Learn how to make PERFECT Christmas Rice Krispie treats. They’re thick, soft, and decorated with Christmas colored M&M’s, sprinkles, and sanding sugar.
Christmas Rice Krispie Treats
These Christmas Rice Krispies are so fun and easy to make with the kiddos! They’re the perfect Christmas treats to make over the holidays. They’re also great treats to send to school with your kids since they’re peanut free.
These holiday rice krispie treats are soft and chewy with a hint of vanilla. They aren’t overly loaded with M&M’s, there’s just enough to have a little chocolate surprise in every bite. Then you get the delicious chewy marshmallow pieces throughout which makes the texture perfect. It’s all topped off with pretty Christmas colored sprinkles to make these treats extra special and pretty!
I love Rice Krispie Treats so much. Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats are my all-time favorite, but these Halloween Rice Krispie Treats and Easter Rice Krispie Treats are also pretty great and so festive!
Rice Krispie Cereal: Rice Krispie cereal is the base of this treat. The puffed rice cereal is perfect in this recipe because it’s light and airy and not overly sweet. That means that it can mix with and balance out the sweetness of the marshmallows and Christmas candy.
Butter: You need butter in Rice Krispie treats because it helps keep them soft and moist. If you don’t use enough, you’ll end up with hard and brittle treats. If you use too much, your Rice Krispie treats will be too soft and soggy.
Marshmallows: Marshmallows are a key ingredient in Rice Krispie treats. They bind the cereal together without making the cereal soggy, add sweetness, and remain soft after cooling.
One of my favorite tricks is to mix a little bit of extra mini marshmallows in after you coat the cereal in the melted marshmallows. That creates soft little pockets that really improve the overall texture of these cereal treats.
It’s important to use a fresh bag of marshmallows. Ones that have been sitting out and drying out for a while won’t melt well, and you’ll end up with dry Rice Krispie treats.
Vanilla: Since this is a no-bake dessert, using pure vanilla extract is more important than it would be when you’re baking a cake or a batch of cookies. The flavor of the vanilla extract will be more noticeable, so I’d recommend using pure vanilla extract if you can.
Red and Green Candy: A combination of red and green M&M’s, sprinkles, and sanding sugar flavor and decorate these Christmas treats easily and perfectly! You get lovely little pockets of chocolate flavor from the M&M’s and a beautiful festive Christmas look from the combination of red and green candies.
How To Make Christmas Rice Krispie Treats
Prepare the baking dish with cooking spray and parchment paper, then set it to the side. Melt the butter in a non-stick pot, then add in most of the marshmallows. (See the recipe card below for the full printable instructions.)
Stir the marshmallows occasionally until they’ve just barely melted, then remove the pot from the heat. Mix in the vanilla extract and add the Rice Krispie cereal.
Gently stir until the cereal is evenly coated in the melted marshmallows, then add in the remaining marshmallows, most of the M&M’s, half of the sanding sugar, and all of the sprinkles. Gently stir until the mixture is fully combined.
Transfer the cereal treat mixture to the prepared baking dish and spread it evenly out to the edges of the pan. Sprinkle the remaining M&M’s and sanding sugar over the top of the treats. Very lightly press the toppings in so that they stick after cooling. Let the treats cool to room temperature before removing them from the pan, slicing, and serving. See the recipe card below for the full written instructions, including ingredient amounts, cooking times, and helpful tips, etc.
How To Decorate Rice Krispie Treats For Christmas
Decorating Rice Krispie treats with red and green M&M’s, sprinkles, and sanding sugar for Christmas is my favorite way because it’s so quick and easy.
You could also mix a bit of green food coloring into the treats and then cut them into triangles so that they resemble Christmas trees. Pretzel sticks or peppermint sticks make great edible tree trunks if you decide to go that route. I also love drizzling some melted white chocolate lines back and forth across them to resemble Christmas tree lights.
How Do You Cut Rice Krispie Treats Neatly?
The best way to get clean cuts when you’re cutting Rice Krispie treats is to spray the blade of your knife with a little bit of cooking spray. This helps prevent the marshmallows from sticking to the knife. You’ll probably need to repeat this after every few cuts.
Pro tip: This also works with cookie cutters if you want to cut your treats into shapes. Just be sure to spray the inside and outside of the cookie cutters.
How Do You Keep Rice Krispie Squares From Getting Hard?
If you’re making these in advance, wait to cut them until just before serving. Once they’re cut, they have more exposed surfaces, which causes them to dry out more quickly (drying out is what makes them hard and brittle). It’s also important to store them in an airtight container (I normally cover the baking dish tightly with plastic wrap – just make sure it’s cooled to room temperature first).
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If you like this recipe, be sure to check out our entire dessert section! Some reader favorite no-bake desserts are:
- 6 Tablespoons salted butter (84 grams)
- 8 cups mini marshmallows (divided)*
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
- 1 cup red and green M&M’s (divided)
- 2 Tablespoons red and green sprinkles
- 2 Tablespoon red and green sanding sugar (divided)
- Lightly grease the sides of an 8x8 baking dish using cooking spray. Line the pan with parchment paper. (This makes it easier to remove the Rice Krispie treats from the pan later - I cut an 8x16 piece of parchment paper and used the extra length as handles.)
- Heat a large non-stick pot over medium-low heat. Once heated, add the butter and swirl to melt. Once the butter has melted, add in 7 cups of mini marshmallows. Stir them occasionally until they have just melted (about 3-4 minutes). After the marshmallows melt, remove from the pot from the heat. (Cooking the marshmallows too long will make them hard once they cool.)
- Mix the pure vanilla extract into the melted marshmallows, then add the Rice Krispies cereal. Gently stir until the Rice Krispies are just coated.
- Add in the remaining 1 cup of mini marshmallows (reserve a few to the side if you want to decorate the top with them), 3/4 cup of M&M’s, all of the sprinkles, and half of the sanding sugar. Mix again until fully combined. (The mixture will still be warm when mixing, so the M&M’s will melt slightly, but that's OK!)
- Pour the Rice Krispie treats into the prepared pan, and lightly press down and spread it out evenly to the edges. Sprinkle the remaining candy on top of the treats and lightly press down again to make sure the toppings will stick after it cools. (Don't press the treats down too hard, just enough that the candy sticks to the top.)
- Allow the Christmas Rice Krispie treats to cool completely to room temperature (about 1 hour) before cutting into 16 servings (roughly 2” squares).
*It’s important to use a fresh bag of marshmallows. Ones that have been sitting out and drying out for a while won’t melt well, and you’ll end up with dry Rice Krispie treats.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 232Total Fat: 4.8gCarbohydrates: 39.7gFiber: 0.5gSugar: 23.9gProtein: 2.1g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.
If you’re looking for an easy last minute Christmas dessert, these Christmas Rice Krispie treats are the perfect holiday treat!