Marshmallow Cereal Protein Bars – Easy No Bake Treat

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Gooey, sticky, and sweet cereal bars with an added punch of protein! This homemade cereal protein bar recipe is easy, delicious, and taps into the nostalgia of the cereal bars we grew up with. Whip these together in just a few minutes! This recipe is super easy to customize with any protein powder flavor and protein cereal you prefer.

This is a glass 9x13 pan of cereal protein bars with a spatula pulling a bar out.

I have a weakness for Rice Krispie treats. I love the light flavor, the crunch, and the stickiness. They’re also just so easy to make and almost everybody loves them!

I was thinking about if there might be a way to make a pan of Rice Krispie treats but get a decent amount of protein in there. There’s not much nutritionally to a box of Rice Krispies–they don’t really have much protein, fiber, healthy fats, etc. Rice Krispies don’t contain whole grains…but they are still super crunchy and fun to eat.

I got to thinking…it doesn’t HAVE to be Rice Krispies–why not make some homemade cereal bars with a higher protein cereal?

Better Cereal, Better Bars

There are several high-protein cereal brands out there, so choose your favorite. My family’s favorite brand is Three Wishes cereal (I have no affiliation whatsoever–we just really love this brand) for a few reasons:

  • Price: Compared to Magic Spoon or other high-end protein cereal brands, Three Wishes is quite a bit cheaper.
  • Ingredients: The ingredients lists on all Three Wishes cereals are amazing! On my chocolate cereal, the ingredients are chickpea, tapioca, pea protein, organic cane sugar (and not a ton of it), natural flavors, salt, and monk fruit. That’s it! It’s a brand I feel super comfortable feeding my kids.
  • Taste: These cereals taste pretty dang good. No, they’re not exactly like Cocoa Puffs but they definitely hit the spot.

These high-protein cereals are a great option for cereal lovers like us. I’m so glad that these exist!

This is a stack of cereal protein bars on a white plate.

Ingredients

Making this marshmallow cereal protein bar recipe is pretty similar to making regular Rice Krispie treats. You need just a few simple ingredients:

Cereal – Choose the kind you want. I used Three Wishes Cocoa. You can use a fruity cereal, honey cereal, cinnamon, peanut butter, frosted…whatever you want!

Protein Powder – To make these extra chocolately, I used a chocolate whey protein. I love the Legion Dutch Chocolate but you can use whatever you have. You can use any flavor protein you want, too! I think this would really hit with a birthday cake flavor or a cookies & cream. This recipe has only been tested with whey protein.

Marshmallows – I’m using regular ol’ Jet Puff minis. So yeah, these aren’t that healthy. I’d love to try a more natural brand sometime but I can’t find one at any stores in my town, so Jet-Puffed it is!

Butter – Just a half stick of butter, and divided across 20 bars, it’s really not that much butter per serving. But it sure is tasty and important for helping dissolve the marshmallows & protein powder!

This is a box of cereal, bowl of marshmallows, protein powder, and a stick of butter.

Instructions

All you need is about 5-8 minutes, and you have delicious marshmallow cereal protein bars!

This is a dutch oven with butter melting.

1. Melt Butter

Put a large pot on the stove under medium-low heat (I used my Dutch oven). Add the butter and let it melt.

This is the dutch oven with the melted marshmallows stirred into the butter.

2. Melt Marshmallows

Add the marshmallows to the melted butter and stir. Cook on medium-low heat until melted. If your stove doesn’t run as hot, you can use medium heat. Just be careful not to burn the marshmallows.

While the marshmallows are melting, prep the dry ingredients so they’re ready to go. Once the marshmallows are melted, you need to work quickly, so having these prepped is important.

Measure out the cereal into a large bowl and set aside. Add 2 scoops of protein powder to another small bowl.

This is a dutch oven with the protein powder stirred into the melted marshmallows.

3. Add Protein Powder

When the marshmallows are melted, turn off the heat. Add the protein powder and stir continuously until it is dissolved.

