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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.

Stack of golden rice Krispie treats.

Photo by Johnny Miller (Clarkson Potter, 2021)

The inspiration for these delicious Rice Krispie treats comes from the bakery bar at Summer House Santa Monica, a fun 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.” Once you try them, you may never go back to the classic version of Rice Krispie TreatsAnd if you want another riff on the original Rice Krispie Treats, Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats are a really fun option for peanut butter lovers.

“These are absolutely amazing…I work in a nice restaurant and bring them in for my coworkers…they are always inhaled and greatly appreciated!”


What You’ll Need To Make Chewy, Gooey Golden Rice Krispie Treats

Treat ingredients including Golden Grahams, marshmallows, and butter.

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.

Rolling pin pounding a bag of cereal.

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

Butter melting in a pot.

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

Pot of golden butter.

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.)

Pot of 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.

Marshmallows, vanilla, and salt in a pot.

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

Wooden spoon in a bowl of melted marshmallow mixture.

Remove the pan from the heat and add the cereals.

Cereal in a pot with marshmallow mixture.

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

Marshmallows in a pot with a cereal mixture.

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

Wooden spoon stirring a sticky cereal mixture.

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

Person pressing cereal mixture into a lined baking pan with a butter wrapper.

Let cool for at least an hour.

Uncut Golden Rice Krispie treats in a lined baking dish.

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

Stack of golden rice Krispie treats.
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


  • 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


  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 5 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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  • I just made these gourmet treats using European butter. Delicious. Highly recommend!

    • — Jessica on June 12, 2023
    • Reply
  • I have made these a couple of times. The grandkids love them and so does papa. Love all your recipes ❤️

    • — Viv Brooks on April 11, 2023
    • Reply
  • If I were to try adding chocolate chips, at what stage would it be recommended? Toward the end?

    • — Karen S. on February 26, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Karen, Yes definitely at the end, and mix quickly because they will start to melt. I’d love to know how they turn out!

      • — Jenn on February 27, 2023
      • Reply
  • Literally the best rice krispie treat-type recipe I’ve ever made. 10/10, will make this again all the time.

    • — Mary H on January 26, 2023
    • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious, and now is a staple for every get together and holiday. Thank you so much Jen!

    • — Annie on December 7, 2022
    • Reply
  • I FINALLY found the elusive Golden Grahams and made a batch. HUGE hit with grandkids. And parents. And us. I have already been asked to make another batch next week. I am not sure I will do the ‘brown butter’ next time and just go with the regular; kids don’t seem to notice a difference and it makes it a lot quicker. Thanks Jenn!

    • — Judi on November 22, 2022
    • Reply
  • Outstanding!

    I made four varieties of RK treats for a homeless shelter, a going-away party, and the neighbors when they were under the weather.
    1. The Best Ever from this website were very good.
    2. Best Ever with 1/2 cup peanut butter melted into the gooey marshmallow mixture, and with chopped peanuts and chocolate chips smashed onto the top and then briefly broiled, for a toasted marshmallow flavor.
    3. Best Ever with melted dark chocolate, chocolate chips, and sprinkled with sea salt.
    4. This recipe, but with Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal (because it was on sale at the grocery store).

    I love chocolate, but these were my favorites. I gave a lot away, but I may have set aside a few for myself. 😉

    • — Patricia Hintze on July 30, 2022
    • Reply
  • Love your recipes however I am in the UK so many of your ingredients are hard to buy and cannot find Golden Grahams what do you suggest as an alternative (as this ingredient seems to be the power punch of this recipe) Thank you

    • — Lynn on May 12, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Lynn, another reader from the UK commented that she replaced the Golden Grahams with Cinnamon Toast Crunch so you could give that a try. (Keep in mind that I haven’t tried it myself.) I’d love to hear how they turn out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on May 12, 2022
      • Reply
      • I did it this morning, along with a batch of the ‘regular’ i.e. Golden Grahams version. Delicious! Planning on sharing w/ my Snickerdoodle loving sibling. Third batch, using Chocolate Caramel Capn Crunch as a 50/50 mix-in with the Krispies, goes to the kid brother who never met a cereal he didn’t like – especially the sugary ones. It’s tasty, just a little too sweet for cutting into anything larger than small squares.

        • — Sue on July 9, 2022
        • Reply
  • I made this recipe at Easter along with other fancy desserts and delicious candy. Hands down this was the family favorite with the old and young! I was told Always make Rice Krispies this way! So easy and so delicious!

    • — Karen on May 1, 2022
    • Reply
  • So, so good. I had heard about brown butter Rice Krispy Treats and wanted to make them but the addition of the Golden Grahams and the extra marshmallows at the end take this over the top. I also like how soft these stay. A lot RKT are so hard to chew and these are not. Definitely 5 stars!

