Ultimate Brown Butter Rice Krispies Treats

Recipe by Lydia Fournier

With brown butter, toasted milk powder, and generous amounts of vanilla and salt, these are so much more than your average Rice Krispies treats. There are a few tricks that make these treats soft yet slightly chewy like adding a portion of the marshmallows right at the end of mixing to create pockets of ooey-gooey sweetness. These treats have become such a favorite of the King Arthur Editorial Team at staff gatherings, we’ve declared these the ultimate Rice Krispies treats!

14 mins
1 hr 14 mins
16 medium (2" square) treats
Ultimate Brown Butter Rice Krispies Treats - select to zoom
Ultimate Brown Butter Rice Krispies Treats - select to zoom
Ultimate Brown Butter Rice Krispies Treats - select to zoom
Brown Butter Rice Krispies Treats - select to zoom
Ultimate Brown Butter Rice Krispies Treats - select to zoom
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  1. Line the bottom and sides of an 8"square pan with a parchment sling. Lightly grease the parchment. Set aside.

  2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter until it begins to brown. Look for the butter to foam and sputter then start to show some brown bits at the bottom, about 3 minutes after it has melted.

    Brown Butter Rye Shortbread – Step 1
  3. Turn the heat to low. Add the milk powder and use a flexible spatula to incorporate, stirring constantly and making sure to clean the bottom and sides of the pan so the milk powder doesn’t burn. Cook until copper in color, about 1 to 2 minutes.

  4. Once the butter and milk powder are browned, turn off the heat and stir in the salt, vanilla, and 9 cups (387g) of the mini marshmallows. Stir to combine. Turn the heat back on low, stirring constantly, to fully melt the marshmallows.

  5. Once the marshmallows are fully melted, turn off the heat and remove the saucepan from the burner. Fold in the remaining 1 cup (43g) mini marshmallows. Fold only a couple times — the goal is not to melt the last addition of marshmallows.

  6. Add the cereal and stir until fully combined.

  7. Working quickly, scrape the marshmallow and cereal mixture into the prepared pan. Use the spatula to press and compact the mixture evenly into the pan.

  8. Let the Rice Krispies treats cool in the pan until they’re room temperature, about 1 hour. Use the parchment sling to remove the Rice Krispies treats out of the pan before slicing and serving.

  9. Store leftover Rice Krispies treats in an airtight container at room temperature for a week.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Dried whole milk keeps the Rice Krispies treats soft and lends a rich, deep flavor. In a pinch, substitute non-fat milk powder (the treats will not be as flavorful or soft) or leave the milk powder out entirely.

  • Why mini marshmallows? They melt quickly and evenly, and they also fold into the cereal mixture easily. If standard-sized marshmallows are the only option available, substitute an equal amount by weight (about one and a half 10-ounce bags). Use greased scissors to cut the reserved 1 cup (about 43g) of marshmallows into quarters (or smaller pieces) before folding into the cereal mixture. Using larger marshmallows will extend the total amount of time to make the recipe by several minutes since they take a bit longer to fully melt.