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Food & Recipes

Keep Your Homemade Rice Krispie Treats Soft Using This Pantry Staple


Rice Krispie treats have always been a staple of my dessert spread at summer BBQs. While it’s convenient to buy them ready-made, I like to make them from scratch — adding my own twists, like throwing in a dash of vanilla or browning the melted butter beforehand to get a nutty flavor.

While these tricks ensure tasty cereal bars, I often have trouble preventing them from going stale the next day. Thankfully, I found a tip on how to keep homemade Rice Krispie treats soft using an ingredient that’s already in my pantry: sweetened condensed milk.

How to Keep Rice Krispie Treats Soft

A can of condensed milk can come in handy when you want to add a sweet, milky flavor to desserts like key lime pie and homemade ice cream. Turns out, this milk has the same flavor effect on homemade Rice Krispie treats, plus it gives the bars an extra chewiness.

Chef Libby Willis notes that when you add in the condensed milk will affect your treats’ taste. “For a [rich and caramelized] dulce de leche flavor, add the canned milk with the butter and let it cook down and brown a bit,” she tells Epicurious. “For something more milky and creamy, add it with the marshmallows.”

Homemade Rice Krispie Treats Recipe

For yummy results with every batch, it’s worth trying Kellogg’s recipe for Rice Krispie treats with the addition of the condensed milk. 

Meghan Splawn, food editor for, says that using at least 1/3 cup of condensed milk will give you the desired gooey texture and keep the cereal bars softer longer. You can even go a full 1/2 cup for a creamier flavor.


  • 6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 package (10 ounces, about 40) large marshmallows or 5 ½ cups mini marshmallows
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • A dash vanilla (optional)


  1. In large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and vanilla extract — stir until completely melted. (Pour in condensed milk during either stage, per chef Willis’ tips.) Remove pan from heat.
  2. Add Rice Krispies cereal. Stir until cereal is well-coated.
  3. Using buttered spatula or wax paper, evenly press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Cool until solid. Cut into 2-inch squares and enjoy.
  4. Cereal bars are best if served same day. Store no more than two days at room temperature in airtight container. To freeze, place bars in layers separated by wax paper in airtight container. Freeze for up to 6 weeks. Let bars stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.

Who knew this pantry staple could take Rice Krispie treats to a whole new level? I’ll definitely be serving some extra soft, chewy cereal bars during my summer BBQs this year.

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