Enjoy the absolute BEST Rice Krispie Treats recipe you will ever taste. They are perfectly balanced using just the right amount of marshmallows, rice crispy cereal, and butter.
Read how we conducted a blind taste test of over 20 versions of the recipe in order to choose the Ultimate Rice Krispie Treat Recipe.
If you are looking for the very BEST Rice Krispie Treat recipe you have ever tasted, you’ve come to the right place.
I know you might be wondering:
- What could possibly make a rice crispy treat the best?
- Isn’t the recipe just 3 simple ingredients?
- How can you make this basic marshmallow cereal treat better?
I’m here to tell you that after having 20 taste testers try over 20 different versions of this recipe we have definitively found the very best rice krispie treat recipe.
This recipe makes a nicely crunchy cereal treat with just the right amount of marshmallow gooey-ness, and the most amazing, creamy, buttery, marshmallowy flavor.
Each of the 20 different rice krispie treat recipes that we tried was good. I mean, seriously what could be bad about a rice crispy treat?
But when each of our 20 taste testers compared the subtle differences in each cereal treat recipe they came to several conclusions about what makes the best rice crispy treat ever.
Some recipes and ingredients were definitely better than others and finding the right ratio of ingredients was the most important step in the process, so that is where we began.
What is the basic Rice Krispie Treat Recipe?
- The basic recipe calls for melting butter and marshmallows together then stirring in Rice Krispies Cereal, then pressing it into a pan before cutting it into squares or rectangles but the trick is to get the perfect balance of those ingredients.
- Too much cereal and the treats are dry, too many marshmallows and the treats are overly sweet and sticky. Not enough butter and the treats taste bland.
We found just the right amount of ingredients to use.
We started our search for the best rice crispy treat by trying 6 different versions of the recipe, each with varying amounts of butter and marshmallows and cereal.
For each of these recipes we used the same brand of butter, marshmallows, and cereal. Some recipes called for using a 9-inch by 13-inch pan while others used a square 8-inch or 9-inch pan.
Our tasters did not know what recipe they were trying to make the test completely unbiased.
What is the best ratio of butter, marshmallows, and rice crispy cereal?
Here are the 6 different combinations we tried:
- 3 tablespoons butter, 10 ounces marshmallows, 6 cups Rice Krispies Cereal in 9’X13″ pan
- 6 tablespoons butter, 12 ounces marshmallows, 6 cups Rice Krispies Cereal in 9’X13″ pan
- 6 tablespoons butter, 16 ounces marshmallows, 7 cups Rice Krispies Cereal in 9’X13″ pan
- 5 tablespoons butter, 8 cups mini marshmallows (13.33 ounces) plus 2 cups (3.33 ounces) mini marshmallows, 6 cups Rice Krispies Cereal in in 9’X9″ pan
- The 8 cups of marshmallows are melted and stirred into the cereal then the other 2 cups are folded in so that they don’t melt.
- 8 tablespoons butter, 16 ounces marshmallows, 9 cups Rice Krispies Cereal in 9’X13″ pan
- 6 tablespoons butter, 14 ounces marshmallows plus 2 ounces, 6 cups Rice Krispies Cereal in 9’X9″ pan
- The 14 ounces of marshmallows were melted then the 2 ounces were tossed in at the last minute.
BEST Rice Krispie Treat Recipe (ratio and pan size)
- 6 tablespoons butter, 16 ounces marshmallows, 7 cups Rice Krispies Cereal in 9″X13″ pan
- We found that this ratio was unanimously voted the favorite.
- Tasters commented on this recipe having the perfect ratio of crunch to chew, just the right thickness, and a really amazing flavor.
Can I make a smaller batch?
- If you want to make a smaller batch in an 8-inch or 9-inch pan, use 4 tablespoons butter, 10.56 ounces marshmallows, and 4 2/3 cup rice crispy cereal.
- It’s fine to just use a 10 ounce bag of marshmallows and if you find 11 ounce bags go ahead and throw them all in. It won’t make that much difference.
- If you press this into a 9-inch pan your treats will be a bit thinner than those made in an 8-inch pan.
