How to Make Buckeyes

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Hints on how to make buckeyes, the classic chocolate and peanut butter homemade candy that is perfect for football season and the gift giving holiday season.

If there is one homemade candy that everyone loves, it’s homemade buckeyes. Even if you aren’t from Ohio or an Ohio State Buckeyes fan, there’s so much to love about these creamy peanut butter balls. They are perfect any time of year.

Buckeye candy is made to look like buckeye nuts from the Buckeye tree, which is the state tree of Ohio.

They taste so similar to Reese’s peanut butter cups. You don’t have to turn on your oven. These treats with a creamy peanut butter center are bite size and melt in your mouth. What’s not to love? Today we’re sharing our hints on how to make buckeyes.

buckeyes sitting on a baking sheet

What readers are saying:

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️  Suzanne says, “This is the best recipe I have used to make this candy. It is a family favorite during the holidays. The only thing I change is that I dip them in almond bark instead of melted chocolate chips.”

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️  Chris says, “Thank you so much for the tips. I have been trying to make these and they would always stick to my fingers. I also didn’t think about using the toothpick. I also don’t use salt, because I use melted sea salt caramel from Hershey’s. I hit a home run making these for my wife. Thanks again.”

The Best Buckeye Recipe

We’ve always used the classic Jif buckeye recipe. It’s easy to mix up and has an incredibly silky smooth texture. This tutorial gives you not only the recipe for that easy buckeye recipe, but also tips for our rolling and diping process. 

There are just a handful of ingredients for this buckeyes recipe:

  • Creamy peanut butter
  • Salted butter (unsalted butter works as well)
  • Pure vanilla extractDon’t forget the vanilla. It gives the homemade peanut butter candy just a little hint of extra flavor.
  • Salt
  • Chocolate. Dark chocolate melts more smoothly and more quickly than milk chocolate because it is closer to its natural state. The milk and sugars added to milk chocolate all have different melting points, which makes melting take a little longer. 

Because I have family that likes milk chocolate also, I often combine both milk and dark chocolate for dipping buckeyes. Ghirardelli is my go-to chocolate. They have melting wafers that are easy to use for homemade candy. We even use white chocolate!

How to Make Buckeyes

When you are making buckeyes, getting the right texture to the buckeye dough is important for easy rolling. Our recipe ratios are spot on, but at times you may need to add additional powdered sugar (if the dough is too sticky) or peanut butter (if the dough is too crumbly).

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine peanut butter, butter, vanilla and salt. Beat with the beater blade on low until well blended. (If you don’t have a stand mixer, use a large bowl with an electric hand mixer.)
  • Add 3 cups powdered sugar, beating until blended. 
peanut butter buckeye filling in a bowl
  • Use the palms of your hands to shape a scoop of peanut butter into a 1-inch or slightly larger ball. The mixture should come together smoothly. 
hand holding a peanut butter ball
  • Freeze the peanut butter balls for about 30 minutes so they are easier to dip in chocolate.

pro tip

Every type of peanut butter is just a little bit different in oil and sugar content. Depending on the type of peanut butter you use, you may have to adjust the recipe ever so slightly.

After you have the peanut butter mixture ready, try rolling a ball. The batter should not stick to your hands and you should have no problem rolling a ball with a smooth surface.

Just remember…if the batter is crumbly, add more peanut butter. If it is too sticky, add powdered sugar.

What is the best way to melt chocolate?

There are two ways that I melt chocolate: A double boiler and a microwave.

  • Double Boiler. A double boiler is a pan that sits inside another pan. Water simmers in the bottom pan and chocolate melts in the top pan from the heat of the water boiling. This pan helps with even melting, allows the chocolate to stay hot, and helps prevent burning. Once the chocolate is mostly melted, take the double boiler off the stove and allow the warmth of the water to keep the chocolate smooth and melted while you are dipping peanut butter balls.
double boiler
  • Microwave. Melting chocolate in the microwave is easy, but it is important to take your time. If you choose the microwave method, melt the chocolate slowly, in 30 second increments at first, then lowering the time to 15 second increments, stirring in between each interval. As the bowl heats (make sure it is a microwave safe bowl), it will help to melt the chocolate. Patience is key with this method.

Dipping Buckeye Balls in Chocolate

Dipping Buckeye Balls in Chocolate

The next step in making peanut butter buckeyes is to dip them in chocolate. The dipping process can be messy, but we’ll share trips to ensure success. 

One way to dip candies in chocolate is to use a candy dipping fork. It’s an angled, pronged “spatula” that allows the chocolate to drip off the bottom of the buckeyes before placing them on wax paper. The benefit of these tools is that you don’t have holes in the top of the peanut butter ball from toothpicks or forks. 

