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4.88 from 8 votes

"Crack Snack" 4-Ingredient Snack Mix

​​​​​​​The ultimate crowd-pleasing party food, this "Crack Snack" is a 4-ingredient sweet and salty snack mix recipe that earned its name for a reason!
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword Holiday Snack Mix Recipe, Snack Mix, Sweet and Salty Snack Mix
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes
Cooling Time 20 minutes
Total Time 21 minutes
Servings 14 cups
Calories 357.5kcal
Author Blair Lonergan


  • 2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 (12 ounce) box Crispix cereal (about 12 cups)
  • 1 ½ cups chopped pecans (6 ounces)


  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Line an extra large baking sheet (or two smaller baking sheets) with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  • Spread cereal and pecans on prepared baking sheets. Set aside.
  • Mix butter and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • Boil for two minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Pour caramel mixture over cereal and nuts; toss to coat.
  • Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven, stir, and bake for an additional 8 minutes.
  • Allow to cool, breaking apart any large clumps with a wooden spoon or spatula.


  • Line the baking sheets with foil or parchment paper for easy cleanup. Otherwise it can be difficult to get the hardened caramel sauce off of the pans.
  • Use salted butter for this party mix recipe, which gives the dish a great sweet and salty flavor combination! If you only have unsalted butter on hand, see my note above to adjust the salt seasoning in the caramel sauce.
  • Stir the mix halfway through the cooking time. This will help the ingredients toast evenly and will prevent individual pieces from burning.
  • As the mix starts to cool, use a wooden spoon or spatula to break up some of the larger clumps.
  • For a smaller batch, cut all of the ingredients in half. The cooking instructions remain the same.
  • Use Chex cereal instead of Crispix cereal. If you're using Chex, I recommend a combination of different Chex cereals (such as a few cups rice chex, a few cups wheat chex, and a few cups corn chex). That way you get the same flavor variety that you taste in Crispix, since Crispix includes both rice and corn.
  • I you prefer a more savory snack mix that includes a couple tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, a teaspoon onion powder, and garlic powder, try this homemade Chex mix recipe.
  • If you're using unsalted butter, you'll need to add some salt (about ½ teaspoon, or more to taste) to the caramel sauce to balance the sweetness of the brown sugar. You want that combination of sweet-and-salty in this crunchy snack mix.
  • Mix it up and use peanuts, almonds, pistachios, walnuts, or mixed nuts instead of the pecans.
  • Add other ingredients to your snack mix. For instance, swap out some of the cereal or nuts and replace them with Cheez Its, Goldfish cheese crackers, pretzels, bagel chips, Bugles, or sesame sticks.
  • Spicy Chex mix: add a touch of cayenne to the butter mixture for some heat.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 357.5kcal | Carbohydrates: 44.1g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 22.5g | Saturated Fat: 9.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8.7g | Cholesterol: 35.4mg | Sodium: 279.7mg | Potassium: 142.9mg | Fiber: 1.3g | Sugar: 18.9g