The Best Browned Butter Rice Krispie Treats

Nothing says school party, last minute dessert, and let’s get retro like rice krispie treats. True foodies look aside because I’ve always adored the lovable little squares. Like most kids, they were the first thing I ever really made by myself in the kitchen. I think I was nine and I only made them that one time at home, I’m pretty sure, because I didn’t like my mom’s tortuous plan that I also needed to wash out the gnarly pan when I was finished.

The Best Browned Butter Rice Krispie Treats

I didn’t really revisit rice krispie treats until, maybe, seven or so years ago. Clearly the sticky pan scenario made a big impact on me. Since letting them back into my life, I’m happy to report, I’ve made lots of variations, including this kicked-up number, loaded Oreo batches, and most importantly, these classic browned butter vanilla ones.

In fact, that’s the only way I’ve made a regular, ol’ batch of rice krispie treats in years. That little step of browned butter love + a splash of vanilla + a pinch of coarse, kosher salt? Well, it takes classic rice krispie treats to crazy levels of deliciousness without a crazy amount of extra work.

The Best Browned Butter Rice Krispie Treats

I’m sure people all around the world have been doing this to rice krispie treats for forever. Hence the reason I didn’t feel like I needed to share this recipe. But in the last month, I’ve taken these treats to four separate activities (I know, I’m such an overachiever) and after the 12th request to know what the secret ingredient was (love, obvs) and if I’d share (always), I figured, hey, you might want in on it, too. Plus, with Valentine’s Day coming up, you don’t want to be left without a go-to rice krispie treat recipe. Seriously.

So here you go. Knock yourself out and make a batch this minute. You’ll be done in less than ten and can spend the rest of the day deciding whether to share or not. Just a warning that if you are new to browned butter vanilla rice krispie treats, that decision may not be as easy as it appears.

The Best Browned Butter Rice Krispie Treats

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Browned Butter Vanilla Rice Krispie Treats

Yield: Makes a 9X13-inch pan of bars

One of my favorite variations is to chop about 2/3 of a regular package of Oreos (a food processor makes light work of this, just coarsely chop) and stir them in with the rice krispies.


  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
  • 16 ounces large marshmallows
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch coarse, kosher salt
  • 9 cups crisp rice cereal (i.e. Rice Krispies)


  1. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9X13-inch pan. Set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter on low heat and let it cook until the solids start to turn golden brown and it smells caramelly and fragrant (here's a browned butter how-to if you'd like a visual).
  3. Add the marshmallows and cook on low, stirring constantly until mostly melted, a few small lumps here and there are ok. Add the vanilla and salt and stir to combine.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and add the rice krispies. Stir until evenly combined.
  5. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and using lightly greased or barely wet (with cold water) hands, lightly press the mixture into the pan (mashing them too hard and you'll end up with very firm rice krispie treats - so use a gentle hand if you want them chewy). Let cool before slicing into squares.

Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

39 Responses to Browned Butter Vanilla Rice Krispie Treats

  1. Sarah says:

    Just a quick fyi which you probably already know…I was scrolling through your gluten-free section and saw these (my son just got diagnosed with celiac disease). Anyway, Rice Krispies are not actually gluten free. There are brands out there that make gluten-free crisp rice cereal, but sadly Rice Krispies are not because they contain malt which is from barley which has gluten. They used to be gf, but they changed their recipe. 🙁 Thanks for all the great recipes as always! I love your blog and would be lost without it!

  2. Becky says:

    I’m kind of a rice krispie treat snob and these are THE best! I love that I don’t’ have to heat up my kitchen to make them and the ingredients are super easy to have on hand when we need a last minute treat!

  3. Alicia says:

    These are dangerous!! And addicting!!

  4. Sharon says:

    I love rice krispie treats and these were amazing! When I made these, my whole family gobbled them up. I kept catching my “non-sweet-eater” husband cutting off another piece. I’m pretty sure the batch didn’t last more than a day or two. Thanks for yet another fabulous recipe.

  5. Mel says:

    I loved these rice krispie treats! I made a whole batch of them and cut them up into small bars and brought a bunch to work with me all week long and they definitely cheered up my days! I ate the whole pan by myself since my sugar hating husband wouldn’t help me out! 😀

  6. Molly says:

    Hi Mel! This is my new ultimate favorite dessert! Thank you for the recipes and inspiration! We had our Valentine’s candlelight dinner last night with our three kids! Best new tradition ever! I visit your blog everyday! Keep rocking!!!!

  7. Trisha says:

    Ok – I made them today and ate way more than I care to confess to. Finally I cut up the rest of them and put them in the freezer (wax paper in between). Rice Krispie Treats freeze so well and thaw to room temperature in just a few minutes. These are the best Rice Krispie Treats – something about that browned butter and pinch of coarse salt! So good! Thank you

  8. Tiggerr says:

    Don’t even try this with stale marshmallows or even softish ones that have all stuck together. They will take forever to melt, possibly burning your painstakingly made brown butter. By the time they melt, if they do melt, your arm and hands will be so tired, you might just have to eat Rice Krispie treats for supper. Hey……

    Seriously Mel. The butter smelled so good, it’s definately going in my next batch of cookies

  9. Boymomma5 says:

    Never doubt Mel!
    I thought seriously could these be any different than what I usually make? YES! One bite and my husband says “these are the best rice crispy treats you have ever made!” I just smiled and said “it’s Mel’s recipe of course!”

