Caramel Apple "Bucky" Chow

You will notice a theme throughout my posts that I absolutely love apples, especially in the fall. When I came across this Caramel Apply Puppy Chow recipe, I knew I had to try it as soon as the fall season arrived. Our annual reunion with our friends at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, my husband and my alma mater, for a Badger Football Tailgate this past weekend proved to be the perfect median for trying this recipe. 

Photographed by Danielle Lewis

While the traditional recipe calls for light and dark green coloring of the Chex cereal reflective of granny smith apples, I thought it would be fun to make the recipe more thematic for the weekend by showcasing our school colors, red and white. As I played around with making this recipe, I jokingly nicknamed this variation after our school mascot, Bucky Badger. 

This recipe is truly delightful for any fall event or a football tailgate. The recipe is quick, playful and extremely tasteful. After tasting this sweet and cinnamon-y snack and receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback from friends, I am glad that I preemptively purchased the green candy melt colors at my local craft store in anticipation of making this snack throughout the fall. 

Please note that the photos above exclude the caramel drizzle as they were taken ahead of time. The Bucky Chow is delicious with or without!

Caramel Apple "Bucky" Chow

  • Yield: 10 cups
  • Time: 15 minutes


  • 10 cups Rice Chex Apple Cinnamon Cereal, divided (approximately two boxes)
  • 2 cups Wilton Candy Melts (choose two alternate colors), divided
  • 2 teaspoons shortening 
  • 1 cup vanilla cake mix, divided
  • 1 cup granola (experiment with varieties such as cinnamon flavored), divided
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
  • Caramel drizzle such as Hershey's or Smucker's
  • 2 Ziplock storage bags


  1. Pour 5 cups of Chex cereal into a medium sized bowl. Pour the other 5 cups of Chex cereal into another medium sized bowl. Set aside.
  2. Divide and mix the vanilla cake mix, granola and ground cinnamon evenly between the two Ziplock storage bags. Set aside.
  3. Melt each of the chosen colors of candy melts in separate microwaveable bowls or double boilers according to package directions. Pour each colored candy melts into a separate bowl of the Chex cereal. Gently stir with a rubber spatula to coat the cereal.
  4. Pour each cereal mixture into a separate prepared Ziplock bag. Seal the bags and shake gently until all cereal is coated with the cinnamon cake mixture. Pour each mixture together in a large bowl and gently mix together.
  5. Drizzle with caramel topping, as desired.