The ratio of cereal to marshmallow makes or breaks a rice krispie treat– literally! For extra gooey and buttery rice krispie treats, use this recipe. Adding a little extra butter and marshmallow, plus a splash of vanilla extract and a pinch of salt makes all the difference.
I wasn’t going to publish this recipe because– really– how many ways can one make a rice krispie treat? (Hello cake batter rice krispie treats and s’mores rice krispie treats from forever ago!) The internet is flooded with these classic marshmallow squares, but I figured you might like to know how I’ve been making them over the years…? Maybe? Hopefully?
This is, without question, the best way to make rice krispie treats and I have a few tricks up my sleeve to guarantee that the treats are extra marshmallow-y, extra gooey, extra buttery, extra flavorful, and extra AWESOME. I make these whenever I need something quick and guaranteed crowd-friendly. In fact, I just served a double batch at a big cookout over the weekend. Not a single square left.
Crispy rice treats are a totally retro dessert and once you take that first bite, you’re instantly reminded why they’re a staple. So good!!
Video Tutorial: How to Make Rice Krispie Treats
5 Ingredients in These Rice Krispie Treats
You only need 5 simple ingredients for these no-bake squares.
- Butter: Like all good desserts, the base of great rice krispie treats is butter! You need 3/4 cup, which is 12 Tablespoons or 1.5 sticks.
- Marshmallows: These krispie treats are extra marshmallow-y without falling apart. You need 2 10-ounce bags (about 11 heaping cups) of mini marshmallows.
- Vanilla Extract: This is an easy addition that turns a good rice krispie treat into a great rice krispie treat. You only need 1/2 teaspoon, but what a difference it makes! Homemade vanilla extract is excellent here.
- Salt: Salt is another little addition I add to my rice krispie treats. Like vanilla extract, salt is a super convenient ingredient and you don’t need much of it. Just a pinch adds a depth of flavor otherwise absent from crispy rice treats.
- Rice Krispies Cereal: What’s a crispy treat without rice krispies cereal? The best!
Melt the butter and marshmallows in a big pot on the stove, then remove from heat and gently stir in the remaining ingredients. I just use my handy 5.5 quart dutch oven. It’s the perfect size!
Best Ratio of Marshmallow to Cereal
An important factor in a rice krispie treat recipe is the ratio of marshmallow to cereal. Too much cereal and the squares will taste dry, crunchy, and bland. Too much marshmallow and the squares will be too sticky and fall apart. The best ratio for a 9×13 inch baking pan is 2 10-ounce bags of mini marshmallows (11 heaping cups) and 9 cups of cereal.
To prevent any kind of sticking, line your baking pan with greased parchment paper. I just lightly spray the parchment paper with a little nonstick spray.
The #1 Trick for Rice Krispie Treats
Do you want an extra buttery melt-in-your-mouth marshmallow square? Of course you do. In order to achieve this, do NOT pack the rice krispie treats down into the baking pan. Use greased fingers or a greased spatula to softly spread and stretch the mixture into the pan, then use a flat spatula to very gently press the mixture down. Do not compact it with force otherwise your treats will be thin and hard. Instead, just lightly press the treats down into the pan. Butter the back of a flat spatula or spray with a little nonstick spray to prevent sticking. Your treats will be soft yet crisp and not overly crunchy. 🙂
I recommend doing this with my scotcheroos and white chocolate Lucky Charms treats, too!
That’s basically it! I don’t need to convince you that rice krispie treats are delicious, but I hope you try these little extras (the vanilla, salt, ratio of marshmallow to cereal) the next time you need a recipe for these marshmallow squares.
How do you make rice krispie treats?
More No Bake Desserts
- No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars
- Peanut Butter Fudge
- No-Bake Cookies
- No-Bake Cheesecake Jars
- Caramel Dipped Pretzels
Our Favorite Rice Krispie Treats
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
- Yield: 20 treats
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Cooking
- Cuisine: American
This is our favorite recipe for classic rice krispie treats. Adding a little extra butter and marshmallow, plus a splash of vanilla extract and a pinch of salt makes all the difference! Let them set for at least 1 hour before cutting into squares.
