Rice Krispie treats are the best. The heavenly dessert is packed with gooey and delicious marshmallows, crunchy rice cereals, and finished off with extra marshmallow pockets. If this treat doesn’t put a smile on your face, we don’t know what will.
For holidays, anniversaries, birthdays, or any other special occasion, you can never go wrong with the rice Krispie treats recipe. They are a perfect blend of the right amount of crispy rice cereal, marshmallows, and creamy butter.
Rice Krispie treats history
Rice Krispie treats were made for the first time in 1939 by Mildred Day and Melitta Jensen at the Kellogg’s fundraiser ever since, this dish has remained a favorite among all generations of Americans.
So did we find the best and winning recipe for Rice Krispie treats? Very simple. We held a blind tasting of several popular versions of this recipe and picked the one that got the most votes. The test was conducted among 22 dessert lovers with 22 different versions of the Rice Krispie treat recipe. And let me tell you, it is soo easy to find 22 people to try these delicates.
Why Rice Krispie treats are the best?
Apart from being delicious and satisfying, the other reasons that make them a hit among Americans are that it is the easiest and quickest treats you can whip up in less time. You need only three readily available ingredients to make this treat, and the ingredients are also inexpensive.
We also found out that people of all ages relish this confection. Sometimes when you are unsure what to bring to a party, I say just go with Rice Krispie treats because you will most likely return home with an empty container.
As a kid, this is the first dish that I learned how to make. And since then, I have made them a crazy number of times. Now my kids are learning how to make them.
Finding the right recipe for Rice Krispie treats
I was all over the place trying to get my hands on the best recipe, and my search finally did pay off. You may wonder how a dish that uses only three simple ingredients can have so many versions. The recipes differ in terms of ingredient ratios. If you get the measurements right, you will come up with a rice Krispie with the right amount of gooeyness, perfect crispiness, and a delightful buttery and creamy marshmallow flavor.
There is nothing like a lousy Rice Krispie treat. Each version had only subtle taste differences, and our taste testers agreed with us. Some recipes were definitely better than others, and the secret was in getting the ratios right.
What is the simple Rice Krispie treat recipe?
The recipe is extremely simple:
- First, you need to melt some butter and marshmallows together
- Then you stir in the rice Krispie cereal
- Press the mixture into the pan and let them set
- Cut them into rectangles or square shapes
Although the basic recipe sounds simple, you need to perfect all three ingredients if you want to get them right. Too much cereal can dry the treat, and too many marshmallows will make it sticky and too sweet. And if there isn’t enough butter, you will end up with a bland treat.
And after days of hard work, we finally found the correct ratio of ingredients.
Initially, we started off with six different versions of the recipe, each one of them with differing amounts of the three ingredients. But the recipes used the same brand of cereal, marshmallows, and butter. The pans used were also different. Some recipes called for using an 8 – inch by 8 – inch pan, while others used a 9 – inch by 13 – inch pan. To get unbiased reviews, we did not reveal the recipes to the testers.
What is the proper rice, marshmallows, and butter ratio to make the best-tasting rice Krispie treat?
Before we reveal the best recipe, take a look at the first six versions that we tried:
- 10 ounces marshmallows, 3 tablespoons butter and 6 cups Rice Krispies Cereal in a 9’X13″ pan
- 12 ounces marshmallows, 6 tablespoons butter and 6 cups Rice Krispies Cereal in a 9’X13″ pan
- 16 ounces marshmallows, 6 tablespoons butter and 7 cups Rice Krispies Cereal in a 9’X13″ pan
- 8 cups mini marshmallows (13.33 ounces), additional 2 cups (3.33 ounces) mini marshmallows, 5 tablespoons butter and 6 cups Rice Krispies Cereal in a 9’X9″ pan. (The 8 cups of marshmallows were first melted and stirred into the rice cereal. Afterward, the remaining 2 cups of mini marshmallows were folded in to prevent melting.)
