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Dairy Free Rice Krispie Treats With Brown Butter

These dairy-free rice krispie treats with brown butter are an easy, no-bake dessert made with a few simple ingredients yet are so flavorful. This recipe is naturally gluten-free with a vegan option.

The additional simple step of browning the dairy-free butter adds a subtle nuttiness, giving the rice crispy treats a more complex flavor and helping offset the sweetness a bit.

Ingredients

  • Brown rice cereal or brown rice crisps – a naturally gluten-free crispy rice cereal made without malt flavor, unlike Kellogg’s Rice Krispies cereal brand (which I believe is discontinued). Some brands I recommend are Nature’s Path365, and One Degree, all of which are certified gluten-free. These can be found at health food stores or online.
  • Vegan butter – I love Miyoko’s, but for nut-free and less expensive options, you can use Earth Balance or Country Crock plant butter.
  • Marshmallows – a key ingredient in classic rice krispie treats. You can use either mini marshmallows or large marshmallows.
  • Vanilla extract – adds more flavor.
  • Pinch of salt – balances out the flavors.

How to Make Dairy Free Rice Krispie Treats

Step 1. Grease an 8×8 baking dish with coconut oil or vegan butter. Set aside.

Step 2. Melt the vegan butter in a light-colored large pot (so you can see the change in color) over low to medium-low heat. Once it melts, it will foam, and then turn a light golden color. Stir frequently and keep your eyes on the butter so it doesn’t burn.

Step 3. Once the butter starts to brown and smells nutty, turn off the heat and add in the marshmallows, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. It should be hot enough from the butter to melt the marshmallows, but if necessary, turn the heat back on low until the marshmallows are melted.

Step 4. Remove the pot from the stove and stir in the crispy cereal until just combined. Move quickly to transfer the rice krispie treats to your prepared pan.

Step 5. Gently press the cereal mixture into an even layer with your fingers or use the paper wrapper from the butter. If you pack them in too tightly, it makes them hard instead of light and airy.

Step 6. Let cool for about 30 minutes at room temperature. Run an offset spatula or butter knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the rice krispies until they come out (you may have to invert the pan to help release them). Use a serrated knife to cut into your desired number of squares.

Make It Your Way: Substitutions & Variations

Please remember that recipes are just a starting point.

How can you make these dairy-free rice krispie treats using what you already have? Here are some ideas…

  • Want to skip the brown butter? – skip steps 1 and 2. Melt the vegan butter over medium heat then proceed with the rest of the recipe.
  • Make a vegan version – use vegan marshmallows instead of regular marshmallows.

Variations

  • Peanut butter or almond butter – you can swirl in any nut or seed butter into the marshmallow mixture before you press it into the pan.
  • Chocolate – chocolate and marshmallow are a great flavor pairing. Drizzle dairy-free melted chocolate or white chocolate chips on top of the bars.
  • Pumpkin spice – add in 1-2 teaspoons of pumpkin spice with the marshmallows.
  • Cinnamon Toast Crunch – add ground cinnamon.
  • Strawberry – blend freeze-dried strawberries until a powder forms and add a dusting on top or into the sticky mixture once the marshmallows are melted.
  • Citrus – add fresh orange zest, lemon zest, or lime zest on top. 

Helpful Tips

Use crisp rice cereal, not puffed rice cereal. The puffed rice cereal isn’t crispy enough and will give the treats a soggy texture.

You don’t need parchment paper if you generously grease the pan first

These dairy-free and gluten-free Rice Krispies treats are best the day you make them, but because I don’t encourage eating a whole pan in one day unless you’re serving a crowd, you can store leftovers in an airtight container or sealed bag for a couple of days. Over time, they lose their chewiness.

More Easy Dessert Recipes

Dairy Free Rice Krispie Treats With Brown Butter

5 from 1 vote
Homemade dairy free rice krispie treat squares with brown butter.
These dairy-free rice krispie treats with brown butter are an easy, no-bake dessert made with a few simple ingredients yet are so flavorful. This recipe is naturally gluten-free with a vegan option.
Cook Time 5 minutes
Cool 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Serving Size 9 large bars

Ingredients
 

  • ½ cup vegan butter
  • 1 10 ounce bag Mini or large marshmallows
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 6 cups crispy brown rice cereal see notes below

Instructions

  • Grease an 8×8 baking dish with coconut oil or vegan butter. Set aside.
  • Melt the vegan butter in a light-colored large pot (so you can see the change in color) over low to medium-low heat. Once it melts, it will foam, and then turn a light golden color. Stir frequently and keep your eyes on the butter so it doesn’t burn.
  • Once the butter starts to brown and smells nutty, turn off the heat and add in the marshmallows, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. It should be hot enough from the butter to melt the marshmallows, but if necessary, turn the heat back on low until the marshmallows are melted.
  • Remove the pot from the stove and stir in the crispy cereal until just combined. Move quickly to transfer the rice krispie treats to your prepared pan.
  • Gently press the cereal mixture into an even layer with your fingers or use the paper wrapper from the butter. If you pack them in too tightly, it makes them hard instead of light and airy.
  • Let cool for about 30 minutes at room temperature. Run an offset spatula or butter knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the rice krispies until they come out (you may have to invert the pan to help release them). Use a serrated knife to cut into your desired number of squares.

Notes

Use crisp rice cereal, not puffed rice cereal. The puffed rice cereal isn’t crispy enough and will give the treats a soggy texture. Some brands I recommend are Nature’s Path365, and One Degree, all of which are certified gluten-free. These can be found at health food stores or online.

Make It Your Way: Substitutions & Variations

Want to skip the brown butter? – skip steps 1 and 2. Melt the vegan butter over medium heat then proceed with the rest of the recipe.
Make a vegan version – use vegan marshmallows instead of regular marshmallows.
See the blog post for ideas of different variations.

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