Add a layer of rich and buttery caramel to marshmallow cereal treats then sprinkle on some salt to make this quick and easy no-bake dessert. You can make a pan of these irresistible Salted Caramel Rice Krispie Treats in about 20 minutes using just six ingredients. They might be gone that quickly too!
If you love Rice Krispie Treats and salted caramel you are going to go nuts over this recipe.
You’ll start by making a pan of our very BEST Rice Krispie Treats, then top them with gooey caramel and a sprinkling of salt flakes.
Adding a layer of caramel to marshmallow crispy bars makes the treats pretty sweet but the salt balances out all that sweetness. Plus, we always recommend you use salted butter when making our Rice Krispie Treat recipes.
If you prefer to use homemade caramel to make your treats, be sure to check out our caramel treats recipe. You’ll make homemade caramel then mix it into the cereal instead of using marshmallows. The treats have a completely different texture and taste. I’d highly recommend making that recipe too!
Let’s make Salted Caramel Rice Krispie Treats!
butter – We always recommend using salted European-style butter to make Rice Krispie Treats. This type of butter has less water and more butterfat meaning more flavor. The salt also helps to balance out the sweetness of the marshmallows and will give your treats a richer flavor.
marshmallows – Use fresh marshmallows to make your treats perfectly chewy. Treats that have expired or are hard will make hard treats. We use Jet-Puffed Marshmallows to make our treats. Some store brands are stickier making them harder to blend with the cereal.
crisp rice cereal – Use Kellogg’s Rice Krispies cereal for the best flavor and texture.
caramel – I used Werther’s Original Soft Caramels when making these treats but any caramel will work even Kraft Caramel Bits (which don’t have to be unwrapped!) No matter what brand of caramels you use, just be sure you do not overheat them as that will cause your caramel layer to be hard instead of chewy.
heavy whipping cream – Cream will help to thin out the caramel so it’s easy to spread over the pan of treats. You could use light cream, half and half or whole milk if you don’t have cream on hand.
salt flakes – If you use flakes of salt, you’ll get a nice flavor and a delicate crunch. You could also use kosher salt or sea salt.
step 1 – melt butter and marshmallows
- Set a medium saucepan over low heat.
- Add 4 tablespoons of butter to the pan. It will melt more quickly if it’s cut into pieces.
- Then, pour in 10 ounces of marshmallows.
- Heat for about five minutes, then stir.
- Continue to stir for a few more minutes until about 75% of the marshmallows have melted.
- Then, remove the marshmallows from the heat and stir vigorously until completely melted.
- By doing this, you will ensure your marshmallows do not get too hot. When you overheat the marshmallows the sugars will crystalize causing your Rice Krispie Treats to be hard instead of soft and chewy.
step 2 – mix melted marshmallows into the Rice Krispies cereal
- Pour the melted butter and marshmallows over the cereal.
- Stir until well combined.
- Then pour it into a well-greased 8-inch square pan.
- Gently press the cereal treat mixture into an even layer.
- Do NOT smash the marshmallow treats mixture into the pan. This will also cause your treats to be hard instead of soft and chewy.
step 3 – melt caramels and cream
- Unwrap your caramels.
- Cut into small pieces and place in a small saucepan.
- Pour 1 1/2 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream over the caramels. You can use light cream, half and half, or milk if you prefer.
- Heat over low heat until about half of the caramels have melted.
- Then, remove from the heat and let the caramel sit in the hot pan for a few minutes. The residual heat from the hot pan will continue to melt the caramels slowly.
- Stir until melted, reheating only if needed.
It’s important that you do not overheat the caramel. When you heat the caramels too much the sugars will crystalize causing the caramel to become hard.
step 4 – spread caramel over Rice Krispie Treats
- Spread the melted caramel over the pan of Rice Krispie treats.
- Sprinkle on a bit of salt. You can choose how much you want to use. I probably used about 1/4 teaspoon of salt flakes.
- Let the treats rest at room temperature for at least 1 hour.
- Chill for about 10-15 minutes before cutting into squares. This will help to keep the caramel firm enough to easily cut through.
Can I make these cereal treats using a microwave?
Yes. See microwave instructions in the printable recipe card below.
Can I make my salted caramel treats in a 9×13-inch pan?
Yes. See the large-batch recipe in the printable recipe card below.
How to store your salted caramel crispy treats?
