Gluten-Free Rice Crispy Treats

Gluten-free brown rice crispy treats, GFG style.

Crispy Rice Goodness

Sunday seems to stir up all kinds of sneaky devils and hungry ghosts in the guise of food nostalgia. I dreamed up my last post about Zucchini Gratin on a Sunday, stirring up a bread crumbed casserole of desire fraught with secret emotions and sticky attachments. Food as familial. Food evoking a warm embrace. Food as a way to connect our twenty-one grams of soul to this earth. The ground of being.

I think I know why I'm tip toeing in the garden of nostalgia lately.

My tribe is expanding.

The family my husband and I created when we held hands and promised I do through a veil of mutual tears is now plus one. I have a new daughter-in-law I regard with deep affection. She brings a fresh focus to our four-squared history. And I see us in a slightly altered light, looking at our shared quirks and wrinkles and dreams with renewed optimism. Our clan now feels stronger. Our humble, wacky tribe feels enriched.

And more than a tad sweeter.

Love, Rice Crispy Treats, and soy milk. Sunday best.

Which brings me to a 1950's baby boomer favorite. Rice Krispie Treats. Which, Dear Reader, I am sorry to tell you, I have absolutely no recollection of ever eating. I have wracked my cranium and come up with nada. No bars of snap, crackle, pop. Apparently my mother was not a Rice Krispie fan. Which may explain my deep abiding love for peanut butter toast.

So why the sudden nostalgia for this gimmicky no-bake treat? I have no idea. But I became a woman obsessed. I absolutely, positively had to make them.

Then I read the recipe.

Butter. Marshmallows. My heart sank a little. (Dairy. Gelatin. Corn syrup. Not on my Love List.) My dream of a crispy rice treat was going to need more than just a gluten-free version of Rice Krispies. It was going to need a little postmodern reinvention. A little vegan love. A little boost in the wholesome aspect. A little less spun corn syrup fakery and little more genuine yummiosity.

A sweet crispy treat worthy of your favorite java, tea, or chai.

So forgive me if I've tinkered with your mini-marshmallow dreams, Darling. But there's no corn or animal byproducts binding these delectable morsels of light and crispy rice goodness. Nope. You'll just have to read the recipe to discover my secret caramel stick-to-it-ness.

Oh. And I almost forgot to mention. My beautiful daughter-in-law?

She's vegan.

Brown rice crispy cereal and caramel flavors. Killer combo.

GFG Gluten-Free Rice Crispy Treats Recipe

Recipe posted September 2011 by Karina Allrich.
These easy no-bake treats are free of gluten, dairy, corn (use corn-free vanilla extract), and soy. But flavor? Flavor they got. Big time. Lovely, sticky caramel almondy deliciousness.


1 1/4 cups gluten-free organic brown rice syrup
3/4 cup organic almond butter
2 tablespoons organic coconut oil
2 teaspoons bourbon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
6 cups gluten-free crispy brown rice cereal


Line a baking pan with a piece of parchment paper that extends up the long sides. Set aside.

In a saucepan, heat the brown rice syrup over medium heat, and stir until it begins to bubble a bit. Remove from heat and stir in the almond butter, coconut oil, vanilla and almond extract. As you stir the mixture, it should thicken and become glossy and elastic, much like caramel taffy.

Pour the crispy rice cereal into a large heat-safe mixing bowl. Carefully pour in the warm syrup mixture, and using a silicone spatula or wooden spoon, gently stir to coat all the cereal.

Scoop the coated cereal into the lined baking pan and spread evenly, gently smoothing out the top surface. Cover the pan with a sheet of plastic wrap or parchment paper.

Pop the pan into the fridge to chill.

When the bars have firmed to the touch, remove them from the pan, gripping the parchment edges and set them on a cutting board. Use a large sharp knife to score and cut the squares.

Wrap and chill. Store in the fridge.

Makes 24 squares.

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A new addition to the family. And a sweet new favorite.


Read labels, darlings. Not all crispy rice cereals are gluten-free. Choose one that sports "gluten-free" on the label. And if you- like me- are not a fan of the preservative BHT added to the new Gluten-Free Rice Krispies, take heart. There are lovely crispy brown rice cereals sans the yucky additive. Check the natural cereals aisle. And buy organic. Support our organic farmers and their families.

If almond butter is a no-no for you, try cashew butter.
If only a seed butter will do, it will work, but most seed butters have a much stronger flavor than subtle tasting almond butter, so the change will definitely affect the overall taste. It will be more intensely nutty. Maybe add in some mini-dark chocolate chips to cut the nuttiness?

Recipe Source:

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xox Karina


Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I remember eating crispy rice bars when I was a kid, but they were always made by someone else's mother. Thank goodness I had friends whose mothers liked to bake!

April said...

This has made my dreams come true. Can't wait to try it!

Jennifer said...

I'm allergic to corn, so this corn free alternative to a favorite treat is welcome, will have to try this soon!

Fannie said...

These look lovely. I just started eating dairy free today (I've been gluten free for awhile) and I'm looking forward to making some yummy treats to take the edge off missing dairy ice cream! I'm dairy free for now while I breastfeed my baby- I think she has a dairy issue. So, thank you for making my Gf/Cf life a little sweeter.

Kalyn said...

What a gorgeous post and a delicious-sounding treat as well. My mom made Rice Krispie Treats and I ate lots of them when I was teaching school (seemed to be a favorite treat for moms to bring.) Your version looks much more healthful and tastier too.

Dirty Dee said...

This looks like the perfect thing for me to bring to girl's day with my mom, sisters and nieces this weekend. Thanks for giving it a healthy makeover! :-)

Caitlin said...

so beautiful karina. beautiful and perfect ;)

CassidyS said...

