Peanut Better Balls

211 comments

veganpeanutbutterballs 4311 2   Peanut Better Balls

I have fond memories of making peanut butter balls with my mom and sister every holiday season. The women in my family are all big peanut butter and chocolate fans, so it seems like a natural holiday dessert to splurge on. In fact, I know when they see this post they’ll be running to the kitchen to make this version! You can’t beat how easy peanut butter balls are to throw together during those hectic last-minute preparations.

This year, I came up with a lighter version of my childhood favourite. Rather than using 2 cups of powdered sugar and plenty of butter like the old recipe, I turned to a few lighter ingredients to do the same job.

veganpeanutbutterballs 4275   Peanut Better Balls

pbballs 4284   Peanut Better Balls

This version contains much less sweetener than classic recipes, but I promise you won’t even notice the difference, especially once the chocolate coating is in place!

The secret to achieving a similar dough (without all the powdered sugar) is a little trick I picked up from making homemade nut butter in my food processor. I noticed when I added too much maple syrup into the machine, it would cause the nut butter to seize up (i.e., get really thick). After that point, no matter how much I processed the nut butter, it never returned back to it’s creamy, drippy state. A similar thing happens when you add water to melted chocolate.

For this recipe, I used this knowledge to my advantage by stirring the peanut butter and maple syrup vigorously, until the mixture “seized” and thickened up. Well, it worked like a charm! All I had to do after that was add a couple tablespoons of coconut flour for additional thickening powers. Coconut flour is quite dense and drying, so just a little bit did the trick. No powdered sugar necessary. Yes!

Tip: If you are new to coconut flour and don’t want to buy a whole bag, try buying a small amount from a bulk food bin. I’m pretty sure Bulk Barn carries coconut flour.

veganpeanutbetterballs   Peanut Better Balls

At first, when you stir in the maple syrup, it will look quite runny and you’ll think there’s no way it’s going to thicken up, but it does. Just keep on stirring! It took me probably 30 seconds of stirring and letting it sit a couple minutes helps it firm up too (the coconut flour absorbs a lot of moisture). The timing will depend on how thick (or thin) your brand of peanut butter is (I only recommend using 100% all-natural peanut butter with nothing else added). It’s quite possible you might need a touch more (or less) coconut flour than what I used. I’m not sure if other sweeteners will work the same way that maple syrup does, so I can’t vouch for the results if you swap out the maple syrup.

vegantutlecookiessquare2 4282   Peanut Better Balls

Once it thickened up, I stirred in some sea salt to enhance the flavours and rice crisp cereal for a crunchy texture. Oh my….simply irresistible!!

pbballsvegan 4300   Peanut Better Balls

Watch them disappear almost as quickly as they were made.

veganpeanutbutterballs 4256   Peanut Better Balls

Peanut Better Balls

Vegan, gluten-free, no bake/raw

By

print icon   Peanut Better Balls

These peanut butter balls forgo the powdered sugar and butter, and instead use a few lighter ingredients using only a fraction of the sweetener compared to traditional recipes. You'll wonder how you ever lived without this recipe around the holidays! It's quick to throw together and makes about 16-20 balls that will fill a platter for a holiday party. For mess-free finger food, place the balls in mini cupcake liners.

Yield
16-20 balls
Freeze time
25
Prep Time
Cook time
0 Minutes
Total Time

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup 100% natural peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
  • 3.5-4 tablespoons pure maple syrup, to taste (see note)
  • 2-3 tablespoons coconut flour (I used 2)
  • fine grain sea salt, to taste (I used 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 6 tablespoons gluten-free rice crisp cereal
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life)
  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil

Directions:

