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Chewy, Gooey Golden Rice Krispie Treats

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These toasty, golden, and caramel-y Rice Krispie Treats are made with brown butter and a secret ingredient.

Photo by Johnny Miller (Clarkson Potter, 2021)

The inspiration for these fun Rice Krispies treats comes from the bakery bar at Summer House Santa Monica, a restaurant in Bethesda, Maryland. They’re made with a secret ingredient that gives the bars a distinctly toasty, caramel flavor. After one bite, you’ll pause and wonder, what’s in these? I’ll give you a clue: it starts with “golden” and ends with “grahams.” 

What you’ll need To Make Chewy, Gooey Golden Rice Krispie Treats

ingredients

Step-by-Step Instructions

To begin, place the Golden Grahams in a resealable plastic bag. Using a rolling pin, the bottom of a dry measuring cup or your fist, pound the cereal into smaller pieces. You don’t want to pulverize it – some pieces should be Rice Krispies-sized, some should be larger, and some should be crumbs.

pounding-cereal

In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat.

melting-butter

After the butter melts, it will begin to bubble, foam, and turn golden around the edges.

butter-turning-golden

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.)

brown-butter

Once the butter is browned, remove the pan from the heat and add all but 2 cups of the marshmallows, the vanilla, and salt.

adding-marshmallows-vanilla-salt

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

melted-marshmallow-mixture

Remove the pan from the heat and add the cereals.

adding-cereal

Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir until evenly combined. Add the reserved marshmallows.

extra-marshmallows

Stir until they are softened and partially melted, but not completely mixed in.

sticky-gooey-mixture

Using the butter wrapper or damp fingers, press the mixture into an even layer in the prepared baking pan.

pressing-into-bars

Let cool for at least an hour.

ready-to-cut

Use the foil overhang to lift the treats onto a cutting board, then cut into squares. Enjoy!

Photo by Johnny Miller (Clarkson Potter, 2021)

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Chewy, Gooey Golden Rice Krispie Treats

These toasty, golden, and caramel-y Rice Krispie Treats are made with brown butter and a secret ingredient.

Servings: 18 to 24 squares
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 15 Minutes, plus one hour to cool

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • Two 10-oz bags mini marshmallows, divided (about 10⅔ cups)
  • 3 cups Golden Grahams
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Heaping ½ teaspoon salt
  • 5½ cups Rice Krispies or crispy rice cereal

Instructions

  1. Line a 9 x 13-inch pan with heavy duty aluminum foil and lightly grease with softened butter or nonstick spray. Set aside 2 cups of the marshmallows.
  2. Place the Golden Grahams in a resealable plastic bag. Using a rolling pin, the bottom of a dry measuring cup, or your fist, pound the cereal into smaller pieces. You don't want to pulverize it -- some pieces should be Rice Krispies-sized, some should be larger, and some should be crumbs.
  3. In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat (save the wrappers for pressing the mixture into the pan). After the butter is melted, it will begin to bubble, foam, and turn golden around the edges. Swirl or stir the butter as it continues to brown; eventually it will turn a dark golden color and smell nutty -- watch carefully as it will go from golden brown to burned quickly. (You'll see little bits of brown sediment forming; that's okay.) This whole process should take just a few minutes. Once the butter is browned, immediately remove the pan from the heat and add the remaining marshmallows, vanilla, and salt.
  4. 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 cereals. 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. Let cool for at least an hour.
  5. 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.
  6. 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: 187
  • Fat: 8g
  • Saturated fat: 5g
  • Carbohydrates: 29g
  • Sugar: 16g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Sodium: 104mg
  • Cholesterol: 20mg

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.

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Comments

  • I want to make these amazing looking treats for my nieces birthday party, any chance I could sub out the Golden Grahams for something fun and colorful like fruity pebbles ?

    • Hi Stephanie, I wouldn’t omit the Golden Grahams completely as they add lots of flavor. Instead, I’d replace 3/4 cup of the Golden Grahams and 1-1/4 cups of the Rice Krispies with fruity pebbles. Hope that helps and I’d love to know how they turn out.

  • This recipe has changed all krispies treats for me! I thought it was a bit on the overly sweet side, so I only use about 12-14oz of marshmallows and I don’t add the extra mallows to the prepared mixture.

  • YUM!
    I made these for a HS Rugby Team, and some for my family. (3 batches). I love them! one problem, super addicting! 😉 I also found your tips (big pot and using butter wrappers) made it super easy! I will be making these much more often now! Family pleaser. The only caveat, I will have to make them without adding marshmallows later, my husband doesn’t care for the texture or gooeyness, even though he keeps eating this batch…:)
    *also had to make one batch w/out the golden grahams, for a gluten free option- just upped the krispies to 8 cups- Perfect!

    Thank you Jenn, for yet another fabulous recipe!!!

