Cocoa Puppy Chow – Gluten Free & Vegan

This gluten free and vegan Cocoa Puppy Chow is one of my favorite Holiday treats! It’s sweet, crunchy, and covered in chocolate!

Cocoa Puppy Chow - Gluten Free & Vegan

Puppy chow is something I have been enjoying since I was in middle school. I had never heard of it until I went to a sleepover with one of my friends who insisted we had to make it.

I thought she was crazy when she put all of these ingredients together and threw them all in a giant paper sack you get from the grocery store and started shaking it up.

When she opened up that bag and I got my first taste of this amazing treat I knew it would be something I would make for the rest of my life.

Of course I don’t tend to make it in a giant paper bag from the grocery store now a days. Looking back on that now I get a little grossed out because I can’t imagine that was very sanitary haha.

When I found out about all of my food allergies, I knew I would have to figure out a way to still have puppy chow in my life. Luckily it’s typically made with rice cereal which is usually gluten free and I already had a great substitute for butter and chocolate.

Cocoa Puppy Chow - Gluten Free & Vegan

My main problem with this recipe was going to be the amount of refined sugar in it. Refined sugar gives me migraines so I really have to watch how much of it I have and try to avoid it all together when I can.

One of the main ingredients in puppy chow is powdered sugar so I wasn’t sure what to do. So I started doing some research and found a lot of people were making something called “brownie puppy chow”.

In their recipes, they were using actual brownie mix instead of powdered sugar. I didn’t want to use brownie mix because that is usually full of sugar as well, but it gave me the idea to use cocoa powder instead.

Now, cocoa powder is pretty bitter if it’s not sweetened so I also found a powdered sugar substitute called “Swerve” and used some of that as well.

Overall this is a much healthier way to have puppy chow and it tastes amazing! I usually make it around the holidays for my treat trays and it’s always a big hit.

The best part is that even I can enjoy it with all my food allergies. I hope you all love this cocoa puppy chow as much as my family does

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This gluten free and vegan Cocoa Puppy Chow is one of my favorite Holiday treats! It's sweet, crunchy, and covered in chocolate! #glutenfree #vegan #dairyfree #dessert #recipes #christmas #holiday

♥ Don’t forget to rate this recipe and leave a comment below if you give this recipe a try! ♥

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This gluten free and vegan Cocoa Puppy Chow is one of my favorite Holiday treats! It's sweet, crunchy, and covered in chocolate! #glutenfree #vegan #dairyfree #dessert #recipes #christmas #holiday


  • 9 cups gluten free rice or corn Chex cereal
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter (I use “Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks”)
  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips (I use “Enjoy Life” vegan semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips)
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/23/4 cup powdered sugar (I use “Swerve” powdered sugar substitute)


  1. Add vegan chocolate chips, butter, and peanut butter to a large microwave safe bowl. Microwave 30 seconds at a time, stirring each time until everything is melted together.  Once melted, stir in vanilla.
  2. Add gluten free Chex cereal to a large bowl and pour the chocolate and peanut butter mixture over the cereal. Use a rubber spatula to stir the cereal until they are all evenly coated.
  3. Pour the cereal into a large ziplock bag and add the cocoa and powdered sugar to the bag. Seal the bag shut and shake to coat the cereal in the cocoa and powdered sugar.  Add more powdered sugar if necessary. 
  4. Spread the cereal onto a large piece of parchment paper until it has cooled and dried.
  5. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

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  1. I too get bad headaches from refined sugar. Only realized recently as I switched to honey to help with auto immune disease. Now if I have so much as a milk shake I wake up with a headache the next day. I will definitely be checking out your other recipes!

    1. Hi Sami, I’m glad you are feeling better now without it! Let me know if you ever need any help with any of the recipes! ☺

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