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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!
Featured with this Recipe
- Ingredients in Rice Krispie Treats
- Secret to Perfect Rice Krispie Treats
- Gluten-Free Tips
- Sweet Variations and Add-ins
- Tips for Making Microwave Rice Krispie Treats
- Storage Tips
- Frequently Asked Questions
- More Rice Krispie Recipes You Will Love
- How to Make Rice Krispie Treats
- 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.
- Salted butter – if using unsalted butter, add a pinch of salt to the recipe
- Mini marshmallows
- 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!
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
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:
- Use Fresh Ingredients: Make sure your marshmallows and Rice Krispies are fresh and not stale for the best results.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Coat Your Utensils: Grease your spoon or spatula (or hands) with butter or cooking spray to prevent the mixture from sticking to them.
- Work Quickly: Once you add the Rice Krispies, work quickly to combine everything. The mixture can set fast.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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
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).
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.
A 12 oz. box has about 10 cups, so for this recipe you will use just one cup less than a full box.
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.
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
Rice Krispie Treats (5-Minute Microwave Recipe)
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
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