Rice Krispie Treats are a classic snack made by mixing Kellogg’s Rice Krispies cereal, marshmallows, and butter. They are gooey, sweet, and utterly delicious. But with their sticky sweetness comes a lot of calories. So how many calories are actually in a Rice Krispie treat?
The Average Calories In A Rice Krispie Treat
The average commercial Rice Krispie treat contains around 110-140 calories per serving. However, this can vary depending on the specific recipe, ingredients, and portion size. Here is a breakdown of the typical calorie count in different types of Rice Krispie treats:
- Regular size (2.5″ x 2.5″) homemade Rice Krispie treat: About 110 calories
- Regular size (2.5″ x 2.5″) store-bought Rice Krispie treat: About 140 calories
- Mini/bite-size (1.5″ x 1.5″) Rice Krispie treat: About 70 calories
- Jumbo (4″ x 4″) Rice Krispie treat: Around 210 calories
As you can see, the calorie count can range quite a bit depending on the specific size of the treat. Mini treats have the lowest calories while jumbo treats pack the biggest calorie punch.
Calories In Homemade vs Store-Bought Rice Krispie Treats
Homemade Rice Krispie treats generally have fewer calories than store-bought versions. This is because homemade recipes typically use less sugar and butter than commercial recipes designed to have a longer shelf life.
Here is a comparison of the calories in a standard 2.5 inch square Rice Krispie treat:
- Homemade: Around 110 calories
- Store-bought: Approximately 140 calories
This 30 calorie difference equates to around 20% less calories in the homemade version. When making Rice Krispie treats at home, you can further reduce the calories by using less butter, a sugar free or low-calorie sweetener, and light or mini marshmallows.
Calories From Each Ingredient
Rice Krispie treats have three main ingredients – Rice Krispies cereal, marshmallows, and butter. Here is the calorie breakdown for a standard recipe with 3 tablespoons butter, 4 cups mini marshmallows, and 6 cups Rice Krispies cereal:
- Rice Krispies (3 cups): 360 calories
- Mini marshmallows (2 cups): 440 calories
- Butter (3 tbsp): 300 calories
So in a typical batch, the marshmallows provide the bulk of the calories. The marshmallows and butter also have high amounts of sugar, which contributes additional calories.
Tips For Lightening Up Rice Krispie Treats
Here are some tips for reducing the calories in homemade Rice Krispie treats:
- Use light or low-cal butter/margarine instead of regular butter
- Replace half the regular marshmallows with mini marshmallows
- Use a lower calorie sweetener like honey, maple syrup, or sugar-free syrup instead of regular sugar
- Add in some air-popped popcorn or pretzels to lighten up the treat
- Skip the chocolate drizzle topping as this adds extra calories
- Portion into smaller treats instead of large bars
Making these simple swaps can save 20-50 calories per serving versus a classic Rice Krispie bar. You’ll still get the nostalgic flavor without all the extra calories.
Calories In Specialty Rice Krispie Treats
In addition to original Rice Krispie treats, there are dozens of specialty varieties on the market. These creative spins on the classic snack pack in additional ingredients and calories. Here’s the calorie count for popular specialty Rice Krispie treats:
|Rice Krispie Treat
|Calories (per serving)
|Cookies and cream
As you can see, specialty flavors add an extra 30-80 calories per serving compared to a plain Rice Krispie bar. The chocolate coating and extra mix-in ingredients like cookie crumbs or marshmallow cream is what boosts up the calorie count.
Calorie Count For Deep Fried Rice Krispie Treats
Deep frying an already calorie-laden treat like a Rice Krispie bar results in an extremely high calorie snack. Deep fried Rice Krispie treats are commonly found at state fairs and carnivals.
A typical deep fried Rice Krispie treat consists of a regular bar dipped in batter then fried. This results in a calorie count of around 460-600 calories per serving.
The high-fat deep frying method adds an extra several hundred calories. And the sugar-loaded batter tacks on even more calories. Just one deep fried Rice Krispie treat can contain up to 1/3 of your daily calorie needs in one small snack.
Calories In Rice Krispie Treat Recipes
Beyond the classic bar shape, Rice Krispie treats can be adapted into a variety of fun recipes. However, these recipes also pack in additional calories via their ingredients. Here are the calorie counts for some popular Rice Krispie treat recipes:
- Rice Krispie balls: About 140 calories per standard golf ball size ball
- Rice Krispie treats cereal bars: Around 180 calories per bar
- Rice Krispie cupcakes: Approximately 350 calories for an frosted cupcake sized treat
- Rice Krispie pops: Around 115 calories per popsicle-style pop
In general, the more elaborate the recipe, the higher the calorie count will be. Simple Rice Krispie shapes like balls or bars tend to be lower in calories than recipes involving multiple steps like baking and frosting.
Ways To Burn Off Rice Krispie Treat Calories
To burn off the 110-140 calories found in a standard Rice Krispie treat, you’d need to do one of these activities for 30-40 minutes:
- Walking at a moderate pace
- Light jogging
- Leisurely biking
- Elliptical machine workout
You can also burn 140 calories in just 20-25 minutes doing higher intensity cardio like swimming laps or an aerobic dance class. So going for a brisk walk or short run is an easy way to offset the calorie intake from enjoying a tasty Rice Krispie treat.
Nutrition Facts For Rice Krispie Treats
In addition to calories, Rice Krispie treats also provide some other nutrients:
- Fat: Around 5-8 grams per serving, from the butter and marshmallows
- Carbs: 20-25 grams per serving
- Protein: 1-2 grams per serving
- Sugar: Up to 10-12 grams from the marshmallows and cereal coating
So Rice Krispie treats are high in sugar and calories, but low in protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. The white rice cereal and marshmallows offer little nutritional value beyond carbohydrates and some fat.
Store-Bought vs Homemade Nutrition Facts
Here is a nutrition facts comparison between a typical homemade Rice Krispie bar and Kellogg’s brand store-bought bar:
As you can see, the nutrition profiles are fairly comparable. Homemade Rice Krispie treats are slightly lower in calories, fat, carbs, and sugar due to less marshmallow and sweetener.
Healthier Rice Krispie Treat Alternatives
If you are looking for a treat with a similar taste but fewer calories, here are some healthier Rice Krispie bar alternatives to try:
- Granola bars – Look for varieties under 100 calories
- Protein bars – Can range from 100-200 calories
- Energy bites – Made with oats, nut butter, honey, and chocolate chips
- Frozen yogurt bites – Mix Rice Krispies with Greek yogurt and freeze
- Puppy Chow – Chex Mix coated in powdered sugar
Many of these provide extra nutrition like protein and fiber. Granola bars, energy bites, and Puppy Chow give you the satisfying crunch of Rice Krispies with fewer calories per serving.
The Bottom Line
So how many calories are in a Rice Krispie treat? The answer can range from 70 calories for a mini treat to over 600 calories for an indulgent deep fried version. For a standard 2.5 inch square, you are typically looking at around 110-140 calories depending on if it’s homemade or store-bought.
Rice Krispie treats get most of their calories from the trio of marshmallows, butter, and the Krispies cereal. While undeniably delicious, Rice Krispie bars are lacking in protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals beyond their carbohydrate and fat content.
There are several easy ways to lighten up Rice Krispie treats at home by tweaking the ingredients. You can also burn off the calories with 30 minutes of brisk walking or other cardio activity. Though not the healthiest snack, enjoying a Rice Krispie treat in moderation can satisfy a sweet and nostalgic craving without too much guilt.