Homemade Rice Krispie Treats

Homemade Rice Krispie Treats are the best kind of no bake dessert. These krispie treats, made with just five ingredients, are simple to make at home and also easy to elevate for the season with a few tricks! Makes 48 bite-sized treats.

Love easy dessert recipes? You’ve got to try Saltine Cracker Toffee and Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge.

Two rice krispie treats are stacked on top of each other on a cutting board

I’m a sucker for a Homemade Rice Krispie Treat, and so are my kids.

So much so that we’re basically doing a series of these no bake desserts because we could all use more of things like these in our lives.

This is the classic version, and we’ve painstakingly tested and tastetested to confirm that they’re the best Rice Krispie Treats ever.

Why I love this recipe

Homemade Rice Krispie Treats are decadent and delicious and so incredibly simple to make. They’re also insanely easy to eat (and keep eating.)

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    I love that this recipe strikes a balance between sweet and salty, and it’s the perfect balance because it doesn’t go too hard either direction.

    It also serves as an excellent base recipe to add other flavors, colors and festivities to. And it’s fun to make with kids.

    Depending on your kids’ ages, you can have them help at the stovetop. If they’re too young, they can help out with the measuring and the patting down (so long as they have a watchful eye and helping hand to assist, if necessary, since these are hot when they come out of the pot.)

    Other easy desserts to make with your kids: No Bake Scotcheroo Cookies | Dessert Nachos (Halloween, Christmas, Easter Candy Leftover idea!) | Valentine’s Day Dessert Board | Christmas Chex Mix | Chex Mix Puppy Chow | Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites

    Got sweet teeth? Check out my Dessert Recipe Index for inspiration.

    Bowls holding crispy rice treat ingredients on marble

    What you need to make this recipe:

    The Speckled Palate participates in affiliate programs. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases. Please refer to my disclosure page for more information about these affiliate programs.

    Let’s talk ingredients!

    In addition to the tools above, you’re going to need some ingredients to make this recipe, too! Chances are, you might already have some of them in your fridge or pantry. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full measurements and instructions.

    Here’s what you’ll need:

    • Crispy rice cereal — use your favorite brand! Rice Krispies cereal is a classic, but I’ve been known to make these with the whole wheat variety for my kids, but honestly, any variation is good.
    • Butter — you can use salted or unsalted butter. If using salted butter, don’t add the salt. If using unsalted butter, you need a little extra sprinkle of salt. I have more details about this below so you know how much to add, promise.
    • Kosher salt — only to be added if you’re using unsalted butter!
    • Vanilla extract — this adds just a little more flavor, in my opinion, and the combination of vanilla with marshmallow and butter is simply divine.
    • Marshmallows — mini marshmallows melt best and easiest!

    Please note that many crispy rice cereals are not naturally gluten free. If you want to make an allergy safe treat, check out these Gluten-Free Rice Krispies Treats.

    How to jazz up crispy rice treats

    Look, you can make Rice Krispie Treats for any occasion or celebration. All you need is a vision and some additional products to make ‘em happy.

    We’ve used candy melts, as well as sprinkles and chocolate-coated candies to decorate our rice krispie treats to elevate them for holidays.

    Here are a few more ideas:

    • Stir in rainbow sprinkles at the very end, and transform these into Confetti Rice Krispie Treats. Use any color of sprinkles to add color and festivity to these no bake treats.
    • Add mini chocolate chips to the top as a chocolatey topping! I caution against stirring them in because they will melt into the hot marshmallow mixture.
    • Dip in white chocolate or dark chocolate on top to make Dipped Rice Krispie Treats. You could also add a drizzle of colorful candy melts.
    • Switch up the extract. Use the same amount of almond extract, lemon extract, peppermint extract in place of the vanilla extract to switch up the flavor in these no bake dessert bars.
    • Use a different cereal, like Cocoa Krispies (for Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats) or Fruity Pebbles for a colorful cereal bar!
    Collage showing how to make rice krispie treats

    How to make Homemade Rice Krispie Treats

    Prepare the pan. I like using a 9”x13” baking dish and lining it with wax paper. This will make removing the crispy rice treats easy. You can also give the paper a spritz with nonstick cooking spray to ensure your treats will remove easily. Set aside.

    Measure out the cereal into a large bowl, and set aside. We won’t be mixing these in the bowl itself , but having this measured out before our marshmallow-butter mixture is melty is important.

    Make the krispie treat base. In a large pot, melt the butter over low heat with the pinch of salt, then add marshmallows and stir. Continually stir until these have melted completely, then splash in the vanilla and stir.

