Sweetheart Buddies

A delicious and addicting snack of Chex covered in white chocolate and coated in a strawberry flavored cake mix powdered sugar.  The perfect treat for Valentine’s Day! 


I am obsessed with muddy buddies!  And it is no secret here on the blog!  You can find all sorts of delicious muddy buddy recipes here on the blog from Cookies and Cream to Twix Muddy Buddies.  They make the best quick and easy no bake treat!
The Sweetheart edition of my favorite snack is definitely my favorite!   I could have eaten the entire bag to myself if I could.  They get coated in white chocolate but in fun Valentine’s Day colors with a pop of red!   They are flavored with a strawberry cake mix and powdered sugar.  The Valentine’s Day M&M’s give them a fun little bite of milk chocolate and you won’t be able to stop eating them!  They are highly addictive and so delicious.

These Muddy Buddies only take about 10 minutes to make and you will love how easy they are.  They are the most popular Valentine’s Day treat on the blog and a MUST try!  They make the perfect treat and gift you are going to love them!

Sweetheart Buddies
Prep time
Total time
A delicious and addicting Valentine's Day Treat!
  • 5 ounces white almond bark or white chocolate chocolate chips
  • 5 ounces red candy melts (I found them at Michael's craft store)
  • 1 teaspoon shortening
  • 5 cups chex cereal
  • 1 cup strawberry cake mix
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ package valentines chocolate M&M's
  1. Start by dividing the chex mix into two bowls. (2½ cup in each)
  2. In microwave safe dish, melt the 5 ounces white almond bark or white chocolate chips. Add ½ teaspoon shortening so that the almond bark will spread evenly. Microwave 30 seconds at a time and be careful not to burn the almond bark. Dump this in the first bowl of chex and mix evenly to coat all of the chex cereal.
  3. Melt the red candy melts next also checking and stirring the candy melts 30 seconds at a time. Once this is melted, pour this over the second bowl of divided chex and mix until coated.
  4. In two gallon size ziplock bags, put ½ cup strawberry cake mix and ¼ cup powdered sugar in each bag. Dump each bowl of chex mix in each bag and shake until coated with the powdered sugar and strawberry powdered cake mix.



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I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.
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  1. Alyssa, this is super cute! So totally perfect for Valentine’s Day. I love that you add strawberry cake to the mix for that fruity kick! <3

  2. This looks SO stinkin good and my son who is allergic to chocolate can actually eat this!!! 🙂

  3. This is perfect for Valentine’s Day! Just one question…did you add M&Ms to the recipe? I see something that looks like them in the picture, but I don’t find them in the recipe. If so, how much? Thanks!

    • Hi Debbie!! Thanks for noticing that! I have gone ahead and added it to the ingredients. I just used a half of a package but of course you can use more or less to your liking! 🙂 🙂

  4. Darling! Looks too cute to eat!

  5. Love it! Thanks for the idea!

  6. GORGEOUS photo!!! I love it 🙂

  7. Sounds yummy!

  8. I made this but when I added the red food color to the white chocolate it got clumpy. I put it back in the microwave to remelt it and it wouldn’t so I threw it out. Any idea why?

    • Grrr I have had that happen to me several times with almond bark. But I don’t think it is from the food coloring. I feel like I over cooked it and them it turned clumpy. It is such a bummer to have the whole thing ruined. Did you add a little shortening to it? I did use white chocolate chips on this particular recipe. It turned out so perfect! Maybe try using white chocolate chips.. Sorry that is such a bummer. These are really amazing!

      • whenever your chocolate does that it’s called ‘seizing up’. even a drop of water can seize up chocolate. To keep this from happening add 1 tablespoon of shortening to a 16 oz bag of chips. You’ll be amazed!

      • Margaret hutson says:

        You must use oil based food coloring when coloring chocolate

    • Water (found in most dyes, especially the liquid kind) causes chocolate to seize up and become unmanageable. It is best to use an oil based dye (specially made for candy) if you are going to dye chocolate.

