It's easy to make dairy-free Rice Krispie Treats using coconut oil instead of butter. These treats are perfectly crispy and delicately chewy and make a great dessert or snack for kids and adults.
If you or one of your loved ones cannot eat dairy, this Coconut Oil Rice Krispie Treat recipe will be perfect for you.
Coconut oil can easily be swapped out for butter in our award-winning Best Rice Krispie Treat recipe. If you cook or bake with coconut oil, you already know there's a difference in flavor between virgin unrefined coconut oil and refined coconut oil.
If you don't use coconut oil often, you should know that virgin unrefined coconut oil has a stronger coconut flavor than refined coconut oil. When you make these dairy-free crispy treats using virgin coconut oil, the treats will have a slight tropical flavor.
When we had people taste-test our Vegan Rice Krispie Treats recipe (which are gluten-free too) we found most people really enjoyed the tropical flavor of the treats made using virgin coconut oil.
No one actually recognized the flavor as coconut they just thought the treats had a slightly sweeter flavor than traditional treats.
So, if you want a sweeter less buttery-flavored cereal treat, use coconut oil instead of butter.
To make dairy-free rice crispy treats that have a stronger butter flavor, you can also use dairy-free butter.
step 1: melt coconut oil and marshmallows
- Set a medium-large saucepan over LOW heat.
- Always use low heat when melting marshmallows. This will allow the marshmallows to melt slowly. If you raise the temperature, the marshmallows will get too hot. The sugar in the marshmallows will begin to caramelize turing the sugar into hard candy (instead of gooey marshmallows) which will make your coconut oil rice crispy treats too hard.
- Add ¼ cup of coconut oil to the pan and allow it to begin melting.
- Then, pour the marshmallows over top.
- Let the marshmallows begin to melt, stirring them often.
- You will notice the coconut oil does not blend with the marshmallows very well. As you stir, the coconut oil will remain in the bottom of the pan.
- Just allow the marshmallows to continue to melt.
- Once 75% of the marshmallows have melted, remove the pan from the heat.
- Stir and smash the marshmallows until melted and smooth.
- As you stir and as the marshmallows completely melt, the coconut oil will finally blend into the melted marshmallows.
- The marshmallows will feel thicker than marshmallows melted with butter making it a little more difficult to blend with the Rice Krispies Cereal but just keep stirring. They will eventually combine into one beautifully creamy marshmallow mixture.
Be sure to check out our How To Make Rice Krispie Treat FAQ page for more details about making the perfect pan of marshmallow cereal treats. If your treats are hard, soggy, or stale-tasting, we can help.
And, check out our Marshmallow Conversion Chart for detailed information about using different brands of marshmallows. We share weights and measurements for many different brands and sizes including jumbo and even s'more mallows.
step 2: mix melted coconut oil and marshmallows with Rice Krispies Cereal
- Grease a large bowl with coconut oil and pour in 4 ⅔ cups (4.66 ounces) of Rice Krispies Cereal.
- We have found it better to pour the marshmallows over a bowl of cereal instead of pouring the cereal into a hot pan.
- When you add cereal to a hot pan, it will soften the cereal making your freshly made treats taste stale.
- Pour the melted coconut oil and marshmallow mixture over the cereal.
- Stir until blended.
- It will be challenging to mix the thick marshmallows with the cereal.
- You may need to grease your hands with coconut oil and get in there and blend the marshmallows and cereal using your hands.
- Grease an 8-inch square pan with coconut oil.
- Spread the cereal treat mixture into an even layer in the pan.
step 3: let the treats cool then cut into squares
- Set the pan of coconut oil marshmallow treats aside for at least 30 minutes to cool.
- Then, remove the treats from the pan and cut into 16 squares.
step 4: store your treats
- Store your dairy-free coconut oil Rice Krispie treats in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
- Do not refrigerate your cereal treats. They will pick up odors and moisture from the fridge and taste stale quickly.
- You can freeze the treats by wrapping them well in Glad Press'n Seal, wax paper, or non-stick tin foil. Then place them in a large zip-top bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw them in the bag for at least one hour on your counter before taking them out of their packaging. This will keep them from developing beads of condensation and becoming wet.
Printable Dairy-Free Rice Krispie Treats Recipe
Coconut Oil Rice Krispie Treats
- 1 large mixing bowl
- 1 8-inch square baking pan
- 1 medium-large saucepan
- 4 ⅔ cups Rice Krispies Cereal
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 10 ounces marshmallows
- Grease an 8-inch square pan and a large mixing bowl with coconut oil.
- Pour the Rice Krispies Cereal into the greased bowl and set aside.
- Set a medium-large saucepan on the stove and add begin heating ¼ cup of coconut oil over LOW heat.
- Add the marshmallows and allow them to begin melting, stirring them often.
- Remove the pan from the heat when about 75% of the marshmallows have melted.
- Stir off heat until the coconut oil and marshmallows have thoroughly combined and are smooth and creamy.
- Pour the marshmallow mixture over the bowl of cereal and toss to combine. You may need to grease your hands to hand-mix the marshmallows and cereal until well blended.
- Spread into an even layer in the greased 8-inch pan.
- Set aside for at least 30 minutes to cool.
- Then, remove the treats from the pan and cut the treats into 16 squares.
- Use virgin unrefined coconut oil if you want your treats to have a sweeter slightly tropical flavor.
- You can use dairy-free butter if you prefer to make dairy-free treats that have a more buttery flavor.
- Be sure to use fresh marshmallows. If you use old, stale marshmallows, that have become hard, your treats will be hard too.
- Use LOW heat when melting your marshmallows. Overheated marshmallows will also produce hard Rice Krispie treats.
- Double the recipe if you want to make a 9x13-inch pan of treats.
- You can melt the marshmallows and coconut oil in the microwave on high power for one minute, stirring until melted, but you will have more control if you heat them on the stove.
- Store your treats in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
More Rice Krispie Treat Recipes
You can swap out coconut oil for butter in any of our Rice Krispie Treat Recipes including these:
I made a batch of these rice krispie treats with virgin coconut oil and LOVED THEM! They do have a slight coconut flavor which I loved. I shared them with friends and didn't tell them the treats were made using coconut oil and they all thought they were amazing. They did notice the different flavor and guessed that I added vanilla. Your ratio of coconut oil, marshmallows, and Rice Krispies is perfection!!! Thanks.
I'm so glad you and your friends enjoyed these coconut oil Rice Krispie treats!
These taste even better than treats made with butter. I love your tips about only partially melting the marshmallows. That made a huge difference. My treats were perfection!