Corn flake wreaths are a festive treat that we make around Christmas time. Traditionally, they are made with corn flakes but can really be made with any "safe" cereal that is free of your allergens.
For better or worse, sweet treats are such an integral part of the holiday season. One of the treats we always had growing up was cornflake wreaths. The traditional recipe calls for cornflakes, butter, and marshmallows but these festive treats can be made with just a couple allergy friendly substitutes.
Allergy friendly substitutes used
Even though many brands of corn flakes are free of the top 8 allergens, they often have ingredients derived from barley, which contains gluten and also happens to be another allergen we avoid at our house. Gluten free corn flake options are available:
- Nature's Path Corn Flakes: Certified gluten free but does have an advisory statement that states "may contain tree nuts, peanuts, or soy".
- Barbaras Organic Corn Flakes: Advisory statement states "Manufactured in a facility that processes soy, peanuts, almonds, and wheat. Verified to contain less than 20 ppm gluten".
These brands are available at Amazon and at specialty food stores but they are more expensive. Instead of spending the extra time and money to get safe corn flakes, I choose to use other kinds of cereal such as:
Corn/Rice Chex - These are gluten free and do not have any advisory statements on the label. I have made these "cornflake" wreaths with both varieties.
Crispy Rice Cereal - The generic term for Rice Krispies, this cereal also works well for making these wreaths. Just be sure you are choosing a safe brand. I used to be able to find gluten free Rice Krispies at the regular grocery store but they are no longer easy to come by. I usually buy Millville Crispy Rice cereal from Aldi which does not contain barley ingredients.
Dairy free margarine
I use Earth Balance Buttery Spread in this recipe which tastes good and works as well as butter. I have also used coconut oil which gives these a nice flavor but technically is a tree nut. If you have no dairy free margarine or coconut oil, you can also use safe oil such as canola oil. I recommend cutting the amount in half if using oil.
Most commercial brands of marshmallows do not contain egg but it is important to read the labels to make sure. Marshmallows without gelatin to help them keep their form may use egg whites instead. However, this is more often seen in homemade marshmallows.
How to make the wreaths
If you've ever made Rice Krispie Bars (aka cereal bars), then you're familiar with the process!
First, you melt the margarine in the microwave (skip this step if you're using oil) and then toss in the marshmallows.
Next, you microwave the marshmallows just until they start puffing up. Be careful not to overcook them because that will make your wreaths chewier than desired.
When the marshmallows are just puffing up, remove them from the microwave and stir until they are melted. Add in the green food coloring and stir well. Now, pour in the safe cereal of your choice stir to coat them all.
Forming the wreath shape is sticky business. I usually wet my hand a bit to prevent it from sticking. Take about ¼ cup of the mixture and form it into a wreath shape. Place on wax paper to set up. Continue doig this until all of the cereal/marshmallow mixture is gone. Then decorate with red hot candy or any kind of red/green sprinkle you like!
I hope you enjoy this Holiday treat as much as we do!
More holiday treat recipes
Corn Flake Wreaths
- ¼ cup "safe" margarine such as Earth Balance
- 1 (10) ounce package "safe" marshmallows
- 1 teaspoon green food coloring
- 6 cups Cereal Rice/Corn Chex or gluten free corn flakes
- Gluten Free red cinnamon candies like Red Hots
- Wax paper
- In a large, microwave safe bowl, mix together the margarine and marshmallows. Microwave on high for about two minutes or just until the marshmallows begin to puff up. Remove from the microwave and stir until mixture is smooth (you may have to microwave a bit longer after stirring). Stir in the food coloring. Add the corn flakes and stir until they are evenly coated with the marshmallow mixture.
- With a measuring cup coated with cooking spray or oil, measure out ¼ cup of the cornflake mixture. Drop it onto the wax paper and shape into a wreath. To prevent the mixture sticking to your hands, moisten them with water. Repeat until all of the corn flake mixture is gone. Decorate with red cinnamon candies. Allow them to set for about an hour.
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