  1. Stir the jar of peanut butter well before using. In a large bowl, mix together the peanut butter and maple syrup vigorously, for 30-60 seconds, until it thickens up. It will go from runny to thick during this time.
  2. Stir in the coconut flour until combined (if your PB is dry, you might be able to skip this step or only use half). We're looking for a texture that isn't too sticky, but not too dry either. Let it sit for a couple minutes to firm up as the coconut flour will continue to absorb moisture with time. Add a touch more coconut flour if necessary. Or if it's too dry, add a touch more syrup.
  3. Add salt to taste and stir in the cereal.
  4. Shape into small balls (I made about 17).
  5. In a small pot, add the chocolate chips and coconut oil and heat over low heat, stirring frequently. Once half the chips have melted, remove from heat and stir until completely smooth.
  6. With a fork, dip the balls into the melted chocolate. Tap off excess chocolate on the side of the pot and place the ball on a plate or cutting board lined with parchment. Repeat for the rest. Save any leftover melted chocolate for later.
  7. Place balls in the freezer for around 6-8 minutes until mostly firm.
  8. Dip a fork into the leftover melted chocolate and drizzle it on top of the balls to create a "sophisticated" design like the baking diva you are.
  9. Freeze the balls for another 10-15 minutes, until the chocolate is completely set. If you can wait that long, you win life.

Note: 1) I'm not sure if other liquid sweeteners will work in this recipe (and firm up the peanut butter the same way as maple syrup does), therefore I can't recommend any. A reader did tell me that agave nectar worked for her though! 2) I recommend only using 100% natural peanut butter for this recipe. You just want to see roasted peanuts on the label (and maybe salt, if it’s salted). The no-stir kinds made with oil and sugar might not work the same way. The PB I used was very drippy. If your PB seems dry, you probably won't need to use all of the coconut flour.

Previous post:

Next post:

Previous Posts

{ 211 comments… read them below or add one }

Kaila @healthyhelperblog! December 16, 2013

These look lovely! Love the addition of coconut flour! I am sure it adds great texture!

Reply

Summer January 11, 2014

I made these using a peanut free butter I bought and subbed out the coconut flour for Brown rice flour. Delicious and still gluten free. We love them!

Reply

Emily - It Comes Naturally Blog December 16, 2013

I am so making these for my husband – he is a peanut butter fiend. I might even try some with my favourite cashew butter – mmmm, the possibilites are endless

Reply

Laurie December 16, 2013

This is my first comment on your blog. I love PB & chocolate anything so I’m super excited to make this ASAP! I’ve been following your blog for years & all the recipes I’ve tried have been great! Thanks for making being vegan a little easier to share amazing recipes with family & friends:)

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) December 16, 2013

Thanks for your comment Laurie! I hope you enjoy them :)

Reply

Anna {Herbivore Triathlete} December 16, 2013

Oh my, these look heavenly! I know these as “Buckeyes” and they were a childhood favorite. I haven’t made them in years, because of all the butter and sugar! I will definitely be making these, they seem almost too good to be true.

(Love the light bokeh, beautiful!)

Reply

Taylor December 19, 2013

Just made these! They were so good! One is just enough to satisfy a craving for something decadent. Thank you!

Reply

Lexi January 9, 2014

Would it change if I didn’t use rice cereal? I have all the ingredients but those. They look so good!

Reply

alicia April 28, 2014

Did you try it without the rice cereal? I was wondering the same thing

Reply

Gabby May 28, 2014

Hi! I didn’t add the cereal. They came out really great, but next time I’m going to add it because I think the crunch would make them even better!

Reply

susanj December 16, 2013

I am not a fan of coconut at all. Can another flour and oil be used?

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) December 16, 2013

Hi Susan, I’m not sure about substitutes as I’ve only tested them using the ingredients in the recipe. Sorry I can’t be of more help!

Reply

Sherry December 17, 2013

Susan j- I don’t care for coconut either,however, I use coconut flour in many recipes and I don’t taste coconut at all. Maybe give it a try in a small batch because these look absolutely scrumptious! Definitely making these for the holidays!

Reply

Amelia December 17, 2013

Susan, have you ever tried subbing in peanut flour? You can purchase it on amazon and iherb.com

Reply

susanj December 19, 2013

Sherry
They do look yummy and want to try them. That is a good suggestion the half batch. thanks

Amelia
No I have not but what a great idea.. I will try the peanut flour. I didn’t even know they had peanut flour but that would be great in this recipe. thanks!

Reply

Amelia J February 12, 2014

I used garbanzo flour and they actually turned out amazing… yum yum!

