How To Make Perfect Rice Krispy Treats

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Gooey, chewy, PERFECT, Rice Krispy Treats are one of my very favorite desserts. They’re an easy favorite for serving after dinner, a classic dessert to bring to a potluck or enjoy with your kids as an afternoon snack after school.

Today, I’m excited to share with you the secret for getting perfect Rice Krispy Treats every single time.

Classic Rice Crispy Treats

Which is it? Rice Crispy Treats or Rice Krispy Treats? Who knows? I go back and forth as I’m guessing you all do as well. I can never remember exactly how to spell it and Google was no help at all on this one. So, let’s just agree to use both names interchangeably.

If you spend any time with me on Instagram, you may have noticed that I’ve been on a wee bit of a Rice Crispy Treat kick lately.

The ULTIMATE Rice Crispy Treats - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

Chocolate dipped rice crispy treats, chocolate covered rice crispy treats, even rice crispy treat ice cream (yes, I went there and it was AMAZING!), classic rice crispy treats, and ooey-gooey marshmallow filled rice crispy treats; it’s hard to find a rice crispy treat that I won’t eat.

Rice Krispy Treats aren’t complicated. You probably made them at least a time or two when you were a kid. While I’d never turn down anyone else’s rice krispy treats, I’m kind of picky about my own.

I like Rice Krispy Treats that are soft enough to pull apart with my fingers, the day after making them, after they’ve been sitting out on the counter. 

Perfect Rice Crispy Treats are soft and chewy with plenty of ooey-gooey marshmallow goodness. I want to taste the sweet and sticky marshmallows in each and every bite of my treats.

I’ve tested this recipe by leaving the sliced rice krispy treats on a plate for 48 hours and they remained chewy and not at all hard. (The only thing hard was not eating the entire batch in the first 24 hours after baking them. Lord knows how little self-control I have when it comes to Rice Crispy Treats of all kinds.)

I don’t like my rice krispy treats to scrape the roof of my mouth or become crunchy. So, in short, gooey rice crispy treats = my happy place.

How To Make Rice Krispie Treats

This recipe–it is THE recipe, the only Rice Krispie Treats recipe you ever need. Once you learn how to make rice crispy treats like this, you’ll never go back. No other recipe can compare, I promise.

Have I convinced you yet?

In a nutshell, take the original recipe off the side of the cereal box, add more butter, add way more marshmallows, and there you have it. It isn’t complicated, but oh, it makes me so very happy to have the perfect Rice Krispy Treat ready to eat in just minutes.

If you’re feeling a little extra, I recommend drizzling some melted chocolate across the top of the treats and letting it set up for a bit of chocolate awesomeness in each bite.

Chocolate Drizzled Rice Krispy Treats - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

Rice Crispy Treats

Like so many of the best recipes, perfect Rice Crispy Treats start with a respectable amount of melted butter. After melting the butter in a saucepan, add miniature marshmallows to the saucepan and stir them with the butter until fully melted.

I use 8 cups of mini marshmallows in this recipe which is about one and a half of the standard sized marshmallow bags. The extra marshmallows in these Rice Crispy Treats (along with the butter) is the secret to keeping them soft and gooey even days after cooking.

Stir crispy rice cereal (brand name Rice Krispies or your favorite generic brand) to the marshmallow and butter mixture until well incorporated. Pour the rice cereal mixture into a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and use your hands

At this point, lightly wet your hands or coat them in a thin amount of butter. Use your hands to gently press and pat the cereal mixture evenly across the pan. Take care here not to press the mixture too flat and compact.

Perfectly chewy rice crispy treats! get all the tips at barefeetinthekitchen.com

Remember how I said extra marshmallows are one of the key differences between my perfect Rice Krispy Treats and the standard recipe on the side of the cereal box? Well, I found a way to add even more marshmallows to this treat (and I have no regrets about this).

Can you have too many marshmallows? I say not for this.

If you love marshmallows as much as I do, take an extra 1 to 2 cups of miniature marshmallows and add them to the cereal mixture just before you pour it onto the baking pan. The marshmallows will soften without melting completely. I love biting into a rice crispy treat and tasting fluffy whole marshmallows in the chewy, lightly crispy cereal bars.

The extra marshmallows are completely optional; we like these Rice Crispy Treats just fine without them as well. Still, I find myself adding the extra couple of cups of marshmallow morsels just about every time I make this recipe.

After patting the rice cereal mixture into the baking pan, let the whole thing cool for a few minutes. Slice the bars into your preferred size. One of the great things about this recipe is that you can customize the bars to any shape or size you like.

I typically make my Rice Krispy Treats in the traditional square or rectangular shape. If I’m making them for a party or a lot of people, I might cut them into smaller sizes so they’re easier to share.

