These decadent Salted Caramel Rice Krispie Treats put a fun twist on the classic with layers of chewy marshmallow and crunchy Rice Krispie cereal, gooey vegan salted caramel then finished off with a rich dark chocolate topping. No baking required, these treats are completely vegan and gluten free, and they’re pretty easy to made with a few simple ingredients!
What You’ll Need to Vegan Make Salted Caramel Rice Krispie Treats
Rice Krispie cereal: If you are strictly vegan or don’t use any animal products, you will need to find a brand of Rice Krispie cereal that does not contain vitamin D3 which is derived from animals. It’ll be labled as something like “crispy rice” or “crisp brown rice cereal.” If you are not vegan and you are just trying to avoid dairy, classic Rice Krispie cereal will work fine.
Marshmallows: Again, many marshmallow brands contain gelatin which is derived from animals, so you will need to find a brand labeled as vegan.
Vegan Butter: You will need to use your favorite brand of vegan butter for the Rice Krispie and the salted caramel. I always use Earth Balance baking sticks with great results. Feel free to substitute dairy butter for a non-vegan version.
Light Brown Sugar: This gives our caramel sauce that beautiful golden brown color. Make sure you use light brown sugar, as I’ve found that dark brown sugar will turn out grainy.
Coconut cream: To make our caramel sauce extra thick and rich, while also keeping the chocolate topping perfectly soft. You can buy cans of unsweetened coconut cream for this recipe or just refrigerate a can of unsweetened, full fat coconut milk for an hour or so and scrape off the solid white part to use.
Dark chocolate: Because marshmallow and caramel are super sweet, I like to balance things out with some extra dark chocolate. My favorite is 70% but anywhere from 60-80% will work.
Salt: It wouldn’t be salted caramel without the salt! I use sea salt in the caramel and a pinch of flaky salt at the end. This is optional, but really adds a cool texture.
How to Make Vegan Salted Caramel Rice Krispie Treats
Step 1: Make the salted caramel: You may want to get started on this one a few hours before making the other ingredients as it will need time to cool completely. Super easy, just melt some vegan butter in a saucepan, add in the coconut cream, sea salt and brown sugar. Whisk for about five minutes while keeping everything at a low simmer. You’ll know its ready when the caramel sauce is thick and smooth. Transfer the caramel to a jar and refrigerate until cool. This may take an hour or so.
Step 2: Make the Rice Krispie base: Also pretty easy, melt a few tablespoons of vegan butter in a large pot over medium heat. Dump in your marshmallows and cook those down, stirring frequently until they’ve melted into one big sticky heap. Fold in the cereal and press the mixture into parchment lined baking dish. You’ll want to work pretty quickly as the marshmallows will become quite sticky and difficult to work with. Set the base aside to cool for about 10 minutes.
Step 3: Add the caramel: Once your caramel is cool, go ahead and pour it over the Rice Krispie base. Use a spatula to spread it into an even layer then return the dish to the fridge until the caramel has set. About 30 minutes.
Step 4: Melt the chocolate: You’ll want to do this step after the caramel has set. Start by heating up the coconut cream either over the stove or in the microwave (my preferred method) until very hot. Pour over the dark chocolate and stir until smooth and melted.
Finally, pour the chocolate over the set caramel. Return to the fridge for about 15 minutes or until the chocolate has hardened. Top with a pinch of flaky salt, cut into squares and enjoy!
Tips for Making Salted Caramel Rice Krispie Treats
- If you are having difficulty pressing the marshmallow/cereal mixture into the baking dish, try lightly wetting a spatula and trying again.
- It’s a little annoying to let the caramel cool completely, you may be tempted to just pour it on right away, but this is really important to ensure it doesn’t all just seep through to the bottom. Some will do this anyway, which is part of what makes these salted caramel Rice Krispie treats so delicious, but we want most of it to stay on top.
- For cutting the Rice Krispie treats, I recommend pouring boiling water over a knife then cutting into squares. Clean the knife between cuts and continue heating if necessary. Otherwise the chocolate topping may fold in on itself.
More Vegan Treats to Try:
- Chocolate tahini oat cups
- Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars
- Vanilla roasted strawberry shortcake
- Maple brown sugar coffee cake