Homemade Star Crunch

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If you loved the Little Debbie star crunch cookies as a kid then you will love this homemade star crunch recipe! These no bake cookies are made with crispy rice cereal, melted chocolate and gooey caramel. 

homemade star crunch with a bite taken out of it


 

Growing up if Little Debbie treats reigned supreme to me. And one of my favorites was the Star Crunch cookie (and also oatmeal cream pies, or chocolate fudge rounds also my favorites!). They were one of my favorite treats and one I asked Mom for frequently. But I’m getting sidetracked – back to this delicious sweet treat. 

This copycat recipe has everything you love about the Little Debbie version but you can make it quickly on your stovetop with a handful of simple ingredients you can pronounce. No weird ingredients here. 

I wanted this homemade Star Crunch to resemble the chewy nostalgic cookie I grew up on with that wonderful sweet caramel flavor. It took a few attempts but I think after one bite you will agree I nailed it. And dare I say they might just be better? 

See Also:

  • These chocolate S’mores cupcakes have a graham cracker bottom, easy chocolate cupcake recipe, topped with a toasted marshmallow frosting!
  • If you’re looking for an easy chocolate dessert to serve, then try making homemade chocolate covered Oreos!
  • Calling all coconut lovers with these easy coconut macaroons dipped in chocolate! They are must make cookie!
four star crunch stacked on top of each other

Copycat Star Crunch Recipe

  • Just like the Little Debbie cookies you remember as a kid!
  • Easy no bake cookie recipe made on the stovetop
  • Simple ingredients you can pronounce
  • Makes for sweet snack!
hand holding a star crunch with a bite taken out of it

Note: The entire recipe, with ingredient quantities and recipe directions can be found at the bottom of the page. Scroll to the bottom or click “Jump To Recipe” button at the top of the post.

Ingredients Needed

  • ½ cup (1 stick, 113 g) unsalted butter 
  • ½ cup (42 g) unsweetened cocoa powder – You can also use Dutch cocoa powder
  • 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 22 soft caramels – I used Werther’s Soft and chewy caramels. But you could also use other caramels. 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt 
  • 6 cups (10 ounce) bag of mini marshmallows – You can also use large marshmallows but they just may take longer to melt. 
  • 6 cups rice Krispies 
homemade star crunch ingredients

How To Make These Homemade Star Crunch Cookies

You will want to prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper or wax paper. You can use either since this is a no bake recipe. I didn’t have any issue with these cookies sticking, but you can always spray the cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray so they will definitely easily release.

The best part about these cookies is they are made on the stovetop and are a no bake cookie (similar to my no bake cookies or making rice Krispie treats). You will want to use a large pot to make this mixture in! Start by melting the butter then stir in the cocoa powder together over low heat. 

cocoa powder and melted butter in a saucepan

Then stir in your sweetened condensed milk and mix together until fully combined.

condensed milk stirred into melted chocolate mixture

Once the chocolate mixture is all mixed together go ahead and stir in the caramels and mix until melted and combined. You may find the the mixture may look slightly broken at first but don’t worry it will smooth out and come together. Have a little faith!

caramels stirred into melted chocolate mixture

Add the vanilla, salt and marshmallows and mix until melted and combined.

marshmallows stirred into saucepan

Once that’s all mixed together you want to remove the pot from the heat and stir in the rice krispy cereal. Now this can take a little bit of muscle! But hey you won’t have to hit the gym after you eat them right? So win win.

rice krispies stirred into saucepan

I used a large cookie scoop to make these cookies. Drop scoops onto greased parchment or wax paper.

cookie scoop scooping star crunch onto baking sheet

I recommend flattening them slightly so they look just like you remember. I spray my hand with cooking spray first so they don’t stick as I press down on the cookies. Then go ahead and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. 

star crunch cookies on a baking sheet

Recipe Tips

  • Use a cookie scoop to make for easier scooping. 
  • Cook over low heat so the mixture doesn’t burn.
  • Be sure to flatten slightly so you don’t have overly thick cookies. Spray your hand with cooking spray first so the cookies don’t stick to your hand.
  • Don’t skip the refrigeration. They need time to set up. I found if you don’t refrigerate they stay rather soft and don’t get that chewy texture.

Recipe Variations

  • Dairy Free: Use a dairy free butter (like Earth Balance or Miyoko’s), coconut condensed milk, coconut caramels. You could also swap out the butter and try using melted coconut oil.
  • Vegan: Use a dairy free butter (like Earth Balance or Miyoko’s) or melted coconut oil, coconut condensed milk, coconut caramels. Use vegan marshmallows.
  • Switch up the cereal: You can use cocoa rice Krispies cereal instead for even more chocolate flavor.
  • Make them smaller. I use a large cookie scoop, but you can always make these smaller. 
star crunch on a platter

Recipe FAQs

How should I store these? 

