These easy-to-make brown butter rice krispie treats are gooey, buttery, and packed with nutty brown butter flavor. The addition of a little extra butter and marshmallows, and toasting the crispy rice cereal packs tons of extra flavor!

Brown butter rice krispie treats on brown parchment paper with mini marshmallows scattered around.

Today I’m sharing a few of my bakery secrets to making the best homemade rice krispie treats that are rich, buttery, extra gooey, and super marshmallow-y!

These brown butter rice krispie treats completely blow away the classic Kellogg’s brand. I’ve been told by many recipe testers that they are the best rice krispie treats they’ve ever had!!

If you love browned butter recipes, try our brown butter banana bread, brown butter snickerdoodles, and brown butter blondies next!

Why We Love Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats

  • An elevated and more flavorful homemade version of classic rice krispie treats.
  • Made with brown butter and toasted rice cereal for extra toasty flavor.
  • Pockets of gooey marshmallows in every bite.
  • No artificial sweeteners!
  • A fun treat that’s quick and easy to make to serve a crowd.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

Ingredients needed to make homemade rice krispie treats in bowls with labels.

Vanilla bean paste: A more concentrated form of vanilla extract that packs a fresh vanilla punch! This ingredient helps elevate the krispies into bakery-worthy treats. Use regular vanilla extract in substitution.

Mini marshmallows: I don’t recommend using large marshmallows because they take forever to melt. 

European butter: A high-fat butter that gives every bite a rich and buttery flavor. If you prefer a less buttery flavor, American unsalted butter can be used!

Crispy rice cereal: You’ll see this in the cereal aisle as Rice Krispies, Crispy Rice Cereal, or Puffed Rice Cereal. Use any leftovers to make krispie cookie dough bars!

Salt: Adding a pinch of sea salt balances the sweetness so they aren’t overly sweet like the store-bought version.

Find the full list of ingredients, measurements, and instructions in the recipe card below!

Variations

The best part of making homemade rice krispie treats is they are completely versatile! Here are a few swaps and additions you can make:

  • Use chocolate rice krispies and dip or drizzle half of the squares in melted chocolate.
  • Substitute the crispy rice cereal for Golden Grahams.
  • Add toffee bits, chocolate chips, chopped nuts, or even dried fruits!

Recipe Instructions

Instructions for Browning Butter

I’ve included directions for browning the butter below, but feel free to review my how to brown butter page, which has tons of tips and tricks!

Step 1: Melt the butter. In a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, melt the butter, stirring occasionally. (Image 1 below)

Step 2: Stir constantly. The butter will start to sizzle, pop, and bubble intensely (Image 2 below)Stand by and watch it carefully!

A step by step collage of the steps for making brown butter for the rice crispy treats.

Step 3: Look for a golden color. After a few minutes, the butter will foam intensely, have a nutty aroma, and turn a golden yellow color. (Image 3 above).

Step 4: Take it off the heat. As soon as there are amber-brown bits on the bottom of the pan (Image 4 above), stir in the marshmallows (Step 3 below).

How to Make the Rice Krispie Treats

A square pan lined with parchment paper.

Step 1: Prepare the pan. Line a 9×9 pan with a piece of parchment paper to cover all four sides. Alternatively, generously butter or use cooking spray on the pan.

A baking pan with the golden brown crispy rice cereal on it.

Step 2: Toast the crispy rice cereal. Spread the cereal onto an unlined baking sheet and toast it under the broiler stirring every minute, until golden brown.

A dutch oven with the melted marshmallows mixed with the melted brown butter.

Step 3: Melt the marshmallows. After browning the butter, turn the heat to low and stir in the mini marshmallows, vanilla bean paste, and salt. Stir until the marshmallows are melted and combined with the brown butter. 

A rubber spatula folding the crispy rice cereal into the brown butter and melted marshmallow mixture.

Step 4: Mix in the toasted cereal. Turn the heat off and mix the toasted cereal into the marshmallow mixture.

