Buckeye Balls Recipe

24 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Refrigerating Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Total Time 2 hours

Easy Buckeye Balls are peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate. They’re a no-bake candy treat with only 6 ingredients! Check it out!

Buckeye Balls offer a delightful blend of peanut butter and chocolate flavors in an easy, no-bake recipe. You start by mixing peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar, then roll the dough into small balls and chill. A simple chocolate coating is created by melting chocolate chips with shortening, and you dip the chilled peanut butter balls in it, leaving a “buckeye” center. These treats are perfect for gatherings, combining creamy peanut butter with rich chocolate, and their bite-sized format makes them a crowd-pleaser. Whether for parties or a sweet craving, Buckeye Balls are a timeless, fuss-free dessert suitable for all levels of bakers. Enjoy this classic flavor combination in every bite.

Looking for easy Candy Recipes? And, since Chocolate Dipped Candies are a huge hit during the holidays, we especially love making easy ones like Chocolate Covered Pretzels, Chocolate Covered Strawberries, and Chocolate Covered Oreos!

Video: How to Make Buckeye Balls

Sabrina’s Easy Buckeye Balls Recipe

Did you know that these Buckeye Balls are almost like homemade Reese’s peanut butter cups with almost none of the effort? With the toothpick trick, you’ll love having your kids help you make these little peanut butter bites too.

You can even dip these peanut butter balls in festive sprinkles for all different special occasions. Different holidays, different colored sprinkles from Thanksgiving to Christmas, to Valentine’s Day, the 4th of July, or even Easter. These Buckeye Balls make a great gift for friends, family, coworkers, or neighbors. They’re even easy enough to add to your holiday baking schedule or make for a holiday dessert table for the big parties you’ve got coming up.

They’re no bake and only take six ingredients, so you can make these ahead of time and put them in the freezer until you need them. Just be sure to defrost them in the fridge, and pat them dry with a paper towel before dipping them in melted chocolate. These easy candies are the peanut butter version of the ever-popular Oreo Balls.

Can I Make Buckeye Balls in Advance?

es, Buckeye Balls can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days for the freshest taste. They’re a great make-ahead treat for parties and gatherings!

Buckeye Balls in serving bowl

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups Peanut Butter: Creamy and nutty base; you can use other nut butters like almond or cashew butter if desired.
  • ½ cup Unsalted Butter (room temperature): Adds richness and a buttery flavor; you can use salted butter, but adjust the salt content in the recipe accordingly.
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract: Enhances the flavor with sweet, aromatic notes; vanilla extract is standard, but you can try other extracts like almond or hazelnut for a different flavor.
  • 3 cups Powdered Sugar: Sweetens and thickens the peanut butter dough.
  • 6 ounces Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips: This creates a luscious coating with balanced sweetness; you can use dark chocolate chips for a richer flavor.
  • 1 tablespoon Shortening: Adds gloss to the chocolate and aids in smoother dipping; vegetable oil can be used as a substitute if needed.

Kitchen Tools and Equipment

  • Stand Mixer: A stand mixer with a paddle attachment is ideal for efficiently blending the peanut butter mixture. However, you can also use a hand mixer if you don’t have a stand mixer.
  • Baking Sheet: You’ll need a baking sheet lined with parchment paper to place the formed peanut butter balls for chilling.
  • Microwave-Safe Bowl: Use a microwave-safe bowl to melt the chocolate and shortening for the coating. Ensure it’s heat-resistant and suitable for microwave use.
  • Fork: A fork is handy for dipping the peanut butter balls into the melted chocolate and for removing excess chocolate.
  • Toothpicks: Toothpicks are useful for creating a smooth finish on the buckeye balls after dipping and for transferring them onto the parchment paper.
  • Parchment Paper: Line the baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent the buckeye balls from sticking and for easy cleanup.

 How to Make Easy Buckeye Balls

Time needed: 2 hours.

  1. Step 1: Prepare Peanut Butter Dough

    In a stand mixer, combine 1 ½ cups of peanut butter, ½ cup of unsalted butter (at room temperature), 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and 3 cups of powdered sugar. Beat the mixture until it forms a stiff dough.Mixing ingredients for Buckeye Balls

  2. Step 2: Shape Peanut Butter Balls

    Roll the dough into balls using approximately 2 teaspoons of dough for each. Place the balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.spooning dough for Buckeye Balls

  3. Step 3: Chill the Peanut Butter Balls

    Refrigerate the peanut butter balls for at least 1 hour.baking sheet with many uncovered spooning dough for Buckeye Balls

  4. Step 4: Prepare Chocolate Coating

    In a microwave-safe bowl, melt 6 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon of shortening in 30-second increments, stirring in between each increment. This should take around 60-90 seconds in total.bowl of chocolate to dip buckeye balls into

  5. Step 5: Dip and Coat

    Dip each peanut butter ball into the melted chocolate, leaving the top exposed to resemble a “buckeye.” Use a fork to help coat the balls evenly and scrape off excess chocolate.dipping plain buckeye balls into chocolate

  6. Step 6: Set and Harden

    Place the coated buckeye balls back on the parchment-lined baking sheet using a toothpick to transfer them. Refrigerate for at least 30-45 minutes to allow the chocolate coating to harden.

