Kitchn Love Letters

The $4 Cereal I Buy for My Favorite No-Bake Treats (No, It’s Not the One You Think)

published Feb 28, 2023
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Special K no bake treat with spoon of peanut butter on the side.
Credit: Taylor Kocher

When I was growing up, my mom would always make her special treats to bring to birthdays and work events. These “Special K Treats,” as we refer to them, were a favorite in our house. If my family and I were lucky enough, she’d leave a few behind for us to fight over. Now I make them for myself when I want something sweet (which, if you know me, is pretty often!), peanut-buttery, and a little bit nostalgic.

Credit: Taylor Kocher

What’s So Great About Kellogg’s Special K Original Cereal?

I would never turn down any cereal treats — they truly are a classic! But if I’m making cereal treats from scratch, I’m using Kellogg’s Special K Original Cereal. The toasted rice cereal flakes are bigger and have more crisp texture than the puffed rice cereals typically used in no-bake cereal treats. The extra crunch is a nice contrast in the gooey snack. Plus, their slightly toasty flavor mixes well with the nuttiness of the peanut butter and sweetness from the sugars. 

Credit: Taylor Kocher

What’s the Best Way to Use Kellogg’s Special K Original Cereal?

Of course, a bowl of Special K with milk (and your favorite fruit) makes for a quick breakfast or midday snack. I mostly keep a box of this cereal on hand, however, for these treats. The recipe is incredibly simple to make, requiring just four ingredients: Kellogg’s Special K Original Cereal, peanut butter, granulated sugar, and light corn syrup (I use Karo). I melt the corn syrup and sugar together on the stove, stir in the peanut butter and the cereal, then scoop the mixture into balls to chill in the fridge (for roughly 30 minutes). 

The balls take slightly more time than pressing the mixture into a pan and then cutting it into squares. I think the round shape is more fun and less expected, and part of what I think makes these chewy, crunchy, sweet, and salty treats even more special. They’ve even become one of my most requested party snacks

Buy: Kellogg’s Special K Original Cereal, $3.99 for 18 ounces at Target

What groceries do you buy to make no-bake desserts? Tell us in the comments below.