How to Make Rice Crispy Treats: Best 101 Cooking Guide

12 mins read
By: Ianmitchinson on Shutterstock

For the ever delicious, easy-to-make classic rice crispy treats, let’s learn how to make crispy rice treats!

Rice crispy treat is a confection made by binding crisp rice cereal with butter or margarine and marshmallows.

Though they are traditionally home-made, Kellogg’s began to market the treats themselves in 1995 under the name of Rice Krispies treats, also known as ‘Rice Krispie Treats,’ ‘RKTs,’ ‘bars,’ or ‘buns’ and alternatively ‘cakes,’ ‘Marshmallow Treats,’ ‘Marshmallow Squares,’ or ‘Rice Krispies Squares’ in Canada, and ‘LCMs‘ in Australia. But how to make rice crispy treats is the real question.

Rice krispy treats
By: Beccafawley on Flickr. Copyright 2011

On the internet, you are bound to find thousands of different ways of making the same recipe, be it a glass of Iced Coffee or the original Rice Krispies. From peanut butter Krispies to cinnamon Krispies, there are many flavors for you to choose from.

So many flavors, and yet nothing can beat the good old classic, homemade rice Krispie treat. This recipe is so easy that it only requires a few ingredients; imagine that! Let’s dive down into the recipe and learn how to make rice crispy treats!

How to Make Rice Crispy Treats

1. Ingredients

How to make rice crispy treats? Well, we need the following ingredients to create this original and ever delicious recipe for Rice Krispie treats are as follows: –

  • 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 1 bag of regular marshmallows (16 oz) or 2 bags of mini marshmallows (10 oz)
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 6 cup Rice Krispies or crispy rice cereal by any other company.
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • fruity pebbles
  • parchment paper
  • cooking spray

Total cooking time: 20 minutes for cooking + 1 hour for cooling

Servings- up to 20 squares

2. Instructions on How to Make Rice Crispy Treats

  1. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with good quality aluminum foil and gently coat with melted butter. Keep 2 cups of the marshmallows aside for later use.
  2. Melt butter in a big saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat or low heat, and make sure to Swirl the pan occasionally to ensure that the butter cooks evenly.
  3. As the butter melts, it will begin to bubble and foam, and the color will shift from brilliant yellow to golden to a shade of brown.
  4. Remove the melted butter pan from the heat after detecting the toasty scent coming off the butter. You might observe small particles of golden-brown silt accumulating, which is not something to worry about, but if the color looks black, then sieve the butter and strain it out until you are left with only the toasty brown colored butter and return it to the pan.
  5. You can use gluten-free Marshmallows if you wish. Remove from the low heat and stir the remaining marshmallows into the melted butter. Add vanilla extract and a pinch of salt to taste. You can also add some fruity pebbles if you wish to add them.
  6. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the crispy rice cereal. Stir with a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon until evenly blended.
  7. Return the saucepan to medium heat and whisk with a wooden spoon until the marshmallows are fully melted.
  8. Stir in the saved unmelted marshmallows until the marshmallow mixture softens and completely melts. Pockets of goo are what we desire in rice crispy treats, so make sure not to overmix.
  9. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and, using a butter wrapper, parchment paper, or your fingers, gently press the mixture and smoothen it out into an even layer in the pan. Pack them loose as the harder you pack them, the harder they will be to eat.
  10. Once finished packing, let these crispy cereal treats sit for an hour until it cools down to room temperature.
  11. Remove the treat onto a cutting board, then cut into squares with a bread knife. You can store the crispy rice treats in an airtight container for 48 hours.

3. Nutrition Information Rice Krispy Treats

Learning how to make rice crispy treats is great but let’s look at the nutrition information.

Amount Per 0.75 cup (1 NLEA serving) (30 g)100 grams

Calories 399

*In this nutrition information chart, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000-calorie diet.

