Microwave Rice Krispie Treats

4.98 from 42 votes
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This Rice Krispie Treat recipe is foolproof! They never come out hard or dry, and it is less mess than making them over the stove!

Three rice krispie treats stacked up on a blue checkered cloth
Featured with this Recipe
  1. Ingredients in Rice Krispie Treats
  2. Secret to Perfect Rice Krispie Treats
  3. Gluten-Free Tips
  4. Sweet Variations and Add-ins
  5. Tips for Making Microwave Rice Krispie Treats
  6. Storage Tips
  7. Frequently Asked Questions
  8. More Rice Krispie Recipes You Will Love
  9. How to Make Rice Krispie Treats
  10. Rice Krispie Treats (5-Minute Microwave Recipe) Recipe

Rice Krispie Treats are one of my kids’ favorite snacks, and I can’t blame them. I love this sweet treat too! However, sometimes they can be kind of a pain to make. When my friend Heidi told me about her easy method, I knew I had to try it! Now, she’s letting me share her secret with you– you can make them in the microwave! Not only is it easier than the stovetop method, they actually turn out BETTER. They are soft and chewy every time. Thanks Heidi!

Ingredients in Rice Krispie Treats

Even though there are only 3 ingredients in a homemade Rice Krispie treat, it is the perfect ratio and texture.

  1. Salted butter – if using unsalted butter, add a pinch of salt to the recipe
  2. Mini marshmallows
  3. Crispy rice cereal (i.e. Rice Krispies Cereal or puffed rice cereal)

Secret to Perfect Rice Krispie Treats

Is there anything worse than hard, dry, crunchy Rice Krispie Treats? Why does this happen? The answer is in how the marshmallows are cooked. When you melt the butter and marshmallows over the stove, the marshmallows have a tendency to get too hot. If the marshmallows cook too long, the texture of the sugar changes and your treats will turn out hard and dry. Cooking them in the microwave allows you to control the temperature better and cooks it at a low heat. Another tip for keeping your crispy rice treats soft and chewy is to use fresh bags of mini marshmallows. Don’t grab the bag that has been sitting in the back of your cupboard. Trust me, fresh marshmallows make a huge difference in the texture!

Two hands pulling apart a rice krispie treat with gooey marshmallow stretching in between the two pieces


Gluten-Free Tips

With some newly discovered gluten allergies in our family, we are always trying to be aware of gluten-free foods. If you are wondering if Rice Krispie treats are gluten-free, it depends on the brand of cereal. There is barley present in Kellogg’s brand, which contains gluten. Years ago there was a gluten-free Kellogg’s Rice Krispies cereal but it has since been discontinued. You can find generic brands of “crispy rice cereal” that are gluten-free. Malt-O-Meal is a brand that makes a gluten-free crispy rice cereal, and it works great in this recipe.

Sweet Variations and Add-ins

This is a no-frills, basic recipe, but feel free to take them to the next level and add anything you would like to them including:

  • Chocolate Chips: Semi-sweet, white, or dark chocolate chips can be mixed in for a gooey, chocolatey treat.
  • Peanut Butter: Incorporate creamy or crunchy peanut butter for a classic peanut butter and cereal combination.
  • M&Ms: Colorful M&M candies add a pop of color and sweetness to your treats.
  • Reese’s Pieces and/or Mini Peanut Butter Cups: Try some different Reese’s candies for a crunchy chocolate & peanut butter combo
  • Nuts: Chopped nuts like almonds, pecans, or peanuts provide a satisfying crunch and extra protein.
  • Candy sprinkles: Rainbow sprinkles make your treats visually appealing and fun.
  • Mini Marshmallows: Toss in some mini marshmallows to create pockets of gooey goodness.
  • Caramel: Drizzle or swirl caramel sauce into your treats for a sweet and sticky addition.
  • Cookie Pieces: Crushed Oreo cookies or other favorite cookies can be mixed in for a cookies-and-cream variation.
  • Flavored Extracts: A few drops of vanilla, caramel, or butter extract can infuse your treats with extra flavor.
  • Toffee Bits: Heath bar toffee bits or similar candies bring a buttery, toffee flavor and texture.
  • Cereal Variations: Use different cereals like Fruity Pebbles, Cocoa Krispies, Reese’s Puffs or Cheerios for unique flavors and colors.
  • Spices: Add a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, or pumpkin spice for a warm, cozy flavor.
  • Coconut Flakes: Toasted coconut flakes add a tropical flair and a delightful crunch.
  • Pretzels: Crushed pretzels can provide a salty contrast to the sweetness.
  • Candy corn – A fun addition for Halloween
  • Cadbury mini eggs – Our favorite add in around Easter
A Rice Krispie treat next to a pan of Rice Krispie treats.

Tips for Making Microwave Rice Krispie Treats

Making Rice Krispie treats in the microwave is quick and easy. Here are some tips to ensure they turn out perfectly:

  1. Use Fresh Ingredients: Make sure your marshmallows and Rice Krispies are fresh and not stale for the best results.
  2. Use a Microwave-Safe Bowl: Choose a large microwave-safe bowl to prevent overflowing and make stirring easier. If you don’t have a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the marshmallows and butter in a medium-sized bowl and place rice krispies in a large bowl.
  3. Microwave in Short Intervals: Heat the marshmallows and butter in 30-second intervals, stirring between each interval. This prevents overheating and burning. Remove from microwave when the marshmallows are JUST melted.
  4. Stir Well: Stir the marshmallows and butter mixture with a rubber spatula until it’s completely smooth before adding the cereal. This will help make sure your treats have a consistent texture.
  5. Coat Your Utensils: Grease your spoon or spatula (or hands) with butter or cooking spray to prevent the mixture from sticking to them.
  6. Work Quickly: Once you add the Rice Krispies, work quickly to combine everything. The mixture can set fast.
  7. Press Firmly: When transferring the mixture to a pan, press it down firmly with a greased spatula or your hands to create dense, chewy bars.
  8. Add Mix-Ins: If you want to add chocolate chips, nuts, or other mix-ins, fold them in quickly after mixing in the cereal. See more add-in ideas above.
  9. Let Them Cool: Allow the treats to cool and set in the pan for about 30 minutes before cutting into squares. This helps them hold their shape. Though these can be served immediately, they taste best when cooled to room temperature.
  10. Store Properly: Once they’ve cooled, store the Rice Krispie treats in an airtight container to keep them fresh.

