This classic sweet snack gets a festive makeover with this funfetti puppy chow! Chex cereal is coated in white candy melts, colorful sprinkles, and dusted with a sweetened white cake mix. Perfect for snacking or gifting!
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Table of Contents
- About Funfetti Puppy Chow
- What is puppy chow?
- What are the other names for puppy chow?
- What’s in funfetti puppy chow?
- Do you need to bake the cake mix?
- Can you use out-of-date Cake Mix?
- What type of candy melts should you use?
- What can you add to puppy chow?
- How long is puppy chow good for?
- Can you make puppy chow ahead of time?
- Can you freeze puppy chow?
- notes & tips for this birthday cake puppy chow:
- More puppy chow recipes
- How do you make puppy chow?
- Recipe Details
About Funfetti Puppy Chow
A long time ago I had big dreams of making a whole series of recipe posts devoted to nothing but different flavors of puppy chow – from classic to fluffernutter to peppermint to red velvet to pretty much anything else you can think of – and I still really want to do it, because quite frankly I absolutely love this stuff.
Classic puppy chow was one of the first treats I ever (successfully) made that tasted great without having to put in a ton of work.
And really, that’s the true goal we all have in life, isn’t it?
To get great results for minimal effort.
Or, at least, I know that’s what I wake up each day trying to do.
So, I guess what I’m trying to say here is that making puppy chow is like the embodiment of my life goals… and I’m totally okay with that.
I don’t know how or why, but something magical happens when you whip up a batch of this indulgent snack, because I’ve yet to have a batch of puppy chow (or muddy buddies or monkey munch or whatever oddball name we call this stuff we love) that I didn’t like.
Which, of course, is both good and bad, seeing as how I can easily take out a whole batch of puppy chow by myself within a day of making it.
But to get back to the true topic of this post, by now you might be wondering:
With all the flavors of puppy chow out there, why did you go with funfetti?
Well, for one, funfetti has been on my list of must-make puppy chow for quite some time. Like all my puppy chow recipes, this post was long overdue.
And for two… well, the batch of puppy chow pictured here was actually the second batch I made that day. My first batch was supposed to be the elusive red velvet puppy chow, but the results were… less can optimal. Basically, my red velvet puppy chow was not red or festive at all – the red and pink sprinkles were completely covered up, and it turned out more of a tan color – and really, how could I possibly call a puppy chow red velvet if it’s not even read? I’ll tell you how: I couldn’t. So I ate all the evidence of my failure (because all puppy chow tastes good no matter what it looks like) and took that recipe back to the drawing board for now.
In the end, I was able to “save the day” by mixing up more sprinkles (from red and pink to all the colors of the rainbow) and swapping out the red velvet cake mix to some white cake mix I still had on hand from last week’s recipe. And voilà, the recipe was saved and I still had a fun and festive birthday cake puppy chow to add to my (slowly growing) list!
And the best part?
I got to enjoy the end result:
Colorful puppy chow with the taste of sweetened white cake.
Life goals really do taste better with sprinkles.
What is puppy chow?
Despite the fun-sounding name, this recipe isn’t for the dogs – it’s for anyone who loves a sweet and crunchy treat with the slightest hint of salt. Some regions of the United States also call this treat muddy buddies or even monkey bunch.
Ultimately, “puppy chow” refers to any recipe made with Chex cereal that’s been coated in various sweet candies and sugars. It has roots in the central US and gets its name for resembling puppy chow – just for humans.
And no matter what flavor of puppy chow you’re making, you’ll ultimately have three types of ingredients:
- Chex cereal
- Something that’s tacky, like melted chocolate.
- Something that’s powdery, like sugar or dry cake mix.
And as far as instructions, you’ll usually follow the same three steps:
- Coat the Chex cereal with the tacky ingredients.
- Toss the coated Chex cereal in the dry ingredients.
- Let the finished puppy chow cool and harden.
What are the other names for puppy chow?
Depending on where you’re from, you might have learned to call this sweet-and-crunchy treat by another name. Here are some of the most popular:
- Monkey Munch
- Muddy Buddies
- Muddy Munch
- Reindeer Chow
What’s in funfetti puppy chow?
In order to make a large batch of this festive funfetti puppy show, you’ll need to gather the following ingredients:
- Chex cereal – The light and crispy cereal that forms the “base” of any puppy chow recipe.
- White candy melts – Melted until smooth and coated over the Chex cereal. You can use an equal portion of any type of chocolate or candy melt that you’d prefer, but the white candy gives this puppy chow a bright-white base so that the sprinkles really pop.
- White cake mix – One half of the funfetti flavor! Once the Chex cereal has been coated in chocolate, the cake mix is dusted on top as a coating. NOTE: I don’t recommend using funfetti cake mix as you’ll have more control over the sprinkles by adding them in yourself.
- Powdered sugar – This is mixed with the cake mix to help sweeten it up a bit.
- Sprinkles – The other key ingredient to funfetti! I’d recommend using small nonpareil sprinkles or jimmies.
Do you need to bake the cake mix?
Although it’s rare to become ill from consuming flour, it is considered a raw ingredient, so for proper food safety, the cake mix should be cooked before consumption because it includes flour.
To bake the cake mix: Spread the cake mix out on a baking sheet and bake it for five minutes at 350 degrees F.
