How to Make Peanut Butter Balls

how to make peanut butter balls

Like cookies, peanut butter balls come in many flavors. At its simplest, peanut butter balls are just spoonfuls of peanut butter rolled in powdered sugar. More commonly, peanut butter balls are covered in chocolate. Fancier versions can be covered in coconut flakes, packed with protein powder, or sprinkled with crushed candies. Unless you're allergic (*sob*), there's undoubtedly a peanut butter balls recipe to suit your tastes.

How to Make Peanut Butter Balls

These peanut butter balls are coated in chocolate. The recipe is simple:

Peanut Butter Balls Recipe


Peanut Butter Balls

2 cups creamy peanut butter

3/4 cup butter (softened)

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

3 3/4 cups confectioner's sugar (also known as powdered sugar or 10X sugar)

Chocolate Coating

2 cups chocolate chips

2 tbsp. shortening plus 2 tsp.


Peanut Butter Balls

  1. Mix the peanut butter, butter, and vanilla together in a large bowl
  2. Slowly add the sugar. Mix until combined.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes or as much as two days.
  4. Shape the dough into small balls (about 1 inch in diameter) and place them on a wax or parchment paper-covered baking sheet.
  5. Cover the balls with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.

Chocolate Coating

Use a double boiler to melt the chocolate. Follow these directions if you don't own one.

  1. Place chocolate chips and shortening in a heat-proof bowl.
  2. Fill a larger heat-proof bowl to 1 inch with hot water (100° to 110° F).
  3. Carefully place the bowl with chocolate into the bowl of water.
  4. Stir chocolate mixture constantly until it is melted and smooth.
  5. Remove chocolate bowl from the water bowl.


  1. With a toothpick, spear and dip peanut butter balls into chocolate. Replace each ball onto the baking sheet.
  2. Let the chocolate harden at room temperature.
  3. Chill until ready to serve.

Variations on the Peanut Butter Balls Recipe

For the coating, try using various kinds of chocolate chips like dark chocolate, bittersweet, or white chocolate.

No chocolate? Make pure peanut butter balls by rolling rounded teaspoons of creamy peanut butter in confectioner's sugar and freezing the results.

Instead of a chocolate coating, try rolling the balls in one, two, or more of these ingredients:

  • Crushed wafer cookies
  • Crushed nuts, such as peanuts or pistachios
  • Sprinkles
  • Coconut flakes
  • Mini chocolate chips

What's the Difference Between Peanut Butter Balls and Peanut Butter Truffles?

Truffles are a dessert delicacy traditionally made with ganache (a pastry filling made of chocolate and cream), shaped into imperfect balls, and rolled in cocoa powder--thus resembling the misshapen fungus truffles from which they get their name. Truffles can also be coated in chopped toasted nuts, chocolate shavings, crushed candies, coconut flakes, or other ingredients.

More generally, truffles are defined as no-bake sweets formed by shaping a soft ingredient (like chocolate or peanut butter) into balls and coating the balls with a confection. Peanut butter balls that aren't baked are, therefore, considered truffles.

What's the Difference Between Peanut Butter Balls and Buckeyes?

Buckeyes, or buckeye candies, are a holiday cookie plate tradition made from peanut butter fudge partially dipped in chocolate so that the peanut butter portions are visible. They are named for their resemblance to the nuts of the buckeye tree, the state tree of Ohio. Unsurprisingly, the treats are particularly popular in the Buckeye State.

Chocolate-covered peanut butter balls are completely covered in chocolate.

What is a Brigadeiro?

A brigadeiro is the Brazilian version of a chocolate truffle. It is a chocolate fudge ball made of condensed milk, butter, and cocoa powder and typically covered in chocolate sprinkles.

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