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Puppy chow snack mix gets a festive twist with pumpkin spices and candy pumpkins.

pumpkin spice puppy chow in a bowl

Puppy chow – aka Muddy Buddies – is not dog food. No, no! Puppy chow is a snack mix… for humans.

Making pumpkin puppy chow could not be easier. It’s really just a few ingredients mixed together. No baking involved, no chilling involved. Less work, more eating.

With pumpkin puppy chow on my to-do list, I got a little excited when I spotted orange candy melts in the store last week. What are candy melts? They are a sugary little coating and wonderful for making cake pops and other dipped candies.

collage of pumpkin spice puppy chow ingredients

Here are a few of the ingredients I used to make my pumpkin spice puppy chow. I list substitutes below this photo if you cannot find these products.

Cinnamon Chex cereal.

The cinnamon flavored Chex cereal gives the puppy chow a stronger cinnamon-sugar flavor. It is the perfect base for this puppy chow. You may use Rice Chex, Crispex, or any plain rice cereal squares you can find.


You need a few individual spices for this mix including cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice. This is a great place to use homemade pumpkin pie spice if you have it. See recipe Note.

Wilton orange candy melts.

Again, this isn’t chocolate. It’s a sugary melting coating. It’s sold online, in baking shops, Walmart, and craft stores like Michael’s. You need one 12-ounce bag. If you can’t find orange candy melts, use pure white chocolate instead like Baker’s or Ghirardelli – both sold in all major grocery stores.

Mallowcreme pumpkins.

I love adding to this pumpkin spice puppy chow. You could use candy corn, Hershey’s Pumpkin Spice Kisses, Pumpkin Spice M&Ms or Candy Corn M&Ms, or some orange sprinkles. Any of these additions turn this sweet fall snack into a festive Halloween treat. Would be so fun served alongside these decorated Halloween cookies!

pumpkin spice puppy chow
pumpkin spice puppy chow in a bowl

If you love pumpkin spiced goodies, you’re going to flip for this puppy chow. You’ll also enjoy these pumpkin snickerdoodles and pumpkin muffins—two favorites!

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pumpkin spice puppy chow in a bowl

Pumpkin Spice Puppy Chow

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 10 cups 1x
  • Category: Snacks
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


This sugary snack mix gets a festive twist with pumpkin spices and mellowcreme pumpkins. Be warned – this stuff is hard to resist! Recipe can easily be halved or doubled.


  • 13.5 oz box (about 78 cups) Cinnamon Chex cereal, or Rice Chex
  • 12 ounces orange candy melts or pure white chocolate
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg*
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves*
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice*
  • 1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 12 cups mellowcreme pumpkins*


  1. Pour the cereal into a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. In 20 second increments, melt the candy melts or white chocolate in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Stir after each increment until melted and completely smooth. Stir in 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, the nutmeg, cloves, and allspice until combined. Pour mixture over cereal and toss gently to coat each square. Be gentle, the squares break easily.
  3. Pour the confectioners’ sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon into a large zipped-top bag. Add the coated cereal and shake until each piece is coated. Pour back into a large bowl and discard excess confectioners’ sugar. Toss in the mellowcreme pumpkins. Use 1-2 cups, whatever amount you prefer.
  4. Cover and store puppy chow for up to 2 weeks.


  1. Spices: Instead of nutmeg, cloves, and allspice, you can use 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of store-bought or homemade pumpkin pie spice. You could replace the cinnamon with pumpkin pie spice, too.
  2. Pumpkins: Instead of mellowcreme pumpkins, try adding 1 cup of Pumpkin Spice M&Ms or Candy Corn M&Ms, 1 cup of Pumpkin Spice Hershey’s Kisses, 1 cup of cinnamon chips, 1/2 cup of orange sprinkles, or even 1 cup of salty pumpkin seeds (which will cut the sweetness of the snack mix).

Keywords: pumpkin spice puppy chow

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. I made this today for the game and mixed them with s’mores flavored candy corn. I couldn’t find those cute little pumpkins.

  2. Wow! This pumpkin puppy chow is so delicious! I made it this weekend, needless to say it was a big hit. My kids and hubby loved it! Love your blog.

  3. I used white chocolate chips to make this but the melted chocolate was too thick a paste to easily spread over the chex. Many of the pieces couldn’t get coated, and those that did have globs of chocolate on them. If you make this, I’d definitely use candy melts because I’m guessing those melt better.

    1. If using white chocolate chips and not pure white chocolate, you will need to add shortening to help smooth the chips out. That is why I recommend white chocolate (or candy melts- made for melting) and not the chips which contain stabilizers.

  4. Made the puppy chow this week for a work bridal shower luncheon for another lover of anything pumpkin. It was a huge hit, and it is “AMAZINGLY ADDICTIVE!!” according to my co-workers!! Thanks for sharing this recipe!!

  5. Just made this for a fall family birthday get together. Fast, easy, and oh so good!

  6. just made this for small group tonight. I love all the spices, but it was a little too sweet for me. Next time I’d use plain corn chex instead of cinnamon chex.

  7. Just made this today for a Halloween party. I almost couldn’t stop eating it–I had to put it away or there wouldn’t be any left! Party is tomorrow, but I have a feeling these will be a huge success 🙂

  8. Oh my sweet tooth. This stuff is craaaazy good! I just made a batch while my son was napping and I told my hubby that he better come home early or there might not be any left. I literally have no self control. I’m also 34 weeks pregnant so…

    Thanks for sharing, Sally!

  9. Just made these…yum!!!  I used ghirardelli white chips and added gel food coloring.  Using the double boiler method, they melted beautifully and evenly coated the cereal.  

  10. I’ve made this a couple times now and started dabbling–I find the white chocolate coats the cereal better if I put 1 tsp cinnamon in there and 2 tsp in the confectioner’s sugar. Either way, this mix is soooo good and the only problem is that I can’t seem to stop “testing” it before packing it up for family and friends!

  11. I made this today! Added reese’s pieces and used pumpkin spice chips instead of orange melts. SO good! 

  12. I like to use whole wheat Chex cereal for my puppy chow! It doesn’t break as easy and it’s better for you!! I can’t wait to make this!!!!

  13. I made a 3rd of a batch to celebrate my first weekend at home this fall. Delicious, and I am taking pumpkin spice truffles to work tomorrow for our Cheese Products Day! (Since they are made with cream cheese)

  14. I just made this tonight for our Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. I think it will be a huge hit, tastes so great. Thank you! 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving!

  15. I am making this for our Halloween get together on the 30th to “test” before I make for goody bags for far in advance can it be made??

  16. Love this! I like to add regular m&m’s in the fall colors and the candy corn harvest mix. I do think the clove flavor is a bit overpowering so would suggest using less.

  17. Im making this right now with the white chocolate morsels.. I added the pumpkin spice and cinnamon to the melted chocolate.. but it looked pretty thick.. so I threw it back in the micro for another 20secs.. and it got thicker! I only bought enough for these 2 boxes of cereal! Help please anyone! Making last minute for my daughter tmrw and stores are closed. How can I still melt this white chocolate (w/ cinnamon/pumpkin spice)??

  18. Always a hit during fall! It’s fool-proof and everyone loves it. Can also easily be made gluten free if all other ingredients used are GF.

  19. This is so yummy! We didn’t use candy corn (only because we had eaten it all the week before) and used Ghiradelli white chocolate (melted as directed on the bag) as suggested. It’s sweet without being too sweet and the spices add a great flavor. Sally, you have the best recipes!

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