    • It is the food coloring. You can’t add any liquid to almond bark. I didn’t know until I had it happen to me once. I looked at the back of the package and it says to make sure you don’t add ANY liquid to it. Even just a few drops of food coloring will botch up your whole batch 🙁 I’d suggest using Wilson’s brand of candy melts. I couldn’t find red, but I did find pink. I find mine at Wal-Mart or Hobby Lobby. I’m sure Michael’s would have them, too. We just don’t have one where I live. I used white chocolate chips with shortening and pink candy melts. Although, they aren’t much of a different color, they taste a bit different.

    • Ok that is good to know! Thanks! I must have an oil based food coloring but that is good to know on the liquid food coloring. Thanks again for your input! 🙂 And yes I used the candy melts for this batch and they were perfect!

    • Hi~Just made this for Valentines Day and it turned out great!!! Alyssa~I used the red Wilton Melts “about $2.50” a bag~ and it turned out perfect~also I used a double boiler to melt the almond bark~any almond bark or chocolate will sieze up on you like that if moisture gets into it~so sorry that happened~next time use the melts to color it 🙂

    • To prevent chocolate bark, or any chocolate, from seizing, you have to use oil based food coloring. Water based food coloring will cause it to seize up and become useless. 🙂

  9. I wondering – could you do this with lemon cake mix? I’m having a yellow and grey party and thinking if I adjusted the colors, that could turn out cute.. or maybe lemon would be too strong of a flavor?

    • Oh my heck that sounds amazing! Another great variation for me to try!! I would say that if you use lemon, then still mix it with some powdered sugar. For example: I would try adding 3/4 cup cake mix with 1/2 cup powdered sugar. That way the lemon is not to overpowering but very subtle! I love lemon! Will you let me know if you make this and let me know how it turned out??

    • I sure will! Thanks for the suggestions!! 🙂

  10. This look so good…even though I’ve never tried Muddy Buddies or Puppy Chow before. I’m thinking it’s time I finally tried! Have a great weekend Alyssa!

    • The mention of puppy chow made me laugh. It reminded me of a funny incident. This year at my daughters’ school’s Christmas tree lighting, they had an activity to make reindeer food. My youngest wandered over there without me noticing. When I finally found her, she was munching on something. I couldn’t figure out what it was, then realized she was munching on the cat chow they had to add to the reindeer food. LOL!

  11. How many servings did this make? Enough for a class of 25 kids?

  12. Hi – I tried melting ghirardelli classic white chips, adding shortening while melting in micro in 30 sec intervals. The chips ended up browning and clumping up to a near crust like consistency. (idea for later, maybe hehe). Was I not supposed to add shortening when using the chips, could I have used the wrong kind of chips, or not microwaved on a low enough setting? Please advise…trying to save my other half bag of white chips from the same fate as the last. 🙂 Cheers.

    • Dang! I have had that happen to me before. It is such a bummer! I added the shortening with the chips and then would stir every 30 seconds. It should have worked just fine with the classic white chips that you used. I would suggest a couple of things:

      1- If you are doing it in the microwave, make sure that it is a microwave safe bowl and spray some non-stick cooking spray in the bowl before putting the chips in. That way it shouldn’t stick to the sides of the bowl. Start by doing 10 seconds at a time. It is better to have them melt slowly than to burn and become clumpy.

      2- You can also melt them on the stovetop on a low setting stirring constantly.

      I really hope that this turns out for you! It really is one of the best little treats that I have made.

  13. Just finished making this for my 9 yr old’s class. Of course as the cook, I had to try it to make sure it was delish and boy is it!! The strawberry cake mix adds so much to the flavor. I will be making this again next year for my Preschooler’s class! 🙂

  14. I have to admit, I was a little skeptical about this one. I grew up on what we called Puppy Chow. There was seriously a zip lock bag in the pantry at all times!! It’s basically the same thing but with chocolate and peanut butter. I decided to make this for my Life Group at church and OH. EM. GEE!!!! It is FANTASTIC!! The strawberry flavor is amazing!! Strawberry cake mix is one of my favorites. I should have never doubted the white chocolate and strawberry 🙂

  15. I am so excided I love puppy chow and for the last ten years have not had it bexause my husband is allergic to peanuts now I can make something that taste great and can use any kind of cake mix I want thanks. I might tey two different kinds of mix

  16. To those having clumping issues after adding food coloring…I have tried twice and had the same outcome. I tried with both almond bark and white choc chips, both were thrown away. So, I did a search to find that you cannot add a liquid food coloring to the chocolate since oil and water do not mix (yeah, I know. I did learn this in grade school I guess I just forgot). So, you need to either have an oil or paste food coloring. Or, do as I am going to do and go to Hobby Lobby and buy red melting chips. Hope this helps!