FAQ – Be sure to check out our Cereal Treats FAQ page for detailed tips and tricks for making amazing cereal treats every time.
What taste testers did or did not like about the recipes:
There was not a single treat that the 20 taste testers found to be truly bad, but everyone had an opinion about which treats tasted the best.
- Everyone agreed that more butter and more marshmallows made for a better tasting rice krispie treat.
- They also all agreed that the original recipe with just 3 tablespoons of butter and 10 ounces of marshmallows to 6 cups of cereal produced the driest, least flavorful treat.
- Not one single one of the 20 taste testers liked the addition of the whole marshmallows in the cereal treats.
- People complained that the whole marshmallows made the treats too sweet, even if the total amount of marshmallows was similar to another treat where all the marshmallows were melted.
- They also complained that the treats felt too gummy because they were biting into too many marshmallows.
- Thickness mattered. The original treats were just too thin while some of the treats were too thick to easily bite into.
What else did we test?
Once we established the perfect ratio of ingredients we wanted to determine which brands of products made the most flavorful rice krispie treats so we cut the recipe in thirds and made small batches using the quantities below:
- 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) of butter
- 3.33 ounces of marshmallows
- 2 1/3 cups of Rice Krispies Cereal
We used a scale to measure the butter and marshmallows to ensure every single batch was the same.
We pressed the rice krispie treats into a lasagna pan that has 3 long sections, each with a removable tray that helps to lift the treats. This ensured each treat was the same thickness. Plus it made it super easy to remove the treats from the pan.
It was amazing how much difference was detected in the treats using different products.
Which butter makes the best rice krispie treats?
We started by testing five different brands of butter, both salted and unsalted. We even made a batch using vegan butter and one using virgin coconut oil.
- We found that every one of the 20 different taste testers preferred a rice krispie treat made with salted butter.
- The flavor difference between salted and unsalted butter is quite significant so we definitely recommend you use salted butter in your crispy treat recipe.
- You may be asking “can’t I just sprinkle in some salt?”
- No! We tried that. The salt did not disperse evenly throughout the treats and made the treats taste salty.
- When using salted butter you don’t taste the salt, it just makes the treats taste richer and more flavorful.
American Butter VS. European Butter
What is the difference between European Butter and American Butter?
- American butter has a higher water content than European butter.
- European butter and has a higher butterfat content than American butter.
- Butter made in Europe must have a minimum butterfat content of 82% while butter made in America only needs to have 80%.
- While that may not seem significant, when you melt the butter to make your treats, more water will be evaporated from an American butter leaving you with less butterfat, which means less flavor.
- Rice Krispie Treats made using European butter will taste richer and have a creamier texture.
What brands of butter did we use in our taste tests?
- Plugra Salted Butter
- President Salted Butter
- Land-O-Lakes, both salted and unsalted
- Land-O-Lakes, new European Style Salted Butter
- Kroger brand salted and unsalted butter
- Kroger Private Selection Creamy French Style Salted Butter
- We later tried out Kerry Gold Butter too.
We also tried:
- Miyoko’s Vegan Butter
- Kroger Private Selection Virgin Coconut Oil
Which butter did we like best in our rice crispy treats?
- Taste testers all agreed that cereal treats made using either President Salted Butter, KerryGold or Kroger Private Selection Creamy French Style Salted Butter had the best flavor.
- Treats made with Land-O-Lakes new European Style Salted Butter were also quite good rounding out our top 4.
Which butter was the loser?
- Kroger brand unsalted butter was definitely the least favorite! Only one of the 20 taste testers even liked the cereal treats made with this butter. She said it had a familiar flavor, because that is the butter she uses all the time.
What about the taste of the other butters?
- The biggest revelation was that salted butter was definitely preferred over unsalted.
- Land-O-Lakes unsalted butter was at the bottom of the pack just above Kroger unsalted but the Land-O-Lakes salted butter was in the middle and their new European Style Salted Butter fared even better.
- Plugra Salted Butter had very mixed reviews.
- Three of the taste testers thought the treats made with Plugra Butter tasted peppery, two thought they had an off flavor, while two other’s listed it as their favorite.
