It’s officially pumpkin season in the baking world! Yeah, yeah, I know it’s technically still summer, and we’ve got a couple of weeks to go, but school’s in session, apples are in season, and we’re all just excited for the cozy days of fall! These Pumpkin Chai Spice Rice Krispie Treats are the perfect blend of warm spices and fall pumpkin flavor that we all love (well, most of us). I bumped these treats up a notch from the traditional pumpkin spice, opting to add ground cardamom and black pepper for a delicious chai spice flavoring.
As far as desserts go, I’m not sure you can get much easier. These treats are quick, easy, and so so rewarding. Maybe it’s because they remind me of childhood, but these bars are so satisfying. Feel free to add more or less spice, leave out the pumpkin, or make them even more gooey by adding an extra two cups of mini marshmallows to the melted mixture! Or, ya know, follow the recipe as-is and enjoy yourself a cozy, sweet treat.
Some of the ingredients I love for this recipe:
Pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling!) adds a hint of pumpkin flavor. You’ll have a ton leftover if you’re opening a new can, so be sure to keep your pumpkin baking going!
Ground cardamom is one of my favorite dessert spices. It adds to the chai spice flavoring, and I highly recommend getting yourself some if you don’t already have it on hand.
Black pepper also lends a hand to the traditional chai spice flavor.
Vegan butter makes these treats dairy-free! Feel free to use whatever version of butter you have on hand.
- 2 Tbsp pumpkin purée (water squeezed out)
- 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- Pinch black pepper
- Pinch salt
- 4 Tbsp vegan butter
- 6 cups + 3 cups mini marshmallows
- 6 cups crisp rice cereal
- Prepare an 8x8" baking dish or pan with non-stick spray. Then line with one long, thin piece of parchment paper, folding the excess over two of the sides.
- Spoon the pumpkin purée onto a paper towel (I like to fold one in half for double thickness) and gently squeeze out the excess water. Be careful not to squeeze too hard as the paper towel will break and the pumpkin will squirt out. Scrape the pumpkin off of the towel and set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together the spices: cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, black pepper, and salt; set aside.
- Melt the vegan butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add 6 cups of the mini marshmallows and continue heating until marshmallows are just melted. Turn heat to low and stir in the pumpkin puree and spices. Turn off the heat and mix in the crisp rice cereal and the 3 cups of mini marshmallows.
- Dump mixture into your prepared dish and gently press into an even layer (I like to use a spatula covered in non-stick spray). Avoid pressing too firmly as that will lead to hard rice krispie treats.
- Allow treats to cool. Use the excess parchment paper to life the bar up and out of the dish. Slice into 12 or 16 bars and enjoy! Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.
- If you don't have ground cardamom on hand, you can use a mix of 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon + 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg