Rice crispy treats are one of those snacks from childhood we’ll never outgrow, and we’re not alone. The original Rice Krispies Treats recipe was first displayed on the back of the box in the 1930s. These days, there’s no end to the ways we can zhuzh up this classic recipe, thanks to enterprising bakers. Even Kellogg’s has developed hundreds of recipes for this versatile cereal, from the popular 1960s Scotcheroos to the questionable Spicy Raisin Treats.
Today we’re going over our favorite upgrades in hopes that we can inspire you to get creative in your kitchen. (Nothing with raisins in it, please.)
Butter Is Better
If you’re curious about the “absolute best” way to make this classic treat, the hard-working people at How to Make Cereal Treats tested over 20 variations to come up with the answer. It comes down to the ratios of cereal, marshmallows, and butter. Spoiler alert: European salted butter plays a part.
This recipe from Smitten Kitchen is another way to elevate the role of butter in your treats while jazzing them up. We love this simple change that adds only a few minutes to preparation. The results magically elevate this childhood treat to a not-too-sweet creation you’ll seriously consider serving at your next dinner party.
Mix Up the Cereal
While we acknowledge a rice crispy treat is not really a rice crispy treat without the Rice Krispies, we encourage you to go rogue. Swap out this core ingredient for your favorite cereal. From a taste perspective, we recommend using cereal with a cartoon mascot on the box, rather than a cereal known for its fiber content. Then again, we wouldn’t be opposed to trying a healthier option with dried fruit, nuts, and sweetened granola clusters.
Food Network came up with some amazing suggestions for Non-Cereal Crispy Treats. We love the complementary saltiness that pretzels add to sweet treats, and we can’t wait to try Chex Mix in our next batch of treats!
Top It Off
There’s no shortage of inspiration on the internet involving cookie cutters, sprinkles, and frosting to create holiday-, animal-, or sports-themed treats. But we focused on toppings that actually change or elevate the flavor of the whole treat.
Cookie butter may not be a highbrow addition, but adding it to the treat mixture or drizzling melted cookie butter over the top has got to be better than just attacking the jar with a spoon like we usually do, right? That’s why we’re going to whip up a batch of Cookie Butter treats following this recipe from House of Nash Eats.
(If you haven't heard of cookie butter, allow us to introduce you to this delicious spread with a recipe from Serious Eats.)
This variation from The Pioneer Woman features another ingredient we often eat from the jar with a spoon: Nutella. You can follow her advice to top these treats with finely chopped pecans, or try Heath toffee bits, or even hazelnuts as a nod to the nut in Nutella.
Finally, we think these Lemon Meringue Rice Krispies Treats from 365 Days of Baking & More sound like a great way to make one of our favorite desserts without fiddling about with a pie crust.
We hope we’ve inspired you to whip up a batch of rice crispy treats. Original or pumped up, we’d love to see the results.