What about the vegan options?
- We tested a vegan butter but none of the tasters liked the flavor or texture of the treats made with this butter.
- We also made some treats using virgin coconut oil which gave the cereal treats a definite coconut flavor. Those tasters who like the flavor of coconut found this to be one of their absolute favorite treats. We’ll be sharing the recipe to make vegan rice krispie treats here soon.
If you really want to ramp up the butter flavor you can brown it to make Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats.
For the remaining of our taste tests we chose to use Kroger Private Selection French Style Butter because it is a less expensive option than President’s Butter but we highly recommend using either.
Which rice krispies to use to make cereal treats?
You might have guessed the winner here:
- Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Cereal made the best rice krispie treats
We tested three different rice crispy cereals. We used the same butter and same marshmallows so that the tasters were only comparing the cereal.
What did our tasters like and dislike about the rice crispy cereals?
- Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Cereal definitely was the favorite.
- The puffs of toasted rice stayed crispy in the cereal treats and tasters all agreed that they have outstanding flavor.
- Kroger brand cereal came in a close second but some tasters found the flavor to be a bit too bland and that the puffs of rice were not as full make the treats slightly harder.
- Target’s Market Pantry Toasted Rice cereal was a definite loser.
- Tasters complained that the treats actually cut the roof of their mouth or that they dug into their gums around the teeth. The cereal is just too crunchy and hard.
- NOTE: later we tested Walmart brand cereal and found it to be similar to the Kroger brand.
Now we had our favorite butter and favorite cereal so the only thing left to decide on was the marshmallows.
What brand of marshmallows was our favorite?
- Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallows won our taste test!
What did our tasters like and dislike about the marshmallows?
- Tasters commented that the cereal treats made using Jet-Puffed Marshmallows had a wonderful vanilla flavor without being overly sweet. They also had the perfect chew. When tasters pulled the treats apart they were gooey but not overly sticky.
- Kroger brand did great in the flavor category but tasters found the treats made with these marshmallows to be just too sticky and chewy. The treats were really dense too. The marshmallows were also much more difficult to work with. These marshmallows were so sticky that they were had to blend with the cereal.
- Dandies is a vegan marshmallow that has an amazing flavor. They are firmer than other marshmallows and are very difficult to melt. Tasters really enjoyed the flavor of the marshmallows in the treat but felt the texture of the treats was far too firm.
- In testing recipes for our vegan rice krispie treats (recipe coming soon) we preferred using the large Dandies marshmallows versus using their mini marshmallows, but that the large marshmallows needed to be cut into 4 smaller pieces in order to melt more quickly.
- These marshmallows will never melt completely and they are much more difficult to mix into the cereal. You’ll need to use your hands to get them completely mixed.
How many cups of marshmallows are in my bags?
- Each cup of mini marshmallows weighs approximately 1.67 ounces.
- A 10 ounce bag contains 6 cups of mini marshmallows.
- A 16 ounce bag contains 9 2/3 cups of mini marshmallows.
- For some reason, Kellogg’s original Rice Krispie Treat recipe says there are 4 cups of mini marshmallows in a 10 ounce bag. We’ve weighed and measured this many times and there are definitely 6 cups in 10 ounces.
Standard (large) Marshmallows:
- Each large marshmallow is approximately 0.24 ounces.
- Each brand of marshmallow weighs slightly different amounts.
- 7-8 marshmallows = 1 cup of mini marshmallows
- There are approximately 40-48 marshmallows in a 10 ounce bag and 64-70 in a 16 ounce bag.
- Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallows are lighter than some other brands. If using them you’ll need 40 marshmallows for a recipe calling for 10 ounces and 64 for a 16 ounce recipe.
What about Dandies Vegan Marshmallows?
- Dandies Marshmallows are twice as heavy as traditional marshmallows.
- Each weighing in at about 0.4 ounces.
- There are 24 marshmallows in a 10 ounce bag.
What about adding vanilla?
Once we had found the absolute best rice krispie treat recipe using European-style salted butter, Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Cereal, and Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallows, we decided to see if adding vanilla would enhance the flavor.