    Mix the treats. Turn off the heat, and pour the cereal into the pot with the marshmallow mixture. Stir quickly until the cereal is completely coated.

    Make the bars. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan. Gently spread it into an even layer with a rubber spatula. If your spatula begins sticking, spritz with the nonstick cooking spray.

    Pro tip: Do not be tempted to press down hard on the mixture because this will make your treats more compact.

    Let the treats cool for about an hour, then cut into rectangles (or any shape you desire) with a sharp knife.

    Collage showing how to shape rice krispie treats

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What can you use instead of marshmallows for Rice Krispie Treats?

    Marshmallows are an integral part of krispie treats, so I do not recommend finding a substitute for them.

    How long does it take for Rice Crispy Treats to harden?

    The treats harden as they cool, so it’ll take at least 30 minutes after they’ve been in the pan.

    What happens if you put too much butter in Rice Krispie Treats?

    I’ve read that too much butter will lead to soggy krispie treats. 

    Can you use old marshmallows for Rice Krispie Treats?

    No. Please don’t. As marshmallows sit in the pantry, they lose moisture and their texture changes. They will have a harder time melting, and when they do, they will become more of a gelatinous blob. They run the risk of overcooking and making tougher krispie treats because you’ll need to cook them for longer.

    Collage showing how to cut crispy rice treats

    Quick Tips and Tricks for the best crispy rice treats

    • Use fresh marshmallows. They melt more easily and will provide a better texture for your treats. (How do I know this? I’ve attempted this recipe with older marshmallows, and they didn’t turn out quite right.)
    • Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days. After this point, the treats will begin to harden.
    • Make them your own. There are so many rice krispie treat variations out there, so have fun with them! Add sprinkles, frosting and more to make ’em unique and perfect for holidays.

    More rice krispie treat recipes:

    Looking for some holiday-themed cereal bars? You’ve got to try Christmas Rice Krispie Treats, Halloween Oreo Rice Krispie Treats (or regular Halloween Rice Krispie Treats), Easter Rice Krispie Treats with Peeps, July 4 Rice Krispie Treats and festive Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispie Treats.

    Want to try a fun twist on a classic? My entire family is obsessed with these Oreo Rice Krispie Treats.

    Just want to make these classic ones? Scroll on down for my recipe…

    A stack of homemade rice krispie treats in a pan

    Homemade Rice Krispie Treats

    Erin Parker, The Speckled Palate
    Homemade Rice Krispie Treats are the best kind of no bake dessert. These krispie treats, made with just five ingredients, are simple to make at home and also easy to elevate for the season with a few tricks!
    5 from 1 vote
    Servings 48 (1 ½”) squares
    Calories 41 kcal
    Prep Time 5 minutes
    Cook Time 10 minutes
    Cooling Time 30 minutes
    Total Time 45 minutes

    Ingredients
      

    • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
    • 10 oz. mini marshmallows about 6 cups
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 6 cups crispy rice cereal

    As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

    Instructions
     

    • Line a 9”x13” baking dish with wax paper. This will make removing the crispy rice treats easy. Set aside.
    • Pour the crispy rice cereal into the large bowl, and set aside.
    • Melt the butter over low heat with the salt in a large pot.
    • Once the butter has melted, stir in the marshmallows. Continually stir until completely melted.
    • Add the splash of vanilla, and stir.
    • Pour the cereal into the melted marshmallow mixture, and stir quickly until the cereal is coated.
    • Pour the cereal bar mixture to the prepared baking pan and gently spread the mixture into an even layer with a rubber spatula. (If it begins sticking, spritz the spatula with the nonstick cooking spray.) Do not press down hard on the mixture, as your treats will be more compact.
    • Let the treats cool completely, about 1 hour.
    • Cut into squares with a sharp knife, and enjoy within 2-3 days.

    Notes

    I cut my treats into 1.5” squares. If you cut yours larger, you will have less.
    How to store: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days. After this point, the treats will begin to harden.

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1 barCalories: 41kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 0.3gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.4gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 17mgPotassium: 4mgFiber: 0.04gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 44IUCalcium: 1mgIron: 0.1mg
    Keyword crispy rice treats, dessert, no bake dessert, no bake dessert recipe, no bake desserts, rice krispie treat, rice krispie treats, rice krispie treats recipe
    Course Desserts & Sweet Treats
    Cuisine American
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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    About the Author:

    Erin Parker is a Southern gal living in Texas with her husband and two daughters. She started The Speckled Palate to share what she was cooking as a newlywed… and over the years, it’s evolved to capture her love for hosting. Specifically, the EASIEST, lowest key entertaining because everyone deserves to see their people and connect over good food. Learn more about her

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