The BEST Muddy Buddies Recipe
Whether you call it muddy buddies or puppy chow, this classic is always guaranteed to be a crowd favorite. Rice Chex cereal is coated with a combination of melted chocolate and peanut butter, then tossed in powdered sugar for the ultimate easy sweet snack.
The first time I heard about this recipe, it was referred to as “puppy chow” and I absolutely thought that people were talking about a homemade dog food snack. I soon found out that it was an alternative (and sometimes regional) name for what is more commonly known as Muddy Buddies – a super quick recipe made with Rice Chex cereal. Traditionally, the cereal is coated with a melted mixture of chocolate chips, butter, peanut butter, and vanilla extract, then dusted with powdered sugar. Basically, it’s one of the most addicting snacks you’ll ever make. The fact that it can be thrown together in just 15 minutes is both wonderful and dangerous. If you ask me, it’s all sorts of wonderful.
I’ve tinkered with the recipe over the years, eliminating the butter from the chocolate and peanut butter coating, upping the peanut butter, and adjusting the powdered sugar and cereal amounts to make the most chocolatey and peanut buttery version that clumps up wonderfully (aren’t those clumps the best?!) and is coated in a nice thick layer of powdered sugar without using too much.
Basically, this version is muddy buddy perfection and I hope you’ll love it as much as I do!
It’s great for parties, snacks and even to give as a gift. Fill some canning jars, tie a ribbon or some twine with a nice tag and you have a perfect gift for a hostess, a teacher, or anyone in need of a pick-me-up.
What ARE muddy buddies?
Such a crazy name, right?!
Muddy buddies can go by a lot of alternate names; you may have heard them referred to as puppy chow, monkey munch, reindeer chow, or doggy bag. They get the crazy names from their appearance, sometimes looking like dog food or animal treats.
No matter the name, the delicious sweet snack remains the same – a rice cereal is coated with a melted combination of chocolate and peanut butter, and then tossed in powdered sugar. To say it is addicting is an understatement!
Cereals and substitutions
The most common cereal used for muddy buddies is Rice Chex, but sometimes Crispix is used.
If you need a gluten-free option, choose the Rice Chex (Crispix is wheat-free, but not gluten-free).
Peanut butter options and substitutions
Creamy peanut butter is the number one option for muddy buddies. I prefer brands like Jif and Skippy; avoid natural-style peanut butter that has oil separation, as it will be too oily for this recipe. You can use chunky peanut butter, as well, for an extra, well, crunch.
If you need a peanut-free substitution, these will work:
- Almond butter
- Cashew butter
- Nutella for extra chocolate!
My preferred chocolate to use is simply semisweet chocolate chips – they’re easy and most likely to already be in your pantry!
However, if you like your muddy buddies extra sweet, you can use milk chocolate; or, for those of you in the dark chocolate camp, you can totally substitute dark chocolate. Even white chocolate is fair game! Use chips or, if using a block or bar of chocolate, finely chop it before melting.
My preferred melting method is in the microwave (see instructions in the recipe below), but if you do not have a microwave, you can melt the chocolate and peanut butter in a heatproof bowl set over a small saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until completely melted and smooth.
Variations and mix-in ideas
I absolutely adore muddy buddies as-is, but there are a million different variations you could try. Some ideas for you:
- Toss sprinkles in the powdered sugar before coating the muddy buddies.
- Stir in M&Ms – use plain ones or different flavors – or Reese’s Pieces.
- Stir in crushed candy canes (and maybe red and green M&Ms!) for some festive flavor.
- Cookies and cream with crushed Oreos and white chocolate.
- Add chopped nuts – peanuts, almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, etc.
- Add whole chips – chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, butterscotch chips, mint chips, etc.
- Adjust the flavoring by using different extracts.
- See more muddy buddy versions below under “More Sweet Snacks”.
Once the coating is set, you can store muddy buddies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
However! I highly, highly recommend keeping it in the refrigerator or freezer – having it cold and extra crunchy is just phenomenal! If stored this way, you can easily keep them in the fridge for up to a month or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
More sweet snacks:
- Snickerdoodle Muddy Buddies
- Cinnamon-Sugar Candied Chex Mix with Pecans and Pretzels
- Malted Pretzel Crunch
- Poppy Chow (Chocolate & Peanut Butter-Covered Popcorn)
- Reindeer Chow
If you make this muddies buddies recipe and love it, I would so appreciate it if you would take a moment to leave a rating below. Thank you so much! ❤️️
The BEST Muddy Buddies Recipe
- 7 cups (243 g) Rice Chex cereal
- 1 cup (180 g) semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup (129 g) creamy peanut butter
- ½ teaspoon (1 teaspoon) vanilla extract
- Pinch kosher salt
- 1½ cups (180 g) powdered sugar
- Place the chocolate chips and peanut butter in a medium bowl. Microwave in 30-second intervals on 50% power, stirring after each, until the mixture is completely melted and smooth. Stir in the vanilla extract and salt.
