Every year people go crazy over the classic Christmas Crack and it’s no surprise why. It’s crunchy, salty, sweet and only 5 ingredients! Graham crackers are layered with a 2 ingredient caramel, melted chocolate, and mini pretzels.
If I’m ever trying to think of a really simple dessert or treat that would be easy to make for a party, or as a Christmas treat for neighbours and friends, graham cracker toffee (or Christmas crack) always come to mind. It’s simple, comes together within 30 minutes, and tastes unreal.
This Christmas crack recipe is the perfect combination of sweet, salty, caramel-y, chocolate-y, crunchy amazingness. Always a crowd hit, dangerously easy to put together, and so addicting.
For more holiday recipes, try Brown Butter M&M Cookie Bars, Oreo Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Soft and Chewy Gingerbread Cookie Bars.
Why this recipe works
Easy to make – Only 5 ingredients and 30 minutes to make!
Flexibility – You can use any toppings and get creative depending on the season.
Crowd pleaser – This dessert is sure to be the first one gone at your party.
Graham crackers – Don’t like graham crackers? Use saltine crackers or Ritz crackers as the base instead.
Full recipe and ingredients are in the recipe card below. Feel free to scroll through this section to view certain key ingredients we’re using!
Graham crackers – Used as the base for this recipe. Can be substituted for any salty cracker.
Butter – Unsalted. This will be melted.
Brown sugar – I used dark brown sugar but light brown sugar works as well!
Chocolate – I used semi-sweet chocolate chips. This gets sprinkled and spread on top. The great part about this recipe is that you may use any combination you’d like. The only one I wouldn’t recommend is white chocolate as it’s difficult to melt.
Pretzels – Used on top and adds a salty crunch.
Step by step instructions
Here is how to make and bake Christmas crack. It only takes a few minutes!
Step 1 – Prep the pan. Place crackers side by side on a cookie baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Step 2 – Make the caramel. In a large saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and stir constantly for 4-5 minutes.
Step 3 – Bake. Pour the butter/sugar mixture over the crackers and bake for 5 minutes. Don’t worry if it doesn’t spread evenly, as it bakes in the oven it melts and spreads out.
Step 4 – Chocolate chips. Remove from the oven and add chocolate chips immediately. Let that stand for 5 minutes then use a spoon to spread the melted chocolate chips over the crackers.
Step 5 – Add-ons and cool. Place any add-ons on top, I did pretzels. Allow to firm up in the fridge for an hour. Break apart and enjoy.
Here are a few ideas to get your creative minds going
- Add texture. Try crushed pretzels, candy canes, or nuts for an added crunch.
- Add a drizzle. Drizzle with white chocolate, melted peanut butter, butterscotch chips, semi-sweet, milk, or dark chocolate. Get a good contrast going!
- Add cookies or dried fruit. Try M&M’s or crushed up Oreos or graham crackers. Want a more savoury taste? Try toasted coconut or your favourite dried fruit. Imagine white chocolate and cranberry!
- Make it festive. Depending on the holiday, use the according sprinkles.
Can I use other crackers?
Yes. You can use saltine crackers, Ritz crackers, club crackers, graham crackers, or even pretzels as the base. Just make sure it’s salty and crispy to balance the sweetness.
Do I have to use chocolate?
No. You can omit it completely and just add your preferred toppings. You can also use butterscotch chips, peanut butter chips, a chocolate pb drizzle, etc. The options are endless!
Why is my Christmas crack chewy?
There are several reasons this might be. Are your crackers expired? Did you boil the butter/sugar for minimum 3 minutes? Did you cool it long enough to break it apart? These are all options I’ve found are critical for this recipe to turn out well.
My chocolate chips aren’t melting?
Unfortunately some chocolates are made cheaper and have ingredients that prevent them from melting properly. Try a different high-quality brand of chocolate chips. This is the one I always use. Also if you’re using white chocolate, be aware since it doesn’t have a high percentage of cocoa it’s artificial which may result in it not sticking to the caramel.
Expert baking tips
Here are a few expert baking tips from my kitchen to yours
- Create an even layers of crackers that are touching. This ensures that the toffee doesn’t run through the cracks which would make the Christmas crack hard to clean off the pan!
- Work quickly. When spreading the butter/sugar mixture, it sets fast so spread it as best as you can. It doesn’t have to touch the sides, as long as it is a decently even layer. You’ll see mine isn’t quite covered everywhere either.
- Don’t let the caramel cool. Once the crackers are removed from the oven, the chocolate chips need to be placed immediately onto the hot caramel so they can melt.
- Melt the chocolate completely. Once the chocolate chips have been sprinkled onto the caramel let it sit for 5 minutes to melt. If the chocolate still isn’t melting, pop the baking sheet back into the warm oven, then use the back of a spoon to spread it evenly over the caramel.
- Cool the crack completely. It needs time to firm up. If any of the layers are still warm, the Christmas crack will be soft.
Leftover Christmas crack will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
I personally enjoy keeping it cold in the fridge and eating it chilled.
Check out these recipes
- Carrot Cake Cheesecake Bars
- Easter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Mini Egg No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Bars
- Valentine’s Day Kitchen Sink Cookies
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5 Ingredient Christmas Crack
- 1 sleeve of graham cracker squares about 25 squares
- 1 cup butter melted
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup mini pretzels
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Line a 9×13'' pan with parchment paper. Place graham cracker sheets along the bottom of the pan. Set aside.1 sleeve of graham cracker squares
- Add butter to a large saucepan over medium heat and allow it to melt. Add the brown sugar. Bring the mixture to a full boil, stirring constantly while boiling for 5 minutes.1 cup butter, 1 cup brown sugar
- Remove from heat and pour mixture over graham crackers and spread into an even layer.
- Bake for 5 minutes.
- Immediately after baking, sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Allow it to melt then spread evenly around.1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Top off with anything you'd like, I chose mini crunchy pretzels.1 cup mini pretzels
- Allow to cool completely before serving. I like to store mine in the fridge to firm up quicker and to keep chill. Enjoy!