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Classic Buckeyes

Classic Buckeyes recipe for peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate, a popular treat in the midwest, especially Ohio, and must-have on the holiday dessert table.

Buckeyes dipped in chocolate with tootpicks on parchment paper.

I had my first buckeye years ago in Ohio, when I married into family from Dayton.  On the buffet at the holidays when we were visiting one year were a tray of chocolate covered peanut butter balls.  Oh my gosh, my husband was shoveling them in his mouth and I was like, what are these?  Buckeyes!  You've never had these?  Nope, but I want the recipe.

The next time I saw my sister-in-law's mom, she handed me a card with the recipe for her delicious (and famous) buckeyes.  Neatly written in cursive, I have treasured this recipe for years.  And it's so interesting with her generation, the ingredients, which are few, call for specific brands.  My mom and aunt are the same way.  Like, instead of saying Worcestershire sauce, they'll say add some Lea & Perrins.

Buckeyes on white platter.


I would describe a buckeye as a peanut butter cup-like confection, that's what the taste reminds me of the most.  Peanut butter, butter, confectioners sugar and vanilla are mixed together into a somewhat stiff consistency, then rolled into balls and dipped in melted chocolate. 

Only dip about three-quarters of the ball, leaving a small circle at the top resembling chestnuts, or buckeyes, hence the name.  Many recipes call for paraffin or shortening to be melted with the chocolate, including my original recipe.  I say no to that and they turn out just fine.

Process photo collage, batter and dipping peanut butter balls into chocolate.

A couple notes about the chocolate.  You can melt in the microwave or in a double boiler.  I like the double boiler, which for me is a small glass bowl over a pan of simmering water, stirring until melted.  I also have tried all kinds of brands and types from semi-sweet to milk chocolate to bittersweet or dark chocolate.  Love them all.  I mostly use bittersweet because my husband loves dark chocolate.  (Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips are my favorite and I think melt into the best consistency for dipping.  Just sayin')

Thank you Ohio family for turning me on to buckeyes, and to Mrs. Hanes for her recipe.  Mine don't look as good as hers, my dipping skills need some work, but they taste just like hers.  It's a favorite crowd pleaser (this makes a ton!) anytime of year, but most especially at the holidays.  Enjoy, Kelly🍴🐦

Plate of stacked buckeyes candy.

Along with Buckeyes at Christmastime, I always make Kolachkes and Peanut Butter Blossoms.

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Buckeyes dipped in chocolate with tootpicks on parchment paper.

Classic Buckeyes

Classic buckeyes recipe for peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate, a treat year round and especially on the holiday dessert table.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 1 hour
Chill time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 96 buckeyes
Calories: 87kcal


  • 1 pound butter (or margarine), room temp
  • 2 cups creamy peanut butter, not natural (I used an entire 18-ounce jar)
  • 2½ to 3 pounds confectioners sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla
  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips


  • In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle, cream butter and peanut butter. Add powdered sugar a cup at a time and mix until needed consistency to roll into balls (about 8 to 10 cups). Add vanilla and mix thoroughly.
  • Form into large marble-size balls and place on baking sheet lined with wax paper. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least one hour.
  • Melt chocolate in a double boiler (or microwave). Place toothpick in center of ball and dip in chocolate to cover about two-thirds of the ball, making it look like a buckeye. Place on waxed paper, remove toothpick, gently pinch hole together. Chill in refrigerator until set.
  • Store buckeyes in refrigerator. They also freeze well. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • If you use unsalted butter, add ½ teaspoon salt to the peanut butter mixture.
  • You can also use a hand mixer or wooden spoon to mix the peanut butter/butter dough.
  • My original recipe calls for ¼ pound of paraffin wax to be melted along with the chocolate in the double boiler, your call if you want to do that. I think it makes the buckeyes shiny.
  • I don't find 12 ounces of chocolate enough, I went through almost 3 (12-ounce) bags to have enough to dip all the balls. Buy two bags, at least.


Calories: 87kcal Carbohydrates: 15g Protein: 1g Fat: 8g Saturated Fat: 4g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 10mg Sodium: 54mg Potassium: 52mg Fiber: 1g Sugar: 2g Vitamin A: 120IU Calcium: 6mg Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe? Please comment, rate it and share! And mention me on Instagram @thehungrybluebird or tag #thehungrybluebird so I can see!
5 from 3 votes (1 rating without comment)
Recipe Rating


Monday 11th of December 2023

I have made these before. Am currently making them again. They are quite creamy. Some buckeyes are dry. These are not.

Also, I find that if I put the toothpicks in the balls prior to refrigeration, they stay in much better for dipping.

I use melting discs as opposed to chocolate chips. Perfect recipe.


Sunday 3rd of October 2021

2 1/2-3 lbs of powdered sugar? Or is it supposed to be cups?


Tuesday 5th of October 2021

It's pounds, it's seems like a lot, I know. Just add a cup at a time until the consistency is just right to roll into balls.


Sunday 14th of March 2021

The buckeyes were delicious, but I need to work on the dipping technique, they wouldn’t stay on the toothpick.


Wednesday 1st of December 2021

@Kelly, I actually freeze my peanut butter ball mixture after rolled out then I dip them it gives me more dipping time and doesn’t fall off the tooth pick so fast


Thursday 18th of March 2021

Me, too! I'm not as good as Mrs. Hanes but each time I get a little better. Just keep them chilled until ready to dip.


Saturday 21st of December 2019

Hi Kelly, quick question.. I've perused many buckeye recipes on here, and I want to verify with you the amount of butter your recipe is calling for. Almost all of the other recipes call for 1 stick, or 1 1/2 sticks. But never 1 lb. I wonder if it is supposed to be 1 cup..?


Thursday 24th of December 2020

@starzkeeper, Look at the serving size of 8 dozen


Saturday 21st of December 2019

Yes, that is the correct amount as given to me years ago from a relative in Ohio. She actually used margarine, I chose butter instead.

B Toth

Thursday 21st of November 2019

Can these be made ahead and frozen?


Thursday 21st of November 2019

Yes. I freeze them all the time.