  10. Jennifer says:

    I made these yesterday and my husband said, “Why do these taste gourmet??” You are so right, these take rice krispie treats to another level! Wow! I want to eat the entire pan by myself! Thanks for another great recipe!

  11. Michelle says:

    Thanks for this! Rice Krispy treats are one of our favorites. In fact we have a tradition (taken from a friend) of sculpting a Rice Krispy Treat toilet in celebration of potty training. It’s funny, and my boys love it! I’d also like to add that RKTs are a great allergy-friendly treat to take places–you can either use Earth Balance (soy free tastes great!) or a little canola oil in place of the butter and they are still delicious! Plus much easier than the other allergy-friendly baking options.

  12. Marietta says:

    Now we just need your best homemade marshmellows. You know, something without high fructose corn sugar!

  13. Jo says:

    This is a great post! For one thing, it reminds me that I should be making them for my kids (I have no idea why I haven’t) and two, I’ve never heard of this version and it sounds addictive! Thanks Mel!

  14. Heather bell says:

    Bought all the stuff today including Oreos and its going to be our fhe treat or potentially dinner treat with weavers. You sure you’re not feeling an undying urge to visit the Midwest again;)

  15. Jill says:

    I make a similar version of these and the browned butter does take them to a whole new level. There’s no going back now! 🙂

  16. Bonnie Brien says:

    These rice krispie treats have ruined normal ones for me and so I am excited to try your recipe to see if it’s a happy medium, because the ones in the link are a little more effort and a lot more calories. But so good.

  17. Natalie says:

    I hardly ever make rice crispie treats. But as a mom of four young boys I should –at least as often as I make your oat snack bars. Just finished these with my four year old and they’re delicious. The school boys will be home soon and I’m pretty sure they’ll think I’m the coolest! Thanks!

  18. Tamaira says:

    MMMMMMMMMM! And here I am without marshmallows or Rice Krispies! 🙁 I had not thought about doing them with browned butter so thank you for posting! I also seem to make them too stiff but now I think perhaps that is because I was squishing them into the pan too hard so thank you for that tip as well!! You are so wonderful! <3

  19. Curly girl foodie says:

    While the krispie mix is still hot/warm we add in minimarshmallows for added gooey deliciousness. The minis melt just a bit but add so much yummy goodness.

  20. debora cadene says:

    Do you know how this would turn out using the Kellogs Gluten Free Rice Krispies??

    • Mel says:

      Should work just fine!

      • debora cadene says:

        I made these a little while ago, and all I can say is OMG. I used the Kelloggs brown rice GF rice krispies and only 7 of the 9c. of cereal…and i’m having a hard time letting the treats set in the pan. I keep taking little pieces out to see if they are ready. The browned butter really stands out. Thanks Mel…these are my new favorites.

    • Karen says:

      I’ve also used Rice Chex, since they’re gluten free. We actually liked the different texture, and they tasted pretty similar.

  21. Peggy McGhehey says:

    Back in the 60s, we’d add Jello powder to give them some flavor. As a kid I liked them that way. Haven’t had them for awhile made any way!

  22. Helen says:

    Thank you …. I love everything about this …. The whole post (obvs ). I’ll never be able to adequately explain to you the why’s … But just know that you did something great for someone today … Me ❤️❤️

  23. Katrina A says:

    I LOVE rice crispy treats. Definitely my favorite easy, go to treat. I always tell the funny story of when I was dating my now husband, we were in college and I told him I had a major craving for rice crispy treats. So we ran to the store, got all the stuff (yes, 3 ingredients is ALL ) and hurried back to my apartment. As I’m mixing up the treats he says, “hey babe… I don’t really like rice crispy treats.”
    So I ate the batch alone. Hah!! I’ve since worked him down and he will eat them. Not sure if that’s a good thing or not, because now i have to share!

    Also, I love love love my crispy treats with coconut oil instead of butter. Amazing coconut flavor!

  24. Karen says:

    **spraying non-stick cooking spray on everything, I meant to say.

  25. Karen says:

    I’ve started spraying everything (or putting it on a napkin and rubbing it on) to everything. Pot, glass dish, bowl I mix it in, and bowl scraper. With that addition to the process clean-up is a breeze!

  26. Cindi says:

    I love rice crispy treats. Homemade are so much better than the store bought. I can’t wait to try this version!

  27. Jena H says:

    Love brown butter rice crispy treats! I make these often, but I double the marshmallows and they seriously taste like sweet delicious clouds!

  28. Ellen says:

    Seriously. Rice krispie treats are one of my HUGEST weaknesses. Im not lying to say I’ve eaten an embarrassing amount of them. They are just. so. good.

  29. Catherine says:

    Oh yum! I can’t wait to try the magic of browned butter in rice krispy treats! What an inspired combination!

  30. Paige says:

    The rice krispy treats look amazing, and the browned butter sounds amazing! I think I’ll definitely have to try these for our family home evening treat next week!


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