The absolute best recipe for Rice Krispie Treats! They are such an easy no-bake treat, but somehow also easy to mess up. (Say no to rock-hard krispie treats!) I’ve got all the tips and tricks you need to make the gooiest, softest, marshmallow-stretch-iest Rice Krispie Treats of your life!

homemade rice krispie treats

I am not a crafty person. Pinterest is only interesting to me for the recipes. (As Jacqueline eloquently states in Ever After: “I’m only here for the food.”)

I think I was supposed to be a mom back in the 90s, when it was normal for a kid birthday party to consist of nothing but pizza, screaming, and cake. That’s all I remember from my birthday parties as a kid anyway.

best rice krispie treat recipe, shot from overhead

But noOoOo. Birthday parties nowadays have to be all “Instagram-worthy.”

So, trying my best to make fun memories for my kids, I decided to make homemade invitations to my daughter’s birthday party. It’s Rapunzel themed, and Pinterest said it would be cute to braid some yellow yarn and glue it on.

the best rice Krispie Treats on parchment paper, cut into bar

But I’m also super cheap, and all I had in the house was twine. Twine is kind of blonde-ish, right?

Apparently twine is a little TOO close to natural blonde. I posted this picture on Instagram and got tons of messages. “Did you cut off your daughter’s braid for her birthday invitation??”

pulling a rice crispy treat away with fingers

People probably think I’m a serial killer you guys. No, I did not cut off my daughter’s braid!! Gah! But…I can kind of see why they were confused. Hashtag 90s mom at heart. I think it’s time to start buying party invitations instead of making them, clearly it is not my forte.

Rice Krispie Treats: it’s time to get this right

But you know what is my forte?? These bad boys.

marshmallow stretch from rice krispie treat

Be honest: how many bad rice crispy treats have you had in your life? It’s a tragedy, right?

One time when I was a kid in Sunday school, my dear teacher brought rice krispie treats for us to eat after class. I happened to have a loose tooth that day, and the rice krispies were so hard and dry that I lost my tooth trying to bite into it.

pulling a square of rice crispies away from the others

Ever since then I have been very suspicious of other people’s rice krispie treats. I do the bend test every time. If I can bend it pretty easily, I’ll eat it. If it’s too stiff, PASS. I don’t want to lose any more teeth thankyouverymuch. You know if it’s nice and bendy, there is at least a decent ratio of buttery-marshmallow to crispy rice.

How to make the best Rice Krispie Treats

So how to get this nice bendy, stretchy, marshmallow-glory texture? It’s all in the ratio! Too much crispy rice, and your rice Krispies will be dry. Too much marshmallow and your Rice Krispie Treats won’t hold their shape. Too much butter and they will just be straight up greasy. You would not think that a 3 ingredient basic recipe could go so wrong, but it totally can! I’ve got the missing baby tooth to prove it.

a parchment paper lined pan, and marshmallows melting in a pot

Spray the spatula with nonstick spray!

After a few tests, the ratio I settled on is as follows:

  • 1/2 cup butter (4 ounces)
  • 16 ounces marshmallow (8 cups mini)
  • 7 cups Rice Krispies (7 ounces)

This is the perfect amount of marshmallow to crunchy rice. The resulting bars hold their shape, but they are supremely gooey. Like, your fingers will be sticky when you eat them. When you bite into them, the marshmallow stretch may or may not get on your chin. This is not an apology.

mini marshmallows melting in a big pot with a spatula stirring it

Some good things to know, if you would like to play around with your own rice krispie treats ratio:

1 cup mini marshmallows = 2 ounces

1 cup crispy rice cereal = 1 ounce

Extracts: the secret to the best flavor

I love adding vanilla extract to my rice krispie treats. It enhances the flavor of the marshmallows and gives it this beautiful fragrance. But sometimes I like to take it a step even further: In addition to vanilla I add a little almond extract and coconut extract.

melted marshmallows with vanilla, crispy rice poured in

This might sound like too much to you, but I swear by it. These are the secret ingredients to my favorite Buttercream Frosting for Sugar Cookies, too. The combination of vanilla and just a little almond and coconut gives it this amazing flavor profile! You can leave out the almond and coconut if you like, but don’t skip the vanilla. It’s a powerhouse of flavor!

