Best-Ever Rice Krispie Treats

Tested & Perfected Recipes

A few tweaks to the back-of-the-box recipe make these Rice Krispie Treats the best ever.

I’m always hesitant to say a recipe is the “best ever,” especially for a dessert like Rice Krispie Treats that everyone knows and loves. But once you’ve tinkered around with a recipe for weeks — asking your kids, their friends, and basically anyone who passes through your house (tutors…cable guy…electrician…) to sample different versions — you can say it’s the best with some confidence.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the original back-of-the-box recipe but it can be made so much better with almost no effort. Here’s how: use more butter (lots more) and brown it; increase the marshmallows and stir in some at the end for extra gooeyness; add vanilla for flavor; and, of course, add salt because a little salt makes anything sweet taste so much better.

What You’ll Need To Make The Best-Ever Rice Krispie Treats

ingredients for rice krispies treats

How To Make The Best Ever Rice Krispie Treats

Begin by melting the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat.

melting butter in pot

After the butter melts, it will begin to bubble, foam, and turn golden around the edges. Eventually it will turn a dark golden color and smell nutty — watch carefully, it will go from golden brown to burned quickly.

brown butter in potYou’ll see little bits of golden brown sediment forming; that’s okay. But if they get too dark, go ahead and strain them out and then pour the brown butter back in the pot.

straining sediment

Add all but 2 cups of the marshmallows, the vanilla, and salt.

adding marshmallows, vanilla, and salt to the brown butter

Place the pot over medium heat and stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until the marshmallows are completely melted.

melted marshmallow and brown butter mixture in pot

Remove the pan from the heat and add the cereal.

adding cereal to the marshmallow mixture

Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir until evenly combined.

rice krispies mixed with marshmallow mixtureAdd the reserved 2 cups of marshmallows.

adding the reserved marshmallows

Stir until they are softened and partially melted. Don’t overmix — you want pockets of goo.

rice krispie mixture with pockets of goo

Transfer the mixture to a foil-lined 9×13-in baking dish.

rice krispie treat mixture in baking pan Using the butter wrappers, press into an even layer.

pressing rice krispie treat mixture into an even layerLet cool for at least an hour, then use the foil overhang to lift the treats onto a cutting board.

rice krispies treats on cutting boardUse a serrated bread knife to cut into squares and enjoy.cutting rice krispies treats into squares

How To Freeze Rice Krispie Treats

Rice Krispie treats freeze well. Place the treats in layers separated by wax paper in an airtight container; freeze for up to 6 weeks. Let the treats stand at room temperature for about an hour before serving.

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Best Ever Rice Krispie Treats

A few tweaks to the back-of-the-box recipe make these Rice Krispie Treats the best ever.

Servings: 20 to 24 squares
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 20 Minutes, plus one hour to cool

Ingredients

  • 12 tablespoons (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan
  • Two 10-oz bags mini marshmallows, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8-1/2 cups Rice Krispies or crispy rice cereal (see note)

Instructions

  1. Line a 9 x 13-in pan with heavy duty aluminum foil and lightly grease with softened butter. Set aside 2 cups of the marshmallows.
  2. In a large pot or Dutch oven, preferably with a light bottom so you can monitor the color, melt the butter over medium heat (save the butter wrappers; you'll use them later for pressing the mixture into the pan). Swirl the pan occasionally to be sure the butter is cooking evenly.
  3. As the butter melts, it will begin to bubble and foam, and the color will progress from bright yellow to golden to, finally, a toasty-brown. Once you smell that nutty brown butter aroma, take the pan off the heat. (You'll see little bits of golden brown sediment forming; that's okay. However, if the sediment looks almost black, go ahead and pass the butter through a fine sieve to strain it out, then return the brown butter to the pan.)
  4. Off the heat, add the remaining marshmallows, vanilla, and salt.
  5. Place the pot back over medium heat and stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until the marshmallows are completely melted. Remove the pan from the heat and add the cereal. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir until evenly combined.
  6. Add the reserved marshmallows and stir until they are softened and partially melted. Don't overmix; you want pockets of goo. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and, using the butter wrapper or damp fingers, press the mixture gently into an even layer in the prepared baking pan. Let cool at room temperature for at least an hour.
  7. Use the foil overhang to lift the treats onto a cutting board, then use a serrated bread knife to cut into squares. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
  8. Note: Kellogg's no longer makes a gluten-free version of Rice Krispies, so if you have a gluten-sensitivity, make sure the cereal you purchase is certified gluten-free.
  9. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: To freeze, place in layers separated by wax paper in airtight container. Freeze for up to 6 weeks. Let stand at room temperature for about an hour before serving.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (24 servings)
  • Calories: 162
  • Fat: 6 g
  • Saturated fat: 4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 27 g
  • Sugar: 15 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Sodium: 93 mg
  • Cholesterol: 15 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

See more recipes:

Reviews & Comments

  • Not really understanding the reviews stating these didn’t turn out well. This was an AMAZING recipe and we all loved them!! Thank you!