- 3/4 cup (170g; 1.5 sticks) unsalted butter
- two 10 ounce bags (11 heaping cups) mini marshmallows
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- pinch salt
- 9 cups (270g) crispy rice cereal
- Line a 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment paper. Lightly grease the parchment. I always use a very light mist of nonstick spray. Set aside.
- Melt the butter over medium heat in a very large pot. Once melted, add the marshmallows. Stir the mixture until the marshmallows are completely melted.
- Remove from heat, then immediately stir in the vanilla extract and salt. Finally, fold in the cereal. Make sure each piece of cereal is coated with the marshmallow mixture.
- Transfer mixture to prepared pan. Using a rubber spatula (greasing it lightly helps), gently spread mixture to fit the pan. Lightly grease the back of a flat spatula and very gently press the mixture down into the pan. Do not pack it down with force, just lightly press down so it’s secure in the pan.
- Allow treats to set for at least 1 hour at room temperature and up to 1 day. Cover tightly if leaving out for more than a few hours.
- Lift the rice krispie treats as a whole out of the pan using the parchment paper. Cut into squares.
- Cover and store leftover treats at room temperature for up to 3 days. To store, place in layers between sheets of parchment or wax paper.
- Freezing Instructions: Rice krispie treats aren’t the best dessert to freeze because the texture isn’t always completely the same after thawing. That being said, you can still freeze these squares. Freeze in layers between sheets of parchment or wax paper in a freezer container for up to 2 months. Thaw at room temperature before serving.
- If gluten free, check labels to ensure all products are certified gluten free.
- For the pinch of salt, I always add a little less than 1/8 teaspoon.
Adapted from Kellogg’s
Keywords: rice krispie treats
Reader Comments & Reviews
This is truly the best Rice Krispie Treat recipe out there!
Love RKTs! This is a great recipe-anotger suggestion, give browned butter RKTs a shot sometime-that, along with vanilla & salt make for an amazing treat!
Hi! If I wanted to dye these green for a party, could I add in food dye while mixing everything together??
Hi RB, you can mix the gel food coloring in step 3 when you add the vanilla extract and salt. Enjoy!
This is the most ABSOLUTELY BEST RECIPE EVER!! Thank u so much for allowing us moms “ that aren’t the greatest in the kitchen like myself “ put such an easy most delicious dessert on line ! Just like you said when you took yours to that get together none was left ! Same exact thing with mine ! And it was just a quick idea after dinner and they were gone by the next morning!!! I will always keep this one in the family recipe books ! Thanks for saving a mommy ! Now without a doubt this is going to be my go to dessert for ANY OCCASION!!!
I love these, I’ve used the cinnamon sugar Rice Krispies and they are so good and I’ve used brown butter and amazing. Perfect ratios!
I thoroughly love this recipe! As do my children! I’m wondering if I could use your homemade marshmallow fluff instead of store bought marshmallows?
Hi Staucia, we’re so glad you and your kids love these Rice Krispies! Marshmallow fluff/creme stays in its “liquid”/thin consistency, where marshmallows will help solidify the treats. We don’t recommend substituting fluff here.
Absolutely love this recipe!
Did it with Christmas colored Rice Krispies and Sugar cookie star cereal (Kellogg’s) for the Christmas color edition! Thank you Sally, my greatest idol of all time 😉 sure do love all the care you put into each one of your fabulous creations. You make my holidays so beautiful and tasty!
These have been my go-to. 10/10. I do a touch less cereal usually for an over the top chewy treat. It reminds me of the ones I’d get from Sweet Mandy B’s in Chicago.
I’m thinking a little maple extract with crumbled crispy bacon patted free of all fat and guess who the hero is tomorrow?? That’s right. It’s me. Yay.
I used brown butter and they were sooooo good! Great ratio of everting!
If you use salted butter would that take the place of a pinch of salt?
Hi Sandy, you can omit the pinch of salt if using salted butter.
These are the best rice krispy treats! Soft and gooey… yum! I did not have an issue at all with the butter ratio. Yum!
The vanilla gives these an added oomph. I also make variations of this recipe by stirring in peanut butter before adding the cereal. Let cool in the pan, then press mini chocolate chips into the surface.
