★★★★★

Perfect 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.

I love crispy treats so much that I’ve created over a dozen flavors….from Fluffernutter Krispie Treats to Cinnamon Roll Krispie Treats.

I’ve even got these adorable TURKEY Krispie Treats for Thanksgiving!

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

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

Swap out the cereal and make fun flavors, like Cocoa Krispie Treats.

Or add in some flavored gelatin to the melted marshmallow for a unique twist!

Use Lucky Charms instead of Rice Krispie cereal 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:

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Yield: 9 large bars

The BEST Rice Krispie Treats

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 oz 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.
  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 16oz 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).

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!

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. I’m going to make a batch tonight. Because Christmas is the end of the week, I plan to add to your recipe, a partial box of Lime powdered Jello, for more flavor, and the green color it will make. If I need it a bit greener, I’ll use cake decorating gel food coloring to make it greener. Then, I’m planning to use a Jelly-Roll pan, and once it’s begun to set, I will take a small, individual Christmas Tree Cookie Cutter, I purchased at Michael’s Crafts, and alternate the direction I’m using with the tree cookie cutter (to get more Christmas Trees, out of the batch), will cut them out. Next, I will use from the bottled Cake Decorating candies, red Pearl Candies, sparingly used like Christmas Ornaments! I cannot wait to begin making them! Has anyone added the “Powdered Jello”, into the marshmallows, & stirring until dissolved, prior to adding the Rice Krispie Cereal, before??? I’m hoping to hear that it turned out successful! Thank you. You had many people remark with some great ideas, as well as what you’ve posted, yourself! Thank you. (I’ll keep a watch for more comments…& especially of any with having added JELLO to the melted marshmallows, melted butter, and Vanilla!).

    1. That sounds delicious. Here’s a recipe I added the gelatin to the krispie treat: https://www.shugarysweets.com/cherry-krispie-treats-with-dark-chocolate/

  2. I’ve made these a few times now, and they do come pretty close to the ones my grandma used to make.
    I do a few variations:
    – I don’t reserve any marshmallow. I tried it, but just personal preference, I prefer an ‘even blend’.
    – Instead of parchment paper, I use a little bit of butter to ‘grease’ the dish. They come out great.
    – To pat them into the pan, I use wax paper and just give them a gentle little press. It sticks very minimally to the wax paper when you remove it, and what does stick provides a little snack you can scrape off your finger while you impatiently wait for them to cool 🙂
    – I am definitely going to try another comment’s suggestion of splitting 4 T unsalted & 2 T salted butter next time. I think that would be an awesome balance to all of the sweetness.

  3. I plan on making these this afternoon; the only change being using colored mini marshmallows for the part where you add them last. Thank you for this recipe. It is a great “blank page” idea where you could do anything for any holiday or party theme.

  4. I make a Christmas version with corn flakes, add green food coloring to melted marshmallows and then shape in a flat round wreath shape and add 3 red hots while warm! They are so pretty! Taste great too! Family Tradition.

  5. These killed at the teacher cookie exchange at my kids school. Gluten-free and delicious. These are so fluffy and delicious, I have trouble keeping hands off while they cool!

  6. I’m a bit confused- you say that 16oz is 8-9 cups but google says it’s 2… in any case for any Rice Krispie treat a good rule of thumb is throw in a little extra butter- keeps them soft

    1. 16 fluid oz is 2 cups. 16oz by weight can be any number of cups. For example, a pound of rocks and a pound of feathers will not be the same number of measurable cups.

  7. I have made these over and over and great the best reviews from friends and family. I will continue to use this recipe. Heck, I already threw out all the other “rk treats” recipes, lol.

  8. I made these with only one change – 4 tbspns unsalted plus 2 tblspns salted butter. The little bit of salt provided an excellent contrast to the sweetness of marshmallows. Delicious!

    1. Glad you said this! I’ve made these a few times now and I think they do need just a touch of salt. I’ll try this next time 🙂

  9. Any tips on non stale Krispie treats? Mine are always so Krispie and perfect the minute they are mixed but after letting them set up. They always seem stale I’m using fresh marshmallows and fresh cereal, the recommended amount of butter but they always disappoint me Does stick vs tub butter make any difference? Help!!

    1. Definitely do not use tub butter. As for more tips, I included a whole bunch of them in the blog post if you want to scroll up 🙂

  10. Has anyone tried using vegetarian marshmallows (without gelatin)? Just wondering how they might work, as my daughter is a vegetarian. Thanks!

    1. I’m vegetarian too and have made Rice Krispies Treats using Dandies vegan marshmallows. Im not sure about other brands but those work perfect! (:

  11. Thanks for a terrific recipe!
    So long time after you sharing it but I just tried it yesterday. It came out greater than I think. Thank you much again.

  12. I have not tried to make these Treats yet but I cannot wait especially after reading all the reviews. I like to read the reviews after looking at the recipe because a lot of times people add to the recipe. There ideas are good. I always follow the recipe the first time to perfection but then I do agree a lot of your ideas seem very good. Aimee, you have one great recipe there. I am looking forward to making it myself. I will probably be adding to the reviews after I have tasted them. Enjoy all of you with your Treats.

  13. These came out absolutely amazing! Everyone wondered how I got them so soft and chewy with marshmallow pockets mixed in without melting! Perfect recipe!!!

  14. also how much of everything would you put in if i only have a 10 oz bag of marshmallows? thank you!

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