Remember that microwave wattages can vary, so be attentive to prevent overheating, and you may need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Storage Tips

To keep your crispy treats fresh and chewy, you can cut them up and put them in an air-tight container, placing wax paper or parchment between each layer. This is the way we like to store them whenever we go camping or for a picnic, It cuts down on plastic wrap. You can also store them right in the pan with plastic wrap over the top, or you can cut them into squares and wrap each individually.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I refrigerate Rice Krispie Treats?

It is not necessary to refrigerate your Rice Krispie treats after preparing. Refrigerating them could make them get too hard or even dry out. They can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to two days (see storage tips above).

How long does it take for Rice Krispie Treats to harden?

When you microwave them, they don’t take quite as long to cool. They will cool down and harden a little after 30-40 minutes.

How many cups are in a box of rice cereal?

A 12 oz. box has about 10 cups, so for this recipe you will use just one cup less than a full box.

Can I use coconut oil instead of butter?

YES, and it is a delicious substitution! Just use the same amount of coconut oil as you would butter. We actually make this substitution often and include coconut flakes and chocolate chips.

Do you bake Rice Krispie treats?

Nope, this is a no bake dessert. You just press them into a baking pan for shaping and cooling.

READ NEXT: Easy Dessert Recipes

More Rice Krispie Recipes You Will Love

If you are looking for Rice Krispie treats that are a step beyond the basic recipe, try some of these tasty variations!

How to Make Rice Krispie Treats

Two hands pulling apart a rice krispie treat with gooey marshmallow stretching in between the two pieces

Rice Krispie Treats (5-Minute Microwave Recipe)

4.98 from 42 votes
This Rice Krispie Treat recipe is foolproof! They never come out hard or dry, and it is less mess than making them over the stove!
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 15

Video

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup salted butter if using unsalted butter, add a dash of salt to the recipe
  • 16 ounces mini marshmallows
  • 9 cups crispy rice cereal (i.e. Rice Krispies Cereal)

Instructions

  • Place butter and marshmallows in a LARGE microwave-safe bowl.
  • Microwave on high for 1 minute. Remove bowl from microwave and stir. Return bowl to microwave and microwave another 30 seconds. Stir again until marshmallows and butter are completely melted together. You only want it JUST melted.
  • Fold in rice cereal until well combined.
  • Place mixture in a greased 9×13 dish and press down evenly (spray a little cooking spray on your hands to prevent sticking). Allow to cool before serving.

Notes

Recipe Tips

  • If you don’t have a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the marshmallows and butter in a medium-sized bowl and place rice krispies in a large bowl.
  • Add the melted marshmallow mixture to the rice krispies instead of adding the rice krispies to the marshmallows.  See video for clarification.
  • Though these can be served immediately, they taste best when cooled to room temperature.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 193kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 1gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 79mgPotassium: 13mgFiber: 1gSugar: 17gVitamin A: 190IUCalcium: 4mgIron: 0.4mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her three beautiful girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

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Comments

    1. I haven’t ever used the big marshmallows to make Rice Krispies so I am not sure. I think they would take a lot longer to melt than the little ones.

    2. 5 stars
      You can. It is then by ounces, just like the minis. If you cut them up and use them it is easier. Good luck!

  1. This recipe use to call for 6-7 cups of rice crispies, and 1/2 cup of butter, why is it 9 cups now? can anyone clue me in?

    1. Yea. It still is 6 cups for Rice Krispies It says so right in the bag if jet marshmallows and also on the box of Kellogg’s Rice Krispies

      Also the original recipe calls for (uses) large mash mellows. It wasn’t till the 2000’s did we start using mini (which are much easier and come out more consistent). But yes, you can still find the original recipe and it shows 4TBS butter 5 cups marshmallows (regular size) 6 cups cereal
      Either the mini marshmallows its 3TBS butter 5-5 1/2 cups mini marshmallows 6 cups cereal

  2. 5 stars
    Just a reminder to anyone making this… You need a huge bowl. My normal mixing bowl (16 cups) was too small. Aside from that, the recipe was super easy and very yummy! I will be making these every year!

  3. 5 stars
    We only had large marshmallows, so we quartered them with kitchen scissors. They turned out very soft.
    Thank you for the recipe.

  4. I put mini colored marshmallows right from the bag and pressed them on the top when they were still warm

  5. Marshmallows now come in 10oz bags, do you have a recipe for 1 bag. Loved this recipe, just would like to size it down

    1. On the back of the box it now says 3 Tbs of butter, 10 oz or four cups mini marshmallows and six cups of cereal.

    2. I make a single serving melting 1 Tbs butter and 1 c mini mallows, a glob of peanut butter in a pot on the stove. Then stir in 1 c of Rice Krispies. Once combined I put onto a square of tin foil. I either flatten the parcel out or roll it into a log. Put in fridge to cool.

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