Rice Krispies Christmas trees are an easy, fun and festive holiday treat! These cute trees can be decorated in lots of ways and will be a hit with kids and adults alike!
Funny this Rice Krispies Christmas trees recipe is going live on the blog today because I made them AGAIN yesterday for my daughter's bake sale.
She's doing the Girls on the Run program this fall and they have a bake sale at school this afternoon to raise money for the Humane Society, her running group's charity of choice.
I let her pick the treat we would make and she chose these, without hesitation. They're fun, they're so tasty and you can get crazy with the decorations. 🎄❤️🎄
And I bet they sell out in no time!
Plus, they are super easy to make so I was happy to help her in the kitchen. In fact, I suggested we make a double batch so we didn't have to give them all away. 😉
These cute trees are a different holiday take on my Rice Krispies Christmas wreaths, which have a long, long history in my family. We make them every single year. A kid and adult favorite for sure.
Today though we’re doing these fun trees and they are even easier than the wreaths, really.
First off though, I should point out, mine are flat. (I mean, I know you can see that in the photos, but I wanted to explain.)
I didn’t realize until a couple of years ago that other people make a similar thing and create cylinders for a more 3D type of tree.
That’s cool. That also seems like a lot more work. And since I’m not really crafty and I’m not looking for more to do at the holidays, I’m sticking with my classic. 😉
These Christmas tree Rice Krispies are mixed on the stove to get the marshmallows melted and colored green, then the cereal is stirred in. Then you pour the mixture into your greased pan, just like you would do with regular Rice Krispie treats.
Add some sprinkles, let them cool down, then cut and enjoy. No shaping, no getting sticky hands and clumps of green goo all over you.
Just really easy.
But you can absolutely decorate these up! I’ve got tons of fun ideas for you below.
I also have some notes, tips and FAQs coming up on how to make Christmas tree Rice Krispie treats (including how to cut them if that’s what is stumping you). Just tryin’ to be helpful.
I’ve made these A LOT and just want to share what works.
If you want to jump on down to the recipe, simply scroll right on through the rest of the text. The recipe card is near the bottom of the page, above the comments section.
(You can also check out my Google web story for this Rice Krispies Christmas trees recipe.)
How to make Rice Krispie Christmas trees
1. You start these off the some way you would regular Krispie treats. Melt the butter in a pan over low heat then add your marshmallows. You can use mini marshmallows or regular sized marshmallows.
(And if you have one of the newer 20% more marshmallow bags, that's fine too.)
2. Stir until they are completely melted, with no lumps remaining.
3. Add your green food coloring, starting with 7-8 good drops. Stir that in well and add more food coloring as needed to get to a pretty green color. (You don’t want pastel.)
4. Turn off the heat and stir in the Rice Krispie cereal until it’s all really well coated. Transfer the mixture to a greased pan to set up.
Tip: I use an 8x12 pan to get a bit of a thicker tree. You could also use a regular 9x13 pan to make these. You could even do them on a small quarter-size baking sheet with a rim.
5. Use a spatula or some greased or slightly damp hands to flatten the mixture out into an even layer in your pan. It will be sticky. Be sure not to press down or compact it too much, which could make your treats tough.
Tip: You will want to add sprinkles or other decorations right away so that they will stick. Once the mixture has cooled and hardened, the decorations won’t adhere as well.
Now they are made and you are ready to cut!
How do you cut these so they come out looking like trees? Don’t worry, it’s easy.
How to cut Rice Krispie trees:
- First, you’ll start with a line cutting your pan in half down the longest side to give you two long rectangular shapes.
- Working with one side at a time, cut diagonal lines to make tree-shaped triangles. (You will have small scrap pieces on the ends of the pans. Those are a fun taste-test for the cook!)
Here’s what it will look like (after you remove those scraps and enjoy them 😉)
How to make the Christmas tree stump:
The last thing to do, once they have cooled completely and you’ve removed your trees to a piece of wax paper, is to add your tree “stump.”
I use a small thin pretzel for this. You’ll want to insert it about halfway up the tree so you have an inch or so sticking out the bottom.
A firm, steady push helps but one or two pretzels are bound to break on you. Toss them and try again. (Or use a smaller stump for that one!)
Other fun ideas for the tree stump:
- I dipped a few of my pretzels into melted white chocolate. Melted semisweet chocolate chips would work too if you want to keep them brown. You can add sprinkles to the melted and dipped pretzels if you’d like as well.
- You could also try using a small, thin Tootsie roll for the stump. But I think that might be a bit harder to get to insert.
