Homemade Star Crunch

4.67 from 6 votes
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Homemade Star Crunch – make the famous Little Debbie Star Crunch cookies at home! The don’t require the oven and use only 7 ingredients!

I used to love Little Debbie snacks when I was a kid. They were a staple in my lunch box. It was usually Swiss Cake Rolls or Cosmic Brownies. But sometimes Star Crunch would make the cut. No matter what was there, it was definitely the highlight of school lunch.

And they are just so easy to make at home, and taste even better. You get the real quality chocolate taste with the caramel-y goodness in each bite. It will bring back all your favorite childhood memories.

stacked star crunch cookies on a white plate with a bite missing from the top tone

 

If you haven’t ever actually had a Star Crunch cookie before it is loaded with gooey caramel, has crispy rice cereal in there and then coated in chocolate. If you like chocolate and caramel they are a must try for sure.

My husband and I were having an argument over them, so I had to buy a box and then taste test to see if I could get a close match with this homemade version. There are quite a few versions out there, but the ones I tried weren’t that close. They were too chocolate-y and not nearly enough caramel when you tasted them next to the store bought ones. So I got to work and this is what I came up with!

star crunch ingredients

What You’ll Need

  • Caramels
  • Butter
  • Milk Chocolate
  • Milk
  • Marshmallows
  • Rice Krispie Cereal

You can use either the soft caramel squares that you have to unwrap or the caramel bits, either works. You are melting them down, so it really doesn’t matter, they just have to be soft and able to melt.

scooping star crunch cookies onto a baking tray

How To Make Star Crunch Cookies

  1. In a large pot melt together butter, caramel bits, milk, and chocolate over medium low heat. You want to stir frequently, so it doesn’t burn. It will take a few minutes for everything to melt and be smooth.
  2. Once is is melted stir in the marshmallows until they are completely melted.
  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the Rice Krispie Cereal.
  4. Once everything is well coated use a cookie scoop or even and ice cream scoop to scoop onto a lined baking sheet. Use the back of the scoop to slightly flatten the cookies before the set up.
  5. Let the cookies set for about 45 minutes. The bottoms of the cookies will be sticky as well, so after 45 minutes, flip the cookies over to let them bottoms set for another 45 minutes.
copycat star crunch cookies on a baking tray

Storage

These cookies are a little sticky, so you want to store them in an airtight container with layers of wax paper or parchment paper between them. If you don’t have layers separating the cookies they will stick together and be kind of a mess.

They will last in an airtight container for about 5 days. The crispy rice cereal will soften after the first couple of days, so they won’t be quite as crispy.

You can also freeze these. Store them in an airtight container, with parchment paper separating the layers of cookies for up to 6 months. Just let them thaw at room temperature before serving. If you individually wrap them, they are great to take out and put in a lunch box, they will be perfectly thawed by lunch!

stacked star crunch cookies on a white plate

Recipe Tips

  • I think that the Little Debbie version are dipped in chocolate, as opposed to having it fully melted into the whole cookie. If you want to be very traditional you could try that, but it is a whole lot more work. So I prefer to just melt it into the cookie.
  • If you want even more chocolate flavor you can use cocoa krispie cereal!
  • The bottoms of these cookies are sticky, so you really want to make sure you use a lined baking sheet. You can use parchment paper or a silicone liner, it doesn’t really matter. It will just make your life a lot easier if you don’t have to scrape them off a baking tray.
  • Kraft caramels that are wrapped or the caramel bits work great in this recipe. I like to use the bits because then you don’t have to unwrap them, and I find the melt a little quicker.
  • Make sure you use a large enough pot when you make this. Melting everything together over a medium low heat can take awhile, so if you use a stock pot and has a large surface area, it will help things move a little quicker.
close up star crunch copycat close up

More Tasty Dessert Recipes

close up star crunch copycat with a bite taken out of it
4.67 from 6 votes

Homemade Star Crunch

By Erin
Homemade Star Crunch – make the famous Little Debbie Star Crunch cookies at home! The don't require the oven and use only 7 ingredients!
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 30

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 22 oz caramel
  • 11.5 oz milk chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 10 oz Marshmallows
  • 7 cups Rice Krispies cereal

Instructions 

  • In a large stock pot melt together the butter, caramel bits, milk chocolate and milk over medium low heat until smooth and completely melted. Stir frequently to make sure it doesn't burn.
  • Stir in marshmallows until they are completely melted.
    melted chocolate, caramel and marshmallows for star crunch
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the Rice Krispies cereal.
  • Once everything is completely coated, use a large cookie scoop or an ice cream scoop to scoop cookies onto a lined baking sheet.
    scooping star crunch cookies onto a baking tray
  • Let the cookies set for 45-60 minutes. The bottoms of the cookies will be sticky, flip the cookies over and let them set up for an additional 45-60 minutes.
  • Stir in an airtight container with layers or parchment paper between the cookies so they don't stick together.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 186kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 147mg | Sugar: 24g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Erin
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Dessert Recipes
Cuisine: American
Servings: 30
Calories: 186
Like this recipe? Leave a comment below!

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About Erin S

Welcome to Dinners, Dishes, & Desserts where my love of food meets my busy life. My name is Erin and I’m a casual home cook who loves to feed people. On this blog, you’ll find hundreds of quick and easy recipes made mostly from scratch. My days are spent in the kitchen, creating new recipes to share with family and friends.

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10 Comments

  1. YES! These were my favorite candy as a kid, and they still are to this day. I can’t wait to make these.

    1. I think you could, you just might not need as much butter if have have a caramel sauce instead of actual chewy caramels. When you melt everything together it may be too “soupy” if you use a caramel sauce and the full amount of butter called for. If you try it, let me know how it goes, because I think homemade caramel flavor would make these even better!

  2. Can I omit the butter in this recipe? It looks amazing! Wanting to make it shelf stable in room temp!

    1. These are shelf stable at room temperature, they last for 5 days as the blog post indicates. You cook the butter, and it is part of the reason these set up, so you can’t really swap something else.