We got very mixed reviews:
- Some of our tasters loved the addition of the vanilla finding both pure vanilla extract and vanilla bean paste gave the cereal treats an enhanced vanilla flavor. Some ranked these treats as their absolute favorite.
- While other’s complained that the vanilla flavor overwhelmed the other yummy rice krispie treat flavors. Some went so far as to say that the vanilla ruined the treats.
Tasters were so divided on this that we have decided to leave this up to your own taste buds. If you really want an intense vanilla flavor then add 1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste to your treats.
Other mix ins:
You can add so many different mix-ins into your cereal treats. Why not try:
- Reese’s Cup Rice Krispie Treats
- S’mores Rice Krispie Treats
- OREO Rice Krispie Treats
- Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats
You can have fun making cute shapes for holidays and special occasions, like…
How to make the BEST Rice Krispie Treats?
Stove top method:
- Combine the butter and marshmallows in a saucepan and heat on low heat, stirring often, until about 75% of the marshmallows are melted.
- Remove the pan from the heat and continue to stir, smashing the marshmallows using a rubber spatula or the back of a wooden spoon, until the marshmallows completely melt and become smooth.
- Stir in the Rice Krispies cereal or pour the marshmallows over the cereal and toss to combine. Either way works fine.
- Pour into a well buttered 9″X13″ pan.
- Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting into rectangles or squares.
- Combine the butter and marshmallows in a large microwave safe bowl.
- Heat on high power for 1 minute then remove and stir until the melted butter blends with the marshmallows.
- Keep stirring until the marshmallows melt.
- If needed, reheat for 15-30 second increments, stirring after each until the marshmallows are fully melted.
- Stir in the rice crispy cereal then spread into a well buttered 9 by 13 inch pan.
- Give the cereal treats time to cool before cutting.
- Every microwave is different so use these instructions as a guide.
- Be cautious not to overheat the marshmallows as they may burn.
- Also if you get the marshmallows too hot you end up with hard, rather than chewy, rice krispie treats.
- Keep stirring the marshmallows to see if they will melt fully before heating them again.
- When you watch the video below you will notice that the marshmallows do not even look melted when they come out of the microwave but with consistent stirring they do melt fully.
Watch this video to see how you can make perfect Rice Krispie Treats using the microwave method.
Make the best rice krispies bars…
Did you make this recipe and think it was great or do have any questions? Leave a comment below and don’t forget to rate the recipe using the star rating system.
Best Rice Krispie Treat Recipe
Rice Krispie Treat Recipe
- 6 tablespoons European salted butter, cut into small pieces
- 16 ounces Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallows
- 7 cups Kellogg's Rice Krispies Cereal
- Grease a 9 inch by 13 inch pan with butter.
- Combine the butter and marshmallows in a large microwave safe mixing bowl.
- Heat in the microwave for 1 minute then remove and stir until melted.
- If needed, heat for additional 30 second increments stirring after each until melted.
- Stir in the Rice Krispie Cereal and press gently into an even layer in the buttered pan.
Stove Top Instructions
- Combine the butter and marshmallows in a large saucepan.
- Heat over low heat, stirring often, until melted.
- Stir in rice crispy cereal then spread into the buttered pan.
- Let the cereal treats cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting into 18 rectangles.
How to store marshmallow cereal treats?
- Your cereal treats will taste best if eaten within the first few days but they will stay crispy and fresh for up to a week if stored properly in an airtight container or large zip top bag.
- Using salted butter helps to increase the shelf life of a rice krispie treat.
- Do not refrigerate the treats as they may become soggy and soft.
- You may freeze your cereal treats for up to 3 months.
- Wrap the treats in plastic wrap or Glad Press ‘n Seal, then over wrap them in tin foil. Place them in a zip top bag and freeze.
- To thaw, remove the cereal treats from the freezer and let them sit, unwrapped, on the counter for at least 1 hour before unwrapping.
- You can wrap the entire pan of treats or wrap individual treats depending on how you want to use them later.
Now that you have a basic recipe you can use it to make other versions of these cereal treats.