Coated with the perfect ratio of peanut butter and chocolate, the cereal in this very best puppy chow recipe forms the tastiest little clusters. It’s so good!

Say goodbye to the puppy chow of decades past, this new and improved recipe is all grown up and addictively delicious. I’m sharing a few key tips that take this puppy chow from ordinary to amazing!

Pile of peanut butter and chocolate puppy chow in white bowl.

What Makes This Puppy Chow Different

There is no special food rocket science behind puppy chow (or muddy buddies, as they are called in some places depending on where you live and/or how you were raised!).

Puppy chow is simply chex cereal + peanut butter and chocolate + powdered sugar coating.

However, I humbly submit that making just a few key changes elevates good ol’ puppy chow to new heights.

This is how we’re doing it:

  1. Increasing the peanut butter
  2. Including a bit of cocoa powder with the powdered sugar in the coating
  3. Letting the puppy chow rest before shaking in powdered sugar/cocoa for optimal cluster forming (as well as shaking the bag JUST RIGHT).

Even with all those bossy bits of advice, this snacky peanut butter chocolate treat is insanely easy to make.

The peanut butter/chocolate chip/butter mixture is melted quickly in the microwave and then poured over the chex cereal.

I find that a flat silicone spatula is the very best for mixing the cereal so it stays in full pieces without breaking apart.

Let the coated cereal mixture rest for just a few minutes until it goes from wet and shiny to looking a bit sticky. This is an important step. If it is too wet, the powdered sugar soaks into the runny chocolate instead of forming a powdery coating on the outside.

Using two 1-gallon ziploc bags (or use a single 2-gallon ziploc bag…I keep these revolutionary bags on hand just for this puppy chow recipe), shake the chocolate-covered cereal and powdery coating together.

Then, spread the puppy chow mixture on a parchment-lined baking sheet to let it cool and set. At this point, you can easily sprinkle on a bit more powdered sugar and toss by hand if there are extra gooey spots that need it.

Perfect Puppy Chow Clusters

This recipe for perfect puppy chow is all grown up. It is defiantly (yes, defiantly) more decadent and chocolatey with less risk of inhaling enough powdered sugar to clog a lung.

And it still manages to be super fun, super kid-friendly, and super delicious. My kids LOVE this stuff.

Once you’ve experienced those ultra-chocolatey puppy chow clusters, there’s no going back.

To get perfect clusters, this recipe 1) uses a bit less powdered sugar coating than some recipes call for, and 2) requires shaking the bag less intensely/for less time than you would if you were coating each piece individually in powdered sugar.

Bowl filled with a towering pile of peanut butter and chocolate puppy chow.

A Revolutionary Storage Tip for Puppy Chow

I’m going to leave you with one final note, and it may be the most important thing you’ll read all day.

Note of all notes: Your life will forever be changed if you store this puppy chow in the freezer. Yes, the freezer. It is unbelievably delicious eaten straight from that chilly incubator.

Like, make a double batch, tell no one, (possibly buy an extra freezer), stash it behind the half open bag of freezer-burned tater tots, and start living your best life.

Several pieces of peanut butter and chocolate puppy chow coated with powdered sugar.

One Year AgoBirthday Cake Swig-Style Sugar Cookies
Two Years Ago: Cheesy Zucchini Spaghetti Casserole 
Three Years AgoMy Favorite Chicken Salad
Four Years AgoJalapeño Cheddar Turkey Burgers 
Five Years AgoCrazy Good Korean Beef Tacos
Six Years AgoSteak Fajitas with Chipotle Sour Cream
Seven Years AgoThe Best Zucchini Muffins {Whole Grain}
Eight Years AgoBBQ Chicken Salad Cilantro Lime Rice Bowls
Nine Years Ago:  Skillet Turkey Meatballs with Lemon Rice 
Ten Years Ago: Brookies {Brownie + Chocolate Chip Cookies}

White bowl filled with towering pile of peanut butter and chocolate coated chex cereal.

The Very Best Puppy Chow Recipe

4.91 stars (10 ratings)


  • 2 cups (340 g) semisweet chocolate chips (see note)
  • 1 ¼ cups (320 g) peanut butter (see note)
  • 6 tablespoons (85 g) salted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 10 ½ to 11 cups (352 g) rice or corn chex cereal (a 12-ounce box – see note)
  • 2 ½ cups (285 g) powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (11 g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder (see note)


  • In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter and cook for 1-minute intervals, stirring in between, until the mixture is smooth and fully melted. Don't overheat. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  • Place the cereal in a very large bowl or divide between two medium/large bowls.
  • Pour the chocolate mixture over the cereal. Use a silicone spatula to gently lift and stir the cereal (so it doesn't crush and break) until it is coated evenly.
  • Let the cereal rest until it goes from wet and shiny to looking a bit sticky, 5 to 10 minutes (this is an important step – If it is too wet, the powdered sugar soaks into the runny chocolate instead of forming a powdery coating on the outside).
  • In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and cocoa powder (see note).
  • Spoon about half of the powdered sugar mixture in the bottom of two 1-gallon ziploc bags or one 2-gallon ziploc bag (I keep these larger bags on hand just for this recipe – makes it so easy to mix!).
  • Add the cereal mixture to the bag(s). This step can be a bit messy. It helps to fold down the top of the bag a few inches and pile the cereal in.
  • Add the remaining powdered sugar mixture.
  • Close the bag and shake, turning the bag over as you go, until the cereal is mostly coated with the powdered sugar mixture and has formed clusters here and there.
  • (You can continue adding powdered sugar a little at a time and shaking to coat if you'd like a thicker powdery coating on the puppy chow, but be warned that this may result in less clusters.)
  • Spread the puppy chow out on a parchment-lined baking sheet. At this point, you can easily sprinkle on a bit more powdered sugar and toss by hand if there are extra gooey spots that need it. Let the puppy chow sit for 20 to 30 minutes to cool and set.
  • Store the puppy chow in the fridge or the freezer and experience how good life can be when munching on chilled clusters of this magnificent stuff.


Chocolate chips: if I’m being totally honest, my favorite variation of this recipe is 1 cup semisweet/1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips, but that is information meant solely for the intense chocolate lovers in the crowd. 
Chex: come to find out, the cereal in a 12-ounce box can weigh more than 12 ounces. This recipe calls for the amount of cereal in a 12-ounce box, but I’ve given weight and volume measures in case you are measuring cereal out of a larger box. If measuring with a measuring cup, don’t mound the cereal too high in the cup or you’ll end up with too much cereal and the mixture will be dry.
Substitutions: I haven’t tried subbing in another type of nut butter or a different type of cereal, but I have a feeling this recipe is pretty adaptable. 
Cocoa Powder: adding a bit of cocoa powder with the powdered sugar in the powdery coating helps bring out the chocolate flavor – the puppy chow is still plenty sweet, just more balanced (and more yummy!). However, you can use all powdered sugar, if you’d like.
Peanut Butter: I love the overall chocolate/PB balance of flavors in this recipe, however, if you want less of a peanut butter punch, you can decrease the PB to 1 cup.
Serving: 1 cup, Calories: 412kcal, Carbohydrates: 46g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 24g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 13mg, Sodium: 259mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 26g

Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe