My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!


For the latest details be sure to check my book page!  


Baked Doughnuts For Everyone: From Sweet to Savory to Everything in Between, 101 Delicious Recipes, All Gluten-Free


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chocolate dipped buckeyes

I'm excited for this post for the following reasons:

1. I actually made a candy recipe before Halloween.  It's only 1 day before but it still counts.  I'm not the best with keeping up with food holidays, besides Thanksgiving.  


I can't help but think about fall football + my college years that were wayyy too long ago when I talk about this delicious combination of peanut butter dipped chocolate.  It is after all supposed to look like an actual buckeye nut, which is the Ohio State mascot, which I admit is a silly thing. 

3. While I love the idea of buckeye candies they're about 10x too sweet for me.  Aren't they pretty much peanut butter rolled with 3 pounds of powdered sugar?  I'm kind of sensitive to sugar, so while they sound enticing I get about 1 cenimeter in and my teeth feel like they are going to fall out of my mouth.  This recipe let's me enjoy Buckeyes while also keeping my teeth inside my mouth.  Win.

I'll call these the better buckeye!!

Packed with peanut butter flavor and still dunked in chocolate, just a little--okay a lot--less sweet.

They're sweetened with dates--nature's candy--and then dipped in a bath of melted dark chocolate.  

Now we're talking.

Print this!

Chocolate Dipped Buckeyes gluten-free, vegan // yields ~10 buckeyes

  • 1 cup roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 8-10 large medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate, vegan if needed
  • 2 teaspoons unrefined coconut oil, optional
  1. Grind peanuts in a large food processor until pieces are about the same size.  About 20-30 seconds.  Refer to photo 2.
  2. Empty into a bowl.
  3. Place pitted dates in the food processor and grind for about 30-45 seconds until the dates are fully chopped and start to clump together.  Refer to photo 4.
  4. Place ground peanuts back in the food processor with vanilla, salt, and cinnamon and pulse until mixture is fully combined and it holds together when squeezed in your hand.  Pulse longer if needed.  If mixture is too crumbly empty into a bowl, process 2 more pitted dates, then add the mixture back in and pulse to combine.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.
  6. Pack into 1-inch balls by squeezing the mixture back and forth between your hands.
  7. Place on lined baking sheet.
  8. Melt chocolate and coconut oil [if using] over low heat in a double boiler, stirring frequently until smooth, or melt in the microwave in 30 second increments stirring after each until melted and smooth.
  9. Pour chocolate into a small but deep bowl and then dip 3/4 of each ball into the chocolate, then place on the lined baking sheet.
  10. Once all are dipped place in the fridge to set and store in the fridge until ready to eat.

notes/substitutions: For a stickier texture use 10-12 large medjool dates.  I like mine on the nuttier side, so I use less.  Dates can also vary in size, so it may take more/less to make the "dough" hold together.  For a healthier option leave the chocolate off or drizzle lightly over top. 

In case you're after a smoother, doughier texture, check out this version!  They're not fully smooth like the original but the peanut butter helps smooth things out here and if you don't like dates they're sweetened with caramely noted muscovado sugar.

Chocolate Dipped Doughy Buckeyes gluten-free, vegan // yields ~12 buckeyes

  • 1 cup roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 5 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons muscovado sugar, or other
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate, vegan if needed
  • 2 teaspoons unrefined coconut oil, optional
  1. In a large food processor grind peanuts into a fine texture.  Be careful to not let it turn to the "dough" stage.  It should be mealy in texture.
  2. Mash/mix peanut butter, sugar, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
  3. Place ground peanuts into the peanut butter mixture and mash/mix with a fork until fully combined.  It should come together and form a large dough ball.  
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.
  5. Roll into 1-inch balls between your hands.  Mixture should be stiff but soft and easily rolled into balls.  If mixture is too stiff add more peanut butter or if too soft add more ground peanuts.
  6. Place on lined baking sheet and place in the freezer for 30 minutes before dipping.
  7. Melt chocolate and coconut oil [if using] over low heat in a double boiler, stirring frequently until smooth, or melt in the microwave in 30 second increments stirring after each until melted and smooth.
  8. Pour chocolate into a small but deep bowl and then dip 3/4 of each ball into the chocolate, then place on the lined baking sheet.
  9. Once all are dipped place in the fridge to set and store in the fridge until ready to eat.

And speaking of Ohio this post couldn't have come at a better time.  I'm off to the Buckeye state today to visit my family in just a few short hours!  While I'm there I'll be heading to The Learned Owl Book Shop in downtown Hudson, OH for a book signing!  If you're in the area I would love to see you there!  I am absolutely thrilled to be able to be able to have a book signing while I'm home.  

Thank you ALL for your amazing support with the book!  It means more than you know.

Signing details:


Also, be sure to check out the latest blogger book reviews.  Big thanks to these ladies!!

  • Erin over at Naturally Ella posted my Baklava Doughnuts, a definite messy favorite from the book!  
  • Melissa over at The Fauxmartha posted my Lemon Poppyseed Doughnuts and her husband deemed them, "the Krispy Kreme of baked doughnuts!" 



