I love it when a few simple ingredients can come together to create something truly delicious and I think this rice krispie treats recipe is 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, but also light and crispy. They’re just *mwuah* perfection. I like to make my rice krispie treats 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!
Ingredients for Rice Krispie Treats
The best thing about rice krispie treats is that you only need FOUR simple ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need to make them:
- Butter: Salted butter helps soften the marshmallows to keep them gooey and it gives these rice krispie treats that rich, melt-in-your-mouth flavor.
- Marshmallows: Marshmallows are the sweet, soft, and gooey glue that holds the crispy rice cereal together in a sliceable bar. We use mini-marshmallows because they’re easier to measure and melt more evenly than large marshmallows.
- Vanilla Extract: A little vanilla gives the rice krispie treats a nice creamy flavor.
- Rice Krispies Cereal: This delicate, crispy, air-filled cereal gives these bars their classic crunchy texture. You can use generic crispy rice cereal to save some extra dollars, too. Or, experiment with different types of cereals like corn flakes, Cheerios, or even corn puffs.
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 for a Christmas-flavored treat
How to Keep Rice Krispie Treats Soft
There’s nothing worse than a rock-hard rice krispie treat. To make sure your rice krispie treats are pillowy soft and delicious, follow these tips:
- Use plenty of marshmallows (if you follow the recipe below you should have no problem). Marshmallows are what keep the bars soft and chewy.
- 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 not 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. :)
Rice Krispie Treats
- 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)
- 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.
See how we calculate recipe costs here.
How to Make Rice Krispie Treats – Step by Step Photos
Add 6 Tbsp of salted butter to a pot and melt over medium heat.
Once the butter is melted, add 6 cups of mini marshmallows (or one 10oz. package). Continue to stir and cook over medium heat.
When the marshmallows are fully melted and incorporated into the butter, remove the pot from the heat. Stir in ½ tsp vanilla extract.
Stir in 4 cups of Rice Krispies cereal.
Make sure to stir until all of the cereal is well coated in the melted marshmallow mixture.
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 them into nine pieces.
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.