A good friend made these delectable, healthy little snacks and shared some a while back when our kids were playing together at a park. She was gracious enough to pass along the recipe and I made a huge batch of them before I had my baby and am I ever glad I did!

They freeze beautifully and now all I have to do is pull a few out of the freezer, let them thaw a few minutes, and my boys are in heaven snacking away and I can feel good that these little treats are low in refined sugar and packed with fiber and protein.

Made with peanut butter, powdered milk, applesauce, a myriad of wholegrain, healthful cereals, they have a fabulous texture of smooth peanut butter and crunchy cereal, and of course I had to throw in some mini chocolate chips to make them even sweeter.

The great thing about them is that even though they are quite healthful, my boys still eat them as their “treat” after meals because of the chocolate chips. And my husband and I love them, too! If you want a great snacking treat, this recipe is for you.

Peanut Butter Crunch Snack Balls

Yield: Makes about 120 balls.

Peanut Butter Crunch Snack Balls


  • 2 cups honey
  • 6 cups peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
  • 3 cups rice krispies
  • 1½ cups grape nuts
  • 3/4 cup applesauce
  • 2 cups coconut
  • 3 cups crushed cereal (I used honey nut cheerios and Life cereal since I had it on hand)
  • 1½ cups chocolate or butterscotch chips – or substitute dried fruit, like raisins
  • 5-8 tablespoons powdered milk
  • 4 cups crushed mini-wheat cereal


  1. Mix all but last two ingredients and mix until well combined. Add powdered milk, like flour, to make a soft, cookie-like dough.
  2. Form into 1” ball and roll in crushed mini-wheats. A scoop works very well for this. Refrigerate or freeze.

Recipe Source: adapted from Michelle N.

53 Responses to Peanut Butter Crunch Snack Balls

  1. Amanda says:

    Finally got around to making these today, and they certainly live up to all the great comments! I subbed vanilla protein powder for the milk and used extra crushed cereal in place of coconut. This is the perfect pre-workout snack for me and even better pre-soccer game or just anytime snack for my boys – particularly my type 1 diabetic. A great combo of protein and carbs! Thanks for a great recipe!

  2. Katie says:

    So glad Jodee posted about the Sunbutter! We’re in the same boat with a nut allergy. I’m definitely going to try these! Great to throw in school lunches for a little treat!

  3. Jodee says:

    I made these tonight using Sunbutter instead of peanut butter since my son is allergic to peanuts. My whole family loved them! Thanks for a great recipe that we can adapt for the food allergies so we all can enjoy!

  4. Elita says:

    Oh dear. Another addiction! I halved the recipe as recommended and still made nearly a hundred balls. We all love them! I did have to substitute what I could find for cereal (honey nut cheerios & a sort of wheat puff pillow) but I think it works no matter what kind of crunchy healthy cereal you use. I also had to roll them in Weetabix because few stores carry shredded wheat. I’m happy the boys don’t know what in it besides peanut butter & chocolate! Thanks again for another rocking addiction!

  5. Mel says:

    Chelsea – this recipe is really, really adaptable, so yes, I think you could substitute the peanuts, oats…or a combination. Gluten free rice chex or another type of filler cereal would work, too.

  6. chelsea says:

    Hey mel- Love your site. just wondering if i can substitute something gluten free for the grape nuts…maybe chopped peanuts or oats? i really want to make these!!

  7. Crystal says:

    Just wondering what else I could substitute powdered milk for? I see where someone suggested ground nuts or ground oats, but any other ideas? I don’t want to buy a HUGE thing of powdered milk when I would only need a few tablespoons! I was thinking of maybe trying coffee creamer? I live in a very small town without many grocery options-trying to find something within my reach!

    • Mel says:

      Crystal – your guess is as good as mine, since I’ve never subbed anything for the powdered milk. You could probably sub anything from ground nuts to ovaltine. Good luck on your search!

