This Easy Buckeye Recipe makes creamy soft peanut butter centers that are mostly enrobed in rich dark chocolate, leaving just a circle of the filling exposed on top for that signature look of the famous Ohio icon. Buckeyes are a classic homemade candy that is popular at Christmas but can be enjoyed all year long!

Planning on making some holiday treats? Don't miss other reader favorites like Candy Coated Crispix Mix, Christmas Pretzel Hugs, and Old-Fashioned Easy Peanut Butter Fudge!

A plate of homemade buckeyes.

The first time I ever tried a buckeye was when my older brother, Ryan, came home from serving as an ASL missionary for our church in Columbus, Ohio. The Ohio State University has buckeyes as their mascot. The buckeye tree was native to the region and it produces these immediately recognizable seeds, for which the popular candy has been named after.

He brought home a recipe from a friend from Ohio and made them for our family that first Christmas he was back. Naturally I had to include them to represent Ohio in my American Eats series where I share some of the most popular recipes from each state, one state at a time.

Homemade buckeyes are really similar to Reese's peanut butter cups, just shaped a little differently and with a slightly different peanut butter to chocolate ratio. They have been around for decades and everybody loves them.

Why this recipe works

  • No need to heat up the oven for this easy no-bake holiday treat!
  • Buckeye balls are visually enticing and one of the first things everybody goes for on a cookie plate.
  • It's only 5 ingredients and you probably have all of them in your pantry (as long as you stock up on melting chocolate at the start of the season).

Ingredient Notes

  • Peanut butter: You'll want to make sure to use creamy peanut butter for this recipe. I have only tested it with regular peanut butter and not the natural kind that has to be stirred together.
  • Chocolate: We love using the Ghiradelli dark chocolate melting wafers for dipping candy. Not only do they melt beautifully and easily, but they have a really wonderful chocolate flavor. You can use chocolate chips with coconut oil or shortening in a pinch though. I'll include info in the recipe notes on how!
Ingredients for making homemade buckeyes candy.

How to Make This Recipe

Start by beating creamy peanut and softened butter together in a large mixing bowl until creamy. Be sure to stop and scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl so it mixes together evenly.

Add in the vanilla extract and powdered sugar, then beat until fully combined.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Then use a tablespoon to scoop balls of dough and roll them between the palms of your hands until smooth and round. Freeze for 20 minutes (but not more than 30 minutes) so they are easy to dip in chocolate.

A baking sheet filled with the peanut butter centers of buckeyes candy before dipping.

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate using short 20-second bursts of heat in the microwave. Stop and stir between each interval, even if the chocolate wafers don't look melted. Eventually they will melt into wonderfully smooth chocolate for dipping your peanut butter buckeye balls in.

Spear one chilled ball at a time and dip it into the chocolate, mostly covering the filling, but leaving a small round circle exposed on top to create the look of a real buckeye.

Transfer the dipped balls back onto the parchment-lined baking sheet and let them set up while you dip each of the remaining balls. Use your finger or a paring knife to smooth out the hole left by the toothpick used for dipping.

Recipe Tips

  • Storage: Buckeyes are best when they are kept in the fridge and served cold.
  • Freezing: These buckeyes freeze great for 2-3 months in an airtight container. Just thaw on the counter for an hour before serving so they aren't too hard to bite into.
  • Substitutions: If you have a peanut allergy, try substituting cookie butter for the peanut butter! Or sunflower butter would work well too. And while you would lose the effect of looking like buckeyes, these could also be made with white chocolate coating instead of the dark chocolate.
  • Troubleshooting: If your peanut butter balls are too sticky and difficult to shape, try mixing in a little more powdered sugar, 1-2 Tablespoons at a time. If the filling is too crumbly, add a little more peanut butter, a little at a time until it comes together.

More Easy Candy Recipes

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Easy Buckeye Candy Recipe

5 from 2 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 15 mins
Chilling Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 40 buckeyes
This Easy Buckeye Recipe makes creamy soft peanut butter centers that are mostly enrobed in rich dark chocolate, leaving just a circle of the filling exposed on top for that signature look of the famous Ohio icon. Buckeyes are a classic homemade candy that is popular at Christmas but can be enjoyed all year long!

Ingredients
  

  • 1 ½ cups creamy peanut butter (356g)
  • ½ cup salted butter (113g)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar (360g)
  • 15 ounces Ghiradelli dark chocolate melting wafers

Instructions
 

  • Beat the peanut butter and butter together in a large bowl until creamy.
  • Add the powdered sugar and vanilla, then beat again until combined. Stop and scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop the peanut butter mixture into Tablespoon-sized balls onto the parchment paper. Roll them between your palms until they are round and smooth, then place them back on the parchment paper. Freeze for 20 minutes (but no more than 30 minutes).
  • Meanwhile, melt the chocolate wafers in the microwave using short 20-second bursts of heat, stirring between each burst until melted and smooth.
  • Once the peanut butter balls are well-chilled, remove them from the freezer and skewer one with a toothpick. Dip the peanut butter ball into the melted chocolate until mostly covered, leaving a small round opening on top to give them the appearance of a buckeye ball. Gently shake off excess chocolate so it doesn't pool too much on the baking sheet, then return the buckeye to the baking sheet so the chocolate can set up.
  • Repeat with the remaining peanut butter balls, then use your fingers or a paring knife to smooth over the toothpick mark. Let the chocolate set up before enjoying.

Notes

  • Storage: Buckeyes are best when they are kept in the fridge and served cold.
  • Troubleshooting: If your peanut butter balls are too sticky and difficult to shape, try mixing in a little more powdered sugar, 1-2 Tablespoons at a time.
  • Using chocolate chips: If you don't have the chocolate melting wafers, you could replace them with 2 cups of your favorite chocolate chips and 2 teaspoons of coconut oil or shortening. The coconut oil will help the chocolate chips melt smoothly and set up shiny, just like the Ghiradelli wafers.

Nutrition

Calories: 176kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 67mg | Potassium: 140mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 75IU | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

More States I Have Visited in my American Eats Series

Alabama • Alaska • Arizona • Arkansas • California • Colorado • Connecticut • Delaware • Florida • Georgia • Hawaii • IdahoIllinoisIndianaIowa • KansasKentuckyLouisiana • MaineMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMontanaNew YorkOregonPuerto RicoSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTexasUtahWisconsin

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About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

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Reader questions and reviews

  1. 5 stars
    I have been making these Buckeyes over 45 years..your recipe is so much EASIER
    than the one I was using--thank you so so much ! I got 2 full recipes made
    today in the time it would have taken me to barely do one !
    I thank you, as do my Grand-children and friends that are the recipients
    of the tasty treats.