Caramel Crispy Rice Treats

Caramel Rice Krispy Treats

When my children were little, I found a different type of Rice Krispie treat recipe that immediately replaced the tried and true Rice Krispie Treat of my own childhood. The recipe was offered in conjunction with some plastic molds that I purchased from one of my favorite local stores, Kitchen Kneads. I still have two molds that I purchased over 20 years ago–a heart and a bear. The idea of the molds was simple: tightly pack them with the crispy rice cereal mixture and then turn the newly formed treat out onto wax paper to cool.

There were lots of different molds and my friends and I LOVED to make the new crispy rice treats for our kids. I don’t know how many bear-shaped treats I made for my children and their friends over the years, but it was in the hundreds or maybe even the thousands!

Caramel Rice Krispie Treats
Zombie bears coming to eat your heart because it will soon be Valentine’s day….they’re saving your brains for Halloween.

In preparing for this post, I attempted to find the molds and offer a link to them here. Mouldings, the Salt Lake City based company that made them, apparently is out of business. πŸ™ However, has a set of eight molds for $19.99. There are some fun shapes in the set. (Keep reading to find out how to use standard cookie cutters for this same recipe!) (Update: 2/18/14 I found an LA Times article from April 13, 1989 which talks about the Moulding company and the popularity of their plastic molds.)

Update: 3/11/2015 After checking the Overstock link, the molds are no longer available through them. A reader, Nicole, found them through Amazon by CK products at this link.

Additionally, ebay has individual molds (or ‘Moulds’ as the manufacturer originally called them). I scored a set of four, new, unopened Christmas molds complete with recipes on the back of the package! One of the recipes is the same as the one which I used to make treats for my family. I used to have the recipe on one of those free “tear-off” recipe papers that are often found next to a promotional item. Because I had used the recipe so often, my paper was stained and sticky, so I had typed the recipe into my computer.

Caramel Rice Krispie Treats

Over the years since my children grew up, I had sort of forgotten about the recipe. Then one day recently my daughter asked in a longing voice, “Moooooommmmm, do you still have that recipe for those rice crispy treats that I used to like so much? I waaaaannt them so bad!” This was accompanied by one of those looks that says ‘I shall surely die if you do not still have that recipe’.

I did happen to have the recipe, still saved away on my computer. I can’t believe how my recipes have made it from computer to computer over the years. Anyone remember the good old days of floppy disks? I used to haul around my recipes on those as well, just waiting for the inevitable computer crash which would wipe out my treasures of information.

Caramel Rice Krispie Treats

Because the molds are now difficult to come by, I had to use an alternative method of turning these Caramel Rice Krispie Treats into Valentine’s day treats. Squares are great for an everyday shape, but seasonal shapes are great, too. Metal cookie cutters are the perfect answer. Here’s an interesting tidbit of info for you. Out of a single batch of Caramel Crispy Rice Treats, I got the same number of treats from the molds as I did from the cookie cutters. There was no wasted cereal mixture with the molds. πŸ™‚ Wait. Actually there is no waste with the cookie cutters; there are cutouts plus nibbles.

Caramel Rice Krispie Treats

I used several different heart shaped cookies, but in the end, it didn’t really matter which shape of heart I had used. The treats came out looking about the same from cookie cutter to cookie cutter. It is important to use metal cookie cutters when cutting out these treats. The plastic cookie cutters were not strong enough or deep enough to cut through the treat bars.

Caramel Rice Krispie Treats

The treats can be left plain, but it is fun to decorate them. The treats can be dipped in colored or flavored candy melts. Be sure to have some Valentine’s day sprinkles on hand, as well, for giving a fun pop of texture and color on the candy melts. I would suggest not using colored sugars. I tried them and they simply got lost in the chocolate. Jimmies work well, as do nonpareils and other sprinkles.

Caramel Rice Krispie Treats

Have fun with this recipe. The cookie cutter concept has many applications for holidays, birthdays, athletic events, etc.Β  The recipe is easy and makes about 24-26 treats. However, if cutting into squares, you will get approximately 60-70 squares.

Caramel Rice Krispie Treats

Caramel Crispy Rice Treats

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 24 cookie cutter cutouts

Crispy Rice Treats get reinvented in this wonderful caramelized version. It will soon become your new favorite "Treat".

