Our Favorite Rice Krispie Treats Recipe

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.

Rice krispie treats cut into squares

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 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!!

Stack of rice krispie treats

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Marshmallows: These krispie treats are extra marshmallow-y without falling apart. You need 2 10-ounce bags (about 11 heaping cups) of mini marshmallows.
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. 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!

Melted marshmallow butter mixture for crispy rice treats in a pot

Rice krispie treat mixture in pink pot

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.

Pan of rice krispie treats with spatula

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, too!

Rice krispie treats

rice krispie treats

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?

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Rice krispie treats cut into squares

Our Favorite Rice Krispie Treats

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Yield: 20 treats
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Cooking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

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.


Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Lift the rice krispie treats as a whole out of the pan using the parchment paper. Cut into squares.
  7. 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.

Notes

  1. 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.
  2. If gluten free, check labels to ensure all products are certified gluten free.
  3. For the pinch of salt, I always add a little less than 1/8 teaspoon.

Adapted from Kellogg’s

Keywords: marshmallow

169 Comments

  1. Hi Sally!
    Thank you for posting this.
    Would it be be possible to use marshmallow fluff or cream instead of mini marshmallows. If yes, how much please?

    1. Hi Brindy! Marshmallow fluff stays in its “liquid”/thin consistency, where marshmallows will help solidify the treats. I don’t recommend substituting.

  2. Amy Williams says:

    Would love to know how you make your chocolate version! Without peanut butter for those of us that hate it!

    1. Adding 2 ounces of melted chocolate (like a Bakers or Ghirardelli baking bar) to the melting marshmallow/butter works! Or replace half of the butter with Nutella spread!

  3. Connie Norton says:

    I always add raisins to rice crispy bars – t be honest,
    that is always the way to go, Everyone loves the extra
    addition.

    1. I LOVE raisins! Might have to try that sometime!!

  4. The not packing down is a good tip! I cut up and melt 4 Mars bars into the marshmallows. I was shown by a woman who would cut them into small pieces, wrap individually and freeze for whenever you need a little treat!

  5. Sally, when in doubt…ALWAYS publish Sometimes we don’t know the right ratios (maybe because our grandmothers taught us how to make something and all she said was “a lot of this and a bit of that” and we (SADLY) never asked her to write down the exact measurements before she passed); or maybe we have a good recipe, but knowing that YOU use just about the same ratios and ingredients makes us feel a little bit better about our cooking/baking skills. No matter what, SHARE YOUR TIPS and IDEAS! You inspire us to cook and bake!

  6. I used your recipe today to make up a care package to send my son while he away without family for the first time ever at Boy Scout camp. They are delicious! He is going to LOVE them! I think your ratios are spot on, and I’ve never increased the batch like that before for a 9×13 pan. Such a smart idea!!

  7. Hi Sally- I just made a rice krispie treat flag for our july 4th cookout. It was a real hit and crowd pleaser.

  8. My mom always adds a little cinnamon to the melted marshmallow mixture. Adds a little something to it! She also multiplied the recipe by 1.5 from the original Kellogg’s recipe otherwise it just seems like they turn out so thin and dinky! Excited to try your take!

  9. I like to add some whole marshmallow at the end to get pockets of soft marshmallows!!

    1. YUM! 🙂

  10. Hey Sally! Thanks for posting these!!! I saw this recipe and my preggo self decided I needed to make these tonight. I prefer mine gooey, too.

    I had a question, though. I feel like I followed this recipe to a T, but my bars came out with a concentrated gooey layer on the very bottom. Can you think of a reason? Was the mixture too hot that it melted down? Maybe cooked too long (I feel like it took a long time for the marshmallows to melt) any thoughts would be great. Thanks!!

    1. Hi Stephanie! The mixture may have been too hot, yes. Or there was too much grease on the parchment. Either way, that’s an easy fix for next time. You can always add a *bit* more krispies to the next batch, too. They will help soak up that extra gooey layer!

  11. Anita Paton says:

    I tried Sally’s Rice Krispie treats recipe as an alternative to the one on the box. My husband said that they had too much marshmallow. I thought they tasted good but I think I will stick to the original recipe. Thank you

  12. I’ll admit it…these ARE the best ever! Thanks so much for sharing. Delicious! (And they were gone in minutes.)

  13. Kathleen Tritt says:

    Sally, wonderful update on a classic! I made these last night for our Vacation Bible School program – did everything you advised – they are delicious!! Buttery, crispy, just the right amount of sweet and yummy! I love your blog. Everything I’ve tried has been great.

  14. These really are the best!! Brought them to a dinner party over the weekend and everyone went back for seconds (or thirds!) on these. Thanks for another awesome recipe, Sally!

