Dark Chocolate Rice Crispy Bars

Gluten-free Dark Chocolate Rice Crispy Bars, a must-make recipe.

These are very, very rich, sweet, delicious treats. If you love the old marshmallow rice crispy squares of childhood, you’ll love this very chocolatey version. I find it a nice alternative, especially during the holidays, to the super sweet (full of sugar, butter, flour, and who knows what else) cookies and desserts often served. They’re healthy-ish, gluten-free, and a crowd pleaser for sure. And, easy to make. They still have sweetener in them and lots of chocolate, so you’ll want to indulge in moderation. I’ve added some flax seeds and pumpkin seeds for superfood benefits, heft, and crunch. If you want to keep it vegan, stick with maple syrup, rice syrup, agave, or yac√≥n syrup. I sometimes do a mix with raw, unfiltered honey and maple and rice syrups. I find the stickier and thicker the sweetener, like honey, the chewier the bars and the crispier the puffed rice. Really, it’s that mouthfeel that reminds me of the marshmallow ones of youth. And, I prefer the dark, dark chocolate, bittersweet, and about 80% cacao. If you want it sweeter, use chocolate that’s only 70% cacao. Enjoy!

Dark Chocolate Rice Crispy Bars

A wonderfully rich, chocolatey twist on the classic rice crispy treat!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 16
Author Tania Van Pelt


The Bars

  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup brown rice syrup or raw unfiltered honey
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened unsalted peanut or almond butter
  • 1/2 cup or 3.5 oz. bar of chopped bittersweet 70-80% chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons melted liquid extra-virgin coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 4 cups crisp rice cereal
  • optional 1/2 cup flax seeds

The Topping

  • 2 tablespoons melted extra-virgin coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup or 3.5 oz. bar of chopped bittersweet 70-80% chocolate
  • 1/3 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon flaky salt such as Maldon


  1. Line an 8x8 square pan with parchment paper, allow enough to overhang.
  2. In a large saucepan, bring the maple and rice syrups or honey to a rolling boil for 1 minute, stirring frequently with a spoon - careful not to boil over. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla, nut butter, 1/2 cup chocolate, 2 level tablespoons coconut oil, and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt until everything is smooth and chocolate is melted.
  3. If using flax seeds, stir into the dry rice cereal so seeds are incorporated. Fold in the rice cereal and flax seeds to the mixture. Pack the combined mixture firmly and evenly into the lined pan.
  4. In a saucepan melt the remaining 1/2 cup of chocolate and 2 level tablespoons coconut oil together over very low heat, stirring constantly just until melted. Pour the chocolate mixture over the rice mixture, spreading it smooth. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds and flaky salt over the top.
  5. Let the bars set in the refrigerator (about 1 hour) until firm. Once cool, cut into 16 squares.
  6. Store in an airtight container. They will keep for a few days.

Recipe Notes

Make sure to use level tablespoons of coconut oil, especially for the chocolate topping. If you use too much oil, it'll be too liquid and seep into the rice crispy bars rather than providing a nice, thick chocolate glaze.