Make Ahead

Hippie Cereal Crispy Treat Bars/Dessert

April  3, 2013
6 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 2 hours
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Makes 16 two-inch bars
Author Notes

This recipe was my attempt at making Rice Krispy Treats without marshmallows and with natural, healthy-ish ingredients. Inspired by David Lebovitz' Scotcheroos, I used chocolate, almond butter, coconut oil, and rice and maple syrups as the goo to bind the treats together, and topped them with a chocolate-coconut oil ganache. The treats were an instant hit, and now I make hundreds of them every summer to feed my fellow hippies at a music camp in Northern California. They are one of the most popular posts on my recipe blog, The Bojon Gourmet (

A few notes: You can use corn syrup or golden syrup in place of the rice syrup if you prefer. Barbara's Bakery Crisp Brown Rice Cereal stays the crispiest of the four different brands I've tried. Chocophiles may want to double the ganache topping and sprinkle the top with cacao nibs. —Alanna

Test Kitchen Notes

Forget the traditional rice cereal treats with marshmallows -- these Hippie Crispie Treats are wonderful. Once you assemble the ingredients (rice syrup was new to my kitchen pantry), it all comes together easily. Setting the ganache in the fridge is essential; the treats remained crispy in my fridge for several days. I would make the salt & almonds on top optional. I’m adding dried cranberries to the next batch! This recipe is a family favorite already. —susan kelly

What You'll Need
  • The bars:
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup brown rice syrup
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped bittersweet (70%) chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 4 cups crisp rice cereal
  • The topping:
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped bittersweet (70%) chocolate
  • 1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
  • 1/4 teaspoon flaky salt (such as Maldon)
  1. Line an 8x8 square pan with a sling of parchment paper. In a large saucepan, bring the maple and rice syrups to a rolling boil for 1 minute, stirring frequently with a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon (be careful not to let it boil over). Remove from the heat and stir in the nut butter, 1/2 cup chocolate, 2 tablespoons coconut oil, and 1/4 teaspoon fine salt until everything is smooth and the chocolate is melted. Fold in the rice cereal and pack the mixture firmly and evenly into the lined pan (damp fingers can help here).
  2. In a small saucepan (or the same big one, if you've scraped it clean), melt the remaining 1/2 cup of chocolate and 2 tablespoons coconut oil together over very low heat, stirring constantly just until melted (be careful not to scorch the chocolate). Pour the chocolate mixture over the rice mixture, spreading it smooth. Sprinkle the nuts and flaky salt over the top.
  3. Let the bars set at cool room temperature (about 2 hours) or in the refrigerator (about 1 hour) until firm. Lift the sling out of the pan, trim away the edges if you like, and cut into 16 squares.
  4. These treats are best the day they are made. They will keep at room temperature for several days, though the cereal will soften slightly.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • 16bitclaudes
  • Sarah Holt
    Sarah Holt
  • Anna_Ch
  • Marivic Restivo
    Marivic Restivo
  • kimberly.godwin
Alanna Taylor-Tobin can be found baking (and eating too many) cookies in her book Alternative Baker: Reinventing Dessert with Gluten-Free Grains and Flours and at her blog The Bojon Gourmet.

