★★★★★

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!

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

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 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!

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**

Learn How To Become a Better Home Baker
Sign up for the Shugary Sweets FREE Email Course Today—soon you’ll say, "I made it from scratch!"

Categories: , ,


Posted on February 8, 2021

Comments & Reviews

  1. I haven’t made these in years. Tonight, my daughter and I made a double recipe for her 3rd grade class picnic tomorrow. We made an extra recipe for our house, too! They are delicious and we had fun making them! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

  2. Have someone in my family that has to be dairy free. Does anyone know if non dairy butter works? Hate to waste ingredients.

  3. Can I use avocado oil or Olive oil instead of butter? Not supposed to eat cholesterol. I read not to use margarine but can’t use salted butter. Thank you.

  4. Thanks for posting! I’m planning to make this. For step 5 when allowing to set, should it be covered or uncovered for that hour?

    1. If you know it’s only going to be an hour or two, uncovered is fine. If it will be longer than a couple hours, go ahead a place a piece of saran wrap over the top.

      1. Thank you for posting! I made them but don’t think I did it right. When you add in the cereal and other cup of marshmallows, are you supposed to stir? I thought that the butter would drip down or something but i had several sections that were still dry. What did I do wrong?

        1. Also- i tried to cut them into shapes and they were so sticky they I couldn’t get them out of the cookie cutter okay. Tips?

        2. Sandra, try spraying your cutters with Pam cooking spray, same with the spatula ..

  5. If using this recipe to make the peeps pops, what size of pan would you use and would you double it?

    1. I would do a 13×9 for a regular size batch (cause you’ll want them thinner to put the peep on them). And if you double the recipe you could probably just use a 15×10 pan!

      1. Hi Aimee! I am prepping and cooking for mothersday next weekend, will these treats stay good for 5 to 6 days in the airtight container? Do you know?

        1. They definitely lose their freshness. I would make as close to mother’s day as possible.

        2. For mine I didn’t have mini marshmallows so I just did a 12 oz bag of the regular sized ones and followed the recipe after that. They turned out perfect so don’t over stress over getting it completely right! It’s a fun treat and your supposed to have fun with it! Thank you for the recipe!!

  6. I just made these tonight and they’re absolutely delicious!! I’ve been searching online for the perfect rice krispie treat recipe for months and have probably tried a couple dozen different recipes. Not one of them has even come close to your recipe, these are far superior to every one I’ve tried. Kudos!! The ratios are perfect, IMO.

    My husband and I were eating them out of the pan with spoons before they even had a chance to cool. Lol

    I browned my butter and I also add a teaspoon of kosher salt when I add the vanilla. And I reserve 2 cups of marshmallow to add into the cereal, instead of just one. They turned out absolutely perfect! Soooo gooey and buttery and Krispy! So delicious! Thank you so much for adding your recipe.

  7. About how thick are these when you use a 9″ pan? I’m making and cutting with a sun cookie cutter for my daughter’s 1st birthday take home treat and trying to math how many batches to make. Thanks!

  8. This has been the most entertaining comments thread I’ve ever read on a recipe lol… also this recipe is BOMB-delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

  9. Absolutely easy to do with your instructions my daughter is going to be thrilled to pass this out to her friends for Valentines thank you so much for this amazing recipe and for your time

    1. It’s not rocket science if the recipe calls for 16oz of mini marshmallows just measure 16oz of large ones and you will have what u need

    2. 1 reg m = 13 mini m. 8 reg m = 1 cup 16 oz bag = 8 cups. 10.5 oz bag = 5 1/2 cups. 50 mini = 1/2 cup mini. 64 Reg= 16 oz bag 7 oz marshmallow creme = 1 and 1/2 cups. 4 reg = 1 oz. These should help you convert differences between weight and volume. Don’t Substitute margarine for butter – the water content between then is different. Hope this helps.

  10. It’s actually more a question, can you double this recipe when making it and put it in a 13 x 9 pan? I’d appreciate your help because I’m planning to make it this Tuesday to give to neighbors on Thursday. Please help?

    1. I hate to tell you but I have used vanilla in my recipe for years. And they last maybe 15 minutes after I cut them and this was with 3 girls eating them. I haven’t tried putting marshmallows in the cereal, I’ll have to give that a try when I make them for my grandkids. They tell their mom that grandma’s are better.
      Thank you
      Have a great day and God bless

  11. Yes! I’ve always done mine like this and always get compliments–most people smash them way too hard…but I’ve never tried adding a cup of marshmallows at the end! One other thing I do differently (passed down in my family): we use Tia Maria or Kahlua instead of vanilla….YUM!

  12. I followed this recipe EXACTLY and they came out too sticky. I think your ratio of Marshmallow to cereal is off…

    1. It’s not rocket science if the recipe calls for 16oz of mini marshmallows just measure 16oz of large ones and you will have what u need

  13. I always use this recipe, but I brown the butter until its a deep golden and double the amount I also always make sure I use Land o Lakes unsalted! It gives it such a unique flavor. There’s something about Land o Lakes that makes a huge difference, even the smell is stronger. If Im making rice krispies, I’m making them as unhealthy as possible! Lol

    So many complainers in these comments. I’m curious how they found the recipe they weren’t looking for, and why they took the time to read through and scroll all the way to the bottom to leave a comment.

    Anyways… the recipe was well written and precise. It’s always nice to see how people make a classic treat. We all do it a little differently!

    1. I accidentally browned my butter the last time we made these and they tasted even better so now I do it on purpose. They are so good. Thank you.

    2. It’s missing the step that says to stir after adding the cereal to the melted marshmallows. Maybe it’s not rocket science to you, but others can’t cook and that’s why they’re on here looking for a simple recipe for rice crispy squares. I don’t know squat about cooking anything and needed thar extra step to be spelled out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.