The classic puppy chow: crunchy Chex cereal covered in chocolate, peanut butter, and sugar. It’s the ultimate sugary snack food (and perfect for gifting, too)!

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Homemade puppy chow made with Chex cereal, chocolate, and sugar.

About Puppy Chow

Whenever a snack craving hits you, homemade puppy chow is always a solid choice, because… chocolate. And peanut butter. And sugar.

I mean, c’mon! You know what I’m talking about here. Puppy chow Chex mix is one of those foods that easily fits any situation thanks to its salty sweetness and sugary crunchiness.

Plus, it’s not too rich, so you can slowly graze on it to your heart’s content.

Puppy chow drying on a baking sheet.

But wait, 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 classic puppy chow?

In order to make this delicious puppy chow Chex mix, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Chex cereal – The light and crispy cereal that forms the “base” of any puppy chow recipe.
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips – Melted until smooth and coated over the Chex cereal. You can use an equal portion of any type of chocolate that you’d prefer, but semi-sweet is the traditional choice with puppy chow.
  • Creamy peanut butter – Another classic puppy chow ingredient, this adds delicious creaminess and nutty flavor to the melted chocolate. Creamy peanut butter is recommended for a smooth, even finish on the Chex. Also, this recipe has not been tested with natural peanut butter, so the “big brands” like Skippy or Jiff are the only ones I can recommend using.
  • Unsalted butter – Adds a little fat content to the chocolate for a smoother texture and better taste, but this is also totally optional.
  • Vanilla – Another optional ingredient, but adds some nice flavor.
  • Powdered sugar – Used to coat the sticky chocolate and give this puppy chow its trademark powdery look and sweet flavor.
Scooping up a serving of puppy chow.

What type of chocolate should you use?

There are many different brands of chocolate chips – even some made by popular candy companies – but from my experience, the best chocolate for baking, fudges, or truffles is Ghirardelli. It consistently performs well while baking, has a great texture (never chalky), and has a delicious flavor. This brand is a little more expensive, but trust me, you’ll appreciate the flavor and consistency you’ll get from the premium quality.

You can find their semi-sweet chocolate chips or semi-sweet chocolate bar either in the bakery aisle of most grocery stores or you can buy it online.

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:

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 puppy chow recipe

  • 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.
  • If you’re running short on ingredients, you can exclude the butter and vanilla.
Single piece of puppy chow.

More puppy chow recipes

How to 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.

Step 1 – In a microwave-safe bowl, add the chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter, then microwave it until the chocolate has melted (for best results, follow the instructions on the bag of chips.)

Step 2 – Quickly add the vanilla extract, then stir well.

Step 3 – Add the Chex cereal to a large mixing bowl (I like using a 13-quart mixing bowl), then pour the melted chocolate mixture on top. Use a spatula to gently toss to mix until all the cereal is coated. Tip: while mixing, dig under the cereal, then pull up.

Step 4 – Add powdered sugar to a ZipLoc bag. Working in batches, scoop in a portion of the coated Chex cereal, seal the bag, then shake to coat the cereal in powdered sugar. Repeat this step until all the puppy chow is coated.

Step 5 – Spread the puppy chow out on a flat surface (like a baking sheet) and allow it to cool, dry, and set.

Step 6 – Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Details

Homemade puppy chow made with Chex cereal, chocolate, and sugar.
4.17 from 31 votes

Puppy Chow Chex Mix

10 minutes prep + 5 minutes cook + 1 hour Cooling Time
583 kcal
Yields: 9 servings
The classic puppy chow: crunchy Chex cereal covered in chocolate, peanut butter, and sugar. It's the ultimate sugary snack food (and perfect for gifting, too)!



  • Set a baking sheet nearby and cover with parchment paper (optional).
  • In a microwave-safe bowl, add milk chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter. Heat in microwave for 1 minute, then stir. Continue to heat in microwave for 30 second intervals until chocolate chips are soft. Using a whisk or a fork, stir chocolate and peanut butter until smooth.
    1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • Quickly add vanilla to bowl, then mix until incorporated.
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Add Chex cereal to a 13 quart mixing bowl. Pour chocolate-peanut butter mixture on top and gently stir with a spatula until all Chex cereal is coated. Set bowl aside.
    9 cups Chex Cereal
  • Add powdered sugar to a Ziploc bag (gallon sized). Working in batches (about 1-2 cups at a time), add coated Chex cereal to bag with powdered sugar, seal or twist top of bag closed, and then shake bag until Chex cereal is coated with sugar. Remove finished puppy chow and spread out on prepared baking sheet. Repeat step until all puppy chow is made. When finished, discard plastic bag and any powdered sugar that remains inside.
    2 cups powdered sugar
  • Let puppy chow cool, dry, and set, about 1 hour.
  • Serve immediately.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 583kcal | Carbohydrates: 84g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 423mg | Potassium: 439mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 35g | Vitamin A: 985IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 154mg | Iron: 21mg

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.

Author: Chrisy

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Recipe Rating


    • Jeanne

    So so so so good! I store it in a ziploc bag in the freezer and it’s our favorite way to eat it- right out of the freezer! Not that it lasts very long……
    Thank you for sharing!

    • Betsy
    • 1 star

    I honestly won’t be making this recipe again. Everyone in the house agrees that it isn’t chocolatey or peanut buttery enough. Too dry.

