★★★★★

Rice Krispie Treats Recipe

Get the secret tips and tricks to making the most PERFECT Rice Krispie Treats recipe. From using fresh butter and marshmallows to adding vanilla extract, this is our favorite dessert.

Love easy cereal treats? Try our recipes for homemade puppy chow (muddy buddies)! Or make a savory snack like this Taco Chex mix!

Thick rice krispie treat packed with marshmallows.

The Original Rice Krispie Treats

I spend days and days trying to come up with the perfect cake. Or the most beautiful cupcakes. Or to create the fudgiest brownies.

But, it’s no secret, Rice Krispie Treats have always been the key to my heart. Knowing how to make rice krispie treats has gotten me far in life.

But, in the end, it’s the classic, original, homemade RICE KRISPIE TREAT that draws me in.

The biggest question is how to spell it. Some people say Rice Crispy, Some say Crispy Rice, some say Rice Crispies. Either way, you get the point!

Gooey rice krispie treat being pulled out of the baking dish.

Why this Recipe Is Best

There are thousands of recipes for making this classic treat, and I’m putting it out there that my recipe is BEST. Why?

  • Only 4 ingredients
  • Thick and chewy
  • Vanilla flavor
  • Perfect ratio of cereal to marshmallows

We love that this classic treat can be changed up using different cereals too!

Ingredient Notes

Only four ingredients needed for original rice krispie treats recipe.
  1. Butter- use salted butter for this recipe. Just trust me! Don’t have any on hand? Use unsalted butter and a pinch of salt while melting. DO NOT use margarine.
  2. Marshmallows- you’ll need 9 cups of mini marshmallows, keeping about 1 cup aside to add in at the end!
  3. Vanilla Extract- I love using my homemade vanilla extract for all my recipes, but just be sure to use PURE vanilla, not imitation. The flavor is far superior.
  4. Rice Krispies Cereal- any brand of crispy rice cereal will work, just make sure it’s FRESH.

Tips and Tricks

  • Line a 9-inch square baking dish with parchment paper. This way you don’t have to worry about extra butter on your fingertips, or the other extreme of your bars sticking to the pan! Use binder clips to help the parchment paper stay in place.
  • Use fresh marshmallows. Seriously, they make a difference. Don’t grab that bag that’s been in your pantry for months and months thinking it will be okay since you are melting them. It won’t be okay.
  • Add my secret ingredient. VANILLA EXTRACT. Not imitation vanilla, but PURE VANILLA extract. It makes a difference in creating the illusion that you’re using homemade marshmallows.
  • Toss in some extra marshmallows with your cereal. This adds a whole dimension of chewiness!
  • DO NOT (I repeat) DO NOT press these bars into your pan firmly. Using your fingertips, GENTLY press them in just until they are spread out. The harder you pack them in, the harder they are when it’s time to eat them!
  • The trick to pressing them in your pan without sticking to your hands is to run your fingers in water, shake off the excess, and press. Voila. No sticking!
  • Store in an airtight container for two days. If they last that long, I’d be shocked! ENJOY
  • Make these gluten free by choosing a crispy rice cereal labeled Gluten Free (and check your marshmallow labels too just in case).
Melted butter and marshmallow for rice krispie treats in a sauce pan with cereal and more marshmallows being added.

Recipe FAQs

Why do my rice krispies treats get hard?

Your krispies treats could be getting hard if you press the treats too firmly into the pan. Also, be sure to start with fresh marshmallows and cereal, not stale!

Do rice krispie treats need to be refrigerated?

Do NOT refrigerate rice krispie treats, as it can make the marshmallow very hard. Instead, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for best results.

Can you freeze rice krispie treats?

I do not advise freezing rice krispie treats. Fresh is best.

Can rice krispie treats be made in a 13×9 baking dish?

You can choose a 13×9 dish instead of a square dish if prefered for rice crispy treats. Just know that they will be thinner.

Rice crispy treats on parchment paper cut into squares or bars.

More Rice Krispie Treat Flavors

Add in some flavored gelatin (or pudding mix) to the melted marshmallow for a unique twist! Cherry Krispie Treats!

Make Lucky Charms Treats for a St.Paddy’s Day dessert idea.

  • For best results, name brand cereal stays fresher longer and can hold up to the melted butter and marshmallows better
  • Always start with fresh marshmallows. If you use stale marshmallows in hopes that melting them will give you good results, you’ll be disappointed!
  • More mix-ins: fold in some m&m’s or Reese’s peanut butter cups for a delicious dessert idea.
Perfect squares of chocolate rice krispy treats on a piece of parchment paper.

More Easy Dessert Recipes:

Yield: 9 large bars

Rice Krispie Treats Recipe

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Get the secret tips and tricks to making the most PERFECT Rice Krispie Treats recipe. From using fresh butter and marshmallows to adding vanilla extract, this is our favorite dessert.