Recipe by "Mouldings, Inc."


  • 18 cups crispy rice cereal (19 ounce box)
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 3/4 cups white Karo corn syrup (does not have high fructose corn syrup)
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
  • candy melts, as desired
  • sprinkles, as desired


  1. Butter two 11- x 15-inch shallow baking pans. Cover inside of pans with parchment paper; press paper into edges of pan. The butter helps to hold the parchment paper in place. Set aside.
  2. Into a very large capacity bowl, pour the 18 cups of crispy rice cereal. Set aside.
  3. In a 4 quart saucepot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the corn syrup and brown sugar and stir well. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to boil. Boil and stir for three minutes.
  4. Remove pot from heating element. Stir in the sweetened condensed milk. Return pot to cooking element; cook and stir until mixture comes to a boil once again. Boil and stir for an additional 3 minutes.
  5. Carefully pour caramel sauce over the crispy rice cereal. Immediately stir the caramel sauce and cereal together until sauce is well distributed throughout the cereal.
  6. Pour half of the mixture into each of the prepared pans. Spread evenly and pack mixture tightly together. A great way to compact the cereal mixture evenly is butter the outside bottom of a baking sheet, then set the buttered side on top of the cereal mixture. Press firmly all over to create a smooth, even surface.
  7. If using cookie cutters, start cutting shapes while the cereal mixture is still warm. Space the cutouts closely together. Set each cut-out treat on wax paper, a silpat, or aluminum foil to cool.
  8. If cutting squares, allow the mixture to cool in pans before cutting, about 2 hours.
  9. Tip: If the cereal mixture becomes difficult to cut with cookie cutters, place the pan(s) in a warm (150-degrees F) for a few minutes to soften mixture.
  10. Store treats in an airtight container. If storing stacked inside a container, place a sheet of wax paper between layers.


If decorating with candy melts, follow the directions on the packaging for melting the candy. Dip crispy rice treat as desired, then immediately decorate with sprinkles before the candy melt dries.

Caramel Rice Krispie Treats In a 4-quart pot, melt the butter and stir in the corn syrup and brown sugar.

Caramel Rice Krispie Treats Over medium heat, bring the sauce to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook and stir for three minutes. Remove from heat source. As I was standing at the stove stirring this sweet bit of deliciousness, it suddenly occurred to me that this is pretty much the same recipe I used for Caramel Butter sauce and Spiced Caramel Butter Sauce. Why has that fact never registered in my brain? I started making the Caramel Butter Sauce long before I found this recipe for Caramel Crispy Rice Treats.

Caramel Rice Krispie Treats Add the sweetened condensed milk and stir well. Return the pot to the heat (medium) and continue to cook and stir while mixture returns to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly for another 3 minutes. Turn off heat and remove pot from burner.

Caramel Rice Krispie Treats Using hot pads to hold the pot, carefully, but quickly, pour the hot caramel mixture over the crispy rice cereal.

Caramel Rice Krispie Treats Mix the cereal and the caramel sauce together until well blended. Work quickly.

Caramel Rice Krispie Treats Put half of the cereal mixture into each prepared pan. Spread evenly and press firmly into place.

Caramel Rice Krispie Treats To help press the cereal mixture evenly in the pan, butter the outside bottom of a baking pan and place the baking pan on top of the cereal mixture. Press firmly all over the inside bottom of the top pan.

Caramel Rice Krispie Treats Using the above method for pressing the cereal mixture with another pan works well to make the cereal mixture compact and smooth.

Caramel Rice Krispie Treats If using cookie cutters, spray the cutters with cooking spray and cut out the shapes while the cereal mixture is still warm. Work quickly because it is much easier to cut through the cereal while it is warm. In order to keep the second pan warm while working on the first pan, place it in a warm oven, about 150-degrees F until ready to use. You may need to allow the mixture to cool for a few minutes after moving from the oven if it is too hot and soft with which to work.

Caramel Rice Krispie Treats Cookie cutter hand. I need to get some of those cookie cutters with the protected edge. Word to the wise, place a small wash cloth over the cookie cutter to protect your hand as you push the cookie cutter through the cereal mixture.

