These crispy cereal bars are one of our all-time favorite treats. They’re a great vegan alternative to regular Rice Krispie Treats. They have a sweet, nutty crunch when you bite in, and prep in just 10 minutes and 3 ingredients. It doesn’t get easier than that!
I went on a baking binge last weekend. The list of goodies was long. I made no-bake cookie dough bites, vegan ginger cookies, peanut butter bites, and these 3 ingredient crispy cereal bars.. all in one morning. My mixer got a workout. At the end of the day, out of all the treats, these were the easiest. AND they were the first ones to disappear! In other words, sometimes the easiest thing can be the most popular, too.
These Bars Are…
- Kid approved
- Packable on the go
- Made in just 10 minutes (plus chill time)
3 Ingredients – 10 Minutes – Crispy Cereal Bar Deliciousness
With just 3 ingredients, this “how-to” section is going to be short and sweet. Begin with a large pot on medium to medium-low heat. Add your peanut butter and brown rice syrup. Use a spatula to constantly stir and fold the peanut butter and rice syrup together as they warm up. Then, as soon as they’re melted together and have thinned out, remove the pot from the heat. This may take just 5 minutes, or as long as 10 minutes depending on the heat and pot you’re using. The important thing is that you don’t let them burn to the bottom, so keep stirring!
Next, gently fold in the crispy rice cereal. You can use Rice Krispies, or a gluten free version that says something about “crispy cereal” on the box. Lots of crispy cereals will work, so feel free to experiment with whatever you have in the pantry. Fold your cereal in by scraping the bottom of the pot and bringing everything up along the side and over the top. The more the crispy cereal pieces stay in tact, the better the crunch when you bite them.
Lastly, line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Let it come up the sides a bit, too. Scrape the warm, crispy cereal mix into the pan and gently press is down into a thick “bar”. Then, pop it in the fridge for an hour to set. Leave it in longer if you want them to be really firm, but you might not be able to wait that long to dig in. So an hour is usually all we do in our house, and it works just fine 🙂 Remove them from the pan, cut them into squares, and enjoy!
Brown Rice Syrup and Substitutions
I really like brown rice syrup for this recipe. It’s thick, sticky and about half as sweet as maple syrup. Everything about it just works perfectly in these bars.
If brown rice syrup isn’t in your pantry though, I get it. So let’s try to make them with what you have on hand. For a non-vegan option, honey will work. Again, it’s the thick, sticky nature of the honey that makes it a better substitution than maple syrup. Try 1/4 to 1/3 cup of honey, depending on how sweet you want the final bar to be. Honey is much sweeter than brown rice syrup, so you need less of it.
Maple Syrup as a Substitution
Now let’s talk about what most people have on hand: Maple Syrup. It’s a staple in most vegan/all pantries and fridges. We always have it on hand, and I can’t count the number of times just a tablespoon changes a sauce with it’s intensely sweet, maple-y flavor. When it comes to using it in these crispy cereal bars though, it’s not an ideal substitution. The thin consistency of maple syrup along with it’s potent sweetness, are the opposite of what we’re trying to achieve with the brown rice syrup. Plus, Maple Syrup is about 3x sweeter than brown rice syrup.
So if you’re going to try to sub with maple, start with half the amount at 1/4 cup. Taste it once it mixes with the peanut butter. If you want more sweetness, add another tablespoon or 2 at the most. Also, when you’re adding in the crispy rice cereal, start with a cup and a half. Fold that in and see how well the sweet peanut butter is coating. If it’s a really thick coating, add a bit more cereal. But since you have less liquid from the smaller amount of maple syrup, you’re likely to need less crispy rice cereal overall.
I haven’t tried this recipe with maple syrup, so if you do drop us a comment or a picture let me know how it turned out! We can all learn from your experience!
So here they are.. our incredibly easy, super delicious, and highly addicting 3 Ingredient Crispy Cereal Bars. We hope you love them as much as we do! Enjoy 🙂
3 Ingredient Crispy Cereal Bars
- large pot and spatula
- lined loaf pan
- measuring cups and spoons or kitchen scale
- 1 cup natural unsalted peanut butter
- ½ cup brown rice syrup
- 2 cups crispy rice cereal (Rice Krispies) use GF version if needed – Rice Krispies are NOT GF
- pinch of salt optional
- in a large pot on medium to medium low heat melt the peanut butter and rice syrup together (add a pinch of salt if desired) until smooth and thin texture appears
- remove from heat and gently fold in crispy rice cereal (rice krispies or GF version)
- transfer to lined loaf pan and gently pack tightly with the back of a spatula
- chill in the fridge for at least an hour to set
- cut up into squares and enjoy!
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