Delight your family and friends with these festive red and white striped Candy Cane Rice Krispie Treats this Christmas. These fun holiday desserts have the gooey goodness of classic Rice Krispie treats, with the refreshing minty flavor of candy canes.
Every Christmas Eve, my family and friends gather together for an evening of fun and food. I make all the desserts for the party and look forward to creating new recipes each year.
I particularly love dressing up rice crispy treats for the holidays. In years past, I've made Snowman Rice Krispie Treats, Grinch Rice Krispie Treats, and Santa Claus Rice Krispie Treats for the party. This year, my guests will be enjoying these cute Rice Krispie Treat Candy Canes.
These treats took some experimentation but I finally came up with a simple way to make striped treats that can be shaped into candy canes. I hope you have fun making these cute Christmas desserts for your family and friends.
Let's make some treats!
- crisp rice cereal - I always recommend using Kellogg's Rice Krispies Cereal. When we conducted our taste tests to find the very Best Rice Krispie Treat recipe, we found this cereal had the best texture and great flavor.
- salted butter - We like using European-style salted butter like Kerrygold to make marshmallow cereal treats. It has a richer flavor than American-made butter because it has more butterfat and less water (more flavor). Plus, the added salt balances out the sweetness in your treats. Taste-testers agreed!
- marshmallows - To make these treats, I used Jet-Puffed mini marshmallows for the white layers and Jet-Puffed mini peppermint marshmallows for the red layers. I wanted the treats to have a nice peppermint flavor and the marshmallows helped. Check out our Marshmallows Measurment page for tips on measuring various brands of marshmallows. We like using Jet-Puffed. They aren't too sticky like other types of marshmallows.
- Optional, peppermint extract - If you can't find the peppermint marshmallows, you can add ¼ teaspoon of peppermint extract to plain marshmallows instead.
- bright white candy melts and red candy melts - Adding candy melts to your Rice Krispie Treats will add structure so they hold their shape. Plus, they add color.
- mini candy canes - To make your treats taste like candy canes, you'll add crushed candy canes to the red layer of your treats.
- optional, red food coloring - When you melt the peppermint marshmallows and red candy melts, they'll have a nice red color but adding a few drops of red food coloring will brighten the color. If you use white marshmallows, peppermint oil, and red candy melts instead, the color will be rather dull. Add red food coloring to make the color brighter.
- two large mixing bowls (or use one and wash it in between)
- two medium-large saucepans (or use one and wash in between)
- silicone spatulas
- ½-size sheet pan 13 x 18 inches
- cutting board
- long serrated knife
Grease your mixing bowls and spatula with butter (preferable) or non-stick baking spray.
Pour 6 cups (6 ounces or 170 grams) of Rice Krispies Cereal into one bowl and pour 4 cups (4 ounces or 113 grams) of Rice Krispies Cereal into another bowl.
When measuring the cereal, DO NOT overfill your measuring cups. You don't want these treats to be too dry or the layers won't hold together.
Make the white Rice Krispie Treat layer.
Cut 4 tablespoons of salted butter into slices and place them in a medium-large saucepan. Place over LOW heat.
Let the butter begin to melt and then add 10 ounces (284 grams) of marshmallows to the pan.
Add 6 ounces (or 170 grams or 1 cup) of bright white candy melts to the marshmallows.
Stir often, until about 75% of the marshmallows and white candy melts have melted.
Then, remove the pan from the heat.
Stir until completely melted and smooth.
The residual heat in the pan will continue to melt the marshmallows and white chocolate. Overheating your marshmallows can cause your treats to be hard. It's best to remove them from the heat before they have completely melted.
If you prefer to make your treats in the microwave, be sure to check out our Microwave Rice Krispie Treat Recipe.
Pour the melted marshmallow mixture over the bowl filled with 6 cups of cereal.
Stir the marshmallow mixture and the Rice Krispies Cereal until well blended.
Grease a 13 x 18-inch pan with butter (preferable) or baking spray.
Spread the crispy mixture into the pan and flatten it into an even layer.
I used a rolling pin to get the crispy treat mixture flattened into an even layer. If you do that, don't press down too hard. You just want to flatten out any big bumps but you don't want to compact it too much or your treats will be hard.
Make the red Rice Krispie Treat layer.
Crush 7 mini candy canes (or 2 ½ regular canes) into fine crumbs using a meat mallet or hammer. I kept them in their packages and hit them a few times with a meat mallet. It worked great.
Pour the crushed candy canes into the bowl filled with 4 cups of Rice Krispies Cereal. Stir to mix the cereal and candy cane pieces.
Melt 3 tablespoons of salted butter over LOW heat.
Add 4 cups of mini Peppermint Marshmallows (204 grams).
Add 3 ounces (85 grams or ½ cup) of red candy melts.
Stir often until about 75% of the marshmallows and candy melts have melted.
Then, remove the pan from the heat and stir until completely melted.
The color should be nice and red.
If you want it to be brighter, stir in a few drops of red food coloring.
Just remember that when you mix in the cereal, this red color will dull a little.
Pour the bright red marshmallow mixture over the bowl filled with 4 cups of Rice Krispies.
Stir until well blended. You want the treats to look very red, so coat all the cereal with the red mixture.
