25 Puppy Chow Recipe Variations (2024)

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25 Puppy Chow Recipe Variations (1)

Puppy Chow. Muddy Buddies. Monkey Much. Reindeer Chow. Whatever you love to call it, Puppy Chow is a sweet snack made with Chex cereal, chocolate, peanut butter, vanilla, butter, and powdered sugar. It’s quick to make, easy and fun to customize, and it’s making a heck of a comeback. Read on to find out what it is, how to make it, and discover 25 different variations!

What Is Puppy Chow?

Puppy Chow is a snack supposedly invented in the Midwest by Elizabeth Cooney and is called such because it resembles the dog food of the same name. Fun fact: Chex was created by Ralston Purina Co…the company that created Dog Chow and later, Puppy Chow! These days Chex — now owned by General Mills — sells pre-made Chex Mix Muddy Buddies (as, well, it would be confusing if there were two official versions of Puppy Chow for sale).

How To Make Puppy Chow

The ingredients in classic recipe for puppy chow (or if you prefer, muddy buddies) call for Chex cereal, semi-sweet chocolate chips, smooth peanut butter, melted butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Depending on the Chex box you pick, the puppy chow is naturally gluten-free. I’ve also included the full classic recipe below.

If you’re wondering how to make puppy chow, it’s very easy. Pour the cereal into a bowl. Place chocolate, peanut butter, vanilla, and butter into a smaller bowl. Melt this in the microwave until smooth. Pour over cereal and mix together until all the cereal is coated. Put powdered sugar in a gallon (or larger)-sized sealable plastic bag and pour in cereal (this is, by far, the hardest step. Good luck not getting it on the floor. Ahem.). Shake! Shake! Shake! Pour into a clean bowl. Munch. (This is also how to make muddy buddies.)

Ingredients (for making whole box):
9 cups Chex
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1. Place Chex in medium-sized bowl.
2. Put chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter in smaller, microwavable bowl. Heat for 1 minute. Stir.
3. Pour over Chex. Mix until fully combined.
4. Put powdered sugar in 2 gallon-sized Ziploc and add cereal mixture. Shake until fully coated. Enjoy.

Can I Customize Puppy Chow?

Can you ever! Yes. You can definitely customize your own recipe for puppy chow. You can eliminate the peanut butter entirely or use any other kind of nut or seed butter. You could swap it for Nutella. You can skip the butter. You can exchange the vanilla extract for another flavoring. You can use white chocolate or dark chocolate instead of semi-sweet chocolate. You can add spices. No wonder it’s so popular. You can do so much with it.

I’ve seen so many delicious versions of puppy chow/muddy buddies out there. Cookies and Cream. Snickerdoodle. Butterfinger. Red Velvet and I’ve included some below! For the holiday season, I made two different versions: Peppermint Bark Puppy Chow and Christmas Puppy Chow.

Peppermint Bark Puppy Chow

25 Puppy Chow Recipe Variations (2)

25 Puppy Chow Recipe Variations (3)
The recipe for Peppermint Bark Puppy Chow took a few more minutes, but was equally easy. I have a total weakness for Candy Cane Hershey Kisses and am so glad they only come out once a year. White chocolate peppermint is my jam.

For this recipe, I put the cereal in a bowl and then placed 1/3 a cup of these candy cane kisses (whole) and 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips in a smaller bowl and microwaved them for 90 seconds, stopping at 1 minute to stir them. I poured the chocolate mixture onto the Chex cereal and tossed it until it was fully coated.

Pour this mixture into a gallon-sized Ziploc bag and add 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Shake until you fully coat the cereal and place in a clean bowl. Crush 5 candy canes (leaving small chunks is ok) and stir these, 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips, and red M&Ms and you’re done!

Peppermint Bark Puppy Chow (Muddy Buddies)

4.53 from 23 votes

Print Recipe

Peppermint Bark Puppy Chow is an easy-to-make snack that combines chocolate and peppermint together in a festive way!

25 Puppy Chow Recipe Variations (4)

Prep Time: 10 minutes mins

Cook Time: 2 minutes mins

Total Time: 12 minutes mins

Servings: 3 cups


  • Ingredients : (multiply by 4 if you want to use the whole box)
  • 3 cups Chex
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (divided)
  • 1/3 cup Candy Cane Hershey Kisses
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup red and white M&Ms
  • 5 candy canes (crushed)


  • Place Chex in medium-sized bowl.

