buckeyes featured image
Buckeyes are an easy, no-bake classic confection that tastes better than Reese’s and look like dipped truffles. This simple recipe makes a delicious chocolate coated candy dressed as Ohio’s official tree nut.
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Table of Contents
  1. Best No-Bake Buckeyes
  2. Why We Love This Buckeyes Candy Recipe
  3. Ingredients
  4. Substitutions and Additions
  5. Recommended Tools
  6. How to Make the Buckeye Candy
  7. Storage Tips
  8. Frequently Asked Questions
  9. Other Easy Candy Recipes Recipes
  10. Buckeyes Recipe

Buckeyes are an easy, no-bake classic candy that tastes better than Reese’s cups and look like chocolate truffles that didn’t get all the way dipped. This simple recipe makes a delicious coated peanut butter cheesecake candy dressed as Ohio’s official state tree nut–it’s a nature-inspired delicacy disguised as a Buckeye (but this one you can eat!).

buckeyes hero image

Best No-Bake Buckeyes

This easy Buckeyes recipe combines the best of a peanut butter ball with the creaminess of a cheesecake, quickly dipped into chocolate, to create one decadent bite-sized dessert.

While chocolate paired with peanut butter will always be a family favorite, these Buckeyes are made with a slight twist from the traditional treat–I’ve cut back on the sugar and swapped tangy cream cheese for the butter–to help balance out the sweetness and create the perfect taste of cheesecake in peanut butter truffle form. It’s like eating a slice of cake covered in a chocolate shell, but because it’s individually portioned and meant to be eaten without a fork, it’s portable for on-the-go.

If you’re overloaded with holiday cut-out cookies, thumbprints, and gingerbread galore, this make-ahead Christmas candy is the ideal solution that adds variety to your party platter. Dress them up or dress them down, these sweet and salty, crumbly-yet-smooth peanut butter cheesecake balls are fun to dip in chocolate and decorate with a festive flair; no oven, stovetop, or candy thermometer needed, Buckeyes simply satisfy any candy craving.

Why We Love This Buckeyes Candy Recipe

  • Quick and easy to make using only 7 basic ingredients.
  • Deliciously decadent bite-sized dessert.
  • Combines the best of a peanut butter ball with the creaminess of a cheesecake.
  • Not too sweet, super creamy, and so satisfying.
  • No-bake, chocolate coated candy that is easy to make-ahead.
  • Perfect for Christmas treat trays, cookie swaps, edible holiday gifts and portable treats when you’re on the go.
bitten buckeyes

Ingredients

  • Creamy peanut butter
  • Cream cheese, softened: You can substitute butter if needed. If you use salted butter I recommend omitting the extra salt.
  • Vanilla 
  • Salt
  • Powdered sugar
  • Dark chocolate chips: You can substitute your favorite chocolate chip or baking chocolate. 
  • Vegetable oil: Coconut oil is a good substitute in this recipe.

Substitutions and Additions

  • Allergy Safe Substitutes:
    • No Nuts: For a nut-free candy, sunflower butter is an excellent alternative to peanut butter and other nut butters. Sunflower butter tends to be a bit thinner in consistency than peanut butter, so you may need to add an additional 1/2 cup of powdered sugar.
    • Change the Chocolate: For the dipping chocolate, you can use Enjoy Life chocolate chips which are free of the top 8 allergens. 
  • Dip and Decorate: Feel free to decorate your Buckeyes after you dip them in chocolate and before they harden on the cooling rack. You can garnish the dipped Buckeyes with flaky sea salt, decorative nonpareils, holiday sprinkles, or chopped nuts.
  • Firm Up The Filling: You can add crushed graham cracker crumbs firms up the filling (making it easier to roll) without the need for more powdered sugar.
  • Vegetable Oil: Vegetable oil or coconut oil helps thin the chocolate so it’s easier to dip your Buckeyes, but you can use shortening if that’s what you have on hand.
buckeyes
  • Stand or hand mixer
  • Mixing bowl and tools
  • Measuring tools
  • Parchment paper
  • Baking sheets
  • Toothpicks
  • Microwave safe bowl

SEE FULL PRINTABLE RECIPE CARD BELOW

How to Make the Buckeye Candy

It is so easy to make these no-bake Buckeyes, designed to look like the nut on Ohio’s official state tree. It’s like eating creamy peanut butter cheesecake coated in a chocolate shell, but in truffle form!