- Pour a little bit of the chocolate mixture into the bottom of a large bowl. Add about a third of the cereal, a third of the remaining chocolate mixture, and repeat two more times. Using a rubber spatula, gently mix it all together until all of the cereal is completely coated. Place in the refrigerator for 5 minutes.
- Place ½ cup of the powdered sugar in a gallon-size zip-top bag, top with half of the cereal mixture, another ½ cup of the powdered sugar, the rest of the cereal mixture, then the remaining ½ cup of powdered sugar. Seal the bag, then shake it very well until all of the cereal is coated with powdered sugar.
- Spread the mixture out onto a wax-paper lined sheet pan to cool and set, about 30 minutes, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
[Photography by Ari of Well Seasoned]
Yeah! I love it.
Choose from a pre-made color or you will mix colors in the section white screen
First, love that you played around with this recipe to perfect it, as it is definitely one of my favorite nostalgic snacks! Can we please, please have some clarification on the discrepancies between the Imperial measurements and metric? I use weight whenever possible, including for sticky and messy ingredients like peanut butter. The recipe calls for 1 cup peanut butter, but the metric weight is equivalent to 1/2 cup (1 T peanut butter = ~16 g). Similarly, per the Chex box, 1 cup of Chex is 30g, so 7 cups would be 210, not 243g (which would be more like 8 cups). Would just like to clarify so that I can try this recipe as it was intended. Thank you!
Why is “1 teaspoon” in parentheses after “1/2 teaspoon”? This is confusing.
Thanks for sharing the best muddy buddies recipe. http://www.fooddoz.com
You are correct…these are AMAZING cold!!!! Thank you❤️ Praying for your family😘
This is the BEST!!!
It is very yummy
I tried this recipe for New Year’s Eve! Everyone loved it and I can’t wait to make it again!
Is it 1 cup of peanut butter or 129g? I cup of peanut butter weights about 240g. Also, you listed vanilla as 1/2 AND 1tsp. Which is it? Thanks for the recipe.
I liked the tips on preparing this and I really wanted to love the recipe but… after a lifetime of having the Chex Muddy Buddies recipe, this was too heavy on the peanut butter for me. Still good, just not as good. If you had nothing to compare it to, especially if looking for butter free, it’s a good choice.
Puppy chow? Dogs can’t eat chocolate. What kind of a monster would say such a thing?
o,my. i hope you’re joking with that comment! don’t take everything so seriously.
It’s because it resembles an old
time bog food called puppy chow. Besides this isn’t for dogs so I
Guess it can be called anything.
I had a dog eat 4 bags of chocolate chips and lived for many years afterwards! She was really sick for a few days tho….upchucked all over my mom’s just finished hand sewn quilt…LOL It’s called puppy chow after the purina puppy chow….IYNYK
I use a 2.5 gallon plastic zipper bag to shake the cereal mixture in the powdered sugar, after it’s coated with the chocolate and peanut butter. Before I add the cereal to the bag, I put 2-3 tablespoons of powdered sugar in the bag first, shake it to coat the inside of the bag. This helps to prevent the chocolate from sticking to the bag, works like a charm.
Omg its sooooooo good buuut I’m not waiting two weeks I’m eating them tonight :D yum
SO YUMMY! Love the simplicity of this easy-to-make treat and it got eaten in minutes! I used cinnamon chex cereal instead, just because that’s what we had on hand. I was a bit worried, but it ended out delicious and the cinnamon actually gave a nice flavour profile! As for measurements, I completely eyeballed it, which is yet another reason I am truly obsessed with this recipe. We didn’t even have to add in any more goodies, like M&M’s or sprinkles, cause it was already so scrumptious! I can totally see us crunching on this for the Super Bowl or game nights! Okay…or movie nights, or after dinner, or school snacks, or EVERY DAY! Haha, thanks for yet another easy-peasy, too-good-to-be-true recipe! Desert is served! :)
another variation I’m surprised I don’t see is to swap the powdered sugar for vanilla or chocolate protein powder! You get the perfect separation without extra sugar AND you get a nutrition boost, too!!! I recommend whey protein because it tastes better with the other ingredients than pea protein… but if you know of something else… give it a try!
I’m a lifelong Pittsburgher and know this delightful treat as Puppy Chow and [unapologetically] love it!! This specific recipe is a delicious and fool-proof version of this classic and should be made immediately if not sooner! I did try adding sprinkles in with the powdered sugar – for fun – but they didn’t stick to delectable little nuggets. 😑. But that’s ok! We LOVED our puppy chow anyway! Thank you for reviving a great food memory! 😍❤️
My teenage son thought this was great! He made it today. Thanks!
