Recipe Overview

Why you’ll love it: I have yet to meet someone who can resist these sweet peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate. They’re just so good! If you’re a fan of Reese’s peanut butter cups, you’ll love buckeyes.

How long it takes: 30 minutes hands on, an hour to chill
Equipment you’ll need: mixing bowl, mixer, cookie sheet or try, toothpick
Servings: x

A pile of buckeyes candy on a plate on a wooden background.
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Peanut butter and chocolate, is there a better combination than that? If you like Reese’s Peanut Butter cups, you know what I’m talking about. 

Just a casual search on my site will bring you recipes for no bake peanut butter bars (just like Reeses), chocolate peanut butter pie (another no bake treat) and  peanut butter hot fudge sauce. (Unfortunately my peanut fantasies came to a screeching halt when it was discovered that both of my kids have severe nut allergies. Total bummer!)

Aren’t these candies kind of cool looking? They look great on a Christmas cookie plate but be prepared with backups because the buckeyes will vanish in a blink of an eye (pun intended).

Buckeyes on parchment paper.

About This Buckeyes Recipe

These no-bake treats are easy to make. Involve the family and get some help with the rolling and dipping for a fun shared experience. The reward is a delicious chocolate peanut butter ball!

Ingredient Notes

  • Creamy Peanut Butter – Use a creamy peanut butter like Jif or Skippy. We don’t recommend natural peanut butter for this recipe.
  • Butter – Do not substitute margarine! It will affect the flavor and the consistency.
  • Pure Vanilla Extract – This will add depth of flavor.
  • Powdered Sugar – You can use a little more or a little less, depending on the consistency of your peanut butter mixture.
  • Chocolate Melting Wafers – For that yummy chocolate coating!
Ingredients needed to make buckeye candy, overhead view.

How To Make Buckeyes

Reminder: The process is simple but be sure to allow extra time for chilling the filling, at least 30 minutes, before you can shape it into balls, and another 30 minutes before you can dip the balls into chocolate.

Make filling. To get started, measure out the peanut butter, softened butter, and vanilla into a large mixing bowl. Using a mixer, blend the mixture together until it’s smooth and creamy.

Sift in the powdered sugar and continue beating until it’s fully incorporated. The mixture will become quite thick and you may have to stir it by hand when it gets too thick for your mixer to handle.

The consistency should resemble play dough: thick, fairly firm, and not too sticky. If it looks pretty sticky yet, stir in additional powdered sugar.

Chill. Stick the bowl into the refrigerator and let it chill for at least thirty minutes.

Peanut butter mixture in a metal bowl.

Roll the filling in balls. Next, use a cookie dough scoop or a tablespoon to scoop out a small portion of the filling mixture. Quickly roll it into a ball and set it aside on a cookie sheet or tray. Continue rolling the balls; you should get around 40, give or take a few. It really depends how large you make them.

Chill. Once they’re shaped, the little balls have to chill 30 minutes more in the freezer before dipping. Don’t freeze them more than that. If you aren’t ready to dip them after 30 minutes, put them in the fridge until you’re ready.

Dip. Poke a toothpick into a ball and dip the ball into melted chocolate, but don’t submerge it completely. A fork is useful to dislodge the ball from the toothpick back on to parchment paper. You can smooth the hole with your finger or a paring knife so everything’s nice and pretty. Give the chocolate a little time to firm up and they’re ready to eat.

Peanut butter ball being dipped in chocolate.


Why is it called a Buckeye?

You may have thought buckeyes referred to the candy’s similarity to the round dark eyes of a male deer. Actually, buckeyes look very similar to and are named for the nut that comes from the buckeye tree. You may know it as a horse chestnut tree or if you live in Great Britain, a conker tree.  
The buckeye tree is Ohio’s state tree and Ohio State University fans will readily recognize the team name Buckeyes, as will their rivals. My husband thought we should rename these candies and I know those are probably fighting words!

Are buckeyes a cookie or a candy?

When something is this delicious, does the label matter, cookies or candy? They’ve been called both, so neither is incorrect. Since they don’t include flour and aren’t baked, I’m more inclined to classify them as a candy.

Buckeyes on a plate, ingredients in the background.

Recipe Variations

  • Try using chunky peanut butter instead of smooth. Keep in mind, the appearance will be different!
  • Nut-free option: Substitute sunflower butter (Sunbutter) for the peanut butter. Sunflower butter tends to be a bit thinner in consistency than peanut butter, so you will probably need to add an additional ½ cup of powdered sugar.
  • Dip the candies in dark chocolate or white chocolate.
  • Make it a total dip. If you prefer, dip the entire ball into chocolate for a chocolate covered peanut butter ball.
  • Make bars instead. If you’re looking for an easier option, try my buckeye brownies. All the deliciousness without the hassle of rolling and dipping!
A pile of chocolate and peanut butter candies, the top with a bite removed.

Storage Tips

Do buckeyes need to be refrigerated? Perhaps you’re wondering about the best way to store the buckeyes. Once chocolate has fully hardened, store buckeyes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days or freeze in a freezer bag for up to 3 months. If you don’t keep them in the fridge, they will get soft, lose their shape, and get messy.

More No Bake Treats

Buckeyes on a cookie sheet.

