This Rice Krispie cake recipe is a fantastic option as an alternative to a traditional cake or as a simple, no-bake cake for any celebration.
With just four ingredients - Rice Krispies, marshmallows, butter and food colouring - it's incredibly easy and quick to make. It's the perfect choice for those who either don't enjoy baking or are unable to bake. The best part is that there's no need to use the oven or even crack a single egg.
You can customise the colours of this Rice Krispie cake to match any theme you want. You can also decide how many layers you want to make, whether it's just a single layer or multiple layers stacked on top of each other.
If your kids enjoy eating classic Rice Krispie treats, they will absolutely adore this cake too!
For more children's party snacks, try this rainbow unicorn popcorn or these colourful mini meringues. For more celebration cakes, have a look at this deliciously moist, rich and dark chocolate orange cake.
What's to love about this recipe
- Quick and so easy to make requiring only four simple ingredients.
- No bake.
- A fun cake for children's birthday parties, especially if they love classic Rice Krispy treats.
- Lighter than a regular cake and with fewer calories per slice.
- Easily customise the colours of this cake to match the theme of the party or your child's favourite colours.
- This cake serves 24 slices, but you can easily adjust the size to fit your needs.
- No baking skills? No problem! This recipe allows you to create an impressive celebration cake even if you're not a fan of baking or don't have baking experience.
- Go all out and make this cake extra special with candles, decorative piping or sparklers.
Key ingredient notes and substitutions
We use unsalted butter in this recipe because it's a bit healthier and honestly, cereal doesn't need any extra salt.
Feel free to use any size marshmallow as long as the total weight adds up to 450g.
If you're using large campfire marshmallows, it's a good idea to cut them into smaller pieces for more even melting. Mini marshmallows will melt very quickly, so keep a close eye on it.
If possible, opt for white marshmallows as they will give you more accurate colours when adding the food colouring. However, if you can only get bags with a mixture of white and pink marshmallows, reserve the pink ones for colours like pinks, purples, and blues and use the white ones for warm colours like yellows and oranges.
Feel free to use any store-brand version of Rice Krispies cereal for this recipe. Many supermarkets offer their own versions of rice cereal at a lower price, and they work just as well.
Gel food colouring
We recommend using gel food colouring for this recipe because it provides more vibrant and intense colours. You only need to add a small amount to achieve maximum impact.
Gel food colouring also offers a wider variety of colours to choose from, especially if you shop online.
Notes on the equipment needed
The baking tins:
Ideally, you need three 8''/20cm baking tins or cake pans, with each tin designated for a different colour layer.
Prepare the tins by cutting circles of parchment paper to fit the bottom of each tin. Place the parchment paper circles in the bottoms of the tins, and then lightly coat the sides with a non-stick cooking spray, canola oil or a very thin, barely-there layer of butter.
What if you don't have THREE tins?
If you don't have three tins, do not fear, just do one layer at a time using one tin.
Once you firmly press down a layer of the Rice Krispie mixture into the tin, run a sharp knife along the inside edge to separate the layer from the tin. Then, gently tap the tin upside down and the layer should come out easily. You can then reuse the same tin for the other layers of colour.
We have been able to use this method without any setting time, but if your mixture looks too soft at first, place it in the fridge for 10 minutes before tipping it out.
A note on the pot
It's important to use a very large pot for melting the butter and marshmallows. When you add the cereal, you'll need ample space to mix it thoroughly.
The large saucepan ensures that you have enough room to combine all the ingredients effectively without any spillage.
How to make the Rice Krispie cake - Quick summary
- To create each layer of the cake, make sure to divide the butter, marshmallows and cereal into equal portions.
In other words, if you're making three layers, separate the ingredients in the recipe into three parts. This ensures that each layer has the right amount of each ingredient and keeps the cake consistent.
- To make the first layer, melt the first portion of butter (30g) in a saucepan over low heat.
- Add the marshmallows (150g) to the melted butter. Keep stirring and scraping until it's liquefied and well incorporated with the butter.
- Add the colour you want the first layer to be and make sure to mix it well until it is evenly distributed.
Keep in mind that the colour may appear a bit lighter once the cereal is added. To compensate for this, use a more intense or saturated colour than what you want the final result to be.
- Turn off the heat and remove the pan from the stove. Add the Rice Krispies (200g) to the melted marshmallows and stir until every grain is coated.
- Tip the marshmallow mixture into the prepared pan and press it down firmly using a spoon or spatula. You can then use a flat-bottomed glass to smooth the surface and ensure it is evenly compacted.
It's important to have an even layer to ensure all the cakes fit together neatly when you stack them.
- Run a long-bladed knife along the inside of the tin. Then, carefully turn the tin upside down and give it a gentle tap. The cake should come out easily.
- Repeat the same process for each colour layer.