Total Fat 4.6 g (7%)

Saturated fat 0.9 g (4%) Trans fat regulation 1.5 g

Cholesterol 0 mg (0%)

Sodium 554 mg (23%)

Potassium 77 mg (2%)

Total Carbohydrate 85 g (28%)

Dietary fiber 0.2 g (0%)

Sugar 31 g

Protein 4.8 g (9%)

Vitamin C 33%

Calcium 1%

Iron 34%

Vitamin D 33%

Vitamin B6 85%

Cobalamin 83%

Magnesium 5%

4. Extra Tips to Make that Perfect Ultra-Gooey Best Rice Krispie Treat Recipe!

Follow these tips if you’re wondering about How to Make Rice Crispy Treats.

  • Avoid using old unmelted marshmallows; even though the recipe requires the melting of marshmallows, make sure to use only fresh marshmallows.
  • After sitting around for a while, marshmallows start drying out, and their exterior gets firm later. Instead of melting gradually and becoming soft and gooey, they melt into one giant blob, and the result is not good enough.
  • The best ratio for a 9×13-inch baking pan is 2 10-ounce bags of store-bought marshmallows (11 heaping cups) and 9 cups of cereal.
  • Adding pure vanilla extract will give uniqueness and flavor to your perfect rice Krispie recipe as it creates the sense that the marshmallows used in the recipe is homemade and not store brought.
  • Throw in the remaining marshmallows with the cereal as it adds to the gooeyness and makes your rice Krispies treat chewier. It is advisable to add more melted marshmallows than required but never less.

how to make rice crispy treats
By: Elena Vesselobva on Shutterstock

  • For extra marshmallow rice crispy treats, treats use fresh marshmallows and cereal in the same ratio. If you are using mini marshmallows, buy according to the recipe.
  • Most people skip salt as this is a sweet dish, but a little bit of salt will complement and uplift the sweet taste of the dish. Using Salted butter would also produce the same effect.
  • Lightly grease the pan or use parchment paper and gently press the mixture into the pan. Do not exert much pressure as the firmer it is placed the harder it will become to eat them.
  • For a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with a gluten allergy, check for the gluten-free labels on the crispy rice cereal.
  • Although crispy rice treats can be stored in the refrigerator but freezing them will make the marshmallow very hard to chew, so instead, store them in an airtight container at room temperature to maintain the fresh taste of your Rice Krispies treats.
  • You can shape your treats however you want but make sure they are not enough lest you burn your hands. You can also use a cookie cutter to get rice Krispies treats in various shapes easily.
  • Avoid cooking at a high flame as the higher the flame higher the chance of your rice Krispies turning out rock hard and almost rendering them inedible. Melt butter and your mini marshmallows over low heat, and you will be rewarded with soft, chewy, and crispy cereal treats for your patience!
  • Don’t cut the Krispies too soon; allow the melted marshmallows and the butter to cool down. Wait for a minimum of half an hour before removing and cutting the bar into squares.
  • After being stored for more than two days, the rice Krispies lose their freshness and softness and become rock solid, so make sure you consume them within a short period, preferably within 2 or 3 days. Keeping them in an airtight container will be fresher for a few more days.
  • To freeze your rice Krispies, treat, place them in layers separated by wax paper in an airtight container. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving. Freeze for up to 6 weeks.
  • If your rice Krispies become too hard after being frozen, microwave them for 10 seconds to soften them before eating.

5. Substitute for The Marshmallow Fluff

Now that is how to make rice crispy treats. If you want to make a cream to substitute for the marshmallow fluff, you can follow this simple recipe. You forgot to buy any jet puffed marshmallows from the grocery store, and making homemade marshmallows might take some time; well, don’t worry too much. We got the perfect substitute for you to use to make your rice crispy treat recipe.

