These gluten-free Christmas rice krispies treats are the best festive dessert! They’re soft and gooey with the perfect amount of crunch. These sweet treats are decorated with red, white, and green chocolate and topped with crushed candy canes.
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Rice krispie treats are just one of those classic treats that everyone loves. I mean, what’s not to love about the crunch of crispy rice coated in buttery marshmallows?
These Christmas rice krispie treats are a classic made festive for the holidays! They’re dipped in red and white melted chocolate, drizzled with green chocolate, and topped with crushed candy canes to give them a subtle peppermint flavor that’s perfect for Christmas.
Serve these rice krispie treats at your next holiday party and just watch how fast they disappear!
📖Why This Recipe Works
This recipe works because there isn’t much you need to do to make rice krispie treats totally gluten-free. Refer to our gluten-rice crispy treats recipe post for all the details on GF rice cereals.
Grab your favorite gluten-free crispy rice cereal and put together the krispie treats the same as you would regular ones.
It’s also great because you can prepare ahead of time and store the treats in the freezer so they’re ready to go when you want to serve them. Just let them thaw on the counter first.
These treats are so simple and easy to make and will be loved by everyone!
And they make a nice balance to the more labor intense gluten-free rainbow cookies.
Crispy Rice Cereal - Double check that the brand you use is gluten-free. I like the Millville rice cereal from Aldi.
Unsalted Butter - Cut into smaller pieces so it melts more easily.
Marshmallows - I use mini marshmallows so they melt more quickly and easily with the butter. If you can only find regular marshmallows, that’s fine, they will just take longer to melt.
Vanilla Extract - Gives the marshmallow mix a depth of flavor and warmth.
Kosher Salt - Cuts the sweetness and enhances flavors.
Candy Melts - Red, white, and green of course! I used the Wilton brand because they don't have any gluten-containing ingredients.
Vegetable Shortening - You need just a little bit of oil with the chocolate, then it melts super smoothly. You can also use coconut oil if you prefer.
Candy Canes - Crushed candy canes are the perfect festive garnish for your treats. You can also add sprinkles if you like.
See the recipe card for exact quantities.
⏲️How to Make Gluten-Free Christmas Treats
Our regular GF rice crispy treat recipe has all the details and tips and tricks for making the treats. But this recipe is all about fun decorations!
Step 1- Assemble the Rice Krispie Treats
In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add in 1 cup of marshmallows, then reduce the heat and stir until melted and smooth.
Remove the melted marshmallow/butter mix from the heat, then mix in vanilla and salt. Add in the cereal and remaining mini marshmallows, then mix until combined.
Transfer the cereal mix to a greased or lined baking dish, gently spread them out evenly, then set for 1 hour at room temp.
Step 2- Dip
Before you decorate, cut the rice krispies treats into rectangles so they’re ready to go for decorating!
Next, combine 1 cup of white candy melts and 2 tablespoons of vegetable shortening in a bowl. Microwave for 1 minute at 50% power, remove and stir, then repeat for another 30 seconds. Stir again, then microwave for 15 seconds at a time until melted.
At an angle, dip half of the treat into the melted chocolate, then repeat with each one. Set on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 5 minutes to set.
Repeat the melting and dipping process with the red candy melts, and let the treats set for another 5 minutes.
Step 3- Decorate
Then melt green chocolate and drizzle it over the edge of the treats.
Finish them off with crushed candy canes and sprinkles, then serve or store them.
Optional Santa Hats
Skip the green candy melts and candy canes. Instead, do the red and white layers only.
Press a mini marshmallow into the corner of the red layer on the long side to make the end of a Santa hat.
👩🏻🍳 Expert Tips
- Check the ingredients! Double-check the chocolate melts and the cereal you use to make sure everything is gluten-free. Look for malt and/or barley. Neither are safe for celiacs or those on a gluten-free diet.
- Do not use puffed rice cereal. It’s not the same thing and you’ll end up with soggy rice krispie treats.
- Line or grease the pan. You can use parchment paper or cooking spray. Either one makes it so much easier to remove the treats once they’re done.
- Melt the chocolate at 50% power. This helps prevent the chocolate from seizing up.
- Stir gently when you add the cereal. If you go at it you’ll just crush the cereal.