  15. Hi Sally! I’ve always wanted to make peanut butter Rice Krispie treats but other recipes I’ve tried have always been very dry. I’d love to try using your recipe – how much peanut butter would you suggest adding? Thanks!

    1. Hi Laura! I recommend adding 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter and reducing the butter to 1/2 cup (1 stick).

  16. Hi Sally! Two questions, please! Have you tried halving the recipe? What size pan would you recommend? Also, might like to try some Fruity Pebbles in place of some of the Rice Krispies. What ratio would work? 3:1? Thanks so much.

    1. If you halve the recipe, use a 9×9 inch square pan. Fruity Pebbles work instead of rice krispies cereal– use the same amount of cereal. 🙂

  17. I used this recipe and instead of Rice Krispies I used Fruity Pebbles! I probably put about 8 cups of cereal instead of 9 which made it a little more marshmallowy and yummy!! Thanks for the help from your recipe!!

    1. Perfect!

  18. Sally! This is honestly the Rice Krispie treat recipe I never even knew I needed! Seriously they are the best. I did 1 full tsp of vanilla (because you can never have too much vanilla) and 1/4 tsp of salt. The ratio of marshmallow to butter to cereal was just spot on! Thanks for yet another keeper 🙂
    Ps. Have you ever heard of dandies brand marshmallows? I use them in place of regular marshmallows. They have no funky ingredients, and they’re even vegan

    1. Delicious! We ate a couple spoonfuls as soon as it was cool enough! Best rice krispie treat recipe I’ve made

    2. I love this recipe!!! I used 2 bags of vegan Dandies marshmallows and the Rice Krispie treats turned out delicious!!

  19. Hi Sally,

    I made these last week! They were delicious and everyone loved them.

    My friend told me his mother used to make Rice Krispie Treats with peanut butter. His mom passed away several years ago and he does not have any of her recipes. When he tried your recipe that I made, he was reminded of the ones from his mom. I would like to make him some with peanut butter, but I am not a confident cook.

    If I wanted to add a 1/2 cup of peanut butter to this recipe, would I make any alterations to the other ingredients? Have you tried this recipe with peanut butter?

    1. I’m so glad everyone loved them and how wonderful for you to want to make peanut butter treats for your friend! I made these peanut butter chocolate treats a long time ago: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/double-decker-peanut-butter-chocolate-krispie-treats/
      You can double the peanut butter layer to keep them all peanut butter flavored!

  20. I made these and the family declared them the best ever.

  21. The BEST Rice Krispies I’ve ever had. We decided to get crazy and add mini m&m’s. My 8 year old said: “omg these are SO food.”

  22. I have made this recipe twice in the last two days! So delicious. BEST EVER! Thank you for sharing.

  23. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Your blog is my go-to when I need to make a sweet and I want it to be perfect the first time. I’ve never made Rice Krispie Treats before because I don’t really like them, but husband requested some and this recipe was great. I even thought they were tasty! Thanks for being someone I can count on!

  24. Thank you for sharing. I have always loved Rice Krispie treats. I made these last week and Honestly the BEST Rice Krispie treats ever! My daughter just loved them!

  25. Christina McGrew says:

    This is absolutely the best rice krispie treat recipe I have ever tried!! They are perfect- just the right amount of mallow to krispie and the dash of salt and vanilla is fantastic, they remind me of the krispie treats you get at Starbucks but they’re better! My mom and sister fight over them.

  26. Jaleigh Smith says:

    I made these and decorated with Halloween sprinkles to give as a treat for my son’s 1st grade class.. I’ve had three different moms message me saying it was the best Rice Krispie treat they’ve ever eaten and they want the recipe! One mom said she didn’t even share a bite with her child haha. Thanks, Sally! Love everything you do.

  27. Just made this fabulous recipe for the 2nd time! It’s so delicious and easy, but I fear I may be addicted! Yummy! Thanks for posting this recipe.

  28. I have never made Rice Krispies Treats before, I live in Norway and never knew such a product existed. But we just returned from a vacation in California – We bought loads at the store, it wasn’t until I looked at my box of Rice Krispies Cereal and I saw they look easy to make. I googled Rice Krispies treats and this came up! And the recipe did what I always do to recipes that need it(many) add salt and vanilla! I immediately knew this is the one to try! I might throw some trix in as well!

    1. Perfect ratios! Gooey and delicious. The original standard recipe always ended up dry but not these. Thanks!

  29. These are amazing!! Thank you so much for sharing, I will never go back to the original recipe, this one is the best!

  30. I want to use this in a plastic mold to make teddy bears. Would I leave it in the bowl to cool or still into a pan and then fill the molds once cooled? Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Nicole! You would want to transfer the warm marshmallow/cereal mixture right into the molds, do not let it cool in the bowl or another pan first.

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