Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball – Covered in Muddy Buddies

5 from 1 vote
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This Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball is covered in Muddy Buddies for the ultimate party treat. Combine a sweet cream cheese spread with the classic Puppy Chow snack mix for one epic dessert dip that will have everyone double-dipping. It’s so easy to make with only 7 ingredients. You’ll be a star when you share this with family and friends.

Muddy Buddies Cheese Ball Recipe image with title

Sometimes I get distracted.

No joke, the idea for this dessert dip popped into my head years ago. I’ve seen more than one chocolate chip cheese ball recipe floating around the interwebs. But with the way my brain works, where there is chocolate, there must be peanut butter.

Just covering it in chocolate and peanut butter chips seemed so, well, boring. But what else is chunky and chocolaty and peanut buttery?

Muddy Buddies!

So then I got invited to an event at General Mills. We were talking about the health benefits of cereal and had the opportunity to create a recipe in the Betty Crocker kitchens and photograph it in their studios. Despite the healthy theme, I still felt compelled to make this recipe.

I made it, photographed it, and, subsequently got preoccupied with about eleventy million other things and forgot about it. For years.

By the time I remembered, I only had a few scribbled notes about the recipe and the photos weren’t quite what I wanted. So I remade it, re-shot it, and… forgot about it again.

Until now, and boy are you lucky I finally remembered. Because you need this recipe!

Dessert Cheese ball Covered in Muddy Buddies snack mix on a platter

Muddy Buddies Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball Recipe

Talk about a dessert mashup. This fun party food combines a deliciously sweet cream cheese dip with everyone’s favorite cereal snack mix. Let’s learn a little more about each of these on their own before we put them together into one incredible indulgence.

About sweet cheese balls

The cheeseball is traditionally a savory appetizer that combines cream cheese and shredded cheese with any variety of herbs, spices, or other mix-ins to create all kinds of flavor combinations, like this Pineapple Ham Cheese Ball. It is then rolled into a ball and chilled, then often coated in things like nuts, herbs, or dried fruit. Then it is served with crackers and veggies for dipping or spreading.

Dessert cheese balls took this concept and gave it a sweet twist. The cream cheese is sweetened with powdered sugar, brown sugar, honey, or another sweetener. Again, the mix-ins are the key to creating many varieties, from cake batter to caramel to s’mores.

Or, in this case, peanut butter and chocolate.

About Muddy Buddies

Muddy Buddies, also know os Puppy Chow, Chex Mix, and about a million other names depending on the flavors and seasons and holidays that inspire the recipe, are an absolutely irresistible sweet snack mix.

The original version has Chex cereal coated in melted chocolate and peanut butter, then tossed in powdered sugar. Their resemblance to pieces of dog food kibble is where the Puppy Chow name came from. And when General Mills began sharing their recipe and products based on this treat, they adopted the name Muddy Buddies.

But this tasty snack mix can be more than just peanut butter and chocolate. You can find Muddy Buddies recipes with all kinds of flavors, like

and so much more! But this recipe starts with the classic.

Closeup of the inside of cream cheese ball with chocolate chips

Start with the basic sweet cream cheese ball, then add chocolate chips and a swirl of peanut butter. Roll it all in a mini batch of Muddy Buddy snack mix. Get your cookies and fruit slices ready, because once you get started, your sweet tooth will make it hard to stop double and triple dipping.

Here is a brief overview so you can see just how easy it is to make. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for the full quantities and details.
But don’t skip my PRO TIPS below!

Ingredients

For the cheese ball

  • Cream cheese – regular or low fat will work fine. I do not recommend using fat free, though. Let it soften to room temperature.
  • Butter – unsalted is best in this case, and again, you will want it at room temperature in order to blend easily.
  • Powdered sugar
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Mini chocolate chips – regular-size semisweet chocolate chips can be used, but I prefer the mini as they distribute more evenly making it feel more chocolaty.
  • Peanut butter – you can use creamy or chunky depending on your preference.

For the Muddy Buddy coating

  • Chex cereal – you can use any variety of Chex. I recommend rice or corn, and you’ll need to avoid the wheat variety if you need a gluten free cheese ball recipe. The flavored varieties such as Chocolate Chex, Peanut Butter Chex, and Vanilla Chex will also work, though they may make it extra sweet.
  • Semisweet chocolate chips – the minis will be fine if that’s what you have for making these cream cheese filling.
  • Peanut butter
  • Butter
  • Powdered sugar
  • Pure vanilla extract

Directions overview – scroll to the recipe card for the full set of instructions

For the cheese ball

  1. Blend the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla until smooth, then stir in the mini chocolate chips.
  2. Transfer the cream cheese mixture to a sheet of plastic wrap, spread out slightly, and drizzle or spread peanut butter over the mixture.
  3. Using the plastic wrap, form the mixture into a ball, and wrap tightly. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 4-6 hours or overnight.
  4. While the cheese ball is chilling, melt the chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter in the microwave, then stir in the vanilla.
  5. Pour the chocolate mixture over the cereal in a bowl and stir until coated.
  6. Transfer the cereal mixture to a plastic storage bag, add the powdered sugar, seal, and shake until coated. Spread on wax paper to cool.
  7. Roll the chilled cheese ball in Muddy Buddies to coat completely.
  8. Serve on a platter with cookies, graham crackers, or fruit slices for dipping.
Dipping an apple slice into a Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball that is coated in Puppy Chow snack mix

Time-saving tips

Use a bag of Muddy Buddies Chex Mix

While it only takes a few minutes to whip up this mini batch of Muddy Buddies, if you are really pressed for time, just pick up a back of Muddy Buddies Chex Mix. If you want to change it up, they have several flavors besides just the classic chocolate and peanut butter.

