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The History of Rice Krispies Treats

Mildred “Millie” Day is credited with the creation of Rice Krispies Treats. She worked as a recipe tester at Kellogg’s and around 1939 (the year is somewhat contested) Day created Rice Krispies Treats with the help of her colleague, Malitta Jensen. They may have been inspired by an earlier recipe that used puffed wheat and molasses; notably, Day thought that marshmallows would be less messy. Originally, the treats were called Marshmallow Squares. Soon after their creation, Kellogg’s received an inquiry from a Kansas City chapter of the Camp Fire Girls, who were frantically looking for ideas for a fundraiser. Kellogg’s decided this would be a good opportunity to test the Marshmallow Squares. They sent Day to Kansas City to make her new treats so that the Camp Fire Girls could sell them for their fundraiser. Day brought along some specially made baking trays and a giant mixer. When she arrived, she worked nearly 16-hour days for 2 weeks straight. The mothers of the Camp Fire Girls would regularly come by and pick up the batches so that the girls could sell them door-to-door. They were a hit, and the recipe appeared in several newspapers. Then in 1941, Kellogg’s put the recipe on Rice Krispies cereal boxes for the first time and Rice Krispies Treats as we know them were born! Of course, Rice Krispies Treats quickly became massively popular all over the country, and they still are today. In fact, they are so beloved that chefs even make gourmet versions of the humble treats. There have even been giant versions of Rice Krispies Treats made, including a massive version that weighed a whopping 2,480 pounds! It was made by Iowa State students during the school’s 2001 VEISHEA celebration in a very fitting homage to the treat’s famous creator and Iowa native, Mildred “Millie” Day.

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