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Animal Cracker Recipes to Celebrate National Animal Cracker Day – April 18

April 18 is National Animal Cracker Day. In honor of the day, I thought it would be fun to celebrate this national day with some great tasting Animal Cracker Recipes. 

Remember those little red boxes, shaped like circus train cars full of tiny animals? This childhood treat has it’s own special day!

Many national days are associated with food. Find out all about these special days in my national days guide.

Whipping up some of your favorite recipes for this food themed national day and sharing them with friends makes any celebration a cherished one.

A collage of three images, two homemade desserts with animal crackers and a box of Barnums Animals crackers with a text overlay reading "10+ Fun Animal Cracker Recipes".

Which animal was your favorite? I found 17 different ones in my last package of animal crackers. I used to like the lion, but seem to gravitate towards the giraffe right now.

Animal crackers are one of life’s ways to let us be a kid again.

Remember when April the Giraffe was all over social media a few years ago? With everyone waiting for her calf to be born, so I bet many people chose giraffes as a favorite!Animal crackers laid out on a table.

Animal crackers recipes can be made in all sorts of ways. Crush the crackers to use as a crust for bars, use them as toppings for cupcakes and other sweets, or even make your own home made animal crackers. 

There are so many special days in the month of April to celebrate. Check out my list of April national days here.

Fun facts about animal crackersA peach colored background with the text "Animal cracker fun facts" on it under a box of Barnum's Animals crackers.

  • Animal shaped cookies have been enjoyed as a treat from the early 1800s in England.
  • Nabisco started selling Barnum’s animal crackers in 1902. They were named after one of the country’s greatest showmen, P.T. Barnum.
  • Believe it or not, the original carton was intended to be a Christmas ornament!
  • 37 different animals have been featured in Barnum’s Animals crackers since they were introduced.  
  • Surprisingly, Nabisco does not pay any licensing fee to the Barnum and Bailey Circus.
  • The koala is the latest addition to the menagerie.  It was added in 2002 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the crackers. Nabisco sponsored a “name our next animal contest” and the overwhelming winner was Mr. Koala. 

How to celebrate National Animal Cracker Day

There are lots of fun ways to celebrate National Animal Cracker Day. Here are a few creative ideas.

  • Have an animal cracker costume party with your friends, where everyone dresses up like their favorite animal. Give out boxes of animal crackers as party favors.
  • Have a family night and snack on animal crackers while you play the animal cracker game.
  • Use animal crackers in one of the recipes below.
  • Treat your little one to the child’s book – Animal Crackers.
  • Spread the word on social media using the hashtag #nationalanimalcrackerday or #animalcrackerday Here is a tweet to get you started:
Time to celebrate National Animal Cracker Day.  Grab a box and enjoy! 😼🦁🙉🦒🐻🦓 Click To Tweet

Animal cracker recipes

These animal cracker recipes are fun, tasty and will delight both young, and young at heart.

Four photos featuring animal cracker with a text overlay reading "animal cracker recipes".

Lemon Cheesecake Bars with an Animal Cracker Crust. – This is a light, fluffy and tart dessert.

Semi Homemade Animal Cracker Cookies – Quick and easy frosted animal crackers are easy with this recipe.

Animal Cookie Ice Cream – How about using your favorite cracker in some ice cream?

Frosted Animal Cracker Bark – Bark makes a great home made gift idea.

Animal Crackers Snack Mix – Turn your favorite cracker into a party mix.

Circus Animal Cookie Cheesecake Pie – What better for a colorful cheesecake than these fun circus animals?

Shortbread Animal Cracker Cookies – Delightfully light shortbread gets formed into animal shapes.

Homemade Animal Crackers – No need to buy them. Make your own!

Cinnamon Animal Crackers – These animal crackers have a cinnamon finish to them.

Paleo Animal Crackers – A few easy substitutes and your animal crackers fit in the Paleo diet!

Have you used animal crackers in cooking? What did you do with your tiny animals? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to tell us which is your favorite!

Pin these animal crackers recipes for later

Would you like a reminder of these recipes using animal crackers? Just pin this image to one of your cooking boards on Pinterest so that you can easily find it later.

Watch our YouTube video to learn about more national food days in April.

Animal cracker recipes collage featuring photos of - lemon bars, shortbread cookies and homemade animal crackers with icing.

Admin note: This post first appeared on the blog in March of 2017. I have updated the post to add new photos and recipes plus suggestions for extra ways to celebrate.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but the price is the same for you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."