Just use about 2 cups and slightly crush them before coating the cheese ball.

Make it in advance

The cheese ball needs to chill in the fridge for at least several hours anyway, but it can definitely hang out in the fridge wrapped up in plastic wrap for a few days. And the Muddy Buddies are good in a plastic storage bag or airtight container for several days as well.

So just make the different components when you have time, then roll the ball in the coating right before you are ready to serve or take it to a party.

Chill it fast

You can chill it more quickly by putting the wrapped ball in the freezer for about an hour. It won’t be firm all the way through, but it should be set enough that you can coat it and serve the Muddy Buddies Cheese Ball on a platter.

Make Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Dip

Yes, you can totally turn this into a Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Dip. Just spread it into a glass pie plate or other dish and sprinkle the Puppy Chow mix on top.

Dipping a cookie into a Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball

FAQ’s

What do you dip in a dessert cheese ball?

Cookies – crispy cookies are better than soft, chewy cookies as they hold up better to dipping into the chilled cheese ball. Store bought graham crackers, vanilla wafers, or chocolate sandwich cookies are perfect. Or you can use your favorite homemade cookies like Snickerdoodles. And of course, gluten free cookies are great for dipping, if needed, like the Gluten Free Vanilla Mini Cookies in the pictures.

Fruit – apple and pear slices are best for dipping. If you use a small spreader knife, you can smear it onto strawberries or banana slices.

Pretzels – if you love the sweet and salty combo, try pretzels for something a little different.

Is it gluten free?

Yes, as long as you use one of the Chex varieties that are gluten free, meaning you’ll just have to skip Wheat Chex.

I do always like to mention you should confirm your brands of vanilla extract and chocolate chips do not have any gluten-containing additives. But major brands like Nestle for the chips and McCormick, Rodelle, and Nielsen-Massey for the vanilla are just fine.

Can I make it without nuts?

You can substitute sunflower seed butter for the peanut butter. You can also omit the peanut butter swirl and just make a chocolate chip cheese ball. Then cover it with more chocolate chips, crushed Oreos, or just make Chocolate Muddy Buddies without peanut butter.

Gluten Free Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. This information is solely based on my research and personal experience, and I provide it as a courtesy to my readers. Please consult your doctor or medical professional for any questions as it relates to your needs, particularly if you have celiac disease or a severe gluten allergy or intolerance. Products, manufacturing facilities, and ingredients change frequently, so you should always contact the manufacturer for the latest information. 

Muddy Buddies-covered Chocolate Chip Cheeseball on a white plate with cookies and apple slices

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5 from 1 vote

Muddy Buddies Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball

A sweet cream cheese spread filled with chocolate chips and swirls of peanut butter is rolled into a ball and coated with the classic Muddy Buddies snack mix. This is one epic dessert dip that will have everyone double-dipping. It's so easy to make!
Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 2 mins
Chilling time 6 hrs
Servings: 24

Ingredients

For the cheese ball

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature (regular or low fat)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature (half a stick)
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 2 Tablespoons peanut butter
  • Cookies, graham crackers, apple or pear slices, etc. for dipping

For the Muddy Buddies coating

  • 2 cups Chex cereal (any variety), slightly crushed
  • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 Tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Instructions

For the cheese ball

  • In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Using a spatula or an electric hand mixer, blend together until smooth.
  • Stir in the mini chocolate chips.
  • Lay a piece of plastic wrap on your work surface and transfer the cream cheese mixture to the plastic wrap. Spread out slightly and drizzle or spread peanut butter over the mixture.
  • Using the plastic wrap, form the mixture into a ball, and wrap tightly. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 4-6 hours or overnight.
  • While the cheese ball is chilling, prepare the Muddy Buddies coating.
  • Just before serving, spread the Muddy Buddies on a plate or baking sheet. Remove the cheese ball from the refrigerator and unwrap it. Place it on top of the Muddy Buddies and roll around to coat completely. You may have some extra.
  • Place the ball on a serving platter and scatter any extra Muddy Buddies around it. Serve with cookies, graham crackers, or fruit slices for dipping.

For the Muddy Buddies coating

  • Place the Chex cereal in a large bowl.
  • In a small microwave safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips, butter, and peanut butter. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir, then microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring after each until fully melted and smooth. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  • Pour the chocolate mixture over the cereal and stir until coated.
  • Transfer the cereal mixture to a plastic storage bag and pour in the powdered sugar. Seal the bag and shake until coated.
  • Spread on wax paper to cool completely. Store in a plastic stoagr bag or airtight container until needed.

Notes

If you need to chill the cheese ball quickly, you can put it in the freezer for about an hour. It will not be firm all the way through, but the outside would be chilled enough to roll it in the coating. You can also spread the cream cheese mixture in a glass pie plate or dish and top with the Muddy Buddies.
Nutrition Facts
Muddy Buddies Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 149 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 6g30%
Cholesterol 22mg7%
Sodium 74mg3%
Potassium 60mg2%
Carbohydrates 14g5%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 319IU6%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 26mg3%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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