Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats

By Jeri Mobley-Arias
October 24, 2023 | Updated on January 22, 2024

Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats are a nutty, elevated twist on the classic rice krispie treats recipe. This gooey, sweet, and toasty treat is full of nostalgia so share a tray full with family and friends at your next gathering.

Wondering how else you can use brown butter? After you learn how to make brown butter rice krispie treats, try Brown Butter Banana Bread, Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter Frosting and Brown Butter Sage Butternut Squash.

close up view of plated close up view of brown butter rice krispie treats

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Although rice krispie treats taste amazing, brown butter adds another dimension of delicious, caramelized, warm depth to this dessert. The rich, nutty aroma of browned butter adds complexity, transforming a simple childhood treat into a sophisticated dessert. Get ready to make the best brown butter rice krispie treats!

Why This Recipe Works

  • Easy to Make Making browned butter is a simple process that requires just 1 ingredient. The cooking time is only 20 minutes and the rest of the time is spent waiting for the dessert to cool down before slicing. This is a no-bake recipe.
  • Perfect Anytime Sweet – Rice krispie treats are loved by kids and adults so anytime is a good time to indulge! They’re great as a packed snack with lunch, after school, at parties, or just lounging at home.
  • Customizable – This recipe is a variation of a popular treat but there are even more ways to customize it. Let’s get into it!
plated brown butter rice krispie treats

What is brown butter?

Brown butter is butter that has been browned over heat on the stovetop. Continuously stir the melted butter until brown specks appear and a nutty aroma develops. Brown butter gives traditional butter a toasted, nutty taste that works in both sweet and savory recipes.

close up view of brown butter rice krispie mixture

Tools You’ll Need

Ingredients You Will Need for Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats

Standard rice krispie treat recipes only include marshmallows and butter. But brown butter rice krispie treats are enhanced with pure vanilla, sweetened condensed milk, and milk powder.

  • Unsalted butter  This ingredient is essential for browned butter rice krispie treats.
  • Mini marshmallows Gooey marshmallows hold the ingredients together and give this snack a light, airy quality and ensure they are nice and chewy.
  • Kosher salt I use Diamond Crystal.
  • Pure vanilla extract – I use Nielson Massey Madagascar Bourbon.
  • Rice Krispie Cereal – These sweetened, puffed grains of rice are essential.
  • Sweetened condensed milk – This adds a sweet, creamy quality.
  • Milk powder – This deepens the flavor.

How To Make Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats

Learn how to make rice crispy treats with brown butter in just a few simple steps.

  1. Butter 9×9 pan well. Set aside.
  2. Heat dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add butter. Add butter and whisk to encourage melting. Once melted, the butter will foam a little bit (that’s normal). Keep a consistent stir with a spatula. Watch carefully as brown specks will start to form and you will begin to smell a nutty aroma. Once evenly deep brown, add salt and milk powder. Continue stirring with the spatula until evenly combined and deep brown in color. Stir in sweetened condensed milk.
side by side images showing how to brown butter

2. Turn off heat and add vanilla and stir in 7 ounces of marshmallows. Keep a consistent stir until the marshmallows are fully melted. This will take a few minutes.

side side images of a pot filled with rice krispies and the next image with marshmallows added to the same pot

3. Add cereal, fold a few times, then add remaining marshmallows and continue folding until fully combined.

4. Quickly transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and use the spatula to gently press and even out the mixture. Do not pack the mixture too hard or that will result in hard rice krispie treats.

brown butter rice krispies being added to a square pan

5. Leave the treats to set in the pan for one hour. Then cut into 16 squares and enjoy.

close up view of uncut brown butter rice krispie treats
close up view of brown butter rice krispie treats

Tips and Tricks

  • Use fresh ingredients. Stale marshmallows and cereal won’t work here.
  • Gently add the rice krispie mixture to the pan. If you press too much, the rice krispie treats will be dense and hard.
  • Store leftover brown butter rice krispie treats in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days.

Variations

  • Shapes – Use a deeper or more shallow pan for thicker or thinner brown butter rice krispie treats. You can also use a different shaped pan if you’d like.
  • Toppings & Add-Ins You can fold in sprinkles, or drizzle caramel or fudge over the pan.
close up view of brown butter rice krispie mixture

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you freeze rice krispie treats?

To freeze rice krispie treats, wait until they are cool, then slice them. Place parchment paper between them so they don’t stick together then place them in an airtight container or Ziploc bag. They will last up to 4 weeks. Place them on the kitchen counter 3-4 hours before you plan to serve them, so they can defrost.

Why do people who lift eat rice crispy treats?

Regular rice crispy treats are low fat but high in sugar and carbs. They can boost energy before a workout without slowing digestion and causing a stomach ache.

What can I use instead of Rice Krispie Treats?

If you want to make marshmallow cereal bars, this recipe works with other cereals like Cheerios, Fruity Pebbles, Chex, and Golden Grahams too.

Why are my homemade rice crispy treats so hard?

If your brown butter rice krispie treats come out hard, several factors may be to blame. You may have used stale ingredients, pressed the mixture too firmly into the pan, used too many rice krispies, or used too little butter.

a square pan filled with brown butter rice krispie treats

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close up view of plated close up view of brown butter rice krispie treats

Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats

Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats are a nutty, elevated twist on the classic rice krispie treats recipe. This gooey, sweet, and toasty treat is full of nostalgia so share a tray full with family and friends at your next gathering.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Leave Krispie Treat to Set 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 16 squares
Author Jeri Mobley-Arias
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

Equipment

  • 9 x 9 square pan
  • Large dutch oven

Ingredients

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, plus more for buttering pan
  • 9 ounces mini marshmallow
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, Diamond Crystal
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, I use Nielson Massey Madagascar Bourbon
  • 6 cups rice krispie cereal
  • ¼ cup sweetened condensed milk
  • cup milk powder

Instructions

  • Butter 9×9 pan well. Set aside.
  • Heat dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add butter. Add butter and whisk to encourage melting. Once melted, the butter will foam a little bit (that's normal). Keep a consistent stir with a spatula. Watch carefully as brown specks will start to form and you will begin to smell a nutty aroma. Once evenly deep brown, add salt and milk powder. Continue stirring with the spatula until evenly combined and deep brown in color. Stir in sweetened condensed milk.
  • Turn off heat and add vanilla and stir in 7 ounces of marshmallows. Keep a consistent stir until the marshmallows are fully melted. This will take a few minutes.
  • Add cereal, fold a few times, then add remaining marshmallows and continue folding until fully combined.
  • Quickly transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and use the spatula to gently press and even out the mixture. Do not pack the mixture too hard or that will result in hard rice krispie treats.
  • Leave the treats to set in the pan for one hour. Cut into 16 squares and enjoy.
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close up view of plated close up view of brown butter rice krispie treats

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jeri-mobley

Hey, I'm Jeri!

At Whisper of Yum, we explore ALL cuisines - comfort foods, classics, elevated originals. If you love food like me, I invite you to settle in to this place, where swoon-worthy food is attainable + inspo for your next meal awaits.

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