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Learn how to make the BEST Rice Krispies Treats recipe with a few alterations to the classic version. Marshmallow lovers will go crazy for this upgraded recipe with loads of extra marshmallows, vanilla extract, and sea salt.
Rice Krispies Treats are the classic no bake treat. Bite into one, and you’re instantly transported back to your childhood. They’re still the perfect lunchbox treat today! And while the recipe on the back of the cereal box is tried and true, jazzing it up will take these marshmallow-y treats to a whole new level.
We’ve punched up the traditional recipe with salted butter, extra marshmallows, vanilla extract, and just a little fine sea salt to really elevate the flavors. You know how salt makes caramel even better? It turns out that it does the same thing for your favorite childhood treat.
Looking for a different flavor? Try these Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats made with creamy peanut butter, peanut butter chips, and chocolate chips. So good. I also used the cereal in these Peanut Butter Balls with Rice Krispies, and they’re phenomenal. If cereal treats are your thing, you can’t go wrong with Funfetti Puppy Chow.
But for now, gather your simple ingredients and kitchen tools to get started on the best Rice Krispie treats recipe you’ve ever tasted.
This section includes ingredient notes and substitution options. Get all measurements, ingredients, and instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this post.
- Salted Butter — The salt in the butter will help balance and bring out the sweet flavors.
- Mini Marshmallows — Mini marshmallows are easier to measure out and work with than large marshmallows. We include a lot here to make the treats extra marshmallow-y. Use fresh marshmallows for best results.
- Vanilla — While optional, the vanilla extract adds depth of flavor that you just don’t get with classic Rice Krispie treats. Pure vanilla extract is the most flavorful, but you can use imitation vanilla if that’s what you have on hand.
- Salt — Salt is the secret ingredient and, like the salt in the butter, helps balance and bring out flavors. It may sound crazy, but a pinch of salt actually makes sweet things taste sweeter. I recommend using fine sea salt but you can use table salt instead if that is all you hand on hand.
- Rice Krispies Cereal — Any type of crispy rice cereal will do, but I think the original Rice Krispies cereal tastes best.
Equipment You’ll Need to Make Krispy Treats
Here are the tools you’ll need to gather to get started making the best homemade Rice Krispie Treats:
- 10×15 jelly roll pan or 9×13 baking dish
- aluminum foil
- cooking spray
- measuring cup
- measuring spoon
- rubber spatula
- knife for cutting
- air-tight container for storage
How to Make the Best Rice Krispies Treats Recipe
This section shows you how to make the recipe with step-by-step photos and instructions. For the full printable recipe, see the recipe card below.
Step 1: Grab your aluminum foil and jelly roll pan or baking pan. Line the pan, and spray it with cooking spray to prevent sticking. Set the pan aside.
Step 2: Melt the butter over medium-low heat in a large pot or Dutch oven.
Step 3: Set aside 4 cups of the marshmallows. Add the remaining marshmallows to the butter in the pot. Stir the marshmallow mixture constantly until melted.
Step 4: Remove the pot of melted marshmallows from the heat. Add your vanilla extract and salt to the pot, and stir to combine.
Step 5: Add half of the crispy cereal, and mix it in to combine the ingredients. Add the remaining cereal and marshmallows, and stir until everything is combined.
Step 6: Pour the mixture into the lined pan. Lightly grease your hands with cooking spray, and press the mixture into the pan lightly. Don’t smash it down; gently form the marshmallow and cereal mixture to the pan.
Step 7: Let the treats set up for at least 2 hours before cutting. Once set, cut into bars and serve.
Storage and Freezing
Store crispy rice treats in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Freeze homemade Rice Krispie Treats for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe bag or container.
Rice Krispies Treats Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Always line your pan when making crispy rice marshmallow treats. If you don’t, you’ll have a sticky mess on your hands! Lining with foil and coating with cooking spray ensures the marshmallow treats are easy to remove.
- Make sure your marshmallows are super fresh and soft. Stale marshmallows won’t melt as easily and won’t give you that gooey, stretchy factor that we all know and love in our Rice Krispie treats.
- Use fresh cereal — check the expiration date! Stale cereal will ruin the texture and flavor.
- Don’t overcook the marshmallows. Remove them from the heat as soon as they’re melted. Continuing to cook them will cause the mixture to harden.
Additions and Variations
Swap out the vanilla extract. While the vanilla extract adds depth of flavor, you can easily swap it out for a different extract to suit a certain holiday or theme. Almond, lemon, strawberry, maple, or cake batter extract are yummy choices for this sweet treat. How about peppermint extract for Christmas?
Try some add-ins. Some of my favorite Rice Krispies Treats add-ins are mini chocolate chips, sprinkles, chopped nuts, chopped candy bars, and peanut butter.
Cut into fun shapes. Use a cookie cutter to cut your crispy treats into fun shapes like pumpkins, Christmas trees, or flowers.
Use Cocoa Pebbles or Fruity Pebbles. Who says you have to use plain Rice Krispies for this crispy treat recipe? Get adventurous and use one of these flavored crispy rice cereals to take your treats to the next level. You can even make Lucky Charms Cereal Treats!
Homemade Rice Krispies Treats FAQ
Don’t cook the marshmallows too long or on too high of a temperature. Both will cause your Rice Krispie treats to be hard instead of light and stretchy. Cook the marshmallows and butter on low or medium-low for best results.
Too much moisture from the butter or marshmallows (especially if not used in the correct ratios) can prevent the mixture from sticking together, but it’s an easy fix. Just add more cereal to compensate!
I recommend waiting at least 2 hours for the crispy rice treats to set up completely. If you can’t resist, though, at least 30 minutes is needed for some firming of the ingredients.
Proper storage in an airtight container will do the trick. Add a sheet of wax paper or parchment paper between each layer of Rice Krispies treats to prevent them from sticking together. You could also cover your baking dish tightly with plastic wrap, if you prefer.
More Fun Rice Krispies Treats Recipes
If you think this is the best Rice Krispies treats recipe and want even more sugary marshmallow-y goodness, try these variations:
- Grinch Rice Krispie Treats
- Santa Hat Rice Krispie Treats
- Christmas Tree Rice Krispie Treats
- Penguin Rice Krispies Treats
- Mummy Rice Krispies Treats
Best Rice Krispies Treats Recipe
- 1 cup salted butter
- 3 10-ounce bags mini marshmallows
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 9 ounce box Rice Krispies cereal
- Line a 10×15 jelly roll pan with foil and lightly spray it with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a Dutch oven or in a large stock pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat.
- Reserve 4 cups of the marshmallows on the side and add the remaining marshmallows to the pot. Stir constantly until melted.
- Remove from heat. Add the vanilla extract and salt to the pot. Stir to combine.
- Add half of the cereal. Mix it in to combine. Add the remaining cereal and marshmallows, and stir until combined.
- Add the mixture to the prepared jelly roll pan. Lightly grease your hands with cooking spray and gently press the treats into the pan. Do not smash them down. Just gently form the mixture to the pan.
- Let them set up for at least 2 hours. Cut into bars and serve.
- If you don't have a jelly roll pan, you can use a 9×13 baking dish instead. The treats will be thicker, and you will have fewer servings.
- You can substitute another extract for the vanilla if you wish. Almond, lemon, strawberry, or cake batter extract are all delicious options.
- Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Freeze for up to 3 months.