Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats

Hello, food enthusiasts! Today, we’re diving into a delightful recipe that combines the sweet nostalgia of Rice Krispie treats with the irresistible nuttiness of brown butter. 

These Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats, inspired by the marvelous Smitten Kitchen, are the perfect blend of sweet and salty flavors. They are simple to make, utterly delicious, and sure to be a hit at any gathering. So, let’s get started on this mouthwatering journey!


  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces or 115 grams) unsalted butter, plus extra for the pan
  • 1 10-ounce (285-gram) bag of marshmallows
  • Heaping 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 6 cups (160 grams) crispy rice cereal (about half a 12-ounce box)


Prepare Your Pan

Start by buttering or coating an 8-inch square cake pan with 2-inch sides with non-stick spray. This will ensure that your treats don’t stick to the pan and come out quickly when it’s time to indulge.

Brown the Butter

In a large pot, melt the unsalted butter over medium-low heat. This process is where the magic begins. The butter will go through several stages – it will melt, then foam, then turn clear golden, and finally, start to turn brown and emit a nutty aroma. Stir frequently and scrape up any bits from the bottom as you go. It’s crucial to keep a close eye on the pot because the transition from golden to burnt can happen in less than a minute.

As soon as the butter takes on that beautiful nutty color, turn off the heat.

Add the Marshmallows

Now, stir in the marshmallows. The residual heat from the browned butter should be sufficient to melt them. However, if needed, you can turn the heat back on low until the marshmallows become smooth and creamy.

Season with Sea Salt

Remove the pot from the stove and sprinkle the heaping 1/4 teaspoon of coarse sea salt over the marshmallow-butter mixture. This addition of salt is what elevates these treats to the next level, balancing out the sweetness with a delightful touch of saltiness. Give it a gentle stir to distribute the salt evenly.

Mix in the Crispy Rice Cereal

Now, add the crispy rice cereal to the pot. Gently fold it into the marshmallow-butter mixture until everything is well combined. The result should be a gooey, sticky, and wonderfully fragrant concoction that’s begging to be turned into delicious treats.

Press and Shape

Quickly transfer this delightful mixture into your prepared 8-inch square cake pan. To make this step easier, you can use a piece of waxed or parchment paper that has been lightly sprayed with oil to press the mixture firmly and evenly into the edges and corners of the pan. Alternatively, a silicone spatula will also work wonders in smoothing everything out.

Allow to Set

Once your Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats are neatly packed into the pan, let them sit and cool for at least an hour. This will allow them to set and make it easy to cut into squares or bars.

Cut and Serve

After they’ve had time to firm up, it’s time for the best part – cutting and serving! You can choose to cut them into 16 generous 2-inch squares or 32 smaller 1- x 2-inch bars. The choice is yours!


And there you have it – a delectable batch of Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats that will have everyone asking for seconds. 

The combination of the rich, nutty brown butter with the sweet, gooey marshmallows and the subtle kick of sea salt takes the classic Rice Krispie treat to new heights of flavor. Whether you’re making these for a family gathering, a potluck, or just to satisfy your sweet tooth, they’re sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

Remember, the key to success with this recipe is to be patient when browning the butter, and don’t skimp on that pinch of sea salt – it’s the secret ingredient that makes these treats truly special.

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