Nutritional Facts

Nutrition Facts
Buckeye Balls
Amount Per Serving
Calories 233 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 10mg3%
Sodium 75mg3%
Potassium 144mg4%
Carbohydrates 21g7%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 18g20%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 120IU2%
Calcium 12mg1%
Iron 0.8mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Tips and Tricks

Preparing Buckeye Balls is a delightful experience, and here are some tips and tricks to ensure your success in making these scrumptious treats. Feel free to share your own insights in the comments to help others enjoy this recipe to the fullest!

  • We make this buckeye balls recipe with shortening to help thin the chocolate, but you can leave the vegetable shortening out if you don’t have any.
  • Make sure you line your cookie sheet with parchment paper or the balls will stick to the sheet.
  • Don’t skip refrigerating (or freezing) the peanut butter balls before you dip them in chocolate. This is the key to getting the balls to hold their shape while you’re dipping!
  • Make sure the peanut butter you use has sugar in the ingredients. You need a shelf-stable creamy peanut butter that has sweetness and holds up better than the natural version.
  • When you’re rolling out the peanut butter balls, a trick you can use is to rub a small amount of butter between your hands. This will make sure the dough doesn’t stick to your hands while you’re forming the balls. Then use a toothpick to dip them into the chocolate, but not all the way, that’s what gives them the “eye” look.
  • Buckeye Balls dipped with toothpicks can be smoothed over with a quick pinch and pat, so you can see the difference in the pictures to see which way you prefer. Either way, they’re just as delicious!

How to Store Extra Buckeye Balls

In the extremely unlikely event you have leftovers, you’ll want to keep them fresh! To keep your Buckeye Balls fresh, place them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The airtight seal prevents moisture and odors from affecting the flavor and texture. Refrigerate for up to a week for the best taste.

Freezing Buckeye Balls

If you have a surplus of Buckeye Balls, freezing them is a great option. Place them on a baking sheet in the freezer until they’re firm, then transfer them to an airtight container or freezer bag. Label and date the container. Frozen Buckeye Balls can be stored for up to three months for the best taste. When ready to enjoy, thaw them in the refrigerator for several hours before serving. Avoid microwaving as it can affect the texture.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Buckeye Balls?

Buckeye Balls are balls made from creamy peanut butter, vanilla, butter, and powdered sugar rolled into a dough and dipped in melted chocolate. They’re creamy, nutty, chocolatey, and one of the most perfect desserts you’ll ever try.

Why Are They Called Buckeye Balls?

The name Buckeye Balls came about because Buckeyes are a nut on the Ohio state tree, which inspired this buckeye candy recipe. This candy buckeye recipe is popular across the United States, but especially in the Midwest.

Can I use crunchy peanut butter instead of creamy?

Yes, you can use crunchy peanut butter for a different texture and added crunch. You can also use natural peanut butter too! It’s a matter of personal preference.

Can I substitute dark chocolate for the semi-sweet chocolate chips?

Absolutely! Dark chocolate can be substituted for a richer, less sweet coating. Adjust the sweetness to your liking.

How do I prevent the peanut butter dough from sticking to my hands when rolling into balls?

Chilling the dough beforehand helps, but if it’s still sticky, lightly grease your hands with a little butter or oil before rolling.

What’s the ideal size for the peanut butter balls?

Aim for approximately 2 teaspoons of dough per ball. This size ensures a manageable and enjoyable bite.

Can I skip the shortening in the chocolate coating?

Yes, you can omit the shortening, but it helps create a smoother and glossier chocolate coating. Vegetable oil is a suitable substitute if desired.

Easy Buckeye Balls

 Recipe Card

Buckeye Balls

Easy Buckeye Balls are peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate. They're a no-bake candy treat with only 6 ingredients! Check it out!
Yield 24 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder

Ingredients
 

Instructions

  • To a stand mixer add the peanut butter, butter, vanilla and powdered sugar and beat it until it forms a stiff dough then then roll the dough into balls made with 2 teaspoons of dough.
  • Put the balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper then refrigerate for at least an hour before using a microwave safe bowl to melt the chocolate and shortening in 30 second increments until fully melted (mix in between each 30 seconds, for 60-90 seconds total).
  • Dip the balls almost all the way leaving the eye of the peanut butter ball showing before scraping the fork across the lip of the bowl to remove excess chocolate and using a toothpick to push the buckeye ball onto the parchment paper to harden for at least 30-45 minutes in the refrigerator before eating.

