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Peanut Butter Balls

These easy 4-ingredient Peanut Butter Balls are an old fashioned holiday classic. The sweet peanut butter filling encased in a milk chocolate coating will make a decadent addition to your special occasion confections.


Peanut Butter Balls Recipe

Old fashioned peanut butter balls were often made using food grade paraffin wax. It’s located on the baking aisle or with the canning jars and supplies in grocery stores and places like Walmart and Target. The paraffin wax assures that the chocolate is smooth and will shine and set beautifully. It doesn’t add to the taste nor does it take away from the taste, it’s all about the chocolate coating. Edible paraffin wax is the same kind of wax used to seal cheese. You can use it or solid vegetable shortening in this recipe. How to make simple Peanut Butter Balls no bake:

  • Peanut Butter – Creamy peanut butter.
  • Butter – Unsalted butter.
  • Flavorings – Pure vanilla extract.
  • Sugar – Powdered sugar.
  • Chocolate – Milk chocolate melting wafers OR semi sweet chocolate melting wafers (i.e. Ghiradelli).
  • Vegetable shortening. 

How to Make the Best Peanut Butter Balls

  • Ingredients you’ll need to make homemade Peanut Butter Balls: Creamy peanut butter i.e. Jif or similar, unsalted butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, chocolate melting wafers i.e. Ghiradelli or milk chocolate chips and solid vegetable shortening.
  • Kitchen gadgets you’ll need: A large sheet pan, mixing bowl, hand mixer or stand mixer, measuring cups and spoons, wax paper, a double boiler or microwave safe bowl for melting the chocolate, a candy fork, regular fork or toothpicks for dipping into the chocolate.
  • The purpose of vegetable shortening is to thin the chocolate making it easier to dip the peanut butter balls. It’s also room temperature stable and will add shine to the chocolate when it dries.
  • You can make chocolate peanut butter balls with Skippy peanut butter, Jif peanut butter, Peter Pan peanut butter or any private label store brand that you enjoy.
  • I prefer using chocolate melting wafers for the coating in place of chocolate chips. Chocolate baking chips have stabilizers in them to help them hold their shape when baking in cookies, cakes and breads etc. so they don’t always melt completely smooth. Chocolate wafers will melt silky smooth.
  • Old school candies were made using Paraffin wax in the coating. It was used in many food applications to preserve and lend shine to the finished product and plus it’s stable at room temperature. Should you choose, you could use paraffin in the coating. It’s found on the baking aisle of most grocery stores. You would need 1/3 cup grated on a box grater added to the chocolate to melt.
  • You can also use a candy coating such as Almond Bark or Candiquik for these peanut butter balls. When doing so omit the vegetable shortening or paraffin and melt per the package instructions.
  • If you don’t have a double boiler, you can make one with a heat safe bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water. It’s important that you don’t allow the water to touch the bottom of the bowl.
  • A double boiler is ideal as it keep the chocolate warm while you work. If you choose to melt the chocolate in the microwave you may need to stop and melt it again if it cools down while dipping.
  • To make Crispy Peanut Butter Balls with Rice Krispies: Follow the recipe for the peanut butter mixture per the recipe. By hand, mix in 1 cup of crispy rice cereal i.e. Rice Krispies then roll into balls and chill prior to dipping in warm chocolate.
  • You may also like to add chopped peanuts or mini chocolate chips to the filling.
  • Store Peanut Butter Balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can freeze them for up to 2 months.

More Southern Style Holiday Candies to Make




Helpful Kitchen Items: 

Peanut Butter Balls

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Chill time3 hours
Total Time3 hours 30 minutes
Course: Candy, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: peanut-butter-balls, peanut-butter-balls-recipe
Servings: 36 servings


  • 2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 cups milk chocolate melting wafers OR semi sweet chocolate wafers (i.e. Ghiradelli)
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable shortening


  • Line a large baking sheet with wax paper. Set aside.
  • To Make the Peanut Butter Balls: In a medium size mixing bowl use an electric mixer to beat together peanut butter, softened butter and vanilla extract on medium high speed. Lower the speed of the mixer, gradually adding powdered sugar. Beat until fully combined.
  • Divide mixture using a small meatball size scoop forming into 1 inch balls. Place on pan and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • To Make the Chocolate Coating: Melt together chocolate and shortening in a double boiler stirring until completely smooth. (You can also melt in a microwave safe bowl using the melt function.)
  • Use a candy fork or a toothpick to dip each peanut butter ball into the melted chocolate. Place back onto the pan. Drizzle tops with any leftover chocolate.
  • Chill for 1-2 hours or until set and chocolate is dry.
  • Store in an airtight container separate layers with wax paper, if stacking.
  • Will keep for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 2 months.


  • You can use a candy coating i.e. Candiquik or Almond Bark for the coating. When doing so, omit the vegetable shortening or paraffin and melt the bark per the package instructions.
Tried this recipe?Mention @melissassk or tag #melissassk!

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