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Lemon Puppy Chow

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Puppy Chow, or Muddy Buddies as some would call, is a super easy snack or dessert made from Chex cereal, candy melts or chocolate chips and powdered sugar. We’re making things interesting by adding lemon juice and zest for a deliciously tart kick that balances perfectly with the sweet. This Lemon Puppy Chow recipe is a perfect snack for lunches or make a big batch for your next holiday party!

lemon puppy chow in bowl with whole lemons in background

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Lemon Puppy Chow is a fun snack that comes together very quickly. Keep the pantry ingredients on hand and you can whip up a batch in 5 minutes. Take a bowl to your next game night and watch your friends devour or portion into 1/2 cup servings for a tasty dessert in lunches for the kids. And if you’re a lemon lover like me, check out this 7Up Pound Cake, too!


Chex Cereal: You can use any variety of Chex cereal that you like. To keep this recipe gluten free, I used Rice Chex cereal. One (12 ounce) box will give you enough to make this recipe two times.

Candy Melts: I find that candy melts are easier to work with than melting white chocolate chips, but either can be used in this recipe. If you go for white chocolate chips, you’ll need to add 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil or butter to help your chips melt more smoothly. Color doesn’t really matter, but I chose to use yellow candy melts to play off the lemon flavor.

Whole Lemon: You’ll need 1 whole lemon and we will use the zest and juice from the lemon. In total, you’ll need about 2 teaspoons of zest and 2 Tablespoons of juice. To zest your lemon, I recommend this Microplane zester. I’ve had mine for over 10 years and it is still going strong.

Powdered Sugar: Powdered sugar (also known as icing sugar) can be found in the baking aisle of your grocery store. You’ll need 1 cup.

chex cereal, candy melts, powdered sugar and lemon on white counter


  • Large Bowl
  • Small Microwave-safe Bowl
  • Measuring Cup
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Wooden Spoon or Rubber Scraper
  • Knife and Cutting Board
  • Zester
  • Gallon-Size Freezer or Storage Bag
yellow candy melts being poured over chex cereal in glass bowl

How to Make Puppy Chow

This lemon puppy chow recipes really couldn’t be easier. To start, you’ll measure your cereal into a large bowl and place your powdered sugar in a gallon-size freezer bag. You’ll want to make sure you have plenty of room in the bowl to mix everything.

Next, you’ll combine your candy melts, lemon zest and lemon juice and microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring between each time, until the candy melts are completely melted. Then, you’ll pour the melted candy melts over your cereal and stir until all the cereal is coated. Don’t be worried, it’ll look a bit messy.

candy melts stirred to coat chex cereal in glass bowl

Immediately, pour your cereal mixture into your freezer bag. Seal, and shake gently to coat all the cereal in powdered sugar. Once coated, pour your puppy chow onto a baking sheet and allow to cool completely. This usually takes about 10 minutes.

You’re ready to serve, or you can store your prepared lemon puppy chow (lemon muddy buddies) in a freezer bag or airtight container for up to 2 days.


  • Try using orange or lime juice and zest for a different citrus twist
  • Use regular chocolate chips and omit the lemon zest and juice for a classic chocolate puppy chow version
  • Use 1/2 cup chocolate chips and 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter for a chocolate peanut butter version
  • Stir in a cup of candies to your prepared puppy chow for a fun trail mix
prepared lemon puppy chow in freezer bag with powdered sugar

Tips and FAQs

How long can I store this recipe?

The lemon in this puppy chow (muddy buddies) recipe does shorten the shelf life a bit. I have found that the cereal gets a little soggy after two days. I recommend making this right before you’re ready to serve for best results. For storage, you’ll want to keep in a sealed storage or freezer bag or in an airtight container.

What can I use instead of candy melts?

You can absolutely use white chocolate chips instead of candy melts. You’ll use the same measurement, but you’ll need to add one Tablespoon of coconut oil or butter to help the chips melt smoothly.

Is this recipe gluten free?

Using Rice or Corn Chex cereal and candy melts does make this recipe gluten free. If you have celiac and are especially sensitive, it’s important to read the labels as some of these products can be produced in facilities that may contain gluten.

close up of prepared lemon puppy chow with lemons in background

More Easy Snack Recipes

Lemon Puppy Chow Recipe

Yield: 4 1/2 cups

Lemon Puppy Chow

close up of lemon puppy chow or muddy buddies

Puppy Chow (or Muddy Buddies as some would call) is an easy, sweet snack made from just a few ingredients. This lemon version is the perfect balance of tart and sweet and it'll have you coming back for more!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes



  1. Place powdered sugar in a gallon-size freezer bag and set aside.
  2. Place cereal in a large bowl.
  3. Place candy melts, lemon zest and lemon juice into a small microwave-safe bowl and heat in 30 second intervals, stirring between, until candy melts are completed melted.
  4. Pour melted candy melt mixture over cereal and stir to coat.
  5. Pour the cereal into the freezer bag, seal and shake to coat cereal in powdered sugar.
  6. Spread mixture on a baking sheet and allow to cool completely, about 10 minutes.
  7. Serve or store in a freezer bag or airtight container.


If you don't have candy melts, you can use an equal measurement of white chocolate chips and you'll need to add 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil to help the chocolate chips melt smoothly.

This lemon puppy chow can be stored in a freezer bag or airtight container for up to 2 days. After that, you may find that the cereal becomes soggy. It is best to make this right before serving for best results.

For flavor variations, you can use orange or lime juice and zest.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 209Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 132mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 1gSugar: 26gProtein: 2g

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By on September 19th, 2021

About Sarah

Hi, I'm Sarah. The voice behind Feast for a Fraction. I've been a penny-pincher all my life, but still have a taste for nice things. I'm here to show you that you can eat (and live) well on a budget. From recipes and DIY tips to ways to make extra money, we'll be in control of our budgets together!

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