These homemade vegan chocolate peanut butter rice krispie treats are just in time for Halloween. Topped with dark chocolate, salted caramel, gluten free pretzels, peanuts, and candy eyeballs, they’re the perfect kid-friendly recipe.
Rice krispie treats are such a nostalgic food. I remember begging my mom to get them for school lunches in elementary school. I was always so jealous of other kid’s crinkly bright blue plastic pouches hiding that candy-disguised-as-real-food.
Of course, when I eventually triumphed and brought my own stash of marshmallow-covered krispie rice to school, I was always disappointed. Is it just me or do store-bought rice krispie treats always taste a little stale? Maybe it’s the cardboard-like crunch.
Anyway, when I later discovered how easy it is to make homemade rice krispie treats, I entered a whole new phase. I made them for all of my friend’s birthdays. And I then quickly discovered the joys of food coloring.
Rice krispie treats became the edible canvas I didn’t know I was missing in middle school. I made pink krispies shaped into hearts for Valentine’s Day. I constructed crude green wreaths for the Holidays. And I even balled together 3-dimensional pumpkins for Halloween. I’m not saying I was the original MisterKrisp, but let’s just say Crowded Kitchen might look a bit different if I’d stuck with it.
Eventually, however, I moved on from my marshmallow addiction. But it’s still fun to make homemade rice krispies for holidays like Halloween. This year, we’re upping the game with peanut butter rice krispie treats.
They’re topped with chocolate, salted caramel, peanuts, mini pretzels and (why not?) candy eyeballs. No food coloring in sight, and still these might be the most exciting rice krispie recipe yet!
These are sure to make a splash at your Halloween party, so you may want to make a double batch.
How to Make Vegan Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats
Start with the Peanut Butter Marshmallow Base
While these vegan chocolate peanut butter rice krispie treats are elevated from the plastic-wrapped treats of my childhood, they’re still quick and easy to make. In fact, the base is basically the same.
We boosted the classic marshmallow-cereal combo with creamy peanut butter. A dash of vanilla extract and a pinch of salt enhance the overall flavor of this homemade Halloween candy.
If you’re not vegan, this recipe will also work with regular marshmallows. However, if you are using vegan marshmallows, one note. They take longer to break down than the regular ‘mallows. So be sure to keep the heat low to avoid burning. And stir regularly when you’re on the heat. Keep cooking and stirring until you get a smooth consistency.
We use this brand of vegan marshmallows. The small size helps them cook down faster. If you can’t find them in your grocery store, they’re available on Amazon. Or, if you can only find the bigger size, simply roughly chop the marshmallows to bring them down to size.
Add the Rice Krispies
After you get that creamy, soft texture from the melted marshmallows and peanut butter, add the key ingredient: Rice Krispies. Sure, they may not have a ton of flavor. But this cereal is naturally gluten-free and packs plenty of crunch.
Those snap, crackle and pops don’t get squashed by the peanut butter marshmallow mixture. The result is a creamy but crunchy dough that will stand up to some hefty toppings.
The key here is to mix your rice krispie dough very thoroughly. As soon as you add the cereal, the mixture will start to cool and become difficult to stir with a spoon. At that point, it may be easiest to transfer everything to a bowl and mix with your hands.
If you have young helpers on hand, this is a fun opportunity to get their hands dirty (literally). And there’s no more heat at this stage, so it’s very kid-friendly.
Next, add everything to a parchment-lined baking dish. Press carefully to make a smooth, flat surface. That will be important when it comes time to decorate and slice the bars. They shouldn’t take very long to cool, but give them enough time to fully harden. Otherwise, they’ll break easily when cut.
How to Top Halloween Rice Krispie Treats
Now comes the fun part. While the dough hardens in the pan, get your toppings ready. Melt some vegan chocolate chips in the microwave. Chop some peanuts.
You could even whip up a homemade caramel sauce. Our recipe is only four ingredients and 100% vegan. Of course, there are also tasty store-bought vegan caramel sauce options.
We also topped these spooky treats with candy eyeballs. These are of course not required, especially if you’re not making these for Halloween, but they are strongly encouraged 🙂
Gluten-free mini pretzels bring that extra salty bite. And flaky salt elevates everything with texture and flavor.
Here’s how we decorate our homemade halloween rice krispie treats:
- Remove the entire hardened dough rectangle from the pan, using parchment paper to keep it together.
- Top with melted chocolate. Use a spoon to brush it out evenly if you like.
- Drizzle with vegan caramel sauce.
- While the sauces are still wet, press gluten free pretzels on top and sprinkle with chopped peanuts.
- Feel free to add more splatters of chocolate and caramel on top.
- And finish off with a sprinkle of candy eyeballs and flaky sea salt.
Voila: spooky, crunchy, chocolate peanut butter vegan rice krispie treats! All that’s left to do is slice and take a bite! (Note: you won’t be able to stop at just one. They’re pretty addictive!
More Homemade Vegan Halloween Treats
- Homemade Vegan Twix Bars. Twix used to be my favorite candy bar. After eating this homemade version, I’ll never go back to packaged!
- Raw Vegan Almond Joy Bars. This have a creamy dairy-free center and crunchy dark chocolate shell. Let’s just say this is candy that might be too good for the kids.
- Homemade Peanut Butter Cups. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups were recently voted America’s favorite candy. If you’re in that camp, this elevated recipe is about to blow your mind.
- Double Chocolate Cashew Butter Cups with Raspberry Chia Jam. Why not go beyond peanut butter filling? We filled these decadent cups with nut butter (use your favorite kind) and jam. No one will know how easy they are to make!
These homemade vegan peanut butter rice krispie treats are just in time for Halloween. Topped with salted caramel and gluten free pretzels, they’re the perfect recipe for kids in the kitchen.
- 3 tbsp vegan butter
- 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 bag of vegan mini marshmallows or large marshmallows, quartered
- 3 cups Rice Krispies
- Line a 9×9 inch baking dish with parchment. In a large nonstick pot, melt butter and peanut butter over low heat. Once melted, add vanilla and salt and stir well. Add marshmallows and melt slowly over low heat, stirring. Vegan marshmallows need to really break down since they have a tougher outside. Once fully melted, turn off the heat.
- Pour in the Rice Krispies and quickly stir in with a spatula until well combined. If it needs more mixing , transfer the mixture to a large bowl and use your hands to finish.
- Press the mixture evenly into the prepared dish. Let it cool at room temperature.
- Meanwhile, melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl, stirring every 30 seconds.
- Once hardened, remove the krispies from pan using the parchment paper to lift. Top with melted chocolate, drizzle lightly with caramel sauce and top with pretzels, peanuts, candy eyeballs and a pinch of flaky salt. Refrigerate until chocolate layer is hardened.
- Slice the rice krispies into squares and serve.
Note: you’ll need to really stir to incorporate the rice krispies into the marshmallow mixture. Vegan marshmallows do not always melt as well as regular marshmallows, so be prepared. If you’re having a hard time mixing them with a spoon. Let cool slightly and do it with your hands.
Keywords: halloween rice krispie treats