Reply

Sarah December 16, 2013

These look amazing! Peanut butter balls are my favorite Christmas candy since childhood and I’ve been wanting to find a way to lighten them up without sacrificing the flavor. This looks like you nailed it. I can’t wait to try them!!

Reply

Shundara@SavyNaturalista December 16, 2013

I have never used coconut flour before; I think I am going to half to try it. What a wonderful alternative to a classic treat.

Reply

Averie @ Averie Cooks December 16, 2013

Angela these look & sound incredible! I’m a big fan of cookie dough, balls, truffles, bites, and if it has PB (and coconut flour and those great little crispy rice cereal bits in it), all the better! I need a dozen :) pinned

Reply

Ceara @ Ceara's Kitchen December 16, 2013

OH MY – These look amazing! I can’t think of any better combination than chocolate and peanut butter – I think it would be hard not to “sample” all the dough – I am not sure if I would even be even able to make it to the “ball” stage ;) Can’t wait to make these! :D

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) December 16, 2013

yes, it’s very hard not to just grab the bowl and enjoy with a spoon! hah.

Reply

Ann December 16, 2013

Can these be made in advance and stored in the
fridge until serving? They sound amazing & I’d like
to make them a few days in advance. :-) Thanks!!

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) December 16, 2013

I can’t see why not!

Reply

Kim @ Hungry Healthy Girl December 16, 2013

My husband is a huge fan of the peanut butter balls at Christmas time. I cannot wait to make these for him! Thanks for a great recipe!

Reply

Anele @ Success Along the Weigh December 16, 2013

Oh yeah, babe! These are getting made ASAP!

Reply

Caitlin December 16, 2013

these look delicious, angela!

Reply

Cassie December 16, 2013

I do love me some peanut butter and chocolate. I can’t wait to try this one!

Reply

Lori Stewart December 16, 2013

Do you think they would ship ok?

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) December 16, 2013

Hi Lori, I don’t think they would hold up in transit…well, I think the chocolate coating would potentially melt depending on the conditions?

Reply

Diane December 16, 2013

I will definitely be making these for the holidays! Can you change the peanut butter to almond butter? We have a peanut allergy in the house. By the way I just wanted to to say thank you for all the amazing recipes you continually post. You are hands down the BEST food blog ever!!!!

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) December 16, 2013

Hey Diane, Thanks for your kind words!
I’m not sure about swapping the peanut butter in this recipe. I’ve only tried it this way so I really don’t know if the almond butter and maple syrup would thicken the same way. Let us know how it goes if you try it! The recipe can be halved so maybe you could try a smaller batch.

Reply

Katrina @ WVS December 16, 2013

These look phenomenal!! LOVE!

Reply

Renelle December 16, 2013

These look delicious! I cannot wait to try them!

Reply

mary December 16, 2013

These look beautiful! I’ve made peanut butter chocolate balls with a similar recipe but NEVER have mine looked as pretty!

Reply

Alex @ Kenzie Life December 16, 2013

My grandma always used to make these for Christmas but these look like a far healthier option! I can’t wait to try them!

Reply

Erin @ An Inside Job December 16, 2013

This must be a sign! I have had coconut flour sitting in my pantry and truer a recipe yesterday only to have it be awful. Idk why I try any other recipes besides yours! Now I have a new dessert to take to the inlaws for Christmas!! Thank you!

Reply

Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health December 16, 2013

i love these, thanks for the lighter version :)

Reply

Christine December 16, 2013

do you mix the cereal in with the coconut flour?

Reply

Catherine @ Chocolate & Vegetables December 16, 2013

Yum! I’m a sucker for chocolate-coated anything, so these are right up my alley!

Reply

Shannon December 16, 2013

Hi Angela,
Thanks for the awesome recipe! When do you add the cereal? I don’t see it mentioned in the directions.

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) December 16, 2013

It’s at the end of step 2 (easy to miss!) Hope this helps. :)

Reply

Rebecca December 16, 2013

Peanut butter balls has always been a holiday tradition with my mom and sister too! I was just trying to think of a way I could make a healthier vegan version so this is perfect! Thanks :)

Reply

Katie @ 24 Carrot Life December 16, 2013

Yum! I know it’s not vegan, but honey does the same thing as maple syrup so that would work too for those who are not strictly vegan!

