I started making Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls in my teens. Also known as Buckeye Balls, these candies look like the nut from the buckeye tree, which many Midwesterners carry in their pockets for good luck. My mom’s version had Rice Krispies and they were called Peanut Butter Bon Bons. I’ll have to track down that recipe, too.

This Buckeye Recipe is super easy with minimal ingredients. Did I mention that they’re irresistible? Consider yourself warned!

Peanut Butter Balls in a white bowl.

Why You Must Make

  • This easy buckeye recipe has only six ingredients and is super easy to make.
  • They have the classic, delicious pairing of chocolate and peanut butter!
  • You’ll need a few tips if this is your first go-round, but it’s a project the kids can help with. The reward is worth the effort!!
3 peanut butter balls in white bowls on a white tray.

Expert Tips

  • PRO-Tip: Spray the measuring cup you use for the peanut butter with a non-stick spray, like Pam. This will make getting it out of the cup a breeze!
  • Sift your powdered sugar so your peanut butter filling will be smooth.
  • Use commercial peanut butter, not natural. I use Jif creamy.
  • Use a small cookie scoop to make even-sized peanut butter balls.
  • Freeze them until firm (I froze them overnight).
  • Use a toothpick to dip the peanut butter balls into the chocolate. If the peanut butter starts to thaw, the toothpick could release, so keep the balls as cold as possible.
  • PRO-Tip: Use melted semi-sweet chocolate or chocolate melts for dipping. Note that the real chocolate may “bloom” or get gray splotches as it ages. This is safe to eat.
  • If you want, you can gently tap the hole left by the toothpick with your finger to minimize the opening. This is totally optional.
3 peanut butter bon bons and a square white plate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Are These Called Buckeyes?

These partially dipped peanut butter balls resemble the nuts from the buckeye tree, indigenous to the Midwest.

How Do You Store Buckeye Balls?

They can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a day or two. After that, they should be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week. They also can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Should Paraffin Be Added to the Chocolate?

My mom’s recipe for peanut butter bonbons had paraffin wax added to the chocolate. This addition gives a glossy finish to the cooled chocolate. It’s rarely used in today’s recipes. I recommend dark chocolate melts for a more stable coating.

Who Invented Buckeyes?

The homemade version of these peanut butter balls can be traced to Ohio, the Buckeye state. In 1964, Gail Tabor, a Columbus, Ohio newspaper reporter, was sent some chocolate peanut butter balls from her mother. When she tried to recreate them at home, she didn’t totally dip them in chocolate.

Her husband noticed they looked like the nuts from the Buckeye tree. She gave them as Christmas gifts and kept the recipe secret until they moved out of state and she revealed the details to her friends. Then someone publicly claimed her recipe as their own, and Gail set the record straight by publishing her recipe.

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With the holidays approaching, homemade candies make wonderful gifts. Here are some blog favorites for you to peruse.

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Peanut Butter Balls in a white bowl

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

Prep Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Yield 32

The classic Buckeye Balls candy is made of sweet peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate!


  • ¾ cup peanut butter, use a commercial brand like Jif, not natural peanut butter
  • ¼ cup butter, at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¾ cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped and melted or Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Melts


  1. In a mixing bowl, beat together the peanut butter, butter, vanilla, salt, and powdered sugar until creamy.
  2. Roll into small balls (I used a small cookie scoop), then freeze, covered, until firm.
  3. Melt the chocolate and let cool for about 10-15 minutes. (Gently melt it in the microwave).
  4. Use a toothpick to dip each ball partially into the chocolate. Refreeze the peanut butter balls if they get soft.
  5. Place the dipped balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet until firm.


  • The recipe easily doubles.
  • Chocolate Melts make the most attractive buckeyes as real chocolate can "bloom" or get a gray coating as it cools.
  • Gently tap the hole left by the toothpick to close it.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 216Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 132mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 2gSugar: 18gProtein: 4g

Thatskinnychickcanbake.com occasionally offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site. This information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although thatskinnychickcanbake.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased can change the nutritional information in any given recipe. Also, many recipes on thatskinnychickcanbake.com recommend toppings, which may or may not be listed as optional and nutritional information for these added toppings is not listed. Other factors may change the nutritional information such as when the salt amount is listed “to taste,” it is not calculated into the recipe as the amount will vary. Also, different online calculators can provide different results. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information obtained is accurate.


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