Crackle & Pop! Cake Sculpting With Rice Krispies

Cake decorators may seem like magicians, but sometimes when we need to achieve difficult shapes or need more structure and strength than fondant or modeling chocolate can provide, we need to pull a magic rabbit out of our hat. This rabbit is called Rice Krispies Treats, aka RKT.

Lego Character Made of Cake, on Craftsy

Photos via Wendy Woo Cakes

There are many uses for RKT. Today we are going to first discuss how to cover RKT in fondant, and then discuss how to make a RKT figure.

Before we begin, let’s talk about the recipe. Most recipes are pretty basic with Rice Krispies cereal, marshmallows and butter. Some recipes also call for Karo syrup. This addition does make the treats softer, but it also makes them fall apart more easily. That can be a problem when you are carving or forming them into shapes, so I would advise against using Karo syrup.

Forming and covering Rice Krispies Treats

Pam and Cake Pan for Cake Sculpting with Rice Krispies

Step 1:

When forming Rice Krispies Treats, it is best to let the pans do most of the work. Spray your pans liberally with cooking spray, and for extra security, place a piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan to make sure it releases easily.

Spraying Rice Krispies with Pam
Tip: While smashing the RKT into the pans, spread butter on your fingers or spray the top of the RKT with cooking spray. This will control the stickiness.

Rice Krispies in Pans

Step 2:

Once you have pressed the mixture down, use something flat to smash them down even more. We are going for very compact RKTs.

Let them cool in the pans.

Removing Rice Krispies Cakes fromPans

Step 3:

Once they are cool, simply turn over the pan. They should fall right out. If they are being sticking, just run a knife around the walls of the pan to release them.

Stacking Rice Krispie Cakes

Rice Krispies Treats can be stacked for height or pressed together. They stick to each other very well and work great for carving odd shapes or difficult designs.

No matter how much you cut, squish and smash your RKTs, they will still be bumpy when you take them out of the pan or cut them into shapes. This can cause a messy look when you try to cover them in fondant.

Coating Rice Krispies Cake with Buttercream

Step 4:

To fix this problem, it is best to crumb coat your RKT’s with buttercream (try this buttercream recipe for buttercream with a great texture for this project). It may take one or two thin coats to get a nice, smooth look. Let chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes before covering in fondant.

Icing Rice Krispies Cake

Step 5:

Once you have your RKT crumb coated, decorate it the same way you would a regular cake.

Decorated Rice Krispies Cake

 Forming figures

Lego Character's Limbs Formed from Rice Krispie Cakes

Just like with all cake decorating techniques it is best to not be scared, but just go for it. Carving and forming RKT is much more forgiving than many other sugar techniques. You can add, cut or smash any part of the RKT if needed. If you cut too much, you can always add it back on and start again.

Rice Krispie Lego Limbs Covered in White Chocolate

If you are working with figures or shapes that need to be freestanding and hold their shapes, I have found it best to cover the RKT in a thin layer of melted white chocolate or Candy Melts. The chocolate sets firm and holds its shape.

Finished Rice Krispie Cake Lego Character

As above, I also crumb coated the RKT to get a smooth finish, then covered it with fondant or modeling chocolate. For oddly shaped pieces, I have found it best to use modeling chocolate or a mixture of fondant and modeling chocolate so the wrinkles or puckers smooth out easily for a nice, clean finish.

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11 Comments

Lindsay

Irather than a crumb via to rice krispy treaats I prefer using melted chocolate or white chocolate to get a smoother finish that hardens more and tastes yummy!

Reply
Rebecca

It says let the pan cool but doesn’t mention anything about heating them. Please explain?

Reply
Connie

When you make rice Krispy treats, you melt butter and marshmallows on the stove top, then add cereal. Mash into the pans and let cool.

Reply
Tommi

After covering the rice krispies with fondant, modeling chocolate, or 50/50 how do you store them? Can they be made in advance? How far in advance?

Reply
Wendy

Tommi,
They should be used fresh, RKT go stale quickly, so I treat mine like I would if it were cake. They should only be made about 2 days in advance. Good Luck!

Reply
Theresa

If the rkt is covered in fondant straight away will it last longer than a couple of days.

Reply
Cathi

what are the measurements for rice crispy treats, as in how much rice crispy to marshmallow and butter

Reply
Grace

Look up Kellogg’s Rice Krispie treats and it gives you a good recipe. I use it all the time.

Reply
stephie

I tried rkt but it wouldnt stay together and was hard to mold. I need to make a husky cake and was going to use rkt for the head. Please do you have the recipe for the mix you use. I am in uk.
thanks
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Grace

I’ve been using Rice Krispie treats for a while. I watch cake boss and buddy uses rkt lots when sculpting.
I made a Mickey mouse clubhouse cake and most of it is made out of rkt

Reply

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