This copycat recipe for homemade Little Debbie star crunch is made with crispy rice cereal, chocolate and peanut butter! No baking required, you only need 5 ingredients and 5 minutes to make- Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free.
Little Debbie Star Crunch were my gas station pick- Whenever the hunger pangs hit and I wanted a sweet treat, I’d ALWAYS reach for a Star Crunch.
Similar to a chocolate rice krispie treat, I wanted to make my own homemade and healthier version.
Instead of using butter, sugar and hydrogenated palm oil, I used healthy swaps, that just happen to be refined sugar free, vegan and gluten free!
Taste wise, they are sweet and loaded with chocolate flavor, with hints of a light caramel.
Texture wise, they are crispy, crunchy, and creamy- hitting ALL the textures at once.
How to make star crunch cookies
Making homemade star crunch is super simple. You start by combining all your ingredients, except for your rice cereal, into a large, microwave safe bowl. Then, you’ll microwave everything until the chocolate chips and peanut butter have melted. Whisk the mixture together, until glossy and shiny. Next, you’ll add your crispy rice cereal and mix very well, until all the cereal is evenly coated in the chocolate mixture.
Finally, you’ll line a large baking tray or plate with parchment paper. Using a spoon, drop spoonfuls of the star crunch mixture onto the parchment paper. Repeat until all the mixture is used up, and refrigerate it until firm.
Star Crunch Cookies Ingredients (and substitution ideas!)
- Crispy Rice Cereal
- Peanut Butter
- Maple Syrup
- Coconut Oil
- Chocolate Chips
The cereal part is key, as using the wrong type with yield soggy cookies or soften once the chocolate and peanut butter are added. I used crispy brown rice cereal, which is a gluten-free, vegan, and generally flavor-free cereal, perfect for this recipe.
You would be best to stick to other ‘like’ cereals, like rice pops, rice bubbles or another crispy rice cereal. While they may be a little more processed than other cereals on the market, they won’t go limp once firmed up.
To amp up the ‘crunch’ factor, I love using crunchy peanut butter. To be completely honest, I would use crunchy peanut butter regardless, as I prefer it over the smooth kind. If you only have smooth nut butter on hand, that works just as fine. Alternatively, you can keep this peanut free by using almond butter or keep it nut-free, by using sunflower seed butter.
The final key ingredient is, of course, the chocolate. I typically use these chocolate chips, which happen to be naturally vegan, dairy free, gluten free and nut free. Even if I don’t have allergies, I’d still use this chocolate, as the taste is fantastic and it melts beautifully- something I have had trouble with in the past.
If you want to keep this completely sugar free, I give a thumbs up to these stevia-sweetened chocolate chips. Otherwise, ensure that the chocolate you do end up using is of the ‘baking’ sort. If you use a generic candy bar, it simply won’t melt and end up being chalky.
I really do believe these added two ingredients really make a difference in both taste and texture but as mentioned, they aren’t necessary. I opted to use pure maple syrup, but friends who follow a sugar-free lifestyle, this is my go-to.
The coconut oil helps keep the cookies from being a little TOO crumbly, but also adds to the creaminess.
If you want to skip out on the coconut oil, you can sub it for butter or grass-fed butter.
- To store: Leftover star crunch cookies can keep at room temperature, in a sealable container, for up to 1 week. They will keep much longer when stored in the refrigerator, for at least 1 month.
- To freeze: Star Crunch can be stored in the freezer, in a ziplock bag or freezer friendly container. They will freeze well for up to 6 months.
More EASY No Bake Desserts
- Caramel Cookie Dough Bars
- Peanut Butter Balls
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls
- Chocolate Cheesecake
Homemade Star Crunch Cookies (5 Ingredients!)
- Line a large baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add your crispy rice cereal and set aside.
- In a microwave safe bowl or stove top, combine your chocolate chips, peanut butter, maple syrup and coconut oil. Melt until fully combined- If you use a microwave, melt on medium power in 30-second spurts to avoid over-heating.
- Pour liquid mixture over the crispy rice cereal and mix until fully incorporated. Using a large spoon or cookie scoop, drop crunch cookie batter on the lined baking sheet, about 2-3 inches apart. Press each cookie and refrigerate until firm.