Find out if rice crispy treats (aka Rice Krispie treats) are gluten-free plus which brands to search for when you’re on a gluten-free diet.
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I don’t know anyone who doesn’t remember eating rice crispy treats as a kid. Though my mom didn’t make them for us as kids, I do remember getting to enjoy them at friends’ houses, birthday parties, or while on camping trips with my dad and stepmom.
These treats are super simple, but are dangerously good. If you’re a big rice crispy treat fan like I am, you may have been wondering if these are gluten-free.
As a side note… are rice crispy treats dessert? Are they snack bars? What do we classify them as? In my mind they’re dessert, but I see different folks having different takes on this topic…
Whatever you refer to them in your head as, they’re delicious. And we’re going to talk all about them in this post. Most specifically, we’ll talk about if they’re gluten-free and what your options are for enjoying them on a gluten-free diet.
Find out what rice crispy treats are made of, what the difference is between “rice crispy treats” and “Rice Krispie Treats,” and get a recipe for gluten-free rice crispy treats, plus some store-bought options for your gluten-free diet.
Let’s talk treats!
What are rice crispy treats?
Rice crispy treats, also known as rice krispie treats, are a dessert bar that are made from crisped rice cereal. The most common crisped rice cereal used in this dessert are Rice Krispies, a brand of crispy rice cereal.
What are rice crispy treats made from?
Rice crispy treats are generally made from just three ingredients: crisped rice cereal (most commonly the name brand Rice Krispies), marshmallows, and butter.
This is the basic recipe, but you can make this recipe with other ingredients mixed in, like chocolate candies or M&M’s, chocolate chips, sprinkles, food coloring, peanut butter, and almost anything you could think of!
Read on: Are marshmallows gluten-free?
What are Rice Krispies?
Rice Krispies are a crisped or puffed rice cereal that are manufactured by the Kellogg’s brand. Rice Krispies are the name brand of this type of cereal, although other brands of “crisped rice” or “puffed rice” cereal are the same thing under a different name.
This cereal is light and fluffy, and usually used as a cereal with milk, but can be made into bars or other dessert treats.
What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in most wheat products, and acts as the “glue” that helps to hold wheat, barley, kamut, spelt, farro, durum, bulgur, rye, and semolina together to maintain their shape.
Gluten is naturally occurring, and therefore is impossible to strip away from the grain. If a grain naturally has gluten in it, there’s no way to make that food gluten-free.
Gluten can be found in obvious ways, like “wheat flour” or in smaller hidden ways, under names like “malt, “malt extract,” or “malt flavoring.”
Read on: What is gluten in food?
Is rice gluten-free?
Rice is a naturally gluten-free food, and as long as it’s not processed on the same equipment as other gluten grains, it is considered generally safe for a gluten-free diet.
Read on: Is rice gluten-free?
Are Rice Krispies gluten-free?
While at first glance it might look like Rice Krispies don’t contain gluten, in fact they do contain a gluten-containing ingredient in the malt flavoring. Malt is a common hidden source of gluten they’ll want to avoid if you are eating a gluten-free diet.
There are other brands of cereal that make crisped rice cereal that you can look for that are in fact gluten-free. Let’s go over your options for a gluten-free rice crispy cereal.
Read on: Are Rice Krispies gluten-free?
Read on: 5 gluten and dairy-free cereals
Which brands of rice krispies are gluten-free?
If you’re interested in making rice krispie treats that are gluten-free, be sure to avoid the name brand Kellogg’s Rice Krispies cereal and opt for one of these gluten-free options instead.
- Barbara’s Organic Gluten-free Brown Rice Crisps Cereal
- One Degree Organic Foods Sprouted Brown Rice Crisps
- Nature’s Path Gluten-free Crispy Rice Cereal
Read on for more details on each of these brands: Gluten-free Puffed Rice Cereal Brands
Are rice crispy treats gluten-free? Are Rice Krispie treats gluten-free?
If Rice Krispie treats are made using Kellogg’s Rice Krispies, they contain gluten. Kellogg’s Rice Krispies contain malt flavoring, which is a hidden name for gluten and should be avoided on a gluten-free diet.
If you’re following a gluten-free diet, you will want to avoid eating Rice Krispie treats brand name products.
That doesn’t mean you have to avoid these treats altogether though! You can make your own at home or find a gluten-free option from the store (yes, they do exist!).
To make rice crispy treats gluten-free, use a gluten-free rice crispy cereal for my gluten-free rice krispie treats recipe. I swap out the cereal for a gluten-free option and make it dairy-free with vegan butter and allergy-friendly marshmallows. Your family and friends won’t even know they’re gluten and dairy-free!
Store-bought Gluten-free Rice Crispy Treats Brands
Although the Kellogg’s brand of Rice Krispie Treats are not gluten-free, you can find some gluten-free options of this dessert.
Here are a few to look out for next time you’re at the store or shopping online. Those that are dairy-free are marked with an asterisk (*):
- Annie’s Organic Crispy Snack Bars
- Annie’s Organic Cocoa Crispy Snack Bars
- Annie’s Organic Peanut Butter Crispy Snack Bars
Blake’s Seed Based
- Blake’s Seed Based Birthday Cake Rice Crispy Treats*
- Blake’s Seed Based Chocolate Chip Rice Crispy Treats*
- Blake’s Seed Based Pumpkin Rice Crispy Treats*
- Blake’s Seed Based Strawberry Rice Crispy Treats*
- Made Good Vanilla Crispy Squares*
- Made Good Chocolate Crispy Squares*
- Made Good Strawberry Crispy Squares*
- NuGo Vanilla Yogurt Protein Bar
- NuGo Chocolate Banana Protein Bar
- NuGo Chocolate Protein Bar
- NuGo Coffee Protein Bar
- NuGo Orange Smoothie Protein Bar
- NuGo Peanut Butter Chocolate Protein Bar
Smash Crispy Marshmallow Rice Treats by Smashmallow
- Smash Crispy Homemade Vanilla Marshmallow Rice Treats*
- Smash Crispy Blueberry Crumble Marshmallow Rice Treats*
- Smash Crispy Dipped Strawberries & Cream Marshmallow Rice Treats*
- Smash Crispy Dipped Cinnamon Churro Marshmallow Rice Treats*
- Smash Crispy Dipped Candy Cane Marshmallow Rice Treats*
Are rice crispy treats dairy-free?
Most rice crispy treats contain dairy in the form of butter. If you make your own rice crispy treats at home, butter is one of the three main ingredients in this recipe.
If you buy Kellogg’s rice krispy treats from the store, these also contain dairy in the form of “natural and artificial butter flavor.” You can see the full list of ingredients in this product on their website.
You can make your own rice crispy treats at home to be dairy-free by swapping out the butter for vegan butter or coconut oil in any traditional recipe. I’ve done this in my gluten-free rice krispie treat recipe that’s also dairy-free.
Read on: Do marshmallows have dairy?
Are rice crispy treats vegan?
Homemade rice crispy treats are not likely to be vegan if they are made with butter or traditional marshmallows.
If the butter is substituted for vegan butter or coconut oil, then this treat can be made gluten-free.
Be sure to use vegan marshmallows in your recipe, as well to ensure there’s no gelatin in your rice crispy treats.
If you love rice crispy treats and have been wondering if you can still enjoy them on a gluten-free diet, I hope this post has helped you get the answers you’re looking for.
Rice Krispie treats from Kellogg’s are not gluten-free, but you can find brands that do make gluten-free options for this tasty treat. You can also make your own gluten-free rice crispy treats at home using gluten-free rice crispy cereal.