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Caramel Puppy Chow

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Caramel puppy chow is the perfect combination of crunchy and sweet, easy to make and fun to eat. It is perfect for a party, a quick treat or a fun addition to your holiday menu.

close up of bowl of caramel puppy chow.

A good quick and easy snack mix recipe is always handy to have around.  If that recipe has only 4 ingredients and takes almost no effort, all the better!

Caramel puppy chow takes only a few minutes to make and is perfectly munchable.  This recipe will make a fun addition to your puppy chow and muddy buddies recipe box!

Cereal coated in tasty flavors and tossed in powdered sugar almost always makes for a fun treat.  After years of only making the original chocolate and peanut butter puppy chow, it has been a fun adventure to try different scrumptious versions.

pouring melted caramel over cereal.

Do you call these mixes puppy chow or muddy buddies? Perhaps you call them something else entirely.  After a discussion on my Facebook page recently, it seems like the difference might be somewhat regional.

Here in the center of the United States, we grew up on puppy chow.  I only ever saw it called muddy buddies on the bags in convenience stores when I was older.

No matter what you call it, the sweet and crunchy mix that is almost too easy to make and even easier to eat is always popular in my family.  There is something so strangely satisfying about popping the little squares into your mouth.

bowl of powdered sugar covered caramel puppy chow.

Though the powdered sugar coating on your fingers seems like it should be a bit annoying, I think the nostalgic properties overtake any annoyance.  Instead it becomes an endearing part of the experience.

Most recipes we have tried still start with the basic chocolate base.  This one goes off the beaten bath a bit and uses melted caramel instead.

The caramel adds a deep flavor and using bags of caramel bits makes it super easy.  The addition of a bit of caramel sauce helps thin it out enough to lightly coat the cereal.

Of course that gives a nice sticky base for the powdered sugar to stick to.  Just think of how much fun it is going to be to eat!

serving bowl filled caramel muddy buddies.

I think this caramel version is super versatile.  It would be fabulous with a drop or two of apple flavoring for the fall.

Of course as it is it would be amazing for holiday parties and on treat trays.  It would also be fun for game day snacks or a road trip munch.

Toss in some peanuts for a sweet and salty mix or colored candies for a festive pop. Or imagine adding some toasted pecans to the mix.

If you like caramel snacks, you may also like crunchy baked caramel corn.  Or you make like the fun mix of ingredients in the sweet and salty caramel snack mix.

Squirrel chow snack mix is another fun variation of puppy chow.  It’s a fun mix of textures and flavors and makes me think of fall. 

What are your favorite snack mix combinations? Have you tried a fun puppy chow variation recently?

Make a batch of this goodness and tell me all about your favorites in the comments or on social media.

serving bowl filled caramel muddy buddies.

Caramel Puppy Chow

Servings: 6 Servings
Author: Carlee
Caramel puppy chow is the perfect combination of crunchy and sweet, easy to make and fun to eat. It is perfect for a party, a quick treat or a fun addition to your holiday menu.
4.86 from 7 ratings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Total Time 6 minutes


  • 1 cup caramel bits
  • 2 Tablespoons caramel sundae topping
  • 5 cups rice Chex cereal
  • optional: pinch of salt
  • 1 cup powdered sugar


  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment or wax paper.
  • Place the caramel bits in a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl and heat for 35 seconds. Stir and reheat as needed.
    1 cup caramel bits
  • Add in the caramel sundae topping to loosen the mixture. Stir in a pinch of salt if desired. 
    2 Tablespoons caramel sundae topping, optional: pinch of salt
  • Stir in the Chex cereal and coat completely.
    5 cups rice Chex cereal
  • Place the powdered sugar in a large zip-top bag and add in the caramel coated cereal.
    1 cup powdered sugar
  • Close the bag and shake well to fully coat the cereal with sugar.
  • Empty the cereal onto the prepared baking sheet. Let dry for an hour before packaging or serving.


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 283kcalCarbohydrates: 70gProtein: 2gFat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 397mgSugar: 51g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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4.86 from 7 votes (7 ratings without comment)
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