Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats are a chocolatey twist on classic Rice Krispie Treats, with semi-sweet chocolate chips and rich cocoa powder in an ooey-gooey marshmallow and cereal mixture. These are perfect for bake sales, surprising your kids after school, or as a fun weekend treat that is ready in about 20 minutes!
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Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats will take our classic Rice Krispies Treats to the next level! Whether you're looking for a fun dessert to make with the kids or just want to indulge in a sweet treat, this easy recipe is always a huge hit!
Perfect for chocolate lovers, cereal lovers, or just anyone with a bit of a sweet tooth, these bars are the perfect combination of gooey and crunchy.
A lot of recipes only use melted chocolate to make these cereal bars chocolatey, but I love using cocoa powder as well to make sure everything gets a lovely chocolate coating on it and to really boost the chocolate flavor profile.
You can customize these bad boys with your favorite kind of chocolate chips or add-ins like nuts or chopped candy bars too!
Why We Love This Recipe
- We'll be using cereal and some pantry staples for these treats, so you may have everything you need already!
- Use your favorite kind of chocolate, add-ins, or toppings to change up the base recipe. (HINT: Andes Mint Chips sprinkled over the top are divine!)
- Quick and easy, these chocolatey treats are a great recipe for getting small hands involved in the kitchen—what kid doesn't love a sweet, sticky mess?!
What You'll Need
Scroll down to the recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Butter - Butter will help bind the ingredients together. Use salted butter to enhance the flavors in these yummy treats!
- Marshmallows - I've used large and mini marshmallows here, but you can use one kind, or jumbo ones if you have them.
- Cocoa Powder - To make sure these delicious treats are covered in chocolate and bursting with cocoa flavor!
- Chocolate Chips - Use semi-sweet chocolate chips or milk chocolate chips depending on your sweetness preference.
- Vanilla Extract - To add a warm, sweet flavor that blends well with the cocoa and marshmallows.
- Kosher Salt - A pinch of salt helps tone down the sweetness in these bars and balance the flavors out.
- Rice Krispies Cereal - Plain Rice Krispies Cereal (or non-branded crispy rice cereal) works well here. You could also use Cocoa Krispies or Cocoa Pebbles instead, but there is enough chocolate in the recipe that it works with plain Rice Krispies, which is what I tested the recipe with.
My friend Meredith has me convinced that the large marshmallows are better because there is less surface area coated in the powdery coating so they actually melt better and make for gooey-er rice krispies treats.
It makes sense to me, plus I always seem to have partial bags of large marshmallows left over from s'mores that I like to use up, but you can really use any marshmallows you like.
How to Make Chocolate Rice Krispies Treats
- Melt butter. Heat butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat until completely melted. Set the butter wrapper aside to save for later instead of throwing it away!
- Add marshmallows. Add most of the marshmallows to the melted butter, reserving 2 cups for later.
- Stir until melted. Reduce the heat to low, and stir until the marshmallows are completely melted, then remove from the heat.
- Add chocolate, vanilla, and salt. Add in the cocoa powder, chocolate chips, vanilla, and salt.
- Stir until melted. Stir until combined and the chocolate chips have melted.
- Add cereal. Add rice krispies and reserved marshmallows.
- Gently stir until coated. Stir until the cereal is evenly coated in the marshmallow mixture.
- Put in pan and let it set. Pour the Chocolate Rice Krispie mixture into the prepared pan and gently press it down into an even layer with the reserved butter wrapper (or with the back of a spoon in a pinch). Add some extra marshmallows if desired, and let it set up for 15 minutes before slicing it into squares with a sharp knife.
Store the treats in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days. If it's warm and humid, you might want to keep them in the fridge to prevent them from becoming too soft. If your leftovers are hard, you can reheat them in the microwave for 15–20 seconds to soften them up before serving.
Wrap the bars tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil, either individually or in the slab before slicing it, and place in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let it defrost at room temperature before slicing or serving.
Tips for Success
- Measure and set out all your ingredients before you start cooking. This helps prevent any mishaps and ensures you have everything ready to go.
- I like using my large Dutch oven for this recipe, but any kind of large pot or large saucepan will work.
- Hang on to your butter wrapper for pressing the rice krispie treats into the pan. It won't stick to the mixture like your hands or even a spatula or spoon will.
- Allow the treats to cool and set before cutting them into squares. This usually takes about an hour at room temperature. You can speed up the process by placing them in the fridge, but this might make them a bit firmer.
What are the best add-ins for Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats?
Add some extra bits to these Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats to add more texture and flavor to your bars. Try some of the following:
- Chopped peanuts or chopped walnuts
- Dried cherries, or craisins for a fruity, chewy addition
- Mint chips, peanut butter chips, vanilla chips, caramel chips, or butterscotch chips
- Chopped candy bars or sprinkles
- Small candies like Reese's Pieces or Mini M&M's
- Swirl in some peanut butter for Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats, or some Biscoff cookie butter for added flavor and texture.
Substitutions and Variations
- Drizzle some melted chocolate or chocolate ganache on top, or add a layer of melted chocolate to the top for more decadence!
- If you only have unsalted butter, add ½ teaspoon of salt to the mix.
- Use white chocolate chips and omit the cocoa powder or use white cocoa powder if you prefer a snowy version for the holidays!
More Rice Krispies Treats Recipes
- Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats
- S'mores Rice Krispies Treats
- Strawberry Rice Krispies Treats
- Fruity Pebbles Rice Krispies Treats
Did you make this recipe?
Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.
Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats
- ½ cup salted butter
- 2 (10-ounce) bags marshmallows, divided
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 9 cups rice krispies cereal
- Lightly butter or spray a 9x9 baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Heat butter in a large heavy bottomed pot over medium heat until completely melted. Save the butter wrapper for later.
- Add most of the marshmallows, reserving 2 cups for later and reduce the heat to low. Stir until the marshmallows are completely melted, then remove from the heat.
- Add cocoa powder, chocolate chips, vanilla, and salt. Stir until combined and the chocolate chips have melted.
- Add rice krispies and reserved marshmallows. Stir until the cereal is evenly coated in the marshmallow mixture. Pour into the prepared pan and gently press with the reserved butter wrapper.
- Let set up for 15 minutes before slicing into squares.
- Store: Store the treats in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days. If it's warm and humid, you might want to keep them in the fridge to prevent them from becoming too soft. If your leftovers are hard, you can reheat them in the microwave for 15–20 seconds to soften them up before serving.
- Freeze: Wrap the bars tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil, either individually or in the slab before slicing it, and place in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let it defrost at room temperature before slicing or serving.