Almond Joy Puppy Chow (GF and Vegan Option)

4.5 from 4 votes
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Almond Joy Puppy Chow is a sweet no-bake snack mix that tastes just like an Almond Joy. This recipe for puppy chow has Chex cereal and almonds covered in almond butter, chocolate, and coconut, combining flavors of the popular candy bar in a new twist on a classic muddy buddies recipe. It’s one of the best gluten free no-bake desserts that you won’t be able to stop eating.

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I like to convince myself that my friends and I were actually really cool in middle school and that it was everybody else who, well, just wasn’t. So they just could not comprehend and appreciate our level of coolness. As adults, not much has changed, except now our get-togethers are less frequent (the last one was five years ago – we can’t let that happen again) and involve alcoholic beverages. Yes, we were your typical goody-two-shoes – no bending the rules. Our strongest drink back then was probably Dr. Pepper.

One thing that has changed is our selection of food. When we were kids, our party snacks of choice were Bugles, Cheetos, and Onion Dip. We may not have matured all that much, but our snacks have gotten a bit more sophisticated.

Potato skins, Buffalo chicken dip, chocolate-covered cheesecake strawberries, and Almond Joy puppy chow!

bowl of Almond Joy puppy chow snack mix

This almond butter Puppy Chow recipe makes one of my favorite muddy buddies flavors!

Almond Joy Puppy Chow!

a.k.a. Coconut Chocolate Almond Butter Puppy Chow

a.k.a. Insane Chocolaty Nutty Goodness

This puppy chow recipe is addictive, and I mean, seriously addictive. But I managed to control myself at the party and then proceeded to devour a lot of the leftovers in the car on the ride home. Sorry, oops, that never happened.

How do you make Muddy Buddies without peanut butter?

Some emails from CKC readers ask if you can make muddy buddies without peanut butter. The answer is YES, yes you can! For this recipe, I simply swapped the peanut butter for almond butter.

I love the combination of chocolate, almond, and coconut, like in this Flourless Almond Joy Cookie Dough Ball. So if you want your almond butter puppy chow to taste like an Almond Joy Candy Bar, there are just a few simple swaps from the classic recipe:

  • As I mentioned, swap peanut butter for almond butter.
  • Replace butter with coconut oil.
  • Use almonds in place of some of the Chex cereal.
  • And finally, pulse some coconut in a blender or food processor and combine that with the powdered sugar for coating the chocolate snacks.

FYI – since we were a small group and there were going to be a few desserts, I actually only made up a half batch of the puppy chow recipe, but the full amounts are shown in the recipe here. So you can definitely cut the recipe in half if you don’t want to make so much.

bowl of muddy buddies no bake snack mix

Can you make gluten-free muddy buddies without peanut butter?

Since several varieties of Chex are gluten-free, this is an easy sweet treat for anyone who has to avoid gluten. And if you have a peanut allergy, you’ll be happy to know that these are muddy buddies without peanut butter; we make the puppy chow with almond butter instead!

If you want to make a recipe for puppy chow that is vegan, that is an option too. Just make sure to use gluten-free and/or vegan chocolate chips, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract.

bowl of almond butter puppy chow with coconut and chocolate

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If you like this recipe for puppy chow, here are other muddy buddies / puppy chow recipes to try:

Almond Joy Puppy Chow Recipe

Whether you want to call this a recipe for puppy chow, muddy buddies, or something else, the most important thing to do is make it. Because seriously, let’s face the facts; it’s pretty difficult to eat this delicious no bake snack it if you don’t make it first. But it won’t be difficult to make the entire bowl disappear in no time. That classic peanut butter chocolate Chex snack mix is already irresistible. Now add almond and coconut flavors, just like that Almond Joy Candy Bar, and just try to keep your hands away. With almond butter and almonds plus coconut oil and coconut, there is no shortage of deliciousness.

I hope you’ll leave a comment and give it a FIVE STAR rating or share a photo on this pin on Pinterest!

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4.5 from 4 votes

Almond Joy Puppy Chow (GF and Vegan Option)

This puppy chow recipe adds the flavors you love in an Almond Joy candy bar to a classic muddy buddies recipe. This almond butter puppy chow is peanut-free and gluten-free, with a vegan option!
Prep: 10 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 16


  • 1 c powdered sugar
  • 1 c shredded sweetened coconut flakes
  • 8 c Chex any variety, or a combination
  • 2 c unsalted almonds
  • 1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips use vegan and/or gluten-free chocolate chips, if needed
  • 1/2 c almond butter
  • 4 T coconut oil* see note below
  • 1 t vanilla extract


  • In a food processor or Magic Bullet, combine the powdered sugar and coconut, and chop until the mixture is mostly a powder.
  • Place the sugar-coconut mixture in a large plastic storage bag.
  • Combine the Chex and almonds in a large bowl, and set aside.
  • Combine the chocolate chips, almond butter, and coconut oil in a medium bowl and microwave on High for 1 minute (or melt on the stove over low heat, preferably in a double boiler).
  • Stir until completely melted, then stir in the vanilla extract.
  • Pour the chocolate mixture over the Chex and almonds, and stir until the cereal is completely coated.
  • Dump the mixture into the bag with the sugar and coconut, seal,and toss until the cereal and almonds are evenly coated.
  • Pour onto wax paper to cool and dry. Stir in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


*If you don't have coconut oil, you can use butter, and maybe a little coconut extract for that additional coconut flavor.
Nutrition Facts
Almond Joy Puppy Chow (GF and Vegan Option)
Amount Per Serving (0.5 cup)
Calories 339 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Fat 21g32%
Saturated Fat 7g35%
Sodium 141mg6%
Potassium 266mg8%
Carbohydrates 31g10%
Fiber 4g16%
Sugar 15g17%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 255IU5%
Vitamin C 3mg4%
Calcium 121mg12%
Iron 6.1mg34%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This almond butter puppy chow recipe was adapted from Chex Muddy Buddies.

Enjoy! Originally published on May 30, 2012.


  1. Carter

    Hey, I just finished making this and it came out fantastic!!

    I substituted dried, unsweetened coconut shreds instead of the sweetened ones, and white chocolate peanut butter instead of the almond butter and it still tastes great. I was honestly surprised everything worked so well,, based on my limited ingredients and inexperience.

    Thank you for sharing!!

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      I’m so glad the recipe worked out well for you, Carter. Your substitutions sound delicious, and I’m glad that you enjoyed it!

  2. Rachel

    5 stars
    An AMAZING recipe! I wanted to make Almond Joy Puppy Chow and figured there had to be a recipe out there somewhere! Glad I found yours! Very addicting indeed! (: Made this for my boyfriends mother and I to snack on while she recovers from her broken leg. I also added those new ‘Almond Joy Pieces’ ,like m&m’s or recess pieces..just almond joy flavored. DELICIOUS!!!

  3. Jenny

    This sounds great. I was just like you in middle school and high school. We were fun though in our own goody goody way. Thanks so much for sharing at Whimsy Wednesdays.

  4. 5 stars
    Hi Brianne,
    What a wonderful snack, we are going to love this! Hope you are having a great week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

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