December 5, 2022

Cereal treats get a Christmas update with a quick and easy recipe for Reindeer Rice Krispie Treats made with chocolate-covered pretzels and candy eyes.

A top-down view of adorable Reindeer Rice Krispies Treats with candy eyes and chocolate-covered pretzels for antlers

Dasher, Dancer, Prancer and Vixen. Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen. And don’t forget Rudolph! I’m celebrating all of Santa’s reindeer with a new spin involving marshmallows and pretzels. Remember the Reindeer Marshmallow Pops? It’s time to add cereal to the Christmas treats lineup with this festive and flavor-packed recipe for Reindeer Rice Krispie Treats.

The best marshmallow cereal treats in a large saucepan

How Do You Make Reindeer Out of Rice Crispy Treats?

The setup on this one couldn’t be simpler: The classic combination of butter, marshmallows, vanilla extract and cereal gets pressed into a round cake pan and then sliced into wedges. And just like that, it’s already time to start decorating!

A hand presses marshmallow cereal mixture into a round cake pan

Melted chocolate is great for attaching the chocolate-covered pretzel antlers, candy eyes and M&M noses, but feel free to get creative. Go wild and dip the whole Rice Krispie treat in chocolate or set up a decorating station with sanding sugars, M&Ms and sprinkles.

A top-down view of Rice Krispie treats cut into eight wedges

How Long Should Rice Krispie Treats Cool Before Cutting?

There’s nothing worse than cutting through some not-quite-ready Rice Krispie treats and having them fall apart. I still eat them, of course, but patience is your friend here. You’ll need at least 30 minutes of cooling time before slicing, but 1 hour is best. They’ll still be warm and slightly gooey after 30 minutes (my favorite), but still cool enough to decorate.

Wedged-shaped marshmallow cereal topped with candy eyes and brown M&Ms for noses

How to Avoid Hard Rice Krispie Treats

There are a few ways to make sure your Rice Krispie treats stay perfectly soft and chewy. Overcooking marshmallows and over-mixing your cereal are the usual suspects when you end up with hard, dense Rice Krispie treats. Once your marshmallows are melted, remove them from the heat immediately.

Speaking of marshmallows: Has your bag of marshmallows seen better days? Opt for a fresh bag over that old bag from the back of the cupboard (save those marshmallows for hot chocolate!). Another surprising culprit for hard, tough treats? Pressing down your mix too densely into your cake pan. Lightly patting down your Rice Krispie treats will make sure they stay perfectly soft.

A top-down view of easy Reindeer Rice Krispie Treats with candy eyes and chocolate-covered pretzel "antlers"

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Prep Time 20 mins

Cook Time 10 mins

Total Time 30 mins

  • Grease an 8-inch round cake pan with butter. 

  • Add the butter to a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat. Once the butter has melted, add the marshmallows and cook, stirring constantly, until the marshmallows are melted. Stir in the vanilla extract and then the Rice Krispies cereal until the cereal is well coated. 

  • Immediately press the mixture firmly into the pan in an even layer. (The easiest way to do this is to spray your hands with cooking spray or coat them with butter and then press the cereal mixture into the pan.) Let it cool completely then run a knife around the edge of the pan and invert the cereal treats onto a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut the circle into 8 wedges. 

  • Melt the chocolate melting wafers according to package instructions. Dip the backs of the chocolate-covered pretzels into the melted chocolate and attach them to the tops of the triangles to form the antlers. Add two dabs of melted chocolate below the antlers and attach the candy eyes. Finally, add a dab of melted chocolate to the tip of the triangle and attach a brown or red M&M for the nose.

  • Let the chocolate set then serve or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. 

Kelly’s Note:

  • For added decoration, dip the chocolate-covered pretzels in additional melted chocolate then top them with brown sprinkles.

  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!