58 Reviews

16bitclaudes July 22, 2021
Made a batch this week with 4 cups of puffed rice as per the directions but also threw in a handful of nice, plump raisins that were laying around, I found the ratio just right. They are VERY rich, but that just means there are more servings to be had! Rather than 16 pieces, I cut them into 25 little cubes and they were perfect. Will definitely make again.
judy August 15, 2019
Look great. Nice to see syrups that are not corn syrup. I have wanted to make these for years, but I am allergic/intolerant of corn syrup. When I could eat them, and my kids were little I made these with all kinds of add ins and out of cheerios as well. This was long before there were variations on Rice Krispies. but now they have Gond "adult". I'll give these a try. Thanks.
Sarah H. May 2, 2018
These are delicious. I used Dark Karo instead of brown rice syrup and 61% chocolate because it was what I had. Used 5 cups of rice cereal and at the last minute added a cup of shredded unsweetened coconut and I wished I had used a little less cereal. They cut cleanly but are a little delicate. The syrup/chocolate mixture was a little sweet once all melted together so I added Hershey’s special dark cocoa to taste and they have a dense dark chocolate taste, not too sweet at all. Will make these a lot.
cpc May 19, 2016
I used puffed millet instead of the puffed rice/rice crispier cereal & used 5 cups instead of four, per recommendations. Otherwise, I followed the recipe and thought this was good. Not too sweet and I'm normally not thrilled with very sweet things. The 70% chocolate was key. I think I could have added a little more salt on top and maybe would use a larger pan to spread the mix into. These were a little thicker than necessary. Next time, I might add a little chopped nuts and coconut to the mix. Definitely an easy treat that is a little on the healthy side.
Anna_Ch May 19, 2016
"to feed my fellow hippies at a music camp in Northern California" - are you talking about Cazadero, by any chance? My family loves that place. I'm sure these treats are a perfect complement!
Grace October 15, 2015
These are way too sweet and sticky. I would use 5 cups of rice crispies and reduce the maple syrup. I'm sticking with Alicia Silverstone's peanut butter krispies, which are perfect.
Kerry G. July 20, 2015
LOVED THESE! Used unsweetened chocolate in base, and was plenty sweet. ... Used maple syrup plus English treacle, and instead of rice cereal, I used crumbled rice cakes (the lightly salted Lundberg's brown rice cakes)... this added a wonderful nuttiness, and a little extra salt (YUM). I also took another commenter's advice and added dried cranberries.
Alanna July 20, 2015
I'm so glad those substitutions worked out. Dried cranberries sound especially delicious!
Lisa April 29, 2015
These bars are amazing! I used Guittard bittersweet chocolate and doubled the salt because I love that combo! The results were not too sweet and my son declared them the best dessert ever!!!
Alanna July 20, 2015
Marivic R. January 18, 2015
Any recommendations on what can be substituted for brown rice syrup?
fearlessem March 27, 2014
Very tasty! I made these as the recipe stated other than using 5 cups of rice crispies, and leaving off the glaze. I don't think they need it, and didn't find them too sweet at all. Thanks!
Alanna March 27, 2014
Yay! So glad you like 'em! You're quite welcome, and thanks for the note. :)
kimberly.godwin March 23, 2014
I just made this. OMG.... So easy & So delicious. I used 4.5 cups of organic rice crispy cereal. I used to eat rice krispy treats at home when I was a kid, but as an adult, I stay away from 'junk food'. This is a much better improved healthier version. I like a good 'treat' now and then, and I think I just found it. Thank you.
Alanna March 24, 2014
That makes me so happy, Kimberly! I was also glad to relive my rice krispy treats fixation again through these guys, too.
Pam March 4, 2014
LOVE these bars. They are very easy and quick to make. I used Agave for the liquid sweetener. I also used 5 cups of cereal as recommended by someone. They were still VERY sweet!
Alanna March 5, 2014
Hi Pam, Thanks for the note. I'm so glad you love these! Agave is sweeter than brown rice syrup (by three times, says this site: so the bars made with it will naturally taste much sweeter. It is also thinner and wetter, so it would make sense that you'd want more cereal in there. Thanks for giving them a go!
Pam March 5, 2014
Well, I didn't know that. Good to know. They are wonderful the next day.
Alanna March 6, 2014
So glad you like them! I didn't know that about agave either until I Googled it just now.
NC July 17, 2013
This is a great simple recipe! The only thing I did differently is add (just because I had them already) yacon syrup instead of maple and rice syrups,had organic brown rice cereal, used MCT oil when making the almond butter and threw in a handful of salted mixed nuts with the (3 oz) chocolate. It turned out perfect!
Alanna July 18, 2013
Ooh, I'm really glad to know that you can substitute yacon syrup for the maple and brown rice syrups! So glad you like the bars - thanks for the lovely comment. :)
Golfchef May 29, 2013
What can I sub for the almond butter? My wife has a nut allergy.
Alanna May 29, 2013
You should be able so sub any nut or seed butter. (For the record, I once used peanut butter, and the bars came out gooier than with the almond butter, but they were still tasty.) If your wife is allergic to all nuts, I would try sunflower seed butter, as it has a fairly neutral flavor.
placidplaid May 13, 2013
I found out why my bars were crumbly the first time, six cups of rice krispies instead of four. I made again yesterday with four cups. I think the perfect number would actually be five cups because they were over the top too sweet. My kids complained a little too, they liked the first batch better. You're right about the spray coconut oil, it's really not very nice.
Alanna May 20, 2013
Ah, that explains it! Also, are you using 70% bittersweet chocolate? I think chocolate with a lower percentage of cacao could definitely make them too sweet. I made these the other day with 85% chocolate and they tasted quite grown-up to me. :)
Carrie V. May 13, 2013
I love the name of these bars :). Excited to make them!
Alanna May 20, 2013
Thanks, Carrie! Let us know how you like them!
placidplaid May 6, 2013
two tablespoons! yeesh
placidplaid May 6, 2013
I meant tablespoon.
placidplaid May 6, 2013
I also wanted to say that I did not buy a jar of coconut oil since it was pricey. I bought the spray coconut oil and loaded up a teaspoon of it to add to the recipe. I figured if I ended up not liking the end result at least I'd have cook spray on hand to use rather than having a jar of expensive oil languishing in my cupboard.
Alanna May 6, 2013
Ah, ok, I think that would be the culprit for the crumbly bars, since the spray has stuff added to it to make the oil liquid at room temperature and thus sprayable. The coconut oil helps solidify the bars, along with the chocolate, as both are solid at room temperature. Hope this helps!
Stephanie G. May 5, 2013
these are good! Next time I will double the salt in the bars.
Alanna May 6, 2013
So glad you liked them! A little extra salt never hurts. ;)