This Rice Krispie cake is ideal as a birthday cake alternative, or just an easy no-bake cake for any kind of celebration. You only need four ingredients: Rice Krispies, marshmallows, butter and food colouring. Easy and quick to make and therefore ideal for anyone who does not like to bake or can't bake. You don't even have to switch the oven on or crack a single egg.
Customise the colour scheme to fit the theme and make as many or as little layers as you want! If your kids love the square Rice Krispie treats, they will no doubt love this cake.
For more children's party snacks, try this rainbow unicorn popcorn. 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 easy to make
- No bake
- Ideal for a kid's party or any fun celebration
- Lighter than a normal cake with less calories per slice
- Egg free
- The colours are customisable
- You can scale the cake up or down. This is a large cake that provides 24 slices
- If you don't like baking or can't bake, you can still make an impressive celebration cake with this recipe
- Decorate it in any way you wish
Key ingredient notes and substitutions
Butter - We use unsalted, it's that little bit healthier and cereal really does not need additional salt.
Marshmallows - You can use any size marshmallows as long as it comes to a total weight of 450g. If you are using the large camp fire marshmallows, cut them smaller for more consistent melting.
If you can, try to get white only marshmallows because the colours you add will be more accurate. If you only have mixed packs of white and pink, use the pink ones for colours like pinks, purples and blues. Use the white ones for warm colours like yellows and oranges.
Rice Krispies - You don't have to use the branded Rice Krispie cereal. Many supermarkets now have copycat cereals at a lower price.
Gel food colouring - We use gel food colouring because the colour they provide is more saturated. You only have to add very little for maximum impact. There is also a wider choice of colours to choose from compared to liquid food colouring, especially if you shop online.
Notes on the equipment needed
The baking tins:
You will ideally need three 8''/20cm baking tins or cake pans, one colour layer for each tin. Prepare the tins by cutting a circle out of baking paper the same size as the tin. Place it in the bottom of each tin and give the sides a spray with non-stick cooking spray, or wipe a very thin layer of butter over it.
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. Once you have firmly pressed down a layer of Rice Krispie mix into the tin, run a sharp knife along the inside edge to separate the Rice Krispie layer from the tin. Turn it upside down and give it a tap, it should come free quite easily. You can now use the same tin for the other layers.
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.
Use a very large saucepan for melting the butter and marshmallows in. Once you add the cereal, you will need a fair bit of space to mix it through thoroughly.
How to make the Rice Krispie cake - Quick summary
- Measure everything out into separate portions for each layer. In other words, the butter, marshmallows and cereal need to be divided into three if you are doing three layers.
- To make the first layer, melt the first portion of butter in a saucepan over a low heat.
- As soon as the butter is melted, add the marshmallows. Keep stirring and scraping until it's melted.
- Add the food colouring and mix thoroughly. Bear in mind that the colour will fade a little once you add the cereal, so make sure the colour is quite saturated to accommodate for that.
- Turn off the heat and remove the pan from the stove. Add the Rice Krispies to the melted marshmallows and stir through until every grain is covered.
- Tip the mixture into the baking tin and push down with a spoon or spatula. Use a flat bottomed glass to smooth over the surface.
- Repeat the process for each layer.
- Run a long bladed knife along the sides of the tin of each layer. Turn the tin upside down and give it a tap. It should come out quite easily.
- Place the first layer on a cake stand, add the second layer and gently push down. Add the final layer and push down again. Run clean hands alongside the cake to ensure all the layers are aligned.
Ideas for decoration
- Pipe buttercream, cream or marshmallow fluff decorations on top
- Make a thin icing to pour over and run down the sides for a 'drip cake'
- Add birthday candles or sparkles
- Make an all chocolate version by using chocolate Coco Pops. You can use the exact same measurements for the butter and marshmallows.
- Skip the different coloured layers and instead mix in different coloured sprinkles into each layer's mixture.
- Make a smaller cake with a single layer and stir funfetti into the mix.
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 a few days before your event.
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
- Divide the butter into three portions of 30gTip: Tear off pieces of baking paper to place each portion of butter on. Saves washing up later
- 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 and keep them to hand. Place some toothpicks next to your pots of colour for adding the colours to the marshmallows
- Prepare three 8''/20cm cake tins - Cut out a circle from baking paper to go into the bottom of each tin. Either spray the sides with non-stick spray, or wipe a very thin layer of butter around the sides.If you don't have three tins, you can use one tin. Once you have tightly pressed in a layer of Rice Krispie cake, run a knife alongside the edges and tip the layer out. You can now use the same tin for the other layers
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 food 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 stove and remove the pan from the heat. Throw in the first batch of 200g Rice Krispies. Gently fold it through the melted marshmallow ensuring every grain is covered
- Tip the mix into the baking tin and press down firmly. Use a flat bottomed glass to smooth over the layer to get a flat, firm surface
- Wash and dry the saucepan. Repeat the same process for the remaining two layers
How to build the cake
- Run a long bladed sharp knife along the inside edge of each tin to loosen up each layer. Gently tip each layer out. It should come out quite easily with one or two shakes
- Place the first layer on a cake board. Position the second layer on top and gently push down. Add the final layer and gently push down again. Run clean hands around the cake to ensure the layers are aligned
- Decorate the cake to your preference by piping buttercream or marshmallow fluff swirls. You can also make a thin icing to pour over the top. Let it run over the sides for a drip cake
- 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.
For food safety advice, including guidance on food allergies
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