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Healthier Chocolate & Peanut Butter Rice Krispies Treats

Earlier this year I had said I was going to try to aim for less sugary things to post about on my blog. 

I’ve sort of stuck to that resolution, but obviously, I’ve had some setbacks! 

Since posting those all-kinds-of-awesome raspberry coffee brownies last week, I knew I had to finish this week off with something just as indulgent, but definitely healthier.


So, I turned to Southern In-Law, which is run by my friend, Kristy. 

Her blog is filled with all kinds of healthiness and best of all, her recipes are definitely indulgent, yet still healthy.

I took her version of peanut butter rice crispies (also known as Rice Bubbles or Rice Krispies) and coated it in melted peanut butter and chocolate. 

Oh. My. Goodness. 

You would not believe how insanely delicious these are, even though there are absolutely no sugar- and gelatin-filled marshmallows in these gorgeous treats.


That’s right, not a single marshmallow makes its way into these beauties.

The sticky sweetness of the traditional marshmallows is replaced with rice malt syrup, which makes a perfect substitute. 

Add to that a few cups of puffed rice cereal, a generous helping of all-natural peanut butter, and a splash of vanilla and you have yourself some peanut butter rice Krispies treats. 

It takes less than 5 minutes to prepare and after a few minutes in the refrigerator to set, they’re ready to eat!

Well, unless you feel the need to add something a little extra… like a chocolate topping! 


I simply melted a mixture of chocolate (approximately 70% milk chocolate, 30% dark chocolate), and a tablespoon of natural peanut butter and poured it on top of the cold rice krispies (straight from the refrigerator). 

And again, you’ll need to pop it back in the refrigerator to set.

It’s really hard to stop at just one, and even moreso knowing that they’re not full of refined sugars (besides what’s in the chocolate). 

Speaking of that, these can be made gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan, depending on the ingredients you choose. 

Or if you’re allergic to peanuts, try substituting the peanut butter with almond butter, cashew butter, or sunflower butter!

Seriously, what are you still doing reading this? 

Skip to the recipe and make these chocolate and peanut butter rice Krispies treats now!

Healthier Chocolate & Peanut Butter Rice Krispies Treats

A healthier version of chocolate-topped peanut butter Rice Krispies treats made without any marshmallows at all.
5 from 6 votes
Print Rate
Course: Dessert
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 16
Author: Adapted from Southern In-Law


  • 3 cups puffed rice cereal
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup rice malt syrup honey or agave will also work, but will lend a different flavor
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 250 g milk semisweet or dark chocolate (your choice, or a mix!), chopped
  • 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter


  • Grease and line an 8×8-inch baking tin.
  • Place cereal in a large bowl and set aside. In a small saucepan, combine peanut butter, salt, rice malt syrup and vanilla. Heat gently and stir until thoroughly combined and melted.
  • Pour the peanut butter mixture over the cereal and stir until all the cereal is coated.
  • Transfer the peanut butter cereal to the prepared tin and spread out evenly. Place a piece of parchment paper on top of the cereal and use another pan, or your hands, to flatten the top.
  • Place the tin in the refrigerator to set for around 30 minutes.
  • Near the end of the 30 minutes, place the chopped chocolate and 1tbsp peanut butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water (water should be about 1-inch high and the bowl should not touch the water), ensuring no water comes in contact with the chocolate mixture. Stir occasionally until melted and smooth.
  • Take the peanut butter cereal from the refrigerator, pour the melted chocolate on top and smooth the surface. Return to the refrigerator for another 30 minutes or until chocolate is set.
  • Cut into squares with a sharp knife, cleaning the knife after each cut.
  • Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator; let them warm up to room temperature to soften up the chocolate before serving, if desired.


17 thoughts on “Healthier Chocolate & Peanut Butter Rice Krispies Treats”

    • Hi Virginia, I’m sorry but I can’t really answer that. It would all depend on the brands and types of ingredients you use. There are apps that you can download on a smartphone where you can enter in the information and it’ll give you an idea of how many calories you would be consuming; I think a free one is called “Fitness Pal”. I’ve never used it, so not sure how it works! Otherwise, you could try to find a nutrition or calorie calculator on the internet. Hope that helps a little! 🙂

  1. Good recipe except for the “250g milk, semisweet or dark chocolate (your choice, or a mix!), chopped”. Wasn’t sure how much 250g milk is (I’m dumb I know) and wasn’t sure how much chocolate to use. I threw in about 7 squares I think, not wanting to get too fat after eating the entire thing, and the “ganache” looked very runny. I put the finished product outside in cold on top of bbq to set and when I checked a few minutes later, they had disappeared! Not wanting to flatter myself too much thinking that the racoons were enjoying the fruits of my labor, they had in fact fallen off and rolled clear across the backyard. The ganache, being runny, soaked through, but all in all, was pretty tasty!

    • Bill,
      I think the “milk” is actually “milk chocolate”. So you just need to melt 250g of your choice of chocolate. Milk chocolate, semisweet chocolate, or dark chocolate. Try again with just chocolate (and no actual milk) and I’m guessing things will turn out better. ^_^

  2. 5 stars
    Made them with honey and cocoa krispies! I just pushed choc chips in rather than melting choc. They were great! Thanks for this recipe, it’s a keeper!

  3. I used sunflower seed butter instead of peanut and raw honey instead of rice syrup. Totally delicious Sunflower seeds and honey really complement each other I also melted the chocolate in with the butter and syrup which gave a touch of chocolate in every bite . Now I have yummy chocolate crispies!!!’

  4. 5 stars
    I just made these and they turned out much better than I expected! Used agave and honey and they basically taste the same as store-bought bars. We cut pretty small bars to keep the calories down, I will also use less chocolate in the future. This recipe is a keeper!

  5. Hi! Thanks for this recipe! I was looking for some healthy-ish snacks to munch on in between meals. I’m 33 weeks pregnant now, and snacking throughout the day has been a challenge. I’ve already made these bars a few times. The recipe is a nice base because I can add extra stuff to it and it turns out fine. I’ve added chopped/sliced nuts, raisins, and flax/chia seed. I also doubled the recipe last time and mixed in a tablespoon or two of cocoa powder to the peanutbutter/honey mixture. I poured it into a 9″x13″ baking pan. I also haven’t needed to do the chocolate topping. They come out perfect without it.

  6. 5 stars
    These are delicious! I made them as instructed but with the honey option. Also my chocolate (ganache) was ghiradelli semisweet chips with a about 2 tsp of coconut oil and a couple ounces of coconut milk. I used a heart cookie cutter and served them as Valentine treats for my husband and kiddos. Thanks for this alternative to junky marshmallow.

  7. I made these with the honey and dairy-free dark chocolate. They were so good!!! Definitely a keeper recipe…especially with a little pinch of fleur de sel sprinkled on top.


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