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Buckeyes (Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Balls)

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Turn that classic combination of peanut butter and chocolate into a great no-bake candy. These buckeyes look like the nut, but taste much better!

Pile of buckeyes on plate showing creamy peanut butter center showing through chocolate shell.

Turn peanut butter and chocolate into delicious no bake candy. Homemade peanut butter buckeye candies are a Christmastime must have in our family.

You may know them as chocolate peanut butter balls, we but we make ours to look like a buckeye. They are easy to make, which is good because they disappear quickly.

These buckeyes deserve a place on your Christmas candy making list. They will be a welcome addition to your treat trays if you don’t decide to keep them all for yourself!

Buckeyes tastes a lot like Reese’s peanut butter cups, but look even more fun. It’s namesake is the nut of the state tree of Ohio, but it is worth making worldwide!

By now you know that my family runs the chocolate and peanut butter fan club.  Ok, maybe not officially, but we might as well!

Hand holding finished buckeye with a circle of peanut butter filling showing on the top and a chocolate shell around the rest of it looking like a buckeye nut.

We love this combo in ice cream, cookies, pie, puppy chow, and even as playdough and peanut butter oreo balls! But this buckeyes recipe is one of our all time favorites.

We only make them at Christmas time, so it gives us something to look forward to.  MiMi has made them in bar form before too, which is quicker and just as delicious. 

However I think the real thing is more fun.   After all, they look just like their namesake nut!

Making the Peanut Butter Filling

Making the sweet peanut butter filling for buckeyes is easy, so there aren’t a ton of tips to share. Make sure your butter is good and softened, that will make mixing it into the peanut butter easy.

You don’t want chunks of butter in your candy, so making sure it is completely room temperature will help you avoid this. Plus it will help you get the powdered sugar mixed in.

The mixture may look a little bit crumbly at first, but it should easily come together with a little bit of pressure in your hands.

Balls of peanut butter filling ready to be dipped in chocolate.

While the exact size of your peanut butter balls is up to you, we like using a small cookie scoop to make portioning them easy. But because you aren’t baking them, uniformity is not necessary.

Once the mixture is portioned, roll it between your hands to make sure it holds together and to give it a nice smooth round shape. Put the balls on a wax paper lined baking sheet.

Dipping them in chocolate is a lot easier if you have the time to freeze them for a bit. It’s not totally necessary, but it is my preferred method for sure.

A half hour or so in the freezer is enough to firm up the centers and help them hold together while you dip them in chocolate. However, if you want to spread out the work you can keep them in the freezer for as long as you want.

Dipping the Peanut Butter Ball Centers in Chocolate

The first key to getting a nice looking chocolate coating on your candy is to use the right chocolate. I like to use a good quality dipping chocolate.

They are formulated to not need to be tempered, which makes it super simple. However, you can use whatever chocolate you like best.

freshly dipped buckeyes setting on wax paper

Our favorite way to dip the balls is to use a toothpick. Just insert it into a peanut butter ball and dip it in the melted chocolate.

Swirl it until most of the ball is covered, but leave a small patch of peanut butter showing. That’s what gives them their special look after all.

Though you can easily make this exact same recipe into chocolate peanut butter balls by dipping them fully. Do whichever you like best.

plastic containers filled with homemade peanut butter buckeyes for gifting.

Put the dipped ball on wax paper and use a finger to gently nudge the ball off the toothpick. Allow to set completely.

Then you can use a finger tip to close the hole and create a smooth finish on the top of the buckeye. That step isn’t necessary, but does make them look nicer.

While we were at it, we went ahead and melted a bunch of chocolate. That way we could do pretzels and Rudolph marshmallows all at the same time.

While you are going, you might as well go big!

peanut butter buckeyes on tray with other Christmas treats.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are buckeyes candies made of?

Buckeyes consist of a peanut butter fudge-like center that is dipped in chocolate. Unlike classic peanut butter balls, the whole ball isn’t coated in chocolate. Instead a small circle of the peanut butter filling is left showing to look like Ohio’s state nut, the buckeye.