What an easy and delicious treat! I made one batch subbing almond butter, and a second batch using peanut butter, white chocolate, and coconut oil – both were so good!
I tasted this somewhere……somewhere? omg I can’t remember where……all I can think about is when that wonderful sensation of powdered sugar and then everything else follows. I have everything to make except rice chex and will pick them up today. I know what I will be munching on tonight as I watch Judge Judy primetime! Thanks for adding this link.
I made this but substituted pretzels instead of chex
And call it PCP (pretzle,chocolate and peanutbutter)
Because it is truly addictive
I moved to Switzerland (originally from PGH :-) and my cereal options are really limited – i.e. no Chex. Is there a decent option other than Chex cereal? Would something like mini shredded wheat work? Thanks for your time!
Hi Kate, Without knowing all that you have at your disposal, I’m not sure which would be the best option. I don’t know that shredded wheat would work; not sure that it would hold the coating. You could always try, though!
I’m in France and I use golden grahams or the supermarket’s own variation of them.
They taste best when you store them in the freezer. They are crunchier.
Great idea! I like cookies out of the freezer too.
I’ve made these twice now and they are SO delish!! I’ve loved muddy buddies for years but when I tried making them several years ago they turned out terrible. I’m so glad I tried this recipe though, because it makes the perfect muddy buddies! I’m so addicted. *Better go work out now…*
My daughter (age 11) makes something like this but uses boxed cake mix to coat and there’s no peanut butter. She gives it out as a birthday treat to friends and family.
I have also made it using Quaker oatmeal squares Which hold up better than any other cereal and is better for you with so much fiber. Very good and very messy.
I’ve always called it Puppy Chow. Anyone that didn’t grow up in the Midwest look at you like you’re trying to feed them dog food… and then can’t stop themselves from eating the yummy goodness!
Brownie Batter Puppy chow is the bestststststsest!
And yes, everyone give it to your child’s teacher at the holidays :o)
Puppy chow is the best. It’s so easy to make and give away to people. I have so many different versions on my blog. I like to up the pb, eliminate the butter, and use t less cereal so it’s more fully coated and has a lot of clumps.
I’ve had this before, but never heard it called ‘Puppy Chow’… it was called ‘Trash’ because you used a (clean) trash bag to shake the bits around in to coat them in the powdered sugar.
There was also a version of the same that used white chocolate, and that was called ‘White Trash’, LOL.
Love the stuff!
I saw this and I was like, “Oh ho ho! I’m definitely checking this out!!” I love Muddy Buddies. And YES–they are definitely addicting.
Thank you for not saving this recipe for December! I actually needed a quick snack for a visiting granddaughter yesterday! Success! It’s delicious! Thanks.
I still haven’t tried puppy chow… In part due to the name! But the more I see, the more I like…. This one looks awesome!
Ha! I absolutely thought the same thing the first time I heard of puppy chow! I have been meaning to try this out on my kids forever… I’m sure they’d love it. So glad to have spotted the recipe on your site. Pinning!
Growing up in Northwest Ohio, this stuff was a staple of my childhood. It is so addictive and so easy to eat the whole bowl!
For me, it has always been and forever will be Puppy Chow. No, I’m not a dog. No, it’s not dog food. Pretty sure no one would get confused on either count. That’s what it’s called. Calling it anything else is messing with my childhood!
I have been following your blog for some time, and more recently your Pinterest boards. I love seeing your new posts. I can honestly say that I have loved every recipe of yours that I’ve tried. Whenever I want to make something, and don’t know exactly what, I look on your blog for inspiration. Anyway, I was surprised to see Muddybuddies on here today. My boyfriend told me a while back that he really likes these. Looking forward to trying them, and finding one more of your recipes to add to my collection. Your blog is such a pleasure. On a side noet, your dog is gorgeous. I have two yellow labs myself, and like seeing pics with of furry friend as well. Thank you so much.
Would you believe I’ve *still* never made or eaten Muddy Buddies? I’m pretty sure I’m the very last person on earth not to have tried it. I think I need to make it happen for our next movie night!
I LOVE this stuff! It’s one of my favorite snacks for sure!
I desperately need to make muddy buddies! I’ve never tried them and they look so good!!
I love this, I would just snack on it all day long! YUM! Will I be able to put it down!?
This looks so yummy and SO addictive! I’m almost scared to try it. In England we call this type of cereal Shreddies =)
Actually, shreddies are a different cereal; they are a small version of shredded wheat which look very similar to the sweeties shown. The cereals used here are a light corn or rice cereal. I am also from England, I now teach at a Uni here in the US.
