Cooled and cut vanilla Rice Krispie treats stacked on a plate

Simple Vanilla Rice Krispie Treats Recipe

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Last updated on November 2nd, 2021 at 02:51 pm

These simple, sticky, and delicious vanilla Rice Krispie treats will delight nearly everyone.

I don’t know what’s up with this theme lately, but this one is another that my wife taught me. Just like the easy pumpkin muffins, this was one my wife always whipped up for us. Until I wanted to post the recipe here, and so I had her walk me through how to make them.

Pulled apart rice krispie treat with stretching marshmallow strings

We made a whole lot of these batches together. The Rice Krispie treats are taking over…

Luckily, Rice Krispie treats are one of the most shareable desserts ever. So we’ve spread the love to some of our neighbors with friendly plates of treats.

So, if you aren’t one of our neighbors and would like to have your own vanilla Rice Krispie treats, read on and try this easy recipe today.

Tips for Success

While I am a fan of butter (see brown butter sage sauce, buttermilk biscuits, or steak with gorgonzola butter for proof), most Rice Krispie treats recipes call for too much. This recipe scales back a bit on the butter. But still does not skimp on flavor.

But a bit of butter on your fingers can help when flattening the vanilla Rice Krispie treats out into the pan. Spread a small amount out on your fingers before pressing the treats down and it will be much less likely to stick. And yes, you will be a true butter-fingers when you do this.

Just make sure to wash your hands before picking up anything dangerous or expensive so you don’t lose your grip.

And, if you would like to decorate your treats (see below), you can flip over the cooled Rice Krispie treats for a pretty flat top. At least for me, the bottom settled flat, much better than the top did.

Or you could also try using a similar-sized pan to press down the treats in order to try to get them as flat as possible.

Mix-ins, Mix-ups, and Flavors

One of the best things about this recipe is its versatility. It is simple and basic, so it takes well to any kind of experimentation.

Try mixing in any of the following when adding the rice cereal into the melted marshmallow:

  • Chocolate chips
  • Sprinkles
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Crushed Oreos
  • M&Ms
  • Crushed pretzel sticks
Vanilla Rice Krispie treats cut on parchment paper

Or, make a drastic change by switching up the cereal used as the base. Instead of Rice Krispies, use some Cocoa or Fruity Pebbles. Cap’N Crunch, Reese’s Puffs, Froot Loops, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and Lucky Charms could also be delicious changes.

I mean, most breakfast cereals are like 99% sugar anyways, so it would make sense to turn them into dessert.

You could even stir in a few tablespoons of any of the following flavors to the melted marshmallow before adding the cereal:

  • Salted caramel
  • Butterscotch
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Peanut butter

And, finally, you could also let the butter cook a little longer before moving on to the next steps. Let the butter brown and it will add more depth of flavor to your final treats. Just make sure you don’t let the butter burn.

Decorating Vanilla Rice Krispie Treats

Rice Krispie treats are like a blank canvas for your decorative creativity.

Top them with sprinkles, royal icing, or candy melts. Or use cookie cutters to cut the treats into whatever shape your heart desires. Or, do both and cut them and then decorate them on top. You can even mix in a little bit of food coloring with the melted marshmallow to completely change the final color of the Rice Krispie treats themselves.

You can turn them into treat pops by pushing lollipop sticks through the center.

Frankenstein decorated Halloween rice krispie treats

But they take really well to some Halloween creativity. Make a mummy by drizzling white melting chocolate across the treat and adding some beady eyes poking through. Or dip it in green melting chocolate and then add some black hair and a stitched mouth to make Frankenstein’s monster.

I am, admittedly, not the best at decorating. Nevertheless, it was really fun bringing our little Frankenstein’s monsters to life with some green and black candy melts. The purpose isn’t to have perfect-looking treats to post on social media, it is to have fun and delicious treats for your home.

At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

Simple Vanilla Rice Krispie Treats

Recipe by Marc PetersonCourse: DessertDifficulty: Easy


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Cooking time


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Simple, sticky, and delicious vanilla Rice Krispie treats delight nearly everyone with just the right amount of sweet and crunch


  • 3 tablespoons salted butter

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 10 ounce package mini marshmallows

  • 6 cups Rice Krispies, or other cereal


  • Melt the butter in a medium-large pot over medium heat
  • Once the butter has fully melted and foamed up a little, add in the vanilla extract
  • Pour the marshmallows into the pot and stir to coat them in the melted butter
  • Continue to stir as the marshmallows melt, pressing and breaking them apart to help them melt faster
  • When the marshmallows are fully melted with no lumps, remove the pot from the heat, add the Rice Krispies, and stir until they are thoroughly combined and there are no dry cereal spots without marshmallow
  • Pour the Rice Krispie treats into a greased or lined 9×13 pan and press them down to spread them in an even layer
  • Wait at least 30 minutes for them to cool, cut them into rectangles, decorate if desired, serve and enjoy


  • Use a smaller or larger pan when pouring out the Rice Krispie treats to achieve thicker or thinner final treats

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