Rice crispy treats are so nostalgic for me, and this vegan version is super delicious!
You might be wondering what’s not vegan about rice crispy treats. There are two non-vegan ingredients, one of which isn’t even vegetarian: butter and marshmallows. Butter makes sense (and is easy to substitute!), but you might be wondering why marshmallows aren’t vegan. Marshmallows are made with gelatin, which is ground up bones and ligaments, usually cows. Kosher gelatin uses the ground up bones and ligaments from fish. No, thank you!
It was tricky to make vegan rice crispy treats before good vegan marshmallows hit the scene, but now we have lots of good options! I used Sweet and Sara marshmallows for this recipe, but you could also use Dandies.
I think a lot of folks grew up eating rice crispy treats as a special snack, but my nostalgia for these actually comes from college. I did my sophomore year at the University of Miami, and cereal treats were in the cafeteria almost daily. They made cereal treats out of whatever cereal was going stale, so we had Cap’n Crunch treats, Fruity Pebbles treats, Cocoa Puffs treats….it was almost an endless list!
Every Christmas break Dave likes to make a big batch of Chex mix, and this break was no exception. The Chex mix recipe doesn’t use a whole box of Chex, and since we don’t eat a lot of cold cereal around here, we ended up with half a box of rice Chex that were going stale. It felt natural to channel the old UM caf and turn them into slightly unconventional rice crispy treats!
Vegan Rice Crispy Treats
The heart-shaped toppers you see on the treats in the photo above are from a tutorial that I wrote for Crafting a Green World. Head over to CAGW to get the tutorial, if you want to make your own heart dessert toppers for Valentine’s Day!
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 3 cups vegan marshmallows
- 4 cups rice Chex (or any cereal that’s going stale in your kitchen)
- In a saucepan on low heat, melt the coconut oil, then add the marshmallows and keep stirring until they melt too. This takes a lot longer than you’d think, so just be patient! My marshmallows never turned to proper liquid, but they got very soft and runny.
- Fold in the cereal gently, making sure to coat it well with the marshmallow mixture. Turn off the heat, and press the cereal into a greased 8″ X 8″ pan. Let the treats cool for an hour or two, then cut them into squares. Mine made 9 generous-sized squares.