How to Make Buckeyes (Ohio’s Favorite Candy)

How to Make Buckeyes (Ohio’s Favorite Candy)

Learn how to make buckeyes, Ohio’s favorite homemade candy, to share with friends at tailgates, parties and at Christmas time.

A pan of chocolate buckeye candy

What is a buckeye? 

If you’re from the state of Ohio the first thing that pops into your head is a crazy nut, like Brutus Buckeye.

If you’re an Ohio State fan, you know being a buckeye is something most alumni take very seriously. 

A buckeye is the nut of the buckeye tree which is native to the buckeye state, Ohio.

Since they’re toxic you’re better off eating the chocolate variety. 

There are plenty of recipes out there of these peanut butter buckeyes dipped in melted chocolate.

Better than Reese’s peanut butter cups, buckeye candies are a staple at most tailgates during football season. 

Candy mixture in a mixer bowl

Helpful tips on how to make buckeyes

Simple to make, these buckeye balls require just six ingredients and no oven time.

You can find the full recipe below.

Just grab your favorite jar of peanut butter and your chocolate of choice and these confections can be ready in about an hour.

I’ve made these homemade buckeyes several times and they’ve always turned out great.

The biggest challenge I have had is with the chocolate. 

Many recipes call for paraffin wax when making this recipe, but I can taste the difference and I’m not a fan.

I find that chocolate chips or wafers melts easier than chopped chocolate and tend to be better quality. 

It’s also important for the peanut butter balls to be very cold for the chocolate to stick properly.

For this recipe it’s important to make sure the chocolate melts properly and doesn’t seize.

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How to Melt Chocolate

  • Place the chocolate in a heatproof or microwave-safe bowl and only microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each time. Once chocolate is looking almost melted with just a few lumps, don’t microwave it again just stir the chocolate until it is completely smooth.
  • Another option is to use a mini crockpot to melt the chocolate. It stays melted and at the perfect consistency when set to low.
  • Bring an inch of water to a simmer in a saucepan. Set a heat-proof bowl in the mouth of the pot, creating a double boiler making sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl. Stir the chocolate as it softens. 
  • The secret to not burning the chocolate is to take it away from the heat before it’s completely melted, and keep stirring until it is.
  • Another option is to add a little canola or vegetable oil before you melt the chocolate. This will keep the chocolate from drying out. It can also fix slightly overheated chocolate.
A hand holding half eaten buckeye candy

Do buckeyes need to be refrigerated?

If you are using 100 percent natural peanut butter, the kind that needs to be stirred and refrigerated, then yes they will need to go in the fridge.

It will also need to be stirred really well if used in your recipe.

Can you freeze buckeye candies?

Yes! These peanut butter chocolate morsels freeze very well. Simply line a tray with the candies and place them in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Then store them in an airtight container and keep frozen until ready to eat. They will last up to 3 months in the freezer.

What kind of chocolate should I use for this Buckeye candy recipe?

Semisweet, dark or milk chocolate. Stick to chips or wafers since they are easier to melt.

A close up photo of buckeye candy

More Candy Recipes

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A bowl of chocolate peanut butter balls

How to Make Buckeyes

Ali Randall
Learn how to make buckeyes, Ohio’s favorite homemade candy, to share with friends at tailgates, parties and at Christmas time.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Chilling time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 3 dozen


  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoon unsalted butter, 1/2 stick, softened to room temperature
  • 8 ounces semisweet, white or dark chocolate, chips or wafers


  • In a large bowl with an electric mixer or using a stand mixer, stir the peanut butter, butter, salt and vanilla on medium speed until combines. Next add the powdered sugar using low speed and increasing to medium as the mixture combines.
  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or wax paper and roll out the peanut butter mixture into 1-inch balls. Once the baking sheet is full, freeze the balls for 30 minutes to harden.
  • Melt the chocolate. Dip the chilled peanut butter balls in the chocolate using toothpicks as skewers to hold the balls. Cover all but the top of each ball.
  • Place the dipped buckeyes back onto the baking sheet and with a clean hand smooth over the hole left by the tooth pick.
  • Refrigerate the buckeyes until the chocolate sets. Store leftover buckeyes in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


Notes: If the batter is crumbly, add more peanut butter a tablespoon at a time. If it is too sticky, add powdered sugar a tablespoon at a time.
If the chocolate is too thick, add a teaspoon of oil to the chocolate and stir until smooth.
Use high quality peanut butter and chocolate for best results.
For easier dipping, use an ice cream scoop to ladle up the melted chocolate then dip the frozen peanut butter balls easily into that.
Keyword Buckeyes, How to Make Buckeyes, Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls
How to make buckeyes - Ohio's favorite candy of peanut butter balls covered in chocolate are ideal for any tailgate or holiday celebration.

If you make a recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #homeandplate. I’d love to see what you cook!

11 thoughts on “How to Make Buckeyes (Ohio’s Favorite Candy)”

  • 5 stars
    I see buckeyes all over Pinterest, but being British, I’ve often wondered how these tasty looking treats got their name. Now I know! Love the recipe too -delicious ingredients.

  • These are so addictive! I’m going to have to make a larger batch next time. I dipped them in Nestles dark chocolate and they were heavenly.

  • 5 stars
    I’ve never heard of a buckeye before, it look delicious and easy to make I’m going to have to give these a try.

  • 5 stars
    I loooove buckeyes but I’ve never made them myself!! Thanks for sharing such a great recipe, I can’t wait to make them for the holidays!

  • These buckeyes look so good that they would not last long with me. I’m going to try this today. Thanks for a great recipe!

  • 5 stars
    Came out great! Didn’t have to use all of the powered sugar, just enough til i could knead the peanut butter mixture into a firm ball. Used ghiradelli semi sweet baking chocolate bars for mine. Can’t wait to present these to guests!

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