Ingredients

  • 6 Tablespoons salted butter
  • 16 ounce bag mini marshmallows, divided
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 cups rice krispies cereal

Instructions

  1. Line a 9-inch square baking dish with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Once melted, add in all but 1 cup of the marshmallows. Reduce heat to low and continue stirring until completely melted.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Add the cereal and the remaining 1 cup of marshmallows and gently stir until combined.
  4. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Press GENTLY with your fingertips just until completely spread out (the harder you pack them in, the harder they are to eat).
  5. Allow to set, about 1 hour. Cut and enjoy!

Notes

  • How many marshmallows do I need? One 16 ounce bag of marshmallows is about 8-9 cups. You'll melt all but one cup of the marshmallows in the butter, reserving the last cup for adding with the cereal.
  • Line a 9-inch square baking dish with parchment paper. This way you don’t have to worry about extra butter on your fingertips, or the other extreme of your bars sticking to the pan! Use binder clips to help the parchment paper stay in place.
  • Use fresh marshmallows. Seriously, they make a difference. Don’t grab that bag that’s been in your pantry for months and months thinking it will be okay since you are melting them. It won’t be okay.
  • Add my secret ingredient. VANILLA EXTRACT. Not imitation vanilla, but PURE VANILLA extract. It makes a difference in creating the illusion that you’re using homemade marshmallows.
  • DO NOT (I repeat) DO NOT press these bars into your pan firmly. Using your fingertips, GENTLY press them in just until they are spread out. The harder you pack them in, the harder they are when it’s time to eat them!
  • The trick to pressing them in your pan without sticking to your hands is to run your fingers in water, shake off the excess, and press. Voila. No sticking!
  • Store in an airtight container for two days. If they last that long, I’d be shocked!
  • Make these gluten free by choosing a crispy rice cereal labeled Gluten Free (and check your marshmallow labels too just in case).
  • See blog post for more recipe tips and tricks!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

9

Serving Size:

1 bar

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 300Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 139mgCarbohydrates: 57gFiber: 0gSugar: 31gProtein: 2g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Original Rice Krispie Treats recipe with all the tips and tricks for making them thick and chewy!

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About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on February 8, 2021

Comments & Reviews

  1. Hello!! So excited to make these tomorrow! I only have an 8×8 pan or a 9×13. Would you recommend it still being okay to use the 8×8? Or is it better I use the 9×13 in this case? Thanks!

  2. Hey, this recipe is fantastic, but my treats came out almost stale? Just the cereal seemed stale, but it wasn’t. It was a brand new sealed box that I ended up eating a bowl from while these were setting. The bowl was perfectly fresh, but it’s like somewhere during the treat-i-fication process, the rice crispies were made insta-stale. Does anyone have any personal experience or insight as to what I did wrong? Thanks!

  3. Really yummy! Tastes even better if you use OliveNation vanilla bean paste because it tastes more like vanilla rather than having the alcoholic flavor of regular vanilla extract! Highly recommend!

  4. This is the BEST rice crispie recipe ever! My whole family loves them and can’t stop eating them. I cannot go back to eating crispies made from the box recipe again! I use my butter wrapper with a little butter on it to push my crispies down into the pan. That way you can control how firm to press

  5. My rice crispy treats always have a good flavor but never seem to fully set up/ hold together. Any thoughts?

      1. If you measure a 16 ounce bag of marshmallows in a measuring cup, you’ll get 8-9 cups of marshmallows. A bag of marshmallows is sold by weight, not volume.

    1. What I do is put them in cupcake papers and put melted chocolate on the bottom of it (let it harden first).Then put the Krispy treats on top!

  6. I want to make this gluten free and dairy free. I’ve bought the Millville brand gluten-free cereal from Aldi. What dairy free butter would you suggest? I usually use Earth Balance but I don’t know if you would consider that margarine and you said do not use margarine. Also, how many bags of mini marshmallows do I need to make 9 cups? I might’ve missed it but I don’t see that. I want to make sure I buy enough bags. The bags are 10 ounces.

  7. To get mine flat without pressing too hard I lined two pans with parchment, gently spread into the first pan and then flipped it over into the second pan to set so that both sides will be flat and even

  8. Just made these quick and easy! Vanilla extract was god-tier Aimee! Excellent recipe. I will be using your recipes in the future! Great 👍 wonderful 💥 beautiful 🤩! See ya and thanks!

    1. Make these gluten free by choosing a crispy rice cereal labeled Gluten Free (and check your marshmallow labels too just in case). Last bullet point.

  9. I doubled the recipe using both big and small marshmallows that I had on hand. After spreading in the pan, I added some sprinkles for fun! My family is drooling. Waiting for me to cut into these! Smells amazing!

  10. If I don’t want unmelted mini marshmallows at the end, should I add in the cup of marshmallows to be melted or should I not add the last cup in at all? Will melting that cup of marshmallow screw up the proportion???

  11. Thanks for this..a tip for people who don’t have clips, just scrunch the parchment into a ball and then place in your pan….cheers

  12. Thank you so much for recipe and the tips! I had just large marshmallows, too, so I just cut them into smaller pieces so they would melt evenly. No problem! To really keep your fingers clean, you can also press gently down on the mixture with parchment paper!

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