Peanut Butter Balls (Buckeyes)

It may sound fussy, but make sure to sift the powdered sugar into the peanut butter using a strainer or you'll wind up with clumps in your buckeyes balls.

Also, keep in mind that you need to chill the peanut butter balls after forming them, and again after you dip them in the chocolate, so plan accordingly.

Buckeye balls can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for several weeks, or (wrapped tightly) in the freezer for several months.

  • Prep time: 12 minutes
  • Chill Time time: Chill Time
  • Yield: 48

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups (390 g) smooth peanut butter (not "natural")
  • 1/2 cup (115 g / 1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 1/2 cups (400 g) powdered sugar
  • 3 cups (525 g) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Method

1 Make the peanut butter filling: Place the peanut butter, melted butter, vanilla and salt in a large bowl and stir until well blended. Sift 2 cups of powdered sugar into the bowl using a fine-mesh strainer and stir until the sugar is absorbed. Sift the remaining powdered sugar and mix in and a smooth stiff paste forms.

how to make buckeyes with easy buckeye recipe - start with bowl of peanut butter how to make buckeyes with easy buckeye recipe - adding powdered sugar to peanut butter Easy buckeye recipe - stirring peanut butter and powdered sugar Making Buckeye recipe - creamed peanut butter and powdered sugar

2 Shape the filling into balls: Scoop up a small portion of dough (a small cookie scoop is great for this!). Form 1-inch balls by rolling them between your palms.

Place on a rimmed baking pan lined with a piece of parchment paper. Repeat until all the peanut butter filling is gone.

Peanut Butter Buckeyes on baking sheet

3 Chill for at least 1 hour or overnight in the refrigerator so the balls become firm enough to dip.

4 Melt the chocolate for the coating: Once the peanut butter balls have chilled, place the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and microwave in 30 second increments on high power, stirring between each cook cycle, until the chocolate has melted and is smooth.

melting chocolate for peanut butter buckeye balls buckeye recipe - melting chocolate

5 Dip the peanut butter balls in the melted chocolate: Skewer one of the peanut butter balls with a toothpick and dip it in the melted chocolate until 3/4 of the ball is covered in chocolate. Leave the top of the ball uncovered so you can see a little of the peanut butter. Place back on the baking sheet and repeat with the remaining balls.

Buckeye recipe - dipping putter butter balls in chocolate

6 Chill the buckeye balls: Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight for the chocolate to solidify. Once the chocolate is solid, wet your finger and smooth over the hole the toothpick has formed with your finger.

7 Store buckeyes in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to eat. Buckeyes can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for several weeks, or (wrapped tightly) in the freezer for several months.

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Comments

  • Mary Ellen Snyder

    Great recipe. When I am pressed for time, I turn the “dough” out into a 9×13 pan (lined with parchment paper)and spread the chocolate mixture over the top. After chilling until the chocolate is just beginning to get set, I cut into 1 inch squares and then chill some more. Not authentic Buckeyes but just as yummy. This is a great recipe.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Ethel bauer

    Can you use regular chocolate in place of chips?

  • Erin

    This is the recipe I’ve used for years for my Christmas PB balls. I love how these are only ‘half’ dipped making the buckeye!!
    Ps- for an added treat…throw 1/2 cup of Rice Krispies into the peanut butter. Super yummy crunchy addition.

  • Christi

    How far in advance can these be made for the holidays? (How long will they stay fresh and not dry out?) If you do freeze them, does it turn the chocolate when you take them out of the freezer?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Christi! Here’s Irvin’s response to a similar question about freezing buckeyes below: “Just make sure they are in a air tight container, or in a ziplock bag. They have a tendency to absorb odor from their surroundings and you don’t want them to start to smell or taste like freezer. But tightly sealed, they should keep for a couple of months in the freezer.”

      In the refrigerator, they’ll keep for several weeks.

      Enjoy!

  • Dawn Narmore

    Hi, I want to try and make this but my oven is broke, can it be done in a toaster oven?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Dawn! This recipe doesn’t actually require any baking, so it’s a perfect recipe to make while your oven is broken! Enjoy!

  • Angela

    Can you freeze these?

    • Irvin Lin

      Yes! Just make sure they are in a air tight container, or in a ziplock bag. They have a tendency to absorb odor from their surroundings and you don’t want them to start to smell or taste like freezer. But tightly sealed, they should keep for a couple of months in the freezer.

  • Nancy Brandt

    I love Buckeyes! And love the photography! I followed the recipe exactly but the dough was crumbly, very hard to make into smooth balls. What did I do wrong or how to do it differently next time? Add more butter?

    • Irvin Lin

      Hi Nancy,

      I’m so sorry about that! It’s possible you added too much powdered sugar, which sometimes gets packed down when you measure it in cups (as opposed to weighing it). If that happens again, try a little more melted butter, or you can even add a touch (1 teaspoon) of milk to help smooth out the dough.

