Rice cakes may disguise themselves as boring food, but, with the right toppings, they can be a tasty treat. All you need are the perfect rice cake toppings and you’ll be hooked on this simple snack.
Even better? Rice cakes are low-calorie, gluten-free, and budget-friendly.
What are rice cakes?
Rice cakes are made of puffed rice and are formed into individual cakes.
Typically, in the United States, they are sold in packages of 16. Additionally, they are made in smaller sizes and sold in bags, similar to the way potato chips are sold. For the purpose of this article, we will focus on rice cakes rather than the smaller chip version.
Rice cakes are a great replacement for bread because they are generally lower in carbs and sturdier so they can hold more toppings more easily!
Related: Zero Calorie Foods
Are rice cakes healthy?
That boils down to your definition of healthy, but, for the most part, they are not bad for you. The following list shows breaks down the stats of a typical plain rice cake flavored with sea salt:
- Calories: 35 calories per cake
- Fat: 0 grams of fat per cake
- Carbohydrates: 7 grams of carbohydrates per cake
- Protein: 1 gram of protein per cake
- Fiber: 0 grams of fiber per cake
- Ingredients: whole grain brown rice, salt
The flavored rice cake options may have higher calories, but, according to the Quaker Oats website, all rice cakes options have less than 60 calories.
Note that unsalted versions of rice cakes are available, as well, if you’re avoiding salt.
As noted below, rice and rice cakes generally have a high glycemic load, which may not be preferred for those with blood sugar illnesses.
Overall, rice cakes do seem to be a healthy snack, in moderation.
What flavors of rice cakes are available?
A popular brand of rice cakes is Quaker Oats. According to their website, they offer the following flavors of rice cakes.
- White Cheddar
- Apple Cinnamon
- Buttery Popcorn
- Chocolate Chip
- Tomato & Basil
Flavored rice cakes usually have more calories and added artificial ingredients and sweeteners than plain rice cakes, which is important to note if you’re aiming to limit sweets or trying to eat in a calorie deficit for fat loss (although the calorie difference between flavored and plain rice cakes is quite minimal).
Are rice cakes preferred for any special diets?
Rice cakes are gluten-free, so they are ideal for those battling celiac disease, someone that has another form of gluten intolerance, or anyone who simply aims to avoid gluten in their diet.
One study found that rice and rice cakes have a high glycemic index between 64 and 93 (source), so rice cakes may raise your blood sugar.
Additionally, creating a calorie deficit is the only way to lose unhealthy body fat. Because rice cakes are low-calorie, they are often an easy choice for dieters.
Still, even if you’re not dieting, these cakes make it easy to whip up a quick treat or an on-the-go snack.
What are some good rice cake toppings?
- Fruits and Sweets
- Nuts and Healthy Fats
- Savory Recipes
- Sweet Recipes
- Kids Recipes
61 Rice Cake Toppings Ideas
Below we have compiled over 60 ideas for rice cake toppings! Sweet or savory, there is something for everyone in this list.
Vegetable Rice Cake Toppings
Pair avocado with a drizzle of olive oil or a sprinkle of sea salt in place of the ever-popular avocado toast. Or, make some guacamole and use that as your topper. Another tasty option would be avocado with a sprinkle of goat cheese or feta cheese with cracked pepper.
Try it with spreadable cheese, arugula, and fresh-cracked pepper.
Cucumber, cream cheese, and dill is a perfect trio. Try it with hummus for a dairy-free option. Add cracked red pepper to pack a punch.
4. Arugula & Spinach
Get in your greens with arugula or spinach and tomato and mozzarella for a spin on the favorite Caprese salad.
Try cottage cheese with sliced tomatoes and cracked pepper. Or for a meatier option try pepperoni or salami with tomato and basil. Bonus: you could try it on a Tomato & Basil flavored rice cake.
6. Bell Peppers
Scrambled eggs, shredded cheese, and bell peppers make the perfect open-faced omelet sandwich.
Sliced, shaved or grated carrots are ideal toppings. Try it with cream cheese, cucumbers, and cracked pepper for the perfect veggie snack.
Try sprouts on top of tuna salad or mashed avocado with olive oil and sea salt.
The options are endless but go breakfast with scrambled eggs, lunch with shredded chicken, and dinner fiesta with ground beef taco meat, shredded cheese, and avocado.
A popular Japanese-style treat includes hummus, salami, artichokes, and olives.
Protein Rice Cake Toppings
11. Canned Tuna
Your basic tuna salad including tuna, mayo, and relish is a perfect topper. Try adding hard-boiled eggs for added protein and flavor. Sliced celery, grapes, or avocado are popular companions to tuna salad that will surely tantalize your tastebuds.
