Toasty brown butter Rice Krispie treats with vanilla, dark chocolate chunks, and pretzels. These bars are the ultimate combo of salty, sweet, nutty, and chocolatey.

White plate filled with brown butter rice krispie treats with green and white flowers in the right upper corner and a package in the right lower corner.
A closeup of cereal bars with chocolate and a pretzel on top. Cereal bars are on white parchment paper.

How are you all doing in this strange world that we now live in? It’s been snowing for like, two weeks which luckily keeps me inside. Anyways, I think we can all agree that right now is a weird time to be alive, so let’s not talk about it? Instead, let’s talk about how we can make a positive difference in the world! Like, by staying tf home or donating to a local cause! Or helping out local businesses when possible, eating well, and exercising to stay healthy. For me, that means working my ass off at work for my clients, sending flowers, and making brown butter rice krispie treats for friends. And all of the above, obvs.

Anyways, I don’t want to go on about it, because honestly, there’s no need. We all know that this sucks. So let’s stay positive, because we’re in this together! Make sure to take care of yourself and others when possible. We’ve been taking lots of walks and baking and drinking coffee and watching On the Block. Tell me what you’ve been doing! I need tips!

Five cereal bars with chocolate and pretzels on a white marble counter.

Brown butter rice krispie treats with dark chocolate & pretzels to make you happy!

Let’s be real, we could all really use some brown butter rice krispie treats, so let’s make some! Brown butter rice krispie treats are honestly my new favorite thing to make. The brown butter adds a lovely toasty, caramel-y flavor. Yes, it’s an extra step but it literally takes like, five extra minutes. Then we add pretzels for a little saltiness and dark chocolate for fun.

If you’re a fan of less-sweet desserts, these are perfect for you. The pretzels add a little saltiness, and the dark chocolate has a nice bitterness. Plus, these truly come together in like 15 minutes, so if you’re in for a quick treat, this is it.

(If we’re being honest, these may be too easy to make. We’ve had a consistent flow of rice krispie treats in our house since we’ve been home. Which, I mean, things could be worse. But I will have a wedding dress to fit into eventually). 😬

Rice Krispie treat ingredients in white bowls on a white marble background with a beige linen in the corner.

ingredients in Brown butter rice krispie treats

I know it can be kind of difficult to find some ingredients right now, so I tried to keep it basic af. Which is why rice krispie treats are perfect! Normal rice krispie treats only have three ingredients, but these only have six, soooo there’s no reason not to make them? If you can’t find some of the additions in your store (pretzels, dark chocolate), you can replace it with something else or leave it out. I’ll put some ideas below! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Butter: Go for unsalted!
  • Mini Marshmallows: Minis melt better than the larger mallows, but use what you can find.
  • Vanilla Extract: I don’t understand why this isn’t already a part of the original recipe. When in doubt, always add vanilla.
  • Rice Krispies: Or any puffy rice cereal.
  • Pretzels: Sticks or twists are fine!
  • Dark Chocolate: I chopped up a bar, but chocolate chips would work too!

Cool, how do I make brown butter rice krispie treats?

It’s suuuuper easy but since there’s a few extra steps, I’ve documented the whole thing. Here we go!

White pot of brown butter with a wooden spoon sticking out of the pot. Surrounded by white bowls of rice krispies, pretzels, and chocolate on a white background.

First, brown your butter! Just melt the butter over medium-low heat, and let it gently simmer until it starts to get toasty and brown. Stir often, because the butter will burn quickly. This will take about 4-5 minutes.

White pot of melted marshmallows with a spoon sticking out of the pot. Surrounded by rice krispies, pretzels, and chocolate chunks.

Add the the marshmallows, and stir until completely melted. Mix in the vanilla extract.

A white pot filled with rice krispies and pretzels on a marble background. There is a beige linen on the left, and bowls of chocolate and salt in the lower left corner.

Next, stir in the rice krispies and pretzels! Mix until the cereal and pretzels are completely coated with the mallows.

A white Dutch oven filled with rice krispie treats and dark chocolate on a white marble background.

Working quickly, stir the chocolate chunks into the rice krispie mixture. You don’t want the chocolate chunks to completely melt (small streaks are ok), so fold everything together as fast as you can!

