This vegan Christmas crack recipe tastes so good and is surprisingly easy to make. With a crunchy salty cracker base and layers of rich caramel, dark chocolate and white chocolate, you will love how good this holiday dessert is. It's also gluten free, dairy free and paleo and is perfect for the holidays, or anytime.
What is Christmas crack?
Christmas crack is a classic holiday dessert recipe that is traditionally made with Saltine crackers, caramel, and chocolate. It is baked in the oven and then frozen so that you "crack" it to break up the pieces. Some xmas crack recipes are topped with nuts, while others are nut free.
Why you will love this recipe:
- This is the best ever vegan Christmas crack recipe! It tastes amazing! The combination of the salty cracker base and layers of rich caramel, dark chocolate, and white chocolate combine to make the ultimate holiday dessert.
- While I would never call this recipe healthy, it is refined sugar free so it could be considered a healthier version of this classic holiday treat.
- It's surprisingly easy to make with only 6 simple ingredients. It also stores really well if you don't eat it all right away.
- You don't need a candy thermometer to make this dessert.
- Besides being vegan this xmas crack recipe is also a gluten-free Christmas crack recipe, dairy-free Christmas crack recipe and paleo Christmas crack recipe.
- This ultimate Christmas crack could also be served for any holiday season, at New Year's Eve parties, or even birthday parties.
- It's made with no nuts, no Saltines, no butter, and no brown sugar.
Key ingredients and substitutions:
This is just a summary of the ingredients needed to make this recipe. For the full list please refer to the recipe card.
- Crackers - I use Simple Mills Fine Ground Sea Salt Almond Flour Crackers to form the crunch, salty base of this dessert. These crackers are both gluten free and grain free. If you tolerate grains or gluten, feel free to use any other type of cracker that you like including Saltines, gluten-free Saltine crackers, or Ritz crackers.
- Coconut milk - this is used to make the rich vegan caramel layer of this dessert, while keeping it dairy free and without using vegan butter. I recommend using full fat coconut milk and not light coconut milk as light coconut milk will be too watery.
- Coconut sugar (also known as coconut palm sugar) - to give this dessert the perfect amount of sweetness. You could also use brown sugar instead, but it just won't be refined sugar free if you do.
- Tapioca starch or tapioca flour - this is used to thicken the homemade vegan caramel sauce. You could swap this for cornstarch instead.
- Dark chocolate bars (my favourite brands are Zazubean and Hu Chocolate) - these are used to make that delectable chocolate layer for this Christmas dessert. You could swap this for milk chocolate if you prefer.
- Coconut Manna or coconut butter - this is used to make the final white chocolate layer for these dessert bars. You could omit this if you like or even use melted white chocolate instead if you prefer.
How to make this recipe:
To make the caramel layer:
First, place a small pot or small saucepan on the stove and add all the ingredients for the caramel sauce.
Next, turn the burner onto low heat and whisk the ingredients together.
Allow the ingredients to come to a low rolling boil and stir or whisk the ingredients regularly so they don't stick to the bottom of the pan, and allow the caramel to simmer for 5-10 minutes (it will thicken while it cooks).
Then turn off the burner and allow the caramel to cool in the sauce pan for a few minutes (it will thicken even more during this time). While the caramel is cooling move on to the cracker layer.
To make the other layers:
First, preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Then line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the crackers out in an even, single layer on the baking sheet.
Now pour the caramel mixture over the crackers and spread evenly until smooth (don’t worry if all the crackers aren’t completely covered as the caramel will spread more in the oven).
Then place the tray in the oven and bake for 5 minutes, until the caramel is bubbling.
While the crackers and caramel are baking, melt the chocolate by breaking the chocolate bars into pieces and placing them into a microwave safe bowl or dish. Microwave on high for 20-30 second intervals until the chocolate is melted.
When the crackers and caramel are done, remove them from the oven and let cool for a few minutes (until the bubbles disappear).
Pour the melted chocolate over the caramel layer and spread evenly until you have a smooth, even layer. Try to cover the entire surface of the dessert with the melted chocolate.
Now melt the coconut manna or coconut butter in the microwave by heating the jar for 30-60 seconds on high (this will depend on how full your jar is).
Then drizzle the melted coconut manna over the chocolate layer and place the tray in the freezer and freeze for 1-2 hours, until hardened.