    • Lyzz

    I just wanted to add a comment regarding ingredients with a nut allergy 🙂 I use Biscoff Cookie Butter and white chocolate. However, if you add a stick of butter, the mixture granualizes instead of melting.


    • Audra
    • 5 stars

    Ive used this recipe several times and love it! Any suggestions on how far ahead of time this can be made? Is a week too much?

    • Elise

    Hi, I’m confused about 9 cups and only 12 oz of cereal. Are one of those wrong?

      • Dianne

      The 12 oz. marking on the box is weight not volume. One 12 oz. box does contain almost exactly 9 cups.

    • Kat

    How much is one serving? All it says is that it feeds 18.

      • Chrisy

      Hey Kat! This recipe uses 9 cups of Chex mix cereal, so I think my original reasoning was that this would mean 18 portions at 1/2 cup. However, lately I’ve been updating my puppy chow recipes to list about 9 or 10 servings since 1 cup seems more like a reasonable size for snacking. I’ll update this recipe now to reflect that 😀

    • Linda

    I’ve been making this for years and now my Granddaughter makes it.

    • Terri Morton

    I tried this recipe and mine came out “chewy.” It was like the cereal changed in consistency from crunchy to chewy. Not sure what happened. Any ideas?

    I tried 2 different batches. I thought maybe on the first one I let it sit out on the counter for too long. So the next batch I didn’t let sit as long and it was still that way.

    • Hey Terri! I’m so sorry they didn’t turn out right. Would you be able to describe how they were chewy? Like did the chocolate not coat the cereal well enough, or did it coat TOO well (so a super thick layer)? What was the consistency of the chocolate while you were stirring? Whenever I’ve made these, the chocolate was fairly thin, almost to the point where I was worried it couldn’t cover all of the cereal (but then it does). If the chocolate was too thick and coated the cereal too thick, I could definitely see how that might make them chewy after coating with sugar. At that point I think it could be a temperature issue – like maybe the chocolate cooled too much before stirring?

    • Caroline hook

    What would be the equivalent to chex in England?

      • Natalie Barber

      I have not tried it, but I seen where someone from England used Krave cereal. They commented that they liked the extra center filling. It has a crispy shell and also comes with the following fillings:
      Chocolate hazelnut
      Milk Chocolate
      White Chocolate
      Caramel Chocolate
      Hope this helps 😉

        • Deb

        Krave is about the closest thing you can get, it’s not the same but still gives yummy results. (We have just moved back to the US from the U.K. so I’m the Queen of substitutions!)

      • Thank you so much for your insight on this, Natalie! 😀

    • Diane Mazur

    I love puppy chow as do all the kids in our family, when I make it I use peanut butter chips instead of the chocolate chips. This would be a really good way to make it with chocolate Chex , hmmmm next time! ?

    • Ooo… peanut butter chips with chocolate Chex?! Sounds delicious 😀

    • Pam

    Hi Christy. I know this is a stupid question, but which Chex cereal do you use? There are so many to pick from. I never know which is best. Thanks!

    • Hey Pam! That’s actually a great question – I should notate it in the recipe! I typically use the rice Chex (blue box) but the corn Chex (green box) or even the chocolate Chex (if you can find it) would also work great with this recipe.

        • Gerry

        If you are using several boxes, wouldn’t it be fun to mix it up and buy different flavors?

      • I LOVE this idea. If you try it, I’d love to hear which ones you liked best 😀

        • Cheryl

        I always use Cinnamon Toast Crunch to mine and it’s delicious!

    • Chelsea

    One of my favorite snacks. You give a lot of good tips. Would print but too many grammar errors.

    • Thank you for bringing the errors to my attention! I will work on fixing them 🙂

        • DeDeeQ

        I would not worry about this – it is a recipe to make for a snack and relaxation. I am certain you never thought you were writing a novel or an essay to be critiqued. Happy New Year!!! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!!

      • Thank you!! I needed to read some kind words this morning 😀 And a Happy New Year to you, too!

        • Gerry

        I am reading the comment from the grammar guru….and I say who cares? Not me (or is it not I?)
        People…please be kind. There are so many negative remarks about everything. Just because we can’t see you it still makes all of us feel bad and I would ‘unfriend’ anyone who makes me feel that way.
        Chrisy…this is perfect for a function my club hosts. My job is to bring a table snack for a Senior bingo we host. Great job.
        And I understood every word you said.

      • Thank you SO much Gerry 😀 Indeed, kind words are hard to find on the internet, so thank you for sharing a few with me!

    • Joanie @ ZagLeft
    • 5 stars

    Oh my gosh! My older daughter who is now away at college loved this stuff growing up. I haven’t made it in years but that needs to change. Puppy Chow is so addictive!!

    • Josie
    • 5 stars

    I’ve actually never had Puppy Chow mix! Powdered sugar, peanut butter, and chocolate? Count me in 🙂

    • Sheena @ Tea and Biscuits
    • 5 stars

    My son just loves this stuff! It’s so easy and tasty too, thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Shannon @ Dinner from the Heart
    • 4 stars

    I love the variations of “puppy chow” that are floating around the internet, but I always seem to come back to the original flavor – I’m pretty certain it’s my favorite! 🙂