  17. Made this last night for classroom treats! Only had pink and white chocolate to melt so I didn’t get the pretty contrast of colors.:( Boo. But, they tasted delicious!

  18. if i use chocolate chips instead of almond bark do i still need the shortening?

  19. Just a suggestion, to put in the recipe use oil based food coloring. If I hadn’t taken the time to read through the reviews I would have made the same mistake and ruined mine also.

  20. Hi – I can’t seem to reply on my original post – but I melted the chocolate on the stove (in bowl over pot of simmering water) and it worked out much better.

    I’m sure I had the power up too high in the microwave though, otherwise it probably would have worked fine. 🙂 Thanks for the tip and the recipe. These were a hit. 🙂

  21. Featured you today on Foto Friday! Come link up again today if you can!

    Thanks so much- you’re awesome!!

  22. shelley says:

    I made this and it was a huge hit. Thanks

  23. Hello Friend!
    I just came across this recipe on Pinterest the other day! I pinned it for a future reference (because I’m ready for fall treats!) but then I wondered how you got the strawberry in the flavor. As I looked through the recipe I thought, “Cake mix as powdered sugar? Why have I never thought of that?!” And then I started thinking about all the possibilities! How about a lovely Spice cake mix for fall?
    So I modified the recipe a bit and I think you’ll love it! I still divided up two kinds of chocolate, to give it that colorful look, but went with white and semi-sweet morsels. Then, before I added the powdered sugar/cake mix, I added in Sunny Cranberry Trail Mix from Target. It contains cranberries, almonds, golden raisins, sunflower kernels, and pepitas. I thought about tossing in a bag of fall colored M&Ms (possibly the pumpkin flavor?), but I decided there was already a lot going on in the mix.
    The white and brown of the two chocolates is really pretty! You can’t really see the trail mix, since it’s covered in chocolate, but boy can you taste it! It’s incredible!

    And then I started going through your other muddy buddy inspired recipes and noticed you already had a fall mix, but very different. I thought I’d share anyway since it’s clear you have a tiny addiction to the stuff. 😉 Can’t wait to try your other recipes! Keep dreaming up new creations to fill my tummy with! LOL

  24. Connie Harris says:

    Sounds perfect for February Bunco party. What kind of Chex cereal do you use.?

  25. Great photo and idea! Thanks for posting!


  26. Alyssa,
    Do you know of anyone trying this with Jello? I’m wondering if that would work, I’m trying to look for a gluten free alternative & all of your other ingredients are (gf). I know there is Gluten Free cake mixes out there just trying to make it cost friendly as well. 🙂

  27. Colleen L. says:

    I wonder if instead of the cake mix you could use freeze dried strawberries (run through a food processor to make them powdered)? It works great when making strawberry popcorn (which also gets mixed with powdered sugar).

  28. Used white chocolate chips they work great !!

  29. Was wondering if you think cherry would work instead of strawberry?. I am allergic to strawberry.

  30. If you are a chez mix freak like me, boy have I got one for you! Trader Joes’s has this peanut butter type spread called Cookie Butter! Delicious, well to top it off they have one with a “Nutella” type mixture! I used that instead of peanut butter and used white chocolate chips. You will NOT be disappointed! I don’t know if that recipe is out there so I am totally not trying to steal anyone’s thunder! Just a mix up of another good chez mix recipe!

  31. How long do these hold up for after you have made them? I’ll be going out of town in a few days and I’d like to make them before I go so I don’t have to make them the day I get back in time for V-Day. I just don’t want them to go stale while I’m away…

  32. i just made this and like all the others, its fantastic! I do have one question though. In your photo it look like some of the cereal pieces turned out red. Both of my bags came out the same color, a light pink. Was all the cake mix supposed to go in one bag and the powdered sugar in the other? I read the directions several times and that was not my interpretation.

