This is the best Rice Crispy Treats Recipe EVER! They are gooey, soft, flavorful & so easy to make with 5 ingredients in 5 minutes!
Everyone needs an outstanding rice crispy treat recipe in their repertoire, and this is ours! These homemade rice crispy treats are such an easy treat to whip up for last minute dinner guests or for an afternoon playdate!
I've tested many rice crispy treat recipes in my lifetime, and this is the best. They are gooey, soft and flavorful thanks to the addition of vanilla extract and sea salt. Plus they're so easy to make with only 5 ingredients in 5 minutes!
How do you make rice crispy treats?
Ok folks, let's get started by discussing the best method for making this rice crispy treat recipe, step-by-step!
Step 1: Gather ingredients & prepare baking pan
It's important to have all the ingredients measured out before you get started. Because once you begin, the recipe is fast-paced and you need to move quickly! There are only 5 ingredients needed to make these rice crispy treats, we'll talk about substitutions later in the post (above the recipe card).
You will also need to prepare your baking pan by lightly greasing it with cooking spray or butter so that it's ready to go!
Step 2: Melt butter & marshmallows
Once you have all the ingredients ready to go, begin by melting the butter. Patience is the KEY to making the best rice crispy treats ever. You cannot rush the butter/marshmallow melting. Use low heat and melt slowly. I recommend slicing the butter into at least 4 pieces to make the melting process go faster without using too much heat.
Once the butter is melted, add the mini marshmallows and stir every 15-30 seconds until the mixture is smooth and most of the marshmallows are melted.
Step 3: Add Vanilla Extract
Add the vanilla extract to the marshmallow mixture and stir to combine. The vanilla extract will bubble when it's added, that is totally normal! When the mixture is smooth and all the marshmallows are melted, turn off the heat or remove the pot from the heat. Vanilla makes these rice crispy treats extra special!
Step 4: Add crispy rice cereal & sea salt
Quickly add the rice crispy cereal and sea salt to the pot and stir to combine. This is the point of the recipe where time is of the essence and you need to work quickly!
Step 4: Stir & pour into baking pan
As soon as the mixture is uniform throughout and looks like the picture on the left, transfer it to a lightly greased baking pan (8x8" or 9x9" both work perfectly). If desired, add mix-ins here like sprinkles, more mini marshmallows, chocolate chips, etc.
Step 6: Press into the pan, set & cut
Using greased hands or a greased spatula, gently press the rice crispy treat mixture into the baking pan until the top is level. If desired, this is a great place to add sprinkles to the top (or chocolate chips, nuts, etc.)
How long should I wait to cut homemade rice crispy treats?
Let the rice crispy treats set for at least 30-60 minutes before cutting! You can cut these into 9 larger or 16 smaller squares!
How do you store rice crispy treats?
If you have any leftovers, wrap them in plastic wrap and store them in an airtight container or ziplock bag at room temperature.
How long do Rice Krispie Treats last?
Stored properly, these rice crispy treats will last for 3 days at room temperature, but they are the best when eaten the day they are made.
Do rice crispy treats need to be refrigerated?
NO! Please don't refrigerate these homemade rice crispy treats! They will get hard and lose their gooey texture.
Can you freeze rice crispy treats?
Yes! Wrap them up and put them in an airtight container or ziplock bag in the freezer for up to 1 month. Set them out at room temperature for 1 hour before serving!
Why are my rice crispy treats hard?
There are a handful of reasons why rice crispy treats could turn out hard:
- They are exposed to the air too long (not stored properly).
- You overcook the butter/marshmallow mixture or melt the ingredients too quickly over too high heat.
- Accidentally adding too much cereal (please NO more than 6 cups and measure carefully)!
- Using old/stale marshmallows.
- Pressing the rice crispy treats too hard into the pan.
More rice crispy treats recipes!
We have lots of fun with rice crispy treats in this house! Here are some of my favorites!
- This rice crispy cake is a perfect way to use leftover candy and a great dessert to feed a crowd!
- How fun is this dessert sushi (AKA: rice crispy roll cake)?!
- And for a healthier, peanutty version check out these healthy peanut butter rice crispy treats!
Best Rice Crispy Treats: Ingredients and Substitutions
These homemade rice crispy treats only contain 5 ingredients, but we'll chat about them all and possible substitutions!
- Crispy rice cereal. Generic or name brand cereals both work very well in this recipe! I have also used brown rice crispy cereal with great results! You could have fun and substitute some (or all) of the crispy rice cereal with fruity pebbles, cocoa pebbles, etc.
- Mini Marshmallows. I know, you have lots of large leftover marshmallows from s'mores making and you want to use them to make rice crispy treats. Ok, but just be aware that they will not melt as well as mini marshmallows, and you need to make sure you use enough. Here's a great marshmallow conversion chart to consult to make sure you're using the correct amount. If you want to make vegan rice crispy treats, use these vegan marshmallows.
- Salted Butter. I always bake with salted butter, but you're welcome to use unsalted and will still get delicious results! For a vegan version, use vegan butter like Earth Balance.
- Sea Salt. Please note that this recipe calls for pure sea salt. NOT iodized table salt. If you use table salt I recommend cutting it in half and using only ⅛ to ¼ tsp salt. Please don't omit the salt! It's one of the ingredients that makes these the perfect rice crispy treats!
- Vanilla extract. This is another ingredient that makes these rice crispy treats extra special. Please only use pure vanilla extract (no imitation) for the best results!
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Best Rice Crispy Treat Recipe
- Grease a 8x8” or 9x9" square pan, set aside.
- Melt butter in a large, deep sauce pot (5 quarts) over low heat.
- Once butter is mostly melted, add marshmallows and stir until smooth (this takes about 3-6 minutes).
- Once butter/marshmallow mixture is smooth, add vanilla extract and stir to combine, then remove from heat.
- Add crispy rice cereal and sea salt to the large pot with the marshmallow mixture and mix until combined. (If desired, at this point you can add mix-ins like sprinkles M&Ms, etc.)
- Quickly pour the rice crispy treat mixture into the prepared pan.
- Use a greased spatula or greased hands to gently press the rice crispy treat mixture into the pan until the top is level.
- If desired, at this point you can add sprinkles, chocolate chips, etc. to the top. Just be sure to gently press them onto the top of the rice crispy treats.
- Allow the rice crispy treats to sit at room temperature until cooled, about 1 hour.
- Cut into 9 or 16 squares and serve!
- 1 (10 oz) bag mini marshmallows = 6 cups mini marshmallows
- For a vegan version, use vegan marshmallows and vegan butter (like Earth Balance)
- Nutrition information is calculated for this recipe making 9 rice crispy treats.
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