February 9, 2023

Paris Crepe 80903

Do It With Food

The Best Buckeyes (Buckeye Recipe)

Buckeyes are the perfect no bake candy to make for the holidays! With a creamy peanut butter center and a sweet chocolate exterior, this easy buckeye recipe is a crowd favorite! Bonus – only a handful of ingredients are needed!

Looking for more easy candy recipes for Christmas? Make sure to try my Christmas Bark, Christmas Crack Recipe and Better Than Anything Toffee Recipe!

This post is sponsored by Challenge Dairy.

a bunch of buckeye candy filled up a white mug sitting on a white marble surface. more buckeyes can be seen in the background.

Buckeye Recipe

There is one candy I make every year to the delight of friends and family and it’s my Nana’s Peanut Butter Balls with rice krispies. They are hands down the favorite of all the candy I make and, trust me, I make a lot of candy during the holiday season.

So this year, when I started testing this Buckeyes candy recipe, I was definitely expecting a lot of love because they are so similar and have the same flavor profile. What I wasn’t expecting was for everyone to insist that this candy be added to the “short list” for this year’s cookie and candy trays.

It took a dozen or so tries but I feel like this recipes nails what a Buckeye should taste like. The texture is perfect, there is a strong peanut butter flavor, the candy isn’t overly sweet, and the chocolate coating is both easy to make and sets up beautifully. It tastes like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

Easy Dipping Technique

I tested a number of dipping methods and found that small skewers worked a whole heck of a lot easier than toothpicks and made the dipping process quick and painless.

top down look at buckeyes on a silver plate and also in a white mug. more candies are scattered about.

Why You’ll Love This Buckeye Candy

This easy no bake Buckeye Candy recipe is sure to be a new favorite. Here’s why:

  • Flavor combination. If you’re a fan of chocolate and peanut butter together (I am! Just ask my son, Reece…) then this easy candy recipe is for you! A creamy, luscious peanut butter center is so perfectly complemented by the chocolate coating.
  • No Bake. Not only are these candies no bake, they’re super quick and easy to make. We’re talking about 7 ingredients total and most, if not all of these are pantry ingredients you likely already have on hand.
  • Universal appeal. The buckeye candy is so cute with its peanut butter center peeking out, it’s the first treat that kids and adults gravitate towards.

What Is A Buckeye?

The answer to that question will depend a lot on who you’re asking. The name Buckeyes originates in Ohio where the Buckeye trees have nuts that look like this candy. Buckeyes are simply peanut butter balls that have been dipped in chocolate – but not all the way! The top is left without chocolate, leaving the peanut butter exposed. This is what makes the candy look like the nut.

a batch of buckeyes ready to be enjoyed sitting in a white clay mug and next to the mug on a white marble cutting board. a box of challenge butter can be seen in the background.

Buckeye Ingredients

As with most of my favorite candy recipes, this recipe calls for just a handful of ingredients, most of them pantry staples. I do recommend that you use high quality ingredients for the best results.

  • unsalted butter – You’ll want to have the butter at room temperature so it easily incorporates with the rest of the ingredients. The butter is what gives these buckeyes their amazing flavor and texture. When the butter is chilled it helps set up the creamy peanut butter interior and gives the candy stability. I used Challenge unsalted butter in this recipe.
  • creamy peanut butter – Steer away from natural peanut butters for this recipe. The oil separates in the peanut butter, it can cause issues with the candy. You can use crunchy peanut butter but creamy is more traditional and makes it easier to roll the candy into smooth balls.
  • vanilla extract – I like to add vanilla extract to this recipe because it adds a noticeable difference in flavor. The extra warmth from the vanilla really makes this candy so delicious!
  • kosher salt – There is salt in all peanut butter but I find this recipe needs a little more to balance out the sweetness and enhance the flavors of the other ingredients.
  • powdered sugar – This is what gives the candy its sweetness and also aids in the structure of the balls.
  • chocolate – I use a combination of milk chocolate melting wafers (I used Ghirardelli and get mine from the grocery store but you can also order the Ghirardelli melting wafers online) and semi sweet chocolate chips for the chocolate coating. I find this combination makes the candy easier to dip, is wonderfully flavorful and creates a perfectly, shiny, crisp chocolate coating.

Just Four Main Ingredients

There are four main ingredients in any buckeye recipe: butter, peanut butter, powdered sugar and chocolate. The salt and vanilla that I add really enhance the flavors and make this Buckeye recipe shine above others. With so few ingredients it’s really important to use the very best quality that you can for truly exceptional flavor.

a box and stick of challenge butter sitting on front of buckeye candy ready to be enjoyed.

I used Challenge butter in my Buckeyes (and all my recipes!) because it’s the BEST. Challenge is the brand of butter I’ve used and trusted for years and years. Made with 100% real cream, it’s my butter of choice. I’ve been using Challenge products my whole life and trust their products. I know the quality is outstanding and use it for all my baking and cooking. It’s a staple in my refrigerator and I know to stock up for the holidays!

How To Make Buckeyes

  1. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Cream butter and peanut butter together until smooth and completely combined, about 2 minutes.
  3. Beat in the vanilla extract and salt.
  4. Add 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar and mix on low speed until mostly combined and then increase the speed to high for one minute.
  5. Repeat twice more with 1 cup of powdered sugar each time. The mixture should be smooth, a little bit crumbly and should not stick to your fingers when you pick it up.
  6. Scoop mixture, roll into 1 inch balls and place on prepared baking sheet.
  7. Freeze balls for 30 minutes or until very firm. You can also refrigerate for 2 hours if freezer space is unavailable.
  8. Combine chocolate melting wafers and chocolate chips in a shallow, microwave safe bowl and melt in the microwave in 30 second increments, at 50% power, stirring in between, until chocolate is fully melted and smooth. Be careful not to overheat the chocolate mixture.
  9. Using toothpicks or wooden skewers, carefully dip the peanut butter balls into the melted chocolate leaving the top of the ball free of chocolate so that they look like buckeyes.
  10. Wipe off excess chocolate on the side of the bowl and return the peanut butter balls to the parchment lined baking sheet.
  11. Carefully twist the toothpick or skewer to remove. Smooth over the hole with additional peanut butter mixture or a slightly wet finger, or leave as is.
  12. Repeat with remaining peanut butter balls until all balls have been dipped.
  13. Let buckeyes sit until the chocolate has set up. Refrigerate buckeyes until ready to enjoy.
eight image collage showing how to make buckeyes step by step.

