Rice krispies treats with chocolate and caramel are a no-bake twist on classic Millionaire’s Shortbread incorporating layers of marshmallow rice krispies squares, thick caramel and milk chocolate. All-in-all, these caramel rice krispies bars are a real feast.
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This week I have a child-teen-adult-everybody friendly treat to share with you. Chocolate. Caramel. Marshmallow. I’ve paired all of these goodies with some Rice Krispies to give you a twist on Millionaire’s shortbread. And yes, these caramel rice krispies treats with chocolate are as sweet and indulgent as the name suggest.
I’ll happily confess that there’s nothing mind-blowing about each individual layer of these rice krispies caramel squares. It’s fairly obvious really:
- marshmallow rice krispie base.
- caramel centre.
- milk chocolate topping.
But each layer is easy to make and once you have stacked them all up and cut (not-so-dainty) pieces out, these caramel rice krispies bars turn into absolute winners.
Why rice krispies caramel squares are worth Making
- These caramel rice krispies bars are easy to make.
- It’s a no-bake recipe so you don’t need to turn on the oven.
- It feeds a crowd – you can easily cut 16 rice krispies caramel squares out.
- Each layer is generously proportioned – especially the caramel layer.
- Switching from crumbly biscuit to the chewy textured cereal layer means no crumbs unlike traditional Millionaire’s shortbread!
The ingredients for these caramel rice krispies treats with chocolate are straightforward and easy to obtain.
Rice Krispies: make sure yours have not gone stale. If the pack has been open a while nibble on a spoonful – it’s worth checking as stale cereal will be noticeable in these rice krispies caramel squares.
Marshmallows: my advice is to open a new packet of marshmallows rather than using ones that have been lying aruond for a while. Again, using marshmallows that are past their best is not a good idea.
Butter: proper butter gives by far the best flavour to the rice krispies treats base. However, if you need to, feel free to use a non-dairy block-butter alternative (plus a pinch of salt). Just don’t use baking margarine.
Golden syrup: this is a very British ingredient, easy to get hold of if, like me, you live in Britain. Elsewhere feel free to use light corn syrup when making the caramel.
Dark brown sugar: this is required for the caramel layer. Do not substitute any other sugar for it.
Condensed milk: again, this is an integral component in the caramel. It cannot be substituted.
Chocolate: for my caramel rice krispies treats with chocolate I have a leaning towards milk chocolate. Dark chocolate also works out well, but I warn against using white chocolate as it’s just a little too sweet when combined with the caramel and marshmallow rice krispies layers.
These caramel rice krispies bars are a fun and easy no-bake snack to pull together. It’s a case of stacking up 3 separate layers, allowing the preceding layer to set before moving onto the next.
Stage 1: Make the Base Layer
For this step you will need: marshmallows, butter & rice krispies.
- Begin by greasing the baking tin with butter and lining it with baking parchment.
- Melt the butter and marshmallows together in a pan.
- Mix in the rice krispies and, working quickly (the mixture does set rapidly), tip the mixture into the baking tin and press it firmly down, so that it spreads into all of the corners and you get a compact, level surface.
Stage 2: Make the Caramel Layer
The bottom layer does not take long to set – give it 20 minutes. Once set, the caramel layer can be prepared. Ingredients needed are: condensed milk, brown sugar, butter, golden syrup (corn syrup) and a pinch of salt.
- Tip all ingredients into a medium, heavy-based pan and cook gently until the sugar dissolves, then turn up the heat slightly and bring the caramel to 115C/ 240F (the soft-ball stage). (I use a Thermapen digital food thermometer to ensure the right temperature is reached.)
- Plunge the base of the pan into cold water to stop the cooking process, then set aside to allow the caramel to cool for 5-10 minutes.
- Spread the caramel over the krispie base and leave to set.
Stage 3: Add the Chocolate Top
This stage is as easy as melting chocolate and pouring it over the top:
- Put the chocolate into a heatproof bowl and melt gently, using either a microwave or a bain-marie.
- When fully melted, pour the chocolate over the caramel. Tip the tin gently to get the chocolate to run to the corners or use a palette knife to spread it out. Leave it to set.
- Melt the marshmallows over no more than a low-moderate heat. Slow and steady wins the race here – turning the heat up to high for a faster melt results in tough rice krispies treats.
- Don’t use old marshmallows that are starting to dry out. They will not melt as well as they should.
- And talking of marshmallows, stick with a brand you trust. Classic pink and white ones work far better than any other kind. Especially the child-focussed versions that often have a sugary coating – avoid those at all costs.
- I like to use either greaseproof paper, wax paper or a piece of cellophane (from the marshmallow bag, depending on the type) to help negotiate the sticky mixture evenly into the tin.
- You may prefer to temper the chocolate in order to produce a wonderful shine on your caramel rice krispies treats with chocolate. I didn’t, but feel free to do so.
