★★★★★

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. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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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