Buckeyes Recipe (Peanut Butter & Chocolate Perfection)

4.80 from 10 votes
Prep: 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 42 buckeyes
Buckeyes anyone? I have yet to meet someone who can resist these sweet peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate. They're just so good!
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  • 1 ⅓ cups creamy peanut butter (such as Jif)
  • ½ cup (one stick) salted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, spooned into measuring cup (see note)
  • 3 cups chocolate melting wafers (see note)


  • Add the peanut butter, butter, and vanilla to a large bowl or stand mixer and cream together for 30 seconds. 
    1 ⅓ cups creamy peanut butter, ½ cup (one stick) salted butter, softened, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Sift the powdered sugar into the bowl and beat until smooth. Mixture will be thick and you may have to stir in the last half cup or so of powdered sugar. Consistency should be similar to play-dough.
    3 cups powdered sugar, spooned into measuring cup
  • Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Portion the peanut butter mixture out with a one tablespoon scoop and roll into balls. Place them on the cookie sheet and chill in the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes. Do not freeze for more than 30 minutes prior to dipping. Place in the refrigerator if not ready to dip.
  • Just before removing the balls from the freezer, melt the chocolate melting wafers in a wide bowl or glass in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until fully melted. Don’t let the balls sit out too long before dipping because they can start to sweat and it will make it hard for the chocolate to stick.
    3 cups chocolate melting wafers
  • Use a toothpick to spear the balls and dip them in the melted chocolate. Push the balls off the toothpick back onto the parchment paper with a fork. Smooth over the hole from the toothpick with your finger or a paring knife.
  • Refrigerate until the chocolate hardens. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days or freeze in a freezer bag for up to 3 months.


  • How to measure powdered sugar: Spoon the powdered sugar into the measuring cup lightly as you would flour. Level the surface with flat edge, such as a knife.
  • Peanut butter: Jif creamy peanut butter was used in this recipe. Using a natural peanut butter (the kind that needs to be stirred) may affect your results.
  • Chocolate: There will be excess chocolate remaining since you need to be able to dip these balls almost fully without covering the tops. If you prefer, chocolate chips may be used in place of the melting wafers. Add ½ teaspoon of coconut oil to every cup of chocolate chips for smoothness.



Serving: 1candy, Calories: 137kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 6mg, Sodium: 64mg, Potassium: 54mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 14g, Vitamin A: 68IU, Calcium: 4mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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4.80 from 10 votes (8 ratings without comment)

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  1. Jennifer Cook says:

    5 stars
    Just made almost 800 buckeyes with this recipe! It’s perfect and they are delicious! Merry Christmas!!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      800!!! You’re my hero, that’s amazing. So happy the recipe worked well for you! Thanks for taking the time to leave a review, it means a lot.

  2. Lynn Fletcher says:

    5 stars
    I’m making these for the second time. They were dangerously yummy the first time and I had to quickly pass them off to my neighbors (who love me now because of these!), so I wouldn’t eat the whole batch lol. I tried making them once using Skippy peanut butter balls that are formed and ready to dip (although they are sold as a snack item). They turned out okay but nothing like making them using your recipe. Thank you Rachel for this incredible, delicious recipe and the easy to follow instructions. Happy holidays!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Thank you so much for the kind words! I’m glad this recipe was a success for you!

  3. Linda C Burks says:

    I made this recipe a few weeks ago and they were great. Today I made them and I couldn’t roll them. They were too soft. I left them in the fridge for a little over 30 minutes. Any thoughts? Thanks

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Hmm, I would suggest adding a little more powdered sugar to stiffen them up. Could be the the temperature of your butter/peanut butter, or how much sugar was packed in the measuring cup.

  4. Rae says:

    Followed the recipe -sifted the powdered sugar in and at no point after the powdered sugar was as sifted in was it ever “smooth” it was clumpy -I even triple checked to see if the amount of powdered sugar was correct (seems a bit much) it was correct- so I have an entire bowl of wasted product. I wouldn’t recommend this recipe at all. If the recipe only works with certain products such as a stand mixer or gradually beating the mixture then that needs to be specified and made clear. Such an unfortunate waste of time and money. Could be me but I followed the directions provided and it just didn’t work out for me. Hope this helps others. Thanks 

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Hi Rae! So sorry to hear this recipe wasn’t a home run for you. We want all of our recipes to be foolproof, so I put this one on the list to retest this week. Thanks for your feedback.

    2. Rachel Gurk says:

      Hi Rae – I sent you an email to the email you left a comment with. Let me know if you don’t get it. :)

    3. Jennifer Cook says:

      I am an Ohioan and have made more Buckeyes than I can ever count. But when I am teaching someone to make Buckeyes, I always tell them to keep mixing! I think when you use a good amount of peanut butter in any recipe, it takes endless mixing to get whatever ingredient to blend smoothly. (Think mixing up a peanut butter pie). When I am mixing up Buckeyes my hubby or teenage sons actually take over the mixing part when it looks clumpy – that’s when it still needs lots of mixing, but my arm is tired :) Hopefully you try it again, especially if you have a KitchenAid mixer or strong hubby.

  5. SayIDidIt™ says:

    Also, the Recipe Key says “Dairy Free”, however, the recipe says “Butter – Do not substitute with margarine! It will affect the flavor and the consistency.”

    1. SayIDidIt™ says:

      Also says Vegetarian. If it has butter, it’s not.

      1. Rachel Gurk says:

        This recipe is not indicated as vegetarian, where are you seeing that? Even still, it is vegetarian, but not vegan.

    2. Rachel Gurk says:

      This recipe is not indicated as dairy-free, where are you seeing that?

  6. SayIDidIt™ says:

    “If you keep them stored in an airtight container in the fridge, they’ll keep for about a month.”

    “store buckeyes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days”

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Thanks for pointing that out, I updated it to be accurate.

  7. Dustin says:

    All I can say is WOW!!!!! These are the best I have ever tasted!!! This is the best buckeye recipe i have ever made. Thank you

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      I’m so glad to hear it! Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment, Dustin!

  8. denise says:

    These are a staple at our family reunion. My cousin’s wife makes them every year.

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Yes! They’re definitely a classic.