This scrumptious recipe for Chocolate Caramel Rice Krispie Squares is a tasty twist on traditional Rice Krispie treats. The combination of rich chocolate, peanut butter, chewy caramel, and crunchy Rice Krispies creates a dessert that will fly off the plate.
Everyone loves no-bake desserts and Chocolate Caramel Rice Krispie Treats are a delicious twist on the classic Rice Krispie treat recipe! Satisfy your sweet tooth with layers of a perfect blend of chocolate, peanut butter, caramel, and crispy goodness.
Homemade treats are simply the best and three sweets we loved as kids were, Rice Krispie squares, Puffed Wheat Squares and Confetti Squares. All are quick and easy to make, don’t cost a lot and kids (and adults) devour them!
Ingredients you will need:
- Rice Krispies – just plain Kellogg’s Rice Krispies
- Marshmallows - Use fresh marshmallows. Stale marshmallows will not melt properly.
- Butter – I always bake with butter and never substitute with margarine.
- Vanilla – pure vanilla extract is what I use for all my baking.
- Caramels – this recipe uses 24 caramels. Kraft is my go to brand.
- Peanut butter – use regular smooth peanut butter. Natural peanut butter is too runny and the layers won't set well.
- Chocolate- you can use chocolate chips, squares or bars. Milk chocolate, semi-sweet or dark chocolate all work well.
Optional Ingredients for topping the chocolate layer:
- Sprinkle the Chocolate Caramel Rice Krispie Squares with chopped peanuts.
- Drizzle the top with some of the prepared caramel sauce or use store-bought salted caramel sauce.
How to make three tasty layers of this no-bake treat.
Rice Krispie Layer – this is just a simple combination of butter, melted marshmallows, vanilla extract and Rice Krispies cereal. Using the microwave melt the butter just until melted, stir into the marshmallows. Microwave just until the marshmallows are melted, stirring after 30 - 40 seconds. It should take between 1 to 1 ½ minutes to completely melt the marshmallows. Stir in the vanilla extract and pour marshmallow mixture over the Rice Krispie cereal. Combine well and press into a buttered pan.
Caramel Peanut Butter Layer remove the wrap from the caramels and place in a small saucepan with the water. Cook on medium heat until fully melted. Remove from heat and stir in ½ cup of peanut butter. Immediately pour over the rice Krispie layer and spread evenly.
Chocolate Layer – using a non-stick saucepan melt the chocolate over medium-low heat. When the chocolate is completely melted, stir in ¼ cup of peanut butter. Mix well, then immediately pour over the caramel layer and spread evenly.
Refrigerate to set the chocolate.
Tips for making these exceptional treats.
- Generously grease the baking pan with butter or line with parchment paper so the squares remove easily.
- Use a microwave to melt the marshmallows, this ensures they stay the perfect consistency. Heat just until the marshmallows have melted, about 1-1 ½ minutes. Stir every 30- 40 secs.
- The rice krispie layer is quite sticky so I grease my hands with a bit of butter to press the rice krispie mixture into the pan. Placing wax paper on top will also work to help spread evenly if you don't like to use your hands.
- Use a non-stick saucepan for melting both the caramels and the chocolate. The mixtures pour out easily and won't stick to the pot.
- Work quickly when spreading the caramel and chocolate layers. You do not want the mixture to cool or it becomes difficult to spread.
- I use back side of a large spoon to spread the caramel and chocolate layers evenly.
- Refrigerate to set, but allow to come to room temperature to serve. This ensures the caramel layer is not too hard.
- I made these squares in a 9x9 inch pan but simply double the recipe for a 9x13 inch pan.
Store Chocolate Caramel Rice Krispie Squares in airtight container for several days.
Can you freeze these squares?
I don't recommend freezing as they become hard and no longer chewy.
This post was originally published August 24, 2013. Occasionally I update with fresh tips, content, and photos. Current update December 3, 2023.
Chocolate Caramel Rice Krispie Squares
- 1 ½ tablespoon butter
- 2 cups mini marshmallows or about 20 large
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 cups Rice Krispies cereal
- 7 ounces caramels ½ bag
- 1 tablespoon water
- ¾ cup smooth peanut butter divided
- 8 ounces milk chocolate chopped
- Grease a 9 x 9 inch baking pan with butter.
- In large bowl melt the butter in the microwave (just until melted). Add the marshmallows and stir to coat with the melted butter. Microwave just until the marshmallows are melted, stirring after 40 seconds. It should only take about 1 to 1 ½ minutes to completely melt the marshmallows.
- Remove from the microwave and stir in the vanilla extract.
- Combine together with the Rice Krispies cereal.
- Press the mixture into the prepared pan.
- Remove wrappers from the caramels and place in a small non-stick saucepan. Add the water and cook on medium heat just until caramels are melted. Stir constantly and do not burn the mixture!
- Remove from heat and stir in ½ cup of peanut butter.
- Pour over the Rice Krispie layer, spread evenly.
- Place the chocolate into a small non-stick saucepan. On medium-low heat melt the chocolate. Cook only until melted!
- Remove from heat and stir in ¼ cup peanut butter. Combine well.
- Pour the chocolate peanut butter mixture over the caramel layer. Spread evenly.
- Refrigerate to set the chocolate layer.
- Cut into squares.