This chocolate peanut butter balls recipe is the best easy dessert! A handful of ingredients makes an irresistible treat.
Chocolate and peanut butter are one of those classic flavor combinations that will never go out of style. Here’s our one of our favorite easy treats starring these flavor besties: peanut butter balls. They’re simple to make, requiring no special equipment and under 30 minutes of your time. Whip up a batch and enjoy that crunchy chocolate coating covering an irresistibly creamy and chewy peanut butter interior. Here’s how to make this irresistibly tasty treat!
Ingredients for this peanut butter ball recipe
There’s a short ingredient list for peanut butter balls, making it a quick and easy way to a decadent treat! The recipe is similar to buckeyes, those traditional Christmas cookies with a rich peanut butter interior and crisp chocolate coating.
These peanut butter balls are rich, chocolaty, and please anyone. They also happen to be vegan, using coconut oil in the filling instead of the typical butter. If you don’t have coconut oil, you can substitute melted butter. The filling also uses pure maple syrup for a nuance in flavor, which brings in caramel and vanilla notes. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:
- Creamy peanut butter: Creamy peanut butter with a drippy consistency is best; you can add a bit more oil if the dough doesn’t come to the correct texture.
- Pure maple syrup: This is the key to the nuanced filling flavor! You can also use honey or agave syrup.
- Refined coconut oil: Coconut oil helps add richness to the filling: use butter if you don’t have coconut oil on hand. Refined coconut oil is preferred since it has a neutral flavor (unrefined has a stronger coconut flavor).
- Powdered sugar: Powdered sugar mixes with peanut butter to create a play doh like filling consistency.
- Salt and vanilla extract: These two seasonings round out the rich filling flavor.
- Semi sweet baking chocolate: We like 64% Guittard baking chocolate. You can also use dark chocolate for a richer, more bitter flavor.
Tips for making the filling
Peanut butter balls are simple to make: all you have to do is mix the filling ingredients together and roll them into balls. Here are a few tips for the process:
- The dough should be Play Doh consistency. The consistency can vary based on the brand of peanut butter and the measurement of powdered sugar. If necessary, add a teaspoon or so more coconut oil to come to the correct consistency.
- Using a food scale to weigh the dough is easiest for rolling the balls. This way, all the balls are exactly the same size. Use 15 to 16 grams per ball.
- Or, use a 1 tablespoon measure. A tablespoon works if you don’t have a food scale.
- Freeze the balls while melting the chocolate. They’ll become chilled in about 5 minutes while you melt the chocolate. If desired, you can also refrigerate the balls until you’re ready to coat them in chocolate, up to 2 days.
Melting chocolate for the peanut butter balls
There are a few important things to note about how to melt chocolate for these peanut butter balls! Chocolate can be temperamental, so it’s key to observe best practices when melting chocolate. Here are a few notes on this recipe:
- Use the microwave to heat the chocolate in short bursts. Go to How to Melt Chocolate in a Microwave to read all our tips on the process.
- Or, melt the chocolate on the stovetop. Fill a large saucepan halfway with water and bring to a simmer. Once the water is simmering, turn off the heat and place a large heat proof bowl over the saucepan. Add the chocolate and butter to the bowl, and stir until the chocolate is fully melted.
- Don’t let any water touch the chocolate or it will seize! That means your glass measuring cup or bowl must be 100% dry before placing the chocolate chips inside. If you’re using the stovetop method, don’t let any water splash inside.
- Don’t overheat the chocolate! Scorched chocolate also seizes up and can become grainy. When you’re microwaving chocolate, it’s easy to get it too hot. So you’ll need to be very careful when you’re microwaving not to go too far. Follow the instructions in the recipe below carefully.
- Once the balls are covered in chocolate, refrigerate to let the balls set. The chocolate should set in about 30 minutes.
Variations and add-ins
There are so many ways you can vary these peanut butter balls! Add a few different touches to the outside, or add other flavors to the interior. Here are some ideas:
- Sea salt. Sprinkle the balls with flaky sea salt before the chocolate sets.
- Chocolate drizzle. Use leftover or additional chocolate to drizzle over the top with a fork.
- Sprinkles. Make holiday-ready peanut butter balls by coating them in festive sprinkles.
- Crushed peanuts or pistachios. Add a shower or crushed nuts to the top for a different look.
- Half dip. Dip only half the peanut butter ball for a unique look.
- Rice cereal. Add rice cereal to the interior to add a crunch.
Storage for peanut butter balls
Because they are covered in chocolate, it’s best to store peanut butter balls refrigerated. They store this way for up to 2 weeks. You should also be able to store them up to 3 months frozen (we have not tested this, since they get eaten much faster at our house!).
This peanut butter balls recipe is…
Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.
Peanut Butter Balls Recipe
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter*
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup or honey or agave syrup
- 1 tablespoon plus ¼ teaspoon refined coconut oil**
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 ounces semi sweet baking chocolate 64%; we like Guittard
- Flaky sea salt if desired
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter*
- 2 tablespoon pure maple syrup or honey or agave syrup
- 2 tablespoon plus ¼ teaspoon refined coconut oil**
- 1 ½ cup powdered sugar
- 2 pinch salt
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 ounce semi sweet baking chocolate 64%; we like Guittard
- Flaky sea salt if desired
- 1 ½ cup creamy peanut butter*
- 3 tablespoon pure maple syrup or honey or agave syrup
- 3 tablespoon plus ¼ teaspoon refined coconut oil**
- 2 ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 3 pinch salt
- 3 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 9 ounce semi sweet baking chocolate 64%; we like Guittard
- Flaky sea salt if desired
- In a medium bowl, mix the peanut butter, maple syrup, 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil, powdered sugar, salt and vanilla extract until a uniform dough forms. (If the dough is too sticky, you can add a teaspoon or so more oil to get it to come together; it should have a playdough consistency.)
- Roll the peanut butter dough into 1 tablespoon sized balls (it’s easiest to weigh them, using 15 to 16 grams for each ball).
- Place the balls on a parchment lined baking sheet and freeze them for at 5 minutes while you melt the chocolate.
- Meanwhile, break the chocolate into pieces. Place it in a dry glass bowl or liquid measuring cup with the ¼ teaspoon coconut oil. Microwave on High power for 20 seconds, then stir. Microwave another 20 seconds, stir, and 20 seconds more and stir. At this point it should be mostly melted with a few chunks: keep stirring until all the chocolate chunks disappear and the chocolate is perfectly smooth.
- Use two forks to place each peanut butter ball into the chocolate, rotating it to evenly cover, then remove from the chocolate, gently shake off any excess, and place it back onto the parchment lined baking sheet. If desired, top with flaky sea salt.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes until set. Store up to 2 weeks refrigerated (or 3 months frozen).