You may be wondering, “Are Rice Krispie Treats Gluten-Free?”
The answer is yes and no.
I’m baffled that a cereal made from rice contains gluten, but it does. Yep, Kellogg’s Rice Krispies contain malt flavoring, which is derived from a barley grain. Barley is not gluten-free and therefore Kellogg’s Rice Krispies are not gluten-free.
I include Rice Krispies on my list of 10 Surprise Products that Contain Gluten. Most gluten-free folk are shocked (and a little outraged) to learn that a rice cereal, which contains naturally gluten-free puffed rice, is off limits.
Before I discuss how you can make your own Gluten-Free Rice Krispie Treats – er Gluten-Free Rice Crispy Treats – I want to first disclose that this post contains affiliate links to the products I mention. All opinions, however, are my own.
Rice Krispies Used to Be Gluten-Free, Right?
If you’ve been gluten-free for awhile, you might recall a time when Kellogg’s offered a “gluten-free” variety of its beloved breakfast cereal. Kellogg’s had specially marked boxes labeled “gluten-free.” The regular Rice Krispies contained barley malt, but the gluten-free version did not. However, much to the gluten-free community’s chagrin, Kellogg’s discontinued production of gluten-free Rice Krispies in March 2015 citing “manufacturing constraints.”
Such a missed opportunity (and likely bogus excuse), Kellogg’s. If General Mills can figure out, so can you.
So Are Rice Krispie Treats Gluten-Free?
OK, I know you are looking for a more specific answer to this question, “Are Rice Krispie Treats Gluten-Free?” So the answer is Rice Krispie Treats are NOT gluten-free if you use Kellogg’s Rice Krispies.
However, the answer is YES, because the crunchy dessert can be made gluten-free if you use brown rice cereal from any of the following certified gluten-free rice cereal brands. (Remember, if you use a cereal other than Rice Krispies, you cannot call your dessert Rice Krispie Treats, per se, as Rice Krispies is a trademarked brand owned by Kellogg’s.) I simply call them: Gluten-Free Rice Crispy Treats instead.
Erewhon Brown Rice Cereal – Certified gluten-free and tastes just like Rice Krispies without the malt flavoring. I use this brand for my Gluten-Free Rice Crispy Treats.
One Degree Veganic Sprouted Brown Rice Crisps – Not Certified Gluten-Free but labeled as gluten-free and contains no gluten ingredients. I haven’t tried these in my Gluten-Free Rice Crispy Treats recipe yet, but we do enjoy this line of cereal. My kids like the chocolate crisps for breakfast.
Nature’s Path Crispy Rice Cereal – This brown rice cereal is certified gluten-free, organic and non-GMO certified. It is a great substitute for Rice Krispies in your Gluten-Free Rice Crispy Treats and you know for sure these crispy rice kernels are gluten-free!
Barbara’s Organic Brown Rice Crisps Cereal: Barbara’s also makes a gluten-free brown rice crisps cereal that works as a great alternative to Kellogg’s Rice Krispies. It’s not certified gluten-free, but the box says the product is “verified to contain less than 20 ppm of gluten,” which is the FDA required minimum in order to label a product gluten-free.
Are Marshmallows Gluten-Free?
The other ingredient in traditional Rice Krispie Treats is marshmallows, and yes, marshmallows are gluten-free (check labels). Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallows do not have any gluten ingredients on the label, and Kraft says it will always disclose gluten containing ingredients directly on the package in the ingredient statement.
Note that marshmallows are not vegan, as they are made from gelatin, which is an animal product.
I personally love making (and eating) Gluten-Free Rice Crispy Treats. Just because you’re gluten-free doesn’t mean you have to miss out – you just have to swap and get a little crafty.
I like to drizzle my Gluten-Free Rice Crispy Treats with melted chocolate (see below). I also created a fun fruit sushi recipe that my kids think is so clever.