Tasty Variations on Rice Krispies Treats

By Anna Graizbord , last updated January 11, 2012

Rice Krispies treats will of course always remain a standby sweet snack for parties, kids' sleepovers, and almost any other occasion. Because the basic recipe is so versatile and fairly easy to make, there is a lot of variation on the basic Rice Krispies treat idea. You can use almost any sort of cereal and make a wide array of other additions to the marshmallows, like chocolate, caramel, and even cookies, in almost any sort of combination you want. Here, we’ll let you in on some of the many wonderful variations on Rice Krispie treats.


Chocolate, butterscotch, or caramel Rice Krispie Treats are probably the easiest variations to make. All you have to do is make the treats in the traditional way, and then drizzle one layer of chocolate, butterscotch, or caramel over the batch, allowing it to cool and harden. Christmas or holiday-themed Rice Krispies treats are also easy, because they just involve adding some food coloring to the marshmallows once they’ve melted. Though red and green are obviously the best-suited for Christmas, you can experiment mixing the food coloring to create almost any color you want. You can also use cookie cutters on the treats after they’ve cooled, for an even more festive touch.

Other Cereals

In terms of substituting cereals, Cocoa Krispies or Fruity Pebbles are both commonly used in many variations. You can either substitute them entirely, or mix some of them in along with the regular Rice Krispies for a more subtle touch, or if you’re catering not exclusively to kids. Granola can even act as a substitute, if you’re trying to be a little more health-conscious. If you try thinking about Rice Krispie treats like cookies, you open up a world of modification possibilities. As one would with almost any sort of cookies, try adding chocolate chips, M&Ms, Oreo bits, or nuts; almonds and pecans are two favorites for blending with Rice Krispies. For a more tropically themed treat, add coconut flakes and raisins to the recipe. Though it’s a pretty simple addition, this will give your treats a dramatically different taste. Same with adding cinnamon, you’ll really be surprised how much difference one ingredient can make.


More creative and unique versions include white chocolate with candied peanuts and a peanut butter cup (or plain peanut butter, as an alternative). For the former, make sure to use salted butter and melt the white chocolate and marshmallows along with it. All that’s left is stirring in the candied peanuts. For the peanut butter cup, once you make the treats the traditional way, spread one layer of peanut butter, then, pout melted peanut butter cups on top of that, and add a final drizzled layer of melted chocolate chips. If you’re all about peanut butter, though, replace marshmallows with peanut butter, brown sugar, and a light corn syrup.

Why not combine two childhood favorites into one with a peanut butter and jelly Rice Krispies treat? First, toast a baking sheet of regular peanuts in the oven until they’re pretty lightly colored. Then, combine the toasted peanuts with the cereal, melted marshmallows, and grape jelly. Once you’ve formed them into your pan and they’ve cooled, add a layer of peanut butter on top.

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