Buckeye Bites (Peanut Butter Balls)

This recipe for buckeye balls is a Midwest Christmas classic! No-bake creamy peanut butter filling enrobed in rich chocolate to imitate the buckeye tree nut. Try my peanut butter eggs for more peanut butter fun.

I once traveled home and spent a week in Chicago as a surprise for my father, who believed he was receiving a parcel but instead received me. Fortunately, he was OK with the trade-off.

Moreover, like some kind of sugar-delivery Santa, I brought cookies with me. One container of Cranberry Bliss Fudge and one container of Buckeye Balls, a Midwest tradition.

What are buckeye balls?

Buckeye Balls, have you heard of them? When I went to New England, I realized that no one understood what I was saying.

Most people eventually realized what they were, but under a more precise moniker of Peanut Butter Balls. It made me feel better to know that these simple, no-bake goodies are appreciated by others.

Now, the pattern of the chocolate covering is another key to them. To make them appear like a dangerous nut, leave a little circle of peanut butter exposed on top.

I’m not going to lie. I’m not sure why we always wanted to produce a snack that looks like a poisonous nut, but I’m still on board. They’re simply so damn delicious.

Ingredients for traditional buckeye balls

You’ll need the following ingredients to make the traditional buckeye ball recipe:

  • Peanut butter that is creamy
  • room temperature unsalted butter
  • granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Dark or semisweet chocolate
  • If necessary, use coconut oil or vegetable shortening to thin down the chocolate.

Buckeye balls are a holiday tradition

Every Christmas, I used to make these with my family. That was the one dish we were permitted to make on our own as kids, and it always converted the kitchen into a giant, peanut buttery, chocolaty mess.

That was incredible.

What kind of chocolate should I use?

As for the chocolate, I could have tried using raw cacao powder (aff link) and coconut oil, but it all came down to the texture, which wasn’t smooth enough.

As a result, I kept the chocolate coating basic by using just premium chocolate. This is critical, and I’m not simply trying to get you to spend more money (trust me, thats not my goal in life).

To be successful, you must utilize high-quality chocolate. Subpar chocolate will just make them unhappy. And you don’t want to eat sad dessert, do you? Obviously not.

Making a healthier peanut butter filling

If the amount of butter and powdered sugar in the peanut butter filling makes your stomach turn, I have some good news: I embarked on a quest to make them as nutritious as possible while still retaining their creamy, luscious feel.

  • I’ve put more effort into using the bag of coconut flour and coconut sugar that I keep in my cupboard over time. They’re both really valuable in so many ways, but they’re not a 1:1 substitute for most things, which means I’ll have to perform a lot of trial and error.
  • I experimented with both coconut flour and sugar and noticed that the sugar only made things gritty, which is the reverse of what I’m trying for.
  • I eventually found that utilizing a liquid sweetener like honey or maple syrup maintains the creamy feel and allows me to use far less than I would with solid sweeteners.

Luckily, I finally got the amounts for this recipe correct:

  • 1 cup organic or regular peanut butter
  • cuphoney, maple syrup, or agave syrup
  • 1 cup of coconut flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp salt

How to store buckeye balls

Refrigerate or freeze your set buckeye balls in airtight containers (with parchment paper between layers).

If you’re anything like me, you’ll put one of them in your mouth every time you go by your fridge, and then the container will be empty.

Utilize transparent containers so you can see how many are left to aid you with your self-control. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Buckeye Balls (Peanut Butter Balls)

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Prep Time: 15mins
Cook Time: 10mins
Total Time: 15mins
Servings: 24to 32 balls
    ✓ Read the recipe beginning to end
    ✓ Check oven calibration
    ✓ Check expiration dates
    ✓ Properly measure ingredients
    ✓ Check butter temperature


A Midwest holiday tradition! Easy, no-bake creamy peanut butter filling covered in rich chocolate that resembles the nut from the buckeye tree.


  • Two boilers
  • Baking pans
  • Paper made with parchment (precut)
  • blending bowls
  • Scooping cookies
  • Candy dipping instruments


Classic Peanut Butter Filling

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • room temperature cupunsalted butter
  • 3 cup granulated sugar, or more as required
  • pinchsalt

Healthier Peanut Butter Filling

  • 1 cup organic or regular peanut butter
  • cuphony, maple syrup, or agave syrup
  • 1 cup of coconut flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp salt

Chocolate Coating

  • 12 ounces dark or semisweet chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or vegetable shortening, if desired, to spread chocolate out more gradually.


