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Homemade Buckeyes (Ohio Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls)

4 from 2 votes
These delicious peanut butter and chocolate confections are famous in Ohio for a reason! Here's how you make my Homemade Buckeyes recipe!
Buckeyes in a box.

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Hi Bold Bakers!

IN THIS RECIPE: If you’re looking for an easy holiday treat, you’re in luck — this Buckeyes recipe is a no-bake treat that originated in Ohio, and in the end, you’re left with peanut butter fudge balls dipped in chocolate. It’s easy, no-oven-needed, and super delicious.

You can have a fantastic Christmas treat without even turning your oven on! And these no-bake buckeyes may just become your favorite holiday treat to boot. Buckeyes are sweet peanut butter balls coated in dark chocolate — and if you love Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups or just appreciate the perfect combination of chocolate and peanut butter together, you will become obsessed with these easy-to-make treats. 

If you’re unfamiliar with buckeyes, you must not know people from the great state of Ohio! They’re a staple at holidays and during college football games and hold a special place in many Ohioans’ hearts. (They’re gluten-free too!) 

Homemade buckeyes in a decorative green box.

What Are Buckeyes?

This confection is a peanut butter fudge dipped in dark chocolate — but be sure to leave a bit of the peanut butter exposed. That is how the buckeye gets its name; it looks like the nut of the Ohio state tree, the buckeye tree, which in turn looks like a buck’s eye.

These chocolate-covered peanut butter balls don’t have an ancient history. You only have to go back to the Christmas of 1964. Gail Tabor, a reporter for the Citizen-Journal in Columbus, Ohio, and her husband, Steve Lucas, were sent some chocolate-covered peanut butter balls from her mother, Sadie Tabor. They loved them so much she got the recipe and started making them herself, but instead of dipping them completely, she looked at it while on a toothpick and realized it resembled the buckeye nut. 

The name went down in history, and their friends and family were given batches during the holiday season — with Gail refusing to share the recipe! After her husband graduated from Ohio State, they left home, and she finally relented, sharing the recipe with the wife of one of her husband’s friends.

Years later, the woman claimed the recipe was her’s in the Ohio State Alumni Magazine! Can you believe it?! Thankfully, the record was set straight, and we know today we owe Gail the thanks for the buckeyes! She may not have wanted to share her recipe, but I hope she knows we’re at least giving her the credit.

What You Need To Make Buckeyes

How To Make Buckeyes

This is an easy-peasy recipe, perfect for gift giving or a stress-free dessert. Here is how you make the famous Ohio buckeye (get the full written recipe with measurements, that you can print, further down on the page):

  1. In a mixer or a medium bowl, beat the peanut butter, butter, and vanilla extract together.
  2. Add the powdered sugar into the peanut butter mixture and mix until evenly combined.
  3. Press the mixture together to form a dough, then divide the dough into 24 equally sized pieces.
  4. Roll each piece of dough into a ball and put them on a plate. Refrigerate the balls for about an hour or until they are firm.
  5. Once the peanut butter balls are chilled, heat the chocolate and coconut oil in a small saucepan on low until melted. Let the chocolate cool to room temperature.
  6. Use a skewer or toothpick to hold the ball and dip it in the melted chocolate, being sure to leave the top of the ball exposed.
  7. Place the chocolate-covered ball on a plate lined with parchment paper.
  8. Repeat with all of the balls and then refrigerate until the chocolate is firm. 

A close up of buckeyes to show the peanut butter and chocolate.

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Buckeyes

  • Buckeyes taste best when made with salted peanut butter, but you can use unsweetened peanut butter as well. You can usually find this in any natural foods store if not at your regular grocery store.
  • Natural peanut butter tends to separate, so be sure to stir it well before measuring.
  • No powdered sugar? It’s easy to make your own with my homemade recipe
  • This delicious treat just happens to be gluten-free, but you can also make this a keto-friendly dessert by replacing the powdered sugar with powdered monkfruit sweetener!
  • The coconut oil in the chocolate helps keep the chocolate at a nice consistency for dipping, but it will also soften too much if kept at room temperature. Keep them refrigerated and serve cold.
  • Try switching out the peanut butter for an equal amount of the nut butter of your choice!

How Do I Store Buckeyes?

Keep your buckeyes in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They keep for up to 2 weeks! 

‘Tis The Season (For More Cookies!)

Have you seen my two new cookie lists? Check out The Top 10 Classic Christmas Cookies and the Top Holiday Cookies of 2021!

And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook — it makes the perfect gift!

Homemade Buckeyes Recipe

4 from 2 votes
These delicious peanut butter and chocolate confections are famous in Ohio for a reason! Here's how you make my Homemade Buckeyes recipe!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 24 buckeyes
Prep Time 30 mins
Chill for 1 hr
These delicious peanut butter and chocolate confections are famous in Ohio for a reason! Here's how you make my Homemade Buckeyes recipe!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 24 buckeyes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (8oz/225g) creamy peanut butter salted but unsweetened
  • 6 tablespoons (3oz/85g) butter softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (8oz/230g) powdered sugar sifted
  • 2 cups (12oz/340g) bittersweet chocolate finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil

Instructions

  • In a mixer or medium bowl, beat the peanut butter, butter, and vanilla extract together.
  • Add the powdered sugar and mix until evenly combined. If using a mixer, make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice.
  • Press together to form a dough and then divide the dough into 24 equally sized pieces.
  • Roll each piece of dough into a ball and place it on a plate. Refrigerate the balls until firm, about an hour.
  • After the peanut butter balls have chilled, place the chocolate and coconut oil in a small saucepan and gently heat on low until melted. Let the chocolate cool to room temperature.
  • Using a skewer to hold a peanut butter ball, dip in the melted chocolate, leaving the top of the ball exposed.
  • Place the dipped buckeye on a plate lined with a piece of parchment.
  • Repeat with the remaining peanut butter balls and then refrigerate to firm up the chocolate.
  • Once set, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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Kate C
Kate C
1 month ago

What exactly is creamy peanut butter salted but unsweetened. Is this the peanut butter we buy on store shelves or something purchased at a specialty store?

Katelin24
Katelin24(@katelin24)
1 month ago

Looks good. Can you substitute the coconut oil with a different oil? Or can you leave it out all together?

Gail Jordan
Gail Jordan
1 month ago

Can you substitute something else for the coconut oil?

Sharon K Tafunai
Sharon K Tafunai
1 month ago

These are not the original recipe. I am from Michigan and my mother’s recipe has ricce krispies and half creamy and half nutty peanut butter. Semisweet chocoalte chips and gulf wax for dipping…..along with the pwd sugar and butter.

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere!

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