  8. Natalie says:

    So fun. I have a freezerful of these and my whole family (including picky husband and impossible-to-feed toddler) are gobbling them up. I can’t get over the amazing texture!

  9. tara says:

    i was wondering if i could substitute something else for the powdered milk. my son is allergic to milk but i really want to make these

    • Mel says:

      Tara – I’m assuming your son doesn’t have a nut allergy since the peanut butter isn’t a problem…so because of that, I’d suggest using ground nuts for the powdered milk. You could also try finely ground oats. Hope that helps!

  10. Rebecca says:

    I am excited to try these! I have made similar PB balls, but instead of powdered milk, I use vanilla protein powder (the kind that is used to make protein shakes)! That adds a little extra healthy and protein to the already yummy treats! Thanks for the recipe! I will be making these soon!

  11. Melissa says:

    These are super!!

  12. Melanie says:

    Kate – I’m glad you made these and liked them. You are right, they make a TON, which is why I halved the recipe like you did when I made them. Thanks for commenting and letting me know you tried the recipe!

  13. Melanie says:

    Anonymous – thanks for your comment. Your enthusiasm made my day. I’m very glad you liked the clam chowder! Good luck trying other recipes – let me know how they turn out.

  14. grace says:

    these are full of delightful ingredients and the ball shape makes consumption extra easy–both winning characteristics, obviously. 🙂

  15. Abby says:

    Did you use frosted shredded wheat or just plain shredded wheat?

  16. Melanie says:

    Abby – I used plain shredded wheat when I made mine.

  17. Michelle says:

    Ok, thanks. I’ll try that. I’ll let you know how they turn out.

  18. Melanie says:

    Good Gomer Family – thank you for your comment! I appreciate you taking the time to let me (and other readers) know that your family liked these little snacks. I didn’t really relate them to cookie dough, but you are right – they are kind of a healthier alternative to cookie dough!

  19. Melanie says:

    Aubri – I’m very glad you liked these little snacks! And hey, I’m not one to judge on health, so I think the nilla wafer or graham cracker crumbs idea is lovely.

  20. Abby says:

    What an awesome idea and recipe. Bookmarked!

  21. Aubri says:

    I finally got around to making these, and ended up making 1/3rd of the recipe, just to try it out. These are quite healthy and was surprised that they kept the crunch from the cereals. My kids loved them, and so did my husband and I! Thanks for the great snack recipe! I know that this wouldn’t add to the healthy-ness…but next time I might roll them in nilla wafer or graham cracker crumbs, just for a different texture on the outside…yum!

  22. Melanie says:

    Shannon – I don’t blame you for dipping a few in chocolate. It sounds heavenly! Thanks for checking back in to let me know you liked these!

  23. Linds says:

    Thank you for ‘stopping by’ Noodle Nights today! These looks fabulous and I love your blog. I added it to my reader and already starred several recipes. Congratulations on your new addition! 🙂

  24. The Good Gomer Family says:

    Had to comment on these to let future readers see….these were fabulous! I was really nervous since my kids are huge cookie dough lovers and these might not cut it in the “sweet” category. BUT, they loved them and the freezer door is being opened constantly. I made the whole batch and they are almost half gone! Thank you for a great alternative to our family’s bad habbit of cookie dough balls, I feel much better with these being popped into their mouths! 🙂

  25. Kristen616 says:

    This looks like something I would really love!

  26. Melanie says:

    Kelly – I know, I know – this recipe makes a ton! I halved the recipe, too, and it still made quite a few (around 70, I think). If your dough is overly sticky, you might try adding more powdered milk to make the consistency more firm for rolling. AFter sitting for a few hours, they will probably set up perfectly, though. Thanks for taking the time to comment and let me know you tried the recipe!

  27. Linkis Family Love says:

    I am knee deep in making these right now! I halved the recipe, but still think I may yield 5million of these little balls. ha ha ha Mine are sure sticky…is that normal, or did I use too much pb and honey? I am thinking (hoping) they get more dense/etc when frozen or sit a bit. Smell great! I am in charge of snacks next week at Pre-K, so the kiddos are each getting a little sack of these with their milk!Thanks!Kelli Linkis <><<

  28. Kara@ Creations by Kara says:

    I love snacks that can be stored in the freezer and just pulled out when you are short on time. Can’t wait to try this!