    • — Hanna on January 19, 2021
    • Reply
  • I cannot believe what a difference these small changes make to this classic recipe. Delicious! I ‘ve made twice now and the hardest part is not eating the whole pan;)

    • — Jackie Brown on January 4, 2021
    • Reply
  • These were truly the best!

    • — Eve Wood on December 22, 2020
    • Reply
  • This is our favorite recipe. The brown butter totally kicks up the taste.

    • — germaine lenz on December 10, 2020
    • Reply
  • I would like to make these and mail them to our son in another state. Will they last?

    • — Pam on December 5, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Pam, these are best if eaten within about 2 days, so unless you’re overnighting them, I’m not sure they’re the best candidate. A couple options that I think would work nicely: any of my banana breads, Toffee Almond Sandies, any of my biscotti, and Scottish Shortbread. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on December 7, 2020
      • Reply
  • @onceuponachef
    Substitute a portion of the butter for an equal portion of peanut butter. Yum!

    • — Carol M on October 29, 2020
    • Reply
  • Wonderful recipe! I used regular marshmallows for the main portion but then added strawberry marshmallows in the final step. They turned out pretty and delicious! Thx

    • — KWBybee on October 7, 2020
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  • Worst recipe ever.

    Whatever you do, don’t ever brown the butter for rice crispies! Destroyed my entire batch this way.

    • — Paul on September 11, 2020
    • Reply
    • Sorry that happened Paul. I’ve made these krispie treats at least four times in the last couple of years and everybody wants the recipe and I of course eat too much of them 😊. Browned butter adds an extra special taste to it …….a sort of a nutty taste.

      • — Renee on October 8, 2020
      • Reply
    • Paul, I am sorry you were unable to successfully brown the butter. It is an art that’s not as easy as you’d think! It is the key skill to other recipes though, so perhaps a bit of resilience is in order here! Use a light colored pan so you can watch it. Start by not browning the butter, when it gets foamy and is still golden, pull the pan off the heat. You will still have a delicious result for your efforts. You can progress to browning it a batch at a time until you get the hang of it. Try on a day when you have woken up on the right side of the bed. It’s a great recipe actually. Some of my batches turn out better than others, but that’s on me, not the recipe! My teenage boys and their friends eat the entire batch every time I make them. I have a pine nut brittle recipe I get right about 30% of the time, so I feel your frustration here, but trust me…..try this once more! The salt and vanilla make these fantastic. When you brown the butter, even better. It’s not imperative though.

      • — Mary M. on December 4, 2020
      • Reply
  • I just made these and added a little brown sugar and sweetened condensed milk and they are SO good! (Next time I’m just going to add the brown sugar as they’re a little too sweet with both.) I don’t think I got the butter as browned as it needed to be because I didn’t think ahead and used a dark colored pot. Next time I’m going to use something light so I can see better. I can’t wait to drop some off at my friends’ house – I’m not going to tell them they’re made differently and see what they say. Thanks!

    • — Jen on September 9, 2020
    • Reply
  • So, I’ve made these twice now and both my husband and dad think these are the best rice krispie treats they’ve ever had!

    They are perfect.

    • — brooke on September 8, 2020
    • Reply
  • Really great! I’ve always thought these could be better but I wasn’t sure how to fix the recipe. I’ll be making these for a welcome basket and I think the family will really enjoy them. My kids and husband ate the entire pan and said they were the best treats they had ever had.

    • — Danielle on September 3, 2020
    • Reply
  • Best homemade Rice Krispy Treats I’ve had!

    • — Sara on September 2, 2020
    • Reply
  • These were very good Krispie treats, but it was just too much butter for us. Made them again with the great add-ins of the salt, vanilla and the extra mini marshmallows (which make them awesome!) but only 4 T of butter. Much better for us. Still tasted great, but not so overwhelmingly rich. Added bonus of using less butter is I could eat more of them!