Begin adding small amounts of the red Rice Krispie treat mixture over the white layer. Fill in all the holes.
Spread it into an even layer. Use a rolling pin to flatten it out if needed. Be sure any holes are filled in.
Remove the treats from the pan. I ran a thin plastic scraper around the edge and slid it out onto a cutting board. You can cut it in half to fit on a smaller cutting board.
Cut off ½-inch around all four sides to remove the jagged edges. Then, cut one ¾-inch strip along one of the short edges.
Set that strip on top of the treat along the edge that you just cut. Press down gently on the strip to ensure the layers stick together. Then, run your knife along the right edge of the top strip cutting the bottom layer to match the size of the strip on top.
Repeat this process attaching a total of 9 layers together.
This will get quite tall. Hold it in place until all 9 layers are stacked and then lay it down.
Repeat making a second stack.
You may have a thick strip of Rice Krispie Treat leftover. If you have enough to cut two strips, you can add another layer to your stacked treats. Otherwise, just enjoy a snack!
Cut each of the red and white layered treats into sixteen ¾-inch wide by 12 ½-inch long strips. Then, shape them into candy canes.
As you curve the striped Rice Krispie treats, compress the layers together so that they hold together at the curve. You can also smooth out the edges so your treats are smooth like real candy canes.
As I mentioned above in the ingredients section, you can use peppermint extract to flavor your treats if you cannot find peppermint marshmallows. Just use regular marshmallows in place of the peppermint marshmallows. Stir ¼ teaspoon of peppermint extract into the melted marshmallows.
You can make your candy canes using different colors like green and white or green and red.
To add even more flavor, dip part of each treat into dark or white chocolate.
See all of our festive Christmas Rice Krispie Treats. They'll make a fun addition to your holiday dessert table and also make great party favors or bake sale items.
Candy Cane Rice Krispie Treats
- 1 or 2 large mixing bowls
- 1 or 2 silicone spatulas
- 1 or 2 medium large saucepans
- 1 ½-size baking tray (13 inches by 18 inches)
- 1 long serrated bread knife
White Rice Krispie Treat Layer
- 6 cups (6 ounces or 170 grams) Rice Krispies Cereal
- 4 tablespoons salted butter (use European-style butter for best flavor)
- 10 ounces (284 grams) mini marshmallows
- 1 cup (6 ounces or 170 grams) bright white candy melts
Red Rice Krispie Treat Layer
- 4 cups (4 ounces or 113 grams) Rice Krispies Cereal
- 3 tablespoons salted butter butter
- 4 cups (7.2 ounces or 204 grams) peppermint mini marshmallows
- ½ cup (3 ounces or 85 grams) red candy melts
- 7 mini candy canes or 2 ½ large candy canes
- optional red food coloring (to make the red brighter)
- Grease your mixing bowls, silicone spatulas, and baking tray with butter (preferable) or baking spray.
White Rice Krispie Treat Layer
- Fill one of the mixing bowls with 6 cups of cereal.
- Slice the butter and begin melting it in a medium-large saucepan set over LOW heat.
- Stir in the mini marshmallows and bright white candy melts.
- Heat, stirring often, until about 75% of the marshmallows and candy wafers have melted. Then, remove the pan from the heat and stir until completely melted. This will ensure your treats are perfectly chewy, not hard.
- Pour this mixture over the bowl of cereal and stir until well combined.
- Spread this mixture into the well-greased 13-inch by 18-inch pan and flatten it into an even layer. Don't compress the layer too much, crushing the cereal, or your treats will be hard and flat.
Red Rice Krispie Treat Layer
- Pour 4 cups of Rice Krispies Cereal into a greased mixing bowl. Crush 7 mini candy canes into fine crumbs and stir into the cereal.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of salted butter over LOW heat.
- Add the mini peppermint marshmallows and red candy melts, stirring often until 75% have melted. Then, remove the pan from the heat and stir until melted. If desired, stir in a few drops of red food coloring to brighten the color.
- Pour this mixture over the cereal and stir until well combined.
- Spread the red mixture over the white layer in the pan. Flatten it into an even layer.
- Immediately, remove the large treat from the pan. Loosen the treats around the edges using a thin spatula or knife and then slide the treat out onto a large cutter board. If you don't have a large cutting board, cut the large treat in half while in the pan and then slide half out onto the cutting board.
- Cut off about ½ inch on all four sides of the treat to remove the jagged edges.
- If you haven't already, cut the large treat in half and then cut those two treats into ¾-inch wide by 12 ½-inch long strips. You'll have a little excess after you cut the strips that you can enjoy as a snack. Then, stack 9 of the strips together. You'll end up with two large red and white striped treats. Refer to the step-by-step images in the blog post for a detailed description of this step. https://howtomakecerealtreats.com/candy-cane-rice-krispie-treats/
- Now, cut those red and white striped treats into ¾-inch strips so you have 9 layers of red and white in each strip.
- Shape each of those strips into candy canes. As you curve the top edge of the candy cane, compress the treat so the layers hold together.
- Set the treats on parchment paper or wax paper and allow them to cool and firm up so that they hold their shape for about an hour.
- Serve and enjoy.