  • Oh my!!! These are the best 🙌🏻🙌🏻

    We made both of your recipes for Rice Krispie treats and this one was the unanimous winner 😋

    Made them for our church Easter celebration and got rave reviews.

  • Absolutely love this recipe! Make if often, but sometimes I reduce amount of butter to 1.5-1 stick to make it a little healthier:)

  • I love these Rice Krispie Treats. I make my own marshmallows and my family loves them! Thank you. 🙂

  • Hi Jenn! I want to try these! All of my pots are black inside. Thinking I should invest in a nice pot so I can learn to brown butter. What would you suggest?
    Stainless steel? Thank you! Mary

    • Hi Mary, Yes, stainless steel would be ideal and also the most useful in the kitchen. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

  • These were fantastic! The extra marshmallows at the end create a chewy and more complex texture. Thank you for the awesome recipe. A real crowd pleaser. Will be making these again!!!

  • Followed the recipe to a T. These are the best rice crispy treats I’ve ever had. My family loved them. I’ll be making these again….and again.

    • — Andrea Fricano
    • Reply
  • Followed the recipe to a t. Perfect, delicious, rave-reviews at my cookie exchange!

  • Do you think I could make this with vegan butter with the same proportions (Miyokos brand)?

    • Hi Dawn, you can but I don’t know whether or not vegan butter will brown. – I’d just melt it and proceed with the recipe as written. I’d love to hear how they turn out!

  • I made these yesterday and my husband and I inhaled them all! What a great twist on a classic. I didn’t know they still made Golden Grahams cereal. What a treat!

  • I brought these to work and my coworkers were amazed. Best Rice Krispies treats ever! Everyone wanted to know my secret. I used graham crackers since I had them on hand but probably created the same result as the Golden Grahams. Will be adding this recipe to my regular dessert rotation.

  • Hi, This looks great! Was wondering if you’ve ever added semi sweet chocolate chips?

    • I haven’t, Jen – but it should work. Just keep in mind that they’ll melt a bit from the heat of the marshmallow mixture.

  • Yum! Simple and delicious-takes me back to my childhood. I made them with coco puffs since I love chocolate and they were super.

  • I work for a coffee shop that sells something very similar to this bar. Your recipe is much better. I refer my customers who purchase a bar to check out your web site and make their own batch of bars. This is my go to dessert when I don’t know what to serve as they disappear off the plate very quickly…and so easy to make.

  • Best krispie treats ever! Little chunks of marshmallows are key to ooey goodness. This recipe is a keeper!

  • These are incredible. Rice Krispie treats are so yummy, but this takes them to a whole other level. I’ll never make them the old way again!

  • I lugged Golden Graham’s all the way back to London from New York so I could make this. It did not disappoint. They are wonderful. My very British family loved them

    • That’s commitment!! So glad everyone enjoyed 🙂

      • I’m now out of them and want to make more- any ideas for a substitution ?

        • I think you try graham crackers in place of the Golden Grahams. I’d crush them like the recipe indicates for the Golden Grahams. Because I’ve never used graham crackers here, I might suggest starting out by using less than the recipe calls for– (maybe 1 1/2 cups instead of 3) and use additional Rice Krispies in their place. If you don’t feel like going that route, you could always make my traditional Rice Krispies Treats.

          • We don’t have graham crackers either ☹️ But we do have something called digestive biscuits — I’m afraid they might turn mushy .
            I think I will have to stick with the plain one

            • — Lee Ann
          • We do have Cinnamon toast cereal so I made them with this – they were also delicious .

            • — Leeann
        • I just bought Golden Graham’s in ASDA.

  • These are amazing. I did replace the Golden Graham Cereal with Honey Maid S’more Cereal. Definitely the best rice krispy treats ever. Thank you for he recipe.

  • Hi Jenny – yesterday I made these with my little niece and we had a fun time! She loves baking with me and gave these a thumbs up! I saved a couple pieces for my hubby and I & sent the rest home with two of my brothers! Thank you for a yummy afternoon treat!

  • To. Die. For.
    I have made these twice: once as written, and the second time using Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I cannot decide which I liked better, but regardless, they are a HUGE hit wherever I take them. This recipe was my introduction to Once Upon a Chef, and I have become a true fan. I know that whichever recipe I try, it will come out great tasting! Thanks for that! (I made strawberry shortcake for my son’s birthday last week, using the old Edna Lewis “Busy Day Cake” recipe from the 50’s, that my mom always used. It’s scrumptious, but years ago I made it with a sweetened biscuit, & loved it. Of course, I lost the recipe. I’m anxious to try yours!)

    • Happy to have you as part of the Once Upon a Chef community! 🙂

  • I have not made nor eaten Rice Crispy Treats in forever. I like the twist of this recipe – an upgraded version that is very tasty. Recipe made a lot for me as I cut my bars rather small. So I was able to share at two potlucks plus share with other friends/family. Another winner!

