Why I Love This Christmas Crack
I don’t know anyone that doesn’t love toffee, but it can take forever, need a thermometer and be super laborious. I love that you get the taste of toffee with no thermometer and very little work. Add in the layer of “saltine” crackers for it to adhere to and gives it a perfect texture and saltiness that balances out the sweet. Add a layer of melted chocolate because…well, why not!? I threw on some Christmas sprinkles, but you can leave plain, or add any topping you want that works for your diet.
Do I need a candy thermometer for this Christmas crack recipe?
No, you do not. Winning! A toffee candy without a thermometer–it’s a Christmas miracle.
What size baking sheet should I use?
You could use a jelly roll pan. I only have an 11X17 inch pan. I like having some room so it’s not right up against the edge, and so that I have room to crimp the aluminum foil up (so that they toffee doesn’t spill out).
What tools do you need for this Dairy-free Christmas Crack recipe?
- Baking sheet
- Aluminum foil
- Heat proof spatula
- Medium saucepan
- Not a necessity, but an offset spatula really helps with spreading the chocolate, though you can still manage with the spatula
Ingredients needed for this Vegan Christmas crack recipe?
You only need a handful of ingredients for this Christmas treat:
- Table Crackers by Schar if you need gluten-free, otherwise Saltine crackers
- Vegan butter
- Brown sugar (light or dark is fine)
- Dairy-free chocolate chips
- Holiday sprinkles or other toppings, as desired
Can I use parchment paper instead?
I recommend aluminum foil, because it is easier to fold up the edges and mold it as you need around the crackers to help keep the wet toffee mixture from spilling out onto the pan.
What vegan butter do I use?
I’ve only recipe tested this with Earth Balance buttery sticks. I would assume most vegan butters would work interchangeably. I plan to recipe test it with Country Crock Plant Butter next and will update it then.
I will say that for people like my husband and myself, we do notice that while Earth Balance vegan butter is wonderful and works well, it does have a slight different taste than regular butter. My kids, who aren’t used to regular tasting butter and don’t know the difference ADORE this Christmas crack, but my husband and I can tell a slight difference between this and regular crack. The crackers seem spot on, but if you’re serving it to those who can eat both ways, they may also notice a slight tang. Such is the life of using free-from ingredients and plant based substitutions. I do think it’s so close that it’s worth posting–just a side note for those of us who are extra picky.
What vegan chocolate chips do I use?
I use the Costco Kirkland brand semi-sweet chocolate chips. It has the ingredients listed as: “Chocolate Liquor, Sugar, Soy Lecithin (an emulsifier) and Vanilla. Make sure to get the stand up, big white bag. The red, flat-laying bag has milk.”If you want a dedicated facility and care more about product packaging that calls out “dairy free” or “vegan” (as Costco’s does not, but I go by ingredients more than marketing text). OR, you need it to be soy free then you can get Enjoy Life’s Chocolate Chips or Nestle Toll House Allergen Free Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips, or Simple Truth Organic Semi-Sweet Vegan Chocolate Chips or Great Value Organic Semisweet Chocolate Chips. Feel free to use a rice milk chocolate chips, or dark chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet if you prefer. I wouldn’t recommend using vegan chocolate bars, as they may be too thick to melt well.
What toppings could I put on my easy cracker candy recipe?
Chopped nuts are a popular option (we just have nut allergies too.) Sprinkles are fun and festive, even colored sanding sugar would be cute. You could even add coconut flakes too. Some people like to put sea salt on top, but I find there is enough salt from the crackers. Feel free to do you!
What crackers should I use? Do you have both regular and gluten-free cracker options?
I do! If you are only vegan/dairy-free and do not need it to be gluten-free as well, you’ll use regular saltine crackers (or generic brand) and will need 40. If you need this Christmas Crack to be gluten-free I find the Schar Table Crackers to be a great replacement. You’ll only need 21 crackers as they are larger than Saltines (or generic brand.) Some people worry there will be a crispy texture having crackers on the bottom. I find it just as a nice touch of texture, but the crackers get fairly softened by the toffee topping. It more gives it structure and saltiness. It’s a great combo!
How do I make this vegan Christmas cracker toffee?
This simple recipe only requires a few steps:
- Line baking sheet with aluminum foil
- Spray with nonstick spray
- Lay out the crackers (gluten-free if needed) in a single, even layer on the tray
- Crimp up the edges of the aluminum foil around the crackers
- In a medium-sized saucepan heat the butter and sugar until a rolling boil and boil for 5 minutes
- Pour the caramel mixture on top of the crackers
- Bake for 5 minutes in a 350 degrees F oven
- Top with the chocolate chips while hot
- Spread the chocolate chips once melted over the entire surface
- Sprinkle with any toppings you desire
- Chill for 2 hours
- Break apart and enjoy!
Do I have to break up the candy by hand?
You’ll see in the video that I just grab the saltine cracker toffee and break it with my hands. You are welcome to do that, or if you want more precise, smaller servings you could try cutting it with a nice or pizza cutter (though it will flake a little due to the cracker base.)