Storage Information

Buckeyes should be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

To Freeze: Layer the candy between sheets of wax paper or parchment paper in an airtight, freezer safe container for up to 2 months. Thaw the candy overnight in the refrigerator before enjoying.

a sheet pan full of buckeyes being dipped in melted chocolate.

Buckeyes FAQs

Can these Buckeyes be made in advance?

These candies are one of my favorites to make ahead of time because they store so well in the refrigerator or freezer. Buckeyes can be made up to 1 week ahead of time if storing in the fridge and up to 2 months ahead of time if freezing. See storage information in the recipe card for more information.

What’s the best way to dip these?

The traditional method is with a toothpick but I prefer to use skewers or a dipping tool. You can also just use a fork! No matter how you dip them, just make sure to wipe off excess chocolate on the edge of the bowl so you don’t end up with a chocolate “puddle” around the candies. If you do, just use a sharp paring knife to cut off the excess chocolate.

Can I use my favorite natural peanut butter?

I really don’t recommend it. I highly recommend a creamy, not natural style, peanut butter for this recipe. The only “natural” peanut butter I use is Skippy’s Natural Creamy Peanut Butter and it’s not really a “natural” peanut butter so it works in this recipe.

white mug filled with buckeye candy sitting on a marble cutting board with more buckeyes seen in the background and up front as well. top buckeye in mug has a bite taken out of it.

Trish’s Tips and Tricks

  • Don’t try to make this candy with natural peanut butter as the oil tends to separate. This can cause the candy to not set up properly.
  • Using a combination of melting wafers and chocolate chips gives a nice shiny coating to these buckeyes. It also has terrific chocolate flavor.
  • You can use any brand of candy coating or almond bark but I definitely do prefer the Ghirardelli melting wafers. I used the milk chocolate but the dark chocolate was also very delicious during testing.
  • These buckeyes can be dipped fully if you prefer but then they will be peanut butter balls, not buckeyes.
  • Make sure to store the candy in the refrigerator. They can be left out for a few hours but not much longer than that.
  • Try adding a couple tablespoons of dark brown sugar to the peanut butter filling for a hint of molasses flavor.
buckeyes on a silver plate with one of the candies having a bite taken, and also in a white mug. more candies are scattered about.

More Candy Recipes You’ll Love

  1. Peanut Butter Fudge
  2. Martha Washington Candies
  3. Peppermint Fudge
  4. Buttermilk Pecan Pralines
  5. Divinity Candy
  6. Homemade Gumdrops
  7. M&Ms Marshmallow Dream Bars

How To Make Buckeyes

Buckeyes

Buckeyes are the perfect no bake candy to make for the holidays! With a creamy peanut butter center and a sweet chocolate exterior, this easy buckeye recipe is a crowd favorite! Bonus – only a handful of ingredients are needed!

Keyword buckeye, buckeye candy, buckeye recipe, buckeyes, buckeyes recipe
Author Trish – Mom On Timeout

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups creamy peanut butter do not use natural peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 10 ounces milk chocolate melting wafers I used Ghirardelli
  • ½ cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

  • Cream butter and peanut butter together until smooth and completely combined, about 2 minutes.

    8 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1 ½ cups creamy peanut butter

  • Beat in the vanilla extract and salt.

    1 teaspoon vanilla extract, ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt

  • Add 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar and mix on low speed until mostly combined and then increase the speed to high for one minute. Repeat twice more with 1 cup of powdered sugar each time. The mixture should be smooth, a little bit crumbly and should not stick to your fingers when you pick it up.

    3 ½ cups powdered sugar

  • Scoop mixture, roll into 1 inch balls and place on prepared baking sheet.

  • Freeze balls for 30 minutes or until very firm. You can also refrigerate for 2 hours if freezer space is unavailable.

  • When peanut butter balls are just about ready, prepare the chocolate coating.

  • Combine chocolate melting wafers and chocolate chips in a shallow, microwave safe bowl and melt in the microwave in 30 second increments, at 50% power, stirring in between, until chocolate is fully melted and smooth. Be careful not to overheat the chocolate mixture.

    10 ounces milk chocolate melting wafers, ½ cup semi sweet chocolate chips

  • Using toothpicks or wooden skewers, carefully dip the peanut butter balls into the melted chocolate leaving the top of the ball free of chocolate.

  • Wipe off excess chocolate on the side of the bowl and return the peanut butter balls to the parchment lined baking sheet.

  • Carefully twist the toothpick or skewer to remove. Smooth over the hole with additional peanut butter mixture or a slightly wet finger, or leave as is.

  • Repeat with remaining peanut butter balls until all balls have been dipped.

  • Let buckeyes sit until the chocolate has set up. Refrigerate buckeyes until ready to enjoy.

Notes

Storage Information
Buckeyes should be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
To Freeze: Layer the candy between sheets of wax paper or parchment paper in an airtight, freezer safe container for up to 2 months. Thaw the candy overnight in the refrigerator before enjoying.

Nutrition

Calories: 164kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 59mg | Potassium: 76mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 79IU | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 0.4mg