12. Shredded Chicken
Try shredded chicken with alfredo sauce, mozzarella cheese, and bacon bits. Or add black beans, corn, salsa, and avocado for a southwestern taste. Another option would simply be shredded chicken and melted cheese.
13. Canned Salmon
If you prefer salmon over the taste of tuna, opt for salmon with mayo and relish.
14. Smoked Salmon/Lox
A yummy option to try is smoked salmon with cottage cheese or cream cheese, topped with cracked pepper and sprouts. A non-dairy treat would be lox and cucumbers topped with Everything But the Bagel seasoning.
15. Protein Powder Paste or Sprinkles
I love to add peanut butter with a sprinkle of chocolate protein powder to my rice cakes. Or try making a paste with a bit of water or greek yogurt and sprinkling chocolate chips on top
16. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt mixed with powdered peanut butter is a great topping! Try adding sliced strawberries or bananas with a sprinkle of cinnamon and you’re set.
17. Beans & Refried Beans
Fiesta! Try a base of beans or refried beans with melted cheese and salsa. Looking for more protein? Add some shredded chicken or ground beef!
Bacon, scrambled eggs, shredded cheese — breakfast on the go! Add avocado or arugula to fit in your greens.
Sliced hardboiled eggs with salt and pepper is an easy option. Add arugula, sliced tomatoes and a hunk of cheese for a bit more satiation. Another option is a fried egg on top of Canadian bacon. Scrambled eggs are, as mentioned elsewhere, a great topping with shredded cheese or veggies.
Rice cake pizza! This is one of my personal favorites (pictured below). Pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, and pepperoni. Heated or cold, this is the perfect savory snack.
21. Deli Meat
Turkey sandwich anyone? Sliced turkey and a slice of cheddar with a dollop of mustard is a simple, easy snack. Replace the cheese with lettuce and top with avocado for a dairy-free option.
Related: Calories in a Peanut Butter Sandwich
Fruits & Sweets Rice Cake Toppings
Start basic or go big with strawberries. Try strawberries with peanut butter. Add chocolate chips from there. Or try cream cheese and strawberries with a drizzle of honey. Nutella and strawberries is a winner. Try chocolate PB2 for a low-fat, lower-calorie option. Love coconut? Add some shredded coconut. Last but not least, try strawberries with cottage cheese and chopped walnuts.
My favorite basic stacker is PB2 (or peanut butter) with sliced bananas, dried cranberries or raisins, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Swap out the dried cranberries for granola, sliced almonds, or chia seeds if you’d prefer.
Cottage cheese with blueberries is a classic favorite! Or combine blueberries with any of the banana and strawberry options above.
Mashed raspberries over cottage cheese or peanut butter is a simple favorite.
Try blackberries with cottage cheese or cream cheese and a drizzle of honey.
Apples and blueberries over cream cheese with a drizzle of honey is perfection. Or try apple nachos with sliced apples, drizzles of peanut butter and honey, and a sprinkle of chocolate chips.
Can’t go wrong with the cottage cheese and honey combo, again. Cream cheese and peaches with honey is another popular option. Or try peaches, blueberries, a squirt of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon for a low-calorie dessert.
If you’re sensing a trend, it’s because of fruit pairs well with cream cheese or cottage cheese! Try pears with one of the 2 with a drizzle of honey. Add arugula to sneak in some greens. Pears, honey, and walnuts is another simple, tasty option.
Make it a pizza with pizza sauce, cheese, pineapple, and ham. Make it sweet with vanilla greek yogurt, pineapple and a sprinkle of chia seeds!
31. Chocolate Chips
Try chocolate chips sprinkled over peanut butter. Up the ante with sliced strawberries or bananas. Make a decadent dessert with Nutella or another chocolate spread, chocolate chips, and mini marshmallows or whipped cream. Yum!
32. Cacao Nibs
Cacao nibs are a great low-sugar, healthier option over chocolate chips. They are a bit more bitter. Use them in place of any of the sweet recipes that feature chocolate chips like peanut butter and banana or greek yogurt and blueberries.
33. Peanut Butter Chips
Try vanilla greek yogurt with bananas and peanut butter chips.
34. Mini M&M’s
Mini M&M’s are great on caramel rice cakes. Try them with peanut butter or PB2 on a plain salted rice cake with a topping of whipped cream. Tastes high-calorie, but it’s not!
Related: Ora Organic Protein Powder Review
Dairy Rice Cake Toppings
35. Cream Cheese
Cream cheese can be made sweet or salty. For sweet, try pairing it with fruit like berries, peaches, apples or pears. Or try cream cheese with sliced grape tomatoes and baby cucumbers with a sprinkle of cracked pepper and dill.
