Everyone’s favorite after school snack gets a sophisticated update with these salted caramel brown butter rice krispie treats.
salted caramel brown butter rice krispie treats

If Snap, Krackle and Pop had a high school dropout cousin from the wrong side of town who got knocked up by her ex-convict boyfriend?

These rice krispie treats would be their lovechild.


Between their brown butter base and salted caramel swirl, you can just tell they were born of some serious passion.

They’re sultry in their dark sweetness and wrong in all the right ways.

So bad and yet so so good.


If you’re looking to upgrade your favorite childhood snack from a G-rated after school special to something that requires adult supervision, these krispie treats are it. They do require a little bit more effort than your typical melt-and-stir krispie treat recipe, but the salted caramel step at the beginning is worth the extra ten minutes of effort.

And because we are all adults here, we get to lick the bowl without spoiling our supper. Heck, it can even be our supper if we want it to. So many perks, all of them edible. Always a good thing.

I sent these rice krispie treats to Elizabeth from In The Loop for this month’s Leftovers Club! Go check it out to see how to sign up, and look below to see what everyone else made!

Salted Caramel Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats
Everyone's favorite after school snack gets a sophisticated update with these salted caramel brown butter rice krispie treats.
Yield: 16 large squares or 32 normal squares
For the salted caramel
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ⅔ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp sea salt
For the treats
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 20 oz marshmallows
  • 18 oz crispy rice cereal
  • flaky sea salt, for sprinkling
  1. In a small saucepan, stir together the sugar and water. Turn the heat to medium and cook, swirling every so often to make sure it is cooking evenly, until deep amber. Remove from the heat and add the heavy cream, whisking constantly. Return to low heat and continue to cook, stirring, until totally combined. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and sea salt. Set aside while you prepare the rest of the treats.
  2. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan.
  3. In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Cook until it starts to brown, stirring frequently. Add in the marshmallows and cook until melted, stirring constantly. Mix in ⅔ of the salted caramel. Remove from the heat and stir in the rice cereal until thoroughly combined.
  4. Pack the mixture into the prepared baking pan. Drizzle the remaining salted caramel over the top and sprinkle with sea salt. Let cool for at least an hour before cutting and serving.
Slightly adapted from Completely Delicious
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 square

For more after school snack ideas, check out these:

bouchon bakery chocolate chunk and chip cookies from Eats Well With Others

Bouchon Bakery Chocolate Chunk and Chip Cookies

cookie dough truffles

Cookie Dough Truffles

pineapple ginger granola bars

Pineapple Ginger Granola Bars

From around the web:

Cake Batter Rice Krispie Treats from Gimme Some Oven

Salted Caramel Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats from The Comfort of Cooking

S’mores Krispie Treats from The Baker Chick

White Chocolate Cinnamon Bun Krispie Treats from Keep It Sweet

Oreo Rice Krispie Treats from Chef in Training


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64 Responses to Salted Caramel Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats

  1. Sune Moolman says:

    I don’t know which I love more: the mouth-watering recipe or the anecdote of the treats being a crazy lovechild!
    Brilliant Joanne, thank you – you made my day!
    (Oh, and these are soooooo happening for me this weekend.)

  2. hahaha “born for some serious passion” – love it! And I love these. Rice krispie treats are so flipping tasty.

  3. Lynn says:

    Love that description of these treats being a love child. 🙂 They look so good!

  4. Wow – these look amazing! Definitely a fancy change-up to rice krispie treats!

  5. Baby June says:

    Oh wow, these sound awesome! Way to take rice crispy treats to the next level! 😀 I’ll have to try this variation sometime soon! 🙂

  6. Rice krispie treats have actually been one of my random pregnancy cravings, pretty sure this would do the trick!

  7. Love these! Salted caramel is ALWAYS a good idea, as is brown butter 😉

  8. Shaina says:

    YUM. Salted caramel is amazing…these rice krispies sound toooo good

  9. This. sounds. so. good. Lucky Elizabeth!!!

  10. Maria says:

    Joanne, the lines on your treats are perfect. Do you have any secrets for slicing bar-shaped items? Maybe you could do a post on presentation techniques. I often end up keeping a baked item at home because it falls apart in the slicing process…not the worst thing ever, but not great for sharing!

  11. It’s a lucky child who gets a plate of these for after school. These rice crispies look perfect (ditto on showing us your slicing technique)

  12. Brown butter makes everything taste better. It’s so rich and nutty, gives such a great flavor. I love that you added it to these krispie treats! It totally elevates them to a new level.

  13. YUM! I love rice krispies, and I would do flips over yours with brown butter!

  14. Tahnycooks says:

    You’re hilarious and yet I totally got you on the love child thing! I want this krispie treat right now!! yum!

  15. OMG those are so thick and amazing! I already know I would love those, now to get the ingredients.

  16. OMG totally LOVE this gourmet take on a classic kids snack!! You could even serve these at a wedding 😉

  17. I love rice krispie bars! The classic is amazing, but you could never go wrong by throwing caramel and brown butter into the mix. 😉 These bars look simply incredible. Pinned!

  18. I so do love a childhood snack that has been upgraded “from a G-rated after school special to something that requires adult supervision” – what a unique twist on rice krispie treats!

  19. ima make these for my niece and nephew so they can be the sophisticated kids at school haha

  20. It’s probably a good thing that I don’t have any rice krispies or these would be happening now!

  21. Zainab says:

    I am so not paying attention to this zebrafish talk and I am totally drooling over these krispie treats. Total upgrade!!!

