Matcha Rice Crispy Treat Christmas Trees

Chewy and gooey and gorgeously green: these festive matcha rice crispy treats are decorated to look like charming Christmas trees, with a natural green color that comes from matcha green tea powder (no food coloring required!)

Matcha lovers, this one’s for you! With ample amounts of matcha powder infused in a classic marshmallow cereal treat for a quick and easy holiday treat you’re sure to love (did I mention they make perfect homemade holiday gifts?)

Matcha Rice Crispy Treats cut into triangles and decorated like Christmas trees, one leaning up against a mug of matcha on a marble background.

Holiday rice crispy treats? Yes, please!

I debated whether or not to go full Christmas for this recipe (which, sans decoration, can really be enjoyed any time of the year!) but these tree-shaped treats (or should I say, treets?) were just too darn cute not to share.

You don’t even need cookie cutters (a usual requirement of tree-shaped goodies), as you can cut perfect triangles from a 13-by-9-pan of treats with just a few simple cuts.

Add a little drizzle of white chocolate and a few strategically-placed sprinkles and voila! Delicious and festive Rice Crispmas Treets!

Three Christmas tree shaped Matcha Rice Crispy Treats standing up on a marble background, mug of matcha latte in the background.
Matcha Rice Crispy Treats on a marble background, one with a bite out of it to show the interior texture.

These marshmallow cereal treats get their gorgeous green hue from matcha green tea powder—no food coloring required!

While matcha on its own can be a somewhat bitter and grassy flavor, just add a little sugar and milk and the bitterness melts away, leaving a unique and verdant flavor that’s sure to please even the green tea-haters among us.

In this case, the matcha’s bitterness is tempered by the marshmallow, sweetened condensed milk, and a splash of vanilla (matcha and vanilla being one of my favorite flavor pairings), leaving only the vibrant green color and sweet nuttiness of green tea with no bitterness to be found.

On the other side of things, the matcha does wonders to balance out the cloying sweetness that often comes from marshmallow treats.

I guess you could say it’s a matcha made in heaven!

Overhead, rows of triangular Matcha Rice Crispy Treats arranged geometrically, decorated to look like Christmas trees with white chocolate drizzle and shiny ball sprinkles.
Matcha Rice Crispy Treats cut into a triangle and decorated like a Christmas tree, leaning up against a matcha latte.

I don’t make rice crispy treats very often, but when I do I’m always reminded about why I love them so much.

First of all, they’re just gosh darn easy, no oven required.

Of course, that’s not to say they’re entirely fool-proof, as I quickly proved myself a fool trying to use that slightly expired bag of marshmallows in my first batch (spoiler alert: marshmallows are one of the few products I’d strongly encourage you to heed the expiration date).

What happens when you use old marshmallows? I’ll tell you. Instead of a smooth and fluffy mass of melted marshmallow, you end up with a clump. A dense, anything-but-fluffy clump of goo that won’t even begin to coat the rice crispies should you attempt to mix them together. And as you continue to stir it over the heat thinking that it’s just not quite melted yet, the sugar begins to caramelize, the whole thing starts to brown and gets even harder and clumpier.

If this happens, there’s no saving it; you’re better off saving the rest of your ingredients and just tossing the whole pan of goo, then go buy a new bag of fresh marshmallows and start over.

You would think after creating some ridiculously elaborate, complex, and multi-layered desserts, that I couldn’t possibly mess up something as simple as a rice crispy treat. But you’d be wrong.

Buy hey, that’s one of the beautiful things about having a food blog (for you at least)—take comfort in knowing that I’ve made all the mistakes already, so you don’t have to!

Anyway. Just trust me on this one and buy some fresh marshmallows to save yourself the hassle and waste.

Stack of triangular Matcha Rice Crispy Treats decorated to look like Christmas trees on a marble background.
Overhead, Christmas-tree shaped Matcha Rice Crispy Treats arranged randomly on a marble background, one sitting on top of a mug of matcha, plus a bowl of metallic sprinkles.

Game, Set, Matcha

Matcha is powdered green tea made from whole, young tea leaves. It has a vibrant green color and a fragrant, grassy flavor that’s perfectly balanced by the marshmallowy sweetness.

