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Rice Crispy Treats without butter?

I am trying to think how important butter is in these treats. What would happen if you made it without butter? What would be a good substitute for it?

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  1. Without some kind of oil it would be too sticky and probably stick to your pot.
    Margarine, peanut butter or PAM.

    1. I am pretty sure the original "recipe" called for margarine: life was like that back then!

      1 Reply
      1. re: LJS

        As a matter of fact, we use the "original recipe," and it has a picture of Howdy Doody on it. It calls for "3/4 cup butter or margarine." Just can't get too far from that butter, I guess.

      2. I've used a combination of maple syrup and peanut butter in place of butter.

        1 Reply
        1. Even the recipe using Marshmallow Fluff calls for butter or margarine.
          You worried about calories or what?

          1. They wouldn't taste as good. Unimaginable in my house!

            1. Cake decorators do that when they need very sturdy sculpted (but edible) pieces for elaborate cakes. It's just harder (both to make, and to eat).

              1. I halve the butter when I make them. It works fine. But I suspect zero butter would be problematic, though, from a stickness perspective, and also I think you'd miss that hint of butter flavor.

                1. By total coincidence, I just made the Do-It-Yourself Power Bars from Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Cooking last night and found them a lot more satisfying than I expected to. Despite the name, they're basically fancied-up rice crispy treats, and they're vegan. So: no butter. The binding is brown rice syrup with a little extra added sugar, and she uses virgin coconut oil, which is solid at room temp, for the fat.

                  Here's a very similar recipe from her website. The one from the cookbook uses dried cranberries, crystallized ginger and walnuts instead of the espresso, pecans and almonds.


                  6 Replies
                  1. re: darklyglimmer

                    sounds tasty, but I don't see how you could really call them DIY PowerBars since PowerBars have 9 grams of soy protein and these don't have any complete protein sources, and unless I'm mistaken, the incomplete proteins (nuts and rice) aren't complementary.

                    1. re: danna

                      Just telling you what the recipe was called - Swanson's words, not mine.

                      1. re: darklyglimmer

                        sorry, by "you" I meant the collective you, not you personally ;-)

                        1. re: danna

                          Not a problem, I was just clarifying! And FWIW, they *were* tasty.


                      2. re: danna


                        You're gettng caught up in the trademarked brandname "PowerBars" versus the generic term "power bar".

                        The DIY recipe by Swanson is the latter, not the former. If it were the former, Swanson would be looking at a trademark suit from Nestlé.

                      3. re: darklyglimmer

                        THANKS for this and that site!

                        Anyone else have a kicked up Adult version of the RKT?

                      4. Ok, if you get really desparate, get yourself some "I believe it's not butter".

                        1. I am in Asia right now, and it is very difficult to find butter or margarine. So I was hoping to make it with veg oil. Would it work?

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Coffee and Choco

                            Marshmallows are available in Asia?
                            Sure vegetable oil would work.

                            1. re: Coffee and Choco

                              no butter in asia but they have marshmallows? :O veg oil would work i assume but the flavor would definitely be lacking imo.

                              1. re: Coffee and Choco

                                you could also try a combo of oils like veg and peanut or coconut for a different twist...

                              2. I've made them subbing in peanut butter for the butter - add some dried strawberries and you have what's essentially a sweet PB&J... You have to use all natural peanut butter, though, as the stuff with additives melts and reforms strangely, tasting greasy in spots. I haven't tried it, but I imagine almond or any other similar butter would work as well to give you a shot of protein. I've also heard you can sub in Nutella, which sounds fantastic...

                                When I was trying to eat fat-free, I used to make single-serving sizes of RKT by spraying a bowl with Pam, melting the marshmallows in it in the microwave, and quickly adding the rice krispies, so it is doable - but honestly the taste was a bit blah, the result a giant blob that hardened to inedible in minutes, so the trick was how to time letting it cool enough to shove the whole thing in my mouth before letting it cool too long where it became a rock... Not really worth it and not really doable in a full batch size unless you have a group of hungry sugar-fiends willing to hover over you in the kitchen ready to pounce...

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: thursday

                                  My sister in law and I are throwing a PB&J themed engagement party for her sister and fiance. I have been struggling to figure out how to make a RKT cake(found a recipe) that is dairy free and PB&J. This helped so much. Thank you.

                                2. Thanks for the thread - as much as I LOVE rice krispie treats with copious butter (sometimes brown butter!), I also love them as portable race snacks for ultramarathons. The fat slows down digestion, so having very little or even no fat is sometimes a good thing.

                                  So I might try the maple syrup & peanut butter version, and cut down the PB until it still works but barely. Or just coconut oil or MCT oil which can be burned quickly unlike other fats. Hmm.... brain is churning.

                                  That said, if I really want rice treats without fat while running I should just make musabi. :-)

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: tenacity

                                    I never thought of rice krispies treats for ultras! Have you tried this during summer? If so, are they a gloppy, melty mess or do they hold pretty well?

                                    1. re: adirunner

                                      I have only had the packaged ones at ultras and they seem fine but I know they are lower fat than homemade....

                                      1. re: tenacity

                                        Okay, thanks. I actually do better with more fat and less sugar, so homemade (with the peanut/almond butter addition) may be the way to go.

                                  2. Echoing parts of what others have suggested below, I've made oat bars (i.e., oats being the main event, as opposed to rice crispies) with a combo of natural PB, honey, and coconut oil - no butter. You need to chill them in the fridge -works perfectly. Try pouring some chocolate sauce on top (cocoa melted in coconut oil and some honey).

                                    1. I make, and prefer, them with virgin coconut oil. With that slight coconut flavor, I like to add Trader Joe's freeze-dried banana chips, but any freeze-dried fruit would work equally well. Plain dried too, but you'll sacrifice texture.

                                      1. Coconut oil would be perfect!

                                        1. back in the NoFatEighties, there was a recipe for Krispie Treats made wtih Molly McButter (do they even make that stuff any more?)

                                          They were insanely sticky and tasted like chemicas, but they were fat-free.