Rice Crispy Treats

Rice Crispy Treats

Rice crispy treats are a classic snack that kids (and adults) have all come to love. Ooey, gooey and delightfully crispy, the no-bake dessert is a classic for a reason—they’re a perfect dish for potlucks and picnics. a surefire crowdpleaser at bake sales and birthday parties, a pick-me-up that’s beloved by young and old.

These three-ingredient rice crispy treats taste exactly like the original and take just 15 minutes to make. Once you master this basic recipe, there are lots of different ways to play with the recipe for holidays and special occasions. The possibilities are truly endless!

The Origins of Rice Crispy Treats

Rice Krispies Treats were invented in 1939 by Malitta Jensen and Mildred Day at the Kellogg Company home economics department as a fundraiser for Camp Fire Girls. Kellogg's began to commercially produce plain and chocolate-based treats under the trademark brand names of "Rice Krispies Treats" in the U.S. and Mexico in 1995; however, other manufacturers had offered similar products under variant names (such as "Crisped Rice Treats" or "Marshmallow Treats") prior to this.

Tips for Making the Best-Ever Rice Crispy Treats

Getting the right ratio of rice cereal to marshmallow is the key to a treat that's all at once chewy and crispy. Use too little and you won't have enough to bring the treats together; use too much and they'll start to fall apart.

Be sure to cook the marshmallows and butter over low heat since high heat results in rock hard treats.

Here, we use mini marshmallows, which have more surface area and therefore melt quicker than regular-sized ones, even when done low and slow. If you can't find mini marshmallows, a 10-ounce bag of regular marshmallows will also work.

Don’t Get Caught in a Sticky Situation—Clean as You Go

Spraying the spatula and pan with cooking spray prevents them from getting sticky, but here's one more tip for dealing with the inevitable sticky mess: Soak all the tools in soapy water as soon as you're done using them to help loosen up the stubborn stuck bits of rice crispy mixture. Future doing-the-dishes-you will appreciate it.

How to Use Up Leftover Marshmallows

This recipe doesn't use up an entire bag of mini marshmallows (you'll have a little over a cup leftover), but there's plenty you can do with the leftovers. Here are some ideas:

  • Homemade Hot Cocoa With Mini Marshmallows
  • S’mores Bark
  • S’more Pie

“One bite into these perfectly crispy-chewy brought me straight back to childhood. This recipe was super quick and easy—I was done cooking and prepping in just under 15 minutes. My four-year-old also loved them and gave his two-thumbs up stamp of approval. I’m excited to try this recipe again with his help—plus a generous heap of rainbow sprinkles to make the treats extra fun.” —Patty Lee

Classic Rice Crispy Treat Tester Image A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 6 cups crispy rice cereal (about 5.5 ounces)

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 4 cups mini marshmallows (about 7.5 ounces)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Spray a heat-proof spatula and a 9 x 13-inch pan or jellyroll pan with cooking spray.

    Ingredients to make rice crispy treats

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and marshmallows over low heat, stirring frequently until the marshmallows are completely melted.

    A large pot of melted marshmallows, being stirred with a wood spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Pour the marshmallow mixture over the crispy rice cereal and stir with a spatula to coat well.

    A bowl of puffed rice cereal and melted marshmallows being stirred with a rubber spatula

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Immediately transfer the rice crispy treats mixture to the prepared pan, and spread into an even layer with the spatula.

    A 9 x 13 baking pan with a layer of puffed rice cereal-marshmallow mixture

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Let rice crispy treats cool completely before cutting into squares with a sharp knife.

    A 9 x 13 baking pan of rice crispy treats cut into squares

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Recipe Variations

  • Rainbow sprinkles make for a colorful and fun add-in.
  • Add vanilla extract and sea salt to appeal to grown-up palates.
  • Amp up the flavor by using brown butter, which adds a nutty richness.
  • Swirl in peanut butter to make PB rice crispy treats.
  • To make these even more decadent, you can add a layer of chocolate ganache on top.
  • While it’s super easy to spread onto a pan and then cut into squares, you could also form the mixture with your hands (but be careful it’s not too hot!) to create your own creative shapes. If that seems like a lot of work, you could use cookie cutters to cut them after they are cooled.

How to Store

Rice crispy treats are best the day they're made, but can also be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. If stacking, make sure to place a piece of wax paper in between so they don't stick together.

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