How do I store this vegan saltine cracker candy?
Store it in an airtight container. If you don’t live in a hot, humid place you can leave it room temperature. I live in Idaho where it’s cold and my kitchen is only room temperature and it’s been fine room temperature. If you’re worried about the chocolate melting, you can store it in the fridge. It should keep for a week.
Do I have other vegan candy recipes?
Yes I do! I love baking at Christmas time and feel that people should still have delicious treats, even if they eat differently than others. Check out these other goodies that would make a great Christmas gift for your neighbors and will be the star of your cookie plate:
- Vegan ranch dip (I know this isn’t a candy, but sometimes it’s nice to have a salty treat or dip to help cleanse all the sugary ones!)
- Powdered mix hot cocoa recipe
- Reindeer Rice Krispies
- Eggnog Cupcakes with Eggnog Frosting
- Cherry chocolate thumbprint cookies
- Maple cookies with maple glaze
- Soft, roll out sugar cookies
- Chocolate orange cookies
- Rice Krispie Christmas Trees
- No Bake Chocolate Pretzel Bites
- Chocolate peppermint crinkle cookies
- Dairy Free Fudge
- Dairy Free Peppermint Patties
- Homemade Oreos
- Christmas Rice Krispie Roll
- White chocolate dipped peppermint cookies
- Peppermint Pie recipe
- Slow Cooker Vegan Hot Chocolate
Do I have a video showing how to make Vegan Christmas Crack?
Yes, I do! You’ll see how much of an easy recipe this is while watching me make it. If the video doesn’t appear above, it should be at the bottom of the recipe card. And, if all else fails, you can see it on my YouTube channel.
Vegan Christmas Crack + VIDEO (GF option too!)
I can finally make Christmas Crack (aka saltine cracker toffee) since my son's dairy allergy and wheat allergy. I've found substitutions that still allow for that buttery, toffee treat that is so fun (AND EASY!) to make for a holiday sweet. This Christmas candy is free of: milk, dairy, egg, peanut and tree nuts and is also vegan.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) vegan butter* see post for options
- 1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
- 21 gluten-free table crackers (a little more than half the 7.4 oz package/4 individual sleeves) or if you don't need gluten-free use 40 saltines
- 1 cup dairy-free semi-sweet chocolate chips* see post for options
- Additional toppings like nuts, or sprinkles (optional)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Line your baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray it with nonstick cooking spray. (I used an 11x17 pan, but a jelly roll pan should also work. I like the 11x17 because it gives you some more wiggle room.)
Lay the crackers on the greased foil in a single layer, no overlapping, and crimp the edges up to hold in the toffee, so it doesn't spill out onto the pan. Set aside.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the vegan butter and brown sugar. Stir occasionally and bring to a rolling boil. Boil for five minutes. Take off the heat and immediately pour over the crackers.
With a heat-safe spatula, spread the toffee mixture all over the crackers.
Place the toffee covered crackers in your preheated oven and bake for 5 minutes.
Take out of the oven and sprinkle your chocolate chips as evenly as you can. I like to place another sheet of aluminum foil over the chocolate chips to help trap the heat and help them melt well.
Once they start to melt, use your spatula or an offset spatula and spread the chocolate chips as evenly as you can over the toffee.
Sprinkle with any desired toppings.
Chill in your refrigerator for two hours to set.
Take out of the fridge and crack into pieces.
Leftovers can be stored room temperature if you don't live in a hot humid place, otherwise, if the chocolate will start to re-melt you'll need to keep it in the fridge. Keeps for 4-5 days.
This will taste slightly different compared to regular Christmas Crack because vegan butter has a slightly (but close!) different taste than butter. If you're used to vegan butter, you shouldn't notice it, but some regular eaters who can have both might notice it.
See my other Vegan Christmas treats here.
See the post above for FAQs.
*Our allergies, while severe and that get re-tested frequently, are such that we can go strictly by what's on the label. I do not call companies to see what things are derived from, or call manufacturers to see about potential cross contact. If your allergies require you to do so, please do your own homework. I cannot assure you of any ingredient's safety, only you can do that. I simply share what works for our family
**If you are going to feed this to someone with food allergies, and you yourself do not have food allergies, I HIGHLY recommend having them check every single brand and ingredient you are using, to ensure they're OK with each part of the recipe. And, to make sure you've talked to them about how to avoid cross contamination in your kitchen.
Adapted from Little Sweet Baker's Christmas Crack
Nutrition Information:Yield: 30 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 78Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 46mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 1gSugar: 9gProtein: 1g
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I made this today using the Schar GF crackers and Mykonos vegan butter and it was fantastic!! Thank you!
Thank you Celeste for taking the time to write this. So good to know it works with Mykonos butter as well.
Thank you for this recipe. I’ve only ever seen recipes that included condensed milk which isn’t safe for my daughter. We made it last night and she LOVES it!
YES! I love it when allergy kiddos can enjoy a safe holiday treat. Thanks so much for letting me know. Merry Christmas.