  1. Blend together the peanut butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and salt until fluffy.
    Pro-Tip: For best results use a smooth, salted peanut butter for your Buckeyes. If you’re using a natural peanut butter without stabilizers make sure to mix it really well after opening the jar. The oil heavy top of the jar will make very runny Buckeyes.
    Blend together the peanut butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and salt
  2. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar until you have a light, tan, soft dough.
    Pro Tip: Make sure you use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. It is important to scrape the bowl down after adding the powdered sugar, otherwise the top will be super firm but the bottom of the bowl will be super soft.
    beat in the powdered sugar
  3. Roll dough into 1″ balls and place on a cookie sheet.
    Pro Tip: The dough will be slightly soft but it should hold its shape once formed.
  4. Place a toothpick in the top of each ball and place cookie sheet in the freezer for 20 minutes.
    Roll dough into 1" balls and place toothpick on top of each ball
  5. Melt the chocolate chips and oil together in the microwave.
    Pro Tip: Heat in 20 second increments, stirring between each cooking time, until completely melted. It should take 1-2 minutes to melt all of the chips.
    Melt the chocolate chips and oil together
  6. Remove 6 Buckeyes from the freezer, dip them each in the melted chocolate using the toothpick, and place on a 2nd baking sheet.
    Pro Tip: Make sure you cover all but a small circle of the filling and allow the excess to drip off.
    dip them each in the melted chocolate using the toothpick
  7. Remove another 6 Buckeyes from the freezer and repeat the dipping process. Continue until all Buckeyes have been dipped in chocolate.
  8. Remove the toothpicks from the tops of each Buckeye and smooth over the hole.
    Pro Tip: You can use a toothpick, an offset spatula, or your finger to smooth over the hole.
  9. Return Buckeyes to the freezer to set for up to an hour.
    buckeyes on baking sheet
  10. Place Buckeyes in a covered container in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Enjoy!
    Pro Tip: Buckeyes can be served straight from the refrigerator or at room temperature. 

Storage Tips

  • To Store: These Buckeyes keep best when they are chilled. If stored in an airtight container they will last in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.
  • To Freeze: You can keep these Buckeyes in the freezer for up to 2 months and simply place them in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
buckeyes on a white plate

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Buckeye?

The term “buckeye” comes from the resemblance that the candy has to the seeds from the Ohio Buckeye tree- large, dark brown nuts that always have a roundish light spot on them. Although most common in Ohio and the surrounding areas that have Buckeye trees, these candies can be made and enjoyed anywhere and any time of year!

Why are these called Buckeye Candy?

Buckeye candy is a relatively new candy (only first made in the 1960s or so) made from peanut butter and covered (though not completely) in chocolate. Though similar to Peanut Butter Balls, they are different in that they are never completely covered with chocolate. They are commonly made at home but can also be purchased from some confectioners.

Why should I freeze the Buckeyes before dipping them in chocolate?

I highly recommend freezing these Buckeyes before dipping because it makes them much easier to work with and keeps them from melting when dipped in the warm chocolate.

Can I make a keto version of this recipe?

You can make a keto version of this recipe by replacing the powdered sugar with swerve confectioners or another sweetener of your choice. You will also want to use sugar-free peanut butter.

buckeyes on a plate

Other Easy Candy Recipes Recipes

5 from 1 vote
buckeyes featured image

Buckeyes

Serves — 24
Buckeyes are an easy, no-bake classic confection that tastes better than Reese’s and look like dipped truffles. This simple recipe makes a delicious chocolate coated candy dressed as Ohio’s official tree nut.
Prep Time 30 mins
Chill Time 1 hr 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 50 mins

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 4 ounce (½ 8-ounce package) cream cheese softened
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • cups dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

Instructions
 

  • Use a stand or hand mixer to blend together the peanut butter, cream cheese, vanilla and salt in a medium sized mixing bowl until fully combined and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Gradually beat in the powdered sugar, using a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. You should have a light, tan, soft dough.
  • Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Form 1 inch balls out of the dough and place them on the cookie sheet. The dough will be slightly soft but it should hold its shape once formed.
  • Place a toothpick in the top of each ball and place them in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  • When you are ready to coat the Buckeyes, prepare a second baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
  • Melt the chocolate chips and oil together in a shallow bowl in the microwave. Microwave in 20 second increments, stirring between each cooking time, until completely melted. It should take 1-2 minutes to melt all of the chips.
  • Remove about 6 Buckeyes from the freezer and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Dip them, one by one, in the melted chocolate, using the toothpick.
  • Give them a little swirl in the chocolate to cover all but a small circle of the filling, allow the excess to drip off and then place them back on the baking sheet.
  • Remove another 6 Buckeyes from the freezer and repeat steps 8 and 9. Continue until all Buckeyes have been dipped in chocolate.
  • Remove the toothpicks from the tops of the Buckeyes and smooth over the hole using a toothpick, an offset spatula or your finger.
  • Return the Buckeyes to the freezer until set, up to 1 hour, and then place in a covered container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  • Buckeyes can be served straight from the refrigerator or at room temperature.

Jenn’s Notes

Storage:
  • To Store: These Buckeyes keep best when they are chilled. If stored in an airtight container they will last in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.
  • To Freeze: You can keep these Buckeyes in the freezer for up to 2 months and simply place them in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
Tips:
  • It is important to scrape the bowl down after adding the powdered sugar, otherwise the top will be super firm but the bottom of the bowl will be super soft.
  • Vegetable oil or coconut oil helps thin the chocolate so it’s easier to dip your Buckeyes, but you can use shortening if that’s what you have on hand.
  • For best results use a smooth, salted peanut butter for your Buckeyes. If you’re using a natural peanut butter without stabilizers make sure to mix it really well after opening the jar. The oil heavy top of the jar will make very runny Buckeyes.

Nutrition Info

Calories: 148kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 101mg | Potassium: 113mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 65IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 1mg
Jennifer Fishkind

About Jenn

Jenn is a mom to three beautiful boys, wife to an amazing husband, social influencer and blogger. I love all things easy recipes, easy crafts, all things hacks, traveling EVERYWHERE and feeding my Pinterest addiction!

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