  • Put chocolate chips and Hershey kisses in smaller, microwavable bowl. Heat for 1 minute. Stir. Heat for another 30 seconds.

  • Pour over Chex. Mix until fully combined.

  • Put powdered sugar in gallon-sized (2 gallon-sized if doubling or quadrupling recipe) Ziploc and add Chex mixture. Shake until fully coated.

  • Empty bag in clean bowl and add candy canes and M&Ms. Mix together. Enjoy.

Course: Snack

Author: Let's Eat Cake

Did you make this recipe?Leave a review below, then take a photo and tag @letseatcakeblog on Instagram so we can see it!

Christmas Puppy Chow

25 Puppy Chow Recipe Variations (5)
For this version of muddy buddies, I decided to essentially follow the back-of-the-box instructions for the snack. But since I wanted to make a few versions, I chose to use only 3 cups of Chex cereal instead of the usual 9.

I also used more chocolate and peanut butter than the original recipe called for because seriously, how can you go wrong by adding more peanut butter and chocolate? You can’t.

To make Christmas Puppy Chow, put the Chex mix – you can use any version of the cereal you like – into a medium-sized bowl. In a microwavable bowl, I added 1/3 cup of chocolate, 1/3 cup of peanut butter, 1 1/2 tablespoon butter. I microwaved this for 1 minute and then poured it over the cereal.

I stirred the chocolate mixture into the cereal until all of the cereal was fully coated and then added it to a gallon-sized Ziploc. Or at least I tried to. This is seriously the most difficult part of the whole process. At least five chocolate-covered Chex pieces ended up on the floor. But, for reals, how does one not get them all over the counter/floor?

25 Puppy Chow Recipe Variations (6)
Once you’ve finally gotten the chocolate and peanut butter coated Chex mix into the bag, add 1 cup of powdered sugar. (I started with less, but the peanut butter and chocolate mixture really called for more to coat it.)

Seal the bag and shake the bag until you fully coat the Christmas Puppy Chow mix with powdered sugar. Then pour it out a cookie sheet. This is where me and the recipe differ. I didn’t want the snack to have the powdered look, so I gently worked the mix in my hands until I worked in all of the powdered sugar.

Toss the coated cereal with pretzels and red and green M&Ms and try not to eat it all at once!

Ingredients (multiply by 4 if you want to use the whole box):
3 cups Chex
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
1 1/2 tbsp. butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup pretzels
1/3 cup red and green M&Ms

1. Place Chex in medium-sized bowl.
2. Put chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter in smaller, microwavable bowl. Heat for 1 minute.
3. Pour over Chex. Mix until fully combined.
4. Put powdered sugar in gallon-sized (2 gallon-sized if doubling or quadrupling recipe) Ziploc and add Chex mixture. Shake until fully coated.
5. Empty bag onto cookie sheet and work Chex mix until you work in the powdered sugar.
6. Add pretzels and M&Ms. Mix together. Enjoy.

22 Muddy Buddy Variations

Frozen Muddy Buddies
How sweet is this Frozen-themed Puppy Chow recipe? And so totally perfect for the holiday season.
25 Puppy Chow Recipe Variations (7)

Peanut Butter Snickerdoodle Muddy Buddies
Chew Out Loud created this peanut butter snickerdoodle cookie muddy buddies recipe based on the classic cookie
25 Puppy Chow Recipe Variations (8)

Birthday Cake Muddy Buddies
Who doesn’t love birthday cake? To recreate it, this recipe calls for yellow cake mix, Flipz, and mini marshmallows.
25 Puppy Chow Recipe Variations (9)

Halloween Puppy Chow
Chocolate, peanut butter, and your favorite Halloween candies combine to create this spooky Halloween Puppy Chow!
25 Puppy Chow Recipe Variations (10)

Cookies and Cream Puppy Chow
Mini Oreo cookies make this puppy chow super cute! Add a little vanilla pudding and white chocolate and you’ve a cookies and cream sensation.
25 Puppy Chow Recipe Variations (11)

Vegan Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Muddy Buddies
Um. Whoa. This Muddy Buddy recipe looks amazing. Great for vegans and non-vegans alike.
25 Puppy Chow Recipe Variations (12)

Sugar Cookie Puppy Chow
Sprinkles and funfetti cake mix give puppy chow that sugar cookie look and flavor!
25 Puppy Chow Recipe Variations (13)

