Easy Cocoa Puffs Recipe

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This homemade cocoa puffs recipe is made with only 4 simple ingredients that come together in one bowl. They’re egg-free, and dairy-free and can be enjoyed with milk or as is for a chocolatey, sweet snack!

Cocoa puffs cereal served with strawberries and bananas.

If you’ve been looking for a simple homemade cereal to make for your little ones, you’ll love these homemade cocoa puffs! They’re sweetened with pure maple syrup and are perfect for a sweet morning treat or a fun snack. The most tedious part of this recipe is rolling the dough into small balls, but that’s where you can get the kids involved! I let my boys go at it by rolling out the dough and shaping them into tiny bites and they had a BLAST. I was able to entertain them with a fun sensory activity while also ending up with a fun snack – and in my book, that’s a win-win!

If you love this chocolate cereal, you’ll also love these mini chocolate banana brownie bites and oatmeal chocolate pudding recipes as well!

What You’ll Need

Here is what you’ll need to make this cocoa puffs recipe:

Ingredients to make cocoa puffs cereal.
  • Maple Syrup: The main source of sweetness for this cereal. I like to use the Kirkland brand organic maple syrup from Costco.
  • Peanut Butter: Adds flavor and moisture to the dough. Make sure to use natural peanut butter with only peanuts (or peanuts and salt) as the ingredients.
  • Cocoa Powder: For that signature chocolatey flavor. Make sure to use an unsweetened variety.
  • All-Purpose Flour: Great for a lighter texture and smoother dough.

See the recipe card below for full information on ingredients and quantities.

Ingredient Substitutions & Additions

  • Peanut Butter: The peanut butter may be replaced with another natural nut butter like almond butter. For a nut-free version, swap it with a seed-based butter like sunflower butter or granola butter.
  • All-Purpose Flour: This may be replaced with a different type of flour like white whole wheat flour or a gluten-free flour blend. If using white whole wheat, start with a smaller amount as white whole wheat flour absorbs moisture differently than all-purpose.

Step By Step Instructions

Steps to make homemade cocoa puffs.

STEP 1: Add the maple syrup and peanut butter to a bowl and mix until it is combined (Images 1 & 2).

STEP 2: Add in the flour and cocoa powder and mix until it starts to combine and becomes crumbly in texture (Images 3 & 4).

Steps to make homemade cocoa puffs.

STEP 3: Use your hands to gather the dough together to form it into a dough (Images 5 & 6). Press the pieces together in your hands until they come together. If you notice that the dough is dry and hard to come together, add in a tiny bit of water, but be careful not to add too much so that the mixture isn’t too sticky.

STEP 4: Slice the dough into 8 equal pieces and roll each piece into a thin log (Images 7 & 8). Alternatively, you can pinch off small pieces from the dough to roll into balls.

Steps to make homemade cocoa puffs.

STEP 5: Slice each log into small pieces and roll each piece into a small, marble-sized ball (Image 9). You may need to use your fingers to press the dough pieces together. Repeat for the remaining dough.

STEP 6: Place the balls on a parchment paper lined pan and bake for 10 minutes, or until the balls are dry to touch (Image 10). Let them cool completely before serving. They will be soft at first right out of the oven, but will firm up as they cool.

Storage Instructions

Once cooled, store the homemade cocoa puffs in an airtight container for up to 5 days. They will be slightly crunchy at first but will get softer in texture once stored.

Cocoa puffs cereal ready to bake.

Tips For Success

  • Get your little ones involved in rolling the mini balls! It’ll be a fun activity for them with a treat in return and everyone loves a fun snacktivity! These kid-friendly knives are great for keeping things safe!
  • Be sure to check on the cereal at the 10-minute mark and remove them from the oven once they are dry to the touch so that they do not burn. They will be soft at first but will firm up as they cool.
  • If the dough seems too dry, add in a very small amount of peanut butter or maple syrup, but try to use your hands to bring the dough together.
  • Natural peanut butter works best for this recipe since it contains natural oils from the nuts which help add moisture to the dough.
Cocoa puffs cereal served with strawberries and bananas.

