Hot Cocoa Muddy Buddies

Hot Cocoa Muddy Buddies are easy to make with rice cereal and hot cocoa mix! Toss in some marshmallow bits and you have a sweet snack perfect for sharing.

Make sure to try my Sweet Holiday Chex Mix next! You’ll love this Holiday Puppy Chow recipe too.

Why This Recipe is Best

If your favorite hot chocolate transformed into a crunchy snack, it would taste a lot like these Hot Cocoa Muddy Buddies!

Five minutes and five ingredients are all it takes to make Hot Cocoa Muddy Buddies!

  • It really tastes like hot chocolate–complete with marshmallows!
  • Dangerously tasty. It’s difficult to stop at just one handful of these muddy buddies!
  • Quick and easy. This recipe takes just 5 minutes with 5 ingredients.
  • Ideal for holiday gift giving and parties. I love to package it in mason jars tied with a ribbon, or red and green cellophane bags.

Did you know you can do more with hot cocoa mix than just make cocoa? It makes it so easy and convenient to turn regular muddy buddies (aka “puppy chow”) into an extra special treat!

Hot Cocoa Muddy Buddies: delicious hot chocolate mix with marshmallows make a fun snack!

Ingredient Notes

Here are the five ingredients you need to make this delicious sweet snack mix.

  • Rice Chex cereal – The classic base for muddy buddies!
  • Vanilla candiquik – For melting and coating the cereal. You can also use almond bark or any vanilla melting wafers.
  • Instant hot chocolate mix – Use the sweetened, powdered mixes (NOT unsweetened cocoa). I use Swiss Miss.
  • Powdered sugar – Adds more sweetness to the cocoa coating and lightens the color.
  • Marshmallow bits – These are tiny marshmallow pieces, smaller than mini marshmallows. You can usually find them in the baking aisle sold in jars or tubs.

Tips and Tricks

  • Stir gently when coating the Chex with the melted vanilla candiquik to avoid crushing the rice squares.
  • You can change up the flavor by using different hot cocoa mix flavors. Dark chocolate and salted caramel are two Swiss Miss flavors that would taste great in this recipe!
  • Want it to be chocolatier? Substitute milk chocolate melting wafers for the vanilla candiquik. Warning: the muddy buddies will be RICH if you choose this option!

Recipe FAQs

How do I store homemade muddy buddies? How long do they stay good?

Store these hot cocoa muddy buddies in an airtight container at room temperature. They keep well for up to 1 week, if you can resist eating them all before then!

Can I use hot cocoa mix with marshmallows to make this recipe?

You could, but the dehydrated marshmallow bits may add an odd texture. When you add cocoa mix to water or milk, the marshmallows soften. In this recipe, there is not much liquid for the marshmallow bits to absorb.

I can’t find marshmallow bits. Can I use mini marshmallows instead?

Again, you could, but I don’t recommend it. The larger size of the marshmallows will change the overall texture of the snack, with the soft marshmallow being more prominent than the crunchy cereal.
If you only have mini marshmallows, I would chop them up into tiny pieces before adding them to the muddy buddies.

Are muddy buddies the same as puppy chow?

Yes! Muddy buddies and puppy chow are two common names for the same powdered sugar dusted treat!
You can totally call this recipe Hot Cocoa Puppy Chow if that’s what you like. Just remember it’s for humans only!

Hot Cocoa Muddy Buddies: delicious hot chocolate mix with marshmallows make a fun snack!
Yield: 12 cups

Hot Cocoa Muddy Buddies

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Delicious, easy Hot Cocoa Muddy Buddies or puppy chow!


  • 12 cups rice Chex cereal
  • 16 ounce Vanilla Candiquik (candy coating, almond bark)
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup hot cocoa mix (I used Swiss Miss)
  • 1 cup Kraft Jet Puffed marshmallow bits


  1. Microwave candy coating according to package directions.
  2. In a large bowl, combine melted Candiquik with chex cereal. Stir gently until blended.
  3. Sprinkle with hot cocoa mix and powdered sugar, folding over with a wooden spoon until fully coated. Add marshmallows bits.
  4. Store puppy chow/ muddy buddies in a large ziploc bag or airtight container for up to one week. ENJOY.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 332Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 289mgCarbohydrates: 52gFiber: 1gSugar: 30gProtein: 5g

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 January 25, 2014

Comments & Reviews

  1. I think people outside of Illinois may not have ever called that kind of Chex Mix “Puppy Chow.” I know I have friends elsewhere who don’t know what I”m talking about when I bring it up. And now it’s officially called “Muddy Buddies,” because Nestlé, who owns Purina, no longer owns Chex.

    I am running low on hot cocoa mix, and will have to buy more now. I”d have to buy more anyway, but now I really have to.:-)

  2. This looks addicting!! My mom used to make a similar recipe when I was younger 🙂 I’ve always loved this stuff.

  3. This sounds so yummy and for all you chocoholics out there they now have chocolate flavored Kraft jet puffed marshmallow bits 🙂

  4. Omg If I had a dollar for every time I heard the question “how are you not obese from all the sweets you bake” I would be a freaking millionaire. OF COURSE I SHARE IT YOU SILLY PEOPLE! Though I think I could make an exception with these muddy buddies. These I might keep all for myself. 😉

  5. People get so cray cray over the smallest things!! 😉 Also, I’m in love with these muddy buddies! Bring on the chocolate!!

  6. Love muddy buddies! This version could be a fast favorite in our house! I normally only use hot cocoa to make ours!

  7. OH PLEASE, never apologize for eating sweets or how you combine them with healthy foods. I mean, EVERYONE eats sweets, some just don’t admit it.

    I love all your recipes and I only hope you don’t wait until right before Easter to publish your recipes. I think many of us really do plan ahead and it’s great to know that the meal is planned early enough to spend time shopping for all the candy 🙂 Keep up your great blog and forget what others interpret for you. I suppose next you will be accused of drinking Captain Morgan and how bad that is….oh for goodness sake.

  8. I don’t make snacks like this often enough. I love that you used hot cocoa mix. Can’t wait to try this 🙂

  9. Love this idea! I try not to make Muddy buddies often because I will sit and eat the whole thing to myself!

  10. I could eat the whole container of those Kraft Marshmallow bits! What a great version of puppy chow/muddy buddies- just a name! Some people are a little too crazy if yo ask me!!

  11. Love the idea of having this treat on family movie night! Waaaay better than those big boxes of candy my kids always want.

  12. Was wondering if the Kraft Jet Puffed marshmallow bits & Vanilla Candiquik are readily available @ markets(Wallyworld, Safeway)? Never having been a candy maker I was wondering.

    1. Should be able to find in the baking isle of most stores some call it baking choc bark or vanilla bark (not to be confused with those little boxes of bitter chocolate or German Chocolate) I found mine at Aldi’s. Usually comes in 1 lb, packages that are divided into sections with a tray and you can break off what you need. .

  13. You said it all when you said “in moderation” even really good stuff is bad for you when you go hog wild . A little sweet treat every once in a while does head off the sweet treat binge.

  14. “THIS IS FOR HUMANS ONLY!” –> I think I need to start calling it muddy buddies, too …
    All joking aside, this is amazing! This would be the “one handful … just one more … oh, its gone” recipes:)

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