Although I have one of those tools, I often find myself using a wooden skewer or toothpick stuck in the top of each ball instead. It makes a hole in the top of the buckeye, but you can easily use your fingertip to cover over that toothpick hole. Buckeye candies shouldn’t have holes…although I’ll be honest. I’ve left the tiny hole in the top and the chocolate buckeyes still get devoured

dipping a buckeye in chocolate

Once the buckeye ball is dipped ¾ of the way in the melted chocolate, allow the chocolate to drip off for a few seconds. You can use a spoon or knife to swipe the bottom of the ball to get the excess chocolate back in the pan. Or just give it 5-7 seconds to drip off.

pro tip

Keep excess chocolate from pooling under the buckeye ball by dapping the bottom on a sheet of wax or parchment paper before transferring it to clean paper to set completely.

Much of the excess chocolate will pool on the paper when you dab it there, keeping the bottom of the buckeyes cleaner. You can let the chocolate set and remelt it so you don’t waste it.

dipping chocolate off of a buckeye on a toothpick

How to Store Buckeyes

Buckeyes can be easily frozen, stored in the refrigerator, or at room temperature if you’ll be eating them within a day or two. Simply store them in an airtight container wherever you choose to store them.

Love peanut butter and cookie dough?

You have to try these cookie dough buckeye candies!

a pile of chocolate buckeyes on a table
a pile of chocolate buckeyes on a table

Homemade Buckeye Recipe

4.55 from 103 votes
Hints on how to make buckeyes, the classic chocolate and peanut butter homemade candy that is perfect for football season and gift giving.
Servings 45
Prep Time 30 minutes
Chill Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

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  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine peanut butter, butter, vanilla and salt.
  • Beat with the beater blade on low until well blended. 
  • Add 3 cups powdered sugar, beating until blended. 
  • Shape a scoop of peanut butter into a 1-inch or slightly larger ball. The mixture should come together smoothly. If it is too crumbly, add a touch more peanut butter. If it is too sticky, add a bit more powdered sugar.
  • Place the peanut butter balls on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Freeze for 30 minutes.
  • Place chocolate in the top of a double boiler. Pour 1 cup of water in the bottom pan of the doubler boiler and simmer the water on low. As the chocolate starts melting over the heat of the hot water, stir until the chocolate is smooth. Remove the double boiler from the stove.
  • Insert toothpick in peanut butter ball. Dip ¾ of ball into chocolate, leaving top uncovered to resemble a buckeye. Allow excess chocolate to drip from the buckeye. 
  • Dab the bottom of the buckeye on a piece of wax paper to remove excess chocolate, then place the buckeye on a wax paper-lined baking sheet. 
  • Remove toothpick. Smooth over holes. Chill in the fridge until firm.



  • Our favorite peanut butter is either creamy Jif or Skippy. I do not recommend natural peanut butter.
  • Use chocolate chips if you’d like, but make sure they are high quality semi-sweet chocolate chips.
  • Many people add paraffin wax to their chocolate to thin it out. I find that when using high quality dark chocolate, you don’t have to use paraffin wax. You can also add a teaspoon or two of vegetable shortening or coconut oil in order to thin the chocolate to the desired consistency if absolutely necessary. I highly recommend pure chocolate, though!
  • The exact number of buckeyes you will get depends on how big you roll the peanut butter balls. We roll our buckeyes about 1″ to 1 1/4″ in diameter.
  • Refer to the article above for more tips and tricks.
The calories shown are based on the recipe making 45 buckeyes, with 1 serving being 1 buckeye. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**


Calories: 144kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 84mg | Potassium: 109mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 65IU | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1.1mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 144
Keyword buckeye recipe, christmas candy, easy homemade candy
About JulieJulie Clark

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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4.55 from 103 votes (90 ratings without comment)
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8 months ago

5 stars
Are these buckeyes freezable? If so, for how long?

9 months ago

4 stars
I made these last night. They taste great but I struggled with dipping them and transferring them to waxed paper… a messy process. Perhaps with practice I’ll get better.

2 years ago

5 stars
Just as I remembered them as a kid!! My after photos definitely garnered some family laughs as they were certainly “the internet” vs “reality” LOL I think it was the chocolate I used, but overall taste was amazing!

Suzanne Gwin
2 years ago

5 stars
This is the best recipe I have used to make this candy. It is a family favorite during the holidays. The only thing I change is that I dip them in almond bark instead of melted chocolate chips.

2 years ago

4 stars
First time making them…….. took a lot longer to roll them out than mentioned, mainly, I think cause I had to keep adding sugar… Hoping next time will only take about half the time.

Annie Skinner
3 years ago

Can I add crushed Ande’s Mints to the chocolate?

3 years ago

5 stars
It makes it easier if you freeze the balls with the toothpick in them

3 years ago

For the love of God can you just post a recipe without all the CRAP?