This Gluten-Free Christmas Crack is seriously addicting! Made with layers of saltine crackers, caramel, and chocolate, this healthier version is also dairy-free and vegan.
Christmas crack, also known as Skor Bars in my family, has been a holiday staple for years. We call them "Auntie Vicki's Skor Bars" after my late Aunt Vicki. She was the one who introduced me to these delicious little desserts by bringing them to many, many family events. Everyone loved them and they were always gone in minutes.
This slightly healthier version is gluten-free Christmas crack! It is also very easy to make dairy-free and vegan. Gluten-free saltine crackers topped with a crisp caramel and salted chocolate... I mean, what could be better? It's called Christmas crack for a reason! Keep reading to learn how to make this addicting holiday dessert.
The beauty of this gluten-free Christmas crack is how few ingredients it requires. You probably already have most of them! And if not, it is very easy to substitute for ingredients that meet your dietary requirements.
Gluten-free saltine crackers: These took me forever to find! I actually wanted to make this recipe last year but could not find any suitable gluten-free crackers. Unwilling to accept defeat, I experimented and found out that gluten-free graham crackers also work excellently in this recipe - they just lend a more sweet and less salty taste.
However, my favourite gluten-free saltines (that I am now able to find everywhere) are the Schar Gluten-Free (Table) Crackers. Yes, that's literally what they're called. They are a little less salty than I would like so I just add some extra flakes on top of the chocolate at the end. They look like saltines and they work perfectly! They're a little fragile but their texture is perfect for this gluten-free Christmas crack.
(Dairy-free) butter: Whatever your preferred type of butter is, this recipe should work because you end up melting it. I've made this with regular butter and Melt Organic vegan butter.
Coconut sugar: My preferred paleo sweetener! The traditional recipe calls for brown sugar, which would work totally fine, however I feel a bit better when using coconut sugar as a replacement. I've found that coconut sugar can burn a little faster when making the caramel, so just be cautious and take it off the heat when it darkens or changes smell.
(Dairy-free) semisweet chocolate: I like to use chocolate chips because that's usually what I have on hand. I use the Kirkland semisweet chips which don't have any dairy ingredients (accidentally), or the Enjoy Life Foods semisweet chips (which actually do not contain any dairy). Use what you have! I find that semisweet gives the perfect balance, but if you prefer milk or dark, go ahead!
Flakey salt: This is what takes it over the top! Depending on your crackers, you may want more or less salt, but I like a healthy sprinkle over the entire sheet.
Optional toppings such as nuts or crushed candy canes: Make it festive! If you like an extra crunch, feel free to also top with chopped nuts or crushed candy canes, you really can't go wrong here.
How to make gluten-free Christmas crack
The great thing about this crowd-pleasing holiday dessert is how easy and quick it is to prepare!
Begin by preheating the oven to 400°F. Then pull out a 9x13 inch baking sheet and line with parchment paper. Place the gluten-free saltine crackers so that they completely cover the surface of the baking sheet. Set aside.
In a pot on medium heat, melt the butter. Add the sugar and whisk. Bring the heat up to medium-high for 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Be careful, as dairy-free butter can burn quicker than regular butter. If it darkens too quickly or smells slightly burnt, remove from heat.
Immediately pour the hot caramel over the crackers on the baking sheet. Be careful! It's hot. Use an offset spatula to quickly spread the caramel so that it is covering the entire surface of the crackers. Place in the oven for 5 minutes.
Then, remove the sheet from the oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Place the sheet back in the oven for 1 minute to help them melt. Use the offset spatula again to spread over the entire surface. Top with flakey salt and any optional toppings like nuts or crushed candy canes!
Place in the freezer for 30 minutes to set. Then, break apart with your hands or a sharp knife. It may be easier if they have sat at room temperature for 5 minutes. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. (Not that they will last that long!) Enjoy!
This gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan Christmas crack recipe is sure to be a crowd pleaser! Not only is it insanely delicious, but it is allergy-friendly, so all of your friends and family can enjoy... if you let them 😉
Have you made this gluten-free Christmas crack? Be sure to leave a comment telling me how much you loved it, and tag me on instagram @livglutenfree! I hope you enjoy as much as I do!
More Gluten-Free Holiday Recipes
Gluten-Free Christmas Crack (Dairy-Free Option)
- ½ package gluten-free saltine crackers I like the Schar brand
- 1 cup butter or dairy-free butter
- 1 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips ensure they are dairy-free
- flakey salt
- additional toppings of your choice candy canes, nuts, etc.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Prepare a 9x13 inch baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the gluten-free saltine crackers so that they completely cover the surface. Set aside.
- In a pot, melt the butter on medium heat. Add in the sugar and whisk to combine.
- Bring the heat up to medium-high for 2 minutes, stirring often. The mixture will bubble, thicken, and darken. Be careful, as dairy-free butter can burn quicker than regular butter. Remove from heat and immediately pour over the crackers. Use an offset spatula to spread evenly. You'll have to work quickly.
- Place the baking sheet in the oven for 5 minutes.
- Remove and top with the chocolate chips. Place the sheet back in the oven for 1 minute to help them melt. Use an offset spatula to then spread the chocolate evenly over the entire surface.
- Top with flakey salt, nuts, candy canes, or any other toppings you enjoy. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes to harden, then break apart with your hands or a sharp knife. Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 1 week - but they won't last that long! Enjoy!