Homemade Rice Krispie Treats

$2.30 recipe / $0.26 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.78 from 9 votes
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I love it when a few simple ingredients can come together to create something truly delicious and I think rice krispie treats are one of those magical ingredient combinations. It’s literally four simple ingredients but together they become a new magical thing that is simultaneously melt-in-your-mouth, soft and chewy, and also light and crispy. They’re just *mwuah* perfection. I like to make mine a little extra soft so that sweet marshmallow melts away to the crispy rice cereal within. You won’t be cutting the roof of your mouth on these babies! Just soft, gooey, marshmallowy goodness!

A stack of homemade rice krispie treats

How to Keep Rice Krispie Treats Soft

There’s nothing worse than a rice krispie treat that is rock hard. To make sure your rice krispie treats are marshmallowy soft and delicious, follow these tips:

  • Make sure to use enough marshmallows (if you follow the recipe below you should have no problem).
  • Use fresh marshmallows. If they’re kind of dry or stale, that will affect how soft your rice krispie treats turn out.
  • Don’t overcook the marshmallows and butter. Sugars become more hard the longer they cook. So to keep your treats soft, make sure to only cook the butter and marshmallow mixture just until the marshmallows have melted, and no longer.

How to Store Rice Krispie Treats

Rice krispie treats can be kept at room temperature for a couple of days, or in the refrigerator for about five days. OR, if you’re like me and want to make them last even longer, you can freeze them in an air-tight container for up to three months. I just take one out at a time and thaw at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before going to town. :)

What Else Can You Add?

Add-ins are my favorite part of any recipe. And with something as simple as rice krispie treats, there is so much room for customization! Here are some fun things to add to make new flavors:

  • Almond extract and rainbow sprinkles for birthday cake flavored treats
  • Replace some of the rice cereal with golden graham cereal and add chocolate chips and more mini-marshmallows (stir in with the cereal so they don’t melt) for smores flavored treats
  • Stir some peanut butter into the melted marshmallows and drizzle chocolate over top
  • Use cocoa pebbles in place of plain rice krispie cereal and stir cocoa powder into the melted marshmallows
  • Stir in crushed oreo cookies for a “cookies and cream” treat
  • Add peppermint extract to the melted marshmallows and stir in white chocolate chips with the cereal
A hand pulling apart a rice krispie treat
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Rice Krispie Treats

4.78 from 9 votes
Sweet and fluffy marshmallows, creamy butter, and crispy rice cereal make these homemade rice krispie treats melt-in-your-mouth delicious!
Stacked rice krispie treats
Servings 9
Prep 5 mins
Cook 10 mins
Cool time 1 hr
Total 1 hr 15 mins

Ingredients

  • 6 Tbsp butter (salted) ($0.60)
  • 6 cups mini marshmallows (10oz. package) ($1.00)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract ($0.14)
  • 4 cups rice krispie cereal ($0.56)

Instructions 

  • Line an 8×8 dish with waxed paper or foil and coat lightly in oil.
  • Add the butter to a pot and melt over medium heat.
  • Once the butter is melted, add the marshmallows and continue to stir and cook until the marshmallows are melted and incorporated into the butter.
  • Once the marshmallows are melted and incorporated, remove the pot from the heat. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  • Add the rice krispie cereal and stir until everything is coated in the marshmallow mixture.
  • Press the rice krispie mixture into the prepared dish using a lightly oiled spatula. Avoid over compacting the treats.
  • Allow the treats to cool at room temperature or in the refrigerator until solid. Slice into 9 pieces and serve.

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Nutrition

Serving: 1pieceCalories: 221kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 2gFat: 8gSodium: 159mgFiber: 1g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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Rice krispie treats cut and lined up in a grid

How to Make Rice Krispie Treats – Step by Step Photos

Melting butter in a pot

Add 6 Tbsp of butter to a pot and melt over medium heat.

marshmallows added to the pot with the butter

Once the butter is melted, add 6 cups mini marshmallows (or one 10oz. package). Continue to stir and cook over medium heat.

Melted marshmallows and butter in the pot

When the marshmallows are fully melted and incorporated into the butter, remove the pot from the heat. Stir in ½ tsp vanilla extract.