Or, coarsely crush freeze-dried strawberries or blueberries (or other fruit) and stir into the marshmallow mixture before adding the cereal.
I have made these several times …….best recipe ever! The ratio is spot on and have had no problems. They
vanish quickly, so I have learned to put a couple aside for myself I’m making them again for our 4th of July Pool Party. Sprinkling a little red and blue sugar on top and you have a perfect dessert! Thanks Sally for your delicious recipes.
This recipe is stellar! My rice crispies were slighlty stale and my marshmallows were several months old, all stuck together in the bag. I added a splash of vanilla, didn’t measure. As this makes a thick amount in a 13×9 pan, I took them to work and my co-workers raved about them! Even with slighlty stale crispies! I stirred the marshmallows in for quite a bit and used lower heat, since they were old it did take longer for thrm to melt. Making thses again!
Hi. I do not have mini marshmallows. What is the amount or regular size marshmallows to use in this resipie?
Hi Liza, you can use the full size marshmallows. You will need 20 oz total. Feel free to cut them, but they’ll melt down just fine if you leave them whole.
Pardon me…it was pumpkin seeds she used, not sunflower seed.
Using this recipe, my mom added blonde sultana raisins and unsalted sunflower seeds (pepitas ?) to her mixture. Delicious…but I don’t remember the quantity of each. I don’t know if she had a recipe or if she just guessed. Does anyone else have a recipe for this treat?
Has anyone tried this with vegan marshmallows? Do they behave enough like standard marshmallows to work?
Vegan marshmallows do not melt in my experience. Tried those once and it was a fail.
This is my fist time doing anything with marshmallows. My marshmallows seems to get fried and browned instead of melting. Any idea what happened?
Hi N, it sounds like your heat may be a bit too high. Be sure to melt the butter and then the marshmallows on medium heat (or even a bit lower if needed) and continually stir until they are melted.
Best Rice Krispie treat recipe ever! My grandchildren love this version.
I browned the butter for a few minutes before adding the marshmallows and let me tell you, this extra step took these to a new level! I added some pretty silver and gold sprinkles and they looked and tasted absolutely delicious! What a wonderful recipe.
This is a great recipe! I use a smoked sea salt that takes this to a whole new level!
Love that idea! How much did you use? Just a pinch?
Too much butter, these didn’t really set, they just fell apart and made a huge mess.
I’ve made this recipe so many times, Sally, and it NEVER disappoints! Thank you!
We LOVED these! They are thick and soft. I will never go back to the recipe on the box. Thank you 🙂
I let the butter melt on the stove for as long as it took to gather and measure everything else. Maybe that reduced how much butter was left. I kept the heat low and used a large thick metal fry pan. I also reserved a cup of marshmallows to add with the cereal. When i spread it in the glass pan i added strawberry spread and folded it in. The recipe worked great!!
Worked out great. Love this recipe. Thank you
Yummy! Never thought of strawberry jam! I will definitely try this! I find this recipe to be absolute perfection when it cone to Rice Krispy Treats. I do turn mine into Churro or Brown Butter crispy treats!! Thanks for the great idea Eva, and the very best rice crispy treat recipe Sally!!
Best Rice Krispie treats EVER! Say to follow and perfect marshmallow to cereal ratio.
Love the marshmallow to cereal ratio, but found the amount of butter to be too much. Seemed to soak into the cereal and ruin the crispy texture. Has anyone else had this issue? What’s the remedy?
Yes, Jessica, I had the same issue. Way too much butter liquified that wouldn’t combine with the marshmallows. Furthermore, on my gas stove I couldn’t get the heat low enough with the metal pot method she suggested. I had much better luck using a double boiler the second time around to ensure the marshmallows melted. My first attempt became caramel.
Never had a issue with this recipe..Don’t last long enough for the butter to soak the rice Kristie.I love this recipe its a great size.
In with you. I didn’t have an issue either with the butter. I mixed it vigorously with the marshmallows on the stove beforehand
Yessss my daughter tried the recipe. And found out that it was toooooo much butter. I think tree tablespoons might be better.