Super Bowl Puppy Chow
I can’t imagine anything more perfect to munch on during the Puppy Bowl than this recipe! Just look at the adorable almond footballs!
25 Puppy Chow Recipe Variations (14)

Lighter Puppy Chow
Made with chia seeds and hemp seeds, this one ups the fiber content, cuts back on the sugar, but is still delicious!
25 Puppy Chow Recipe Variations (15)

Banana Berry Minions Muddy Buddies
How cute are these muddy buddies? Inspired by the Minions movie, this recipe uses banana cream instant pudding and berry blue gelatin dessert mix.
25 Puppy Chow Recipe Variations (16)

Red Velvet Puppy Chow
This one is great for Valentine’s Day! Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt committed to the red velvet-ness of this recipe with red velvet-flavored candy melts, cake mix, and M&Ms. Don’t forget the heart-shaped sprinkles!
25 Puppy Chow Recipe Variations (17)

Peanut Butter and Butterscotch
This interesting twist uses butterscotch chips and pairs them with peanut butter for a sweet and salty combo.
25 Puppy Chow Recipe Variations (18)

Circus Puppy Chow
Marshmallow fluff and round sprinkles give this puppy chow big top flair.
25 Puppy Chow Recipe Variations (19)

Valentine’s Day Puppy Chow
The classic muddy buddy recipe but with a festive V-day twist!
25 Puppy Chow Recipe Variations (20)

Protein Packed Puppy Chow
If you love the idea of puppy chow but are trying to eat healthier, this is the healthiest version I could find. It uses vanilla whey protein powder, milk, and peanut flour instead of butter, peanut butter, and powdered sugar to up the protein content and lower the sugar. I totally want to try it.
25 Puppy Chow Recipe Variations (21)

Pumpkin Pie Muddy Buddies
When you’re ready for your pumpkin spice fix, try this muddy buddy recipe!
25 Puppy Chow Recipe Variations (22)

Fluffernutter Puppy Chow
Throw in some bananas (or maybe some banana extract) and Elvis would have loved this one!
25 Puppy Chow Recipe Variations (23)

Low-Carb Muddy Buddy Trail Mix
Looking for a low-carb version? This one by Joy Filled Eats nails it.
25 Puppy Chow Recipe Variations (24)

Reese’s Muddy Buddies
There isn’t much better than chocolate and peanut butter, especially when they’re together. This one takes the classic flavor to the next level.
25 Puppy Chow Recipe Variations (25)

Cinnamon Roll Muddy Buddies
Get the cinnamon roll experience without proofing dough. Crazy for Crust used Duncan Hines Cinnamon Roll Frosting Creations, vanilla frosting, and pecans to give it the right flavor.
25 Puppy Chow Recipe Variations (26)

Lemon Bar Muddy Buddies
Lemon curd and lemon extract makes these muddy buddies taste just like a lemon bar!
25 Puppy Chow Recipe Variations (27)

S’mores Muddy Buddies
This recipe is campfire ready. Pack a bag of it the next time you’re camping or toasting marshmallows!
25 Puppy Chow Recipe Variations (28)

Dirt Puppy Chow
Instead of powdered sugar, crush Oreos and throw in some gummy worms for a cute recipe kids will love.
25 Puppy Chow Recipe Variations (29)

What is YOUR favorite Puppy Chow recipe? Tell me in the comments!

  • Author
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Rebecca Swanner

Pleased to meet you. I'm the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Let's Eat Cake: The world's first smart, funny lifestyle site for women.

My background is in publishing (I've worked at Parade, Men's Journal, Us Weekly, Stuff, Blender, Beachbody, and more), mostly with a focus in health, fitness, and entertainment. I've also run my own baking company and competed on Cupcake Wars, so hit me up with your baking questions!

For more details, check out my full bio or follow me on Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

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25 Puppy Chow Recipe Variations (2024)


What is the difference between puppy chow and muddy buddies? ›

Muddy Buddies is actually the official name of the recipe marketed by General Mills, the maker of Chex cereal. Names like “puppy chow” and others have become layman's terms for homemade versions like this one.

How do I keep my puppy chow from getting soggy? ›

Why Is My Puppy Chow Soggy? After coating the cereal mixture with powdered sugar, don't rush the process. Cool completely on a baking sheet until firm before packing into an airtight container. This step of cooling and drying is essential for puppy chow that will stay crisp, not soggy.