An up close shot of the rice krispie mixture after adding in the extra marshmallows to show their gooey texture.

Step 5: Fold in the extra marshmallows. Fold in the extra mini marshmallows until they are half melted. This is key to gooey pockets of marshmallows!

A hand using a butter wrapper to press the rice krispie mixture into the prepared pan.

Step 6: Press the rice krispie mixture into a pan. Use the reserved butter wrappers to press the cereal mixture into the pan gently. Don’t pack it or they will end up more crunchy than chewy!

Let set for at least 30 minutes, then cut into squares with a sharp knife.

Tips for the Best Rice Krispie Treats

  • Don’t pack the rice crispy treats down into the baking pan. This will result in a soft and chewy texture that melts in your mouth! If you prefer a firmer texture like the storebought version, you can compact it more into the pan.
  • Save your butter wrappers! Instead of buttering your hands, use the wrappers to press the mixture into the pan.
  • Use high-quality butter and brown it gently to extract maximum flavor without burning. This small yet crucial step enhances the flavor of your brown butter rice krispie treats!
  • Add extra marshmallows at the end. This extra step gives you pockets of gooey marshmallows in every bite, just like bakery versions!
  • Don’t overcook the marshmallows. Gentle heat is key! Overcooking can lead to a dry texture.
  • Use fresh ingredients. Stale cereal or hard marshmallows will yield hard and stale-tasting marshmallow treats.

Storage and Freezing

Proper storage is crucial to maintaining the chewy texture. Here’s the best way to store them:

Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 1 week. If you’re stacking multiple layers in the container, place sheets of parchment paper between the layers to prevent them from sticking together.

Room temperature vs. Fridge: To keep them soft and chewy, rice krispie treats are best stored at room temperature. However, you may consider refrigerating them. Just allow them to come to room temperature before serving!

Freezing: I don’t recommend freezing them because the texture of the marshmallow hardens and when defrosted, is not the same! However, you can still freeze them for later if desired. When ready to enjoy, allow them to thaw at room temperature.

FAQs

How do you keep rice krispie treats soft?

Store them in an airtight container or wrap them tightly with plastic wrap to retain moisture. I also recommend avoiding refrigeration, especially for long periods, as it can lead to a drier texture.

What is the easiest way to cut rice krispie treats?

You should be able to cut them with a sharp knife on a cutting board with no problem. However, if the knife is sticking to the marshmallow you can rub it with some butter to keep it from sticking.

Why are my rice krispie treats hard?

A few possible reasons include: the marshmallows being heated too long or at too high a temperature, the mixture being compacted into the pan, or the marshmallows and cereal used being stale.

Can I double the recipe and press it into a 9×13 pan?

Yes. Make sure you have a pot that’s large enough to hold the entire mixture!

Do I have to toast the cereal in the oven?

You don’t have to, but I highly recommend it! I tested this recipe with toasted and non-toasted cereal and toasting it brings out the nuttiness of the rice cereal, complimenting the brown butter flavor.

Three rice krispie squares on their sides on parchment paper to show the gooey marshmallow texture.

More Brown Butter Recipes

If you tried this or any other recipe on my website, please let me know how it went in the comments below, I love hearing from you! Also, please leave a star rating while you’re there! You can also tag me on Instagram or Facebook so I can check it out!

Brown butter krispie treats on brown parchment paper surrounded by mini marshmallows.

Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats

5 from 6 votes

These easy-to-make brown butter rice krispie treats are sweet, gooey, buttery, and packed with nutty brown butter flavor. The addition of a little extra butter and marshmallows, and toasting the crispy rice cereal packs tons of extra flavor!
Print Recipe Save Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 16 squares

Equipment

  • 9×9 pan *See notes for other pan sizes*
Need Metric Measurements?Use the button options below to toggle between US cups and Metric grams!

