What makes you nostalgic of your childhood? Food definitely has that power to make us nostalgic, especially if it’s an ooey-gooey, oh-so fluffy sugar bomb! We’re talkin’ about rice crispy treats, my friends. The elementary school, bake sale super-star. They’re crunchy. They’re fluffy. They’re sticky. And they’re basically the best dang texture combo a small kiddo could dream of.
When I was a kid, cereal and marshmallows were pantry staples of my house, and since they were so simple and versatile, I made them all the time. I’ve decided it’s time to revisit them and all their glory once again. This time around, I’ve made my crispy treats gelatin/marshmallow-free! It worked magically, and the eternal child within me is absolutely stoked.
How to make Vegan Rice Crispies
Everyone of all ages will enjoy these sweet treats as they are:
Heat the marshmallow fluff ingredients
The first step to making these treats is to create the marshmallow fluff, which consists of aquafaba, white sugar, agar-agar powder, vanilla extract, cream of tartar, and vanilla extract. Add all of these ingredients to a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, and bring to a boil while whisking constantly. Make sure that it reaches a boil, as this is important for activation of the agar. Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat and allow the mixture to simmer for about five more minutes. At this point, the mixture should resemble a thick syrup.
Agar-agar powder: Agar-agar is where all the magic lives. It behaves similarly to gelatin, which is one of the main ingredients in traditional marshmallows, but agar is made from seaweed instead. It is needed in order to allow the marshmallow fluff to firm up and harden, so this is an ingredient that cannot be skipped. I really like using the agar-agar powder from Living Jin! It’s super powerful and the results are always on point! I highly recommend this brand.
Beat the marshmallow fluff
After you remove the marshmallow fluff from the heat, transfer it to a bowl and get out your hand mixer. Beat the fluff with the hand mixer for about 10-12 minutes, until it is white and sticky.
Cream of tartar: Or also known as potassium bitartrate (KC4H5O6), is an acidic byproduct of winemaking. This ingredient is utilized in this recipe because it helps fluff up and aerate the aquafaba more quickly. Aquafaba acts similarly to egg whites in this recipe, thus if you beat them, they will foam up and turn white. The presence of cream of tartar helps accelerate this process as well as stabilizing the structure and volume of the fluff. Additionally, the cream of tartar also has the power of preventing the sugar from crystallizing, creating a softer and more delicate texture.
Unrelated to this recipe, but another fun fact regarding cream of tartar is that it can help reduce the discoloration of boiled vegetables. Toss a small amount in boiling water, and your veggies will maintain their fresh, vibrant colors.
Fold in the cereal & press into a baking dish
Add the puffed rice cereal to the bowl with the marshmallow fluff and gently fold the ingredients together with a spatula. Once everything is evenly coated, whip out your baking dish that is lined with parchment paper and pour the cereal in. You can use any size baking dish you would like, but keep in mind that a smaller dish will create thicker treats, while a bigger dish will create thinner treats. Spread out the cereal evenly across the dish and press it down firmly with the backside of your spatula to ensure that everything sticks together. Add sprinkles at this point if you so chose to! I’d recommend lightly pressing down on the sprinkles to ensure that they stick.
Refrigerate or freeze
Once the treats have been pressed into the pan, put them into the refrigerator or freezer to firm up. Once they have done so, cut them up into whatever shape you’d like and enjoy!
Place the cut-up treats in an airtight container and store them at room temperature for up to 4 days, or in the refrigerator for up to a week. Make sure they are stored in an airtight container or they may dry out and become hard.
If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know in the comments!
Vegan Rice Crispies
- Hand mixer
- ½ cup aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas)
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 tsp agar powder
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp cream of tartar
- 5 cups puffed rice cereal
- Gather all ingredients and line a baking dish with parchment paper.
- Combine all ingredients (except for the cereal) in a saucepan over medium heat while whisking constantly. Simmer for 5 minutes, until everything has dissolved and the mixture looks like a thick syrup.
- Transfer ingredients to a bowl.
- Beat the mixture for 10-12 minutes with a hand mixer until the mixture has turned white and sticky.
- Fold cereal into the mixture with a spatula
- Pour mixture into baking dish, making sure to firmly press everything down so they stick. Now is the time to add sprinkles if you choose to!
- Refrigerate or freeze until firm. Cut and enjoy!