These healthier peanut butter and chocolate vegan buckeyes are one of my all-time favorite vegan desserts. They're no bake, refined sugar free, easy to make and perfect for entertaining.
Buckeyes are a family tradition in our house every Christmas. Every single year, my aunt brings a few batches to our house a few days before Christmas, and without fail, they're completely gone within 24 hours.
All of our extended family is obsessed! They're the perfect, addictive small treat. What's not to love about a creamy, sweet peanut butter filling and a rich chocolate coating?
These vegan buckeyes are easy to make and they're also a bit healthier than the traditional recipe, which is basically just powdered sugar, butter and peanut butter.
The peanut butter ball is completely refined sugar free, using maple syrup as a sweetener.
However, just about all dark chocolate chips contain regular sugar, so to make these completely refined sugar free, look for chocolate made without refined sugar. Some brands we know of include Hu Kitchen Chocolate, Lily's Chocolate and Lakanto Chocolate.
P.S. Ever wondered why they're called buckeyes? A (real) buckeye is a small, dark brown nut with light tan patch at the top that comes from a buckeye tree. And yep, you guessed it, they look exactly like these sweet treats!
Let's make 'em.
- Creamy peanut butter: we use no salt added, unsweetened peanut butter in this recipe.
- Vegan butter: make sure to bring the butter to room temperature.
- Brands we use: Earth Balance (soy free), Melt Organic and Country Crock Plant Butter
- Maple syrup: our sweetener of choice to keep these refined sugar free.
- Vanilla extract
- Oat flour: traditional buckeye recipes use a TON of powdered sugar to get them to a consistency where they can be rolled into balls. Instead, we're using oat flour, which has a neutral flavor but makes for the perfect texture.
- Dark chocolate + coconut oil: melted dark chocolate with a touch of coconut oil makes for a perfect chocolate shell.
Here's how to make these healthier buckeyes in a few simple steps:
Dry ingredients: Stir together oat flour and salt in a mixing bowl.
Wet ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, cream butter until light and fluffy using an electric hand mixer. Add peanut butter and continue mixing until smooth. Add in maple syrup and vanilla.
Combine: Add in dry ingredients and mix until well incorporated. Cover bowl with tea towel and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Roll into balls and chill: Remove from refrigerator. Use a cookie scoop to portion dough. Roll into evenly-sized balls and place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Freeze for 30 minutes, or refrigerate for 1 ½ hours.
Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring well between each interval, until smooth.
How to dip buckeyes in chocolate
The easiest method is to use a toothpick. Insert a toothpick at the top of the peanut butter ball and dip in chocolate, leaving a small circle without chocolate at the top.
Let the excess chocolate drain off, then transfer to parchment paper to set. Remove toothpick. If you care about how they look, you can smooth over the hole using your finger.
Note: this works best when the peanut butter balls have been thoroughly chilled. If they are too warm, the toothpick may fall out.
If you don't have any toothpicks, you can use a fork to dip the buckeye in chocolate. Place the peanut butter ball flat on the fork and dip into chocolate. It's difficult to get enough chocolate on this way, but it works in a pinch!
- Don't skip the chilling – the peanut butter balls need enough time to harden up so you can dip them in chocolate. If they aren't hard enough, they will fall off the toothpick.
- Be sure to shake off excess chocolate after dipping. Otherwise, you'll end up with a big puddle of hardened chocolate, which makes these difficult to eat.
- Store in the refrigerator between sheets of parchment paper to avoid a sticky, chocolatey mess.
- A small amount of coconut oil helps thin out the chocolate a bit, making it easier to dip.
More easy vegan dessert recipes
- Healthy Vegan Almond Joy Bars
- Edible Cookie Dough Bites (Vegan)
- Best Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Avocado Chocolate Mousse
- Chocolate Pecan Caramel Turtles
If you make these healthier vegan buckeyes, we’d love for you to leave a comment and rating below! We also love to see your creations on Instagram – tag us at @crowded_kitchen so we can see what you’ve been cooking.Print
These healthier peanut butter and chocolate vegan buckeyes are one of my all-time favorite vegan desserts. They're refined sugar free, easy to make and perfect for entertaining.
- 1 cup creamy, unsweetened peanut butter
- ¼ cup vegan butter, softened to room temp
- ⅓ cup + 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup oat flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp cinnamon (optional)
- 1 ½ cups dark chocolate chips, melted*
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- Optional: crushed, salted peanuts for coating
- Stir together oat flour, cinnamon and salt in a mixing bowl.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream butter until light and fluffy using an electric hand mixer. Add peanut butter and continue mixing until smooth. Add in maple syrup and vanilla.
- Add in dry ingredients and mix until well incorporated. Cover bowl with tea towel and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Remove from refrigerator. Use a cookie scoop to portion dough. Roll into evenly-sized balls and place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Freeze for 30 minutes, or refrigerate for 1 ½ hours.
- Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring well between each interval, until smooth.
- Insert a toothpick into the top of each peanut butter ball. Dip into chocolate, coating most of the ball but leaving a small circle at the top (see photos). Let excess chocolate drain off, then return to parchment paper. (Optional: roll in chopped salted peanuts.)
- Refrigerate or freeze for 15 minutes, or until the chocolate solidifies. Store in the refrigerator between layers of parchment paper.
*To keep this recipe fully refined sugar free, look for refined sugar free chocolate. A few brands we know of: Hu Kitchen, Lily's and Lakanto.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 75 minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Method: No Bake
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 Buckeye
- Calories: 227
- Sugar: 9.7 g
- Sodium: 124.4 mg
- Fat: 16 g
- Carbohydrates: 17.9 g
- Fiber: 2.1 g
- Protein: 5.2 g
Keywords: vegan buckeyes