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Buckeye Balls


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.

Buckeye Balls on a white cake stand.

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.


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. ๐Ÿ™‚

Buckeye Balls on a cake stand.


Buckeye Balls Recipe Tips:

  • Use a small spring-loaded ice cream scoop or a measuring spoon to portion out the peanut butter mixture and ensure your Buckeye Balls are all the same size.
  • You want the peanut butter balls to be really well chilled before you dip them in the chocolate.
  • Chocolate melting wafers can be used instead of chocolate chips and then you don’t have to use the shortening. The shortening helps keep the chocolate a little bit soft when it sets up so that it is easy to bite into.
  • Will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days or they can be frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator.

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?

Arrangement of Buckeye Candy on a plate, bowl, and cake stand.


Try These Other Buckeye Recipes:

Buckeye Balls on a white cake stand.

Buckeye Balls

A smooth and creamy peanut butter ball dipped in chocolate is a holiday (or anytime) favorite.
PREP: 25 minutes
COOK: 0 minutes
Refrigerate: 1 hour 30 minutes


  • 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.
Chocolate melting wafers can be used instead of the chocolate chips and shortening.


Calories: 182kcal
Course: Candy
Cuisine: Southern
Keyword: Christmas, peanut butter

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Originally published December 5, 2013.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

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47 thoughts on “Buckeye Balls”

  1. I absolutely love this site, I ready to making candy. So glad I found this site. Thank You. My first will be the potato candy

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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. ?

  7. Sandy Jones

    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. Sandy Jones

      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.

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