  • My family loves these. I love them more. So when I cut them up and plate them it goes like this: One for my family, One for me…One for the family, One for me…

    • — Chris Valitutti
    • Reply
  • These are amazing. I had to make my own “golden Graham” cereal so that my daughter could try them too. She cannot have gluten. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  • We have made a batch of these twice this week! Insanely addicting. So good. I’m sure my husband will be embarrassed for me having shared this, but the first time we made them he ate 6 squares 😳. These are amazing! Thanks Jen!

  • These are absolutely delicious!! Always a HUGE hit when I make them…..and I am requested to make the a lot!

  • I am a huge Rice Krispie treat fan anyway and these are the bomb! My youngest son can’t enough of them either. He wants me to try this with Coco Krispies and the Golden Grahams. I’ll let you know how it goes. My older son loves the gooey marshmallow pockets. We have enjoyed many of your recipes Jenn. Thanks for your blog.

  • I’m out of the loop cereal wise – are Golden Grahams cereal, or graham crackers??

    • — Sandy Kuykendall
    • Reply
    • Hi Sandy, Yes Golden Grahams are cereal. 🙂

  • I don’t have Golden Grahams in the house. Has anyone tried Puffins cereal instead?

  • This was a hit with my family. This is now my go-to recipe for these treats 🙂

  • Everyone, can’t stop eating them, they’re addicting as soon as I finish one batch I’m already making another these freeze well and are great for sending in packages I would not change anything in this recipe

  • These are great as is, but next time I’m going to try using cocoa puffs in place of the rice krispies for a chocolate version.

  • These have made me a brown butter fiend! I can’t say enough good things about this recipe. I had a Rice Krispies treat contest at work and these won by a landslide. The salt and brown butter together are heavenly. I followed the recipe exactly and wouldn’t change a single thing. Will definitely be making them again!

  • These are absolutely wonderful and everyone that eats them agrees. Browning the butter is the secret!

  • Just had these last night at a pot luck dinner. They were so good that I asked for the recipe and heard about Once Upon a Chef. I’ll definitely make these myself!

    • Glad you liked these and happy to have you as part of the Once Upon a Chef community!

  • I will have to try these if for no other reason that you used the phrase “pockets of goo” in your recipe. The rave reviews also seem like another good reason…

  • Hey, This is seriously tasty! The advantage It has more butter than I have ever used for rice-crispy treats and the graham crackers add substance that is complimented by the vanilla.

  • Absolutely delicious! These are really good and tasty. My family loved these.

  • The Golden Grahams make these the BEST Rice Krispie treats! A family favorite!

  • I made these exactly as written for my Christmas cookie plate. They were the big hit this year and now a standard. The brown butter is key! Loved them.

  • Delicious! The only rice Krispy square recipe I will ever make again! I’ve made these quite a few times now and it’s fun to see everyone pause after the first bite and wonder, “what is different about these rice Krispy squares?”
    The last time I made them I used cinnamon crunch and my friend said she loved the hint of cinnamon. Thank you Jenn!

  • These are the most delicious rice crispy treats I have ever had!! I LOVE them. The addition golden grahams are perfection and the little hint of salt makes them perfect! The kids and adults at the party LOVED them! Thank you

  • These are the ultimate crowd pleaser. I love asking everyone to try and guess the secret ingredient.

  • This recipe was very easy to follow. I find most of Jen’s recipes very clear and easy to follow but this was the first recipe I tried out multiple times. The kids love the addition of the Golden Grahams and I love how there are whole marshmallows throughout like a surprise treat. I always would melt all of the marshmallows at once and just combine everything, but it’s the little tricks that Jen gives you that really make a treat stand out.

  • This is a great addition to plain Rice Krispies. Golden Graham add a hint of cinnamon but it is the crunch that makes these so good. I do use the large marshmallow and cut in forth and add at the end instead the small ones.

  • These are delicious! My daughter has always loved rice crispy treats and likes them tall so sometimes I make in a smaller pan. I also tried with crushed pretzels added and loved the salty sweet combo!

    • — Leanne Gillespie
    • Reply
  • These are amazing! My children couldn’t figure out what the “secret” ingredient was! I’ve made these several times, great treat for those kids/classrooms with nut allergies!

  • Can I use margarine instead of butter? I’d like it to be non-dairy.

    • Hi Karen, You can but I don’t think the margarine will brown – just melt it and proceed with the recipe. Please lmk how it turns out. 🙂

  • Jenn – I bought Cinnamon Toast Crunch by mistake – can I use that for this recipe?

    • Hi Tamera, I’ve never tried this with anything but Golden Grahams, so I can’t say for sure how they’d turn out, but I suspect it should work. If you make them, please LMK what you think!

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