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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. Christin
      Christin Mahrlig

      The shortening helps keep the chocolate from hardening. They should turn out alright without the shortening but the chocolate coating may crack as you bite into it.

  1. 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. 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.

  3. Sharon Lissimore

    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.

  4. Cheri Snyder

    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!

  5. Amy @ Elephant Eats

    My aunt makes these sometimes and I LOVE them. Dipping them all is such a hassle though. Do you have a secret to making it go quickly and neatly?

    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.

  6. Cailee @ hellohealthyeating.com

    Wow!! These look delicious!! I’ll def have to makes these around Christmas time!! They make a great dessert… or even a little gift if you wrapped them up!! So cute ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing!!

  7. Kristi @ Inspiration Kitchen

    These look so festive! I can totally see an entire plate of these disappear at my next holiday party. What a great idea! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Danita @O Taste And See

    Love buckeyes! We make them every year as one of our Christmas cookies. It’s really is a Southern favorite.

    1. Christin
      Christin Mahrlig

      Yes! Only sometimes I don’t even bother with cookies anymore. No one seems to want them when there are buckeyes to be had ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. These look incredible Christin! Your daughter did a wonderful job making them ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing and hope you have a great weekend.

    1. Christin
      Christin Mahrlig

      I’m sure he would have a lot of fun making a mess ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a great weekend Kelly!

  10. 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!

  11. Julia | JuliasAlbum.com

    Christin, these are such cute cookies! I’d love to add these peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate to my Christmas cookie box! And, maybe, I won’t even share them with anybody! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Anne ~ Uni Homemaker

    These won’t last in my house. We’ll end up snacking on these for breakfast, lunch and dinner! You can’t go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter. YUM! Have a great weekend Christin!

  13. Ari @ Ari's Menu

    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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  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!

  15. Shundara@SavyNaturalista

    I have never had buckeyes, I didn’t even know there was a tree! I am a big fan of toffee during the holidays even with my dairy allergy.

  16. My mom used to make these for the holidays and I loved them. I’ve got no idea why I forgot about them? I’m going to have to revisit them soon!

  17. Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor

    Christin, your daughter did a fabulous job on these buckeye balls. They are one of my favorite treats ever. There is something about chocolate and peanut butter that I can’t resist.

  18. Consuelo @ Honey & Figs

    I’ve never had buckeyes but they look wonderful! What’s not to love about the chocolate/peanut combo?? ๐Ÿ˜‰

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