- 16 ounces marshmallows, 8 tablespoons butter and 9 cups Rice Krispies Cereal in a 9’X13″ pan
- 14 ounces marshmallows plus 2 ounces, 6 tablespoons butter and 6 cups Rice Krispies Cereal in a 9’X9″ pan. (the 14 ounces of marshmallows were melted first before tossing in the remaining 2 ounces)
Finally – the best Rice Krispie treat recipe (with ratio and pan size)
16 ounces of marshmallows, 7 cups of Rice Krispies Cereal and 6 tablespoons of butter in a 9″X13″ pan. This ratio was voted the best. Tasters loved the perfect ration of chew to the crunch, the right creaminess, and the rich flavor.
Is it possible to make the treat in a smaller batch?
Yes, we have figured out the ratios for smaller batches. To make in smaller batches, use an 8 – inch or 9 – inch square pan. For the ingredients, use a 10-ounce bag of marshmallows, 4 2/3 cup rice crispy cereal, and 4 tablespoons butter. If you can find only an 11-ounce bag of marshmallows, you can use it. There won’t be any significant difference in the taste. If you are using a 9 – inch pan, the final treats will be a little thinner than those made in an 8 – inch pan.
What were some of the other recipes’ turn-ons and turn-offs?
None of the recipes were totally bad. However, everyone expressed an opinion about each one of the recipes.
- All of them agreed that the recipes, which had more marshmallows and butter, tasted much better.
- They were not pleased with the original recipe included only 10 ounces of marshmallows for 6 cups of cereal and about 3 tablespoons of butter. These treats were the least flavorful and the driest among all the others.
- None of the participants enjoyed the addition of whole marshmallows in the Krispie treats. They felt that adding whole marshmallows made the Krispies too sweet. However, they didn’t have this issue when they tasted the recipes with melted marshmallows, even though these recipes used the same amount of marshmallows. They also did not enjoy biting into the whole marshmallows because of the gumminess.
- Thickness was also a factor. The original treats were too thin, whereas some other recipes produced thick pieces.
The other tests that we did
Once the perfect ratio of ingredients was determined, we tested the recipes using different brands of ingredients. So we made smaller quantities of the treats using different brands of ingredients to figure out which products made the best-tasting treats. We made them in small portions using the quantities below:
- 33 ounces of marshmallows
- 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) of butter
- 2 1/3 cups of Rice Krispies Cereal
Next, we pressed the Krispies into a lasagna pan with three long sections. Each section had a removable tray which made it easy to lift the Krispies. This technique ensured that the treats were all of the same thickness. The taste difference was significant in the Krispies made with different brands of the same ingredients.
Which type of butter makes the best Rice Krispie treats?
We made use of five different brands of butter, both salted and unsalted. We made two batches for all our vegan friends – one with vegan butter and the other with virgin coconut oil.
Our entire batch of 22 taste testers loved the treats made using salted butter. The taste difference between using salted and unsalted butter is quite significant. We highly recommend using salted butter for making a delicious crispy treat.
Will sprinkle some amount of salt do the trick? Nope. We tried, and it does not work. The salt does not spread evenly and causes the treats to taste too salty. Whereas when using salted butter, it makes the treat taste richer and more appetizing instead of making them taste salty.
European butter vs. American butter for Rice Krispie Treats
Is there any difference between American butter and European butter? Yes, there is a huge difference between how the two taste.
- American butter seems to have more water content than the European butter
- American butter has lower fat content than European butter
Butters made in Europe must have at least 82% fat content while those made in America require to have only 80%. As you can see, the fat content difference is minimal, but if you are using American butter, it will release more water and less fat, making your treats have less flavor. But if you are using European butter, the Krispies will taste creamier and richer.
What are the brands that we used in making our Rice Krispie Treats?
To make the different versions of Krispie treats, we used the following brands of butter:
- Kerry Gold Butter
- Plugra Salted Butter
- President Salted Butter
- Land-O-Lakes, both salted and unsalted
- Kroger Creamy French Style Salted Butter
- Kroger brand salted and unsalted butter
- Land-O-Lakes, new European Style Salted Butter
For making vegan treats, we tried:
- Kroger Private Selection Virgin Coconut Oil
- Miyoko’s Vegan Butter
Which was the best butter that made the tastiest Krispie treats?