This is a dutch oven with the cereal and melted marshmallows being mixed together.

4. Add Cereal

Add the cereal to the melted marshmallow/protein mixture. Stir, stir, stir. Work quickly and don’t stop! You’re on a short timeline until this marshmallow mix starts to get hard.

This is a glass 9x13 pan with the cereal mixture pressed into it.

5. Spread into Pan

Scrape the cereal mixture out of the pot into a greased 9×13″ pan. Press mixture into an even layer. If needed, lay a piece of parchment on top and press firmly with your hands to even it out.

This is a glass 9x13 pan of cereal protein bars with a spatula pulling a bar out.

6. Cut into Bars

Feel free to cut the bars immediately. You can cut & serve right away, but they will continue to get firmer as they sit.

Tips & Storage:

-After the marshmallows are melted, be prepared to work quickly. Have the protein powder, cereal, and a greased 9×13 pan ready to go so there’s no delay. These bars start to harden very fast! As they harden, they’re harder to work with.

-If the bars are starting to harden before you have them pressed in the pan, lay a sheet of parchment paper on top of the cereal mixture and press firmly with your hands to even them out in the pan.

-There may be a sticky mess left over in your pot. Get it soaking in warm soapy water shortly after pressing the bars into the pan.

-Store these bars in an airtight container at room temperature. They will be firmer on day 2 and beyond. I recommend eating within 3 days for optimal texture.

Ingredient Swaps

Use your favorite cereal flavor, any you want! You can also use regular old Rice Krispies if that’s what your heart desires! Macros will change with different cereal choices.

Feel free to try sugar-free/keto marshmallow brands, such as Max Mallow. These are a little spendy and can be hard to find, but they will also SIGNIFICANTLY lower the calories. 

If you get some keto marshmallows, you will probably need two bags of them unless you divide the recipe in half and make it in an 8×8″ pan. Overall, you need about 300 grams of marshmallows (5 1/2 to 6 cups).

To make this dairy-free, use coconut oil instead of butter and a vegan protein powder. All Three Wishes cereal flavors are vegan, but if you choose a different brand of cereal, make sure you check the ingredients.

This is a stack of cereal protein bars on a white plate with a hand holding one next to it.

Mix-Ins

Try adding some delicious mix-ins for more textures and flavors! Consider adding 1/2 cup of any of the following:

  • dark chocolate chips
  • sprinkles
  • coconut flakes
  • chia seeds (start with 1/4 cup)
  • pumpkin seeds
  • raisins/craisins

Flavor Variations

You can use this simple protein bar recipe with any flavors you like. Try these amazing flavor combos with various Three Wishes cereal flavors (or substitute for Magic Spoon or whatever you want) combined with a corresponding protein powder flavor. (Note: I have no affiliation to any of these brands. I am recommending them because I like them).

Fruity Pebbles! Use Three Wishes Fruity Cereal with Legion Fruity Cereal Powder.

S’Mores! Use the Three Wishes S’mores flavor cereal with Legion Vanilla protein powder or Cookies & Cream flavor.

Nutella! Use the Three Wishes Cocoa flavor cereal the Legion Chocolate Hazelnut protein powder.

Peanut Butter & Honey! Use the Three Wishes honey flavor cereal and about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of powdered peanut butter protein.

Holiday Flavors

Three Wishes cereal has a holiday pack with pumpkin spice, gingerbread, and sugar cookie. Here are some delicious flavor combos using that holiday pack:

Pumpkin Spice! Use the Three Wishes Pumpkin Spice cereal and the pumpkin spice-flavored PbFit.

Gingerbread! Use Three Wishes Gingerbread cereal and Ryse Gingerbread cookie.

Sugar Cookie! Use Three Wishes Sugar Cookie and Cinnamon Cereal Legion Protein (this will be like a snickerdoodle!)

Macros

The following macros are based on my chosen ingredients and estimated using my macro-tracking app of choice. Your nutrition facts may vary.