Always sift your matcha! Matcha clumps very easily, so don’t forget to sift it into your marshmallow mixture. There are specially made matcha sieves, but I also just use a little 3-inch strainer which works just fine.

You’ll need about 2 tablespoons, or 12 grams worth, for this recipe.

Ippodo’s Ikuyo matcha is my all time favorite matcha that I use for my daily matcha lattes each and every morning. Matcha Kari and Encha are other brands I’ve used before and their culinary grade products are great quality for a more reasonable price per ounce. Be wary of super cheap matchas out there… there are tons of them out there and most are simply not good, to put it bluntly. If you’re paying $10 for a 3oz bag of matcha… it’s not going to be very good.

When buying matcha, fresher, higher quality matcha will produce a more vibrant green color. But for baked recipes like this one, you really don’t need the super fancy ceremonial grade stuff which can cost a pretty penny. Instead, look for a latte- or culinary-grade matcha, which is usually more economically priced for a larger package.

When buying matcha, buy just what you plan to use in 4-6 months; after that the matcha will start to lose its color and flavor (I know it’s tempting to get a better deal for a bigger container, but unless you use it regularly best just buy the smallest size). Keep it stored in a cool, dark place in an opaque (not clear) airtight container. Light and heat will degrade the color and flavor of matcha in a matter of weeks.

Marshmallow cereal treats are one of the easiest desserts to make, but that’s not to say it can’t go wrong. 95% of my issues when making rice crispy treats can be blamed on old marshmallows. Trust me on this one and just go buy a fresh bag before you make this recipe (you’ll save yourself the hassle and waste of having to start over again).

Some rice crispy treat recipes call for adding the cereal to a large saucepan with the melted marshmallow mixture—I like to do it the other way around, with my cereal in the biggest mixing bowl I have (trust me, you’ll want that extra space when you’re folding), and then pour the melted marshmallow mixture over the top. This will make it easier to fold the cereal and get it evenly coated with marshmallow.

If you like to do the opposite and add your cereal into the marshmallow mixture, then be sure to use the largest saucepan you have (like an 8 quart pasta pot) to ensure you have plenty of space to fold in the cereal.

Tip: If you’re having trouble pressing the super sticky mixture into the baking pan, use a piece of plastic wrap; then you can press it down with your hands without the sticky mess.

To cut triangles without a ruler, use a piece of parchment or waxed paper the same size as your baking pan (13″). Fold into quarters, and then eighths, then use it to mark 4 even sections across the bottom of the treats, and then use the eighth folds to mark the center point of each of the 4 sections across the top. Make your cuts diagonally from the top mark to the bottom, and then from the bottom to the next mark on the top.

You can also take the two ‘odd’ pieces from either end and stick them back to back to make two more tree-shaped treats (or, you know, have yourself a lil’ snack and no one has to know).

The sprinkles I used are a mix of edible metallic dragees from Sweetapolita, though the exact blend isn’t available anymore (it was leftover from a previous year’s sprinkle advent calendar), but you can find lots of options for metallic sprinkles in pretty much every color imaginable!

Matcha Rice Crispy Treats cut into triangles and decorated like Christmas trees, one leaning up against a bowl of metallic sprinkles on a marble background.

Deck the Halls

The naturally green color of the matcha makes these treats a perfect Christmas confection! Cut into triangles and drizzled with white chocolate and metallic sprinkle ‘ornaments’, they are fun, festive, and delicious!

Even though I’ve gone all-in on the Christmas theme here, these matcha marshmallow treats are tasty year round.

For a more generic, non-holiday decoration: cut them into squares or rectangles instead. You can still do the white chocolate drizzle (it adds to the flavor as well as the appearance), and then use whatever sprinkles strike your fancy! Give them a gold and rainbow sprinkle mix for St. Patrick’s Day, a pink and green floral mix for summer, black and purple jimmies and a few candy eyeballs for Halloween… well, you get the idea.

They truly are a treat for any season!

Two green Matcha Rice Crispy Treats decorated to look like Christmas trees on a plate with a bowl of metallic sprinkles.

Ingredient Notes & Substitutions

The matcha is the main flavoring ingredient in these treats, but it can certainly be left out if you’re not a fan of the flavor. If you’re still looking for a natural green color, try some pandan powder instead, or add a few drops of green food coloring to the melted marshmallow mixture.