- Place the first layer on a cake stand or serving plate, then add the second layer on top and gently press it down. Finally, place the final layer on top and press down again.
- Run clean hands alongside the sides of the cake to ensure all the cake layers are aligned properly.
Ideas for decoration
- Get creative and decorate the top of the cake by piping buttercream, cream or marshmallow fluff in various designs or patterns.
- For a "drip cake" effect, you can make a thin icing to pour over the top of the cake, allowing it to drip down the sides.
- Add birthday candles, festive sprinkles, flags, banners, marzipan figures or sparkles.
- Drizzle melted chocolate over the top.
- Make an ALL-chocolate version by using chocolate Coco Pops. You can use the exact same measurements for the butter and marshmallows.
- To add a fun and colourful touch to each layer, skip the food colouring and instead mix different coloured sprinkles into each layer's mixture.
- Instead of using plain round cake tins for this cake, you can use a more decorative bundt pan for a single-layer cake. If the bundt pan has lots of beautiful crevasses, just ensure you work the cereal mixture into all the nooks and crannies.
- You can add some flavouring like vanilla extract or even a few drops of strawberry extract. If you're going for a green theme, consider adding a touch of mint and drizzle the cake with melted dark chocolate for choc-mint crispy treats.
How to make a super fast, shortcut version
- Make a one-layer cake and stir in lots of funfetti into the mixture, instead of using food colouring. You can literally have this ready in less than 10 minutes.
The cake will keep well in an airtight container for up to a month. Yes, it lasts for what feels like forever and stays crispy too! It's ideal to make ahead.
It's not suitable for freezing.
Apparently, Kellog's no longer makes a gluten-free version of Rice Krispies, but do check, it might be different where you are in the world.
You can use a gluten-free rice crisps cereal instead. Aldi's own brand 'Crispy Rice' is gluten-free.
Unfortunately, it's not suitable for freezing. Freezing will introduce moisture and this will soften the Rice Krispies.
Check you have used the exact measurements. Too little butter or marshmallows may cause your cake to be hard. Similarly, adding slightly too much cereal can also cause the cake to be hard and dry.
More children's party ideas
Rice Krispie cake
- 90 grams unsalted butter - divided into 3 x 30g
- 450 grams white marshmallows - divided into 3 x 150g. You can use pink marshmallows if you are going to colour some layers pink, purple or even blue
- 600 grams Rice Krispies - divided into 3 x 200g
- 3 x gel food colouring of choice
Get everything ready
- This recipe is based on a three layer cake and therefore we will be dividing all the ingredients into three.
- Divide the butter into three portions of 30g each.
- Divide the marshmallows into three portions of 150g each.
- Divide the Rice Krispies into three portions of 200g each.
- Pick the colours you would like to use and keep them to hand. Place some toothpicks next to each colour which you can use to add the colour to the marshmallow mix.
- Prepare three 8''/20cm cake tins by cutting circles of baking paper to fit the bottom of each tin. Place the baking paper circles in the bottoms of the tins and then lightly coat the sides with non-stick cooking spray or a very thin, barely-there layer of butter.If you don't have three tins, you can use one tin by doing one layer at a time.
Let's make the cake!
- In a large saucepan, melt the first portion of 30g butter over a low heat.
- As soon as the butter is melted, add the first portion of 150g marshmallows. Stir constantly until the marshmallows are fully melted.
- Add the first colouring and stir through thoroughly. Take note that the colour will fade a bit when you add the Rice Krispies, so make sure the colour is quite saturated.
- Turn off the heat and remove the pan from the stove. Add the first batch of Rice Krispies (200g) to the melted marshmallows and stir until every grain is coated.
- Tip the mixture into the baking tin and press it down firmly using a spoon or spatula. You can then use a flat-bottomed glass to smooth the surface and ensure it is evenly compacted.If you are using a single tin, now would be the time to release the cake from the tin so you can reuse the same tin for the next layer.
- Wash and dry the saucepan. Repeat the same process for the remaining two layers
How to build the cake
- Run a long-bladed knife along the insides of each tin. Then, carefully turn the tins upside down and give them a gentle tap. The cakes should come out easily.
- Place the first layer on a cake stand, then add the second layer on top and gently press it down. Finally, place the final layer on top and gently press it down again.
- Run clean hands alongside the sides of the cake to ensure all the layers are aligned properly.
- Decorate the cake to your preference.
- To serve, you can slice the cake with all three layers in tact or separate the layers from each other. Use a sharp knife for neat slices.
**Nutritional data disclaimer**
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information provided below is calculated by a third party and we cannot guarantee the accuracy. We try our best to give you the most accurate information, but we do not take responsibility for errors that may be present. Also, the nutritional value of the recipe may change depending on the exact brands and products used. We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare professional or registered dietitian for personalised advice on your dietary needs.