How long can you keep homemade buckeyes?

Homemade buckeyes can be kept in an airtight container on the counter for a few days or in the refrigerator for up to a month. You can freeze them for up to three months.

More Fun Candy Recipes to Try

For another fun chocolate and peanut butter candy try chocolate peanut butter pretzel bites. They have a peanut butter filling surrounded by pretzels and dipped in chocolate for a creamy and crunchy version of this flavor combo.

Three ingredient peanut butter fudge is another fun and easy treat. It would be a fun addition to your cookie and candy platters as well.

Strawberry buttercream truffles are an unexpected twist on chocolate dipped candy. Or make easy coconut truffles if you are a coconut lover.

What are your favorite Christmas candies to make and eat? Tell me all about them in the comments below.

Love this recipe? Give it a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review in the recipe card below!

Pile of buckeyes on plate showing creamy peanut butter center showing through chocolate shell.


Servings: 50 Candies
Author: Carlee
This buckeyes recipe is a Christmas classic. The creamy peanut butter centers show through the chocolate coating to show you what is inside. These homemade candies are easy to make with simple ingredients and they taste amazing.
4.96 from 21 ratings
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes


  • 16 oz jar creamy peanut butter or 2 cups
  • ½ cup butter softened
  • cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pound dipping chocolate


  • Mix together the peanut butter, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and salt. The mixture might be a little crumbly to start, but a few kneads should bring it together.
    16 oz jar creamy peanut butter, ½ cup butter, 3½ cups powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 pinch salt
  • Roll mixture into balls. Since you aren’t baking them, you can make them whatever size you’d like. I made mine about a couple of teaspoons each so that we could have a lot of smaller balls.
  • Place balls on wax paper lined baking sheets and put them in the freezer for at least a half hour.
  • Melt chocolate in a double boiler.
    1 pound dipping chocolate
  • Using a toothpick to hold the peanut butter balls, dip them into the melted chocolate covering all but a small bit of the ball.
  • Place back onto the wax paper and allow to set up completely.



Serving: 1candyCalories: 108kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 2gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 67mgFiber: 1gSugar: 8g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating


Tuesday 15th of December 2020

I just tried making Buckeyes. They turned out to be more difficult than I had anticipated! I guess that I'll have to try again. Yours look fabulous!


Friday 18th of December 2020

definitely give them another go! Little Dude and I posted a video on YouTube as well, maybe that will help!

Andrea Nine

Friday 11th of December 2020

I am smiling because I just dipped 5 dozen ball yesterday! We love buckeyes! Usually I dip the whole thing and we called them peanut butter balls but really they are buckeye so this year I used your trick here in dipping them and it was so much easier! My recipe doesn’t call for salt but I’m gonna use this one next time because I think that will add just the right touch. I just love that picture of little dude! Such a cute throwback and I hope you have a wonderful weekend my friend!


Tuesday 15th of December 2020

Great minds think alike! These are definitely one of our favorite holiday treats. And isn't he the cutest? It's hard to believe he's been helping for that long!


Tuesday 18th of December 2018

I have actually never heard of these candies, but they are definitely up our alley - peanut butter and chocolate!


Monday 24th of December 2018

Oh my goodness, you have to make some. They are soooooooo good!

Esther Joy

Thursday 17th of November 2016

My sis-in-law used to make these every Christmas. Since she has passed on, my daughter had taken on the job. With her business exploding, she is so busy this year that I may have to do it!


Saturday 19th of November 2016

Aren't they the best? It wouldn't be Christmas without them!


Wednesday 23rd of December 2015

Yum yum yum. Love these. I need them in my belly now. Chocolate and peanut butter are a match made in heaven. Ps. Your son is absolutely adorable and such a stunning helper.


Wednesday 23rd of December 2015

Thank you! He is the best! He loves to help me and daddy and knows how to do everything from chocking trailer wheels to cracking eggs ;-)