The easiest no-bake brown butter rice krispie treats take a nostalgic classic and turn it up a few notches with one simple change. Our favorite irresistible sweet, salty, buttery, caramelized treats have had a makeover and we are here for it!
A delicious twist
Want to level up your classic rice krispie treats recipe? Brown the butter! It makes them SO delicious! It’s pretty ambitious to make changes to a tried and true classic, but believe me, it’s so worth it. A simple swap of butter for salted brown butter and you’ll wonder why these weren’t a thing when you were growing up!
If I had to choose my top 5 favorite no-bake desserts, brown butter rice krispies would be on the list for sure. They’re chewy and marshmallow-y just like traditional rice treats but it’s the addition of brown butter with its signature nutty flavor and darker color that takes it to new heights.
These are always a crowd favorite with the kids. They’re gooey when ripped apart, they’re sweet, buttery, and crispy! Such a no-fuss budget-friendly treat to have on hand for parties, bake sales, school lunch boxes, and gatherings of any kind. It’s the kind of dessert or snack that works when you’re in the mood to make something delicious (or eat something delicious) but you want it quick, easy, and without having to turn on the oven.
A simple brown butter
All it takes is a watchful eye and you’re in for a game-changing ingredient to add to so many desserts! One bite of these brown butter rice krispie treats and you may never go back to regular rice krispies again!
Tips for the best brown butter rice krispies
- Use salted butter to make salted brown butter rice krispie treats. It’s a delicious balance to the sweetness plus it gives it that salty caramelized flavor.
- Grease the pan before you begin. Marshmallows are super sticky and it helps to avoid any issues.
- Avoid burnt butter by continuing to swirl and keeping an eye on it. There is a fine line between brown butter and burnt butter. Remove it from the heat once it gets to a delicious golden brown color with a nutty aroma.
- Keep the bits of milk solid that you’ll find at the bottom of the pan. It’s great for flavor (unless of course they’re too dark and burnt, in which case toss them).
- This recipe yields about 16 squares, or 9 larger ones.
- To avoid sticking, use a spoon coated in butter or a bit of wax paper when pressing down into the pan.
For any of the add-ins, you’ll want to stir them in when you’re mixing everything together once melted.
- Add food coloring or sprinkles for a festive holiday idea, like I did with these red, white and blue rice krispies.
- For added crunchy textures and fun flavor, mix in M&Ms, butterscotch chips, white chocolate, or chocolate chips.
- Sprinkle flaked salt on top for an extra bit of saltiness. If you’ve never used it before, you’re welcome. It’ll forever change the way you do sweets.
- Adding a bit of vanilla to the brown butter will give your rice krispies even more of a caramel flavor.
- For gluten-free, vegan, or dairy-free versions, you’ll want to make sure to check your packages for certifications.
- Homemade marshmallows would be AMAZING!
Storing & freezing
- To store: Keep leftover squares in an airtight container at room temperature. If left out uncovered they will become hard and lose their chewy consistency.
- To freeze: Wrap each piece individually and store them in an airtight freezer-friendly bag for up to 3 months. This way you can just take out as many as you need later on.
More easy no bake desserts:
Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats
- 6 Tablespoons salted butter
- 16 ounce mini marshmallows
- 6 cups rice krispies cereal (about 1/2 a box)
- Line a 9×9″ baking dish with foil and butter. Place the cereal and 2-3 cups of the marshmallows in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Once melted, continue cooking the butter for about 2 more minutes, until it has turned golden brown. To prevent it from sticking to your pan, make sure to swirl it around using the pan handle. The butter will turn a golden amber color and will put off a nutty aroma. That's when you’ll know it’s done. Remove the pan immediately from the heat (so that it doesn't burn) and let sit just a minute.
- Add 7-8 cups marshmallows to the pan and stir until they melt. Once they are almost melted, pour over the rice krispies in the bowl. Mix until completely coated with the marshmallow mixture.
- Add mixture to baking dish and press down with a spoon coated in butter or wax paper to compact and level out surface.
- Allow to cool and then slice into 16 squares (or 9 large squares). I find using a plastic knife to cut them works best. Store in a covered container.