  • These are the most amazing treats ever!!!

  • OMG delicious! Browning the butter is a game changer.

  • Rice Krispie Treat game-changer! Delicious! Wish I’d thought of these upgrades, but sure glad you did, Jenn! The Girl Scout in me got to thinking that, with the addition of mini chocolate chips, these could be Chewy, Gooey Golden S’More Rice Krispie Treats (avoiding the sticky skewer cleanup)! Thanks for another great recipe!

  • Finally made these most delicious treats. Everyone loved them!! Thanks Jenn for another easy and wonderful recipe!

  • I have made these a couple times now and each time I get amazing reviews!! These are the best Rice Krispie treats I’ve ever had!!! They are also so simple to make! I often make them when I’m in a time pinch and I highly recommend that you try them!

  • Hi Jenn!

    I know it’s all personal preference, I mostly use All Clad and LeCreuset; but in your baking pictures (e.g., Rice Krispie Treats) which brand of bakeware are you using?


    • — Vincent M Tarantino
    • Reply
    • I actually don’t have that baking dish anymore so I’m not sure what brand it was — sorry! I do have a couple favorite brands when it comes to baking dishes though. You can check them out here. Hope that helps!

  • These are sooo good. Have made twice with great success.

  • Amazing. Best camping squares. A hit with everyone

  • BEST RICE KRISPIE RECIPE EVER! My family likes them so much. You can’t stop after just one! Thank you Jenn!

  • This recipe has become a staple in our house! So easy & so delicious!!!

  • I’ve made this recipe as stated previously and loved it, but today I tried a slightly lighter version because I was a little short on marshmallows and it worked great! I used 1 stick of butter, used only 2 c Golden Grahams (same amt rice krispies) and about 14 oz. of marshmallows total. Did not change the vanilla, but used a scant 1/2t. Salt. They turned out great 😊Thanks for the recipe!

  • These are dangerously good!!! Browning the butter makes all the difference in upping the taste! They are rich, so I usually end up adding an add’l cup or two of the rice krispies. But it’s impossible to wait an hour before digging in!

  • I don’t think I’ve made or met a “Jenn Recipe” I didn’t like. All of her recipes (and I’ve tried many) are easy to follow and always come out wonderfully delicious.
    These rice krispie treats are no exception. I’ve made them dozens of times and they are always a hit. Absolutely stellar recipe and they always turn out beautifully. They are always a hit whenever I make them and everyone asks for the recipe. I usually send everyone to this wbsite and let them know if they are not following “Once Upon a Chef”, then they absolutely should.
    Kudos Jenn, for another great recipe!

  • Oh my gosh. These are so good! I made these as a total afterthought. I needed something in a hurry and had remembered seeing the recipe on the site. I had the ingredients so whipped it up quick and really thought I was just making a Rice Krispie Treat and really didn’t give it a lot of thought. Boy. Was I wrong! They were the absolute best and the hit of the party! I am constantly being asked to make them, and I don’t mind a bit because I love them! If you haven’t tried these yet, they are a MUST. Those Golden Grahams take the whole thing over the top.

  • This takes rice krispies to a whole new level! They are now a must at any of our family gatherings. And they really are pretty easy to make. I don’t even know how many times we have now made this recipe. So yummy!

  • My partner LOVES rice krispie bars, but he is a purist – he swears he only likes the recipe on the cereal box. For me, those treats are … ok. Definitely underwhelming. They were good when I was a kid, but I would not make them for myself. But it is fun to occasionally try to “pull one over” on him by changing up the recipe. Usually he is grumpy about these experiments. But because EVERY recipe on Jenns site that I have tried has been awesome, the last time he begged for krispie bars, I made these. I loved them. The purist loved them! I made these again this weekend, and everyone in the house loved them. A childhood favorite, re-imagined for kids and adults alike. Well done, Jenn!

    • — Jennifer Johanson
    • Reply
  • These are delicious! A fun change to Rice Krispy Treats! Everyone liked them!

  • Truly the best ever recipe for RKT’s. Every time I make them, people rave over them. They freeze well, too! I use the highest fat content butter I can find. First time I made them with butter I brought back from France and it definitely made them better.

  • This is the best Rice Krispies bar by far !! Grandkids love them as well as the adults as there is a extra layer of flavors. My go too treat

    • — Teresa Paulson
    • Reply
  • Once you taste Jenn’s Chewy Gooey Golden Rice Krispy Treats you will eat no other. They are the best! My grandkids make these all the time. Using brown butter and Golden Grahams makes all the difference.

  • These bars are like upgraded rice krispy treats. SO delicious and simple to make.

