Peppermint Crunch Puppy Chow

This peppermint crunch puppy chow is a festively sweet, completely irresistible holiday snack mix made from just Chex cereal, white chocolate, candy canes, and confectioner’s sugar. Kids love helping with the shaking step (and eating step!!). It only takes about 10 minutes to throw together and is the perfect last minute addition to any holiday cookie tray or Christmas gathering.

peppermint crunch candy cane puppy chow

Listen up. Today I’m bringing one of my classic Christmas recipes back into the spotlight. Originally published in 2012 and my first “viral” recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction, this Peppermint Crunch Puppy Chow has been a constant favorite for the past several years. Inspired by the candy cane Muddy Buddies that Chex sells, this foolproof recipe is extra sweet, crunchy, and requires only 4 ingredients.

Have you ever tried it?

Puppy Chow = Muddy Buddies

I receive a lot of confused questions about this! Depending where you live, this Chex cereal snack mix can be called Puppy Chow or Muddy Buddies. I grew up calling it puppy chow. But no, this is not dog food! It’s for humans. Originally made with peanut butter and chocolate, this holiday variation makes everyone happy. (The people, not the dogs!)

peppermint crunch candy cane puppy chow

This Peppermint Crunch Puppy Chow:

  • Is easy to double or triple for a big crowd
  • Comes together in about 10 minutes
  • Is instant holiday gratification
  • Requires only 4 ingredients
  • Is crunchy, sweet, and massively irresistible

It’s welcome of adaptions too. Many readers substitute the white chocolate for semi-sweet chocolate and add sprinkles along with the crushed candy canes.

Quick Recipe Video

candy cane chex mix ingredients and pouring white chocolate into bowl of candy cane chex mix

candy cane chex mix in a bowl and candy cane chex mix in a bag

How to Make Peppermint Crunch Puppy Chow

  1. Pour cereal into a large bowl. Use rice chex, not corn chex or wheat chex.
  2. Melt white chocolate. You can also use almond bark or melting white/vanilla candy wafers. I recommend pure white chocolate, which is sold as 4 ounce bars. It’s what I use for coating these peppermint bark cookies, too. I suggest melting it in the microwave.
  3. Pour white chocolate over cereal. Carefully mix to coat the cereal.
  4. Crush candy canes. You can purchase already crushed candy canes in some grocery stores. If you’re crushing the candy canes yourself, see my tip below. Fold the candy canes into the cereal. I added red and green sprinkles to the pictured puppy chow, too!
  5. Place into a bag or sealable container. Spoon/pour the coated cereal into a large zipped-top bag or sealable container. Seal shut.
  6. Shake! Add confectioners’ sugar, which acts as the coating to “set” the white chocolate, and shake until all of the cereal is coated. I slightly reduced the powdered sugar from the original version, so more of the candy canes can stick to the white chocolate. (Expect some to fall off, but most will stick!)

Kids love helping with that last step. And they LOVE this recipe. It’s sweet and festive!

peppermint crunch puppy chow

How to Crush Candy Canes

Have I ever taught you this before? My trick for crushing candy canes is to use a large zipped-top bag. Unwrap the candy canes, place in the bag, squeeze out the air, seal shut, then lightly bang on the candy canes with a rolling pin. Go slowly and as gently as you can. The candy canes will puncture the bag a little bit, but if you go slowly, they won’t come flying out– I promise.

This is how I crush candy canes for peppermint bark, too!

peppermint crunch candy cane puppy chow

If you need a quick last minute treat for a cookie exchange, potluck, gathering, holiday party, or something to munch on while making Christmas cookies, whip up a batch of this stuff. I love giving it away in little Christmas treat bags, too. It’s CRAZY to watch how people flock to this stuff– kids and adults alike! (And knowing how simple it is, too!)

More Easy Christmas Treats

peppermint crunch candy cane puppy chow

Peppermint Crunch Puppy Chow

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 5 cups
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Sweet snack mix made with white chocolate and candy canes. Perfect to serve or give away during the holiday season!


  • 5 cups (135g) Rice Chex cereal
  • 10 ounces (282g) white chocolate, finely chopped*
  • 1 cup crushed peppermint candy canes (about 810 large candy canes)*
  • 3/4 cup (90g) confectioners’ sugar


  1. Pour the cereal into a large bowl.
  2. Melt white chocolate. You can use a double boiler or the microwave. If using the microwave, melt in 20 second increments, stopping and stirring after each until completely smooth and melted. Pour melted chocolate over cereal, stirring and folding until the cereal is completely covered. Fold in the crushed candy canes.
  3. Pour the warm chocolate covered cereal/candy canes 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.
  4. Discard any excess confectioners’ sugar. Store at room temperature up to 1 week or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, if it lasts that long!


