This is a family favorite recipe that I veganized, because it just had to be done. I call them the best vegan peanut butter balls because, well, they are the best! This recipe is definitely a holiday favorite. Not only can you serve them on your dessert table, but these make wonderful addition to treat bags to share with friends, family, neighbors, work mates, etc. If you’re into chocolate and peanut butter, you know, together, be sure to check out my Vegan Fluffy Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie and Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups.
It must be sacrilege to post about something so sinfully sweet as Peanut Butter Balls in January. This is the month where we’re supposed to be getting healthier! And to make matters worse, I don’t even have an interesting name connection for this recipe. But my family loves peanut butter balls (what’s not to love in combining peanut butter and chocolate?).
And the thing is, I didn’t like most of the recipes I found for these bite-size, delicious treats; they were too sweet. Don’t get me wrong, I like my fair share of sweetness, but you can definitely have too much of a good thing. So here’s what I came up with. It’s a twist on the recipe we’ve used in our family for years.
You’ll Love Vegan Peanut Butter Balls
This recipe has a higher peanut butter to powdered sugar ratio or HPBPSR (it’s an important ratio so it needs an acronym). It’s still sweet; just not as much as other recipes call for.
Just because we usually see these delights around the holidays doesn’t mean you can only serve them in December. You can also have Vegan Peanut Butter Balls for Super Bowl parties, Wimbledon Parties and more.
Also, you can make these vegan peanut butter balls in different ways. Let me explain. I’ve created different versions based on my preferred outcome.
- This recipe, Vegan Peanut Butter Balls – these are creamy and soft in the middle
- Crispy Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls – the recipe is for a firmer peanut butter center
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Bites – this is a very healthy version of the traditional peanut butter ball
- Almost Raw Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups – and the healthy continues with these date-sweetened peanut butter centers. I made these into cups, but they could easily be done rolled into balls
Why You Shouldn’t Follow This Recipe
I’m a big advocate for changing up a recipe. It’s kind of a passion of mine. Also, it’s one of the benefits of making things yourself. Right? Otherwise, you can just go to the store and buy chocolate covered peanut butter balls. But that’s not what we want. We want to make these chocolate covered peanut butter morsels ourselves. Mold them to our own will. So, here’s some ideas on how you can make this recipe your very own:
- Add a cup or so of graham cracker crumbs
- My friend adds rice crispies to the dough for a crispy crunchy touch
- Try using chunky peanut butter
- Reduce the powdered sugar for a less sweet version
- I’ve even made fig-sweetened peanut butter balls if you’d like a processed sugar free version
- Add a little rum or vanilla to the dough
- Can you imagine adding a little orange zest to the dough? OMG!
As you can see I can go on and on. This recipe just has so much potential!
Tips for Making Peanut Butter Balls Faster
Making peanut butter balls is a multi-step process, which can seem time-consuming, but there are some tips to making it go faster. For a more extensive list, be sure and check out my guide on How to Make Peanut Butter Balls.
For a quick-and-dirty rundown on my favorite tips for making peanut butter balls faster, try these:
- After you make the peanut butter batter, refrigerate it for 20 – 30 minutes to help it firm up. Then use a cookie dough scoop to create evenly sized balls. Actually, my cookie dough scoop creates approximately 1″ balls, so I divide that ball in half. I prefer my peanut butter balls smaller.
- Once you’ve rolled all the dough into balls, transfer to the freezer for about 20 minutes.
- When the peanut butter balls are good and cold, heat up half the chocolate. I use a microwave to melt the chocolate in a pyrex measuring cup. The chocolate will firm up quickly which is why I do it in batches.
- Have a pan ready with a sheet of waxed paper on it. Make sure it’s a pan that can fit in your freezer.
- Drop cold peanut butter balls, one at a time, in the melted chocolate and use a fork to remove the ball from the chocolate, tapping it gently to allow excess chocolate to fall back into the melted chocolate. Place the chocolate coated peanut butter ball on the prepared pan. Repeat until you’re out of melted chocolate.
