★★★★★

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?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

    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. MUST MAKE NOW!!!!! 🙂 Aimee, thank you for linking to my puppy chows. 🙂 Needless to say – I am a puppy chow freak. and this version looks and sounds so good. flavored jello- why didn’t i think of that? you’re so creative girl!

    2. This puppy chow is fantastic, Aimee! I love that you used jello in your chocolate — so many possibilities!

    3. So cute, and tasty I’m sure! You’re right, the gelatin is an cool alternative to the cake mix I used in mine. Love it!

    4. I’ve seen puppy chow before, but it’s never looked this pretty! Love all of your Valentine ideas….especially the Vanilla Bean & Cherry Swirl Cookies! Yes, I LOVE vanilla and I’m not ashamed to admit it! ; – }

    5. can you believe I have never had {or made} puppy chow

      I guess I have some investigating to do:)

      looks delicious

    6. Soooo pretty and festive. I keep seeing all of these puppy chow recipes and now I feel like I need to make (eat) some. Love this cherry-vanilla version!

    7. How much do I love the idea of using jell-o to flavor it? Oh the possibilities!! Thanks for the idea Aimee!

      1. I know! I’ve already got other flavors swirling in my brain. I may need to have “puppy chow week” on the blog!

      1. Thanks Kelly, I know my kids LOVE this stuff!! My only complaint is the powdered sugar fingers 🙂

    8. My boyfriend is obsessed with what he calls “white trash” which seems quite like this puppy chow, but with the addition of assorted nuts and pretzel pieces. The fruity flavor of your version sounds great!

      1. I have a couple “white trash” recipes on the blog too!! LOVE that stuff!! Adding the cherry gelatin gives it a subtle but delicious flavor!

    9. Ok, ok! All of the signs are saying I NEED to make some puppy chow, stat. Thanks for the nudge. 😉 Looks yummy!

      1. Don’t you love it when all the signs tell you to do something? Especially when it’s something as delicious as puppy chow? Yep, you can’t go wrong!

    10. What a cute Valentine’s treat. I only learned of puppy chow through Pinterest but it sounds like such a fun and quick treat, I just have to try it soon.

      1. oh Regina, you MUST try it soon. I make it and package it up in little containers for the kids lunches. After of course I’ve nibbled on it for 24hours!! It’s quite addictive.

    11. Stop it. This looks INSANELY good!! I am such a sucker for cherry vanilla flavored goodness, and puppy chow lasts approximately 8 seconds around me. Must. Eat. Now.

    12. I want to reach right into my computer screen and grab a handful!! Why aren’t you next door to me so we could share all the goodies? Cherry vanilla sounds so good right now!!! Much better than the broccoli I just ate 🙂

      1. As if you just ate broccoli. Nice try. Haha, okay maybe you did. But don’t tell me you didn’t have a rice krispie treat to wash it down 🙂

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