This recipe makes 20 bars. For one bar, the macros are:

These are the macros for the cereal protein bar recipe, and they are also written in the paragraph under this photo.
  • Calories: 125
  • Protein: 5g
  • Fat: 3g
  • Carbs: 19g
  • Fiber: 1.3g

These homemade protein bars are easy, fun, and delicious, but I will be honest–they are a treat. They are certainly more protein than a regular Rice Krispie bar (only 1.4 grams of protein in those, so these are 5x the protein) however, these aren’t going to suffice as any sort of meal replacement. They should be thought of as an improved dessert or a semi-healthy snack.

Other Tasty Treats

If you love this marshmallow cereal protein bar recipe, you’re going to love my other healthy treats! Try some of these other goodies with a healthy spin:

Make This Cereal Protein Bar Recipe Today!

You’re going to love these four-ingredient protein cereal bars that come together in minutes.
If you make them, leave a comment and review them below! I do my best to reply to each one. 🙂

This is a glass 9x13 pan of cereal protein bars with a spatula pulling a bar out.
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Marshmallow Cereal Protein Bars

This delicious marshmallow cereal protein bar recipe is quick, easy, and adds an extra punch of protein to your day!
Prep Time10 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cereal bar, protein bar, protein cereal bar
Servings: 20 bars
Calories: 125kcal
Author: Holly Lee
Cost: $10

Equipment

  • large pot for melting butter, marshmallows, and mixing ingredients together
  • 9×13" pan

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 5-6 cups mini marshmallows or 300 grams of any marshmallow you want
  • 2 scoops protein powder
  • 5 cups high protein cereal see notes

Instructions

  • Put a large pot on the stove under medium-low heat (I used my Dutch oven). Add the butter and let it melt.
  • Add the marshmallows to the melted butter and stir. Cook on medium-low heat until melted. If your stove doesn't run as hot, you can use medium heat. Just be careful not to burn the marshmallows. As the marshmallows melt, prep the dry ingredients so they're ready to go.
  • Measure out the cereal into a large bowl and set aside. Add 2 scoops of protein powder to another small bowl. Once the marshmallows are melted, you need to work quickly, so having these prepped is important.
  • When the marshmallows are melted, turn off the heat. Add the protein powder and stir continuously until it is dissolved.
  • Add the cereal to the melted marshmallow/protein mixture. Stir, stir, stir. Work quickly and don't stop! You're on a short timeline until this marshmallow mix starts to get hard.
  • Scrape the cereal mixture out of the pot into a greased 9×13" pan. Press mixture into an even layer. If needed, lay a piece of parchment on top and press firmly with your hands to even it out.
  • Feel free to cut the bars immediately. You can cut & serve right away, but they will continue to get firmer as they sit.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

-I am using Three Wishes high protein cocoa cereal, but you can use any brand and any flavor.
-I am using Legion Whey Chocolate protein. This has only been tested with whey protein, but would most likely work with other types if you’d like to try it.
-After the marshmallows are melted, be prepared to work quickly. Have the protein powder, cereal, and a greased 9×13 pan ready to go so there’s no delay. These bars start to harden very fast! As they harden, they’re harder to work with.
-If the bars are starting to harden before you have them pressed in the pan, lay a sheet of parchment paper on top of the cereal mixture and press firmly with your hands to even them out in the pan.
-There may be a sticky mess left over in your pot. Get it soaking in warm soapy water shortly after pressing the bars into the pan.
-Store these bars in an airtight container at room temperature. They will be firmer on day 2 and beyond. I recommend eating within 3 days for optimal texture.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bar | Calories: 125kcal | Carbohydrates: 19.5g | Protein: 5.5g | Fat: 3.1g | Saturated Fat: 1.5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.6g | Cholesterol: 6.1mg | Sodium: 94.6mg | Potassium: 172.7mg | Fiber: 1.3g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 19.4IU | Calcium: 54.8mg | Iron: 1mg

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