Ingredients 
 

  • 7 cups mini marshmallows, divided
  • 6 cups crispy rice cereal
  • 14 tablespoons unsalted European butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, substitute vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Instructions

  • Prepare the baking pan. Line a 9×9 pan with parchment paper to cover all four sides, or generously butter or spray with nonstick spray.
  • Divide the marshmallows. Set aside 1 1/2 cups of the mini marshmallows for folding in at the end.
    7 cups (13 oz) mini marshmallows
  • Toast the crispy rice cereal. Spread the crispy rice cereal onto an unlined baking sheet and toast under the broiler, stirring every minute, until golden brown. Watch it VERY carefully so that it doesn’t burn! The top will turn golden brown quickly, then after stirring, it will only take another minute for it to brown again. Keep repeating this process until all of the cereal is browned.
    6 cups (6 oz) crispy rice cereal
  • Make the brown butter. In a large Dutch oven or pot, cook the butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally, while it sizzles, foams, bubbles, and pops. Stand nearby and watch it so that it doesn't burn. Once the milk solids at the bottom of the pan are amber-brown, turn the heat off. Pro tip- save the butter wrappers to use later!!
    14 tablespoons (196 grams) unsalted European butter
  • Melt the marshmallows. Add the 5 1/2 cups of mini marshmallows, salt, and vanilla bean paste and stir until the marshmallows are completely melted and combined with the brown butter.
    1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Mix in the toasted cereal. Take the pan off the heat and mix the cereal into the marshmallow mixture.
  • Fold in extra marshmallows. Once combined, fold in the reserved 1 1/2 cup mini marshmallows until they are starting to melt but not completely melted. This is key to gooey pockets of marshmallows!
  • Press the rice krispie mixture into a pan. Use a reserved butter wrapper to gently press the rice krispy mixture into the pan. For a firm texture similar to store-bought rice crispy treats, compact it into the pan. For a soft and gooey texture, don’t compact it!
  • Let set before cutting. Let the krispie treats firm at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, then use a sharp knife to cut them into big or little squares. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

Doubling the recipe: Double the recipe measurements and press it into a 9×13 baking pan. Make sure you have a big enough pot to cook everything!
Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 1 week. If you’re stacking multiple layers in the container, place sheets of parchment paper between the layers to prevent them from sticking together.
Room temperature vs. Fridge: To keep them soft and chewy, rice krispie treats are best stored at room temperature. However, you may consider refrigerating them. Just allow them to come to room temperature before serving!
Freezing: I don’t recommend freezing them because the texture of the marshmallow hardens and when defrosted, is not the same! However, you can still freeze them for later if desired. When ready to enjoy, allow them to thaw at room temperature.
Serving: 1serving | Calories: 185kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 169mg | Potassium: 13mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 306IU | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 0.3mg

The calorie information provided for the recipe is an estimate. The accuracy of the calories listed is not guaranteed.

The calorie information provided for the recipe is an estimate. The accuracy of the calories listed is not guaranteed.

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Recipe Rating




5 Comments

  1. Cambrea you beautiful genius, I’ve made these twice now. I don’t have a broiler, so I sauteed my rice krispies in a nonstick pan over medium heat, tossing to get even, controlled browning. It worked really well and didn’t take long (10mins) but had to do it in 2-cup batches. I accidentally used an 8×8 instead of a 9×9 so I did what we’re all doing these days and pressed the extra into a nonstick muffin tin, about halfway up. I got 9 hocky puck treats that looked great on a platter for the family to gobble up.5 stars

    1. That is such a great idea to toast it on the stove! Alternately, you could toast them at 350F and just keep an eye on them. Thank you so much for coming back to leave a review I appreciate it so much! 🙂

  2. Jazmine conterras says:

    Loved this! The brown butter makes such a difference.5 stars

  3. These are the best rice krispie treats I’ve ever eaten in my life! Do NOT skip toasting the cereal. The first time we skipped it but oh my gosh it completely changes the flavor!5 stars