A creamy and delicious nut free filling is covered with rich dark chocolate to make these amazing buckeye candies. You will love these allergy friendly treats for the holidays! No one will ever guess that they’re gluten free, nut free, and vegan.
Whether it’s the holiday season or not, it’s always a good time to make some buckeye candies. These traditional treats are often associated with the Christmas season, but they’re also the perfect dessert to bring to a picnic or potluck dinner.
Traditionally, buckeyes are a candy that is made of a peanut butter dough surrounded by a layer of chocolate. These treats are called buckeyes because of their striking resemblance to the nut of a Buckeye tree.
Of course, the classic buckeye recipe isn’t safe for those with food allergies. If you’re allergic to peanuts, dairy, or soy, the traditional recipe is a problem.
However, these buckeye candies are a great dessert to make if you’re on a gluten free, nut free, or vegan diet. They don’t contain any grains or nuts, and if you use dairy free chocolate chips and vegan buttery spread, they are very easy to make vegan!
I also made a couple of changes to make them a little bit lighter. The amount of powdered sugar has been decreased, but these are still plenty sweet. I also included some ground flax seed meal for a little extra fiber and healthy fats.
- Peanut Butter Substitute – When I first shared this recipe 5 years ago, we didn’t have any nut allergies in our house. Now that we do, I still make these, but we use Sunbutter or Wowbutter instead of peanut butter. The taste is still delicious, but if you want it to taste the most like peanut butter, Wowbutter is the best choice.
- Flax Seed Meal – This recipe also includes the addition of golden ground flax seed meal to add some healthy fats and fiber. If you use the golden flax seed meal, it blends in perfectly with the dough, and you won’t be able to detect it.
- Powdered Sugar – Powdered sugar is the best choice for the filling. A different sugar will not work as well.
- Dairy Free Chocolate Chips – Enjoy Life and PASCHA Chocolate make delicious allergy friendly chocolate chips. Either brand would work well in this recipe. I know that buckeye recipes often includes paraffin in order to make the chocolate shiny, but I don’t mind if the chocolate is not shiny so I didn’t include it. You could add a little paraffin to this recipe if that’s your preference.
Step by Step Instructions
- Place the peanut butter (or an alternative), vegan buttery spread, and golden ground flax seed meal in a mixing bowl.
- Mix on high speed until creamy.
- Add the powdered sugar.
- Beat until incorporated – the dough may appear a little dry, but that’s ok! If it’s too dry to roll into balls, add a little more vegan buttery spread.
- Roll the dough into balls and place on a cookie sheet. Chill for one hour.
- Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl.
- Use a toothpick to dip the balls into the melted chocolate.
- Place the completed buckeyes in the refrigerator to chill for one hour.
Tips for Success
- Make sure to chill the balls before dipping – it will make the process easier
- Sunbutter or wowbutter is a great choice, but if you can do peanuts or nuts, feel free to use nut butter
- Place on a waxed paper lined tray so that the finished candies don’t stick to the tray
These candies should last for up to a week in the refrigerator. Store them in an airtight container for the best quality. Plus the chocolate coating will stay firmer if you keep these refrigerated.
You could make these ahead of time and store them in the freezer if you like. They should stay fresh in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
Nut Free Buckeye Candies (Gluten Free and Vegan).
- Cream the sunbutter or wowbutter and the vegan buttery spread. Add the ground flax seed and mix.
- Add the sifted confectioner’s sugar a little at a time and continue to mix until incorporated. If the dough seems too dry, add a little bit more vegan buttery spread.
- Roll the sunbutter mixture into one inch balls and place on a tray lined with waxed paper. Refrigerate for about an hour.
- After an hour, melt your chocolate chips in a double boiler, or in a bowl in the microwave. If you microwave them, start out with one minute, then stir. If they aren’t melted, microwave in 10 second increments, stirring in between until melted.
- Stick each buckeye with a toothpick, and dip into the melted chocolate. Transfer back to the wax paper lined tray and refrigerate. The chocolate should be firm enough to eat in about an hour.
This post was originally published in December 2013. It has been updated with new photos and text.