Chocolate Covered Rice Krispy Treats - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

 

Remember the chocolate covered rice krispy treats I mentioned earlier? That’s what happens when you have just two remaining rice krispy treats and you decide to chop them very small and dip them in melted chocolate.

Pop them in the refrigerator and 15 minutes later, you have a plate full of rapidly disappearing bite-size candies that your kids (and everyone else!) will love!

Chocolate Covered Rice Krispy Treats taste like Crunch candy bars but even better. Everyone you serve them to will be totally wowed because they look and taste like they take a lot of effort. No one else needs to know how easy they are to whip up at a moment’s notice; it’ll be our secret.

Gluten Free Desserts

Rice Crispy Treats are safely gluten free when made with a specifically labeled “gluten-free crisp rice cereal.” (Kelloggs rice krispies do not meet the standard for Celiac disease, as they contain malt flavoring. That said, my gluten-sensitive son has always been able to eat rice krispies without any issues. However, he does NOT have Celiac disease.)

This is another reason why rice krispy treats are a favorite to bring to parties and gatherings. I know that everyone, even my friends who can’t eat gluten, will be able to enjoy them. As a reader kindly pointed out as well, Post Cocoa Pebbles and Fruity Pebbles are naturally gluten free, making them an easy substitution in this recipe too.

For more ideas for gluten free desserts,  check out all of the Gluten Free Dessert Recipes I’ve shared over the years. There are so many naturally gluten free desserts (and gluten free adaptions of classic favorites) you need to have in your rotation! 

If it’s no-bake dessert recipes you’re after, I can help you out there too.

No Bake Chocolate Cereal Bars are right up there with Perfect Rice Krispy Treats on my list of favorite easy desserts no-bake desserts. They use corn flakes instead of rice cereal combined with an irresistible blend of honey, melted chocolate, and peanut butter.

I’ve got these No-Bake Snickers Crunch Bars bookmarked for the next time I’m in the mood for something decadent that won’t require me to fire up the oven.The Ultimate Rice Krispy Treats - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

Kitchen Tip: I use this pot and this spatula to make this recipe.

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The ULTIMATE Rice Crispy Treats - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

Perfect Rice Krispy Treats

5 from 4 votes
Learn how to make PERFECT Rice Krispy Treats every single time!
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Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 10 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 16 servings

Ingredients 

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 8 cups miniature marshmallows about 1 1/2 (10 ounce) bags of marshmallows
  • 6 cups crisp rice cereal
  • optional: additional 2 - 3 cups miniature marshmallows

Instructions

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside. (Feel free to use foil, if you'd prefer. Just don't forget to grease the foil very well with butter!)
  • Melt the butter in a large pot, over medium heat. Add the marshmallows and stir until they melt. Remove from the heat and stir in the cereal until well coated. (If desired, add the additional marshmallows now.)
  • Scoop the sticky cereal mixture onto the prepared pan. Lightly wet your hands (or butter them, if you're like me) and gently press the cereal out across the pan, taking care not to press too hard and compact them. Let cool for a few minutes before slicing. Store in an airtight container for several days. Enjoy!

Notes

For an especially gooey treat, you can add additional marshmallows right at the end, just before pressing the mixture into the pan. I like the rice krispy treats both ways, but for the most part, I add those extra marshmallows every time.

Nutrition

Calories: 143kcal · Carbohydrates: 26g · Fat: 4g · Saturated Fat: 2g · Cholesterol: 11mg · Sodium: 57mg · Potassium: 8mg · Sugar: 14g · Vitamin A: 130IU · Calcium: 3mg · Iron: 0.3mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @WPRecipeMaker or tag #wprecipemaker!

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{originally published 3/31/15 – recipe notes and photos updated 8/10/20}

How To Make PERFECT Rice Krispy Treats - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Chris30s says

    Wow! Of all of the times I've made and eaten Rice Krispy treats, I can't believe I've never thought of putting chocolate on them. I've made them with Cocoa Krispies, but that's certainly not the same. Thanks so much for this recipe… brilliant idea!

  2. Anne Bingham says

    Love this idea … I don't like scraping my mouth to eat these treats either. Another addition I like to do: melt 1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1 bag peanut butter chips together on low heat over the stove. Spread on top of Rice Krispy treats and let cool. Takes this treat up a few notches 🙂

  3. Jane says

    Rice Krispies are not gluten free. There’s Malt Barley in them…not good for those with celiac disease.

  4. Barb says

    How much peanut butter would I use to make this recipe peanut flavored? I really like the idea of the softer krispy treat!

    • Mary says

      You can use any size pan or sheet. I typically use a large 18×13 baking sheet, but I don’t spread them across it. Simply press them to the thickness you like best.

