Nutella buckeye balls give a chocolate and hazelnut spin on the classic peanut butter buckeyes. They’re rich and decadent while still giving give you the peanut butter chocolate flavors you love! Dipped in two kinds of chocolate and finished with a sprinkle of sea salt, a batch of this buckeye candy won’t last long!
Easy Nutella Buckeyes
Buckeye balls are one of those classic treats that makes it onto every Christmas treat plate – and for good reason! They’re simple to make and delicious!
These buckeye balls are a spin-off of the classic peanut butter buckeye balls with the addition of Nutella to the mix!
The rich, chocolaty hazelnut spread has a thick, creamy consistency, so it blends so nicely with the peanut butter, giving the buckeye candy balls a darker color, and a deeper nutty flavor. And of course, there’s the bonus of chocolate, hazelnut, and peanut butter flavors coming together!
Nutella buckeyes are a no-bake confectionery candy that comes together with just 15 minutes of prep time. They have a rich and chewy texture and they’re coated in a chocolate shell and finished with a sprinkle of sea salt.
I’m sure you can imagine how quickly these disappear!
They need time to chill and set up so they make a great make-ahead dessert too. And while they are very popular around Christmas time, as are Grinch balls and Snickerdoodle truffles, I don’t see why we can’t enjoy them year round!
I mean, if we can make brownie balls when we get a chocolate craving, I say, we make Nutella buckeye dessert balls when we get a craving for chocolate AND nuts!
Why you’ll love this Recipe
- A fun flavor twist – Traditionally, buckeye balls are made with just a peanut butter filling. We’re taking it up a notch by combining peanut butter with the popular Italian spread made with chocolate and hazelnuts, which keeps the classic buckeye taste with the addition of chocolate.
- Easy to make – Mix the dough, form the balls, chill, then coat them in chocolate. An easy peasy no bake dessert for the holiday season. It’s the waiting for them to set that’s the hardest part. They also make a great gift!
- Customizable – Feel free to go ahead and make Nutella buckeyes without peanut butter and use just Nutella! You’ve already got the nutty element from the hazelnuts with the bonus of chocolate, so why not make them even more unique?!
- Nutella – a rich chocolate hazelnut spread that can be found in your local grocery stores.
- Smooth peanut butter – use a commercial brand of creamy peanut butter like Jif or Skippy to ensure the balls hold nicely. I haven’t tried this with natural peanut butter.
- Butter – make sure it’s softened so it blends nicely with the peanut butter and Nutella. It helps to bind the buckeye balls, giving them structure. Also, you can make these with salted or unsalted butter – both work fine!
- Vanilla extract – enhances the flavor of the chocolate and nuts.
- Powdered sugar – provides sweetness but also structure. If your confectioners’ sugar is lumpy, be sure to sift it first.
- Cocoa powder – use unsweetened cocoa powder. When added to the Nutella, it enhances the flavor of the chocolate.
- Chocolate almond bark and dark chocolate chips – for this buckeye balls recipe, I like to use both chocolate bark and dark chocolate chips. When melted together, it’s smooth and has a shiny finish and a rich chocolate flavor. It’s perfect for dipping. You can also use semisweet chocolate if you’d prefer, but I love the dark!
- Flaked sea salt – an optional garnish for that little bit of salty-sweet balance. You can also skip the sea salt and add some festive sprinkles if you prefer all sweet!
How to make buckeye balls
These Nutella buckeyes are super simple to make! You just make the Nutella balls mixture, roll that into balls, chill, then dip into chocolate!
1 – Make the Nutella Peanut Butter Balls
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add in the Nutella, peanut butter, and butter. Beat all the ingredients together on medium speed until they are smooth and fully combined. Make sure to scrape down the peanut butter mixture on the sides of the bowl as you need to, so the batter doesn’t have chunks.
- Turn the mixer to low speed and add in the vanilla, powdered sugar, and cocoa powder. I like to add just a little at a time so they mix in evenly.
- Continue to mix on low until the batter is a dry dough, making sure the dough can still be rolled into a ball.
If the dough seems too crumbly, add in a tablespoon of water and mix the dough one more time!
2 – Roll the Nutella Balls
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and scoop and roll 1-inch balls of Nutella dough then place it onto the parchment paper. You can either do this with a small cookie scoop or just eyeball it – the goal is to just make sure they’re about the same size.
- Place the baking pan of buckeyes into a freezer and chill for one hour!
Set a timer so you can remember to take them out after the total time is up – you just want them chilled, not frozen solid!