What is puppy chow called in other states? ›

Puppy chow, also known as monkey munch, muddy buddies, muddy munch, reindeer chow, or doggy bag, is the name for a homemade candy made in the United States, primarily in the Midwestern States.

What are muddy buddies made of? ›

“Muddy buddies” (a.k.a. puppy chow) is the name for a homemade candy or snack that's main ingredients include cereal, chocolate, peanut butter, and powdered sugar.

What is the difference between puppy chow and puppy chow large breed? ›

Large breed puppy foods are different from “regular” puppy foods in that they are lower in fat and calories, contain slightly lower levels of calcium and phosphorus, and have a carefully balanced calcium-to-phosphorus ratio.

Is puppy chow a midwestern thing? ›

Puppy chow is a party staple in the Midwest, but not everywhere else. Puppy chow — a snack mix made of Chex cereal covered in melted chocolate, peanut butter, and powdered sugar — is often a fixture at parties. People outside of the Midwest have often never heard of it, and they don't know what they're missing.

Why is my puppy chow not crunchy? ›

Without giving the 'chow time to cool, all that scalding-hot fat will continue to absorb the powdered sugar, making it too sweet and a bit soggy inside . Spread the stuff out on a sheet pan and let it rest for 20ish minutes before tossing the mix in powdered sugar.

Why is my puppy chow clumpy? ›

If you add the powdered sugar while the mixture is still warm it will soak right in and won't help separate the chunks at all. What is this? Making sure your mixture is slightly cooled will mean you can use less powdered sugar in the end.

Does puppy chow go bad? ›

Easy answer: yes, your sack of dry dog food will go stale much faster if you leave it open. Unopened dry dog food tends to have a shelf life of around 12-18 months, but once you open it, you should aim to use it up in about 6 weeks. After that, it will start to go stale.

Why is Chex Mix called puppy chow? ›

How Puppy Chow Got Its Name. Chex cereal, originally made by the Ralston Purina Company, debuted in grocery stores in 1937. Because the company referred to their dog food as “dog chow” and cat food as “cat chow,” they jokingly called their new cereal line “human chow,” according to Taste.

What is puppy chow slang for? ›

Slang for Heroin

Black tar, smack, H, Negra/o, puppy chow, dog food, onyx, beat, BT, black girl and the frequently used term “sh*t” all reference Heroin.

What came first puppy chow or muddy buddies? ›

In 2002 General Mills developed Muddy Buddies, the same recipe as Puppy Chow. But it can't be said that General Mills invented the recipe since Midwesterners recall seeing it and eating it long before the early 2000s.

What's in Turtle Chex mix? ›

Turtle Chex™ Party Mix. This no-bake game day snack is ready in less than 15 minutes and has the best sweet and salty flavor. It's loaded with Chex cereal, pretzels and almonds, then topped with a delicious chocolate-caramel drizzle. Take one bite and you will be hooked!

Does Muddy Buddies go bad? ›

Muddy buddies will stay fresh for up to 1 week stored in an air-tight container at room temperature or can be frozen for up to 2 months.

How many flavors of Chex Mix are there? ›

In total, General Mills produces 13 varieties of Chex Mixes, not including limited editions. These flavors can be broadly divided into three categories: savory, chocolate (usually marketed as "Muddy Buddies"), and sweet 'n salty. Sometimes, limited edition varieties of Chex Mix are released.

Why are muddy buddies called puppy chow? ›

Its brown kibble-like appearance harkens back to the chow of the Purina company, and the name wasn't subtle, people called it Puppy Chow, knowing well that the dog food company manufactured that cereal. While party mix was a little more universally known for many decades, Puppy Chow was a neat quirk of the Midwest.

What is the difference between puppy chow and regular dog food? ›

Puppy food also has more amino acids, fat, and minerals than adult dog food. Some brands even add extra omega-3 fatty acids to puppy food to help with brain and eye development. On top of all of this, large-breed puppies have additional special needs.

What is puppy chow snack made of? ›

What Is Puppy Chow? “Puppy chow” (a.k.a. muddy buddies) is the name for a homemade candy or snack that's made with cereal, chocolate, peanut butter, and powdered sugar. General Mills sells their own version of the popular treat, but it's easy to make at home with just a few ingredients.

Is puppy chow better than dog chow? ›

Puppy food does have slightly higher levels of calcium and phosphorous when compared to most adult dog foods. Puppy food also has a higher fat and protein content, meaning there are more calories per bite than the adult version of the same brand.


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