I’m always hesitant to say a recipe is the “best ever,” especially for a dessert like Rice Krispies 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. Sure, 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. So why not?! Start with more butter (lots more) and brown it; increase the marshmallows, and stir in some at the end for extra gooeyness; add vanilla; and don’t forget the salt because a little salt makes anything sweet taste so much better. (And if you want to take it up a notch further, check out my all-time favorite Rice Krispies Treat recipe made with an extra secret ingredient.)
Begin by melting the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat.
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. (You’ll see little bits of brown sediment forming; that’s okay.)
Once the butter is browned, remove the pan from the heat and add all but 2 cups of the marshmallows, the vanilla, and salt.
Place the pot over low 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. Add the reserved marshmallows.
Stir until they are softened and partially melted — you want pockets of goo.
Press the mixture into an even layer in the prepared baking pan and let cool for at least an hour.
Use the foil overhang to lift the treats onto a cutting board, then cut into squares. Enjoy!
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Best Ever Rice Krispies Treats
- 12 tablespoons (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 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 (use gluten-free if needed)
- Line a 9 x 13-inch pan with heavy duty aluminum foil and lightly grease with softened butter. Set aside 2 cups of the marshmallows.
- In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat (save the wrappers for pressing the mixture into the pan). 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. (You'll see little bits of brown sediment forming; that's okay.) Once the butter is browned, remove the pan from the heat and add the remaining marshmallows, vanilla, and salt.
- Place the pot over low 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. Add the reserved marshmallows and stir until they are softened and partially melted (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.
- Use the foil overhang to lift the treats onto a cutting board, then cut into 18 to 24 bars, depending on how large you'd like them. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
- 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.
- Gluten-Free 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. If you're following a gluten-free diet, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are, in fact, gluten-free.
- Per serving (24 servings)
- Calories: 162
- Fat: 6g
- Saturated fat: 4g
- Carbohydrates: 27g
- Sugar: 15g
- Fiber: 0g
- Protein: 1g
- Sodium: 93mg
- Cholesterol: 15mg
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.