★★★★★

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:

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. Thanks for this great recipe (and the tip about adding a pinch of salt if you have unsalted butter)! Intead of parchment paper, we used a silicone baking pan (you can buy an inexpensive on from Daiso for $2) and the delicious Rice Krispy treats popped right out.

  2. Why are mine so gooey on the bottom when I cut them? It’s like the marshmallow settles to the bottom during the cooling process. It’s a huge mess, but still delicious. 😂

  3. Can I use big marshmallows? If so how much can I put in the pan bc I have to mini marshmallows and can’t head to the store now….thanks!

  4. Can I substitute homemade marshmallow fluff for the marshmallow ? Having a little difficulty getting a hold good marshmallows this side of the Atlantic. Pls help! It’ll go a long way!

  5. So glad I stumbled across your recipe yesterday when looking for a Rice Krispie bar. I have not made them since going gluten free over a decade ago. The vanilla added something extra and they were so good even with my gluten free crispy rice from Nature’s Path. Even my daughter who is not a big dessert fan and can eat gluten asked for more! Thank you for the tips as well!

  6. I chose to try this recipe and the squares turned out fine. They tasted like they always do. I don’t notice any difference from other recipes I’ve tried. I just found this recipe to be a little extra. There’s no need to take such an easy to make treat and make it more complex. For example, measuring 6 separate tablespoons of butter rather than 1/3 of a cup, or calling for a 16 ounce bag of marshmallows, when the bag is measured in grams. I did get a little chuckle out of your secret ingredient, which is in every other RK recipe I’ve ever made. I’ve yet to see a recipe that says use artificial vanilla over pure. Thanks for taking the time to put this together and the tips were a good reminder. Love the skip to recipe link at the top

    1. Well for starters, 6 Tbsp is easier to measure than 1/3 cup of butter (which is 5 Tbsp plus 1 teaspoon). In my grocery store, the big bags of marshmallows are 16 oz bags, so there’s no special trick there. And as for vanilla extract, the original recipe on the box of rice krispies doesn’t call for it, so adding it makes them taste better. However, if you love the original recipe, and like measuring 5 Tbsp plus 1 tsp butter, feel free to carry on 🙂

      1. I agree with Aimee. NORMAL Rice Krispie Treat recipes DO NOT call for vanilla extract. It DEFINITELY gives it that “extra” special flavor!! Thank-you Aimee!!

        1. Yummy! I didn’t have mini marshmallows so I made mine with jumbo. If you’re making them with jumbo marshmallows, don’t set aside 1 cup of marshmallows for the end (those never fully melted). Delicious and east to make! Thanks!

    2. So, let me get this straight Diane, you followed this recipe and didn’t realize during the process that it was the same as the one you’ve always used? You just HAD TO post how it tasted the exact same as though you expected the very same recipe with the very same ingredients to taste otherwise? Or…was that just a smoke screen for you to throw a dig at the lady who posted it about how “extra” you thought it was? It’s funny, the only thing “extra” on this recipe page is your obvious superiority complex and know-it-all attitude.

      Aimee, I enjoyed the recipe (including your increments of measurement.) Thank you for posting it. And you’re right, most recipes do not specify to use real vanilla. I did find it made a difference and I appreciate that recommendation!

      1. Tina, I couldn’t agree with you more! There was absolutely “no need” for Cass to lash out the way she did. It’s so sad that some people have to “lash out” at others, to make “themselves feel good”!! I’m THRILLED to be making some of Aimee’s recipes; and ALWAYS willing to learn something “new” and “exciting” about a recipe. It’s how we learn from each other! STRONG WOMEN EMPOWER EACH OTHER; in every way!! Thank-you again Aimee for your wonderful inspiration!! LOVE AND ((((HUGS)))), Sunshine

  7. Question every time I make a desert with cereal even muddy buddies and cookies the cereal tastes stale what am I doing wrong

      1. I had this same problem. Fresh brand new box! Stale taste once they were cooled 😭 what else could be wrong?

        1. Did you substitute margarine for butter? I find mine have a rubbery taste when I use margarine.

  8. Oh my gosh!!!! A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!! They were so GOOD!…. They were gone within 24 hours! I went back to get some the next day and they were GONE!!! I am going to have to make more! This recipe is a keeper for sure!!

  9. Hi um I have a question. Um when you do the marshmallows and the cereal why does it turn out so um…I don’t know. I guess just why does it turn out like that. Um, bye. I’m now going to throw my electronic device away.

  10. This is a great recipe. The tip to spread out with fingers is life changing. It leaves these beautiful marshmallow strings in the gaps and it holds additions beautifully. I added rainbow jimmies and some mini white chocolate chips for a “birthday cake” flavour and used clear vanilla extract. There were most excellent!

  11. My first time ever making rice krispie treats. I’m presently waiting for the 1 hour cool off time to end so we can finally try them. Fingers crossed. But on the low, I was eating bites the entire time I was mixing. Thanks

  12. Hi Aimee!
    Thank you so much for the recipe, and the great tips! I just made these with 4 cups Rice Krispies and 3 cups Reese’s Puffs. They came out perfect! Buttery, soft, vanilla-y; absolutely wonderful. Thank you!

    Krista from NY!

  13. Hi. Thanks for the recipe and tips!
    The local grocery store had “Lucky Charms Magically Delicious Marshmallows” for sale…. If you use different color marshmallows would it influence the overall color much? Have you used larger marshmallows? Or food coloring? I plan to make some for an upcoming baby shower. Thank you 😊💓

    1. You can retain the individual colors if you make the batch with white marshmallows and then at the end add the multi color ones, should look great!

  14. Absolutely delicious, Aimee! Thank you for sharing your recipe AND your tips. As far as negative people leaving negative comments, I wouldn’t waste my time even looking at them. Like you mentioned, they were not forced to read anything- they CHOSE to! Keep your head up and keep doing what you love, because you are great at it! This is, by far, my favorite RC treat recipe, and when I make them, my family swarms the kitchen. 🙂 Thank you so much again for sharing!

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