- Place the salted caramel topped Rice Krispie Treats in a single layer in an airtight container.
- Store at room temperature for up to 5 days.
- Do not layer these treats. The caramel is sticky and they will stick together. I had to peel my treats apart after taking pictures of my treats.
Can you freeze Salted Caramel Rice Krispie Treats?
Yes. Simply place a single layer of Salted Caramel Rice Krispie Treats in a shallow airtight container and place in the freezer. To thaw the treats, bring the container out and set it on your counter. Do not open the container for several hours. Once the treats have come to room temperature you can open the container and remove them.
If you open the container immediately and the frozen caramel treats are exposed to warm air, beads of condensation will form on the caramel. If you allow them to warm up more slowly while in the sealed container, it should help eliminate the condensation.
NOTE: If you set a single layer of paper towels over the inside of the lid and close it in the lid so that it does not touch the caramel, this will help to wick up any condensation. Just don’t let it touch the caramel. It will stick!
Salted Caramel Rice Krispie Treats
- 1 8x8-inch square baking pan
- 1 large mixing bowl
- 1 medium saucepan
- 1 small saucepan
- 4 2/3 cups Rice Krispies cereal
- 4 tablespoons salted butter
- 10 ounces marshmallows
- 8 ounces caramel (Werther's Original Soft Caramels or any brand you like)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream (or half and half or whole milk)
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon flaked salt (or kosher salt or sea salt)
- Grease the 8-inch square pan and the mixing bowl with butter or baking spray.
- Pour the cereal into the mixing bowl.
- Begin to melt the butter in the medium saucepan over low heat.
- Add the marshmallows to the pan and allow them to melt, stirring often.
- Once 75% of the marshmallows have melted, remove the pan from the heat and stir well until completely melted. This will ensure you make perfectly chewy treats . Overheated marshmallows create hard treats.
- Pour the melted marshmallows over the crisp rice cereal and stir until well blended.
- Then, pour the rice crispy treat mixture into the greased pan.
- Gently spread it into an even layer.
- Cut the caramels into small pieces and place them in a small saucepan.
- Pour the whipping cream or milk over the caramels.
- Set the pan over low heat and allow the caramels to begin melting.
- Stir often until about half of the caramels have melted, then remove the pan from the heat and let it sit for a minute. The residual heat from the pan will continue to slowly melt the caramels.
- Stir until melted and smooth. Reheat, only if needed. This will ensure your caramel is soft and chewy not hard.
- Spread the melted caramel over the pan of Rice Krispie Treats.
- Immediately sprinkle the salt flakes over the caramel.
- Let the treats cool at room temperature for at least one hour.
- Then, chill the pan of treats in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes just to make it easier to cut through the caramel. Do not keep in the refrigerator longer than 15 minutes.
- Remove the treats from the pan and cut them into 16 squares.
storing your treats
- Store the Salted Caramel Rice Krispie Treats at room temperature for up to 5 days.
- To freeze, place in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. To thaw, set the container on the counter and let the treats thaw for a few hours before opening the container. This will keep too much condensation from forming on the caramel.
- Place the butter and marshmallows in a large microwave-safe mixing bowl.
- Heat on high power for 1 minute, then remove and stir well until the marshmallows have melted.
- Only if needed, heat for 15-second bursts of high power, stirring after each until melted. Do not overheat your marshmallows or your treats will be hard.
- Mix in the cereal then spread the mixture into your 8-inch pan.
- Combine the caramels and cream in a microwave-safe bowl.
- Heat on low power for 15-second bursts of power, stirring after each, until melted. Do not overheat the caramels or your salted caramel layer on your treats will be hard.
- Spread the melted caramel over the pan of Rice Krispie treats.
- Let the treats cool for at least 1 hour, then chill for about 10 minutes before cutting into 16 squares.
make a large batch made in a 9x13-inch panFollow the stovetop or microwave instructions above using the following ingredients.
- 6 tablespoons salted butter
- 16 ounces marshmallows
- 7 cups of crisp rice cereal
- 12 ounces caramels
- 3 ounces heavy whipping cream
More rice crispy treats you might like…
Scotheroos – chewy butterscotch peanut butter treats topped with chocolate
Honey Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats – these Rice Krispie Treats are made without marshmallows
OREO Rice Krispie Treats – gooey marshmallow cereal treats loaded with OREO Cookie pieces
Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats – the most amazing chocolate treats made with two kinds of chocolate