The healthy plant-based Gluten-Free Vegan Pumpkin Spice “Puppy Chow” Muddy Buddies recipe has all the flavors of Fall and is made with only 6 clean ingredients, is ready in under 30 minutes and is vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and contains no refined sugar!
I’m so excited to share with you my Gluten-Free Vegan Pumpkin Spice “Puppy Chow” Muddy Buddies recipe to make sure you’re covered this fall with plenty of pumpkin spice treats.
Gluten-Free Vegan Pumpkin Spice “Puppy Chow” Muddy Buddies
“Puppy Chow” or “Muddy Buddies” is one of the most addictive treats I make.
I always say I’m going to eat just a handful and then end up eating another and another.
With only 6 ingredients, it’s also one of the simplest recipes to make too.
For example, you will heat the peanut butter, chocolate chips, and pumpkin spice on the stovetop for a few minutes.
Then pour it over the cereal then coat it with organic powdered sugar.
And it will be gone in less time than it takes to make it!
I shared a classic “Gluten-Free Vegan Puppy Chow” recipe a little while back but decided to change it up a little by adding organic pumpkin spice to it.
The cereal I used is “Van’s “Cinnamon Heaven” Gluten-Free Cereal” with this ingredient list:
Van’s Gluten-Free Whole-Grain Blend Ingredients: (Oat, Brown Rice, Millet, Quinoa, and Amaranth Flours), Cane Sugar, Oat Fiber, Inulin, Invert Cane Sugar, Non-GMO Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Cinnamon, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Mixed Tocopherols For Freshness.
I especially like it because you get a full serving of nutrient-dense whole grains and 5 grams of fiber built into a dessert recipe.
I recommend using a clean, non-GMO cereal like this one as opposed to the traditional go-to Rice Chex cereal, with this ingredient list:
S.A.D. (Standard American Diet) Chex Gluten-Free Rice Cereal – Ingredients: Whole Grain Rice, Rice, Sugar, Salt, Molasses, Vitamin E (Mixed Tocopherols) and BHT Added to Preserve Freshness, Vitamins and Minerals: Calcium Carbonate, Iron and Zinc (Mineral Nutrients), Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbate), a B Vitamin (Niacinamide), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride HCl), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B1 (Thiamin Mononitrate), Vitamin A (Palmitate), a B Vitamin (Folic Acid), Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3.
While it’s not the worst ingredient list I’ve seen, it does have refined sugar, preservatives, synthetic vitamins, and minerals and is not non-GMO.
Also, make sure you use organic peanut butter because non-organic peanut butter can contain up to 8 different pesticides.
My healthier plant-based version is vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and contains no refined sugar.
How To Make Gluten-Free Vegan Pumpkin Spice “Puppy Chow” Muddy Buddies: Step-by-Step Instructions
You’ll love how easy it is to make this healthy vegan dessert recipe and I’ll show you how to make it with step-by-step instructions below.
Before beginning, prepare a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and set aside.
Step 1: Measure Out the Cereal
Firstly, you will need a large mixing bowl. If you don’t have a mixing bowl large enough to hold (5) cups of cereal, divide the recipe in half and make two batches.
Step 2: Prepare the Chocolate Mixture
Secondly, add all the ingredients for the chocolate mixture to a small saucepan. Then, melt it on the lowest heat and stir continuously, taking care to not let it burn.
Step 3: Mix Everything Together
Thirdly, pour the melted chocolate over the cereal pieces. Gently stir the chocolate in until all pieces are coated.
Step 4: Chill and Repeat
Fourthly, spread the chocolate-coated cereal pieces evenly onto the prepared cookie sheet.
Place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator for about 5-10 minutes to allow the chocolate mixture to cool.
Remove the cookie sheet and return the cereal pieces back to the large mixing bowl.
Sprinkle 1/2 of the powdered sugar (1/4 cup) over the cereal and gently stir until evenly distributed.
Step 5: Repeat Step 4
Next, repeat Step 4 but this time, adding the remaining 1/2 of the powdered sugar (1/4 cup).
Step 6: Storage
Store the “puppy chow” in an air-tight BPA-free container at room temperature.
Expert Tips + Ingredient Substitutions for Gluten-Free Vegan Pumpkin Spice “Puppy Chow” Muddy Buddies
Cereal. Make sure you hop over to my original Gluten-Free Vegan “Puppy Chow” post for detailed options to use for the cereal.
Peanut Butter. I’ve made these with both peanut butter and cashew butter. Feel free to substitute the peanut butter with your favorite organic nut butter.
Chocolate. I use Enjoy Life semi-sweet mini chocolate chips to keep the recipe vegan and gluten-free, but feel free to use darker chocolate if you prefer less sugar.
Coconut Oil. I add this to the melted chocolate to make it smooth, but it can be omitted if you prefer. If you don’t like the taste or smell of coconut oil, use organic refined coconut oil which has zero coconut taste or smell.
Powdered Sugar. To keep this recipe truly vegan, you would need to make sure you use a 100% “vegan” powdered sugar or make your own using “vegan” sugar, as animal bone char is used to whiten powdered sugar.
Pumpkin Spice. Adjust the amount to your preference. Start with 2 teaspoons and add more if you’d like. I like to use this high-quality organic pumpkin pie spice, but feel free to use whatever you have on hand.
Serving Size: This recipe makes approximately (5) cups. Serving size shown is 1/2 cup for a total of (10) servings.
Want more Healthy Vegan Pumpkin Dessert Recipes?
Check out these:
- Pumpkin Spice Rice Crispy Treats
- Vegan Pumpkin Spice Mousse
- Gluten-Free Vegan Pumpkin Spice Caramel Popcorn
- or my CLEAN DESSERTS Cookbook with 72 plant-based vegan + gluten-free no-bake dessert recipes made with clean, real food ingredients just like this one that you will love!
Gluten-Free Vegan Pumpkin Spice "Puppy Chow" Muddy Buddies
- 5 cups Van's "Cinnamon Heaven" Gluten-Free Cereal
For the chocolate mixture:
- 1/2 cup organic peanut butter
- 1/2 cup Enjoy Life semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
- 2-4 teaspoons organic pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon organic refined coconut oil
For the coating:
- 1/2 cup organic vegan powdered sugar
- Prepare a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Set aside.
Prepare the cereal:
- Add the cereal to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Prepare the chocolate mixture:
- Add all the ingredients for the chocolate mixture to a small saucepan and melt it on the lowest heat setting. Stir until everything is melted and smooth, taking care to not let it burn.
- Remove the chocolate mixture from the stove and pour it over the cereal pieces that are in the large mixing bowl.
- Gently stir everything together until all the cereal pieces are covered with the chocolate mixture and the chocolate is evenly distributed. Depending on the size of the cereal pieces you use, you may need to add a little more cereal. You don't want the cereal pieces to be overly coated with the chocolate mixture, so add an extra 1/4 cup of cereal at a time until they are lightly coated, but only as needed.
- Transfer the chocolate-coated cereal pieces to the prepared cookie sheet and spread them out evenly so they aren't touching each other.
- Place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator for about 5-10 minutes to allow the chocolate mixture to cool.
- Remove the cookie sheet from the refrigerator and after the chocolate mixture has cooled completely, sprinkle half the powdered sugar over the cereal pieces. This will help to keep them from sticking together in the next step.
- Return the cookie sheet to the refrigerator for another 5-10 minutes.
- Remove the cookie sheet from the refrigerator and transfer the cereal pieces to a large mixing bowl and sprinkle the remaining half of the powdered sugar on them, then gently toss the cereal pieces until the powdered sugar is evenly distributed.
- Store in an air-tight BPA-free container.