Can you use out-of-date Cake Mix?
If you’re anything like me, recipes like this strike you on days when you don’t want to leave the house and you’re raiding your cabinets for options. And, inevitably, you’re going to run across something that looks fine but has a date that’s long since passed.
So, when it comes to expired cake mix, what do you do? Can you use it or not?
First off, make sure that the cake mix has been properly stored. This means that it’s been in a cool, dry place, and that either the seal is still intact or that it’s been stored in a sealed container since it was opened.
Once you confirm the storage, check the date printed on the package. Cake mix is typically good four to five months beyond the “best by” date.
If you have a product that’s older than this, I would not recommend using it for something like puppy chow. If you’d like to read more about the concerns of expired cake mix, check out this article.
What type of candy melts should you use?
Candy melts (also called melting wafters) are pretty common – you can find them in the baking supply area, and they’re small, flat disks, typically sold by the bag – but I do think there are significant differences in quality depending on the brand of candy melts you buy.
Wilton is by far the most common brand of candy melt, and they are sold in a variety of colors. This makes them a popular pick, since you can buy the exact color you need and can get right to crafting your creepy treats. Wilton is simple and easy.
However, I’ve not been impressed with the quality of Wilton candy melts. These candy melts cool fast, which means it becomes thick and harder to use long before you’ve coated all your treats. This leads to them being reheated and the texture and the texture of the melts becomes a little more “iffy” each time.
Given the above, I would highly recommend picking up Ghirardelli brand candy melts instead. These are my favorite candy melts to work with due to the superior quality and taste. These candy melts also come in a brilliant white color, making them perfect for this recipe.
What can you add to puppy chow?
Puppy chow is always good all by itself, but sometimes it’s fun to jazz it up with sweet candies or a salty crunch. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Buttery popcorn
- Other types of M&M’s, such as peanut, peanut butter, mint, butterscotch, etc
- Reese’s Pieces
- Milk Duds
- Mini Rolo’s
- Chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, etc
- Caramel popcorn
- Kettle corn
- Junior Mints
- Cracker Jacks, Crunch ‘n Munch, or Buncha Crunch
- Peanuts, any type
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites
- Pretzels or chocolate-covered pretzels
- Mini marshmallows or dehydrated miniature marshmallows
- Other types of cereal, like Cheerios, Corn Flakes, etc
How long is puppy chow good for?
Once made, cooled, and stored in a sealed container, puppy chow will remain good at room temperature for up to one to two weeks.
Can you make puppy chow ahead of time?
Yes, you totally can! Because it can last up to two weeks, it’s great for making in batches for parties or giving away as gifts.
Can you freeze puppy chow?
Yes, you totally can!
Once prepared and set, puppy chow can be stored in a sealed container or freezer bag for up to two months. You can either thaw it before eating or eat it straight from the freezer like a frosty treat.
notes & tips for this birthday cake puppy chow:
- When making this recipe, you’ll need a big mixing bowl so you have enough room to maneuver and stir. I own a 13 quart mixing bowl for this very reason.
- Many recipes for muddy buddies call for vanilla extract, but I didn’t feel it was needed in this case; the white cake mix holds the flavor up pretty well. That being said, if you’d still like to add vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon should be plenty.
More puppy chow recipes
How do you make puppy chow?
This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.
Puppy chow is very versatile because it only has two main actions:
Step 1 – Coating Chex cereal in some type of liquid chocolate or candy.
Step 2 – Coating the still-wet Chex cereal with a sugar or other sweet & flavorful powder.
Using the above two steps as a guideline, there are seemingly endless flavor combinations you can come up with.
Most puppy chow recipes usually make a large batch, too, with the main ingredient being a whole box of Chex cereal.
You’ll have plenty of this classic crunchy snack food gifting, parties, or even just for your family and a lazy movie night on the couch.
Funfetti Puppy Chow
- Food Safety Step: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread cake mix out on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Allow cake mix to cool completely before using.
- Add white cake mix and powdered sugar to a Ziploc bag (gallon sized), seal bag, then give it a thorough shake to combine sugar and cake mix. Once mixed, set bag aside.3/4 cup white cake mix, 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- In a microwave-safe bowl, add white candy melts and heat in microwave for 1 minute, then stir. Continue to heat in microwave for 30 second intervals until candy is soft. Using a whisk or a fork, stir candy until smooth.8 ounces white candy melts
- Add Chex cereal to a 13 quart mixing bowl. Pour melted white chocolate on top and gently stir with a spatula until all Chex cereal is coated.4 1/2 cups Chex Cereal
- Sprinkle about 2-3 tablespoons of sprinkles on top of coated Chex, then gently toss once. Add another 2-3 tablespoons and toss again. Continue to do this until all sprinkles have been used, but be careful not to overmix – you don’t want the candy melt to begin covering the sprinkles. Set bowl aside.2/3 cup sprinkles
- Working in batches (about 1-2 cups at a time), add coated Chex cereal to bag with white cake mixture, seal or twist top of bag closed, and then shake bag until Chex cereal is coated with white cake mixture. Remove finished funfetti puppy chow and spread out on prepared baking sheet. Repeat step until all puppy chow is made. When finished, discard plastic bag and any dry white cake mixture that remains inside.
- Let puppy chow cool, dry, and set, about 1 hour.
- Serve immediately.
I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.