I’ve got your yummy Christmas Crack recipe right here! This Sticky Sweet and Salty Chex Mix gets its name for good reason! Once you start you just can’t stop. A simple syrup (with LOTS of butter) gets drizzled over corn Chex and studded with nuts and M&Ms. It is salty-sweet perfection!

Christmas Crack Recipe

Originally posted December 9, 2016

Today I had my first parent-teacher conference with Charlotte’s kindergarten teacher. It was so fun to hear about how she’s doing in class. Miss Harris said that one day she asked the kids to decide what item they should use to practice counting, and they chose dessert. Charlotte said, “My mom makes lots of dessert. But we can only eat it after she shoots it.”

Sweet Chex Mix Recipe

So it’s time for a Blogging Moment of Truth. You see these photos? I shot them on a sunny morning in August. You see those red and green M&Ms? I only had twelve. Total. They don’t sell Christmas M&M’s in August, so I pulled all the green and red ones from a regular pack. There were 10 reds…and only TWO greens (and look, one of them was gimpy on one side.)

M&M's for Christmas Chex Mix

So add “move around green M&M 100 times” to the strange list of tasks that makes up my life. (Put it right after “denies daughter dessert samples until after the photo shoot.”)

(By the way, I was shooting Christmas recipes in August because I just had a baby and I was trying to get ahead on the blog. But I have to say, why should this recipe only be a Christmas thing? Bust out the regular M&Ms.)

Christmas Chex Mix

How to make this Christmas Crack recipe

Have you heard of Christmas Crack? I got this recipe from my friend Debbie, who gave it to me as a gift a couple years ago. Then I haunted her until she got me the recipe. (Debbie was also my source for this incredible Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Dip, which I have been known to serve to my family for dinner, in spite of the fact that it’s mostly chicken and mayonnaise. Cheesy, delicious mayonnaise. I owe you one Debbie.)

How to make sweet and salty chex mix recipe

Syrup for Christmas Chex Mix Recipe

Prepping Christmas Chex Mix Recipe

Sweet Chex Mix Recipe

Two, actually, because this sweet Chex mix recipe is incredible.  And SO easy. You just boil some butter, sugar, and syrup for a couple minutes until it gets all caramelly, then pour it over the Chex and some salty cashews and peanuts. Thaaaat’s it. It is the most ooey-gooey, where-did-it-go sweet and salty snack. This would be a super easy gift to hand out to the neighbors!

One year ago: 10 Minute Caramel Popcorn in the Microwave (FOR REAL, 10 minutes!)
Three years ago: Smokey Almond Cream Cheese Endive Bites
Six years ago: Sausage, Potato, and Kale Soup

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Sticky Sweet-and-Salty Chex Mix (Christmas Crack)

Serves Serves 8-10     adjust servings


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter
  • 1 and 1/2 cups light corn syrup
  • 1 and 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 and 1/2 to 2 cups salted cashews and/or peanuts (or to taste)
  • 8 cups corn Chex cereal*
  • Christmas M&Ms, optional


  1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the corn syrup and sugar. Bring to a boil. Once there are bubbles all the way across the surface, set a timer for 3 minutes and stir occasionally. When it is a caramel consistency, remove from heat.
  3. Stir in the vanilla.
  4. Stir in the cashews and peanuts to get them completely coated.
  5. Add the Chex to a large bowl, then pour the syrup over the cereal and stir to combine. Stir in the M&Ms at this point if you like.
  6. Once all the cereal is coated, use a wooden spoon to spread it on a large baking sheet.
  7. Let cool completely. It will set up some but will remain pretty sticky.
  8. Store this in large ziplock bags. Or if you plan to deliver this as a gift, scoop some into a wide-mouth mason jar and tie a ribbon around the top.


If you make this recipe, share it on Instagram using the hashtag #TheFoodCharlatan so I can see it!

Here are some other Christmas gift ideas!

Cinnamon Honey Butter << this one is hugely popular! A super easy recipe to throw together.

Cinnamon Honey Butter from The Food Charlatan


Mint Chocolate Covered Almonds << this would make a great hostess gift!

Mint Chocolate Covered Almonds from The Food Charlatan


Caramel Nougat Pecan Rolls << this is my absolute favorite Christmas candy. It’s SO GOOD.

Caramel Candy Pecan Roll from The Food Charlatan


More Chex Mix recipes!

Cinnamon Sugar Chex Mix from Sprinkle Some Sugar
Christmas Sugar Cookie Chex Party Mix from The Gunny Sack
Sweet and Salty Cranberry Snack Mix from The Creative Bite