If you have food allergies, don’t miss out on treats! You won’t miss the PB with these peanut free SunButter Buckeyes (plus they’re gluten free and vegan!)
I’m a sucker for anything chocolate and peanut butter. There’s just something magical about that combo of flavors that’s so good to me. But since both of my kids have peanut allergies, we don’t keep peanut butter in the house and we don’t make anything with it.
Since some of my favorite candies and desserts have peanut butter in them (like PB cups, chocolate PB cookies,…), we’ve made peanut-free versions of our favorite treats so the kids can enjoy them, too. Buckeyes were one of my favorite holiday candies when I was growing up, so we made peanut-free SunButter Buckeyes.
My SunButter Buckeyes are a little rough looking, I have very few fancy chocolate dipping skills to speak of 😉 But these buckeyes still taste just as good and are quite addicting. Roll them small since they are quite rich!
We love using the SunButter brand spread for recipes like this since it’s a nut-free butter that has a taste closest to peanut butter (we have soy allergies, too, so soy butter isn’t an option), but you can always try using a different brand or type of seed butter to make this your own.
If you use a different brand or you use homemade sunflower seed butter or other seed butter for the SunButter Buckeyes, you may have to adjust the amount of powdered sugar in the recipe depending on how runny or thick it is.
SunButter usually has the best smoothness and consistency for desserts and treats like this, so we prefer using it in recipes to most other brands of seed butters. Plus we don’t have a ton of options for other brands here unless we order online.
If you want to make these lower in sugar, you can try replacing some or all of the powdered sugar with a powdered erythritol. I haven’t tried this on these yet, so I can’t guarantee how they would turn out. Just be careful about using sugar alcohols if you have IBS.
Where did the name “buckeye” come from?
I was curious how buckeyes came to be and why they are called “buckeyes”, so I did a little digging to find out. We don’t use the term buckeye around here for anything but these treats, so I had no idea why they were called that until I looked it up (it has nothing to do with deer after all haha).
Buckeyes are called buckeyes because they look like the nut of the Ohio Buckeye tree, which is a type of horse chestnut tree. We just call them horse chestnut trees, so I’d never heard them called a buckeye and wasn’t entirely sure where that name had come from. But now I know!
I also discovered that buckeyes are also not technically a candy, but rather a confection. So I guess I’d better stop calling them candies 😉
Vegan, peanut free, gluten free. Free of: soy, eggs
- In a medium bowl, beat together the SunButter and Earth Balance Soy Free margarine with a hand beater.
- Add the powdered sugar and vanilla to the SunButter mixture, and beat again until blended well and a dough forms.
- If your SunButter is runny and thin, you may need to add a little bit more powdered sugar 1 Tablespoon at a time until you can roll the dough without it sticking to your hands.
- Roll the SunButter dough into 12 balls, and place on a parchment lined pan or baking sheet in the freezer until firm, about 15-20 minutes, or in the fridge, about 30 minutes.
- Melt the chocolate chips and palm oil shortening in a double boiler or a cup set into a pan of hot water.
- Using a dipping tool or fork, dip the bottom of the SunButter balls into the chocolate and set back onto the parchment paper.
- Chill to set the chocolate, and store in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 days.
Sarah Jane Parker is the founder, recipe creator, and photographer behind The Fit Cookie. She’s a food allergy mom and healthy living blogger based in Wyoming. Sarah is also an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, ACE Certified Health Coach, Revolution Running certified running coach, and an ACE Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist