For all of my fellow caramel lovers out there–this dessert is for you! This is a no-bake, thermometer-free, super simple treat to make. If you can make regular rice krispies, just add a few ingredients to transform them into a gooey, decadent and all around improved version. These Dairy & Gluten-free Salted Caramel Rice Krispies are also free of: soy, peanuts and tree nuts, making them top-8-free. These allergy-friendly treats can easily be made vegan too!
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Caramel has ALWAYS been a favorite of mine. Like, I can remember asking my dad to buy me carmellos on his weekly candy bar run. And yes, I said that right…he’d buy us our favorite candy bars every Saturday. This means two things: 1.) He is amazing. And 2.) It’s no wonder I have the biggest sweet tooth and my love language is sugar.
I’ll take caramels in about any form. Soft and chewy, poured over some ice cream, or dipped in chocolate–I really don’t care as long as there is caramel!
I about died and went to heaven when I realized that there was an EASY, no-bake way, no candy thermometer needed to make a caramel dessert. And, not just any dessert, but caramel with some crunch! Adding a caramel sauce to rice krispies really kinda makes me never want the original ones ever again.
If you didn’t know–we’re kind of BIG fans of rice krispies at our house. I make…well, there are already six variations of rice krispies on my site. So, this little recipe should feel right at home. Be sure to check out the very end of this post and I’ll list them all–there’s fun ones from reindeer, to Christmas trees, to Snickerdoodle to Frankensteins. They’re just so versatile and so quick and easy to make!
If you watched out weekly live last night (did you know we do those??) we talked about the anxiety you can have going to eat at someone’s house for the first time. At first–you’re so thrilled someone will take on the challenge of feeding your family, and then…you’re nervous that they’ll take the same precautions you will. Be sure to listen to the live if you missed it. ALL of the lives are posted to my Facebook page in the videos section.
I was grateful that our host asked me to make dessert, because I had already made these earlier in the week and gobbled them up too fast before getting to take pictures of them. I was happy I had an excuse (but what else IS THERE to bring to a dinner party??) to make them again.
These are a bit more gooey than regular rice krispies–which makes them feel extra indulgent. I may, or may not, eat them with a spoon straight out of the pan. If you keep them refrigerated/cool they hold their shape better and be less stickier.
Frequently Asked Questions on How to Make Caramel Rice Krispies Allergy-friendly:
- For cereal: Regular and generic brands of rice krispies use barley in all the brands I’ve ran across. (So they are wheat free, but not gluten-free). I’ve found Malt-0-Meal & Erewhon are great gluten-free substitutions.
- For marshmallows: If you’re needing this to be vegan, be sure to use appropriate marshmallows like Dandies. (Does anyone know them–I seriously should work with them since I’m always touting their product!)
- For oil: If you can’t do coconut, you can do all vegan butter (whichever kind you prefer). I find the coconut oil helps the krispies set up when chilled better, and it’s a lot cheaper than vegan butter–so I like to save on that when I can.
- Can I replace the coconut milk: Honestly–I have not tried anything else because we can have coconut. I would say probably not, as full fat coconut milk (the stuff you get in the can, NOT the stuff you find in the dairy section in a carton) is much thicker and creamier and has a higher fat content than other non-dairy milks. If you do try it, you’ll probably want to add more cereal to absorb more. **Please comment below if you do try something different and it works to help future readers.
I know that finding affordable dairy-free caramel substitutes can be hard and you often miss caramel. I hope this helps my fellow caramel lovers out there enjoy a sweet treat on me! Be sure to share this with any other dairy-free, caramel loving friends you have! *Sharing is caring!*
- 6-7 cups Rice Krispies (see above for gluten-free options)
- ½ stick vegan butter (4 Tablespoons)
- ½ cup coconut oil
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup full fat coconut milk, or coconut cream (cannot be lite, or the stuff from the carton see above)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 10-ounce bag of mini marshmallows
- sea salt for sprinkling
- Lightly grease a 13x9 pan and set it aside.
- In a large, heavy bottomed pot place your vegan butter, coconut oil, brown sugar, coconut milk and salt. Turn the heat to medium and melt. Allow it to come to a small boil, and stir occasionally to keep it from scorching. Boil the mixture for 7 minutes. The mixture will be thicker and sticky.
- Take the pot off of the heat and add in the vanilla and marshmallows. Stir until the marshmallows are melted.
- Immediately add in your cereal. I put between 6-7 cups, because some people enjoy their rice krispies more gooey (ME!) but some might want to make them go further and not be so wet. Stir until the cereal is evenly coated.
- Pour the mixture into the greased 13x9 and with greased or wet hands, press them into an even layer.
- Sprinkle a lite dusting of sea salt on top.
- Place the pan in the fridge to cool and set up. Keep in the fridge unless serving, covered.
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I’m not kidding when I say we like allergy-friendly rice krispies. Here are some fun variations: