Coconut Crispy Treat Nests (5-Minute, No Cook, Marshmallow-Free!)


In honor of upcoming Easter and spring festivities, I’ve got a new and improved recipe for my coconut crispy treat nests. I formulated this fun little whole food recipe three years ago for Attune Foods, but have revamped it for super-fast, 5 minute preparation!

5-Minute Coconut Crispy Treat Nests - No Cook, Naturally Vegan, Marshmallow-Free!

I was motivated to recreate this old favorite upon receiving a surprise gift of Surf Sweets and TruJoy candy. I confess that I have always had a weakness for candy – something about those little sugar hits is just so pure and intense compared to a larger, prepared dessert. And while there’s no denying their sugary load, I like Surf Sweets for their exclusive use of organic cane sugar and fruit juices for coloring (no artificial anything!). They are also reportedly top “allergen-safe” and make both little jelly beans and gummies that are gelatin-free and vegan.

Surf Sweets Candy - Organic, Colored with Fruit Juice, Allergy-Friendly and Vegan Options

My original recipe called for making your own coconut butter from shredded coconut, which many viewers found a little too tricky. It does require a bit of patience. So to simplify, I’ve tested the recipe with premade coconut butter, which is becoming more readily available and affordable in stores and online. By using premade coconut butter, I chose Artisana (which is raw and organic), these coconut crispy treat nests come together in just 5 minutes! Okay, maybe 10 if it is your first time making them, but once you get the hang of it, they’re super quick, tasty, and a fun goodie to whip up and decorate with kids.

5-Minute Coconut Crispy Treat Nests - No Cook, Naturally Vegan, Marshmallow-Free!

Special Diet Notes: Coconut Crispy Treat Nests

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, optionally vegan / plant-based, vegetarian, and optionally top food allergy-friendly.

Just be wise when selecting the cereal for your coconut crispy treat nests, as not all crispy rice cereal is gluten-free, allergen-safe, and/or vegan. Also, if dealing with a severe nut allergy, be aware that some brands of coconut butter may be produced on the same line or in the same facility with nut butters. And finally, for dairy-free, allergen-safe chocolate chips, I recommend using Enjoy Life brand.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Coconut Crispy Treat Nests (5-Minute, No Cook, Marshmallow-Free)
Prep time
Total time
There is a little patience required as the nests chill and set-up, but they truly are quick and easy to prepare. I highly recommend using silicone muffin cups for this recipe, for ease and best results.
Serves: 10 to 12 nests
  • ½ cup coconut butter (I used Artisana Organic)*
  • 6 tablespoons (1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons) honey or agave nectar (for vegan)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Generous pinch salt
  • 2 cups crispy brown rice cereal (certified gluten-free, if needed)
  • ⅓ cup dairy-free semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut, for decorating
  • Small jelly beans (I used Surf Sweets Spring Mix)
  1. Place the coconut butter, sweetener, vanilla, and salt in a medium to large bowl, and stir to thoroughly combine. Gently stir in the cereal until well-coated.
  2. Divide the crispy mixture between 10 to 12 silicone muffin cups (grease the cups if using tin), and press the mixture in using a piece of plastic wrap to prevent sticking You want to firmly press each into the bottom, but create a well in the middle (pushing the mixture slightly up the sides) to make the "nests".
  3. Melt the chocolate chips (60 to 90 seconds in the microwave - do not overcook!), and drizzle a little into the well of each coconut crispy treat nest - spreading it around a little, if desired.
  4. Sprinkle with the coconut (about 1 teaspoon per "nest") and place in the refrigerator to set-up, about 1 hour. To keep them firm, keep chilled until ready to serve (they can also be frozen), particularly if your home is a little toasty!
  5. Pop the coconut crispy treat nests out of their molds, and fill each with a few jelly beans to serve.
*Homemade Coconut Butter - Place 1½ cups of unsweetened shredded coconut in a food processor or spice grinder (I use the grinding blade of my cheapo personal blender), and whiz until it begins to clump and turn into a paste. Be patient and stir as needed. You should see some oil separating and the little coconut bits should all turn into paste.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


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  3. You clever thing you! Adorable… and gave me an idea. To make the nests a bit more realistic (like you care when eating.. LOL) I’d toast the coconut shavings and add a touch of organic dairy-free chocolate to the crispy mixture. Can’t go wrong with chocolate-coconut, am i right?

  4. Okay not only are these the cutest treats EVER, but I’m loving how simple the ingredient list is. Crazy to think they put so much junk in the ones you buy at the store when you could easily make these!

  5. I think the best part of this recipe is the hint about how to make homemade coconut butter. Not that I don’t want to make crispy treat nests – it’s just that I don’t have any kids around to appreciate these kinds of treats and I’m afraid that before I could find an appropriate recipient, I’d have eaten them myself:)

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