You can store these cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. You can also store in the fridge where they will last longer (up to 3 weeks). 

Can I freeze these cookies?

Yes you can freeze these for up to 3 months in a freezer bag. I like to eat them straight from the freezer! But you can let them thaw first before biting into these chewy cookies.

Can I make this as a double batch recipe?

Absolutely! Just simply double the ingredients.

Can I make these copycat star crunch cookies in the microwave?

I haven’t tried but yes I think you definitely can. Just use a large microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30-second increments so you don’t have the mixture burn at any point and be sure to be stirring in between. 

More Recipes To Try

four star crunch stacked on top of each other

Homemade Star Crunch

If you loved the Little Debbie star crunch cookies as a kid then you will love this homemade star crunch recipe! These no bake cookies are made with crispy rice cereal, melted chocolate and gooey caramel. 
5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Chilling time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 18 cookies
Calories: 257kcal

Ingredients

  • ½ cup (1 stick, 113 g) unsalted butter
  • ½ cup (42 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 22 soft caramels I used Werther’s Soft and chewy caramels
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups (10 ounces) bag of mini marshmallows
  • 6 cups rice krispies

Instructions

  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or wax paper. You can also grease the paper, but I didn't have any issue with sticking.
  • In a large pot over low heat melt the butter then stir in the cocoa powder. ½ cup (1 stick, 113 g) unsalted butter ½ cup (42 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • With a wooden spoon or spatula, stir in the sweetened condensed milk and mix together until fully combined. 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • Add the caramels and mix until melted and combined, the mixture may look slightly broken at first but it will smooth out. 22 soft caramels
  • Add the vanilla, salt and marshmallows and mix until melted and combined. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract ¼ teaspoon salt 6 cups (10 ounces) bag of mini marshmallows
  • Remove from heat and quickly stir in the cereal. 6 cups rice krispies
  • Using a large cookie scoop, drop scoops onto the prepared baking sheet. Flatten slightly.
  • Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from the baking sheet and enjoy or store!

Video

Notes

  • Storage: You can store these cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. You can also store in the fridge where they will last longer (up to 3 weeks). 
  • Freezing: Yes you can freeze these for up to 3 months in a freezer bag. I like to eat them straight from the freezer! But you can let them thaw first before biting into these chewy cookies.
  • Don’t skip the refrigeration: They can stick to the cookie sheet and chocolate will stay soft if you don’t refrigerate.
  • Parchment paper: Parchment will help with removing from cookie sheet. But you can also use wax paper. You can also grease the paper if you want. 
  • Size: Can use a smaller cookie scoop and make the cookies smaller. 
  • Be sure to flatten: Flatten slightly with the palm of your hand (I like to lightly grease the palm of my hand so it doesn’t stick).
  • Dairy Free: Use a dairy free butter (like Earth Balance or Miyoko’s), coconut condensed milk, coconut caramels. You could also swap out the butter and try using melted coconut oil.
  • Vegan: Use a dairy free butter (like Earth Balance or Miyoko’s) or melted coconut oil, coconut condensed milk, coconut caramels. Use vegan marshmallows.
  • Switch up the cereal: You can use cocoa rice Krispies cereal instead for even more chocolate flavor.

Nutrition

Calories: 257kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 154mg | Potassium: 159mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 842IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @BostonGirlBakes or tag #BostonGirlBakes!


 

14 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These star crunch cookies were so gooey and rich. We loved them!!!

    1. Thank you! I’m so happy to hear you loved the gooey richness of the cookies. Enjoy! 😊

  2. 5 stars
    I lived on Star Crunch cookies when I was a kid, and these are just as good if not better than the original!

    1. Thank you for your wonderful comment! I’m so happy to hear these brought back great memories and that you enjoyed them.

  3. 5 stars
    This is way better than the store bought option. We loved it so much we had to make a second batch. 🙂

    1. Thank you for the lovely feedback! I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed them enough to make a second batch!🙂

  4. 5 stars
    These were a childhood favorite. I am looking forward to making these and enjoying every bite.

    1. Thank you for sharing! I hope making and enjoying these brings back wonderful childhood memories. 😊

  5. Katherine says:

    5 stars
    These cookies were so nostalgic and so good! Loved them, thank you for the recipe.

    1. Thank you so much! I’m very happy to hear that you enjoyed the cookies and that they brought back nostalgic memories, those are the best kind!

  6. 5 stars
    These are delicious. I have made them 3 times. The first time they were so sticky they would nut come off the parchment paper. I switched to caramel bits and they were a little less sticky, but still too sticky. What am I doing wrong?

    1. Hi, Kathy, thank you so much! Try spraying the parchment paper with a little cooking spray. That should help reduce the stickiness.

  7. Darlene Sitto says:

    5 stars
    These were great! Mone were a little sticky though. Not sure why🤷‍♀️

    1. Hi Darlene, yes they are a bit sticky!

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