Our participants equally loved the Krispies made using Kroger Private Selection Creamy French Style Salted Butter, Kerry Gold Butter, and President Salted Butter. The treats made using these brands of butter had more flavor and creaminess. Treats made using the Land-O-Lakes new European Style Salted Butter made it to the fourth position; it also tasted good.
Which butter made the least favorite treat?
Except for one of the tasters, the rest disliked the treat made using the Kroger brand unsalted butter. The one who liked the flavor mentioned that she uses a similar tasting butter for all other dishes. So it was the familiarity that made her like this brand.
How were the rest of the butter brands rated?
The salted butter was the most preferred. The Unsalted one didn’t impress anyone. Land-O-Lakes unsalted butter fell to the bottom right above Kroger unsalted butter. The Land-O-Lakes salted butter was somewhere in the middle of the list. But their European Style Salted Butter (new) ranked better. The Plugra salted butter, on the other hand, received mixed reviews. Three of the participants who tasted the Krispies made with Plugra Butter found it peppery, and two others felt that the flavor was a little off. On the contrary, two other tasters described the treats made with this butter as the tastiest.
Were the vegan Krispie treats good enough?
To be honest, neither we nor any of the tasters enjoyed the treats made using vegan butter. The treats made using virgin coconut oil had a coconut flavor and aroma. And the tasters who liked the coconut flavor really enjoyed this version.
We made the remaining versions of Krispie treats using Kroger Private Selection French Style Butter. It is less expensive than President’s Butter and also tastes good. We highly recommend that you make your Krispie treats using this butter brand.
Which rice Krispies make the best cereal treats?
You don’t need to think twice, do you? Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Cereal makes the most delicious Krispie treats. We used three different brands –
- Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Cereal
- Kroger brand cereal
- Target’s Market Pantry Toasted Rice cereal
The brands of butter and marshmallows were the same. This meant that the tasters would compare only the cereals.
What did they like and dislike about the different rice crispy cereal brands?
Let’s begin with what they liked about the rice cereal treats
Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Cereal – this was the favorite among the tasters. They commented that the toasted rice puffs remained crispy in the treats. They had the most outstanding flavor among all the other rice cereals.
Kroger brand – this came in second. Some of them found the taste bland and mentioned that the treats were slightly harder.
Target’s Market Pantry Toasted Rice cereal – this was the ultimate loser. None of the tasters liked this rice cereal’s flavor and texture. They complained that the treats bruised the roof of their mouth and that it also dug into their gums. The cereal was too hard and crunchy, and we are not big fans of its flavor either.
We also tested another brand – Walmart cereal, which seemed similar to Kroger cereal.
Are the Rice Krispie Treats Gluten-free?
No, because there is gluten in Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Cereal. However, you can use a gluten-free rice crispy cereal.
Which marshmallow brand was the winner?
Now that we are done with the first two ingredients, let’s get into the final one – The Marshmallows. The one that won our hearts was the Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallows.
How did the Marshmallow brands differ in taste?
Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallows – we all loved the vanilla flavor of this marshmallow which was not overpowering, and neither was it too sweet. The chew was just perfect. When we pulled the marshmallows apart, we were very surprised at how gooey they were without being sticky.
Kroger Marshmallows – when it came to flavor, Kroger did a great job. But the final treats ended up being very chewy and sticky. The treats also came out looking dense. And these marshmallows were so sticky that we had a hard time blending them with the rice cereal. It was not an easy option to work with.
Dandies Marshmallows – these are vegan marshmallows, and they taste incredible. The flavor is fantastic, but on the downside, they were comparatively firmer. It took us more time to melt these marshmallows. The flavor and taste were as good as the other brands, but it is a lot of work. This is a great option if you want to make vegan Krispie treats. We used these for making our vegan treats, and these are better than the mini marshmallows. But you need to cut them into four smaller pieces because of the large size. They are also hard to mix, so you might need to use your hands to blend them in thoroughly.
How many cups of marshmallows are there in a bag?
- Each cup of mini marshmallow will weigh somewhere around1.67 ounces.
- A 10-ounce bag will include 6 cups of mini marshmallows.
- A 16-ounce bag will include 9 2/3 cups of mini marshmallows.
