April 18 is National Animal Cracker Day. Remember those little red boxes, shaped like circus train cars full of tiny animals? This childhood treat has it’s own special day! In honor of the day, I thought it would be fun to celebrate this National Day with some great tasting Animal Cracker Recipes.
Many national days are associated with food. Whipping up some of your favorite recipes and sharing them with friends makes any celebration a cherished one. Find out all about these special days in my National Days Guide.
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.
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 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.
Animal Cracker Fun Facts
- 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 party 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, a collection of poems, lullabies and pictures for the very young.
- Spread the word on social media using the hashtag #nationalanimalcrackerday or #animalcrackerday Here is a tweet to get you started:
Animal Cracker Recipes
These animal cracker recipes are fun, tasty and will delight both young, and young at heart.
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.
Animal Cracker Cupcake Toppers – Use your little buddies to dress up some cupcakes
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.
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.
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 only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. 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."