Crunchy and sweet cupcake puppy chow is a guaranteed crowd-pleasing snack at birthday parties or any celebration that calls for lots of sprinkles. Vanilla and butter extracts give it a completely from-scratch cake batter taste (no box cake mix needed) and will have everyone coming back for another handful. Grab a box of Chex cereal and let’s get started!
Nothing says party time like plenty of snacks, cupcakes, and, of course, sprinkles!
We’re combining all 3 of those party favorites into the ultimate party food—puppy chow! No, this isn’t dog food, just the incredibly tasty snack that’s also known as Muddy Buddies. I have a few versions of puppy chow on my site, like peppermint crunch puppy chow and cookies and cream puppy chow, but it’s only right that we have a sprinkle-kissed variation.
If you love recipes like my sprinkle cupcakes and rainbow sprinkle scones, or anything with plenty of sprinkles (GUILTY), don’t sleep on this sprinkly-sweet snack mix. Today’s cupcake puppy chow will give you all the feels of sneaking a taste of that leftover confetti cake batter straight from the mixing bowl.
Why Everyone Loves Cupcake Puppy Chow
- Taste: Instead of relying on a store-bought cake mix, vanilla and butter extracts give the puppy chow that nostalgic cake batter flavor. Melted white chocolate, a bit of heavy cream, and confectioners’ sugar bring it all together for a sweet, creamy coating. A sweet tooth is a must for this treat!
- Texture: Chex cereal and sprinkles provide all the crunchy texture we need for easy handheld snacking. Top it off with a generous dusting of confectioners’ sugar for a smooth, sweet finish.
- Ease: An easy no-bake recipe that takes about 20 minutes from start to finish. With a group of friends and a bowl of this stuff around, it can be gone just as quickly, too! Totally convenient for when you need a quick party treat or a special afternoon snack.
By the way, McCormick now makes (affiliate link) cake batter extract that would be so tasty here. I’ve used it in other recipes before. You can skip the butter extract and replace with cake batter extract if desired. I haven’t seen this product in stores, so I usually order it online.
No Cake Mix Needed
I have a few recipes on my site that include store-bought cake mix, like my popular cake batter chocolate chip cookies (the cookie that launched my first cookbook, Sally’s Baking Addiction!) and cake batter blondies. As their names suggest, these recipes rely on boxed cake mix as part of their ingredient list in order to achieve that classic, buttery cake batter flavor we all know and love. These chocolate cake mix cookies are another favorite. Sometimes we can all use a little shortcut. No problem with that!
For this cupcake puppy chow, however, we ditch the cake mix and use white chocolate, butter extract, and vanilla extract. You can often find butter extract in the baking aisle or you can purchase (affiliate link) butter extract online.
Let’s Make Cupcake Puppy Chow
Cupcake puppy chow is so simple to make, it hardly even feels like a recipe. Let’s quickly break down the steps:
- Measure out Chex cereal. Be sure to use Chex and not Crispex or another brand. I’ve found other cereals can break easily. Makes for some very messy puppy chow!
- Melt the white chocolate with a little oil. Use pure white baking chocolate or white chocolate candy melts. Do not use white chocolate chips. They contain stabilizers that will prevent them from fully melting. (Save them for a batch of inside out chocolate chip cookies!)
- Add cream, and then the vanilla extract and butter extract to the white chocolate.
- Combine Chex, white chocolate mixture, and sprinkles. As best you can, gently mix the Chex and white chocolate mixture until all pieces are coated. Let it rest for 3–4 minutes before adding the sprinkles. (Too soon and the sprinkles will lose all their color and bleed in the hot mixture. Too late and they won’t stick. 3–4 minutes is perfect!)
- Dust with confectioners’ sugar. The classic finishing touch. Add the confectioners’ sugar and puppy chow to a large plastic bag or container and shake/mix until the cereal is completely coated.
Speaking of Sprinkles…
I typically use rainbow nonpareils (what I used in these photos) because they add a nice crunch and stick well to the Chex. You could also use a mix of nonpareils with regular rainbow jimmies and/or rainbow quins, but avoid large sprinkles. They won’t stick to the mix as well. Instead of rainbow sprinkles, feel free to use a fun holiday mix like these Christmas nonpareils or these Valentine’s Day nonpareils. So fun!
More Party Snack Recipes:
- Sweet & Spicy Honey Chex Mix
- Homemade Cheese Crackers
- S’mores Puppy Chow
- Seasoned Pretzels
- Candied Nuts
Crunchy and sweet cupcake puppy chow is a guaranteed crowd-pleasing snack at birthday parties or any celebration that calls for lots of sprinkles. Vanilla and butter extracts give it a completely from-scratch cake batter taste (no box cake mix needed) and will have everyone coming back for more.
- 5 cups (135g) Rice Chex cereal
- 10 ounces (282g) white chocolate, finely chopped*
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil or coconut oil
- 2 Tablespoons (30ml) heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon butter extract*
- 1/2 cup (about 90g) rainbow sprinkles (I use these)
- 1 and 1/2 cups (180g) confectioners’ sugar
- Pour the cereal in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Melt white chocolate and oil together. You can melt it in a double boiler or the microwave. If using the microwave: place the white chocolate and oil in a medium heat-proof bowl. Heat in 20-second increments in the microwave, stirring after each increment, until completely melted and smooth.
- Remove from heat. Stir in the heavy cream first, and then the vanilla extract and butter extract.
- Pour warm white chocolate mixture over cereal. Stir it all together gently, making sure not to break the cereal. Wait about 3–4 minutes (no longer) and then gently fold in the sprinkles.
- Pour the warm chocolate-covered cereal in a large zipped-top bag or sealable container. Add the confectioners’ sugar. Seal the bag or container and shake until all the cereal is coated with the confectioners’ sugar.
- Discard any excess confectioners’ sugar. Store tightly covered at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, if it lasts that long!
- Special Tools (affiliate links): Glass Mixing Bowls | Butter Extract | Nonpareil Sprinkles
- Cereal: Do not use Crispex or other crispy cereal. Rice Chex is the best option here.
- White Chocolate: Use the 4-ounce (113g) white chocolate baking bars, such as Baker’s or Ghirardelli brands, found in the baking aisle next to the chocolate chips. (You will need 2.5 of them to yield 10 ounces.) Don’t use white chocolate chips, because they will not melt/coat properly. You can also use almond bark or white/vanilla melting wafers.
- Butter Extract: You can make the puppy chow without the butter extract if needed. Or feel free to replace with more vanilla extract, or replace with this cake batter extract.
Keywords: cupcake puppy chow