Vegan Buckeye Candy

Vegan buckeye candy recipe

​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 30 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
239 Calories
13g Fat
29g Carbs
4g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 30
Amount per serving
Calories 239
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g 16%
Saturated Fat 4g 18%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 129mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 29g 11%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Protein 4g
Calcium 12mg 1%
*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.)

Treat yourself to a vegan version of buckeye candy, which is popular in the state of Ohio where buckeye trees flourish and lend themselves to the state's nickname. These vegan buckeye candies taste just as they should: incredibly rich and delicious chocolate-covered peanut butter balls.

Being vegan doesn't mean that you have to miss out on all of your childhood favorites. With great new ingredient substitutions and clever tricks, you can veganize just about anything. So don't toss out all of your family's non-vegan recipes—revamp them.

The substitutions found in this recipe as compared with standard recipes are that you will use nondairy margarine instead of the butter found in many recipes. You will also use nondairy chocolate chips rather than chips that have any milk chocolate or a chocolate coating that includes any dairy ingredients. Peanut butter is usually vegan but be sure to avoid any that contains honey, and look for creamy peanut butter with no added sugar or oil separation.

These buckeye candies are especially delicious when served alongside a cold glass of almond milk. They also make a great addition to a holiday gathering or for use in a cookie exchange. Be sure to label them as vegan for those looking for vegan treats.


  • 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup margarine (nondairy, softened to room temperature)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (sea salt is best)
  • 5 3/4 to 6 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 cups chocolate chips (nondairy)

Steps to Make It

  1. ​Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for vegan buckeye candy
    ​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the peanut butter and softened margarine until the mixture is super smooth. If your margarine isn’t soft, feel free to whip these two ingredients together using a mixer until no margarine lumps remain.

    Mix together peanut butter and margarine
    ​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck 
  3. Stir in vanilla extract and sea salt.

    Stir in vanilla
    ​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Using an electric mixer, slowly incorporate the confectioners' sugar until little crumbles form. The mixture should go from very creamy to looking like pulverized, dry cookie dough—very, very crumbly.

    Add sugar
    ​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  5. Take a pinch or two of the dough, and, using your hands, work to form it into 1-inch balls. If they appear uneven, keep working them in your hands until smooth and spherical.

    Work to form balls
    ​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  6. Place each ball onto a cookie sheet and insert a toothpick into the center. Gently pat around the toothpick to seal it into the peanut butter ball.

    Place each ball on cookie sheet
    ​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  7. Chill in the freezer for about 40 minutes, or until very firm. This prevents the toothpicks from sliding out while dipping.

    Chill in the freezer
    ​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  8. Using a double boiler or microwave, melt your chocolate until super smooth.

    Melt chocolate
    ​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  9. Remove peanut butter balls from the freezer and carefully swirl each ball into the chocolate, taking care not to let the toothpick slide out.

    Remove peanut butter balls from freezer
    ​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  10. Place onto wax paper and repeat until all are covered.

    Place onto wax paper
    ​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  11. Let the buckeye candies stand at room temperature until the chocolate has firmed up.

    Let stand
    ​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  12. Remove the toothpicks and seal over the tiny hole in the middle.

    Remove the toothpicks
    ​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  13. Serve and enjoy.

    Vegan buckeye candy
    ​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck