{recipe} Gluten-Free Crispy Treat Pops

Hi Folks!

I’m thrilled Christina asked me to contribute to the FSC blog. For my first entry, I thought I’d share a bit of a culinary confession.


I don’t like…cake pops.

It’s not that I don’t think they’re adorable, I do! It’s just that I find the interior of the pops, usually a mixture of cake crumbs and frosting, too damp for my liking. Yet, a cute, two-bite treat is pretty irresistible. So I wondered what I could use instead of cake to make these pops. I know some folks use doughnuts holes or brownies. Honestly, if I’m going to make a batch of gluten-free doughnuts, I’m going to enjoy them fresh from the fryer, not coated with chocolate. As for the brownies, they were a little too rich for my liking.

Enter: Crispy Treats.

One day as I munched on a gluten-free crispy treat, I sort of rounded it absentmindedly in my hand before popping it into my mouth. Inspiration struck! I could use crispy treats to make cake-free cake pops!

After the first batch, I knew I had a winner. The crispy treats paired perfectly with chocolate. (Think Crunch bar.) And since you don’t need to bake a cake to make these pops, the whole project goes quickly— which is nice when you’re squeezed for time.

Not only are these treats tasty and fun to make, they tend to be allergy-friendlier than cake-based cake pops. This recipe, as written, is not only gluten-free but also egg, tree nut, and peanut- free! (The chocolate you select might change the nut/peanut status of the pops. Be sure to check your chocolates allergy status before using.)

{PHOTO TUTORIAL: Gluten-Free Crispy Treat Pops}

Make a batch of gluten-free crispy treats- recipe below. (Remember to select gluten-free crispy rice cereals. Not all brands are gluten-free.)
Cut the chilled treats into strips, about one-inch wide. I like to use a bench scraper to for this step. If you don’t have one, use a pizza wheel or knife.
Turn pan and repeat.


Round each square into a ball. If your crispy treats are really cold, wait until they warm slightly to do this. It’s hard to round cold crispy treats! Alternatively, if the treats become too warm and begin to stick to your hands, pop them back in the refrigerator to chill and firm up for a few minutes.
The crispy treat mixture should not stick to your hands.
Repeat with the entire batch.
Melt chocolate or candy coating. Dip one end of a pop stick into melted chocolate.
You want about an inch of chocolate on the stick.
Insert stick about halfway into crispy ball.
Gently squeeze the crispy treat ball around the stick. One quick pinch is usually enough to make sure the stick is snuggly nested inside the crispy treat.
Place the treats on a baking sheet and allow the stick to overhang the edge of the pan.
Chill the pops for about ten minutes.
Rewarm the chocolate.
Dip each treat into melted chocolate. (Kids love to help with this step!)
After pulling the treat out of the chocolate, allow the excess chocolate to drain away.
Tap the stick gently against the side of the measuring cup or bowl.
Add any sprinkles or edible decor that you’d like.
Place each stick into a piece of craft foam to set. If you don’t have craft foam, place pops onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Enjoy!




  • 1/2 stick  butter or dairy-free butter replacement
  • 1 ten ounce bag marshmallows
  • 6 cups gluten-free crispy rice cereal
  • 1 pound candy coating or allergy-friendly chocolate
  • sprinkles, sugars, etc.

1. Grease a 13 by-9 inch baking pan. In large (5 quart) pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add marshmallows. Stir until marshmallows are melted. Add cereal. Stir to combine. Press mixture into prepared pan. Chill for two hours.

2. Cut into 40 one-inch squares. You can use a bench cutter, knife, or pizza wheel to cut squares. Roll squares into rounds. If bars are too cold, they might crack or be hard to roll.  If that happens, allow bars to stand at room temperature for about  five minutes. Conversely, if bars are too warm, they might stick to your hands. If that happens, chill for about 15 minutes.

3. Melt chocolate or candy melts*. Insert a pop stick into the melted chocolate. You want to cover about one-inch of the stick with melted chocolate. Then insert the stick into a crispy treat. Place crispy treat pops onto a baking sheet. Allow the stick to overhang the edge of the pan. Repeat with remaining pops.

4. Chill pops for 10 minutes. Rewarm chocolate**. Dip pops, one at a time, into chocolate. Slowly pull pop out of the chocolate and allow excess chocolate to drain. Tap pop on the edge of the measuring cup or bowl.

5. Sprinkle the pops with sprinkles, colored sugar or edible quins. Insert coated pops into a piece of craft foam or place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. If the chocolate in your bowl begins to set as you work with it, rewarm in the microwave.

*To melt chocolate: Place half pound of chocolate or confectionery coatings in a microwave-safe bowl (I recommend a glass 2-cup measure.) Heat the chocolate for 30 seconds on high. Remove the chocolate from the microwave and stir. It might not look like it’s melting at first. That’s fine. Stirring removes “hot spots.” Repeat, removing the chocolate every 30 seconds from the microwave and stirring, until chocolate is melted.

**To rewarm chocolate: Return chocolate to the  microwave and warm on medium-high for about 15 seconds. Remove chocolate from the microwave and stir.


If you love this GF/Allergy-Friendly treat recipe,
Elizabeth is teaching a holiday-themed class, in two locations, for FSC Academy:

Allergy-Friendly Holiday Sweet Treats w/ Elizabeth Barbone
Don’t let food allergies make the holiday season less sweet for you! Join cookbook author Elizabeth Barbone as she demonstrates allergy-friendly treats for the holidays. From quick no-bake candy to easy gluten-free cookies, this class covers how to create delicious treats that are perfect for gift giving. In addition, Elizabeth will also discuss how to create safe allergy treats if your home is not allergen-free. All recipes will be nut-free, peanut-free, and gluten-free. Dairy-free, soy-free and corn-free alternatives will be discussed.

November 1st, 6:30-9pm, Brookside Museum, 6 Charlton Street, Ballston Spa, NY
November 4th, 1-3:30pm, Oakwood Community Center, 313 Tenth Street, Troy, NY (before our Troy Food Swap!)

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