  5. Jenny says

    I’ve made these several times now to rave reviews! They are the BEST rice krispy treats — so marshmallowy and gooey … delightful! 😊5 stars

  6. Donna Howard says

    I have been looking for something like this!! Thank you. So since I’m not an expert on such things, could you tell me what size and kind of baking sheet you used? Not a cookie type baking sheet, right?? Help me please so I can make these delicious sounding yummy things!!

    • Mary says

      You can make rice krispy treats in pretty much any pan you like, Donna. I often just place parchment on the counter and shape them on that. They don’t actually need the structure of a specific pan.

  7. Carole says

    Kellogg’s Rice Krispies is NOT a gluten free cereal. The Kellogg’s brand of this cereal contains malt flavoring which is made from barley. As a mother of a child with Celiac disease, I am very concerned by the fact that you claim that this would be a great item to bring to a function for people who need gluten free.

    I do make a variation of this recipe for my family using Post Cocoa or Fruity Pebbles which are gluten free.

    • Mary says

      Thanks for pointing that out. I typically clarify that these treats need to be made with a gluten-free crisp rice cereal when making them for anyone with Celiac disease. The alternative Cocoa or Fruity Pebbles is a great option as well. I did not make that obvious in the post or recipe this time and I will correct it now. Thank you, Carole.

  8. Penny says

    My grandson is gluten, wheat, dairy and egg free. I experiment with Rice Crispy Treats all the time! I totally agree with you on the ingredients. My favs (and his) so far, are the Neapolitan Rice Crispy Treats…a layer infused with melted (dairy free) chocolate chips, a layer with vanilla extract, and a layer with a great strawberry preserve. Oooh la la! (And I use Nutiva buttery flavored coconut oil for the great flavor of butter without dairy!) (I also shape his RCT like a birthday cake and frost using dairy free icing AND created RCT shaped like ice cream bars, inserted popsicle sticks, dipped in melted dairy free choc chips and sprinkled with sprinkles.) Lots of options, and a great gluten/dairy free treat for a little 5 year old! I keep him stocked with RCT’s so when he goes to his friend’s birthday parties, he does not have to go without a treat at cake and ice cream time!

  9. Kerry says

    What is this “store in an airtight container for several days?” There’s no way they’ll ever last that many days at our house 🙂

  10. Donna R. says

    I made this recipe with the extra marshmallows + added chocolate chips & chopped almonds to make a rocky road treat. I mixed the nuts in when I put the cereal in then I mixed the chocolate chips in at the very last before pressing it together in the pan so the chocolate wouldn’t become a melted mess. I made it into a loaf pan & cut into 5 large blocks, just a little thicker than the Starbucks pound cake slice.

  11. Gwen says

    Yes! This is exactly how I make them too! I always loved how Starbucks marshmallow bars had pieces of marshmallow in every bite, so I started adding more at the very end of making mine. They don’t melt all the way, and make the treats oh so gooey!

  12. Angie says

    My 11 yr old daughter wants to make these shaped like turkey legs and then write the name of our guests on them. What would you use to write the names?

  13. Debbie B says

    Absolutely BEST recipe on the planet hands down!
    I will only make them this way for life. Adding the extra marshmallows with cereal pure genius 🤯Can’t wait to try the chocolate covered pieces, since Crunch are my favorite all time chocolate bar!
    Best way to spend quarantined days.5 stars

  14. JESSICA BROWN says

    I found this recipe was in your compilation of gluten free dessert recipes. Please be careful. Rice Krispies are NOT gluten free. Malt flavoring is from barley. Barley contains gluten. I did not click on all of the recipes but I do like that you have compiled a list of so many. Just please be careful about labeling something as gluten free. Most people who are used to reading labels for gluten or recipes for gluten containing ingredients, may be able pick up any errors, but someone just starting out might not.

    • Mary Younkin says

      In my experience, most people with celiac or a high level gluten allergy are accustomed to shopping for products specifically labeled as safe. (i.e. I’ve noted for most recipes that contain oats, care should be taken to purchase certified products.) The same caution should be applied here. Thanks for the reminder!

  15. Lynn says

    My son loved it when I added about a half cup of peanut butter, and topped with melted butterscotch chips…..the taste combo was a hit!

  16. Barbara Kelley says

    Hi,
    I’m Barbara Kelley from Odessa Texas. I was born and raised in Butler Georgia. My mom never let me in the kitchen growing up and I learned to cook as I got married. I had three sons and they loved Rice krispie treats but I never put peanut butter no chocolate in there that sounds good.I am a widow now I don’t have no more children in my house I have one dog and one cat. I think I’ll try those Rice krispie treats even for me.