Video

Notes

Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

Nutrition

Calories: 233kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 75mg | Potassium: 144mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 120IU | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 0.8mg

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Variations on Buckey Balls

  • Sprinkle the buckeyes with sea salt, caramel sauce, crushed cookies, or drizzle with dark chocolate for decoration.
  • Use salted butter if you want to try a sweet and salty flavor. You can add a drizzle of caramel sauce, too.
  • Dip the peanut butter center in white chocolate almond bark instead of chocolate for a white chocolate Reese’s flavor.

More Truffle Candy Recipes

Photos used in a previous version of this post.

Buckeye Balls Collage
Buckeye Balls in serving bowl with bite taken
Buckeye Balls Collage of prep steps

Buckeye Balls in gift tin

Chocolate Peanut Butter Buckeye Balls
Easy Buckeye Balls
Easy Buckeye Balls

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.

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Comments

  1. Just made these and they are great! I’m not great at dipping, mine are not pretty. But either way, they will be ate up and enjoyed by many. Simple recipe to follow and oh so good. thanks!

  2. I made a double batch of these for Christmas. I like that the peanut butter with the confectionery sugar is not overly sweet. Very good and recommend freezing your peanut butter balls before dipping in chocolate so much easier. This recipe is a keeper thank you.

  3. I’m from Ohio and use a similar recipe. Making 5 or 6 dozen Buckeyes at a time gets tedious making the balls. Now I take a large amount of the peanut dough and make a log the size you want for your Buckeyes. Take a knife make cuts on the log about 1 inch wide.
    All you have to do is round out the edges and bingo, balls. I put them in the refrigerator or freezer until it’s time to dip in the chocolate. It makes the process so much easier. Give a try.
    Sharon C,

  4. Turned out perfect. Directions were great and they look terrific. Everyone loved them. Not nearly as fussy as I expected.

  5. Question about the shortening. I don’t use shortening. Do I have to use shortening to melt with the chocolate or is there another alternative? Thank you.

  6. Can’t wait to make these!! Question — does 24 servings mean it makes 24 buckeye balls, or does it make more than that?

    Thanks so much for sharing this!

  7. These look great !!!
    I am going to make these for Christmas, and I think I will put a peanut butter m&m inside !!!
    Thank you.

    1. Oh no! I used Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips to melt for this recipe. I’ve never had an issue with that brand. If you click on the ingredient in the recipe card, it’ll take you to a link to purchase if you need it. Hope this helps for next time.

  8. These are great! But the toothpick hole isn’t what gives it the “eye.” They look like buckeye nuts. You can smooth over the hole with your finger or the back of a spoon.

  9. Hi Happy Holidays, this is my first time making these buckeye peanut butter balls, im not good at cooking or baking so i figured id try something simple & a treat i loved most growing up..im just wondering why you say add to a stand up mixer, is a stand up mixer better to make these? Can i use a hand held mixer? Also ive seen many recipes for these and most say salted butter, yours says unsalted, does that make a difference in the way they taste or come out differently?

    1. I prefer a stand mixer because it allows me some freedom and not have to stand over the mixing at all time. A hand held mixer would work just fine for this recipe too. Personally, I like to use unsalted butter because I like to have control of how much salt is actually going into a recipe. Brands can differ on the saltiness making it hard to know exactly the amount. I really hope you decide to give these a try this holiday season. Enjoy!

  10. First time I tried these, my son brought from Ohio and were made by his girlfriend’s grandmother. I had no idea what they were but, found the name amusing. Oh WOW!!! when I tasted them, I was addicted, so I was looking for the recipe and how to make them. Be very careful, you can’t eat just one or two. Had no idea they were so easy to make. Delicious!!!

      1. The original Buckeye ball recipe calls for about 1/8 bar of parifin wax in with the melted chocolate. It makes the chocolate stay firm, shiny and less messy. I have never added shortening. You can’t taste the wax. This recipe goes back to the 50s in Ohio.

        1. Interesting! I think most of our readers would not feel as comfortable baking with wax, so we use a more accessible ingredient, but I love that method too!

  11. These are a favorite from my childhood and what a treat!
    I do have a question…we always used creamy Jif peanut butter in the past, but the last few times the results aren’t the same. The balls never firm up in the fridge. It’s like Jif has changed their peanut butter and it’s just too creamy to give the same results. What brand of peanut butter do you use? Thank you and Merry Christmas!

    1. I’m so glad you love these! We’re obsessed with PB&Co peanut butter in our house so that’s what we used. They have some pretty epic flavors too. Happy holidays!

  12. The recipe calls for too much confection sugar and butter. It turned out to be too light and fluffy. Because I lost the recipe, Which I’ve made Buckeyes before, it didn’t turn out like it was supposed to.

          1. I loved this recipe!! So easy and turned out perfect. I played with some flavors and used maple instead of vanilla and white chocolate instead of milk chocolate. So many possibilities and it takes so little time!!! Thank you

  13. Oh my gosh, we have been making these for years. I mean years and they are so delish! My mom used to make them when we were children. I am so thrilled to see someone else carrying the torch and keeping the Holiday Tradition of Buckeyes going. Totally cool!!! I actually think when made right they taste one 1000 x better than a Reeses Cup!