Rice Krispie mix-ins: an abomination

Okay, I’m exaggerating! There is a time and a place for mix-ins, like these Cranberry Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats.

crispy rice and marshmallow mixed together in a pot, then being poured in a pan

I found a ton of recipes that call for leaving out a cup of mini marshmallows and stirring it in with the rice at the end, so you have little mini marshmallows studded throughout your rice krispies. But I’m a purist. No mix-ins in my original rice krispie treats please. Just give it to me straight. I don’t like whole marshmallows in my ice cream, and I don’t like them in my rice krispies either. (Give me a marshmallow swirl any day.)

But if you like it, I’m not here to judge you. Just make sure to add an EXTRA amount of mini mallows, don’t take mallows from the amount called for in the recipe.

pouring rice crispies in a pan, pressing it down with hands

Do not pack your rice crispie treats too hard! GENTLY maneuver them into the shape of the pan.

I tried this recipe as-is in a square pan and also in a 9×13 inch pan. Both work great! Each bar will be thicker in a square pan. I prefer 9×13.

the best rice krispie treats with marshmallow stretch

General tips for making rice krispie treats:

  • Use parchment paper to line the pan.
  • Use fresh marshmallows, not ones from the back of the cupboard. This really makes a difference in the texture of your rice krispies!
  • Use salted butter. If you don’t have any, add an extra 1/4 teaspoon salt. Salt balances out the sweetness!
  • Use vanilla (and almond and coconut extracts, if you like) to enhance flavor. This is crucial!
  • Use wet or greased hands to press them into the pan.
  • Don’t pack your rice krispie treats into the pan too hard. If you pack them really tight, they will end up too compacted to bite into easily. You just want to gently maneuver them into the shape of the pan and then let them be.

How long does it take for Rice Krispie treats to harden?

Not too long! It takes about an hour for them to cool off completely after melting on the stove. But you can start digging in after 20-30 minutes if you don’t mind an extra gooey rice krispie. Who would mind that??

homemade rice Krispie Treats being pulled away from the pan with fingers

I hope you get a chance to make these soon! Maybe I will make these rice krispie treats for the birthday party. Do you think that will make everyone forget about the creepy braid incident??

More no bake treats you are going to love!

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The Softest, Gooiest Rice Krispies Ever

Yields 12     adjust servings

The absolute best recipe for Rice Krispie Treats! They are such an easy no-bake treat, but somehow also easy to mess up. (Say no to rock-hard krispie treats!) I've got all the tips and tricks you need to make the gooiest, softest, marshmallow-stretch-iest Rice Krispie Treats of your life!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup salted butter (1 stick)
  • 16 ounces fresh marshmallows (8 cups mini)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon coconut extract, optional
  • 7 cups Rice Krispies cereal

Instructions

  1. Prepare a 9x13 inch pan with nonstick spray, or line with parchment paper. I prefer to use parchment paper so that I can lift the bars out when they are done, for easy slicing.
  2. In a large pot, melt 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter over medium heat until melted. Use a spatula to spread the butter up the sides of the pot a little bit.
  3. Add 16 ounces of fresh marshmallows. (Fresh meaning not a bag from the back of your pantry that you bought last year. Fresh marshmallows make for the softest rice krispies!) You can use large or mini marshmallows, they are the same. You will need 8 cups of mini marshmallows.
  4. Stir the marshmallows over medium heat. I like to use a rubber spatula that I've sprayed with nonstick spray, because things are about to get real sticky.
  5. When the marshmallows are completely melted and there are no lumps, remove from heat.
  6. Add 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, and 1/4 teaspoon coconut extract. Stir it all together.
  7. Add 7 cups of crispy rice cereal. 1 cup of crispy rice is exactly 1 ounce, so you need 7 ounces total.
  8. Use the rubber spatula to stir it all together. Spray a new rubber spatula with nonstick spray if the other one gets too coated. Work quickly: as the marshmallow cools down, it makes it harder to stir.
  9. Pour the rice krispies into the prepared 9x13 inch pan. Get your hands wet, shake them off (you can also spray your hands with nonstick spray), and use your hands to GENTLY press the rice krispies into the pan. DO NOT press them down really hard. This makes your Rice Krispies hard to bite into! You just want to press them down into the shape of the pan. Be gentle!
  10. Let the rice krispies cool at room temperature for about an hour, or even less time if you don't mind ultra-gooey bars.
  11. Lift the parchment paper from the pan. Use a knife to cut the rice krispies into squares.
  12. Store any leftovers tightly sealed on the counter. They do not need to be refrigerated. They will last on the counter between 3-5 days before getting dried out. I do not recommend freezing rice crispies; the cereal gets wet and soggy from the moisture as it thaws.

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If you make this recipe, share it on Instagram using the hashtag #TheFoodCharlatan so I can see it!