Homemade buckeyes are the perfect no bake treat for peanut butter and chocolate lovers. Buckeyes are fast, easy and delicious, making them a great choice for game days or holidays when you need a tasty treat that doesn’t take too much time or energy.
The very basics of a buckeye candy are peanut butter, chocolate and powdered sugar. This recipe has a secret ingredient to make these homemade buckeyes the creamiest and most delicious peanut butter buckeyes ever!
I’ll give you variations and substitutions where I can, plus helpful tips and tricks for success. Read on for this info as well as the recipe. If you’d like to skip straight to the recipe, use the jump to recipe button at the top of the post.
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Why you should make this recipe
If you love the combination of peanut butter and chocolate, this is a recipe for you.
- Easy – This easy recipe for buckeyes candy is no bake, and requires nothing more than a bit of mixing, scooping, and dipping.
- Perfect for holidays & game days – Put out a tray of these chocolate-dipped peanut butter balls and watch them disappear.
- No bake – The best part of these delicious treats is they do not require the oven.
Homemade buckeyes candy recipe
This honestly is the best buckeye recipe I have ever had. And, I’ve eaten a lot of them in my life.
Making buckeyes is something that I grew up doing. We usually only make these in the fall, or around Christmas, because working with chocolate is much easier when the temperatures are cooler.
These were, obviously, a big hit during Ohio State football season. Growing up in the buckeye state, everyone makes them for game days.
To make homemade buckeye balls, you’ll need peanut butter, powdered (confectioners or icing) sugar, butter, vanilla, a pinch of salt and good quality chocolate, and the secret ingredient that makes all the difference.
- Peanut butter – Use your favorite brand of salted, smooth/creamy peanut butter.
- Substitutions: Almond butter is a good substitute if you have a peanut allergy. It tends to be runnier than peanut butter, so you will likely need more powdered sugar to make a scoopable dough.
- Powdered sugar – Also called confectioners sugar, or icing sugar, this sweetens the peanut butter mixture.
- Substitutions: To make these low sugar, you can use a powdered sugar-substitute, like Swerve.
- Butter – Softened unsalted butter is blended with the peanut butter to form the base of the candy.
- Cream cheese – My secret ingredient. A little cream cheese gives these no bake treats extra creaminess and makes them the BEST homemade buckeyes you’ll ever have.
- Salt – Salt in dessert recipes helps to balance the sweetness.
- Vanilla – Just a teaspoon of vanilla gives the buckeyes extra flavor.
- Chocolate – The peanut butter balls are dipped in melted chocolate to make them look like buckeye nuts.
How to make buckeyes
Here’s a quick summary of how to make homemade buckeyes. Please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the full recipe. If you use a tablespoon sized scoop, you will have 4 dozen peanut butter balls.
- Prep – Measure out all of your ingredients. Beat everything (except the chocolate) together. Measure out the ingredients before you start. Use your favorite brand of peanut butter, I used Skippy. Natural peanut butter is generally thinner, or runnier, than commercial peanut butter.
- Scoop – Use a tablespoon-sized cookie scoop to portion the peanut butter mixture, then roll in your hands to smooth them into round balls.
- Dip – Using a skewer, or toothpick, carefully lower them into the melted chocolate, about 3/4 the way up the ball of peanut butter. Leave a circle on peanut butter on top, undipped.
- Chill – Leaving them to set up at cool room temperature is preferable. If it is on the cool side in your house, leave them out on the counter to set. But, if you live where it is warm year-round, this may not be an option. To set the chocolate quickly, slide them into the fridge for about 30 minutes.
If you are making these for a party, or even if you are just making them for your family, they disappear very quickly. I’ve never had leftovers. Not even once. I usually make more than I need and it’s still not enough.
Homemade buckeyes FAQ’s
Buckeyes look similar to a chestnut. They are a round, dark brown nut with a light brown spot on top. The buckeye candy is made to look just like the nut.
Buckeyes are peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate. The very top of the peanut butter buckeye is left undipped to resemble a buckeye nut.
They will last up to 2 weeks, if stored properly, in an airtight container in the fridge.
Peanut Butter Buckeyes
To smooth the top of the buckeyes, carefully smooth the top with your finger, or the side of a knife. I used food-safe gloves to do this so I didn’t leave fingerprints on my homemade buckeyes.
I will say this on the topic of smoothing the top – most people, including me, don’t bother, especially if they are just for the family. If I’m taking them to a party, I’ll smooth the top of the buckeyes to make them pretty. It’s your call.
Variations and substitutions
For some fun variations on the best buckeye recipe, here are a handful of ways to mix it up!
- Boozy – Add a tablespoon or two of peanut butter whiskey to the mixture.
- Dairy-free / vegan – To make them dairy free, omit the cream cheese and swap regular butter for vegan butter.
- Nutty – Use crunchy peanut butter instead of smooth for a little crunch.
- White chocolate – Dip them in white chocolate for a variation on the original.
- Extra chocolate – Add mini chocolate chips to the peanut butter mixture for a peanut butter chocolate chip buckeye.
A mug of hot chocolate and a buckeye or two was always a special treat around the holidays.
Homemade buckeyes are a great addition to holiday cookie platters. You can find all of my cookie recipes here.
They are the perfect addition to cookie boxes for shipping, because they will hold up without breaking. The only concern is melting, if they are in a warm climate.
Helpful tools and equipment
- Mini cookie scoop – This size scoop holds 2 teaspoons. Perfect for smaller buckeyes.
- Small cookie scoop – This scoop holds 1 tablespoon. The size I used in this recipe.
- Sheet pans – These are sturdy, commercial grade baking pans.
- Parchment paper sheets are MUCH easier to use than tearing pieces off of a roll.
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- 1 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter // 405g
- 3 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar // 340g
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temp // 113g
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/4 c. cream cheese, softened (2 oz) // 57g
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 6 oz dark chocolate, I used 70% Lindt chocolate bars // about 1 cup // 170g
- Cream peanut butter, cream cheese and butter together until completely smooth and free of any lumps.
- Add vanilla, salt and sugar to mixture, beat until combined.
- Using a 1 ounce scoop or tablespoon, scoop balls of peanut butter mixture and place on parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Roll (in your hands) to smooth out and round. Set in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours.
- Break chocolate bars into small pieces, place in a microwave safe bowl. Put in microwave for 30 seconds, stir, put back in for another 10 seconds. Repeat in 10 second increments until chocolate is mostly melted (a few pieces the size of peas are ok). Stir and set aside. The residual heat will melt any tiny pieces of chocolate. Let it cool until the bowl no longer feels warm.
- Using a skewer or toothpick, pierce peanut butter ball and dip into the chocolate about 3/4 up the sides, leaving a circle of peanut butter undipped on top.
- Place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Use the side of a knife or your finger to smooth over the hole on top. Let them set up at room temperature, if your house is cool, or slide them into the fridge for 30 minutes to set the chocolate quickly.
- Tip: If you want a thinner coating, dip when the chocolate is warmer. If you want a thicker coating of chocolate, let the chocolate cool more.
- The chocolate will become thicker as it cools, giving you a thicker layer.
- If you have an 8 oz glass canning jar, this makes the BEST vessel for holding your chocolate to dip the buckeyes. It's the perfect size, depth, etc.
- I used a small cookie scoop (about 1 tbsp) to make these buckeyes. You may end up with more or less depending on the scoop you use.
- If you prefer to melt chocolate chips for dipping your buckeyes, use 2 cups of chips mixed with 2 tbsp. coconut oil.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 95Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 58mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 2g
Nutrition information calculated by a third-party company as a courtesy. It is intended as a guideline only.
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