★★★★★

Cherry Vanilla Puppy Chow

Looking for a unique Valentine’s Day snack? Cherry Puppy Chow puts a smile on everyone’s face. Pink and red sprinkles make this tasty treat extra fun to eat!

Puppy Chow makes a perfect party snack or gift. You’ll love this Peppermint Puppy Chow for the holidays! Or give our Valentine Brownies a try this holiday!

Puppy chow with Valentine sprinkles served in white bowls.

Puppy Chow or Muddy Buddies

Many of us grew up eating this sweet snack: cereal coated in melted candy or chocolate tossed with powdered sugar.

It’s known as Puppy Chow or Muddy Buddies, depending on who you ask! Whatever you call it, it’s insanely delicious.

We love our classic Puppy Chow Recipe, but today’s version gives it a cherry vanilla twist!

  • Using instant gelatin for cherry flavor and melted almond bark, it’s a breeze to make.
  • You only need a few minutes and five ingredients!

This Cherry Puppy Chow was such a hit, it disappeared almost as soon as the bowl hit the snack table. Make it for Valentine’s Day or ANY day!

Love puppy chow? Try our other fun flavors:

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed to make cherry puppy chow,
  • Sugar Free Cherry JELL-O. I use sugar free because the powdered sugar already makes the puppy chow plenty sweet. You will add the gelatin powder right to the recipe.
  • Vanilla Bark. This is also sold as “almond candy coating” in the baking aisle. Ghirardelli white chocolate wafers are also a delicious choice!
  • Rice Chex cereal. Or use any other favorite variety of Chex cereal squares.
  • Powdered sugar.
  • Sprinkles.

Tips and Tricks

Step by step photos showing how to make cherry puppy chow.
  • Melt the vanilla bark in the microwave. Heat it for 1 minute, then stir. Microwave for another 30 seconds, if needed, and stir until it’s fully smooth.
  • Stir in the JELL-O Mix. Sprinkle the gelatin right into the melted candy and stir.
  • Coating the cereal: Pour the melted candy coating right over the cereal. Transfer the coated cereal to a gallon sized zip bag. Add the powdered sugar and shake well until all the cereal is coated.
  • Sprinkles: I used heart shaped Valentine’s sprinkles. Feel free to use different sprinkles or change them up for different occasions!
  • Storing. Keep Cherry Puppy Chow in a sealed container at room temperature. It’ll stay good for about 2 weeks (but good luck not eating it all long before then!).

Recipe FAQs

Can I make Cherry Puppy Chow with regular JELL-O instead of sugar free?

Yes, you can, but do not use a whole box. If using regular JELL-O mix, add just half the box to start.

Can I make this with different flavors of JELL-O?

Go for it! One of the best parts about using gelatin mix for flavoring recipes is that it’s so easy to change it up. Strawberry JELL-O would be delicious in this recipe too.

Where do you find vanilla bark?

I get mine at the grocery store or superstores like Walmart and Target. If your local store doesn’t carry it, you can order almond candy coating online.

Are muddy buddies the same as puppy chow?

Yep, they’re two names for the same kind of food. So feel free to call this “Cherry Muddy Buddies” if you prefer!

Cherry puppy chow on foil lined cookie sheet.

More Recipes with Gelatin

Yield: 8 cups

Cherry Vanilla Puppy Chow

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 2 minutes

Looking for a unique Valentine's Day snack? Cherry Puppy Chow puts a smile on everyone's face. Pink and red sprinkles make this tasty treat extra fun to eat!

Ingredients

  • 8 cups Rice Chex cereal
  • 1 package (16 ounce) Vanilla almond bark
  • 1 package (0.3 ounce) Sugar Free JELL-O cherry gelatin mix
  • 1 ¾ cups powdered sugar
  • sprinkles

Instructions

  1. In a microwave dish, melt vanilla bark for one minute. Stir, heat an additional 30 seconds until creamy. Mix in the cherry gelatin mix.
  2. In a large bowl mix together the cereal with melted chocolate. Stir until completely coated.
  3. Pour into a large gallon sized container with powdered sugar. Shake. Shake. Shake.
  4. Pour onto a large baking sheet with or parchment paper, until set. Add sprinkles. Store in covered container up to two weeks. ENJOY!

Notes

  • Sugar Free Cherry JELL-O. I use sugar free because the powdered sugar already makes the puppy chow plenty sweet. You will add the gelatin powder right to the recipe.
  • Vanilla Bark. This is also sold as "almond candy coating" in the baking aisle. Ghirardelli white chocolate wafers are also a delicious choice!
  • Storage: Keep in airtight container for up to 2 weeks (we use a ziploc freezer bag).
  • Skip the baking sheet and add the sprinkles right into the ziploc bag after shaking with powdered sugar!
  • Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    16

    Serving Size:

    ½ cup

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 101Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 111mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 0gSugar: 13gProtein: 1g

    *Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

    Did you make this recipe?

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    About Aimee

    Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

    Learn more about Aimee.

    Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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    Posted on February 3, 2022

    Comments & Reviews

    1. I loved as much as you’ll obtain carried out proper here. The comic strip is attractive, your authored subject matter stylish. however, you command get got an impatience over that you would like be delivering the following. ill surely come further beforehand again as exactly the same just about a lot often inside case you defend this increase.

    2. This recipe seems similar to the chex muddy buddies recipe – I think the only difference is the muddy buddies recipe uses regular chocolate & no extra flavering –

      1. Yep, it’s one of the things I love to do, make fun versions out of classic recipes 🙂 ENJOY.

    3. Can’t wait to try this for my son with food allergies. I just need to double check the ingredients on the candy coating. Could I substitute the Vanilla Chex for the Rice Chex if I’m unable to find a safe candy coating? The Vanilla Chex are really good and I’ve been thinking they could be used in a type of puppy chow or snack mix for him (and me).

    4. Just wanted to let you know that I made this tonight, but substituted strawberry instead of cherry, and it’s soooooo yummy! We are taking it to the drive in with us tomorrow and I am so excited to share it with my sister, the baking addict in the family. She will love it!

    5. I used a regular .3 oz. box and yes, I used the whole thing. If you only use a couple of table spoons I just don’t think the flavor would be there.

    6. I just have to say I just made this…it isn’t even set yet and I CANNOT keep my hands out of it. SO GOOD! I did use regular Jell-O and didn’t need to adjust anything, it came out just right!

      1. LOL. It’s good, I know! I was the same way! Thanks for letting me know you tried it 🙂

        1. I haven’t used regular Jello, but I would probably only use a couple tablespoons. The whole box might be too much!

        2. I used a regular .3 oz. box and yes, I used the whole thing. If you only use a couple of table spoons I just don’t think the flavor would be there.

    7. Ok – I can’t do sugar free jello – how would you change the recipe to make it with the regular stuff?? Think it would work? I’m looking at the box of raspberry jello in the cabinet now….

      1. Hi Melissa, regular JELL-O would definitely work, but I don’t think I would use a whole package of it. Try adding in 1/3-1/2 the package to the melted chocolate and see the color. If it looks good go with it!!! Let me know how it turns out, raspberry sounds delicious!

    8. Wow, very creative use of Jell-O! I am amazed at the endless combination possibilities of such a simple treat as Puppy Chow. This is super cute for Valentine’s Day.

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