This Vegan Puppy Chow (aka vegan muddy buddies) is an easy no-bake dessert featuring tons of chocolate and peanut butter.
- 2 cups vegan chocolate chips or chunks
- 1 cup natural peanut butter (or other nut/seed butter, see note 1)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, optional (see note 2)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Pinch of sea salt (about 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon)
- 6 cups (about a 13 ounce box) crunchy rice cereal (like Chex or a vegan version, see note 3)
- 3/4 cup organic powdered sugar (see note 4)
- 1 1/4 cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut, optional (see note 5)
- Melt chocolate and peanut butter: Start by melting your chocolate, peanut butter (or other nut/seed butter), and coconut oil (if using) in a heat safe vessel. I like to use a large pyrex measuring cup because it has a handle and a spout. If using the microwave, cook in 30 second increments, stirring and checking until it’s thoroughly melted. You can also do this in a double boiler or a small pot (with a small amount of water) fitted with a heat safe bowl. Mix thoroughly.
- Add vanilla and salt: Next, flavor the chocolate mixture with vanilla extract and a pinch of sea salt. Stir and taste, adjusting accordingly.
- Add chocolate to cereal: Place your crispy rice cereal in a large bowl (preferably one that has a lid!) and cover completely with the chocolate mixture. I recommend scraping out the container--the more chocolate the better.
- Mix well: Using a spatula, very carefully and gently yet thoroughly combine the cereal with the melted chocolate mixture, making sure to cover every single piece. If you want clusters, you want the cereal to be saturated with the mixtures. If you prefer individual pieces (like for kids), you can add a little more cereal or you don’t need to be as thorough.
- Want clusters or not? If you want the clusters, go ahead and do the next part now. If you don’t, stick scrape the bowl out and spread on a lined pan and freeze for a few minutes until the chocolate is just set. Then use your hands or a utensil to break up all the clusters, then move onto the next step.
- Combine: Add half your batch of chocolate to another large bowl, preferably one with a lid. I actually used my salad spinner! (I took out the basket first.) Lay out the batch flat in the bowl and cover with half of the powdered sugar and half of the coconut (if using). Then add the remainder of the chocolate coated cereal on top and the remainder of the powdered sugar and coconut. Add the lid and carefully (gently) shake the box in every direction. Make sure to hold the lid down so you don’t make a huge mess! You can also do this in a clean paper bag or a large food storage bag (though for that you may need to do that in small batches).
- Chill: Once the vegan muddy buddies are well mixed, lay them out on a lined sheet pan (try to keep the clusters if that’s what you’re going for) and freeze until solid (about an hour).
- Store: Store in the freezer or fridge--we like these cold! They can be served at room temp, but any sunlight or warmer temperature could melt them a bit, making them a sticky mess. Tip for parties: add these to a bowl and place another bowl filled with ice beneath it. These can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months! Once frozen, you transfer to a container so you get your sheet pan back. I’m not sure how long they’d last in the refrigerator. The food safety certified me says 1 week to be safe.
- Note 1: I don’t have to tell you how good peanut butter and chocolate are together! I like a runny natural peanut butter for this recipe (I get mine from Costco). If yours is thick, you may need a tiny bit more coconut oil, but melt it all together first and see if its thin enough (should be an easily-poured, pancake batter like consistency). If you or someone you are serving this to is allergic to peanut butter, this recipe works with any other nut or seed butter, such as tahini or sun butter.
- Note 2: Coconut oil is an optional ingredient because the recipe does work without it. During my recipe tests, I tested to see if coconut oil did anything special to the recipe (since non-vegan versions tend to add butter), and it both improved the texture and helped the vegan muddy buddies cluster together.
- Note 3: I used an organic knockoff of Chex cereal for this recipe because I didn’t love the ingredients in the regular box--many vegans (including myself) will not eat some fortified vitamin D3 products because the D3 can be derived from sheep’s wool. Any crunchy cereal should work with this recipe, though.
- Note 4: To keep the dairy free puppy chow from being a sticky mess, it is coated in powdered sugar which also sweetens it. I recommend buying organic powdered sugar since non-organic could be possibly not vegan. In the US, sugar is often filtered through animal bone char, so research your brand if you’re not sure. If you’re worried your vegan puppy chow will be too sweet, use only 1 cup powdered sugar and 1 cup shredded coconut. Or, if you’re worried it won’t be sweet enough, you can just use 2 cups of powdered sugar.
- Note 5: Finely shredded coconut is completely optional, but I loved the texture coconut added to this recipe. It also replaces some of the sugar, so it helps this recipe not be cloyingly sweet. If you don’t like coconut, just replace it with an equal amount of powdered sugar.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Category: Dessert, Snack
- Method: No Bake
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Vegan Puppy Chow