3 – Dip the Nutella Buckeye Balls
- In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt together the chocolate bark and chocolate chips. I usually melt chocolate in 20 second intervals, stirring between intervals, heating and stirring until the chocolate is completely melted.
Alternative Ways to Melt
the microwave is the fastest way to melt chocolate but you can also do this using a double boiler on the stove OR I just bought one of these Wilson chocolate melting pots and it’s amazing. One of the most game-changing tools I’ve purchased in a long time for dipping candies like these buckeyes!
- Take the buckeyes out of the freezer and dip them into the melted chocolate and place them back onto the parchment lined baking sheet, making sure to tap off any excess chocolate after you dip them.
- Repeat this step until all of the buckeyes are covered in chocolate.
If you want to, sprinkle the chocolates with flakey sea salt and now you have the perfect bite size chocolate treat! If you have leftover chocolates, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- If you want to, sprinkle the chocolates with flakey sea salt or sprinkles.
- Place the baking sheet of chocolate buckeyes into the refrigerator so the melted chocolate can set. I found it typically takes about 15 to 20 minutes for them to chill.
how to serve buckeyes
Remove the buckeyes from the fridge and serve at room temperature so that the insides of the buckeyes are creamy and easy to bite into.
Or put these in an airtight container in the fridge and enjoy for up to two weeks! I like to bring them back to room temperature before serving but they’re also okay chiled!
Tips and storage info
Line your baking sheet with parchment paper. The buckeye balls will stick to the tray otherwise.
Don’t skip the chill time. Cold buckeyes will hold their structure better as they dip. It will also help the chocolate set faster.
Grease the palms of your hands with butter. Once you scoop out the dough from the bowl, use your hands to form them into smooth, round balls.
To get rid of the toothpick hole, use a butter knife to smooth it over once it has been placed on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
Keep leftover buckeye balls stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
They are made to look like the buckeye nuts of the state tree of Ohio, the buckeye tree. They’re not named after the Ohio State football team 😉
You don’t want to leave them out any longer than 2 hours, or they’ll start to soften and become sticky. Serve them, watch them disappear, and whatever’s left transfer to the fridge.
Arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet to flash freeze until they are solid. Then, transfer them to a freezer bag or freeze-safe container. Thaw them in the fridge overnight. Pat dry with a paper towel before serving as there may be some moisture on the surface from condensation.
Put them back in the fridge for a little while longer. It may be that they’re too warm.
This is usually due to using too much powdered sugar. If this is the case, add a little extra Nutella (or peanut butter) until you get the desired consistency.
More Christmas treats
If you’re looking for even more treats for your Christmas treat plates, try one of these after you finish this buckeye recipe!
- Marshmallow popcorn balls – add sprinkles to these delicious popcorn balls for the ultimate holiday treat!
- White chocolate peanut butter snowballs – graham crackers, peanut butter, and powdered sugar form creamy snowballs with a white chocolate shell.
- Oreo truffles – possibly the easiest truffle recipe you’ll ever try! Use different kinds of Oreos to switch up the flavors.
- Reindeer brownie balls – Adorable little brownie balls, decorated like Rudolph! Pretzel antlers and a red nose included.
- Reindeer chow – sticking with the reindeer theme, scoop some of this fun Christmas snack mix into bags for the perfect holiday treat!
Nutella Buckeye Balls
- ½ cup Nutella
- ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 stick butter sotfened
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 8 oz chocolate almond bark
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips
- flake sea salt for garnish
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add in the nutella, peanut butter, and butter. Beat all the ingredients together on medium speed until they are smooth and fully combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.1/2 cup Nutella, 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter, 1 stick butter
- Turn the mixer to low speed and add in the vanilla, powdered sugar, and cocoa powder.1 tsp pure vanilla extract, 3 cups powdered sugar, 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
- Continue to mix on low until the batter is a dry dough but make sure the dough can still be rolled into a ball. If the dough seems too crumbly, add in a tablespoon of water and mix the dough one more time.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and scoop about 1 inch balls of nutella dough onto the parchment paper. Place the baking pan of buckeyes into a freezer and chill for one hour.
- In a small microwave safe bowl melt together the chocolate bark and chocolate chips in the microwave. stir about every 20 seconds until melted.8 oz chocolate almond bark, 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- Take the buckeyes out of the freezer and dip them into the melted chocolate and place them back onto the parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat this step until all of the buckeyes are covered in chocolate.
- Sprinkle the chocolates with flakey sea salt or sprinkles if desired.flake sea salt
- Place the baking sheet of chocolate buckeyes back into the fridge so the melted chocolate can set then serve once set.