Reply

Amanda December 16, 2013

These look great! Do you have any idea how well they hold up outside the fridge? Not for a long time, just a few hours for a party on the counter.

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) December 16, 2013

Ours were on the counter for an hour before they were all gone ;) Not sure after that. It will depend on the room temperature. If the room is hot, I wouldn’t keep them out long or I would try placing them on a plate that’s been in the freezer.

Reply

Christine February 4, 2014

We found that if you kept them out for a couple of hours, they did get a little soft, but not unbearably so. I personally like the chocolate kind of crunchy around the soft PB, so we just keep them in a container in the fridge.

Reply

Ali December 16, 2013

Oh – my mom makes peanut butter balls every year! I was diagnosed with Celiac a few years back and it just never felt like Christmas without them. Last year was the first year she attempted GF PB balls – I ate them all…in a week and a half…and it was a double batch. I wish I were kidding. Part of me hopes that she made them this year too but my waistline hopes she didn’t!

Reply

Britt @ My. Daily. Randomness. December 16, 2013

These are right up my alley! Can’t wait to give these a try this holiday season – I know they will be a winner with my family!

Reply

suzanne December 16, 2013

I CANNOT BELIEVE you just posted this! I made pb balls yesterday but was needing a better recipe – just googled it this morning as I want to make a whole other batch! You are a mind reader! I also made your pumpkin gingerbread bars yesterday – loved them! I made a plain glaze but used sucanat to make the powdered sugar so it was a brown glaze which looked so perfect on this type of bar!

what would I do without your blog?????
Thank you AGAIN! :-)

Reply

Erica {Coffee & Quinoa} December 16, 2013

I’ve never heard of peanut butter balls before, but these certainly do look delicious! Looks like they have an amazing texture, and of course the pb-chocolate combo can’t be beat. Can’t wait to try!

Reply

Dayna @ The Kitchen Library December 16, 2013

Oh em gee! Peanut butter is my favourite food on the planet, but I just got a bunch of almond butter…would I have to adjust the recipe in any way if I wanted to use almond butter instead?

Reply

Kate December 16, 2013

I have just discovered your blog and it is giving me so much hope! I have tried to make the transition to a plant-based diet a few times and was unsuccessful because I felt like I had to give up all of my traditional favorites. You are giving me so much hope! Thank you for writing.

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) December 16, 2013

I’m so happy to hear that Kate! I found a slow and steady approach (rather than all at once) worked for me. Good luck with your transition!

Reply

erin December 16, 2013

I think I just fell more in love with your website. . . if that is even possible! My favorite food combo ever, in healthier form!! YES!

Question. . . Do you have to use the crispy rice cereal in the mix? I think I would prefer to make it without. . .

Thanks for such wonderful recipes that grace my table quite often!

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) December 16, 2013

It’s totally optional if you don’t want to use it! I just love the crunch it provides.
Thanks for your lovely comments about the blog!

Reply

Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate December 16, 2013

I like these better than your traditional peanut butter balls. The coconut is such a lovely addition!

Reply

Mahealani @ Spending Time With Salad December 16, 2013

Wow these look so great! I’m not the biggest peanut butter fan, long story, but I like it in little hits here and there. This seems like a great way to eat a ball (or two!) and give the rest away as a gift. Plus, coconut flour? YUM!

Reply

Brittany December 16, 2013

I’m dying by how delicious these look!! I’m going to have to try these for sure!!

Reply

Pat December 16, 2013

I once mixed some honey into peanut butter, and it thickened up significantly in the jar. So that would probably work here too. Though depending on your opinion of honey’s vegan-ness, that might make it not vegan.

Reply

Katrina December 16, 2013

Hi Angela! This may be a goofy question, but did you mix by hand or with a mixer? Thanks!

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) December 16, 2013

Not goofy at all – I did it by hand.

Reply

Katie @ Produce on Parade December 16, 2013

Ah! I am so excited! My husband is from Ohio and thus has always had Buckeyes. I know they aren’t very healthy and I’ve been wanting to try something a little more healthy. These look perfect! Thanks for sharing!

Reply

Page 1 of 512345»

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: