Classic puppy chow gets a makeover with decadent red velvet and colorful M&M’s. This red velvet puppy chow is perfect for everyday snacking or a festive gift.

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Prepared red velvet puppy chow with M&M's in a heart-shaped bowl, surrounded by heart sprinkles.

About Red Velvet Puppy Chow

Oh, puppy chow. You never fail to cure a sweet craving, and you come in so many festive flavors.

For the regulars of this little food blog, you’ll know that this red velvet puppy chow is the fifth muddy buddy recipe I’ve shared, and between you and me, this flavor is easily in my top two.

Because, red velvet. And chocolate. And M&M’s.

Need I say more?

If you’re a fan of red velvet or puppy chow, I highly encourage you to give this delicious variation a shot for your next movie night or for a delicious gift!

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 red velvet puppy chow?

In order to whip up your own batch of red-velvet-infused puppy chow, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Chex cereal – The light and crispy cereal that forms the “base” of any puppy chow recipe.
  • White chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate – 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 the mix of white and semi-sweet help let the red velvet flavor shine.
  • Cream cheese and milk – Adds a little fat content to the chocolate for a smoother texture and better taste.
  • Dry red velvet cake mix – The star of the show! Once the Chex cereal has been coated in chocolate, the cake mix is dusted on top as a coating.
  • Powdered sugar – This is mixed with the cake mix to help sweeten it up a bit.
  • Candy or sprinkles – Totally optional, but it’s a fun and easy way to really doll up the red-and-pink hues that go with red velvet.

Do you need to bake the red velvet cake mix?

Although it’s rare to become ill from consuming flour, it is considered a raw ingredient, so for proper food safety, the red velvet cake mix should be cooked before consumption because it includes flour.

To bake the red velvet 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 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 white chocolate bar, white chocolate chips, semi-sweet chocolate bar, or semi-sweet chocolate chips 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 red velvet cake batter 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 puppy chow call for vanilla extract, but I didn’t feel it was needed in this case; the red velvet and cream cheese hold the flavor up pretty well. That being said, if you’d still like to add vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon should be plenty.
  • This recipe uses a combination of white and semi-sweet chocolate. However, you could substitute an equal portion of either all white chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate if you’d like.
Hand holding up some red velvet puppy chow with M&M's.

More great puppy chow recipes

Other lovely red velvet recipes

How to make red velvet 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, heat the white chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate per package instructions, then mix until smooth.

Step 2 – Add the cream cheese and milk, then mix well.

Step 3 – In a 13 quart mixing bowl, pour the melted chocolate over the Chex cereal. Use a spatula to gently toss to coat the cereal in chocolate.

Step 4 – In a ZipLoc bag, add the red velvet cake mix and powdered sugar, then gently shake the bag to mix them together.

Step 5 – Working in batches, scoop in a portion of the coated Chex cereal, seal the bag, then shake to coat the cereal in red velvet mixture. Repeat this step until all the puppy chow is coated.

Step 6 – Spread the puppy chow out on a flat surface (like a baking sheet) and allow it to cool, dry, and set. If desired, add festive candies or sprinkles.

Step 7 – Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Details

Prepared red velvet puppy chow with M&M's in a heart-shaped bowl, surrounded by heart sprinkles.
5 from 6 votes

Red Velvet Puppy Chow

20 minutes prep + 1 hour Cooling Time
690 kcal
Yields: 9 servings
Classic puppy chow gets a makeover with decadent red velvet and colorful M&M's. This red velvet puppy chow is perfect for everyday snacking or a festive gift.



  • Food Safety Step: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread red velvet cake mix out on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Allow cake mix to cool completely before using.
  • Add dry red velvet cake mix and powdered sugar to a Ziploc bag (gallon sized), then shake bag to combine sugar and cake mix together. Set aside for now.
    2 cups dry red velvet cake mix, 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Set a baking sheet nearby and cover with parchment paper.
  • In a microwave-safe bowl, add white chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate. Heat in microwave for 1 minute, then stir. Continue to heat in microwave for 30-second intervals until chocolate is soft. Using a whisk or a fork, stir chocolates together until smooth.
    1 1/4 cups white chocolate, 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate
  • Add cream cheese and milk to chocolate, then whisk thoroughly, making sure that cream cheese is completely incorporated into chocolate.
    4 ounces cream cheese, 2 tablespoons milk
  • Add Chex cereal to a 13 quart mixing bowl. Pour chocolate mixture on top and gently stir with a spatula until all Chex cereal is coated. Set bowl aside.
    9 cups Chex cereal
  • Working in batches (about 2-4 cups at a time), add coated Chex cereal to bag with red velvet cake mixture, seal or twist top of bag closed, and then shake bag until the Chex cereal is coated with red velvet cake mixture. Remove finished red velvet 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 red velvet cake mixture that remains inside.
  • Let puppy chow cool, dry, and set, about 1 hour. If desired, add candy or sprinkles to puppy chow to make it more festive.
    candy or sprinkles
  • Serve immediately.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 690kcal | Carbohydrates: 126g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 778mg | Potassium: 419mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 58g | Vitamin A: 847IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 309mg | 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


    • Royal Mcknight

    If you like reading a blog, what kind of interesting things that make you like that blog? Give me your favorite blog links too..

    • Kim

    Not that’ these will last long, but how do you store these? In the refrigerator because of the cream cheese? Also, does it get soggy when stored? Thank you!

    • Paula
    • 5 stars

    I was able to tweak this by subbing the chips for allergy friendly dairy free white and chocolate chips, milk for almond milk, cream cheese for vegan cream cheese alternative and cake mix for a gluten and dairy free chocolate mix. It’s not “red” velvet but it’s decadent and delicious for my gluten free dairy free friends at book club! Thank you! For the non-allergy friends I used white cheesecake and regular valentine M&M’s- so pretty and they fit the theme perfectly! Last note a new cat litter scoop is perfect for getting the mix to separate cleanly and easily. Thank you!!

    • Ashley M Trezek

    How much chex cereal? I couldn’t find it in the recipe? I’m assuming 9 cups…..thank you!!!

      • Jessica Mitchell

      Did it work with 9 cups?

    • Jennifer
    • 5 stars

    This is so much fun to make and customize for every holiday!

    • Helene D’Souza
    • 5 stars

    Binge watching Netflix with those red velvet puppy chow sounds like a great plan! I am all over your chow. =)