This post may feature affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Buckeye candy is a sweet, fudgy, and decadent treat that showcases the irresistible flavor combination of chocolate and peanut butter. This no-bake dessert is perfect for any occasion, especially the holidays! It will satisfy any and all sweet tooth cravings.

Buckeye candy on a plate.
Serve buckeye candy slightly chilled!

❤️ Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Decadent: If you enjoy the rich flavor profile of chocolate and the creamy texture of peanut butter, buckeye candy is the treat for you.
  • Simple: This recipe is no-bake, meaning it requires minimal prep work and no oven!
  • Allergy-friendly: We incorporate dairy-free ingredients, making this buckeye candy recipe suitable for all dietary preferences.
  • Customizable: Make buckeye candies your own by switching up the nut butter, using different chocolate varieties, or adding flavor essences.

If you love no-bake treats like this buckeye candy recipe, definitely check out our peanut butter balls, peanut butter protein balls, mazapan, and 2-ingredient peanut butter cookies

🍫 What is buckeye candy?

Buckeye candy is a classic American dessert named after buckeye nuts from the Buckeye tree. These sweets feature a rich, creamy peanut butter center with a partial coating made of dark chocolate.

The taste is perfectly sweet, salty, and bitter, while the texture is soft and fudge-like. If you’re a fan of Reese’s peanut butter cups, we have it on good authority that you’re going to love buckeye candy.

Plus, this recipe requires no baking, meaning it’s almost too easy to prepare a batch. Sometimes, we wish we never found out about buckeye candy since they never last in our house!

The best way to enjoy these buckeye chocolates is straight from the fridge or freezer with a cup of hot coffee or tea. They’re popularly served during the holidays, but we vote to make them a year-round dessert because they’re just that good!

Buckeye candy on a plate.
No baking is required for buckeye candy!

🌱 Are buckeye candies vegan?

With ingredients like butter and chocolate, buckeye candy recipes are not typically vegan-friendly. However, it’s incredibly easy to make a plant-based version.

  • Instead of dairy-based butter, use plant-based butter at a 1:1 ratio.
  • Double-check your chocolate chip package to ensure it doesn’t contain milk or milk products.

With these simple swaps, it’s pretty difficult to taste any differences at all! But if you’re set on a non-vegan buckeye candy recipe, you can always use the ingredients you have available in your house.

Peanut butter, vegan butter, vanilla, salt, powdered sugar, and chocolate on a table.
All you need is 6 every day ingredients

🛒 Ingredients & substitutions

For a complete ingredient list and step-by-step guide, scroll down to our recipe card.

  • Peanut butter: We’ve tried this recipe with both natural smooth and creamy peanut butter, and it definitely works better with creamy PB. If you use natural peanut butter, you will need to add more powdered sugar.
  • Butter: Helps create a smooth, creamy, and fudgy texture. We find Earth Balance works great for recipes like this, but you can use Miyoko’s Creamery, Forager Project, or coconut oil depending on availability and cost.
  • Vanilla extract: Adds depth and enhances the flavor of the buckeye candy. Make sure to use pure vanilla extract, or try something else like almond extract.
  • Salt: Who doesn’t love a salt, chocolate, and peanut butter combo? It balances the sweetness of the recipe perfectly! If you’re using salted peanut butter, omit the additional salt.
  • Powdered sugar: Provides sweetness and a fudgy texture, and it helps to bind everything together. You can also use a sugar-free alternative like Lakanato powdered sugar.
  • Chocolate chips: Use vegan-friendly dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips for the coating to create a slightly bitter, contrasting flavor.

For a complete ingredient list and step-by-step guide, scroll down to our recipe card.

📝 How to make buckeye candy

Step 1: Make the batter

Add peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt to a medium mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, mix on high until whipped and creamy.

Slowly add the powdered sugar while continuing to mix until the mixture is crumbly but sticks together easily. For reference, we used 3 cups, but you may need slightly more or less depending on the climate you live in.

Step 2: Shape the balls

Using a measuring spoon or cookie scoop, shape 1-tablespoon balls with your hands. Transfer them to a parchment-lined baking sheet and insert a toothpick into each one. Let them chill in the freezer for 20-30 minutes.

Step 3: Dip the buckeyes

In the meantime, melt the chocolate chips and butter in a double boiler over low heat. Once the balls feel firm, dip each one into the chocolate mixture while holding onto the toothpick to coat about two-thirds of the ball.

Chocolate and vegan butter in a double boiler.
Slowly melt the chocolate and butter until completely smooth

Step 4: Let them set

Transfer the dipped buckeye candy back to the cookie sheet, chocolate side down, and to the fridge to set. Let them chill in the fridge until the chocolate is set, then keep them there until you are ready to serve. Happy eating!

Buckeye candy on a cookie sheet with toothpicks in them.
Insert toothpicks to help with dipping

If you have questions about this recipe, check out our FAQs or leave a comment down below!