  • Sugar: Granulated sugar sweetens the cream and contributes to the cream’s gooey texture.
  • Corn Syrup: the corn syrup prevents the sugar from crystalizing when completely melted and mixed with sugar, thus keeping it fluffy and light.
  • Water assists in the melting of the sugar and the corn syrup together.
  • Salt: Balances out the sweetness of the sugar, as stated before.
  • Egg whites: Whipped to stiff peaks, the egg whites give the marshmallow cream a fluffy texture.
  • Cream of Tartar: Stabilizes the egg whites and traps air in them while they fluff up.
  • Vanilla: Imparts flavor and aroma to your marshmallow mixture.
  • If you are a vegan, you can buy a vegan marshmallow from yumallo, as these Vegan Marshmallows have no gelatin, corn syrup, artificial flavoring, gluten, or fat. What they do have is classic marshmallow perfection.

5.1. Steps to Make These Classic Treats

Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, follow these steps to learn how to make rice crispy treats:

  • Heat sugars and water – Combine sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt in a small pan over medium-high heat.
  • Stir until the mixture comes to a boil.
  • Whip egg whites, While the sugar mixture is boiling, add the egg whites and cream of tartar to a bowl and whisk manually or use an electric whisker beater.
  • Beat to soft peaks. Whip on medium-high speed until soft peaks are formed.
  • The egg whites should be ready and waiting when the sugar mixture boils. Turn off the mixer if the egg whites reach soft peaks before the sugar mixture’s temperature.
  • Add sugar to egg whites, and once the sugar mixture is boiled up, turn the mixer speed to low and very slowly drizzle the syrup down the side of the mixer bowl.
  • Beat until fluffy; once all of the syrup has been added, the speed needs to be increased. Beat the mixture until it is stiff and glossy-looking peaks are formed, and then allow the mixture to cool down for 10 minutes.
  • Make sure to add the vanilla extract during the last minute or two of beating the mixture.
  • Use the marshmallow cream immediately or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Do not hesitate to explore other ingredients and flavors once you have learned how to make rice crispy treats.

The traditional recipe of Rice Krispie treats sure are appetizing, but they make a great recipe to experiment with. You can add many different ingredients, from dark chocolate to crumbled bacon, and the recipe is all yours to experiment with.

Go gluten-free if you are making rice Krispie treats for a person allergic to gluten.

6. Here Is a Fun and Easy Recipe for You to Try

Here is a fun and easy recipe for you to try while learning how to make rice crispy treats.

6.1. Ice Cream Rice Krispie Treat Recipe

  • Combine butter and sugar in a large saucepan over medium or low heat. Stir in rice cereal, 1 cup at a time, and then remove from heat.
  • Slice off sections of ice cream of your desired flavor, and spread the entire half-gallon in an even layer over the crispy mixture.
  • Press 1/2 of the crispy mixture in the bottom of a 9×13 inch pan. Top with the remaining Rice Krispies mixture. Drizzle caramel topping over dessert. Freeze for at least 1 hour.
  • Check if your ice cream rice Krispie treats are frozen well enough; if not, refrigerate them for a couple more hours. Once done, serve it as a dessert.

6.2. Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats Recipe

Let’s learn more about how to make rice crispy treats. These peanut butter Rice Krispies are chewy, peanut buttery, and a straightforward and good recipe to make with a layer of chocolate. They make for a perfect and classic treat. Follow the instructions to make the best Rice Krispie treat ever!

peanut butter krispie treats
By: Meng He on Flickr. Copyright 2012

For this perfect rice Krispie treat recipe, you’ll need:

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 10-oz bag of mini marshmallows
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 6 cups Rice Krispy cereal (or any other generic brand)

Using mini marshmallows is preferable because they melt more easily – but if you only have large ones, 1 cup of mini marshmallows is equal to 8 large ones (so you’d need 40 total for the recipe).

One 7 oz jar equals 1 ½ cup mini marshmallows to use marshmallow cream. You can buy any brand of mini marshmallows.

You can also use American butter if you don’t have European butter. American butter is the mild variety you find in your grocery store’s dairy case. It’s made to match USDA standards of 80 percent butterfat.