White pan of rice krispie treats with pretzels on top on a white marble background with a beige linen to the side. There is a bowl of pretzels and a bowl of salt in the lower left corner.

Evenly press the mixture into a buttered 8×8 pan. Stick additional pretzels on top, if desired. You can also sprinkle a little flaky salt on top if you’re extra salty. Let cool for one hour in the fridge.

Pretzel rice krispie treats cut into 9ths on white parchment paper. There is a wood knife to the right and green and white flowers in the upper right corner.

Run a knife around the edges of the pan to help release the rice krispie treats. They should pop out in once piece! Cut into 9 big or 16 small squares. Serve!

How to store rice krispie treats?

Keep your rice krispie treats in an airtight container at room temperature! This will help them stay nice and soft. You can store them in the fridge, but they could get a little too hard to bite. Just bring to room-temperature before serving!

How long do brown butter rice krispie treats stay soft?

I personally believe that brown butter rice krispie treats are best day-of. But, they’re still delicious after 2-3 days if you don’t want to eat them all in one day!

Can I freeze brown butter rice krispie treats?

Sure! Just store them in an airtight container, separating the layers with parchment paper to prevent sticking. Freeze for up to 2 months, and defrost for at least 30 minutes before serving!

Are rice krispie treats gluten free?

Some puffy rice cereal brands are gluten free and some are not! The actual Rice Krispie brand is not gluten free. So, just make sure to check the label! Same goes for marshmallows. Most, but not all, are gluten free. When in doubt, check! Also, don’t forget to buy gf pretzels. 🙂

What can I use instead of dark chocolate + pretzels?

If you can’t find pretzels or dark chocolate, there are other things you can use! If you do try another flavor combo, and the mixture seems a little too sticky, just add another 1/2-1 cup of rice krispies. Try:

  • Mini peanut butter cups + chopped peanuts
  • White chocolate chips + dried or dehydrated berries
  • Butterscotch chips + coconut
  • Oreos!
  • Pretzels without chocolate – I actually kind of prefer it this way, but when I was recipe-testing, everyone else liked the addition of chocolate. 🤷
Cut chocolate rice krispie treats with pretzels. One in the left corner is pulled away. Cereal bars are sitting on white parchment paper.

Other Easy Baking Recipes!

Crispy Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
Chocolate Chip Scones + Blood Orange Glaze
Chocolate Stout Cake + Irish Cream Cheese Frosting
Nectarine Galette with Mascarpone Filling

Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats with Dark Chocolate & Pretzels

A very closeup side image of cereal treat bars with chocolate and pretzels on white parchment paper.
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Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats with Dark Chocolate & Pretzels

Yield: 16 bars
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
You can't go wrong with a classic rice krispie treat. This time, we're making a grown-up version with brown butter, salty pretzels, dark chocolate chunks, and a splash of vanilla extract. They are simply the best!


  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter + more for pan
  • 10 oz bag of mini marshmallows
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cup puffed rice cereal (Rice Krispies, etc.)
  • 1 cup mini pretzels, chopped
  • 2 oz dark chocolate, chopped
  • Extra mini pretzels + flaky salt, for serving


  • Grease an 8×8 pan with melted butter, and set aside.
  • In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Bring to a gentle simmer, and let cook until it gets foamy, browned, and toasty, about 4-5 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent burning!
  • Add the marshmallows, and stir until completely melted. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  • Stir in the puffy rice cereal and pretzels. Then, quickly fold in the chocolate chunks. Don’t let the chocolate completely melt, or the flavor will overpower the brown butter! Some streaks are ok!
  • Evenly press the rice krispie mixture into the 8×8 pan. Put some extra pretzels or flaky salt on top, if desired! Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.
  • Once cold, run a knife around the edge of the rice krispie treats, and remove the entire block of treats from the pan (it shouldn’t fall apart). Cut into 9-16 squares. Store in an airtight container for up to two days! I personally think these are best day-of.
Cuisine: American
Course: Dessert
Serving: 1treat, Calories: 153kcal, Carbohydrates: 25.6g, Protein: 1.1g, Saturated Fat: 3.1g, Cholesterol: 10mg, Sodium: 136mg, Potassium: 27mg, Fiber: 0.3g, Sugar: 12.5g
Did you make this recipe?Tag on Instagram!

xo Sara Lynn

*Song of the day: Pink + White by Frank Ocean