🌡️ Storage

Whether you’re making a double batch of buckeye candy or you just have leftovers, follow these storage tips to ensure the taste and texture are perfect:

  • Fridge: Store extra buckeye candies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
  • Freezer: We prefer to store buckeye candy in the freezer as we find the shape is preserved best here. To do so, transfer them to an airtight container or freezer bag. They will keep for up to 3 months this way.
  • Prep ahead: If you know you need to make a large batch, just keep them stored in the freezer. Bring them out to thaw slightly about 5 minutes before serving.
Buckeye candy on a plate.
We like making extras for snacks and quick desserts

♻️ Variations

  • Different nut butter: Try almond or cashew butter instead of peanut butter for a different flavor profile. Just note that the texture will vary as there are no “creamy” versions of these nut butter varieties.
  • Nut-free: If you’re in need of a nut-free version, try sunflower butter, tahini, or pumpkin seed butter. Adjust the powdered sugar as needed.
  • Spices: Add a sprinkle of cinnamon, nutmeg, or even pumpkin spice to the peanut butter mixture for a festive and warming flavor.
  • Nuts: Incorporate finely chopped nuts into the peanut butter mixture. Peanuts, pecans, cashews, or pistachios all make great choices!
  • Chocolate: Replace dark chocolate with vegan milk or white chocolate for a sweeter, more indulgent twist on the recipe.

🧑‍🍳 Top tips

  • Use the right peanut butter: Use creamy peanut butter for the best structure.
  • Mix thoroughly: You don’t need a stand mixer, but it helps to have a hand mixer to evenly incorporate all the ingredients. 
  • Chill first: Freeze, or at least refrigerate, the balls before dipping. This will help them hold their shape as you coat them in warm chocolate.
  • Use toothpicks: It’s much cleaner to use toothpicks to dunk the balls in the chocolate. Plus, it’s easier to eat and a little more aesthetically pleasing.
  • Proper storage: Store buckeye candy in the fridge or freezer until just before serving to prevent a melted mess.
  • Use a double boiler: Prevent the chocolate from burning or turning grainy by using a double boiler (or make-shift one).
Buckeye candy with a bite taken out of it.
Keep them in the fridge for the perfect texture

💬 FAQ

Can I use crunchy peanut butter?

Yes, you can use crunchy peanut butter for a different take on the recipe, but the texture will vary. Buckeye candy is supposed to be smooth and fudgy. 

What can I use instead of vegan butter?

If you don’t have access to vegan butter or don’t like the taste, you can use coconut oil as a substitute. The texture may turn out slightly more grainy, but they will still taste delicious. Alternatively, use regular butter if you don’t intend for your recipe to be vegan. 

Can I make buckeye candy without a sweetener?

The powdered sugar in this recipe binds the peanut butter mixture together, so it’s not recommended to leave it out. If you’re looking for a healthier option, we encourage you to check out our peanut butter protein balls.

🍴 More sweet recipes

If you enjoyed this buckeye candy recipe, feast your eyes on more peanut-infused desserts like these:

Buckeye candy on a plate.

Best Ever Buckeye Candy

Mitch and Justine
Buckeye candy is a sweet, fudgy, and decadent treat that showcases the irresistible combination of chocolate and peanut butter. This no-bake dessert will satisfy any and all sweet tooth cravings.
5 from 30 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Freeze time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Gluten-Free, Vegan
Servings 30 buckeye candies
Calories 170.7 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
 

Peanut butter mixture

  • 1 ¼ cup creamy peanut butter*
  • 5 tablespoons vegan butter (softened)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups powdered sugar

Chocolate coating

  • 1 cup vegan dark chocolate chips
  • 5 tablespoons vegan butter

Instructions
 

  • Add peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt to a medium mixing bowl. With an electric mixer, mix on high until whipped and creamy.
  • Slowly add powdered sugar while continuing to mix until the mixture is crumbly but sticks together easily.
  • Using a measuring spoon or cookie scoop, shape 1-tablespoon balls with your hands. Once rolled, place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and insert a toothpick into each one. Chill in the freezer for 20-30 minutes.
  • In the meantime, melt the chocolate chips and vegan butter in a double boiler over low heat.
  • Holding onto the toothpicks, dip each ball into the chocolate mixture to coat about two-thirds of the ball. Transfer back to the cookie sheet, chocolate side down, and to the fridge to set.
  • Repeat until all of the balls are gone. Let them chill in the fridge until the chocolate is set. Keep buckeye candies in the fridge until you are ready to serve. Happy eating!

Notes

  • Use the right peanut butter: Use creamy peanut butter for the best structure.
  • Mix thoroughly: You don’t need a stand mixer, but it helps to have a hand mixer to evenly incorporate all the ingredients. 
  • Chill first: Freeze, or at least refrigerate, the balls before dipping. This will help them hold their shape as you coat them in warm chocolate.
  • Use toothpicks: It’s much cleaner to use toothpicks to dunk the balls in the chocolate. Plus, it’s easier to eat and a little more aesthetically pleasing.
  • Proper storage: Store buckeye candy in the fridge or freezer until just before serving to prevent a melted mess.
  • Use a double boiler: Prevent the chocolate from burning or turning grainy by using a double boiler (or make-shift one).
  • Nutritional information is a rough estimate and should not be taken as health advice.

Nutrition

Serving: 1buckeye candy | Calories: 170.7kcal | Carbohydrates: 17.8g | Protein: 2.9g | Fat: 10.4g | Saturated Fat: 3.6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 92.6mg | Potassium: 100.3mg | Fiber: 0.7g | Sugar: 14.9g | Vitamin A: 178.8IU | Vitamin C: 0.03mg | Calcium: 23.6mg | Iron: 0.3mg
Don’t miss another recipe!Subscribe to our newsletter!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating