Pumpkin Rice Crispy Treats are a a fun, pumpkin spiced dessert that are no bake and lower in sugar. This easy fall dessert recipe has no butter or marshmallows.
About Pumpkin Rice Crispy Treats
Whenever September comes, I get so excited to celebrate all the fun fall flavors and that means it's time for pumpkin... homemade cold brew for pumpkin spiced lattes, pumpkin soup, pumpkin cheesecake bars, pumpkin chili, pumpkin cornbread, pumpkin hummus, and so much more!
While these rice krispie treats aren't loaded with pumpkin like some of my other pumpkin recipes are, you get the pumpkin spice flavors of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. And they are a fun treat that require no baking.
What are Pumpkin Rice Krispie Treats
Pumpkin Rice Krispie treats are rice krispie treats made without butter or marshmallows. In their place, you use honey and almond butter (or any type of nut butter). I also like to use crispy brown rice cereal for a little extra nutrients.
The spices in here plus the little bit of pumpkin puree give you that delicious pumpkin pie-inspired flavor that you will love, especially if you aren't a huge fan of pumpkin pie but love the rich spices.
Why this Pumpkin Rice Crispy Treats recipe works
Honey and nut butter melted together with a small amount of pumpkin puree keep these rice crispy treats held together. Using just a small amount of pumpkin puree and heating it on the stove helps to release some of the moisture which keeps your rice crispy treats from being soggy.
To give these more of a pumpkin pie-like flavor, you use a combo of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.
Pumpkin Rice Crispy Treats Ingredients
Pumpkin: you only need a small amount of pumpkin in this recipe. Otherwise, the moisture from the pumpkin puree could cause your rice crispy treats to be soggy. I know because I have added too much in the past, and they were not great.
Make sure you use 100% pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling in this recipe.
Almond Butter: a smooth nut butter is best for this recipe and be sure you mix it really well so the oils are incorporated. Any nut or seed butter will work in this recipe like peanut butter, cashew butter (like in these Sugar Cookie Rice Crispy Treats), pumpkin seed butter, or sunflower seed butter.
Honey: honey is what holds these together instead of using marshmallows. I wouldn't replace the honey with maple syrup as the maple syrup is significantly thinner than honey. Brown rice syrup could be a nice alternative; however, I've never tried it so I cannot say whether it would 100% work or not.
Cinnamon: use ground cinnamon in this recipe.
Salt: salt is important to help bring out the sweetness of the honey and spices. Don't skip it. Sea salt, regular table salt, or kosher salt will all work.
Ginger: ground ginger is what you need for this recipe.
Cloves & Nutmeg: use both ground cloves and nutmeg for maximum flavor, but if needed, you can omit either without sacrificing too much flavor.
Vanilla Extract: use pure vanilla extract for the best flavor. I do not recommend using imitation vanilla extract. You can scrape half of one vanilla bean and add to the mixture for an alternative.
Crispy Brown Rice Cereal: it's very important that you use crispy brown rice cereal for this recipe. Do NOT use regular brown rice cereal puffs. They will not work. You can alternatively use regular rice crispy cereal if needed.
Chocolate Chips: I love a good chocolate drizzle on these, but you can skip this if desired. I often forget and they are still delicious!
Cost of Pumpkin Rice Crispy Treats:
- pumpkin puree 1 tablespoon: $0.05
- almond butter 1/4 cup: $0.99
- honey 1/2 cup: $2.24
- cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon: $0.04
- salt 1/4 teaspoon: $0.01
- ginger 1/8 teaspoon: $0.02
- cloves 1/16 teaspoon: $0.01
- nutmeg 1 /16 teaspoon: $0.01
- vanilla extract 1 teaspoon: $0.59
- crispy brown rice cereal: $1.20
- chocolate chips 2 tablespoons: $0.23
TOTAL COST: $5.39 (Based on San Diego Sprouts 2019) or $0.34/serving
How to Make Pumpkin Rice Crispy Treats
These pumpkin rice crispy treats are very simple to make. Here are the 6 steps:
- Whisk together the pumpkin, almond butter, honey, and spices.
- Cook for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract. Let cool.
- Add in half of the crispy rice cereal.
- Stir in the remaining cereal until completely coated.
- Press into a square baking pan.
- Melt chocolate and drizzle over pumpkin rice crispy treats.
Tips for Making Pumpkin Rice Crispy Treats
The nice thing about these pumpkin rice krispie treats is that you can change them a little bit to suit your taste preferences. Occasionally, I'll add a little extra (1-2 tablespoons) almond butter to make this richer. Or I'll use 1 less tablespoon of honey if I'm in the mood for a treat with a little less sweetness.
However, three important things to do are
- Wait until the mixture cools a little bit before adding the rice crispy cereal. This helps them from being soggy.
- Don't deviate too far from the almond butter and honey measurements. Otherwise, your rice krispie treats might have a hard time binding together.
- Refrain from adding any extra pumpkin as this can add too much moisture to your rice krispie treats.
While there isn't much actual pumpkin in these rice crispy treats, you'll still love the pumpkin pie spiced flavors of this tasty, no bake fall treat. Plus, there's no need to use marshmallows or butter so these are a great alternative to regular rice krispie treats.
MORE PUMPKIN RECIPES YOU'LL LOVE:
- Pumpkin Soup with Bacon
- Spicy Pumpkin Deviled Eggs
- Pumpkin Protein Pancakes
- Homemade Pumpkin Spiced Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate
- Pumpkin Chili
Pumpkin Rice Crispy Treats
- Line an 8 inch square baking pan with parchment, waxed paper, or foil. Set aside
- Add pumpkin, almond butter, honey, cinnamon, salt, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until completely combined. Let simmer for about 5-10 minutes, stirring often.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Let mixture cool for at least 15-25 minutes (this helps your treats not be soggy).
- Add in crispy brown rice cereal and stir until completely combined. Press mixture into prepared baking pan.
- Heat chocolate chips in a very small bowl in the microwave for about 20-45 seconds. Stir and heat another 15-30 seconds until melted. Drizzle chocolate over pumpkin rice crispy treats.
- Refrigerate at least 30 minutes until chocolate has set and pumpkin rice crispy treats are cool. Cut into 16 squares. Enjoy!
This post was originally published September 18, 2014. Text, recipe, and photos have been updated.
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