- Or you could try using a halved mini chocolate candy (like Milky Way or Snickers) and stick the cut side of the candy to the bottom of the tree to attach it.
Now, I mentioned different options for decorating the trees and I wanted to share a few. The possibilities are endless though, so go with whatever sounds good to you!
(Just remember to add any sprinkles or candies as soon as you put the Rice Krispie mixture into the pan so that they will stick to your trees.)
Decorating ideas for Rice Krispie Christmas trees:
- Regular colored sprinkles or red, green and white sprinkles.
- Use mini white pearls for a pretty and more elegant touch.
- Or go fancy and use some special holiday sprinkles. So many cool ones!
- You can also use small cinnamon candies (like the Red Hots that come in the candy decorating jars) and press those into your trees. That’s what we use on our Rice Krispie wreaths.
- You can also use some melted white or regular chocolate to drizzle over these trees, especially if you are already making that to dip your pretzel tree trunk in. (This can wait until the trees have cooled down and set up.)
- Or use a regular white icing/frosting or one of those gel icings to decorate the tops of these trees.
Pick one or pick a combination of these decorations and just get in there and make your own creations!
(This would be a fun Christmas party activity for kids - let them help make and decorate these before enjoying them. It’s a craft and a treat!)
As for storing these, they will keep in a covered container at room temperature for up to 5 days. But like other Rice Krispie treats, they will tend to get a little stale if left out too long so eat ‘em up and keep the extras covered tight.
I hope you give these a try. 🎄❤️
Enjoy and happy holidays!
P.S. Check out these other fun and festive holiday treats:
- Peppermint chocolate chip cookies
- Bourbon chocolate chip cookies
- Whole wheat gingerbread cookie bars
- Chocolate mint cookies
- Old fashioned soft molasses cookies
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 10 oz. package marshmallows (regular or mini)
- 6 cups Rice Krispie cereal or another crispy rice cereal
- Green food coloring
- 12-15 small pretzels sticks (for the tree stumps)
- Sprinkles and decorations of choice (see notes)
- Grease an 8x12 inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside. (See notes.)
- Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat.
- Add marshmallows and stir until coated in butter. Melt over low heat, stirring occasionally.
- Once marshmallows are completely melted, add green food coloring. Start with 7-8 drops and add more until it’s the right color. Stir well.
- Turn off heat and carefully stir in Rice Krispies cereal until it’s completely coated.
- Spread the green Rice Krispie mixture into the prepared pan and use a spatula (or your hands) to pat into an even layer. It will be sticky so it helps to spray your hands or spatula with cooking spray.
- Cover the top of the trees with a layer of sprinkles. (You need to do this immediately so they will stick.) Let the Rice Krispies cool for at least 10 minutes to allow them to firm up.
- Cut into tree shapes. Start with a line cutting your pan in half down the longest side to give you two long rectangular shapes. Working with one side at a time, cut diagonal lines to make tree-shaped triangles. (You will have scrap pieces on the ends of the pans. Those are the cook’s treat!)
- Repeat on the other side until all the cuts have been made. Let the trees cool completely in the pan. It will look like this:
- Once cooled, remove the Rice Krispie trees to a piece of wax paper and insert a small stick pretzel into the bottom of each one. A firm, steady push helps but one or two will probably break on you.
- Serve immediately or keep in a covered container at room temperature for up to 4-5 days.
If you have a 12 oz. bag of marshmallows (the 20% more kind), that will work fine too. Use 4 tablespoons of butter instead of 3, and everything else is the same.
I use an 8x12 pan to get a bit of a thicker tree. You could also use a regular 9x13 pan to make these. You could even do them on a small quarter-size baking sheet with a rim.
For the decorations: Regular colored sprinkles or red, green and white sprinkles work great. Or use those mini white pearls for a pretty and more elegant touch. Or go fancy and extra festive and use some special holiday sprinkles.
You can also use small cinnamon candies (like the Red Hots that come in the candy decorating jars) and press those in on your trees.
Finally, you can decorate these trees with melted white or regular chocolate or a royal icing. You could also use one of those gel icings to decorate the tops of these trees.
For the stump: You can use plain pretzel sticks or you can dip pretzels sticks into melted white or regular chocolate. You could also try using a small, thin Tootsie roll for the stump. But it might be a bit harder to get to insert. Or you could try using a halved mini chocolate candy (like Milky Way or Snickers) and stick the cut side of the candy to the bottom of the tree to attach it.
Serving Size:1 tree
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 300Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 544mgCarbohydrates: 62gFiber: 1gSugar: 16gProtein: 5g