I like to add a few tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk to my treats to make them softer and gooier, but this recipe works just fine without it too (just omit it, no other changes necessary).

I recommend buying fresh, brand name mini marshmallows for this recipe. If you find your melted marshmallow mixture is thick and gloppy rather than smooth and fluffy, chances are your marshmallows are just old.

Expiration dates matter: there’s no quicker way to ruin a batch of rice crispy treats than by using old marshmallows. Trust me on this one, just go buy a fresh bag of brand-name mini marshmallows and save yourself the hassle.

I have not personally tested this with other brands of marshmallows or vegetarian marshmallows (most marshmallows contain gelatin so they are NOT vegetarian). As long as they melt smoothly they should work just fine here.

Rice Krispies are the most common brand of puffed rice cereal called for in this recipe. Do note that despite being made with rice, they are not actually gluten-free. For a true GF treat be sure to buy a brand of crispy rice cereal that specifically says gluten free.

You can also use other cereal here too, I’ve seen marshmallow treats made with Cheerios, Lucky Charms, and even Froot Loops!

Butter can replaced with another fat such as olive oil (see my Olive Oil Rice Crispy Treat recipe for more on this flavorful swap), margarine/vegan butter, or coconut oil; leave out the sweetened condensed milk for a dairy-free treat.

Feel free to swap the white chocolate with dark or milk chocolate or candy coating. You can also leave it off entirely and enjoy the treats sans decoration.

Single Matcha Rice Crispy Treat cut into a sharp triangle and decorated like a Christmas tree with a drizzle of white chocolate and metallic sprinkle "ornaments".
Overhead, randomly arranged Matcha Rice Crispy Treats on a marble background with a bowl of metallic sprinkles.

Serving & Storage

While the sweetened condensed milk in this recipe makes them softer than your average rice crispy treat, I do think they are still best enjoyed within a 2 to 3 days (though they’re certainly still edible longer than that).

Store them in an airtight container at room temperature. If you have to stack them to fit in your container, I recommend parchment or waxed paper between layers so they don’t stick together.

Since they don’t need to be refrigerated, it makes these treats the perfect homemade holiday gift or cookie swap contribution (I don’t think anyone will complain about the fact that they aren’t technically cookies). Just pack them into holiday treat bags, tie them with a bow and handwritten note, and pass them along to whoever could use a little holiday cheer (might I suggest starting with your mail carrier? They deserve it particularly this time of year!)

Rice crispy treats can also be frozen for up to 6 weeks (store in an airtight bag or container with parchment/waxed paper between layers).

Matcha Rice Crispy Treats

A classic marshmallow cereal treat with the addition of vibrant green matcha makes for a quick and easy holiday treat you’re sure to love!

  • 3 tablespoons / 42 g unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons / 58 g sweetened condensed milk
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 10 ounces / 283 g mini marshmallows
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons / 12 grams matcha, sifted
  • 6 cups / 170 g rice crispies cereal
  • 3 ounces / 85 g white chocolate or candy coating, optional, for decoration
  • sprinkles, for decoration
  • Generously grease a 13-by-9-inch baking pan with butter, or butter and line with parchment paper for easier removal of the treats later.

  • Place rice crispies cereal in the largest mixing bowl you have.

  • In a medium pot, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add sweetened condensed milk and salt and stir until combined and warmed through.

  • Add mini marshmallows and stir until marshmallows are melted and smooth.

  • Sift matcha over top of melted marshmallow mixture and stir until evenly incorporated.

  • Remove from heat and pour over cereal, gently turning the mixture with a wide rubber spatula until it is completely coated.

  • Dump mixture into prepared pan and press into an even layer with a spatula or greased hands. You’ll need to press lightly to spread it into an even layer, but don’t compress it too much or your treats won’t be as soft. Let sit for 30 minutes or so to completely cool, then lift treats out of pan onto a cutting board and cut into triangles or other desired shape.

  • To decorate, melt white chocolate or candy coating gently in the microwave or in a double boiler, then transfer to a piping bag or squeeze bottle fitted with a small round tip (you can also use a zip-top bag with the tiniest bit of the corner cut off). Drizzle over cut treats in a decorative pattern, then top with sprinkles for decoration as desired.

  • Treats can be stored lightly covered at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to five days.

All images and text © for Love & Olive Oil.

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