- Of course, it’s possible to marble or feather the chocolate top using 2 contrasting types of chocolate, such as:
- semi-sweet dark chocolate with feathering of white chocolate.
- milk chocolate with a little dark chocolate marbled through.
Frequently Asked Questions
I cannot recommend this course of action. Margarine has a higher water content than butter. This additional water can wreak havoc with the final texture of the base in rice krispies treats. Stick with butter and have no regrets.
These rice krispies treats with chocolate can easily be made gluten-free. Simply swap the regular rice krispies for a gluten-free variety.
When it comes to slicing, I find that using a warmed knife helps cut through the chocolate without causing it to splinter. Just run the knife under a hot tap and dry it on a tea towel before cutting.
Be patient – it may seem a little fiddly, but the resulting neat caramel rice krispies squares will be worth the extra 5 minutes of effort.
Caramel rice krispies bars variations
- Make them salted caramel rice krispies squares – finely grind half a teaspoon of sea salt into the caramel before using it.
- Turn the rice krispies base chocolatey by mixing in 3 tablespoons of sived cocoa powder.
- Scatter fun sprinkles over the top of the chocolate before it sets (here’s a good example).
- Make them suitable for Easter by topping each square with half a mini caramel creme egg.
- Top with pieces of Twix bars to amplify the connection with millionaires shortbread.
More Child-Friendly Treats to Try
Or for other crowd-pleasing squares and bars take a flick through my easy traybake recipe collection.
If you’ve enjoyed this recipe for rice krispies treats with chocolate and caramel, please leave a rating or comment below – you would make me very happy. Better still, why not show me a photo – post it on Instagram and tag #littlesugarsnaps so I can see it too.
Rice krispies treats with chocolate and caramel
- 20x30cm baking tin with deep sides
For the base:
- 30 g/ 1 oz unsalted butter
- 150 g/ 5 oz marshmallows
- 90 g/ 3 oz rice krispies
For the Caramel
- 1 x 397 g/ 14oz tin condensed milk
- 110 g/ 4oz dark brown sugar
- 90 g/ 3oz unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoon golden syrup
- Pinch of salt
For the topping:
- 150 g/ 5 oz milk chocolate Use 200g for a slightly thicker layer
- Grease and line the baking tin with baking parchment
- Cube the butter and put it, along with the marshmallows, into a heavy based pan set over a medium heat. Stir frequently until everything has melted
- Add the cereal and mix until thoroughly coated
- Working quickly, tip the mixture into the baking tin and, using a piece of baking parchment, press it firmly down, so that it spreads into all of the corners and you get a compact, level surface. Set aside to cool completely (about 30 minutes)
- Put all of the caramel ingredients into a heavy based pan set over a medium heat. Stir frequently until the sugar has dissolved
- Turn up the heat slightly, and allow to boil gently until the temperature reaches 112°C – 115°C (234°F – 240°F). This is the soft ball stage. If you do not have a sugar thermometre, you can test for readiness by dropping a small amount of the caramel into some chilled water – it should form a firm ball that does not flatten when removed from the water, but squishes when squeezed
- Once the caramel is ready, take the pan off the heat and plunge the bottom of it into cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside and allow to cool for 10 minutes
- Stir well, then pour over the cooled base. Set aside for at least 2-3 hours to firm up and cool completely
- Finally, melt the chocolate and spread over the caramel layer. Allow to cool and set before cutting into squares (tip: if you can be patient, using a warm knife to score through the chocolate helps to stop the chocolate cracking in all directions and gives you neater squares).
- Keep in an airtight container for up to 2 days
- Melt the marshmallows over no more than a moderate heat. Slow and steady wins the race here – turning the heat up to high for a faster melt results in tough rice krispie treats
- Don’t use old marshmallows that are starting to dry out. They will not melt as ell as they should
- And talking of marshmallows, stick with a brand you trust. Classic pink and white ones work far better than any other kind, especially to child-focussed versions that often have a sugary coating. Avoid those at all costs
- Do not use margarine in place of the butter. Margarine has a higher water content that butter, which can wreak havoc with the final texture of the base in rice krispie treats
- Make them gluten-free by using gluten-free cereal
- I like to use either greaseproof paper, wax paper or a piece of cellophane (from the marshmallow bag, depending on the type) to help negotiate the sticky mixture evenly into the tin
- I’ve used milk chocolate, but dark chocolate can be used instead if preferred. White chocolate, however, may just prove a little too sweet alongside the other layers
- It’s possible to marble or feather the top using 2 contrasting types of chocolate
- To slice neat squares, use a warmed knife to help cut through the chocolate without causing it to splinter. Just run the knife under a hot tap and dry on a tea towel before cutting
- Eat as soon as possible and within 2 days. The base starts to go stale after this time
Nutrition Per Serving (Approximate)
This post contains affiliate links. As a Thermapen associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.