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. Hands down the best recipe you weren’t joking! I was sick of the ole box recipe from Rice Krispies it’s too dry so I went on a search and found you!! These are just the way I wanted them!!! Thanks!

  2. Definitely a 5-star recipe, Sally!!! I’m from Australia and I’ve never tried Rice Krispie Treats before (we have ‘Rice Bubble Slice’ instead which is flavoured with honey), so this was a change – but a good one! Family members loved it – great reviews. Thanks for another great recipe, Sally!

    P.S. Tried the tip for soft treats – not pressing down too hard – makes all the difference. Thank you!

  3. WOW WOW WOW! How can rice crispie treats be this good? Honestly you have nailed this recipe. It is marshmallow heavy which is what I love. Thanks for this! Can I give 10 stars?

  4. May I use marshmallow cream instead of the mini marshmallows? If so how much do I need?

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

  5. would you know the amounts for an 8 or 9 inch square pan instead – thank you so much bringing them as a gift !

    1. Absolutely– simply halve the recipe.

  6. I love them! But I also live chocolate. What is the best way to get chocolate involved? I thought of coating them in chocolate. What would you recommend?

    1. So. Many. Ways. 🙂 You can fold in chocolate chips or M&M’s, use Cocoa Krispies instead of Rice Krispies, dip each bar in chocolate, or drizzle melted chocolate over the top. Let me know what you try!

  7. Fantastic recipe. I cut it in half and used whole grain organic vanilla crisps. The kids and the Hubs loved them!

  8. Sally, Thanks for the recipe. As always Rice Krispie treats are a favorite but this time I used strawberry Rice Krispies & they were awesome….

  9. I have never made rice krispy treats before and I’m not really sure why! My son came home with one the other day and I thought to myself, why don’t I try making them? I looked on your blog, and sure enough, you have a recipe! These were so easy to make and so incredibly yummy! I just made them today and they’re almost gone, lol!

  10. Sally, these rice krispie treats are excellent. Not a single one leftover! Very buttery. Will only use this recipe from now on.

  11. I’ve been making rice crispy treats similar to this, but instead of vanilla, I like to add almond extract. They are amazing!

  12. I made this recipe last week and they are SO good! My husband said these were the best Rice Krispies treats he’s ever had (and he doesn’t usually like sweet stuff!). The extra marshmallows keep them soft, so you can enjoy a big batch for even longer – yum! This is my new go-to recipe for Rice Krispies.

  13. What’s the best way to transport these without Tupperware? I need to bring a ton for a baby shower, can I transport them uncut and then cut them on site? I don’t want to wrap them all individually. I would also be making these a couple of days ahead.

    1. You can certainly just cut them onsite. Or if you cut and stack them simply layer sheets of parchment or wax paper between them. Enjoy!

  14. I thought I had the best rice krispy treat recipe from the back of the box but you’ve made them even better! Kids loved helping me make these yesterday. We drizzled with melted chocolate. Won’t use another recipe again! Thank you!

  15. Great recipe! The gluten free Rice Krispies are no longer produced and regular Rice Krispies are not gluten free. So you may want to move this to another section. Thanks for sharing your recipes!

    1. Just made these with the Malt O Meal value bag of Crispie Rice cereal (found mine at Walmart) which is certified gluten free. Turned out great! Perfect ratio of butter and marshmallow 🙂

    2. Patricia Hargis says:

      Just learned that Aldi’s rice crispies are one of the few cereals that are gluten free without malt syrup (barley) in it without spending a lot on special GF cereal . My grand-kids have allergies of dairy, gluten, soy, peanut & chocolate. Recipes are a challenge! I use (artificial) butter flavored crisco instead of real butter works almost as well….the vanilla & salt makes a difference also.

  16. This recipe is so good. I made it last year and will make it this week. It will be our treat this week while we stay safe at home! Thank you

  17. What kind of salt do you use for this recipe? I usually use kosher salt but wasn’t sure since it’s not really going to cook down.

    1. I usually use table salt. A pinch of kosher salt would be fine.

    2. I used kosher salt. I made these as ‘people’ treats for the barn. The response, and I quote, “The best Rice Krispy Treats I ever had.” Thank you for this recipe. We’re being hit hard with COVID19 on Long Island. At least we had Easter at the barn.

  18. Could I use margarine or will it not taste as good?

  19. I hadn’t made Rice Krispies in so long, they always turned out too dry. So glad I tried your recipe! Very easy and the ratio of marshmallow to cereal created a perfectly sticky square. I will definitely make these again. Thank you!!!

  20. I haven’t made these for years….but Covid lockdown has got me making more things at home so I thought I’d make these, as they are quick and I had fond memories of them. I discovered quickly though that they are crazy sweet. Obviously with all that marshmallow it is bound to be so…I guess my tastes have changed. My partner was thrilled to hear this news and said “yay! Then they are all mine!” He’s right. He can have them. Kids of course would love these, too. Took me no time to make, I did halve the recipe actually….and just a bit of setting time to wait out. I reccomend the recipe…for most folks looking for a nostalgic dessert treat.

  21. This recipe was amazing. It is the best recipe I have ever tried! Well worth it!

  22. lilah feuerstein says:

    amazing recipe

  23. Better than the pre made ones.

  24. Christine Daniels says:

    Amazing! This recipe is perfect! Gooey and the right amount of marshmallow.

  25. we like to add peanut butter to ours. about 1/4 cup – 1/3 cup

  26. Simply Delicious 🙂

  27. Absolutely perfect!!! Creamy and gooey!!! Surprised (but shouldn’t have been!) at all the others who made this as a quarantine treat! 😛

    1. Try making them with brown butter as an alternative and you won’t be disappointed! So delicious! Also, I have made them with salted butter and I think that actually cuts through the sweetness a little more. When I use unalted butter I use 2 pinches of salt.

  28. Wowsers! My kids can’t believe how much better these are than the pre-packaged treats. With just marshmallow and crispy they are good, but lacking that little extra love. Great job on the additions! We’ll do it this way from now on!

  29. Susan Robbins says:

    How can something so simple be so good?! I made these today for the first time and am blown away. The vanilla really does make a difference. These will definitely get a slot in my office and neighborhood potluck rotation. Thank you!

  30. Hi there. I was wondering if you thought you could put these into muffin pans and make individual, already sized pieces and they would turn out fine?

    1. I don’t see why that wouldn’t work, Stacy!

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