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Best-Ever Rice Krispie Treats

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A few tweaks to the back-of-the-box recipe make these the best Rice Krispie Treats 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 anyone who passes through your house 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 Rice Krispie treat 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 extract for flavor
  • 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

  • 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan
  • Two 10-oz bags mini marshmallows, divided
  • ¾ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 8½ cups Rice Krispies or crispy rice cereal

Step-by-Step Instructions

Begin by melting the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Save the wrappers – you’ll use them later.

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 board

Use a serrated knife to cut into squares. Store the treats in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Enjoy!

cutting rice krispies treats into squaresVideo Tutorial

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 the best Rice Krispie Treats ever.

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

Ingredients

  • 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan
  • Two 10-oz bags mini marshmallows, divided
  • ¾ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 8½ 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.

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Comments

  • These are truly the best rice krispie treats ever! They are soft and gooey, and the brown butter adds a distinct, delicious flavor.

    • — Kate on September 24, 2022
    • Reply
  • They really ARE the BEST Krispie treats ever!!!
    I tried for years to mimic my mother in laws recipe because hers were the best too, and I could never get it right. I tried these, and they are even better! I got requests all the time from friends and family to make these!

    • — Kim on August 8, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! These look delicious – I haven’t tried them yet, as I’m looking to try to add orange blossom to it for flavor. Do you have any ideas on what/how much to add, and how to amend the recipe? I have orange blossom water on hand. Thanks so much! If I try something and it works out, I’ll report back.

    • — Zana on August 4, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Zana, Sounds delicious! I don’t know how strong it is, so I’d start off by adding maybe just a 1/2 teaspoon. Taste and see if you’d like more.

      • — Jenn on August 7, 2022
      • Reply
  • Great recipe, thanks very much.

    • — Tricia on August 1, 2022
    • Reply
  • These are soooo good and easy to make! Thank you!

    • — Taylor B. on July 22, 2022
    • Reply
  • Made these for the first time this week and they were awesome! Changes; I omitted vanilla (not a fan of it), salted the butter as it was browning instead of the marshmallow mixture, used a full box (regular, not family) of cereal and a 1 1/4 bag of marshmallows. I also chopped up two butterfinger bars and added those as a stir in with the reserved marshmallows. The only change I would make next time is to omit the butterfingers. These treats are good enough on their own. LOVE the pockets of goo and the brown butter.

    • — Risa on July 17, 2022
    • Reply
  • These are so good! This is the first time I have browned butter for rice krispy treats and I will never go back! I brought them to work and they were such a hit!
    Sometimes it’s difficult to think of a treat that doesn’t have chocolate (some of the girls don’t like it… crazy, I know) and these kick butt. Plus, they are super easy to make and I don’t have to use my oven!
    Thanks for the great recipe!

    • — Carley on June 20, 2022
    • Reply
  • Made these for Fathers Day. They are so tasty! Love the nutty flavor from the brown butter and the addition of the Golden Grahams. Really delicious!

    • — Christine on June 19, 2022
    • Reply
  • These are amazing. I make them all the time. I even sell them. They are delicious. I don’t know if people aren’t measuring or what but these are literally perfect.

    • — Christina on June 10, 2022
    • Reply

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