Kellogg’s original Rice Krispie treat recipe mentions 4 cups of mini marshmallows in the 10-ounce bags. But when we measured and weighed the bag, we found that it contained almost 6 cups in the 10-ounce bags.
Large Marshmallows (Standard)
- Each piece of the large marshmallow weighs around 0.24 ounces.
- The weights differ slightly for each brand of marshmallows.
- It was found that 7 – 8 pieces of the large marshmallows equaled one cup of mini marshmallows.
- The 10-ounce bags contain around 40 – 48 pieces of marshmallows, and you will find 65 – 70 pieces in the 16 – ounce bag.
- The Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallows seemed lighter than the other brands we tried. If you are using this brand we suggest, adding 40 marshmallows in the recipe that calls for 10 ounces and 65 pieces in the ones that require 16 ounces.
How did the Dandies Vegan Marshmallows taste?
- This brand of marshmallows is heavier than the traditional ones
- Each piece weighs approximately 0.4 ounces
- The 10-ounce bag of Dandies Began marshmallows contains 24 pieces
Is it necessary to add vanilla?
Once we figured out the perfect Krispie treat recipes using Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Cereal, Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallows, and European-style salted butter, we wanted to try adding vanilla to see if it enhanced the flavor of the treats.
And we received a mixed review from our tasters.
Some of them loved the idea of adding vanilla. They found both the vanilla bean paste and the pure vanilla extract made the Krispie treats more tempting and flavorsome. Some of them even ranked this sample as their absolute favorite.
On the other hand, a few others were disappointed by the addition of vanilla as they felt it overwhelmed the original flavors of the Rice Krispie treats. They were big fans of the original version and felt the vanilla ruined the Krispies.
The tasters were divided on this, and so we will offer our opinion. We felt that adding vanilla indeed changes the flavor of the original treats. But if you love vanilla flavor, you can try adding half a teaspoon of the extract or vanilla bean paste.
How to make the best Rice Krispie Treats?
Ok, after hours of testing, it is time to make the best ever rice Krispie treats, so gather the ingredients and let’s start.
- 7 cups of Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Cereal
- • 16 ounces Jet-Puffed Marshmallows
- • 6 tablespoons salted butter (we recommend Kerry gold Salted Butter or Kroger Private Selection Creamy French-style Salted Butter or President’s Salted Butter)
Make Rice Krispie Treats on the Stovetop
- Use a medium or large saucepan to melt the butter over low heat
- Stir in the marshmallows to the saucepan
- Continue stirring the mixture until 75% of the marshmallows melt
- Remove the pan from the stove and continue to stir. Use a wooden or rubber spatula to smash the marshmallows to a smooth paste.
- Once you get a smooth paste, add the rice Krispie cereal and combine well. You can also pour the marshmallow paste over the cereal.
- Next, pour the entire thing into a buttered 9″X13″ pan
- Press them gently into the pan and let them sit for 30 minutes before cutting them into square or rectangle pieces.
- Take a large microwave bowl and combine the marshmallows and the butter
- Run the microwave for a minute on high heat. Take out the bowl and stir the contents thoroughly until everything blends into a smooth paste.
- If required, you can reheat the mixture for around 15 – 30 seconds and stir the mixture again to ensure that all the marshmallows have melted entirely.
- Next, add the Rice Krispie cereal into the mixture and combine well
- Now you can spread the mixture on the buttered pan
- Give the mixture time to set and cool before cutting
- If you are using store-brand marshmallows, remember that those might be stickier, which would make the Krispie treats denser. To avoid this, we suggest that you add an extra cup of Rice Krispies Cereal to get lighter treats.
- Every microwave is different, so make sure to follow these instructions as a guide.
- Take care not to overheat the marshmallows, or else they could get burned
- And the other thing is that if the marshmallows are too hot, the rice Krispie treats will become too hard instead of being chewy.
- Before reheating, try stirring the mixture for some more time to see if you can get the marshmallows to melt completely.
- Sometimes when you take the marshmallows out of the microwave, they won’t look melted. But if you keep stirring it consistently for some time, it will melt fully.
- You can store these delicious treats in airtight containers for up to a week (at room temperature).