Avalanche Cookies are as fun to make as they are to eat! These no-bake wonders are the perfect blend of simplicity and deliciousness, ideal for when you’re craving something sweet but don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen.
Crafted with a delightful mix of crisp rice cereal, gooey marshmallows, rich white chocolate, and creamy peanut butter, these no-bake avalanche cookies are a textural masterpiece. And the best part? They come together in a snap and require zero oven time, making them a go-to choice for the crazy holiday season, busy days, hot summer afternoons, or when you just need a quick treat fix.
Why You’ll Love This Avalanche Cookie Recipe
- No-bake ease. Perfect for those times when you want a homemade treat without turning on the oven. Great for the busy holiday season, lazy summer days, or when your oven is occupied with other dishes!
- Quick and simple. With minimal steps and ingredients, these cookies are a breeze to make. Ideal for last-minute gatherings or a sudden sweet craving.
- Perfect texture. The combination of crispy cereal, gooey marshmallows, and smooth white chocolate ensures each bite is a delightful mix of textures.
- Great for sharing. These cookies are absolute crowd-pleasers. They’re just the right size for sharing at parties, picnics, or as a sweet gift.
- Versatile. While the cookies pictured here are all dressed up for Christmas, they’re a great option year-round. Keep the toppings simple or add fun sprinkles to match the season or occasion.
What Are Avalanche Cookies?
Avalanche cookies are a delightful no-bake treat known for their ease of preparation and irresistible taste. They typically feature a combination of crisp rice cereal, creamy peanut butter, and white chocolate, which are melted together, then mixed with mini marshmallows for a gooey touch. This mixture is dropped in small portions onto a baking sheet and chilled until set. The result is a cookie that’s both crispy and creamy, with a sweet, rich flavor. They’re perfect for holiday cookie trays, quick snacks, parties, homemade gifts, or any time you need a sweet treat but don’t have time to bake.
What You’ll Need
Let’s take a look at the ingredients you’ll need to make your avalanche cookies. See the recipe card below for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Crisp rice cereal – The most common brand is Rice Krispies.
- Mini marshmallows – Be sure to use the mini size for this recipe. If you only have regular or large marshmallows, cut them into small pieces first.
- White chocolate – I recommend using a bar or discs because they melt better and more smoothly than white chocolate chips.
- Peanut butter – Use regular creamy peanut butter (like Jif or Skippy) for the best results.
- Vanilla extract
- Salt – Just a pinch is all you need to help balance the sweetness of the cookies.
- Toppings – Mini chocolate chips and sprinkles are fun options for garnishing these cookies. You could also use chopped nuts, mini M&Ms, or another favorite.
How to Make Avalanche Cookies
You’ll have these no-bake treats mixed and chilling in a flash. Just be sure to factor in the time for them to set in the refrigerator. Let’s go through the recipe steps with step-by-step photos.
- Prepare a pan. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or waxed paper.
- Mix the cereal and marshmallows. Place these two ingredients in a large bowl, and stir to combine.
- Melt the chocolate and peanut butter. Place the white chocolate and peanut butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat them at half-power in the microwave in 30-second intervals. When the chocolate melts when stirred, add the vanilla and salt and stir until smooth.
- Finish mixing. Pour the melted white chocolate mixture over the cereal mixture. Fold together until everything is well-coated.
- Portion. Using about 2 tablespoons of the mixture at a time, drop onto the lined baking sheet. I use a #30 cookie scoop to make scooping quick and consistent.
- Garnish. Add any toppings you want to the top of the cookies.
- Chill. Place the pan in the refrigerator, and chill the cookies for about 30 minutes or until set.
Tips for Success
These avalanche cookies are a breeze to make, and I’ve got some simple tips to ensure yours come out just right every time.
- Melt slowly. When melting the white chocolate and peanut butter, do it slowly and at half-power in the microwave. This prevents the chocolate from seizing or burning. Stir between each interval for even melting.
- Mix gently. Fold the cereal and marshmallows gently into the chocolate mixture. This helps to keep the cereal crisp and the marshmallows from melting too much.
- Chill thoroughly. Ensure the cookies have enough time in the fridge to set properly. They might look firm after 15 minutes, but a full 30 minutes will make them easier to handle and eat.
- Consider humidity. If it’s a particularly humid day, the cookies might take a bit longer to set.
It’s easy to add some variety and personalization to this recipe with some simple swaps or additions. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Chocolate lovers. Swap the white chocolate for milk or dark chocolate for a richer, more traditional chocolate flavor.
- Nutty delight. Add a handful of chopped nuts like almonds, pecans, or walnuts for added crunch and nutty flavor. Perfect for those who enjoy a bit of extra texture.
- Fruity fun. Stir in some dried fruit like cranberries, raisins, or chopped apricots for a sweet and tangy twist.
- Cereal swap. Experiment with different types of cereal like Chex or Corn Flakes for a different texture and flavor.
- Salted caramel. Drizzle caramel over the cookies and add a light sprinkle of sea salt for a salted caramel version.
- Peanut butter alternative. For those with peanut allergies or just looking to mix things up, replace peanut butter with almond butter, cashew butter, or even sunflower seed butter. The texture may be a bit different.
- Fun with toppings. Mini chocolate chips, chopped nuts, sprinkles, mini M&Ms, mini peanut butter cups… so many possibilities!
How to Store
After your avalanche cookies have cooled and set completely, place them in an airtight container. If layering the cookies, place parchment paper or waxed paper between the layers to prevent them from sticking together. If your kitchen is cool, you can store the cookies at room temperature for a day or two. However, they hold up best when stored in the refrigerator, especially in warmer climates or during summer months. They should keep up to a week, although they’ll be at their best within the first few days.
Can Avalanche Cookies Be Frozen?
For long-term storage, avalanche cookies can be frozen. Wrap them individually in plastic wrap and then place them in an airtight freezer bag or container. They can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw them in the refrigerator or at room temperature before serving.