Gooey & soft yet chewy & crunchy, these Vegan Rice Crispy Treats are a super easy and nostalgic dessert or snack.
Rice Crispy Treats
- 4-8 tablespoons vegan butter (see note 1)
- 20 ounces vegan marshmallows (see note 2)
- 8 cups crispy rice cereal (see note 3)
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Optional Googly Eyes
- Prep: 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.
- Melt butter: In a large, nonstick pot over medium low heat, melt the vegan butter.
- Melt marshmallows: 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.
- Add vanilla and cereal: Remove from heat and immediately stir in the vanilla extract and then the crispy rice cereal. Stir until well incorporated. Gently fold until all the cereal is incorporated but DO NOT over stir. You still want to be able to see large white streaks of marshmallow in the vegan rice crispy treats.
- Press into baking dish: 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: 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: Store remaining treats (separated by squares of parchment or wax paper) in an airtight container on the counter for up to 3 days.
- Note 1: 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 even aquafaba (the water from an unsalted can of chickpeas) to help condition the melted marshmallow--meaning help it form a cohesive sticky paste to mix in well with the crispy rice cereal.
- Note 2: 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.
- Note 3: 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.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Dessert, Snack
- Method: Stove top
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Vegan Rice Crispy Treats, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free