Reader Comments (34)

I looove these! I so agree with you, the super sugary ones just don't do it for me, can't stand how sweet they are. Have in in Ohio lady friend!
October 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAbby @ The Frosted Vegan
I think I'm out to lunch b/c I don't know what buckeye candy is.
This recipe looks tasty, though... similar to energy bites I make.
These look amazing! I love the traditional buckeyes-my mom makes them every year as part of our family Christmas tradition (I'm from Cleveland) but I agree that sometimes they are a bit too sweet. This looks like a delicious and (relatively) healthy alternative. I can't wait to make these! Oh and GO BUCKS! :-)
October 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarisa
These look awesome! I agree with you, the others are so sweet that my teeth hurt just thinking about it. Hopefully I'll be trying this soon, perhaps for some Christmas gifts. Or just because.
October 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth
I'm from Ohio so OMG healthified buckeyes!!!! LURVE
These sound so good. I love buckeyes, and this less sweet version sounds right up my alley lately.
October 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterShannon
I'm actually headed on a road-trip to Ohio in a few weeks -- can't wait to make and bring these along! (My usual road-trip snack is a batch of Mama Pea's Light Cookie Dough Bites -- I bet my trip mates will love these.)
October 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJill
Oh my goooodness, these look absolutely amazing. Any idea on the nutritional information for these? I'd love to reference this post on my new site. If you don't have it on hand, maybe this evening, I'll count them up for future reference!
October 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike
Although I'm a die-hard Wolverine and UM alum, I think I'll have to make these healthified "Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls." No Buckeyes allowed in my house!
October 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEmily
I-O!! I am also an alumni and thank you so much for a GF option!! Go Buckeyes!
October 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth
i had a roommate in college that used to make the basic buckeyes all the time for our house...I want to try these!!!
October 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKatie
These are something to put on my to make list. They look and sound amazing and they're healthier. BONUS!
Dang, I am making these TODAY.
October 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJade Sheldon-Burnsed
So...if these are healthier I can have them for breakfast, right?! Totally into this.
October 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoanne
These look awesome, actually better than regular buckeyes which I always find WAY too cloying and sweet. Dates are my spirit animal.
October 30, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersarah
Buckeyes RULE!! I always use half the powdered sugar and freeze them so I can roll the balls, but still they are sweet! I lOVE this healthy version! Go Buckeyes! :)
October 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTieghan
vegan buckeyes?! awesome :)!
October 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLivi
This would be the perfect idea for gameday! I'm a huge buckeye fan... thanks for the great idea!
October 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNick

I love buckeyes, but I agree that they have so much sugar. In my opinion, they're better than Reese's and addicting so a version that's healthier and also delicious is fantastic. I live in Washington now so I rarely get to see Ohio State things, but as an alum, I love seeing this post. Thank you!
October 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCory
I love the idea of a healthier, less tooth-tingling buckeye! Can't wait to give these a try!!
October 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnna @ Bashful Bao
YUM! I love that you kept them textured instead of smooth!
Oh my goodness you are such a smartie! I can't wait to make these. My husband is from Ohio and so obviously he loves Buckeyes. I've never made them because I know how unhealthy they are. Thanks for sharing! I'll definitely have to try these out :)
October 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKatie @ Produce On Parade
O>M>G> How have I never thought of this?! I love Buckeyes but I agree they are too sweet. This recipe looks amazing and I wish there was another tailgate this year to take it to... Eating them at home will be just as good.
November 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnanda
I am in awe. You've taken one of my favorite treats and made it vegan. Amazing!!

This post makes me grin. Being a buckeye I love to see a healthier option of my favorite nut! Thanks!
I O!!!
Go Bucks!
Also...THANK YOU! I make my less-sweet buckeye balls with a can of garbanzo beans (food-processed to a paste) and fresh/NSA/no oil added peanut or almond butter, then dip then in melted dark chocolate. But I like the idea of using dates!
November 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterApril
Wow, these look incredible! Can't wait to try them...i'm starting to think ahead for Christmas and think about different cookies and candies I can make for cookies exchanges, and these look absolutely delicious! Can't wait to try them
November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSweetphi
IO :) I don't know how many times my band shouted that while we were on our trip to Florida in high school. Ohio is just awesome like that! :) I like how these look crunchier and not quite so sickly sweet as the originals (although I still think they are one of the best food creations ever). They were just so rich that more than one or two could be cause for a stomachache. I'm betting with the more healthy ingredients in these you could easily down half a batch or more!
November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEating 4 Balance
That chocolate dipped buckeyes sounds awesome! Hats off to you...
November 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJenny Stafford
What is the coconut oil in the recipe list for? I don't see it in the directions.
These sound delicious :)
November 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJimmi
@Jimmi - Thanks for noticing that! It's supposed to be melted with the chocolate for a silkier consistency but is optional. I'll make the change now!
November 8, 2013 | Registered CommenterAshley
Hi, I don't have any roasted peanuts but I have roasted you think this would still work?
February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKatrina
@Katrina - Cashews will definitely work!
February 4, 2014 | Registered CommenterAshley
These are amazing! I rarely comment on things, but had to because these are so delicious! the most perfect combination of salty & sweet. The vanilla and cinnamon and salt are done just right. Thank you very much, I made these for friends for christmas and they couldn't believe they were made out of dates. They're even better than reese's!
January 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMarianna

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