You’ll love this salty, sweet, crunchy, chewy saltine cracker candy, sometimes known as Christmas Crack, and you can make it in 15 minutes with just 5 ingredients!

Pretzel topped flavor of christmas crack stacked on top of each other on a white plate.

Recipe ingredients:

Labeled ingredients for Christmas crack in various bowls.

Ingredient notes:

  • Saltine crackers: Or substitute Club crackers, graham crackers, or buttery Ritz crackers.
  • Chocolate: Sometimes chopped bar chocolate works better than chocolate chips depending on which brand you use. You can either melt the chocolate in the microwave and pour it over the top, or sprinkle the chips on the hardened caramel topping, let them sit for a minute to melt, and then spread the softened chocolate chips with a spatula. Make sure the caramel topping is still warm when you add the chocolate or the layers might separate.
  • Toppings: Try chopped pecans, pretzels, OREOs, M&Ms, toffee bits, peanut butter cups, toasted coconut, coarse sea salt, dried fruit, candy canes, or drizzles of white chocolate. Or, just leave it plain!

Step-by-step instructions:

I highly recommend a candy thermometer so you know when the caramel hits the right stage in hardness (300 to 310 degrees Fahrenheit).

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment, foil, or a silicone baking mat. This makes the cooled cracker toffee easy to remove. Arrange the saltines in a single layer in the pan.
    A layer of saltine crackers on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  2. Melt the butter and brown sugar together in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Keep your eye on it and watch for the mixture to darken. If you have one, a candy thermometer should read 270-290 degrees.
    Someone taking the temperature of christmas crack sauce in a black skillet.
  3. Carefully pour it over the crackers and spread it evenly with a spatula.
    Christmas crack sauce being spread onto the layer of saltine crackers on a baking sheet.
  4. Pop the whole sheet into the oven and bake at 300 degrees for 5 minutes or until a candy thermometer reads 300-310 degrees, otherwise known as the hard-crack stage of caramel. Remove the pan from the oven and scatter chocolate chips over the hot crackers. Wait a few minutes to let them melt and soften, then spread the chocolate evenly.
    Chocolate being spread onto the layer of saltine crackers.
  5. You can leave the candy plain, or top that melted chocolate will take whatever you have: crushed OREOs, toasted pecans, candy, pretzels, you name it. Press the pieces into the still-warm chocolate using the flat side of a spatula. As the pan cools, the crackers will form a single sheet. You can break it up into jagged pieces, or cut it into squares with a heavy-duty chef’s knife.
    Top layer of christmas crack split into four toppings; pretzels, oreos, m&ms, and pecans.

Recipe tips and variations:

  • Getting the caramel just right: Because everyone’s oven is a little different, you may have to bake a little longer, or adjust the oven up a bit to get the caramel to get to the hard-crack stage. I really recommend a candy thermometer so you know when you are in the 300 to 310-degree range.
  • Cool completely: Sometimes the candy can stick to the foil or paper, so try to let the candy cool enough so that you can handle it, then take it off the foil or parchment.
  • Storage: Depending on the season and the humidity, Christmas Crack should keep well in an airtight tin or container for about a week. Or if you’re in the Midwest, do you ever do that thing where you store your Christmas treats outside on the patio or in your garage? Christmas Crack will be good in those sub-zero conditions for a few weeks at least.

Four flavors of christmas crack on a white platter.

More Christmas candy:

Christmas crack on a round plate.

Christmas Crack

You'll love this salty, sweet, crunchy, chewy saltine cracker candy, sometimes known as Christmas Crack, and you can make it in 15 minutes with just 5 ingredients!
5 from 96 votes
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Servings 12 servings
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 373

Ingredients 

  • 35-40 saltine crackers (see note 1)
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped chocolate or chocolate chips (see note 2)
  • 1 ½ cups toppings such as chopped pecans, crushed pretzels, M&Ms, or crushed OREOs (see note 3)

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a 15” x 10” x 1” pan with parchment paper, foil, or a silicone mat. Line up crackers in a single layer in rows on prepared sheet.
  • Meanwhile, using a candy thermometer, melt butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 to 3 minutes (270 to 290 degrees if using a candy thermometer). Immediately pour over crackers and spread evenly with a spatula.
  • Bake 5 minutes or until the candy hardens (300 to 310 degrees if using a candy thermometer). Remove from oven.
  • Meanwhile, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave in 30-second increments at 50% power until melted. Spread over hardened caramel. (You can also sprinkle the chocolate chips over the hardened candy, pop it back in the oven until melted, and spread after that).
  • Sprinkle nuts or other toppings and press into the chocolate using a greased spatula. Cut into squares while warm. Cool completely for at least 15 minutes and store in the refrigerator.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Saltine crackers: Or substitute Club crackers, graham crackers, or buttery Ritz crackers.
  2. Chocolate: Sometimes chopped bar chocolate works better than chocolate chips depending on which brand you use. You can either melt the chocolate in the microwave and pour it over the top, or sprinkle the chips on the hardened caramel topping, let them sit for a minute to melt, and then spread the softened chocolate chips with a spatula. Make sure the caramel topping is still warm when you add the chocolate or the layers might separate. 
  3. Toppings: Try chopped pecans, pretzels, OREOs, M&Ms, toffee bits, peanut butter cups, toasted coconut, coarse sea salt, dried fruit, candy canes, or drizzles of white chocolate. Or, just leave it plain!
  4. Getting the caramel just right: Because everyone's oven is a little different, you may have to bake a little longer, or adjust the oven up a bit to get the caramel to get to the hard-crack stage. I really recommend a candy thermometer so you know when you are in the 300 to 310-degree range.
  5. Cool completely: Sometimes the candy can stick to the foil or paper, so try to let the candy cool enough so that you can handle it, then take it off the foil or parchment.
  6. Storage: Depending on the season and the humidity, Christmas Crack should keep well in an airtight tin or container for about a week. Or if you're in the Midwest, do you ever do that thing where you store your Christmas treats outside on the patio or in your garage? Christmas Crack will be good in those sub-zero conditions for a few weeks at least.

Nutrition

Calories: 373kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 2gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 275mgPotassium: 174mgFiber: 2gSugar: 26gVitamin A: 688IUCalcium: 37mgIron: 2mg
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Meggan Hill

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Comments

  1. I’ve made this numerous times at Christmas, but we call it Saltine Toffee! It is easy and quick to make and makes a great gift – very popular!

    “Christmas Crack” is what we refer to as either Crock Pot Candy, or Mr. Goodbar knockoffs, at least that’s what I think of when someone mentions Christmas Crack. It matters not, it’s delicious!

    Thanks!5 stars

    1. Thanks Gini! Love those other names, so glad you love the recipe! – Meggan

  2. I really love your blog.. wonderful recipes. This one worked out great for xmas- I’m going to do it again for NYE.5 stars

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