    • — Valerie on September 1, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn. Would this recipe work with vegan marshmallows like the one you can find at Trader Joe’s? We can’t have gelatin so wanted to find out if the vegan ones would work.

    • — Ayesha on August 26, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Ayesha, I’ve never used vegan marshmallows so I can’t say for sure – I’m sorry! If you do try it, please report back and let me know how it works out!

      • — Jenn on August 27, 2020
      • Reply
  • Made my first Cannabis Rice Krispie with the recipe. Fantastic, thanks!

    • — Kmac on August 20, 2020
    • Reply
  • AMAZING! These are truly the best way to make Rice Krispie Treats. When the adults keep coming back for more, you know it’s a keeper recipe. The tip about “pressing the mixture gently into the baking pan” is key!

    • — Chris L on August 20, 2020
    • Reply
  • This really is a great recipe. I’ve made it twice now and both times it turned out amazingly delicious. I don’t think I’ll ever use another rice krispie treat recipe again.
    One thing that I should mention is that the foil is completely unnecessary, at least if you’re using a glass pan. I just buttered the pan itself and the treats cut and come out cleanly with no sticking at all. No need to waste a section of foil.

    • — Kevin on August 15, 2020
    • Reply
  • It’s definitely the best-ever rice krispie treats I’ve ever made, and I’ve followed a lot of recipes. My family agrees. Never browned the butter before, so would have to say that’s the secret to these best-ever treats. Having a dark Dutch oven and never having made brown butter before, I was winging it. Your instructions were perfect. Eventually the small bubbles came and kept increasing till it was almost a frothy foam. I noticed also that the white particles of the butter were breaking down during this time. Still didn’t see any sediment so just kept stirring and smelling. Eventually I started to see a yellowish coating on the bottom of the pan. Had to look hard though because that frothy foam made it hard to see sediment against the darkness of my pan. It was also beginning to smell sweeter which is what I thought you might mean by a nutty smell. I was patient and kept stirring until I started to see a little darkness on the edges. I took my pan off the heat quickly because was I afraid it might burn. Never was able to note the color change you talk about in your instructions (yellow to golden with brown sediment) due to the darkness of my pan, but definitely think I came very close to brown butter because of the changes I’ve mentioned. Thank you again for this delicious recipe. It’ll be my “go to” from here on.

    • — Bonnie Schuster on August 9, 2020
    • Reply
  • i dont have unsalted butter will it make that much
    of a difference?

    • — debby on August 6, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Debbie, Salted butter will work fine; just reduce the salt to 1/8 teaspoon. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on August 6, 2020
      • Reply
  • Please pay extra attention to the rice cereal that’s used if you would like to maintain gluten free. Learned the hard way that the blue rice cereal box isn’t gluten free. The malt flavor in there has gluten in it.

    • — Geraldine Edwards on August 2, 2020
    • Reply
  • Tried out the recipe, and my results are perfect. Best rice krispie treats I’ve ever had.

    • — Kevin on July 20, 2020
    • Reply
  • These turned out amazing! The extra marshmallows and cereal (8.5 cups is more than the box recipe) with a 9 x 13 pan results in thick treats. I expected them to be overly sweet and gooey and they were not at all. We added a chocolate topping, with melted semi-sweet chocolate chips (a few handfuls) mixed with 2 Hershey milk chocolate bars.

    • — Mike on July 9, 2020
    • Reply
  • Best [email protected] rice krispie treats, just as the name implies. In a pinch, the empty cereal bag can be used to press the mixture into the dish, if like me, you threw out the butter paper.

    • — Bizz on June 30, 2020
    • Reply
  • We’ve made this so many times for family functions and parties and special days in the last 2 years. We LOVE it. We can’t even eat others regular rice krispies anymore. Thanks for posting it. Best ever.

    • — marci Wunderlich on June 23, 2020
    • Reply
  • This was an amazing recipe! No wonder why this was is five stars.

    • — Ella on June 22, 2020
    • Reply
  • Best krispy treats ever! Everyone loves them whenever I bring them. Thank you!

    • — Emmy on June 19, 2020
    • Reply
  • Uhhhh….yeah! These are fabulous! I was never in love with rice crispy treats, but my hubby just switched to a gluten free diet and I thought I’d give these a shot.
    Totally worth it!

    • — Elise on June 18, 2020
    • Reply

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