Caramel Rice Krispie Treats Scraps. You know what to do with these, right? Plastic bag. Secret hiding place. Tell no one.

Caramel Rice Krispie Treats Decorate as desired. I’m sure you’ll figure it out.

Caramel Rice Krispie Treats Random event. I’m blaming the store brand crispy rice cereal company for engineering such a poorly designed bag. It said “tear here” and had perforations all the way across the top of the bag. I “tore there” and the bag not only tore at the top, it also continued down the side of the bag.

orchidsIt may be Winter and cold, my house may have crispy (crushed) rice cereal all over the kitchen floor, the world may be spinning wildly out of control, but I have beautiful orchids on my counter top.

Caramel Rice Krispie Treats And two full batches of these hanging out at my house. I am going Valen-treating tomorrow and give most of these a new home with children who will love them.

You may also like:

Cake Batter Crispy Rice Cereal Treats
Cake Batter Crispy Rice Cereal Treats
Spiced Caramel Butter Sauce
Spiced Caramel Butter Sauce
Caramel Butter Sauce
Caramel Butter Sauce



  1. says

    Drasted cereal bags!! Hate when that happens. Love your pretty orchid – I have one that just sent up it’s first flower spike in 2 years. Can’t tell you how thrilled I am that I didn’t kill the thing… waiting for the blooms to open. Check out Wilton’s line of cushioned cutters called “comfort grip” – no more raw palms :). Oh, and how cute are those bears? Love the little heart detail!

  2. Dalila G. says

    I feel for you and your poor hand, but look at the awesome finished product!!
    Sweets simply too yummy to resist, plus, they look so cute!!
    I have to say Terri that I’m really liking your step-by-step photos, they’re fantastic. πŸ™‚
    Your orchids look super, especially in winter time.
    Have a great weekend! πŸ™‚

  3. says

    That zombie bear with his beautiful red heart …. ADORABLE! Your poor hands… I hate the metal cookie cutters because they cut up my hands too. I usually cover it with a small kitchen towel so it’s not as painful (as your tip suggests). πŸ™‚

    I love your recipe for rice krispies… I have never tried anything but the marshmallow way. πŸ™‚

    • says

      Thank you, Karen. My children loved them, and on Friday my grandchildren had them for the first time. Kade, the four year old, found a bag of the scraps left over from the cookie cutouts and ate the whole thing. I love to pass things from one generation to the next. ~Terri

  4. says

    Wow, does this recipe sound terrific! And so cute in the heart shapes with sprinkles πŸ™‚
    PS…my scraps would disappear into my mouth before I had a chance to hide them!

  5. Sam skinner says

    Hi can I make the caramel crispy rice treats without milk as I have Crohn’s disease and I am unable to eat dairy ,wheat and gluten I am eat everything in this but the milk. Would it work without ? Thanks Sam

    • says

      Hi Sam. The recipe does need the sweetened condensed milk. However, I took the liberty of looking up a substitute for it and found a recipe on Cook’s Recipes. The alternative recipe includes flour, but there are replacements for flour. Since you cannot have wheat products, I would suggest using rice or potato flour as a substitute for the wheat flour. Here is the link for the Sweetened Condensed Milk Substitute. Let me know how it works for you. ~Terri

  6. Nicole P says

    Thank you so much for this recipe!! I remember receiving these as xmas gifts when I was a child and I’ve had the hardest time finding this recipe–without heavy whipping cream or any other “weird” ingredients. Can’t wait to make these! I don’t have the cute bear shape (maybe I need to try amazon because my kids would love them) but I definitely still crave these as a mom now with young children πŸ™‚ making them tonight!

    • says

      Nicole, I’m so glad for you that you have found this recipe! This has always been THE recipe my kids think of when they think about rice krispie treats. I don’t know how many hundreds of these I made when my kids were growing up. πŸ™‚ ~Terri

  7. Karin says

    These look delicious and I was was thinking while I read how I could add mini marshmallows and have the best of both worlds! I can’t wait to try them.

  8. Lisa Peace says

    Omg…I use to make these for my daughters 25 years ago! We love this recipe!!! I still have several molds but lost the recipe over the years. My 28 year old daughter has begged me for these too! I’m so glad I found this article for her! Awesome!!!!

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