Buckeye Balls

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Buckeye Balls on a white cake stand with blue ribbon.

Buckeye Balls with a creamy peanut butter middle and a rich chocolate coating are our favorite treat to make for the holidays. I’m not sure these chocolate/peanut butter buckeyes bring you good luck like buckeye nuts supposedly do, but they sure will bring a smile to your face.

My grandparents had a buckeye tree on their farm and I still have a few buckeyes from that tree hiding in corners of my junk drawers. They must be at least 20 years old.


Peanut butter and chocolate buckeyes sure don’t last that long around the house. This recipe makes a big batch, but they’ll be gone in a hurry because throughout the day you’ll say- Hmmmm….maybe just one more buckeye. You’ll say that 10 times. At least. And so will everyone else in your house.

Overhead of Buckeye candies on a white cake stand.

Buckeye ball making is a messy, kid-friendly activity that my daughter has enjoyed doing since she was just a little thing. You will get a workout getting the ingredients to come together for the peanut butter balls and it’s best to have a helper or two. The mixture may seem crumbly at first, but it’s just because all the ingredients aren’t worked together enough yet. Go ahead and take your rings off and give your hands a super good washing because you will need to use them. And you will feel like a kid again making mudpies in the sandbox.


My husband and daughter are the expert buckeye ball makers in our family. My daughter was the one who made this batch. They insist on forming the peanut butter mixture into 3 large balls once it is all mixed together and letting it “rest” in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before forming into little balls. I’m the impatient one and I skip this step when I make them. 🙂

Pile of Buckeye Balls on wood board.

You will want to make at least 2 batches of these because they will be a favorite on your Christmas cookie trays.

What is your favorite holiday treat?

Buckeye Balls on a small plate with more in background.

Buckeye Balls

Buckeye Balls

Course: Candy
A smooth and creamy peanut butter ball dipped in chocolate is a holiday (or anytime) favorite.
Print Recipe


  • 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (1-pound) box confectioners' sugar
  • 9 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips, about 1 1/2 cups
  • 2-3 tablespoons shortening


  • In a large bowl, mix together peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and confectioners' sugar using your hands. It will be dry and crumbly at first, but keep working it until everything is very evenly mixed.
  • Form into 3 large balls, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Shape into balls using a scant tablespoon of mixture for each ball and rolling it in your hands to smooth. Place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper.
  • Refrigerate for at least an hour.
  • In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan melt chocolate chips and shortening over low heat, stirring constantly. When smooth, remove from heat.
  • Use a toothpick to dip each ball into chocolate mixture and place back on baking sheet.
  • Refrigerate until chocolate is set. Use the back of a spoon to smooth over toothpick holes.


Makes approximately 3 dozen balls.
Store in refrigerator.

Buckeye Fudge

Buckeye Fudge

45 thoughts on “Buckeye Balls

  1. I make basically same thing but with only 2 ingredients 1 cup peanut butter..1 cup icing sugar mix together then roll into balls .freeze then dip in melted chocolate

  2. My wife was craving peanut butter, so I found the recipe for this. Then I saw a bag of sea salt caramel chips that was never used for something she was going to do with our son. I melted those down for this recipe, and now my wife cannot get enough of these. I’ve made this about 5 times now and the melting chips part and dipping is still the hardest part for me. Thanks for the recipe

  3. I make these every year around Christmas and have made them for fundraisers, too. I take a shortcut and use the Chocolate Almond Bark instead of Chocolate Chips and shortening. I also try to lessen the amount of powdered sugar so they are not too sweet. So very easy to make.

  4. You forgot the parifin in the chocolate to make them shiny leave out the crisco – been making them for 50 years this is the closest to the original recipe my mom cut from the newspaper contest.

  5. Buckeyes are the BEST! Being from the Buckeye state and a Buckeye alum (OSU), I just thought I’d mention they are known as just Buckeyes. If you called them buckeye balls here people would look at you like you had 3 heads. ?

  6. I tried making these tonight and had a terrible time. They kept falling off the toothpick and I just ended up with a gloppy mess. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. Help!! I am nicknaming these devil balls.

    1. When all else fails, call your mom. Yes, I called my mom and she told me to melt the chocolate in a double boiler. After melting the chocolate, I turned off the heat but kept the bowl of chocolate over the hot water. It worked like a charm. The chocolate stayed think and smooth until the end. I also put the peanut butter balls in the freezer. I don’t think my fridge is cold enough.

  7. My mom has made these for as long as I can remember. She adds raisins into one batch and rice crispies into another to add a little extra taste and texture. Now, the ones with just peanut butter seem to boring. 🙂

  8. Best receipe….I’ve also found you can melt the choc. And put some in a small bowl. Then roll the buckeyes around to get perfect results of covered choc. On part of the buckeye. If you dont want to mess with toothpicks.

  9. Being from Ohio and also being a Big Ohio State Buckeye fan, these litte yummy delights are very common. I would say that most Ohioians make these at some point for parties ect. They are soooo go. Those of you that have never had one, well get ready to get addicted.

  10. i make these every year and give them on gift trays for hostess gifts, family dinners, and “extra” gifts to daughters’ families. They actually get miffed if I don’t make them! Have to make lots cuz they sure disappear fast!

    1. Dear Amy,
      My wife and I make these together and we have found that putting the peanut butter balls in the freezer on a cookie sheet to harden the balls before you dip them in the chocolate works well. Hint, it is a good idea to put toothpicks into the balls before putting them into the freezer. It is a little too difficult to get the toothpicks to go into the PB balls once they are frozen. Once they are frozen, just dip them into the chocolate and you are done.

  11. These look incredible Christin! Your daughter did a wonderful job making them 🙂 We can’t resist anything with chocolate and peanut butter so these would get polished off really quickly at our house hehe. This would be so much fun to make with my son too although I think he would have more fun making a mess and eating them 🙂 Thanks for sharing and hope you have a great weekend.

  12. I’ve wanted to make buckeye balls for ages! Although I have a feeling I would eat wayyyy too many – I can’t resist the peanut butter / chocolate combination!! My favorite holiday treats are snowball cookies & cookie dough truffles! I can’t pick between the two!

  13. I’ve never made (or tasted) buckeyes, but you can’t go wrong with those flavors, and I always immediately think “I love those” because I think I just know how great they will taste when I finally have one. 😉

  14. I’ve seen these but never made or ate one and I’m super curious. Great idea to make with young ones. My son’s been more interested in helping in the kitchen these days and I think he would have fun with this. Your buckeyes came out beautiful – your daughter is good at this!

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