  29. Joie de vivre says:

    I’m bookmarking this, my boys would love them!

  30. Michelle says:

    These look so good too! No one in my family likes coconut though – any idea on what to do? I normally just leave it out, but with 2 cups called for I’m thinking that could mess them up. Maybe increase the rice krispies some to compensate?

  31. Melanie says:

    Thanks everyone!Tina – I love to hear from other moms of boys! And I also love that I don’t have to fix anyone’s hair!!

  32. Wanlass Family says:

    I Love them and so do my kids. It was so great to make with kids because there are no eggs, so they can eat the dough. They LOVED it. and I loved not having to get after them for eating the dough. The only warning I would give out is they are addicting, but a lot healthier than most snacks and treats. This will be a staple in our freezer!

  33. Laura says:

    Hey tomorrow on Studio 5 they are talking about Utah food blogs and they showed yours as part of their teaser. I don’t know what context they are doing the story.

  34. RecipeGirl says:

    Great snackie idea for the kiddos. Love it!

  35. Tina says:

    These look really tasty. And congrats on boy #4. We also have four boys (my baby is almost four actually, weird) they love to eat and well, I don’t have to do hair every day.

  36. Melanie says:

    Liz – what a great playdate/neighborhood party snack option. Fabulous idea. And I agree, I think they taste pretty darn good right out of the freezer, too.

  37. Nags says:

    That’s such a nice idea for a quick snack 🙂 will surely try it soon

  38. toontz says:

    My kids would love these!

  39. Shannon says:

    We made a half batch of these and since we didn’t have coconut I added more cereal and some wheat germ. Also, they are so good dipped in chocolate! Kinda takes away the healthy treat, but still…we had to try it with a few.

  40. PheMom says:

    I am definitely going to have to try these! They look great!

  41. Brindi says:

    These look fabulous! My kids will love getting their hands into rolling these out.

  42. Melanie says:

    Hi Michelle – I think you could definitely leave out the coconut if you aren’t a fan but add some bulk by using more crushed up cereal or rice krispies. I don’t think it will affect the taste much – it will just eliminate the coconut texture which it sounds like your family doesn’t like anyway! Let me know if you end up trying them.

  43. Melanie says:

    Wanlass Family – thanks for taking the time to comment and let me know you liked this recipe. I also loved that I didn’t have to feel guilty if my boys snitched because there aren’t any eggs.

  44. Maria says:

    These look like the perfect snack!

  45. Anonymous says:

    OH MY HECK!!!! I am so thankful I stumbled across your blog. I made your clam chowder last night for dinner and it was so amazing! I have been looking for some new recipes and each time I tried something new it would end in upset- nothing was ever good. But holy smokes I am so gald I found you. ….you are going to save me from my rut!

  46. kitchenbelle says:

    These look delicious and freezing them so that they are always handy is a smart idea!

  47. Clarice says:

    Thanks, pb is one of my fav things, and this being healthy, all the better!

  48. kate says:

    I just made a half batch of these and it makes A LOT! They are delicious though and we will enjoy eating them over the next few weeks from the freezer. Thanks for another great recipe!

  49. HeatherM says:

    Found your blog from a plug on Studio 5. I’m really excited to try your recipes. They look YUMMY!

  50. Anonymous says:

    “they” are saying to stay away from all peanut butter —– HUGE—- salmonella outbreak

  51. Anonymous says:

    I made a batch of these and took them to a neighborhood party for a kid friendly food option. Not only were they a hit with the kids but the adults liked them as well. I like that they are a nice sweet treat with some healthier ingredients in them. I love that they can be stored in the freezer to have for another time. I actually think they taste best right out of the freezer! -Liz K.

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