  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: This snack mix can be prepped a week ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to serve. You can also prepare and freeze this snack mix for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature before serving.
  2. White Chocolate: Use 4-ounce white chocolate baking bars, such as Bakers 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. Chocolate chips contain stabilizers and are processed so that they DO NOT melt in the oven. You can also use almond bark or white/vanilla melting chips often found in the seasonal section of the grocery store.
  3. Candy Canes: See above for how to easily crush candy canes. In addition to the 1 cup of crushed candy canes, I added 3 Tablespoons of red and green sprinkles. That’s optional.

Keywords: peppermint puppy chow

peppermint crunch candy cane puppy chow


  1. Wow! Saw this recipe at work, bought the supplies on the way home and just finished making them! I am beyond hooked! Soooo good and easy! Dont if they will last to the weekend lol.

    On a side note I do agree about target! I cant leave w just one thing. They must put something in the air…or so I tell myself :c)

    1. Hey Talitha! – aren’t you just in love with this chow? I still can’t believe how easy it is to make and I’m glad you made it too! I can hardly contain myself in Target. It’s an addiction. 🙂

  2. I made this and put it in a festive cloth bag for a work gift exchange. The puppy chow was passed around and people wanted the recipe. Plan to make lots this December!

    1. Hi Kathy! Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know how much you and your coworkers liked this recipe! That means a lot! I plan to make it a lot more this holiday season as well. 🙂

  3. Hi Sally! How long do you let your puppy chow mix cool BEFORE covering in powedered sugar? I find that my powdered sugar always melts….but if I wait too long, it doesn’t stick. Any tips?

    1. Hi Caroline! I do not let the puppy chow cool – I immediately shake it up in a large baggie with the powdered sugar. I’ve never had a problem doing so. Perhaps try waiting about 5 minutes? That may help. Thank you!

  4. I made this just the other night as little Christmas gifts for some girls I lead a Bible study for! They loved it and a few have already asked for the recipe! I love the peppermint spin on the puppy chow; next time I might even try adding some peppermint extract to the white chocolate! Thanks for sharing!!

    1. peppermint extract to the white chocoalte – love that idea! I’ll try that next time. Thank you for writing in and reporting back – that means a lot! I’m glad you and the bible study gals enjoyed it 🙂

  5. Yum. My idea was to do this with melted peppermint kisses

    1. That sounds great! Those are my favorite variety of Hershey’s Kisses. Wish they were available year round.

  6. How may cals are in this do you think??

  7. I made these over the weekend and they tasted so good! My only question – how did you get the peppermint to show up so nicely? When I shook everything up in the powdered sugar, it coated the peppermint, so the mix just looked white. Not as pretty as your pictures. Thanks for any tips!

    1. Hi Lisa! So glad you like this puppy chow – I’m not sure how my candy canes showed up and yours didn’t. Try adding them after you coat the chow with powdered sugar next time or maybe use less sugar in your case. They may not stick as well though!

  8. Thanks for the tip, I will try that next time! By the way, I liked these so much I started following you on Pinterest. 🙂

    1. Thanks Lisa! Glad to hear that!

  9. I feel like this needs a more festive name…like Reindeer Chow! I hope you don’t mind if I call it that. 🙂 I plan on making some for my sister-in-law’s Christmas party this coming weekend. Can’t wait to try it. It looks soooo delicious!!

    1. Thanks Jessica! I thought the peppermint crunch was pretty festive but reindeer chow is adorable! Love that. This recipe is a huge hit at parties – people can NEVER stop munching on it! Handful after handful…

  10. I made something similar! Instead of using white chocolate I melted Candy Cane Hershey’s Kisses! I also prefer Crispix to Chex, but that part doesn’t really matter. It turned out great and I am now the designated dessert maker in the family!

    1. Celina, I love that idea! Those candy cane kisses are one of my favorite kiss flavors. I should try crispix sometime, I love that cereal alone with milk in the morning so why not try it in this dessert mix? I am the dessert maker in the family as well! (obviously!)

  11. It isn’t Christmas at our house until the Cream Wafers are made. I told my Husband I wasn’t going to start making them until his Mother was dead. 🙂 Because they are a pain. But happy to say Grandma Ginny still alive and kick’n!!!! But I have broken down and started to bake them 3 years ago. A to die for cookie that we make once a year.

    1. Homemade Cream Wafers sound wonderful! I have recipes I only make once per year as well – makes them much more special that way.

  12. Hi Sally! I just made a batch of these a couple hours ago and they were gone within an hour! My mom even told me not to make them for our family again because she’s trying to be healthy and she’ll be too tempted to eat all of them! Thanks for another great recipe that was a hit!

    1. LOVE this stuff! It is always a hit with my family too. And yes, it’s very very addicting/tempting!

  13. Oh wow, I see this is last year’s recipe but it so needs to become this year’s reality!

    1. YES! I can’t wait to make it again this year.

  14. Do you have any tips for crushing the candy canes? Can’t wait to try this recipe!

    1. Put them in a large ziplock bag and bang on them with something hard. I use a hammer. It’s loud and annoying, but it does the job!

