Chocolate Cracker Candy

Chocolate Cracker Candy is a sweet and salty homemade candy sometimes referred to as “Christmas Crack.” It can be left plain chocolate or topped with toasted coconut, M&M candies, or sprinkles. It keeps well in the fridge and is perfect for holiday gifting in a festive tin!

Chocolate Cracker Candy with toasted coconut on top

This post was originally published as the 5th Day of Christmas in my 12 Days of Christmas Series.

My family first had Chocolate Cracker Candy at a family friend’s house many years ago and fell in love with it. It’s pretty simple but so delicious. I know there are several versions of this recipe around – some using graham crackers for example. I prefer the saltines because they really contribute to the salty/sweet aspects of the candy. And no one will ever guess they are saltines – seriously!

I’ve made a note below that you must use real, stick butter and margarine for this recipe for it to turn out right. I know some people prefer to avoid margarine, so if that’s the case this might not be the recipe for you. I personally don’t use margarine on a daily basis but will make an exception for exceptional recipes such as this 🙂 UPDATE: I have now switched to using ALL butter, I just have to reduce the time the sugar and butter simmer and keep a close eye on it!

I make this candy every year during the holidays and give it away in decorative tins or wrapped up in small bags. When stored in the fridge, it lasts quite a long time. Another thing I love about this candy is that it’s so versatile – you can top it with virtually anything (think candy, peppermint, toasted coconut, nuts) and even the chocolate can be personalized to suit your taste – white chocolate, colored chocolate, mint chocolate, raspberry chocolate, swirled, etc. I usually prefer straight up traditional (no topping, semi-sweet chocolate), but feel free to get creative. You will not be disappointed!

Last year I decorated with these red/green swirl morsels.

Chocolate Cracker Candy

I could not find them this year 🙁 I decided to use dark chocolate holiday M&M’s instead.

Chocolate Cracker Candy with M&M's on top

I also decorated with toasted coconut this year for the first time.

Candy with toasted coconut on top in a holiday tin

I served this Chocolate Cracker Candy at our Holiday Open House. I often give it as a Host/Hostess gift when attending parties and to teachers, bus drivers, etc. It is always a HUGE hit, hence the name “Christmas Crack”!

candy on plates of holiday dessert table

Gluten Free Chocolate Cracker Candy

Use gluten free crackers in place of saltines. I have not tired this myself, but I think it should work well!

Chocolate Cracker Candy Pin

Looking for More Edible Christmas Gift Ideas?

Check out some of my favorite recipes to gift to family and friends:
Oreo Truffles
Triple Chocolate Biscotti
Homemade Marshmallows
Poppy Seed Bread
Pineapple Carrot Bread
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

Chocolate Cracker Candy with toasted coconut on top

Chocolate Cracker Candy

Chocolate Cracker Candy is a sweet and salty homemade candy sometimes referred to as "Christmas Crack." It can be left plain chocolate or topped with toasted coconut, M&M candies, or sprinkles. It keeps well in the fridge and is perfect for holiday gifting in a festive tin!
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chill Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24 pieces (approx.)


  • salted saltine crackers (approximately 1 sleeve)
  • 1/2 cup salted butter (1 stick, see note (2 sticks if omitting margarine))
  • 1/2 cup margarine (1 stick, see note)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Optional toppings: red/green swirl morsels (M&M’s, toasted coconut, crushed peppermint, chopped nuts (pecans or almonds))


  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Line a medium-sized (close to 10 1/2″ x 15 1/2″ x 1″) jelly roll pan with foil.
  • Place one layer of saltine crackers edge to edge to cover the pan.
  • In a heavy saucepan, heat the butter, margarine, and sugar to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes, no stirring necessary. If using all butter (2 sticks), keep a close eye on it to prevent it from burning. It may only take 2 minutes. If the butter mixture begins to turn brown, remove from heat and proceed with recipe.
  • Pour mixture over saltines and spread with a rubber spatula if necessary to distribute evenly over the crackers.
  • Bake about 6-10 minutes or until crackers are golden brown (the browner the crackers, the more toffee-tasting the candy will be).
  • Remove from oven and pour the chocolate chips over the crackers. Wait 1-2 minutes, then spread the chocolate to cover the entire surface. Optional: decorate with toppings of choice.
  • Refrigerate pan for 2 hours or longer. Break candy into pieces. Store in refrigerator for best results.


*IMPORTANT NOTE: Use only stick butter and margarine – not soft or light. Must use the margarine so that the butter does not burn OR you may use ALL butter (2 sticks) but  cook it for less time.
Source: Adapted from a family friend Margaret S.
You’re Gonna Bake It After All
Keyword candy, chocolate, dessert, gluten free, holiday

5 thoughts on “Chocolate Cracker Candy”

  • 5 stars
    Yum these look so great! I haev been looking for a sort of bar cookie thing like this so thank you!! I love how your doing 12 days of christmas!

  • 5 stars
    I just made this recipe for a Christmas party this past weekend, but I used two sticks of butter instead of the margarine. The butter did burn just as you said, Meghan. The candy was alright, but definitely not as good as the original recipe. P.S. – You better bring some of that toasted coconut-topped cracker candy home with you next week!!!

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