36. Ricotta Cheese
Ricotta cheese topped with sliced strawberries, chia seeds, and shredded coconut is the perfect flavor combo.
37. Spreadable Cheese (Laughing Cow)
Spreadable cheese is such a great, low-calorie option! Try it simply on its own or topped with your favorite vegetable. My personal favorite is sliced bell peppers.
38. Whipped Cream
Fruit plus whipped cream equals perfection. Add chocolate chips or cacao nibs for a sweet crunch.
39. Greek Yogurt
Plain or flavored yogurt is perfect with sliced fruit. Add granola, shredded coconut, or chopped nuts to make it a more filling snack. A dollop of Greek yogurt can replace sour cream for Mexican-style rice cakes, too.
40. Sliced or Shredded Cheese
Pair shredded cheese with scrambled eggs and diced bacon for a rice cake ‘omelet’. Make it a sandwich with turkey and sliced cheese. Or add a slice of mozzarella, a slice of an heirloom tomato, a basil leaf, and cracked pepper for a Caprese rice cake.
41. Bleu Cheese
Try shredded buffalo chicken, diced celery and bleu cheese for a low-carb twist on buffalo chicken wraps.
42. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese with fruit and honey is always a winner. Replace the fruit with some tomatoes and cracked pepper for a savory option.
43. Ranch Dressing
Try shredded chicken, bacon crumbles, mozzarella cheese and a drizzle of ranch dressing. Add avocado for extra creamy flavor!
Nuts & Healthy Fats Rice Cake Toppings
44. Peanut Butter
As previously mentioned throughout this list, peanut butter is a perfect go-to rice cake topping! It can anchor your other items in place, too. Try it with sliced fruit or chocolate chips.
Like peanut butter, Nutella can be a great base for fruit-based rice cakes. My personal favorite is Nutella with sliced strawberries and a dollop of whipped cream. Or try Nutella with sliced bananas and slivered almonds. Another option is pistachios, dried cranberries, and slivered almonds for a trail mix flavor.
46. Almond Butter
Almond butter with your favorite fruit is a great alternative if you have little ones with a peanut allergy. Or just go basic with a smear of almond butter alone!
Great on top of any nut butter. For a saltier flavor, try pistachios on top of cottage cheese or ricotta cheese.
48. Sliced Almonds
Try strawberry cream cheese, sliced strawberries, sliced almonds, and a drizzle of agave syrup for a little slice of heaven.
Pesto is great on its own or paired with pulled chicken, a tomato slice and melted mozzarella!
Pair hummus with sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, and feta cheese for a Greek twist.
51. Olive Oil
My preferred method of olive oil on rice cakes is mashed avocado, a glug of EVOO, and a sprinkle of sea salt.
Ricotta cheese, chopped cashews, dried cranberries, and a drizzle of honey is a delicious treat.
Savory Rice Cake Toppings Recipes
Add bacon, lettuce, sliced tomato and cracked pepper for a delicious BLT option. Lower the calorie count with turkey bacon.
Just like a BLT with avocado. Yum!
55. Tuna Salad
Looking for a high-protein, easy, go-to lunch option? Mix canned tuna with mayo and relish. Spoon it onto a rice cake and lunch is served. If you’re really pressed for time, try these pre-mixed tuna packets.
Sweet Rice Cake Toppings Recipes
Try this sweet treat melted or cool. Add chocolate chips, mini marshmallows and crunched up graham crackers. A hit for adults and kids!
Go the old-fashioned route and replace your bread with rice cakes. Add peanut butter and jelly and you’re set.
58. Nutella & Anything
Have you ever met anyone who didn’t love Nutella? If you’re looking for something extra decadent, swipe some Nutella on your rice cake or add sliced strawberries.
Rice Cake Ideas for Kids
59. Silly Faces
Pizza sauce for the base, cheese for a beard, red bell pepper for the crooked mouth, pepperoni and olives for eyes and you’ve got one silly rice cake that even the pickiest eater will (hopefully) love!
Try peanut butter or almond butter for your base. Blueberries for eyes, sliced banana for ears, and a sliced banana and blueberry for a mouth and you’ve got a panda! Find more animal rice cake ideas here.
On Valentine’s Day, try strawberry yogurt with sliced strawberries (bonus points if you use a cookie cutter to make your rice cake shaped into a heart). Around Halloween, try chocolate-flavored spread with crumbled Reece’s Pieces. Around the 4th of July, try rows of blueberries, vanilla yogurt, and sliced strawberries!
Final Thoughts Rice Cake Ideas
The bottom line is that rice cakes are easy, low-calorie snack that the majority of people can enjoy depending on the toppings.
Overall, they are easily customizable, as we have seen here!
Sweet or savory, you can make a package of rice cakes fit your changing tastes each day.