Crunchy, sweet and salty, this Christmas Chex Mix Recipe is a holiday snack loved by kids and adults alike. It’s loaded not only with cereal but also pretzels, chocolate, marshmallows, and more. You can count on this sweet Chex mix recipe being a hit at all holiday parties!
We love to give this as an edible gift to teachers, neighbors, delivery drivers, friends, and family along with some homemade caramels.
A Sweet & Easy Holiday Snack
This Christmas Chex Mix recipe is inspired by Buddy the Elf, featuring almost all of his favorite food groups, and is beloved by adults and kids alike. Nobody can resist this Chex mix, which is why it’s sometimes known as Christmas crack mix or Christmas Chex crack – it’s so addictive that no one can keep their hands out of it!
“Buddy the Elf Chex mix” is perfect for getting the kids involved in the kitchen, too. Depending on the age of the kids, they may even be able to do it without your help. If they’re younger, they’ll still love helping you add all of the ingredients to the bowl.
This easy treat is a holiday must in my house. It’s perfect for snacking on throughout the week and it’s always featured on any holiday party table. It also makes a fun edible gift, too! Just put some in a cute holiday bag or mason jar, add some ribbon, and gift away.
What You’ll Need
This holiday Chex mix is made with a variety of cereals, animal crackers, and a handful of add-ins.
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Chex cereal – I used rice Chex cereal but you can also use corn Chex if you prefer.
- Cheerios – Any variety of Cheerios will work here.
- Cinnamon Crunch – One of my favorite ingredients! Adds a nice cinnamon flavor and a little sweetness.
- Animal Crackers – A fun ingredient the kids love – plus it adds some serious crunch.
- Maple syrup – Pure maple syrup will give the best flavor and consistency.
- Candy melts – You’ll want the white or vanilla candy melts.
- Powdered sugar – Coats each ingredient with a layer of sweetness.
- Caramel popcorn – I like the Crunch N’ Munch brand.
- Pretzels – Any variety of pretzels will work. They add the salty element to the mix.
- Chow mein noodles – A savory, crunchy add-in to balance out the sweet ingredients.
- Optional Add-Ins – Add in your preference of mini marshmallows, mini M&Ms, red and green Dots, red and green sprinkles, or chocolate bark. Add a few or all of them, as desired.
Variations & Substitutions
If you don’t have an ingredient or two on the list, no worries! Chex mix is super versatile and can easily be adapted to what you do have on hand.
- Swap out the cereal. Any of the cereals can be substituted for a different kind. I recommend using a variety of different textures in your cereal options.
- What else can I add to Chex mix? Besides the variety of cereals and the add-ins mentioned above, you can also add in some nuts for an extra crunch or anything else that you think would pair well with the mix. You can even add some chocolate chips if you want to make it even sweeter.
- What are the best pretzels to use? I used square pretzels in my Christmas chex mix but any kind will work. Around the holidays you can sometimes find Christmas tree shaped pretzels, which are a super fun addition.
- Can I use almond bark instead of candy melts? Yes, if you prefer almond bark, you can use that in this recipe. You will want to add 1 teaspoon of coconut oil to it, to help it melt evenly. Melt in the microwave in 20 second intervals, until melted and smooth.
- Adapt your Chex mix to any holiday. While this recipe is obviously geared at Christmas, you can easily make Hanukkah Chex mix, Halloween Chex Mix, Valentine’s Day Chex Mix, etc by swapping out the red and green add-ins for other colors.
How to Make Christmas Chex Mix
This holiday snack comes together in just 10 minutes or so, for a quick and easy last-minute holiday treat.
(Below is a summary. The complete printable recipe card with all the details is at the bottom.)
- Combine the cereals. In an extra-large bowl, combine all three varieties of cereal and the animal crackers. Drizzle with maple syrup and toss to combine.
- Add the chocolate. Melt the candy melts according to the package instructions. Pour over the cereal mixture and gently stir. Mix in the powdered sugar and toss until all cereal is coated.
- Add the remaining ingredients. Add the popcorn, pretzels, and chow mein noodles. Gently toss to incorporate. Then add your selected add-ins, whether you choose to add just a few or all of them. Stir to combine, then dig in and enjoy!
Tips for Success
If this is your first time making this sweet Chex mix recipe, here are a few things that will make it easier.
- Be sure to use an extra-large mixing bowl. This recipe makes a lot so be sure to use the largest mixing bowl you have.
- Always add the maple syrup first. Toss the cereal with the maple syrup before drizzling the candy melts over the cereal. Otherwise, combining the maple syrup and melted chocolate will cause it to solidify and not coat all of the cereal evenly.
- Where to find red and green sprinkles and M&Ms. Red and green sprinkles and M&Ms can usually be found at any grocery right after Halloween, when they begin stocking the Christmas items. You can also usually find them online on Amazon or buy a big bag and pick out the colors you need.
- Turn it into a lovely gift. Grab some Christmas name tags and create a fun mason jar gift by filling a jar with the Christmas chex mix and decorating it with some festive string and the name tag to personalize each one.
How to Store Homemade Chex Mix
- How to store. At room temperature, Chex mix will last for up to 5 days in an airtight container. Keep out of direct sunlight and heat to avoid melting the chocolate.
- Can I freeze Christmas Chex mix? Yes. This Chex mix recipe will keep well in the freezer for up to 2 months. Just store in a freezer ziploc bag and then transfer to the fridge for when the craving strikes (or you’re having a party) and enjoy.
More Holiday Snacks:
Christmas Chex Mix
- 6 cups Rice chex cereal
- 3 cups Cheerios
- 3 cups Cinnamon Crunch cereal
- 2 cups animal crackers
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 cup white candy melts (vanilla)
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 cups Crunch N' Munch caramel popcorn
- 2 cups pretzels
- 1 cup chow mein noodles
- 2 cups mini marshmallows
- 1 cup mini M&Ms
- 1/2 cup Dots (red and green)
- 1/4 cup red sprinkles
- 1/4 cup green sprinkles
- 1/4 cup chocolate bark (melted to drizzle on top)
- In an extra-large mixing bowl combine the rice Chex cereal, Cheerios, Cinnamon Crunch cereal, and animal crackers.
- Drizzle maple syrup over cereal mix and toss, making sure everything is coated evenly.
- In a microwavable safe bowl, melt candy melts according to package directions until completely melted and smooth.
- Pour melted chocolate over cereal mixture and gently stir. Add powdered sugar and toss making sure all cereal is coated.
- Next, add in Crunch N’ Munch popcorn, pretzels, and Chow mein noodles. Give the mixture a gentle toss to incorporate everything.
- The next six topping ingredients are optional, but also makes this more colorful for the holidays. If you choose to use the colorful ingredients you can add and mix everything together.
- Dig in and enjoy! NOTE: Don't miss all the tips and variation/substitution ideas in the article.