    • Thank you for asking. I have the same question.

    • Mine look the same color too, and then I saw that some people added red food coloring – I’m thinking to the red melts. I’ll get some past coloring and try that next time. But they are really good!

    • I just finish making this. I just kept mixing the bag with the melted red chocolate melts/powdered sugar/strawberry cake mix until I started to see the red color again. It came out perfect.

  33. I was thinking of making this for a Valentine”s day and taking it to work… Do you know if it is Gluten free?

  34. Does strawberry cake affect kids with allergies to strawberries? Making for my kiddo’s daycare party and planning to use red velvet cake mix to get the red color.

  35. Is there a way I can print off the recipe? I tried highlighting it and then right-clicking print, but when it printed off, it was in a very light gray font that is very hard to see..

    • Sorry about that! All of my old recipes don’t have a print friendly button and I am currently getting a new design with black font.

  36. Love this OMG! I would be so happy if you linked them up to share at our Sweethearts Valentine’s Linky Party we’re hosting on our blog at a chance for a feature!


  37. does any body know how these taste?

  38. Christine says:

    Do you put the chex in the powder while the coating is still warm so it sticks or after it cools? Also just to clarify, the powdered sugar and cake mix go in separate bags or mixed together? Thank you!

  39. Hi. This looks adorable and delicious. What kind of Chex do you use? Wheat? Rice? Corn?
    IF I were to use the chocolate chex, what proportions would you suggest? Thank you so much!

  40. Vicki Coppens says:

    For the shortening part in this recipe can I use Organic Coconut Extra Virgin Oil instead?

  41. Where can I get the cute heart bowls the buddies are in shown in the picture?

  42. I LOVE this idea and there are so many possibilities of things you could add to this mix. Thank you so much for sharing and I am loving your blog.

  43. I’d like to make this for my son’s 4th grade class. Do you think one batch is enough for 23 kids to get a little treat bag full or do I need to double?

  44. Allison W. says:

    Could you use red velvet cake mix instead of strawberry?

  45. Is there an alternative to using shortening?

  46. Hello, everyone is right this is terrific. But want to share my plans for this recipe. College kids love sweet treats from home and this is a perfect surprise to mail to them. Awesome!

  47. What kind of shortening do u use?

  48. This was such an easy and yummy recipe. I’m so frugal that I used one small bowl for chocolate melting, one med bowl for mixing and one bag for shaking. It turned out better than I thought. I even mixed white and red chocolate for a third color because I had so much extra everything. The only problem now is that I need more m and m’s. My friends will be sooo impressed. Thx for this super yummy and so cute recipe.

  49. Jean Burton says:

    This was so cute and tasted great! I used coconut oil instead of the shortening and used the red velvet M&M’s.

  50. i decided to give this a try with red velvet cake mix, as I’m not a big fan of strawberry. It’s definitely tasty, but I didn’t consider the fact that the mix is brown (cocoa colored) and doesn’t turn red for the cake until you add liquid. So my pieces are more brown than red/pink, but hey, they taste good! I also used coconut oil instead of shortening because I had it on hand. And I doubled everything, so I used a whole bag of white chips and red pieces, a whole bag of m&ms and a whole box of Chex. The only thing leftover is some cake mix, so I can make some more next time!

  51. toni cini says:

    What can I substitute for chex cereal? And can I buy Almond bark in Aus?

  52. Does this recipe contain any nut or dairy products?

  53. Some of the Chex mix looks white and others pink. Did you use just powdered sugar on some of the Chex mix?

  54. How much or how many servings can you get out of this?

  55. I am making this for my son’s class for valentines to hand out to his friends (4 year olds). Could I use coconut oil in place of the shortening, or will it become too runny? Also, can the cake mix be eliminated? I have to insure the products I use are not processed in plants that also process your typical allergens and seem to have trouble locating the cake mixes that state on the box that they are is no risk of typical allergens (such as nuts, etc.). Thank you!!

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