No Bake Bird Nest Cookies made with puffed rice cereal are perfect for spring celebrations. Substitute in almond butter to make it peanut-free. Gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan!
Ready for a no-bake recipe perfect for spring? In lieu of crunchy chow mein noodles used in commonly known bird nest or haystack cookies, puffed rice cereal makes a great gluten-free stand-in.
Why you'll love this recipe
- Simple ingredients
- Fun Easter treat for the whole family
- Allergy-friendly and customizable
- These no-bake nests are perfect for the kids to help make. You can easily make this for any holiday - just switch up the color of the candy or the cupcake wrappers!
Ingredients and substitutions
Here are a few quick notes about the ingredients in this recipe. You can see a complete list of ingredients and instructions in the recipe card below.
Puffed rice cereal - This is a perfect gluten-free cereal to use in a no-bake dessert. You can often find brown rice varieties to sneak in a bit more nutrition.
Peanut butter - The glue that helps holds these together! I recommend using natural peanut butter. If you have a peanut allergy, try almond butter or sun butter.
Dairy-free chocolate chips - Allergy-friendly, these are delicious and melt well. Use dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips. If dairy is not an issue, regular chips are fine as well.
Chocolate gems or mini chocolate eggs - Vegan chocolate candy eggs are hard to find. Look for dairy-free chocolate gems or try nuts. Jelly beans are a great substitute too!
Coconut and almonds (optional) - Add a bit of texture by stirring in shredded coconut or slivered almonds.
Before you start: Line 12-cavity muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.
Step 1: Melt the chocolate chips in a large microwave-safe bowl for 30-second intervals, stirring with a rubber spatula after each.
Step 2: Add peanut butter and salt to the melted mixture and stir until completely incorporated. Add rice cereal. Fold until everything is coated.
Step 3 Divide the mixture among the 12 muffin cups. Use the back of a spoon to press down the center of each nest to create a little indentation in a nest shape for the candies or nuts.
Step 4: Drop 3-4 candies in the center of each of the cookie nests. Place the muffin pan in the refrigerator and allow it to chill and set for at least one hour.
- Add in slivered almonds and shredded coconut if you so desire to amp up crunch and flavor. Marcona almonds, regular almonds, or slivered almonds make great little bird's nest egg decorations as well.
- These no bake bird nest cookies are a fun treat for a holiday table. Make an Easter charcuterie board in addition to coconut candies, peanut butter eggs, Easter egg sugar cookies, and other Easter candy and cute treats fit for celebrating springtime.
- In addition to family gatherings, these delicious cookies are great individual treats for class parties.
They don't need baking, so this sweet treat comes together in about 15 minutes. However, you will want to make sure and let them chill for at least 60-90 minutes so they hold together well. Plan ahead, especially if you want to double this and only have one muffin tin.
While a double boiler is one method of melting chocolate, the microwave makes this really easy. The best way is to cook in short intervals and stir in between. Don't heat them until they're completely melted or they will burn. If you stir them when you can still see the shape of the chips they will melt completely smooth.
More chocolate recipes
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No Bake Bird Nest Cookies
- 1 ¼ cups dairy-free chocolate chips 10 oz
- ¼ cup all-natural creamy peanut butter or almond butter or sun butter
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups puffed rice cereal or combination of puffed and crispy rice cereal
- ½ cup slivered almonds, optional
- ⅓ cup unsweetened shredded coconut, optional
Nest "Eggs" Options
- dairy-free chocolate gems
- slivered or regular almonds
- marcona almonds
- jelly beans
- Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. Set aside.
- Place chocolate chips in a medium microwaveable bowl and heat in microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring between each until almost all chocolate is melted. Stir chocolate until remainder is melted.
- Stir peanut butter and salt into chocolate until completely incorporated. Add rice cereal, coconut, and slivered almonds. Stir and fold until all ingredients are completely coated with the chocolate mixture.
- Divide mixture amongst the 12 muffin cups. Using the back of a spoon, press press mixture into the sides of the muffin cup and down in center of each to form a little indentation. Place 3-4 chocolate gems or other candy/nuts in the center.
- Place muffin pan in refrigerator and allow to chill and set for at least one hour.
- Serve bird nests in paper liners or remove liners and serve. Store in an airtight container.
- Add slivered almonds and shredded coconut to the chocolate mixture if you so desire to amp up crunch and flavor.
- Mini vegan chocolate eggs are hard to find. In addition to dairy-free chocolate gems, use jellybeans, Marcona almonds, regular almonds, or slivered almonds as little bird's nest egg decorations.