No-Bake Peanut Butter Balls (Buckeyes)

Buckeye Recipe

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 2 mins
Chill: 50 mins
Total: 67 mins
Servings: 24 servings
Yield: 48 buckeyes
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
180 Calories
11g Fat
20g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 24
Amount per serving
Calories 180
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 5g 23%
Cholesterol 8mg 3%
Sodium 53mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 17g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 10mg 1%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 99mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Buckeyes—or chocolate-dipped peanut butter balls—are a tasty homemade confection. The cute, round treats are nutty, soft, sweet, and chocolatey, making peanut butter balls a favorite no matter where you serve them.

These classic treats got their nickname because they resemble the nut of the Midwestern buckeye tree. According to an article written for the Arizona Republic in 1983, a woman named Gail Tabor claims to have invented buckeye candy. As the story goes, years earlier at Christmas time she was trying out a new peanut butter candy recipe. She felt it didn't look just right, so she dipped it in chocolate and showed it to her husband. He declared "Hey, it looks like a buckeye."

Peanut butter balls are always such a crowd-pleaser and they are forgivingly easy to make. You only need a few ingredients and they don't require any cooking, making them a fun project for kids. Don't skip the chill times since they make the balls easier to dip and easier to eat. They're especially popular during Christmas but, since they're easy, whip up a batch whenever the mood strikes.


  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter

  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted

  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, optional

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, optional

  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable shortening

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or waxed paper.

    Buckeye Recipe ingredients
    The Spruce Eats / Kristina Vanni
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the powdered sugar, peanut butter, melted butter, vanilla extract, and salt until smooth.

    Peanut butter, butter, and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl
    The Spruce Eats / Kristina Vanni
  3. Scoop and shape into 1-inch balls. Place on the prepared baking sheet and chill until firm, at least 20 minutes.

    Peanut butter dough rolled into balls on a baking sheet
    The Spruce Eats / Kristina Vanni
  4. Place the chocolate chips and vegetable shortening in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring each time, until the mixture is completely melted and smooth.

    Chocolate chips and shortening in a bowl
    The Spruce Eats / Kristina Vanni
  5. Insert a toothpick in the top center of a chilled peanut butter ball.

    Peanut butter balls on a baking sheet
    The Spruce Eats / Kristina Vanni
  6. Dip the ball into the melted chocolate, about 3/4 of the way, leaving a circle of peanut butter visible on top. Allow the excess chocolate to drip off into the bowl, then place the buckeye back on the baking sheet.

    Peanut butter balls with melted chocolate
    The Spruce Eats / Kristina Vanni
  7. Remove the toothpick and carefully smooth over the hole. Repeat with the remaining peanut butter balls and chocolate. If the chocolate thickens as you are dipping the buckeyes, microwave in 10-second intervals until it achieves the desired consistency when stirred.

  8. Chill again until the buckeyes are firm and the chocolate is set, at least 30 minutes.

    Dipped buckeyes on a baking sheet
    The Spruce Eats / Kristina Vanni
  9. Serve chilled straight from the refrigerator or at room temperature.

    Buckeyes in a tin
    The Spruce Eats / Kristina Vanni

How to Store and Freeze

  • Store peanut butter balls in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to five days.
  • You can also freeze buckeyes. Freeze on the baking sheet for an hour, then transfer to a zip-top freezer bag and store for up to three months. Defrost on the counter or in the fridge before enjoying.


  • Do not use "natural" labeled peanut butter in this recipe. It tends to be too oily and the balls will not form properly. It's best just to use a jar of your favorite traditional peanut butter like Skippy or Jif.
  • Opt for creamy or smooth peanut butter rather than chunky.
  • If you use salted butter, omit the additional salt.
  • An eight-ounce bar of dark chocolate or milk chocolate can be used instead of the semisweet chocolate chips. Finely chop before melting and dipping.

Recipe Variations

  • Refined coconut oil can be used in place of the vegetable shortening in this recipe.
  • These peanut butter balls are also delicious without the chocolate, or you can swap for white chocolate instead.