- Give the treats at least 1 hour to set. If you try to slice into them too soon they will be much too gooey and sticky.
- Set for 5 minutes between dips. Once you dip the treats in the candy melts, give them a few minutes to set before you dip them again. We don't want to make a mess.
- Use other mix-ins - Feel free to load your rice krispie treats up with other mix-ins such as chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, festive colored M&Ms, etc. Don’t go too heavy on the mix-ins though. If there’s too much, the rice krispie treats won’t hold their shape.
- Vegan rice krispies - Use dairy-free butter, your favorite brand of vegan marshmallows, and vegan candy melts.
- Not gluten-free - Feel free to use regular rice krispie cereal instead of gluten-free if you’re not worried about it.
- Use other colors - You can totally mix it up with different colors for different holidays. Get creative!
These gluten-free rice krispies treats will stay fresh for 2-3 days at room temperature. After that they will start to harden.
More Gluten-Free Holiday Treats
💬Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! Marshmallows are gluten-free. However, I recommend checking the packaging to make sure they are certified gluten-free before you use them.
No. Regular crispy rice cereal is not gluten-free. However, you can easily find a gluten-free alternative to the name-brand stuff.
The rice krispie treats need about an hour to set before cutting. If you cut into them too soon, they will be much too sticky and gooey.
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Gluten-Free Christmas Rice Treats
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter cut into pieces
- 16 ounces mini marshmallows one large bag, divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ teaspoon kosher salt
- 7 cups gluten-free crispy rice cereal see notes
- 1 cup White Candy Melts or white chocolate
- 1 cup Red Candy Melts
- ½ cup Green Candy Melts
- 5 Tablespoons vegetable shortening
- 3 candy canes crushed
- Line a 9x13 inch baking dish with parchment paper or coat with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Once melted, add in all but 1 cup of the marshmallows. Reduce heat to low and continue stirring until completely melted.6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, 16 ounces mini marshmallows
- Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and salt. Add the cereal and the remaining 1 cup of marshmallows and gently stir until combined.1 teaspoon vanilla extract, ⅓ teaspoon kosher salt, 7 cups gluten-free crispy rice cereal
- Pour into the prepared baking dish. Press gently with your fingertips just until completely spread out.
- Allow to set at room temperature, about 1 hour. Cut into rectangles.
Decorating the Rice Treats
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut your set treats into rectangles.
- Add 1 cup of white candy melts and 2 tablespoons of vegetable shortening in a glass bowl. Microwave 1 minute at 50% power. Carefully remove from microwave and stir. Put back in microwave for 30 seconds at 50% power and stir. Repeat for 15 second intervals at 50% power until fully melted and a smooth texture.1 cup White Candy Melts or white chocolate, 5 Tablespoons vegetable shortening
- At a diagonal, dip half of the rice treat into mixture allowing excess to drip off and place on your baking sheet. Repeat for each treat. Place baking sheet in refrigerator for 5 minutes to set the melted chocolate.
- While white melts are setting, repeat the melting process for the red melts.1 cup Red Candy Melts
- At a diagonal, dip half of previously dipped treat into red mixture allowing excess to drip off and place on parchment paper lined baking pan. There should be a band of white chocolate showing. Repeat for each treat. Place baking sheet in refrigerator for 5 minutes to set the melted chocolate.
- While red chocolate is setting, repeat the melting process for the green melts using the remaining shortening. Pour melted chocolate into piping bag and carefully cut off tip of bag.½ cup Green Candy Melts
- Drizzle the green chocolate over the red edge. Sprinkle on the crushed candy canes. Allow chocolate to set for 5 minutes in the refrigerator. Remove from the fridge and store at room temperature.3 candy canes
- Kellogg's Rice Krispies cereal is not gluten-free and they no longer make the gluten-free version. I like the Millville rice cereal from Aldi. It is gluten-free and close in texture. You can use any GF cereal brand you like check the labels for malt and barley, neither are safe for celiacs or those on a gluten-free diet. Do not use puffed rice cereal.
- Most brands of chocolate candy melts are gluten-free but check the bag to be sure. I used Wilton brand which labels all common allergens.
- You can also color white chocolate using gel food coloring. Only add a tiny bit as food coloring can cause chocolate to seize up.