These 3-ingredient vegan rice crispy treats are as easy to make as the ones from your childhood. They're perfectly sweet, crispy, and chewy.
Marshmallow cereal treats are so nostalgic for me, and these vegan rice crispy treats are super delicious and simple to make.
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 we'd have cereal treats in the cafeteria almost daily.
They made cereal treats out of whatever was going stale, so we had Cap'n Crunch treats, Fruity Pebbles treats, Cocoa Puffs treats....it was almost an endless list!
So sure, you can make vegan rice crispy treats with crispy rice cereal, but you can also mix things up! Check your pantry for cereal to use, or hit the grocery store and get creative.
I guess technically I should just call them vegan marshmallow treats, since you can make them with any cereal you want!
Ingredients and substitutions
- vegan butter - There are lots of plant-based butter options out there, so choose your favorite! You can also use coconut oil, if you like. If you want to use coconut oil but not taste it, choose refined coconut oil.
- vegan mini marshmallows - Dandies are my favorite vegan marshmallows to use. Use their regular one or flavored ones. It would be a lot of fun to make vegan rice crispy treats using Dandies maple-flavored marshmallows! If you can't find vegan mini marshmallows, you can use vegan full-sized ones and just cut them into quarters. Full sized marshmallows will take forever to melt!
- vegan cereal - You can use crisp rice cereal for a classic vegan rice crispy treat, but feel free to mix and match. In this recipe, I used mostly vegan rice cereal but added a bit of a fun, fruity kid's cereal for color and a fun, fruity flavor.
How to make vegan rice crispy treats
Start by lining an 8x8" glass pan with parchment paper. Make sure the paper goes up the sides. You may need two sheets to make this happen.
You can grease the pan instead of lining, but lining the pan makes cleanup such a breeze! Plus, you can use the parchment paper to store the treats, so they won't stick to each other.
In a saucepan on low heat, melt the vegan butter or coconut oil, then add the marshmallows and keep stirring until they melt, too. They're ready when they get 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 the lined glass pan. Let the treats cool for 20 minutes in the freezer, then pop them out and cut them into squares.
- When you're melting the butter and marshmallows together, stir almost constantly, so they don't stick to the bottom of the pan or burn.
- Once the marshmallows melt, work quickly to fold in the cereal while it's at its runniest.
Serving and storage directions
Store these in an airtight container. I like to put squares of parchment paper between them so they won't stick together.
They will keep for a couple of days on the kitchen counter or pantry or up to a week in the fridge.
Frequently asked questions
You might be wondering what could possible not be vegan about marshmallows and cereal. There are two non-vegan ingredients in the traditional version of this recipe, one of which isn't even vegetarian: butter and marshmallows.
Butter makes sense (and is easy to substitute by using vegan butter!), but you might be wondering why marshmallows aren't vegan.
Marshmallows are made with gelatin, which is ground up bones and ligaments, usually from cows. Kosher gelatin usually uses the ground up bones and ligaments from fish.
No, thank you!
Vegan marshmallows used to be hard to find. Now, though, they're widely available and work as well as the animal kind in this recipe!
I used Dandies for this recipe, but any vegan marshmallows will do the trick. Trader Joe's marshmallows are also vegan, and they're very affordable. TJ's marshmallows are a seasonal item, so when you do see them, stock up!
More sweet treats
Vegan Rice Crispy Treats
- Start by lining an 8x8" glass pan with parchment paper. Make sure the paper goes up the sides. You may need 2 sheets to make this happen. You can grease the pan instead of lining, but lining the pan makes cleanup such a breeze!
- In a saucepan on low heat, melt the vegan butter or coconut oil, then add the marshmallows and keep stirring until they melt, too. They're ready when they get 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 the lined glass pan. Let the treats cool for 20 minutes in the freezer, then pop them out and cut them into 9 squares.
- parchment paper