Peanut Butter Filling

  • Set aside two baking sheets lined with wax or parchment paper.
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, 3 tablespoons powdered sugar, pinch salt
    2 tablespoons peanut butter 1
    In a large mixing bowl, incorporate all of the ingredients. You may start with a spoon or spatula, but you’ll need to use your hands to thoroughly blend everything.
    1 1
  • Scoop out an even quantity of dough with a tiny cookie scoop (or just measure out 2 teaspoons for each) and roll it between your palms to create a ball. Put the balls about an inch apart on the prepared baking pans. Refrigerate the baking sheets.

Chocolate Coating

  • Bring water to a simmer in a double broiler (with a tiny quantity of water in the saucepan that does not touch the bottom of the top pan).
    1 tablespoon Coconut oil or vegetable shortening, 12 ounces semisweet or dark chocolate
  • Stir in the chocolate until it is completely melted.
  • Reduce the heat to low and take the peanut butter balls from the refrigerator.
  • Dip each ball into the chocolate using a candy dipper or a spoon until thoroughly coated or until just a little circle of peanut butter is visible on top (this is the traditional process). Cool on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Place the finished buckeye balls on the baking sheets in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to thoroughly set.
  • Until ready to serve, store in airtight containers (with parchment paper between layers). Enjoy!


Nutritional information listed is for the version with the “healthier” peanut butter filling.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 201kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 82mg | Potassium: 208mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 6IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 2mg


What are Buckeye balls made of?

WHAT EXACTLY ARE BUCKEYE BALLS? Buckeye Balls are dipped in melted chocolate after being rolled into a dough using creamy peanut butter, vanilla, butter, and powdered sugar. They’re creamy, nutty, and chocolaty, and they’re probably one of the best sweets you’ll ever taste.

Who makes peanut butter Buckeyes?

Almost 10 million buckeyes, Ohio’s favorite chocolate treat, have been produced by Waggoner Chocolates. These milk chocolate buckeyes are individually wrapped and made with genuine chocolate and creamy peanut butter.

Why are my peanut butter balls mushy?

The peanut butter balls were not chilled long enough.

When the peanut balls aren’t cooled long enough, they retain their soft feel, making them difficult to work with since it’s more difficult to maintain control while twirling them through the molten chocolate.

Do Buckeye balls need to be refrigerated?

Is it necessary to keep buckeye balls refrigerated? Yes! I suggest storing them in the fridge for best eating circumstances. If the balls are left out for too long, the butter and peanut butter will soften.

Can humans eat buckeye nuts?

Removing the shell and roasting the nut neutralizes the nut’s toxic tannic acid concentration and creates a protein-rich snack. Buckeye nuts, however, are hazardous to humans if not processed correctly, producing symptoms such as weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, paralysis, and death.

Are you supposed to eat buckeyes?

While the seeds resemble edible chestnuts, the fruits of the Ohio buckeye are not edible and may be hazardous.

What is Amish peanut butter?

Amish Peanut Butter is a luscious spread that goes well with fresh baked bread, pancakes, crackers, pretzels, ice cream, apples, and any other dippable snack or fruit. It’s often produced by combining creamy peanut butter, marshmallow cream, and Karo syrup.

Why is buckeyes so popular?

The buckeye is a popular souvenir in Ohio, particularly around “The Horseshoe,” the Ohio State football stadium. Fans in the bleachers are frequently seen filling plastic tubs with buckeye nuts during Ohio State football games. This custom, which supporters see as a good luck charm, began in the 1970s.

What is the most famous peanut butter brand in the USA?

Jif is America’s most popular peanut butter for a reason: it tastes great and has a flawlessly whipped consistency. Put it over a sandwich, combine it into icing, melt it for a sundae, or eat it with a spoon. You can’t go wrong with this.

How long do Buckeye balls last in the fridge?

Storage Suggestions

To keep the buckeyes fresh, put them in an airtight jar in the refrigerator. They will keep for approximately a month if stored in this manner (but good luck keeping them that long without eating them all, lol!).

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