For extra gooey Rice Krispie Treats – only use 5 ½ cups Rice Krispies in this recipe. The more marshmallows you use, the gooier your Krispy treats would be at the end.

Though making this recipe on the stovetop is the usual way, you can also use your microwave to melt together the butter, peanut butter, and marshmallows. You can melt more butter as you deem necessary.

Like making homemade granola bars, you can also customize these crispy rice treats by melting dark chocolate chips and spreading the melted chocolate on top.

Add a sprinkle of sea salt to make the flavor come out, and you can also add some fruity pebbles to your rice crispies cereal treats.

6.3. Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treat Ingredients:

  • Creamy peanut butter
  • Honey (or use maple syrup for a vegan version)
  • Brown rice cereal (or Rice Krispies cereal)
  • Salt to balance the sweetness
  • fruity pebbles
  • mini marshmallows

That’s all the things you would need to make this fantastic recipe. You may also want to have chocolate chips on hand if you’d like to add a topping and some cooking spray, parchment paper, or wax paper to help prepare the dish.

This recipe moves fast, so measure everything out before you get started. Add the cereal to a large mixing bowl, ready for the next step.

Now, add the honey to a small saucepan over medium heat or low heat on the stovetop, and bring it to a boil. As soon as you see bubbles around the edges of the pan, set a timer for 1 minute.

Turn down the heat if you notice the bubbles rising to the top.

When the timer goes off, remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the peanut butter and salt with a spatula.

Pour the hot peanut butter honey mixture over the cereal in the mixing bowl. Stir well until the cereal is evenly coated.

Since the peanut butter mixture will start to harden as it cools, you would need to stir as quickly as possible; the slower you stir, the more complex the process will become.

Prepare an 8-inch square dish by lightly spraying it with cooking spray, then press a piece of parchment paper into the bottom. The oil will hold the parchment paper in place, so it won’t move around as you work and make the bars easy to remove later.

Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan and gently press until the bars are flat and tightly packed inside. But do not apply undue pressure as it will result in hardened treats.

For a chocolate topping, melt a 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips (either in the microwave or in a boiler on the stove) and spread or drizzle the chocolate over the top. The chocolate will add more sweetness and flavor to your Rice Krispie treats.

Let these healthy rice crispy treats cool completely by placing them in the fridge or freezer. It usually takes about 1 hour in the freezer or 2 hours in the fridge for them to cool completely. Make sure to cool them before cutting them into smaller pieces.

Slice the cooled peanut butter rice crispy treats into smaller bars and enjoy. In an airtight container, you can store this Rice Krispie treats recipe at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Peanut butter rice Krispies treats tend to get softer when stored at room temperature, so for the firmest & crispy results, keep them chilled and store them at room temperature if possible.

Avoid making overly sweet Rice crispy treats unless you got a sweet tooth. Omit the honey and use pure maple syrup instead if you want to make vegan Krispy Treats. You could also use agave nectar or brown rice syrup as an alternative sweetener.

If you are looking to make a healthy recipe, it is recommended that you use puffed rice (or puffed quinoa) cereal, as it doesn’t turn out crispy. The texture isn’t nearly as pleasant as the classic crispy rice cereal we have all come to expect.

If you’d instead not use peanut butter for your Rice Krispie treat recipe, you can use tahini or sunflower butter as a nut-free alternative. If you need to avoid peanuts due to allergies, you could also use almond butter or cashew butter.

Before serving, ensure that the people being served these peanut butter rice Krispies are not allergic to peanuts and use gluten-free ingredients for a person allergic to gluten.

So now that you know the A to Z of making these fun treats, you are ready to create the perfect snack for when you have guests coming over or when you are simply craving a midnight snack.

No matter the situation, these delicious Rice Krispy treats won’t let you down!

I hope you enjoyed reading this article on making crispy rice treats. If you enjoyed the recipes too, then do try them out.

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