If your favorite Christmas movie is Elf, then I have the cutest dessert for you! These Buddy the Elf Hat Rice Krispies Treats are so fun and easy to make. Just press the layers of cereal treats in a round cake pan, slice into triangles and serve. The red buttercream feather is optional, but it is so simple with a leaf tip!
Every October, I make my candy corn rice krispies treats and wonder what other fun, festive shapes I could make with a triangle. It wasn't until I was cleaning up all the pieces of the Elf board game at a friend's house did I notice the triangular shape of Buddy's hat!
So, these Elf Hat Rice Krispies treats were born to be a fun way to make an easy, no bake holiday treat. Even though I am weeks away from putting up my Christmas tree, I made these elf Rice Krispies treats as a trial run. Plus, I wanted to nail the technique so I could share it with you!
While kids love them, I know a lot of adults that cite Elf as their favorite Christmas movie (myself included). So, make them for the kids or make them for your holiday party--everyone loves them!
- Rice Krispies. Buy the small 9-ounce box of Rice Krispies cereal for this recipe. We only need 4 ¼ cups + 2 tablespoons of cereal, so you will have some left over. The small box contains roughly 9 cups of cereal.
- Marshmallows. We need one small bag of mini marshmallows. Buy the 10-ounce bag of mini marshmallows, because we will use 5 cups of marshmallows. It is almost the entire bag, but not quite.
- Butter. Each layer needs a small amount of butter; we need 5 tablespoons total, so not quite an entire stick of butter.
- Food Coloring. I prefer to use food gel because it's much more concentrated. The liquid food coloring requires so much in order for the color to be vibrant, and it can flavor the dessert in a bad way. I use these gel food colorings, about 5 drops for each layer, but you can add more, if you like.
- Buttercream. To keep this simple, you can buy a can of already made buttercream frosting and dye it red. I had some leftover vanilla buttercream frosting in my freezer, so I defrosted it, added red food gel to the bag, squished it together and then squeezed it into a piping bag fitted with a leaf tip. I'm so happy that I didn't even have to dirty a bowl!
How to Make Buddy the Elf Hat Rice Krispie Treats:
First, spray an 8 or 9" cake pan with cooking spray (or grease with extra butter). For slightly thicker treats, I use the 8-inch pan.
In a large microwave-safe bowl, make the first green layer: combine the marshmallows, butter and salt. Microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds, stirring until melted. If it's not smooth and melty, return it to the microwave for another 15 seconds. Then, whisk in the food coloring followed by the rice cereal. Stir until well-blended.
Using your hands, press the yellow layer around the edges of the pan to make a ring. See photo for reference. You may butter your hands to make it easier. Try to pack it firmly against the edges of the pan.
Using a clean bowl, repeat the process for the yellow center layer.
Using a clean bowl, make the final green layer in the microwave, pressing it into the center of the pan.
Allow the elf Rice Krispies treats to cool for at least 2 hours before slicing into triangles.
Slice into 8 pieces by slicing into quarters first, and then again diagonally. See photo for reference.
Dye your buttercream red in the bag or in the can of store-bought frosting. Fit a piping back with the Wilton #70 leaf tip and add the red frosting. Practice a few leaf shapes on a plate. Squeeze a steady stream of frosting for the length of the feather, and then pick up the tip quickly to make the pointed end of the feather.
Let the red buttercream feathers set before serving. See below for other ideas for making the red feather without using buttercream frosting.
Other Candy Red Feather Ideas:
- Buttercream - I used buttercream frosting that I dyed red with red food gel for the Elf feather here. I put my Wilton Leaf Tip #70 in the bottom of a disposable pastry bag, add the red buttercream, and pipe in a flat line before quickly pulling up to make the tip of the feather. Practice a few leaves on a plate, and then scrape it back into the bag.
- Licorice - Instead of piping a feather with buttercream, use a red licorice piece. You can also get the pull and peel licorice, and braid it to make it look like a feather.
- Cereal - Because we're using a round pan, you could make a little space in each of the 8 triangles and fill it with cereal treats dyed red. Use a leaf/oval shaped cutter to remove some of the green/yellow cereal, and dye a small batch red. (Use ¾ cup marshmallows, 1 tablespoon butter and ¾ cup of Rice Krispies--same as the center layer). Press it very flat and know that the underside will be the display side.
Other Christmas Desserts:
For the outer green layer:
- 2 ½ cups mini marshmallows
- 2 tablespoons butter
- big pinch of salt
- 5 drops green food gel
- 2 ¼ cups crisp rice cereal
For the yellow layer:
- 1 ¾ cups mini marshmallows
- 2 tablespoons butter
- big pinch of salt
- 5 drops yellow food gel
- 1 ¼ cups + 2 tablespoons crisp rice cereal
For the inner green layer:
- ¾ cup mini marshmallows
- 1 tablespoon butter
- big pinch of salt
- ¾ cup crisp rice cereal
- 3 drops green food gel
For the buttercream:
- ¾ cup of buttercream frosting*
- 4 drops red food gel
- First, spray an 8-inch cake pan with cooking spray (or grease with extra butter).
- In a large microwave-safe bowl, first make the outer green layer: combine the marshmallows, butter and salt. Microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds, stirring until melted. If it's not smooth and melty, return it to the microwave for another 15 seconds. Then, whisk in the food coloring followed by the rice cereal. Stir until well-blended.
- Using your hands, press the first green layer around the edges of the pan to make a ring. See photo for reference. You may butter your hands to make it easier. Try to pack it firmly against the edges of the pan.
- Next, make the yellow layer. Using a clean bowl, repeat the process.
- Finally, using a clean bowl, make the center green layer in the microwave, pressing it into the center of the pan.
- Allow everything to cool for at least 2 hours before slicing into 8 triangles.
- Just before serving, mix together the buttercream frosting with the red food gel. Spoon it into a pipng bag fitted with a Wilton #70 leaf tip. Practice making a few leaf shapes by holding the tip level, squeezing consistently, and then quickly pulling up to make the tip of the feather.
*This can be store-bought buttercream in a can, or you can make my vanilla buttercream frosting.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 428Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 306mgCarbohydrates: 61gFiber: 1gSugar: 34gProtein: 3g