Wow - these look delicious!!! And your pictures are beautiful :)

Raj @ Flip Cookbook said...

Reminding myself that I shouldn't look at your blog while I wait for my dinner to be cooked. Oh man - I really want dessert now. :D Thanks for sharing this tasty recipe!

Shirley @ gfe said...

As I said on Twitter, these are an allergen-free work of art! Really, I don't think I've ever seen any rice crispy treats that are more beautiful and I'm sure they are equally delicious. Plus I like that these are healthier and less "generic." How cool is it that the need for special diets inspires such a recipe!

I don't remember mom making rice crispy treats. I remember a friend making them fairly often years ago. She would add cocoa to the recipe to make her own chocolate version, which was also a fine idea. Not too intense, just a lovely "chocolate-toned" version. ;-)


Heidi said...

I was recently diagnosed with Celiac disease and I can't tell you how happy I was to find you! THANK YOU!

gluten free gift said...

As a celiac child growing up in the 70's, "rice krispie treats" as they were dubbed, were a staple in my diet (we must have ignored the malt flavouring... or perhaps it wasn't there?). They got me through a lot of bake sales at school. I aim to avoid much of what you do in my diet, and the fact that these are still so EASY means they are on my list for this week! (I'd better invite some friends over for tea).

Karina - I just posted about you on my blog last night - top 5 gf blogs for those who want to dig deeper in the kitchen. You are amazing and I'm so pleased to have found you! Please take a look at √

Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit said...

I absolutely love that there are no marshmellows in this!

Swede1974 said...

I'm so excited about this. Could you substitute agave for the Brown Rice Syrup? I can't wait to show this to all of my GF and vegan friends!

Samantha S. Archibald said...

so karina are u saying that BHT in the new gluten free rice crispy cereal is bad? i bought 4 boxes by the bulk. OMG!!! I was going to use that in the recipe. Also, how is the caramel consistency different from the marshmallows? will my son miss it? Also, i always use Earth Balance soy free magarine. Have you heard of it? is it good? I use almond butter as a alternative to peanut butter, didn't know you could back with it!? Your response would be greatly appreciated.

Stormy @Maoomba said...

These look delicious and hospitable to a DF/GF person like myself! I am looking forward to trying them out.

VeggieAmanda said...

I'm a gluten free vegan and these sound delicious! It has been many years since I've had these treats, but your recipe sounds better than the original!

Zoe said...

Beautifully written Karina. I find your posts to be so sweet and kind, often inspiring. Your generosity is unmatched. The recipes, the photos, the words are uplifting, memorable, and most of all, delicious! I am gluten free and vegan and I have not found a book or blog that can hold a candle to your hard work here. Thank you for your dedication.

Meghann LittleStudio said...

*insert girly scream of delight here* WOWEE!! I have wanted to make GF, vegan crispy rice squares forever anow now I can! Oh, thank you, thank you thank you! You are the bestest :)
Yours forever lovingly,

Laureen said...

Isn't it fun to create healthier versions of childhood favorites? I baked a GF, refined SF version of a Lazy Daisy Cake this past weekend...yum without the belly complaints.
Your Crispy Treats look and sound fantastic. I'm a huge fan of almond butter.. I'm adding your recipe to my Must-Make-This list pronto
I love your food, stories and photography. Congrats on the new addition to your family :)

The InTolerant Chef said...

These are not something we grew up with over here, but they sound fantastic. I think your version certainly sounds like the the best option- chewy caramel, what's not to love?

Elizabeth J Photography said...

Lovely. We call it bubble log in New Zealand! Maybe not quite as friendly as yours, but GF all the same, I make it for my kids (ahem and me) and its so versatile. Options for us are GF muesli, and the favourite at the moment is freshly popped corn.

s.e. said...

I have a recipe that is very similar to this, has peanut butter and I used melted (vegan) margarine. It also has chocolate chips (or carob chips) in it:) The recipe calls for corn syrup but I have always substituted brown rice syrup like you used. This turns out wonderfully, I have been making this for about 5 years.

Eliana's Natural Frugal Living said...

sooooo excited!! I'm going to surprise my husband with these!! We were just reminiscing about rice crispy treats the other day but not wanting the corn syrup junk. You've got the wheels turning. I will adjust it some for less sugar for us but you have made me so happy :) thank you

EA-The Spicy RD said...

Perfect timing! My kids and I have had Rice Krispie treats {It's been a long time since I've had one though}, but we've never made them before. My daughter just asked if we could make some the other day, and your recipe looks like the perfect one to try! Congratulations on your expanding family :-)

Jen said...

I can't wait to make this recipe!!

Helen Marshall said...

I just made these with Envirokids Koala Krispies, which are chocolate rice krispies ~ fabulous!

Amber said...

Hi There Karina~

Just made this tonight - NO WORDS!!!!!!!!!!! My kids didn't know what to do with husband's eyes were rolling back in his head. Thank you for this amazing recipe.
So. Very. Delicious!

Meghan (Making Love In The Kitchen) said...

Isn't this everyone's all time fave treat? Love your version. Mine is similar- though often I'll add a little raw cocoa and toasted almonds.

Laura said...

I just made these for a friend's fundraiser for teenage suicide prevention, and they were so easy and soooooooo delicious! I love the almond flavoring from the extract and the almond butter. These are much more satisfying than the original rice krispies laden with marshmallows and gobs of sugar. I'm glad to have a new recipe that I can use for bake sales, class parties, or just any occasion. Thank you for a wonderful recipe!

p.s. I subbed Spectrum for the coconut oil -- no problems.

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