to break or cut into pieces. Enjoy or store leftovers in the fridge for up to 1 week.
How to store: Store your cracker candy in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
How to freeze: Once your cracker toffee has cooled down, simply break them apart and place the baking pan in the freezer for 20 minutes or until firm. Transfer the crackers to an airtight container or a large ziptop bag and store in the freezer for up to 2 months.