Vegan Rice Krispie Treats Flags
by Meghan Rodgers
June 30, 2021
July Fourth with its hot dogs and hamburgers, chicken wings and ice cream — what’s a vegan to eat? These fun and patriotic Vegan Rice Krispie Treats Flag are the perfect animal-friendly addition to any party.
Just because you’re going vegan doesn’t mean you have to give up on this childhood favorite recipe. You can still enjoy fun, chewy Rice Krispie Treats by substituting the three main ingredients — cereal, marshmallows and butter — (along with the food coloring) with vegan products instead. So much like the original, your friends and family will never notice the difference!
So why aren’t Rice Krispie Treats considered vegan already?
Well, each of the ingredients inclusde some form of animal byproduct:
Animal products hide in the sneakiest of places. Who would have thought that Rice Krispies cereal isn’t vegan? Unfortunately, the classic puffed riced kids’ cereal contains vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 can be vegan (derived from lichen) but the majority of it comes from lanolin (oil in sheep’s wool) and animal abuse is common practice in the wool industry.
I like Nature’s Path Crispy Rice Cereal.
Marshmallows are what makes Rice Krispie Treats gooey and delicious, but by now, you probably know marshmallows are made from animal products. It’s the gelatin, specifically, that is cause for concern as it’s made from boiling collagen-containing parts of animals.
As a substitute, I like Dandies Vegan Marshmallows. Find them near you!
Butter is an easy one. Obviously, butter made from animal milk is a no-go if you’re plant-based, but there are plenty of tasty and effective substitutes out there. Any brand of vegan butter or coconut oil will work just as well.
Most natural food coloring is vegan, except when you see carmine (or cochineal), which is made from bugs. Artificial colors — those with names like Red 40 and Blue 1, are made from chemical or plant-based alternative dyes, but they may or may not test on animals. If you’re wanting to be 100% sure, it’s best to find vegan food coloring.
Tips and Tricks
So, now that you have your vegan ingredients, how do you make that super festive flag image?
These flags are easy to make, but they will require three separate batches of cereal mixture — one for each color.
What else you will need:
— 2 baking sheets
— 2 silicone baking mats (or parchment paper)
— More vegan butter for your hands*
— A serrated knife
— Large pot
*Tip: Grease your hands well when working with each layer of cereal mixture or it may stick and become difficult to work with.
You’ll start by making your first batch of cereal mixture and omit the food coloring. Transfer contents to a lined baking sheet, and using the sides of the pan as a guide, evenly press cereal mixture until flat. Set aside.
For the first color, add red food coloring to the marshmallow and vegan butter mix. Then add cereal and mix. Transfer to a baking sheet and press evenly, exactly as before. Set aside.
After the white and red sheets have cooled, flip the white layer on top of the red layer.
Cut the two stacked layers into equal thirds (going longways down the cookie sheet).
Now you will have three sections, each with a red and white layer. Stack one section on top of another so you have a stack of 4 colors (red, white, red, white). Cut the final third in half. Add that half on top of the larger stack, on the righthand side. (The other half will be extra — perfect for snacking right now!)
Make a third, smaller batch of cereal mixture for the blue field exactly as you did for the red layer, substituting blue food coloring. Let cool for 10 minutes before using blue cereal mixture to fill in the void for the blue field in your flag.
Cut off the very ends to reveal a delicious, patriotic flag. Continue slicing to make individual Vegan Rice Krispie Treats Flags.
Vegan Patriotic Rice Krispie Treats
1 large box of vegan crispy rice cereal
3 10-ounce bags of vegan marshmallows
12 tbsp vegan butter (or 6 tbsp coconut oil)
~ 20 drops of red vegan food coloring
~ 20 drops of blue vegan food coloring
- Line 2 baking sheets of the same size with silicone mats. Set aside.
- Make a batch of “white” Crispy Rice cereal. Add 4 tbsp vegan butter to pot. Melt on low heat. Add 5 cups of vegan marshmallows and stir constantly, careful not to brown the mixture. Remove from heat. Add 5 cups of cereal and stir until well-coated. Transfer mixture to baking sheet. Lightly grease your hands and press cereal mixture evenly until it covers much of the baking sheet. Set aside.
- Make a batch of red Crispy Rice cereal. Repeat as above, except, once the butter and marshmallows are melted, add 20 drops of red food coloring and stir. Then add cereal and stir until coated. Transfer mixture to baking sheet. Lightly grease your hands and press cereal mixture evenly until it covers much of the baking sheet. Set aside for 10-15 minutes to harden.
- Flip silicon mat with white Crispy cereal on top of red Crispy cereal to stack them. (This will start to form the stripes.)
- Next, cut into three equal sections. Stack two of these 1/3 sections on top of each other.
- Cut the remaining 1/3 section in half. Add this skinny strip to the righthand side of your larger stack.
- Make the blue Crispy Rice cereal (you’ll need slightly less of this color). Melt 4 tbsp vegan butter on low heat. Add 3 cups of marshmallows and stir until melted, careful not to burn. Add blue food coloring and stir. Add cereal and stir until well-coasted. Let cool for 10 minutes.
- Lightly grease your hands with vegan butter or coconut oil. Scoop up some blue cereal mixture with your hands and press into voided area next to strips to form the flag’s blue field. Use hands to shape the corner as best as possible.
- Let firm for 20 minutes at room temperature or let chill for 10 minutes in fridge (go with latter option if you don’t have AC running and it’s hot out!).
- Use a large serrated knife to cut off the ends and reveal your flag! Continue cutting into slices to make individual Vegan Rice Krispie Treats Flags.