Lastly, break it apart into desired sized pieces and enjoy!
- I used coconut sugar sweetened chocolate bars for the chocolate layer but you can also use dairy free chocolate bars with cane sugar as an alternative or vegan chocolate chips. My favourite brands of coconut sugar sweetened chocolate bars are Zazubean and Hu Chocolate.
- Don't try using low fat coconut milk for the caramel sauce. Low fat coconut milk has more water added and so the caramel won't thicken enough.
- I used gluten free crackers to make this sweet treat, but you can use any type of cracker that you prefer depending on your food allergies or food intolerances.
- Feel free to add different toppings such as chopped nuts, Christmas sprinkles, vegan sprinkles, peanut butter, dried fruit or even crushed candy canes.
- Coconut manna is the same thing as coconut butter or coconut cream concentrate.
- If you don't have parchment paper you could also line your baking sheet with aluminum foil.
How to store:
You can store this homemade Christmas crack in either the fridge or freezer. I personally prefer storing it in the freezer as it keeps the caramel layer as firm as possible. Just be sure to take it out a few minutes before serving. Whether you keep it in the fridge or freezer, store it in an airtight container. It will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, and good in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Do not leave this crack candy out at room temperature for too long or the caramel layer will melt. For that reason I do not recommend trying to gift this Christmas crack.
Frequently asked questions:
You can store this Christmas crack in the fridge or freezer. I prefer storing it in the freezer as I like the caramel when it's hard and it gets a little softer when stored in the fridge. I don't recommend trying to gift this Christmas dessert as it will get rather gooey if allowed to get to room temperature.
I don’t recommend gifting this Christmas crack recipe. If it stays out of the fridge for too long the caramel will start to melt so it would turn into one messy gift.
Yes, Saltine crackers or soda crackers are vegan and can be used for the base of this Christmas crack recipe.
Some Christmas crack recipes don't require any baking, but this one is best if you bake it.
Other dessert recipes you will love:
- Vegan Peppermint Bark
- Vegan Apple Pie Bars
- Vegan Turtle Bars
- Oat Milk Hot Chocolate
- Gluten Free Lemon Bars with Cranberry
- Dairy Free Brownies with Caramel
- Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Since you made it this far we are basically best friends so be sure to follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok and Facebook where I share even more recipes and healthy living tips! And don’t forget to leave this recipe a star review before you go!
Vegan Christmas Crack
- 1 box Simple Mills Fine Ground Sea Salt Almond Flour Crackers (or other crackers of choice)
Dark Chocolate Layer
- 3 coconut sugar sweetened dark chocolate bars (9 ounces)
White Chocolate Layer
- 4-5 tablespoon melted coconut manna or coconut butter
- Place a small pot on the stove and add all the ingredients for the caramel sauce.
- Turn the burner onto low heat and whisk the ingredients together.
- Allow the ingredients to come to a low boil.
- Stir or whisk the ingredients reguarly and allow the caramel to simmer for 5-10 minutes.
- Turn off the burner and allow the caramel to cool for a few minutes (it will thicken even more during this time). While the caramel is cooling start the next steps.
- Preheat your oven to 375F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Spread the crackers out in an even layer on the baking sheet.
- Pour the caramel sauce over the crackers and spread evenly until smooth.
- Place the tray in the oven and bake for 5 minutes, until the caramel sauce is bubbling.
- While the crackers and caramel are baking melt the chocolate by breaking the chocolate bars into pieces and placing them into a microwave safe dish. Microwave on high for 20-30 second intervals until the chocolate is melted.
- When the crackers and caramel are done, remove them from the oven and let cool for a few minutes.
- Pour the melted chocolate over the caramel layer and spread evenly until smooth.
- Melt the coconut manna in the microwave by heating the jar for 30-60 seconds on high (this will depend on how full your jar is).
- Drizzle the melted coconut manna over the chocolate layer.
- Place the tray in the freezer and freeze for 1-2 hours, until hardened.
- Break it apart into desired sized pieces and enjoy!
- If you are not following the paleo diet feel free to use other crackers for the base.
- This bark stores well in the fridge or freezer.
- Feel free to add additional toppings such as chopped nuts or dried fruit.
- Instead of chocolate bars you can use 9 ounces of chocolate chips.