  22. Heather says:

    Yum. I love rice krispie treats, and these definitely sound like they’re worth the extra work.

  23. I’m pretty sure you ripped these straight from my dreams. SO pumped about getting these – thank you!!

  24. I’m all for making adult versions of childhood favorites. YUM!

  25. bellini says:

    No need to convince me Joanne!!

  26. Kinsey says:

    Yum! My two favorite things (salted caramel and brown butter?) in a rice krispie treat. I’ll have to make this a home soon, and if I find vegetarian marshmallows then I can eat them, too! perfect!

  27. Jordan says:

    Ummm… making these TONIGHT!

  28. Could you pleeeeeeeeease save me a piece? They look so darn good.

  29. This sounds like the most perfect adaptation of the traditional!

  30. danielle says:

    I believe you just created the ultimate rice krispie treat.

  31. Danguole says:

    Oooooh YES. I have to disagree about Snap/Krackle/Pop’s cousin though… I think she sounds more like a globe-trotting adventurer with a serious taste for what’s good, if these are any indication.

  32. Clearly we both had salty sweet on the brain! These look great!

  33. Julia says:

    Oh heck yes on the rice krispy that was born of passion! I’ll take them no other way from here on out! I’ll spoil my supper on these any dern day! 🙂

  34. Mmm … Joanne, thanks so much for the permission to eat these for dinner! 🙂

  35. Kate says:

    I really love twists on rice krispie treats!

  36. Joanne, what a tease! I love rice krispie treats and these look so decadent… I should be on a diet, not dreaming of these!! 😉

  37. Baby, you had me at salted caramel. I am addicted to it! I can adapt this recipe by using Chex cereal if I crumble it. Looks great!
    Thanks for the birthday wishes, I appreciate that!

  38. This is going to ruin my diet…….

  39. Lynna says:

    *gasp* This is definitely a must try for me! I`m in freakin love with salted caramel. Brown butter already takes rice krispie treats to another level for me. Adding salted caramel? Swoonnnn!

  40. Wish I had some of these (like, a million) in front of me right now for my afternoon snack!

  41. Haha love your anecdote and I know I would love these treats. Yum!

  42. Oh man, I haven’t had Rice Krispie treats in so long! I love that buttery, marshmallowy flavor…yum! These ones look so good, and grown-up 😉

  43. So bad and yet so good…oh yesss….!!! I will take this grown up version! I’m sold!

  44. I would find it so hard to not eat it all before it sets. But it sounds like it would be worth it. Here in New Zealand we call them rice bubbles and our version of this has no marshmallows and uses honey, butter and sugar instead…this version sounds superior to everything I’ve ever tried though!

  45. I love the flavor combo and the thickness of these rice krispies treats! Clearly for adults only. 😉

  46. Faye says:

    Too funny! Now that’s my kind of lovechild.

  47. You’ve found my weakness, Jo!

  48. These are gorgeous Joanne. And after my recent failed black tahini rice crispie treats, they have extra appeal for holding together so beautifully!

  49. Megan says:

    Salted caramel and brown butter?!! These sound amazing!

  50. Yum! These sound so yummy. Love the change up on the Rice Krispie treats.

  51. I’ve never tried these before but now I’m going to see if I can get sugar free rice crispies!

  52. Monet says:

    How funny. I was just telling Ryan I wanted Rice Crispy treats! These look so good Joanne!

  53. you’re a genius. that is all. 😉

  54. maddj says:

    Sei davvero bravissima, eccezionale, il tuo blog è favoloso;
    sono una tua nuova folower, complimenti!!
    Ciao, se vuoi passare a trovarmi ne sarei onorata!!

  55. Johanna GGG says:

    hilarious post and yes please I am certainly adult enough for some of these and to lick the bowl

  56. Oh, I love it when you talk dirty. LOL. So funny, Joanne!

  57. oooooh these rice krispies are downright SEXYYYY! Salted caramel and brown butter are pretty much the secrets to happiness!

  58. Susan says:

    Salted caramel are two words that have me breathing harder! What a brilliant idea!

  59. I can only imagine how delicious these are. Brown butter and salted caramel…wow!

  60. Foodiewife says:

    Well, now you’ve done it. On my “About Me” page, I confess that Rice Krispie treats are like crack to me. This recipe should be illegal…and want it. Nice job, Joanne. I have to make these during my summer break. I might become too greedy about these, and hide them and snarf them all. I’m not sure if I should thank you.

  61. Reeni says:

    Lucky girl, that Elizabeth because these look absolutely delicious! Some of the best rice krispie treats I ever laid eyes on. They look extra thick and the flavors irresistible.

  62. Julie says:

    I made these last night and they were downright delicious!! It is definitely more work than the traditional treats, but so worth it. The guys at work have already torn through this entire batch today.

    Took maybe 30 minutes to put together. I didn’t quite realize how big the recipe is when I started – I admit that I ended up making a mess as the med/large dutch oven I used was not quite big enough to mix the entire batch. So just plan ahead and make sure you plan to use a pot big enough to mix the 18oz of cereal into the marshmallows.

  63. Honestly, who doesn’t love a rice krispie treat? We are Addicted – LOVE This recipe!

  64. […] Just another reason to enjoy more rice krispie treats. Get the recipe here. […]

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