Can we all please agree to STOP calling this puppy chow? I am not a dog and I do not eat dog food. Furthermore, the stuff doesn’t even resemble dog food. If you don’t want to use the trademarked name Muddy Buddies, please find something else that is not as undignified as puppy chow.
Would you prefer robot poop?
It’s called Puppy Chow…a cute name for something that looks a little like dog food. The name Muddy Buddies was invented by the company that owns Chex because Puppy Chow was already trade-marked. Housewives had been calling it Puppy Chow for decades.
Gimme a break!
I’ve been making Puppy Chow since before Muddy Buddies were a thing.
First time making this one and I had some trouble with this recipe. It didn’t coat well with the powdered sugar. I feel like maybe I needed a larger bag to shake it. But truly delicious. I will try very hard to give some away and not eat the whole batch by myself.
LOVE muddy buddies…and I sooo prefer the name muddy buddies to puppy chow :)
I just go way too excited about this. It is one of those things I flipping love but never bothered to look up. Thanks for dropping this recipe in my lap!
We normally eat this around the holidays because I am such a huge fan I could snack on muddy buddies everyday!
I use Crispix when I make Puppy Chow. The cereal bits seem to hold up better to the mixing than the thinner pieces of Chex. I also like to spread the chocolate covered cereal on the sheet trays and let them sit for about an hour to let the chocolate /peanut butter mixture “set up” a bit BEFORE returning it to the bag to shake it with the powdered sugar. It seems to let the powdered sugar stick to the cereal better and not soak in to it. Plus, it stays crisper and fresher longer. This stuff is addicting :)
sogginess is the exact reason why I never make the snack but with your tip I will try it now, thank you!!
This is always, ALWAYS, my go-to snack. It’s quick and easy to make, and everybody is sure to love them! I shamefully admit that we use twice as much chocolate, peanut butter, and butter than your recipe calls for – with the same amount of cereal. But it coats them nicely and makes some of the pieces clump together… I’m a huge fan of Puppy Chow clumps.
A couple times I have also ground up oreo cookies – cream and all – in a food processor and mixed the crumbs with the powdered sugar before coating the cereal. It’ll give the puppy chow just a hint of the Oreo flavor. SO GOOD!
These look great – cannot wait to try them!
I love puppy chow! Love the peanut butter and chocolate combo! I don’t think I would be able to control myself from eating it all!!
It might be worth pointing out that this snack is wonderful for humans, but not suitable for animals! The name, as Michelle pointed out, can be confusing! For anyone who still hasn’t gotten the memo that chocolate can make animals sick, or even be fatal in large enough doses, don’t feed these to your pets or leave them where other animals could help themselves! That being said, I love this recipe and have seen it offered at our humane society fundraising bake sales!
What a nice, gentle, and polite way of conveying this information.
No-one wants to harm dogs. People can take information in this way, much more easily than some of the other frantic-sounding rants on this topic.
This stuff is SO addicting! YUM!
How delicious! I can’t wait to make this myself! I have never had puppy chow before so I’m really looking forward to it! Thanks as always for your yummy recipes! :-)
These are definitely one of my favorite snacks! Love this recipe.
I LOVE PUPPY CHOW!!!!! I discovered it as an adult and have purposefully never sought out the recipe because I could eat the entire container. I think I am going to have to give in and make this very soon!!!
This sounds delicious but what can I substitute for the peanut butter? We have allergy issues here.
I have substituted the peanut butter with Sunbutter (made from sunflower seeds) for our daughter with Peanut/Tree Nut allergies and it works just fine. Sunbutter can be found in most grocery stores.
Hi Lynn, You could use almond butter, cashew butter, sunbutter, Nutella, etc. – anything like that!
Thank you!! Can’t wait to try!
I could snack on this chocolate-y peanut buttery goodness ALL DAY and ALL NIGHT LONG!
Believe it or not I’m not sure I’ve ever gotten to experience this stuff!
This recipe sounds awesome, can’t wait to make it. I came across your blog while searching for inspiration for my new blog. I love your recipes and your pictures. Thank you!
I love puppy chow! I have so many recipes and variations for it – working in white chocolate, Nutella, Cookie Butter, sprinkles, toasted buttery waffle chunks, popcorn, caramel corn. You name it, puppy chow and I are tight :) I love the blue bowl yours is in!
are you available?!?!?! you’re awesome!
These actually look SO good! And you could totally pretend that they were healthy too haha xo
Growing up my mom made muddy buddies every summer for our camping trips – we’d snack on them at the pool, in the tent, for breakfast, basically all day haha. This recipe takes me back! Thanks for putting it up!
Yeah, these are one seriously dangerous snack! LOVE them!