Rice krispies being added to the pot

Stir in 4 cups of rice krispies cereal.

rice krispie treat mixture in the pot

Make sure to stir until all of the cereal is well coated in the melted marshmallow mixture.

Rice krispie treats in the dish

Line an 8×8 dish with waxed paper or foil coated lightly with oil (I put a little oil on a paper towel and wipe the inside). Press the rice krispie mixture into the dish using a lightly oiled spatula. Avoid packing it down too firmly. Allow the treats to cool at room temperature or in the refrigerator until firm, then slice into nine pieces.

Stacked rice krispie treats

Store the rice krispie treats at room temperature for about two days, in the refrigerator for five days, or in the freezer for longer storage.

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  1. I followed the recipe exactly and found that the ratio of butter/marshmallow to cereal was to high. It was greasy and very sweet. I’ve never had rice krispy treats be greasy in the pan. Next time, I will increase the amount of cereal by a half or whole cup. 

  2. Made this twice now, and I think it’s a good base recipe, though it’s much improved with a few modifications:

    1) Add a small pinch of fine salt (yes, even if you’re using salted butter)- the extra salt helps these taste even sweeter; 2) Use about 1 tsp of light corn syrup- As the recipe is written, the butter and marshmallows don’t combine very well, but a small amount of corn syrup combines the two and allows for a better texture; 3) use about 4.5 c of cereal instead of 4 c to get a better ratio of cereal to marshmallow

  3. Delicious! I browned the salted butter until it was a caramel color and then followed all the steps as outlined. The browning gave it a nice depth of flavor.

  4. These were amazing! We made the smores version. I’d never had Golden Grahams cereal before making these. Best day ever:-)

  5. If you really in a hurry try the mug recipe!

    1/2 to 1 Tablespoon butter
    4 large marshmallows or 1/2 cup mini marshmallows
    1 cup Rice Krispies cereal
    1/4 tsp vanilla extract

    Melt butter 30 seconds, coat inside of mug with butter, add marshmallows, heat 30 seconds longer. Stir and add vanilla then rice krispies! This is great at 11PM and super economical.

  6. Soooo good!!! I used chocolate krispies and melted peppermint chips to the marshmallows. Phenomenal!!

  7. If we try the modification with peppermint extract and white chocolate chips do we exchange the vanilla extract for peppermint or add the same amount of peppermint?

    1. I would do both vanilla and peppermint and I’d probably do the same amount of both. :)

  8. I notice this is tagged as vegetarian, I just wanted to note that marshmallows are typically not vegetarian, as they contain gelatin. There’s two brands that I know of which make gelatin free marshmallows, but they cost about 3 times as much as the conventional kind.

    1. Fret not, they haven’t been discontinued. The rice krispies treats *cereal* has been discontinued. Rice krispies have been hard to find for many reasons: there was a strike at Kellog’s, there is a barley shortage, and there is a shortage of materials used for packaging the cereal. It’s like everything that could go wrong did. My store carries their own brand (but even that’s been hit or miss for me), which is perfectly fine for this recipe.

  9. These were soo good, thank you for the recipe.
    I do have a question though- it isn;t related to the recipe- but do you happen to have any candy recipes like candy corn or gummy candy?
    Thanks

  10. It’s so funny how Rice Crispy Treats used to be something you could only get if you made them, and it really wasn’t a big deal to. Anyone my age (50’s) remembers how proud you felt as a kid “cooking” these. I remember thinking how strange it was that they started coming pre-made and, honestly, I never liked the flavor. It always tastes to me like the packaged kind has additional flavors in it. I liked melting my marshmallows and butter in the microwave, it was super easy that way, and adding mix-ins was always fun. 

    1. I almost feel bad for anyone who has only had the packaged kind… They’re SO different than homemade! :P

    2. I agree, Vivienne! The recipe used to be on the cereal box and on a rainy day when we couldn’t go outside and play (another thing gone by the wayside), my best friend and I would make these. I’ve never tried the processed kind because I knew in my heart they couldn’t possibly be as good. Thanks, Beth, for bringing back a childhood pleasure.

    3.  Agreed 100%! 
      Thanks, Beth for posting! Love the idea of adding vanilla, will try asap! (Incidentally, i use butter instead of oil in the pan and to pack down. More creamy goodness.)