Recipe FAQs

Does this chocolate cereal taste like store-bought cocoa puffs?

They have a similar taste, but this version is not as crunchy in texture as the store-bought variety. It is firm on the outside and slightly chewy on the inside. They’re like having a bowl of mini firm brownie bites with clean ingredients and you may end up preferring these over the store version!

What age is this cocoa puffs recipe suitable for?

Because of the added cocoa powder and round shape, I would recommend serving this cereal to children over age 2. The puffs are not as hard and crunchy as the store-bought ones and soften when mixed with milk.

Is it safe to taste this batter raw before baking since it does not contain eggs?

It is not recommended to consume raw all-purpose flour, so make sure to bake the cereal puffs before tasting.

Other Breakfast Recipes You’ll Love

If you tried this Cocoa Puffs Recipe please leave a ⭐ star rating and let me know how it went in the comments below! I love hearing from you!

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Cocoa puffs cereal served with strawberries.
5 from 16 votes

Easy Cocoa Puffs Recipe

This homemade cocoa puffs recipe is made with only 4 simple ingredients that come together in one bowl. They're egg-free, and dairy-free and can be enjoyed with milk or as is for a chocolatey, sweet snack!
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 5 servings

Ingredients 

  • cup pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (163 degrees C).
  • Add the maple syrup and peanut butter to a bowl and mix until it is combined.
  • Add in the flour and cocoa powder and mix until it starts to combine and becomes crumbly in texture.
  • Use your hands to gather the dough crumbles together to form it into a dough. Press the pieces together in your hands until they come together. If you notice that the dough is dry and hard to come together, add in a tiny bit of water, but be careful not to add too much so that the mixture isn't too sticky.
  • Slice the dough into 8 equal pieces and roll each piece into a thin log. Alternatively, you can pinch off tiny pieces from the dough.
  • Slice each log into small pieces and roll each piece into a small, marble-sized ball. You may need to use your fingers to press the dough pieces together. Repeat for the remaining dough.
  • Place the balls on a parchment paper lined pan and bake for 10 minutes, or until the balls are dry to touch. Let them cool completely before serving. They will be soft at first right out of the oven, but will firm up as they cool.

Notes

    • Get your little ones involved in rolling the mini balls! It’ll be a fun activity for them with a treat in return and everyone loves a fun snacktivity! These kid-friendly knives are great for keeping things safe!
    • Be sure to check on the cereal at the 10-minute mark and remove them from the oven once they are dry to the touch so that they do not burn. They will be soft at first but will firm up as they cool.
    • If the dough seems too dry, add in a very small amount of peanut butter or water until it comes together. Add in a little at a time so that the dough isn’t too moist.
    • Natural peanut butter works best for this recipe since it contains natural oils from the nuts which help add moisture to the dough.

Nutrition

Calories: 313kcal, Carbohydrates: 42g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Sodium: 8mg, Potassium: 284mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 16g, Calcium: 45mg, Iron: 2mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!
Until next time, Lily!

About Lily Payen

Hi, I’m Lily! The mama behind Feeding Tiny Bellies. I’m here to help you take some of the stress out of meal times for your little ones. My goal is to create simple recipes with baby in mind that can easily be adapted for the entire family.

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8 Comments

  1. Do we have to put peanut butter in it? Actually, don’t love, no actually I really really dislike peanut butter. I can tolerate other nut butters, so if needed we can do that, but is there a way to just leave it out altogether?

    1. Hi Johanna! The peanut butter is needed to help with binding and flavor, but you can swap it with any nut or seed based butter.😊

    1. Hi Zan! I haven’t tried these in the air fryer, but if you do I’d recommend testing out a small batch at a lower temp since they have the tendency to burn quickly.