Rice Krispies treats were a staple of many of our childhoods. Whether your mom packed those little blue wrappers in your lunch or made them from scratch at home – the smell, taste, and ooey, gooey crunch bring back a sense of nostalgia and delights the tastebuds. If you’re a parent now, Rice Krispie Treats are an easy recipe to make with your kids so they can enjoy the delicious, sticky bars, too. And hey, what grown-up doesn’t want to indulge in some comfort cooking once in a while? But if you have a gluten allergy or intolerance, you’ll want to know – are Rice Krispies Treats gluten-free?
Table Of Contents
- What are Rice Krispies Treats Made from?
- What’s in Rice Krispies Treats?
- The best gluten-free puffed rice cereals
- Is puffed rice the same as crisp rice?
- Make your own gluten-free Rice Krispies Treats
- Fun Topping Ideas for Homemade Rice Krispies Treats
- Make Your Own Puffed Rice at Home
- How kids can help make Rice Krispies Treats at home
- Your Rice Krispies Treat questions – answered
What are Rice Krispies Treats Made from?
The answer to the question – are Rice Krispies Treats gluten-free? – is yes and no. Not the clear-cut answer you probably wanted, but for those of you who need to avoid gluten, don’t stress! You can still enjoy your beloved marshmallowy treats without gluten. There are a variety of rice cereals, from puffed rice to crisp rice, and various brands that offer gluten-free versions of this classic favorite.
Since rice is naturally gluten-free, you’d think that Rice Krispies Treats would be, too. But the conventional Kellogg’s brand (that little blue wrapper) is made with malt syrup, which is derived from barley, which is a gluten-containing grain. So the added sweetener to the puffed rice makes them NOT gluten-free. Fortunately, there are many options when it comes to puffed rice cereal that doesn’t use a gluten-based sweetener (more about those options below).
What’s in Rice Krispies Treats?
There are many variations of this marshmallow treat and the customizations can have no end (we’ll outline some of these creative ideas below). This is where you can really get the whole family involved in the Rice Krispies Treat-making process. A fun make-your-own marshmallowy kitchen adventure sounds like the perfect rainy day activity!
Ok, so back to the actual ingredients. The core ingredients in any Rice Krispies Treat include:
- Puffed or crisp rice cereal
- Marshmallows or marshmallow creme
- Vanilla extract
You probably already have most of the ingredients in your kitchen already. So you can whip up a batch in no time!
The best gluten-free puffed rice cereals
If you’re looking for the best gluten-free rice cereal, these are some of the best ones. You can find them in stores like Whole Foods, Aldi, or Sprouts or shop on Amazon.
If you’re shopping at the store and come across a box of rice cereal that looks interesting, just check the label for any added sweeteners and a gluten-free label (usually on the front somewhere). Some popular organic and gluten-free cereal brands that might have rice crisps cereal are:
- Back to Nature
- Cascadian Farms
You may even find something similar to rice crisps cereal and want to try that out in your homemade Rice Krispies Treats. Let us know if you do!
Is puffed rice the same as crisp rice?
It seems like the terms are used interchangeably, but they’re actually not the same thing. Rice puffs are not crispy, and rice crisps are not puffy. They’re different but you can use both kinds for Rice Krispies Treats. So how are they different? Rice puffs are heated until they “puffs” full of air (more about how to make this yourself later) so it doesn’t have the same texture as crisp rice, which has been baked or toasted.
Make your own gluten-free Rice Krispies Treats
The best way to ensure your puffed rice is gluten-free is to make your own Rice Krispies treats at home using quality ingredients.
Want something without all the sugar? Try out this Healthy Rice Krispies Treats recipe.
Try a new spin on a classic recipe with this Chocolate Covered Rice Krispies Treats recipe.
Fun Topping Ideas for Homemade Rice Krispies Treats
This is where you can really customize your homemade marshmallow treats for any occasion. Mix and match any of your favorite candy toppings for a truly one-of-a-kind treat. Here are some of our favorite ideas:
- Dark, milk, or white chocolate topping (or swirl all 3!)
- Chopped nuts
- Any type of chopped chocolate candy
- Mini chocolate chips
- White chocolate drizzle
- Chopped mini marshmallows
- Peanut butter drizzle
- Butterscotch chips
- Any type of melted candy
Tasty tip: Use marshmallow creme as the main base, rather than individual marshmallows. This makes the Rice Krispies Treats extra gooey and keeps them fresh for longer! You can add some mini marshmallows once you mix in the puffed rice cereal, just for some extra gooey goodness.
Make Your Own Puffed Rice at Home
For the more adventurous bakers, you can really take your homemade Rice Krispies Treats up a level and make your own puffed rice! Here’s how you can do this in 3 simple steps:
- Preheat oven to 250°F. Cook the rice according to the package directions. I like to use Jasmine rice. Then, transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until dry to the touch and all the moisture has evaporated. Let cool completely.
- Pour oil into a large saucepan (enough to come 2 inches up the sides of the pan) and heat over medium-high heat until a thermometer reads 425°F. Add a few grains of cooked rice and if the oil is hot enough it will start to puff up instantly.
- Carefully ad ½ cup of rice at a time to the hot oil. Fry for 3 to 6 minutes or until puffed. Then use a small wire sieve to carefully transfer the rice to a towel-lined baking sheet to cool completely.
How kids can help make Rice Krispies Treats at home
This is a simple recipe that’s great to get kids excited about helping out in the kitchen. And hey, maybe even lick the spoon! Connecting over kitchen time is a great way to build exposure to and confidence with food and the skills needed to care for themselves. Here are some ideas for age-appropriate tasks kids can do to help make homemade Rice Krispies Treats.
- Measuring out the ingredients
- Pouring the cereal into the mixing bowl
- Mixing the melting peanut butter, butter, and honey together
- Mixing the butter mixture and cereal together
- Spreading out the mixture in the pan
- Pouring in add-ins
Your Rice Krispies Treat questions – answered
Q: Are marshmallows gluten-free?
Q: Can Rice Krispies be dairy-free?
A: Yes, you can easily use dairy-free butter in place of regular butter. Everything else is non-dairy.
Q: Can Rice Krispies be vegan?
A: Yes! Use dairy-free butter and vegan marshmallows. Regular marshmallows contain gelatin, which makes them not vegan.
Q: How do I store gluten-free Rice Krispies Treats?
A: Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days. You can freeze them for up to 3 months. To do this, wrap them in wax paper and individually wrap each one before placing them in an airtight container. Thaw at room temperature before serving.