Lemon muddy buddies, also known as puppy chow, is a sweet candy treat made from chex cereal, white chocolate, and fresh lemon zest. It's ready in just fifteen minutes with no baking required!
This lemon muddy buddies, also known as puppy chow, is ready in just a few minutes, and requires only four ingredients. It's crunchy, great for snacking, and filled with sweet lemon flavor.
Muddy buddies are easy to make for a crowd. This recipe is easy to double or triple, depending on your hunger level or quantity of guests.
My favorite ingredient? Fresh lemon zest. This gives your puppy chow that fresh and vibrant lemon flavor. Looking for another fun summer flavor? Try my strawberry muddy buddies.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Chex cereal - Any variety works in this recipe. I prefer rice chex. Corn chex is a good alternative.
- White chocolate melting wafers - can be substituted with white chocolate chips and coconut oil (used to help thin the chocolate chips to the right consistency).
- Lemon zest - Cannot be substituted with lemon juice. Adding liquid will cause your chocolate to seize.
- Confectioner's sugar - Also called powdered sugar or icing sugar. This will coat your snack mix, and cannot be substituted with granulated sugar.
Tips and tricks
Serve a crowd - As written, this recipe makes about eight half-cup servings. This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled to feed a crowd.
Mix in a bowl or bag - For easy cleanup, mix your muddy buddies in a large, gallon-sized plastic bag. It's easy to seal and shake to mix. Otherwise, a large bowl and spoon can get the job done.
Excess sugar? - Don't worry if you see excess confectioner's sugar in the bottom of the bag or bowl. Not all of the sugar is meant to stick on the cereal - this is normal.
Seizing chocolate? - Several readers have reached out to let me know that their chocolate seized when adding the lemon zest (only when using chocolate chips). While I have not been able to replicate this issue myself, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Using melting wafers seems to be more reliable than using chocolate chips.
- If using chocolate chips, add coconut oil to help stabilize the chocolate and make it thinner and easier to coat the cereal.
- Check the expiration date on your chocolate chips. If they are expired, it is likely that they'll have a chalky texture and will not melt smoothly.
- Do not substitute lemon zest with lemon juice. Adding liquid to your chocolate will 100% cause it to seize.
- Melt your chocolate in 30 second increments in the microwave, stirring after each 30 seconds. Overheating your chocolate will cause it to burn.
- The most reliable way to melt chocolate is over a double boiler on the stove top. Bring a pot of water to a simmer. In a bowl larger than your pot, add your chocolate and balance the bowl on top of your pot. Stir continuously until just melted and smooth.
Frequently asked questions
Muddy buddies is also known as puppy chow, reindeer chow, reindeer mix, or muddy munch.
It should go without saying, but (after receiving several comments about this) muddy buddies is for humans only, not dogs. This popular American snack was nicknamed "puppy chow" due to its similar look to the dog food with the same name.
For more information, check out: Wikipedia: Puppy chow (snack)
Allow your muddy buddies to dry completely before storing. Otherwise, the wet chocolate can build up moisture in the container it's stored in and make the cereal soggy.
Muddy buddies will last about 1 week when stored in a tightly sealed container at room temperature, but is best within 3 to 4 days.
No, it can be stored safely at room temperature. I'd recommend storing in the refrigerator if your home is very warm and the chocolate begins to melt.
Yes! I'd recommend adding in about 1 cup of mix-ins for every 4 cups of chex cereal used. Here are a few ideas to get you started: mini pretzels, mini marshmallows, M&M's candies, crushed golden Oreo cookies, almonds, or cashews.
No, lemon juice will cause the white chocolate to seize up. Instead, only use the lemon zest suggested in the recipe.
Lemon Muddy Buddies (Puppy Chow)
- 4 cups chex cereal
- 1 cup white chocolate melting wafers, * see notes for substitutions
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
- ½ cup confectioner's sugar
- In a large bowl, add cereal. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, microwave melting wafers in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until melted. Add lemon zest to melted chocolate and stir to combine. Pour chocolate over cereal and gently toss until evenly coated.
- Add powdered sugar and gently toss cereal until evenly coated.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper and pour cereal mixture into a single layer. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes (or until chocolate has hardened). Store in an airtight container until ready to serve.
- *melting wafers can be substituted with 1 cup of white chocolate chips, plus 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Coconut oil helps stabilize the chocolate chips when the lemon zest is added, and makes the chocolate thinner to easily coat the cereal.
- Lemon zest cannot be substituted with lemon juice - adding liquid will cause your chocolate to seize.
- Optionally, toss your ingredients in a gallon sized plastic bag - making it easy for children to help.
- Puppy chow will keep for up to one week in a sealed container at room temperature and will become less crunchy over time.