- Transfer that pan into the freezer while you melt the remaining half of the chocolate.
- Line another pan with waxed paper. This one too should be able to fit in your freezer.
- Follow the steps above to dip the remaining cold peanut butter balls in the chocolate and set them on the prepared pan.
- Next, remove the pan from the freezer and add the second pan with freshly dipped peanut butter balls into the freezer. The pan that was in the freezer should have set chocolate by now. The peanut butter balls should come off the waxed paper easily. If they don’t, then place them back in the freezer or the fridge to allow the chocolate to set.
- Transfer the finished balls to a sealed container or freezer bag.
Following these steps can help streamline the process for making your peanut butter balls. This helped it go from an all-day event for me. However, you can make the peanut butter balls and keep them in the freezer or fridge for days before dipping them.
“I’m not the greatest cook so I wasn’t expecting it to be good but it turned out great. Hard to find good vegan recipes online but this is definitely one.” — Zee, reader comment
Reader Question: How do you make the peanut butter balls more round and nice-looking? Tasted great but mine are misshaped!
Make sure the dough is chilled before you start rolling the dough into balls. Sometimes I’ll roll the balls twice to get those perfect shapes. The first time through I’m going for a uniform size and roundness. I place those back in the bowl and then refrigerate them (or even freeze them to speed up the process) to firm them up.
Then I’ll do another round of shaping them. I just watch a show or something while I’m shaping the balls so it goes by really fast.
Reader Question: What type of peanut butter do you use – I assume all natural (i.e., not Kraft)?
I do not recommend natural peanut butter (the kind with the oil on the top that has to be stirred) for this recipe. I find it to be a little too runny. I prefer the creamy, homogenized peanut butter.
When I say “creamy” peanut butter, I’m referring to the “Skippy” style that is very smooth and no oil that has risen to the top. Now, most brands have a “natural” version of creamy peanut butter, oftentimes made with reduced sugar. That would work too, as long as it’s creamy.
I usually just buy the store brand, el cheapo peanut butter and it works great! BTW, your vegan friend is so lucky to have a friend like you!
Reader Question: Do these peanut butter balls freeze well?
I love freezing these chocolate-covered peanut butter balls. Once the chocolate has set completely (not soft anywhere), transfer the balls to a freezer-safe container or freezer bag and place them in the freezer. They will keep up to two months in the freezer.
When you’re ready to serve, simply set them out on the counter for an hour or so to allow them to come to room temperature. Do not microwave or heat these peanut butter balls in any way — because that will cause the chocolate coating to melt.
Also, these peanut butter balls are pretty tasty straight from the freezer…but you’ll want to allow a minute or two for them to soften so you won’t hurt your jaw!
“I made some for my church members and they loved it. I’m making another batch this weekend and I’m using SWERVE Confectioners substitute sugar in place of regular powdered sugar.”Crystal, reader comment
If you decide to make these Vegan Peanut Butter Balls, be sure to snap a photo and share it with #namelymarly on Instagram. We love seeing your creations!
Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls
- Stir together peanut butter and margarine until well blended. Add powdered sugar. It can help to microwave the mix for 20 – 30 seconds.
- Refrigerate the peanut butter mix until it’s firm enough to roll into balls. Remove from the fridge and roll into bite-size balls. Place on a tray. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes or so.
- Stir chocolate chips and coconut oil together in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute. Place a lid on it and set aside for a minute. The chocolate should be melted. Stir until well blended and smooth.
- Dip peanut butter balls in the chocolate using a fork so you can tap off excess chocolate. Lay chocolate covered balls on tray covered with waxed paper. Set aside until chocolate coating is firm. You can refrigerate at this point to speed up the chocolate setting.
- Store in an airtight container.
If you’re into vegan chocolate and peanut butter concoctions, check these out:
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Fudge by Cookie + Kate
- Peanut Better Balls by Oh She Glows
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal by Bakerita
- Look at these Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Bites by yours truly!
Whatever chocolate peanut butter bites you’re partying with, enjoy!
We recently took some new photos for this post. If you’re curious, here’s one of the old shots.