Gooey & soft yet chewy & crunchy, these Vegan Rice Crispy Treats are a super easy and nostalgic dessert or snack. Make them with vegan marshmallows, a bit of vegan butter, and crispy rice cereal for a simple no bake dessert.
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Hey Internet, chances are, you’ve had the original store bought treats, but have you ever had Vegan Rice Krispies Treats?
Did you know they taste just like the original, if not better? (If you don’t believe me, try my recipe and see.)
This vegan version features a higher marshmallow to cereal ratio and a dash of vanilla extract (inspiration for this goes to Sally’s Baking Addiction and is SO GOOD.
It may have been a while since I ate an animal product (4 years at the time of writing this), but I think this recipe is definitely at least as good as the original omni Rice Krispies treats, if not better.
So I wanted to call these Vegan Rice Krispie Treats but I really can’t because I cannot use Kelloggs’ Rice Krispies cereal because it is not vegan. Thus, they will be called Vegan Rice Crispy Treats. Regardless, they are delicious.
So pick a vegan crispy rice cereal.
Anyway, this recipe uses vegan marshmallows. Dandies are fantastic, but Trader Joes has vegan marshmallows that also work.
It also uses vegan butter which not only adds flavor, but it conditions the melted marshmallow mixture and helps everything come together.
If you don’t want to use the vegan butter, you don’t have to, but I haven’t tested it without. I would have a little thick non-dairy milk on hand in case the mixture is too thick. Then you can loosen it with the non-dairy milk which will make it easier to fold the ingredients together.
This recipe is being released just in time for Halloween, but since it’s homemade, you may not be able to give it out to trick or treaters depending on the laws in your country.
However, it makes a great treat for folks in your home as well as other friends and family.
I digress. Let’s jump into the recipe.
P.S. If you're into easy desserts, try my list of 50+ No Bake Vegan Desserts!
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Ingredients and Substitutions
- Crispy Rice Cereal: This is the foundation of vegan rice crispy treats! Basically any vegan crispy rice cereal should work. Unfortunately Kelloggs’ Rice Krispies Cereal is NOT vegan, due to containing non organic cane sugar (in the US, non organic cane sugar is filtered using animal bone char unless otherwise indicated) and synthetic vitamin D3 (derived from lanolin/sheep’s wool). I recommend this vegan crisped rice cereal. There are also vegan brown rice based varieties you may want to try.
- Vegan marshmallows: This recipe works with both Dandies vegan marshmallows and with Trader Joe’s vegan marshmallows. It doesn’t matter whether you use large or mini vegan marshmallows as long as they’re the soft kind, not like the ones in hot chocolate mixes. Mini ones will melt down a bit quicker, but the larger ones are easy enough to chop with your cooking spoon while they melt in the pot.
- Vegan butter: Use any kind of vegan butter you’d like. If you want to try making these without vegan butter, I’d try it with a little full fat canned coconut milk or other thick non-dairy milk to help condition the melted marshmallow--meaning help it form a cohesive sticky paste to mix in well with the crispy rice cereal.
- Vanilla extract: Totally optional, but a splash of natural vanilla extract adds a bit more flavor to these vegan rice crispy treats.
Optional Googly Eyes
It’s fun for Halloween to make cute little googly eyes for these vegan rice crispy treats, but unfortunately store-bought googly eyes are not vegan as they contain confectioner’s glaze and/or cochineal extract which is derived from beetles.
I used a little piping bag to do the white part of the eyes, and instead of using a decorating tip (though cookie decorating tips would work great), I just poked a whole in the piping bag with a toothpick.
I then used said toothpick to add the pupil. Gently.
Do these on a bit of wax paper on a tray and freeze until you’re ready to use. When ready, mix up a bit more of the original mixture and and use a toothpick to dab a bit on the back and “glue” it to the vegan rice crispy treats.
How to Make Vegan Rice Crispy Treats
- Prepare a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with parchment paper and lightly grease the parchment with a cooking spray or a bit of melted coconut oil or vegan butter.
- In a large, nonstick pot over medium low heat, melt the vegan butter.
- Now add the marshmallows. Stir continuously until they break down and then continue to stir until smooth. You can use your cooking spoon to break up the large pieces to speed the process along, but this only took about 5 or 6 minutes. You can turn up the heat a little higher if you like, but try not to go above medium or you could burn them.
- Remove from heat and immediately stir in the vanilla extract and then the crispy rice cereal. Stir until well incorporated.
- Add to your prepared baking dish and use a spatula (preferably buttered with a little vegan butter or wrapped in a bit of wax paper or parchment paper, otherwise it will stick) to even out the mixture and press it all together in the dish. Press very gently into the dish--you don’t want to compact the mixture too much.
- Let cool completely, about 1 hour to 1 hour, 30 minutes. Then cut the treats and serve.
- Optional googly eyes: Lay out a small tray or plate and cover with wax paper. Mix the powdered sugar, cornstarch, and water in a small bowl until smooth. Remove 2 tablespoons or so and put in another small bowl. In the next bowl, add a bit of black food coloring or cocoa powder and mix until smooth. Poke a hole in a small piping bag with a toothpick and pipe at least 24 raised white domes (about ¼ inch in diameter, but make different sizes if you like!). Let them set for a few minutes. Then dip the toothpick in the dark mixture and gently dab on a little pupil in the center (or off-center!) of the eye. Place the tray or plate in the freezer and freeze until you’re ready to use. When ready, mix up a bit more of the original mixture and and use a toothpick to dab a bit on the back and “glue” it to the vegan rice crispy treats.
- Store remaining treats (separated by squares of parchment or wax paper) in an airtight container on the counter for up to 3 days.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Kelloggs’ Rice Krispies Cereal is NOT vegan because it contains non organic cane sugar (in the US, non organic cane sugar is filtered using animal bone char unless otherwise indicated) and synthetic vitamin D3 (derived from lanolin/sheep’s wool). I recommend this vegan crisped rice cereal (link). There are also vegan brown rice based varieties you can try (they’re a little softer, FYI).
Nope. If you want, try adding 1-2 tablespoons of canned coconut milk (or another thick non-dairy milk, like homemade nut milk) to the marshmallows. You want to form a thick yet cohesive paste to mix with the cereal and create the vegan rice crispy treats.
Store these treats in an airtight container on the counter for up to 5 days. These vegan rice crispy treats also freeze well! Stack them between layers of wax paper and place in an airtight freezer-safe container. Freeze for up to 3 months.
More Super Easy Vegan Desserts
- Vegan Chocolate Pudding
- Vegan Snickers Bites
- Or if you want to get fancy: Smores Cookie Bake
- Vegan Mug Brownie
- Vegan Vanilla Mug Cake
- Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies (no chill)
- Matcha Pound Cake
- Vegan Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
As always, I hope you love this recipe–I know I do and so does Mr. Zardyplants. We keep making these over and over again. The best easy treat!
These vegan rice crispy treats are:
- And the perfect dessert for kids and adults!
Let me know in the comments below if you make this recipe or tag me @Zardyplants on Instagram so I can see your beautiful recreations! If you tag me on IG, I will share your post in my stories :)
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