  15. I made this last year around the holidays. It must have left quite an impression because my 13 year old son just requested I make this for his class Christmas party next week! Super Tasty!

    1. This stuff is too good to forget each year, that’s for sure. Thanks Marie! I know everyone will love it.

  16. Hi Sally! love your blog and thanks for all the great recipes…:) just made this and put the candy canes in the blender..Worked great! some was quite powdery, so I don’t think I need the powdered sugar..Very yummy as is…Is there something it does? Thanks!!!

    1. Hi Jill! The powdered sugar does what your candy cane “powder” did. It coats the chocolate covered cereal. Usually I just crush the candy canes into pieces, so they aren’t necessarily in powder form. That’s why I use powdered sugar.

  17. This looks sooooo yummy and I can’t wait to make it!! Any idea how many candy canes are needed to get 1 cup of crushed candy canes?

    1. I think it’s about 12. Enjoy Emily!

  18. Yummy…going to try this, although I’m not a huge fan of peppermint, so I think I will try it with red hits or cinnamon candy canes! Thanks for the idea!

    1. Sorry…red hots (not red hits)!

      1. Oh it would be SO GOOD with red hots. I love those! I actually need to try it now. Thanks Kim!

  19. Hey Sally! Did you ever try this with dark chocolate instead of white chocolate? I’m thinking about making it with dark chocolate to give as gifts for co-workers, and I’m curious to know how it turned out!

    1. Hey Brit! Wow, dark chocolate would be perfection! I’ve never tried it. If you try it before I do – let me know how you like it. Though… obviously… it will be delicious. Use 10 ounces of it.

  20. Morica Reinsch says:

    Just wanted to let you know that I loved the new look of your website and I’m so excited that you have a book coming out!! Cannot wait to make this tomorrow!

    1. Thank you so much Morica!

  21. I will be making this for the first time ever this weekend and I’m super excited! I have never made Chex mix/puppy chow before, but I will be packaging a cup or so of this for each of my coworkers (there’s 18 of them!!!) for their Christmas gifts. I’m afraid that the chocolate will cause the cereal to come out in large clumps, but I love how in your picture they look like individual squares. Do you ever have an issue with the squares sticking to each other? By the way, I made six dozen of your Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies for Thanksgiving and every single one of them disappeared!! You are amazing!

    Thank you (:

    1. Hey Amanda! This puppy chow is a great holiday recipe to make for coworkers – I made them for my old coworkers last year. The purpose of the powdered sugar is to break up the huge chunks of the melted chocolate and the squares. It prevents it all from sticking together too much.

      The chewy chocolate chunk cookies are always a hit! So happy they were enjoyed.

  22. Hi Sally,
    Just wondering, around how many cups of cereal are in a box?

  23. Looks delicious! Similar recipe with popcorn:
    3bags unbuttered microwave popcorn (or homemade popcorn same approximate amount)
    2 bags of Wilton candy cane melts.
    Melt the chocolate 1 minute,mix til smooth.
    (For those of us who like extra crunch, crush a candy cane or two before melting the chocolate.)
    Mix together popcorn & chocolate,then add candy cane. Pour onto wax paper to harden, store in airtight container!!

    1. That sounds amazing. I have to try it around the holidays Julie! Thanks for the suggestion.

  24. Michelle @ Modern Acupuncture says:

    Just made this and it’s A-MAY-ZING! Thank you so much for this recipe 🙂 Can’t wait to take it to the coworkers tomorrow. They will absolutely love it. Planning to try your cupcake puppy chow soon!

  25. Please be clear! These treats are NOT for dogs!!! I saw the title and thought it was homemade dog treats. There should be a comment SOMEWHERE in the text saying “not for dogs”. I didn’t find it there. No way would I feed these things to my dog…it might kill them and for sure would make them sick.

    1. I would never feed this amount of sugar or chocolate to my dog and I make sure to note “not dog food” in all my puppy chow/muddy buddy recipes. Thanks Deb!

  26. Have made a different version of these in the past and called it “people chow”.   How would this be in a care package to a serviceman?

  27. I’ve seen this recipe pop up on Facebook for the last two years during the holidays. Sooooo I finally made this…and well, it sure looked like it would be good in a bowl with milk. So I did! OH. YUM. Luckily, I was due a cheat day 😉 

  28. This was sooo good and so tasty!! I dressed mine up with some red and green smarties (M&Ms) and divided it in to large green mason jars to give away 🙂 I can’t wait to try your other  puppy chow recipes!

  29. We made this and wanted a little extra peppermint flavor, so we added 1/4 tsp peppermint extract. Delicious!

  30. I am going to try this but am thinking of adding mini marshmallows too! Also hope I can get the white chocolate to melt on the stove. Our microwave died awhile back and we’ve learned to live without it for the most part 🙂

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