      The dough, before you chill it, should look like the photograph above – a smooth stiff paste. If it is crumbly, add a little melted butter or milk like I suggested until it gets to that point. You want it firm but not crumbly. I hope this helps!

    • Irvin Lin

      Oh the other thing to note is to NOT use natural peanut butter. You want the regular grocery store stuff which has added oils to keep the peaut butter from separating. If you are using natural peanut butter it will be drier and might also make the peanut butter filling crumbly.

  • Elizabeth @ Pineapples and Polka Dots

    These are a favorite at holiday parties, for sure, but I’ve always been intimidated to make them for some reason. This post explains it all, and makes them seem easy!

  • Tess

    If you are trying to go “low carb” aka “low sugar” could you possibly add a little stevia and maybe corn starch or arrow root powder instead to firm them up?!

  • Linda Slayton

    I just returned from Ohio, where I had a Buckeye candy for the first time. Vowed I would make some, and then your recipe appeared. Fate. Tomorrow.

  • Kathleen

    Can I use table salt instead of kosher salt? If so, would the measurement be the same?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Kathleen, I would use 1/2 teaspoon of table salt if you don’t have kosher salt. Then just taste it, add more if needed. And, if you are using salted butter, you may not need to add any salt.

  • Gary Richmond

    What does “not natural” peanut butter mean….I only buy organic peanut butter made with peanuts only, would this not work in this recipe? Does it mean you’d have to use peanut butter with additives like hydrogenated oils that keep the oil from separating out?

    • Kris kitchen

      Yup, that’s what they mean… Sometimes our healthier choices are wonderful for eating everyday foods, but not for baking/candy making. Skippy & peter pan are two of my favorite PBs to use in this type of recipe.

  • Rick Mansfield

    Hi, what would you suggest as a substitute for the butter to bake these for a lactose intolerant person?
    Thanks,
    Rick

    • Annie

      I live near Ohio State University, home of the Buckeyes. I’ve made several versions of these and eaten many! With regard to a substitution for butter: you can use a firm margarine (not in tub). I like butter better, but some can’t eat it or prefer plant-based foods. I haven’t tried solid coconut oil, but it should work–just add extra powdered sugar if needed (1/4 cup or more) to get super-firm dough.

    • Chesney

      i ran out of butter and used canola oil for the remainder and it turned out just fine! im assuming any neutral flavored oil would work as well

  • Ann

    A classic and I love that you don’t need to turn on the oven to make them. That’s a big plus in the summer heat.

    • Elise Bauer

      Exactly! No-bake goodies like this are perfect for the summer.

  • mark

    Magic bars , now these,
    Trying to kill me

  • Hydra

    I love buckeyes, and just recently made them myself. One addition that I did, which took them from delicious to AMAZING, was to add some crushed Rice Crispies cereal into the peanut butter mix – maybe about a cup or cup and a half. It adds some welcome texture variation to the mix.

    Your buckeyes look perfect. I was not able to keep the peanut butter balls on my toothpick, so I ended up with fully chocolate coated balls rather than buckeyes, but in the end, it didn’t matter.

    • Cat Herder

      I solved the tooth pick problem by inserting them at an angle and holding them that way. It worked just fine. I also kept a part of them in the refrigerator while coating the others. As they warmed up they slid off more easily.

  • Celia Conley

    It’s a bit different than I learned as a child, but I always like to try different ones. I was born, schooled and worked as a Buckeye. In answer to the question about the natural peanut butter, it would separate.

  • Cherie

    I don’t use processed peanut butter. What’s the problem with natural/organic in this recipe?

    • Kitten

      If I could venture a guess here… In my experience all natural peanut-butter is usually much thinner consistency than processed peanut butter and so it may not setup to the same stiffness that the recipe calls for.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Cherie, natural peanut butters tend to separate.

      • Cherie

        Too bad! But thanks for the reply! I love your site and recipes. Every recipe I’ve made of yours (and that’s a lot!) has been excellent.

        • Annie

          I recently tried natural PB for these buckeyes, and it worked fine, though the dough seemed slightly less manageable. (By the way, we never melt the butter but use soft, room-temp butter.) The biggest challenge with natural PB was guessing how much oil to pour off the top of the PB, and how much sugar to add to get a firm, workable dough that will form balls well–not too soft and not too crumbly.

  • [email protected]

    I have never heard of these before but they look so cute.

  • Kevin | Keviniscooking

    BIG time peanut butter cup lover and can’t say as I’ve ever had one of these. Seen lots of photos of them, thanks for inspiring Irvin. Just scared I’d eat them all. :)

  • Amy @ Pressure Cook Recipes

    Hi Irvin,

    I don’t even remember how many peanut butter cups I ate growing up. hehe~ So yes, how can I say no to these peanut butter & chocolate treats? :) I can probably eat a whole batch of these myself! :D Thanks for the recipe.

    Amy