    • — Katherine Braswell
    • Reply
  • These are amazing! She was able to take something so simple, and with just a couple of tweaks, elevate it to a level that made everyone keep coming back for more!

  • These are FANTISTIC ! I’ll never make plain rice cereal bars again. Love making recipes from this site !

  • Oh my gosh…these Rice Krispy treats!! Just when I thought they could not get any better, I tried this recipe. I have made them 3 times in one week, they’re so good! My husband has told me to stop making them because he cannot help himself. Everyone who has tried these absolutely loves them. Try these, you will not regret it.

  • I have made this recipe a handful of times. I ALWAYS GET RAVE REVIEWS! I don’t change the recipe one bit. Thank you for the fantastic recipe!

  • Hi Jenn,
    I love your recipes I can always count on anything I make from your site. My question is I cannot find golden graham cereal what can I replace it with?

    • — Annmarie Andreula
    • Reply
    • So glad you like the recipes! I think you try graham crackers in place of the Golden Grahams. I’d crush them as 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. Hope you enjoy!

  • Nice!!!

    • — Theresa Whaler
    • Reply
  • We make these, subbing out the Golden Grahams for Cinnamon Toast Crunch and reducing the butter to one and a half sticks, and they are AMAZING. Best base recipe for Rice Krispy treats ever! Your recipes have been a gift to my family, we have found so many favorites on your website and in your book. THANK YOU!!!

  • Wow Jenn, you have done it again. I followed the instructions except subbed Chocolate Lucky Charms for the Golden Grahams. The browned butter took these to another level, the hint of vanilla shone through, and the reserved marshmallows at the end added soft gooey pockets of marshmallow goodness. The salt was a perfect amount. Can’t wait to try these with the secret ingredient of Golden Grahams. They were slightly more effort than regular Rice Krispies but the flavor and texture weren’t even comparable. Perfection. My dinner guest said they were far better than a local bakery her family always buys Rice Krispies from.

    • — Lynnessa R Struble
    • Reply
  • OMG.. I wish I never found this recipe…. SOOOOO GOOD… delicate nutty caramel flavour… Hard to eat only one! Fantastic recipe! Thank you Jen!

    • — Terrie Williams
    • Reply
  • WOW!!!!! These are truly fantastic! The browned butter makes a level of nuttiness that is ridiculously good. I knew with golden grahams in this I would love them, but they really are better than I imagined…..very gooey & tender.

  • O my goodness… Its a debate in my head as to what I should make next but this recipe just moved to my top-ten-of-Jens to try !!! These look amazing!

  • It’s 9:30pm and once again I forgot to prepare something for work potluck. Remembered these treasures, ran to store, prepared them per directions, cooled them, wrapped them, DONE in one hour.
    All the foodies at work, LOVE the browned butter and Golden Grahams combo!
    Thank you for this and all of your other recipes, I am always happy with the results.

  • Made this as a second, fun dessert for my family dinner last weekend. Both my three grandsons and their parents enjoyed and I split the remaining squares for them to take home afterward, per their requests! Will be making a second batch as soon as I pick up more marshmallows.

  • Text message from daughter #1 at college: My friends want the Rice Krispie recipe

    Text message from daughter #2 at college: Please don’t forget to bring the Rice Krispies tomorrow. Everyone loves them!

    Both same night! I would say, a success!!

    Thanks Jenn.

    • Love that!! 🙂

    • I made this recipe as written and found it too gooey and just not my ideal texture. However, I tried it again adding an extra 1c Rice Krispies and 1/2-3/4c Golden Grahams per a
      friend’s suggestion and they were AMAZING! They definitely beat regular Rice Krispy Treats.

      • — Bethany Huskey
      • Reply
  • These are the best Rice Krispie treats around. I love the flavor the brown butter gives them, I love the crunch of the semi-crushed Golden Grahams add and the pockets of gooey marshmallow. This may have been a kid treat before, but I take them to work and they always disappear with rave reviews. Also, they freeze beautifully which I would never have thought of. I think it may be all that butter:)
    I have tried them with Cinnamon Toast Crunch because I ran out of Golden Grahams. Amazing with the hint of cinnamon but less crunch than the Golden Grahams. Very viable alternative! Thanks Jenn!

  • Hands down these are the best rice krispie squares ever. Every time I make these everyone raves about them!

  • This just opened up huge possibilities! Honey Nut Cheerios, Kix, Cocoa Puffs?! Have you used any other cereals? Thanks!

    • I haven’t, Stephanie, but I’d love to know how they turn out if you try any!

  • Made these as written and they were amazing! Thanks Jen for another fantastic recipe!

  • These are the Rice Krispie Treats you are looking for!!!!!!!
    Thanks for sharing the recipe, we loved them!

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