Peanut Butter Ball

This Peanut Butter Ball recipe is sponsored by the National Peanut Board. I received compensation, but all opinions and content are my own.

Peanut Butter Ball is the easiest and tastiest appetizer or dessert for any occasion!

This Peanut Butter Ball literally takes minutes to make for an EASY, stress-free, make-ahead hit for every party!  It is made with peanut butter, cream cheese and sugar, whipped together then rolled in peanut butter chips, butterscotch chips and chocolate chips. You will be AMAZED at how these simple ingredients transform into the tastiest ball of YUM ever!!  Serve the Peanut Butter Ball with graham crackers, vanilla wafers, pretzels, apple slices, etc., and watch it disappear.  So, if you’re looking for a scrumptious, pantry-friendly, make-ahead appetizer to bring to your holiday parties or get togethers – look no further than this Peanut Butter Ball!

up close of peanut butter balls recipe

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Peanut Butter Ball Recipe

One of my favorite ways to partake in peanut butter is simply a scoop of peanut butter studded with chocolate chips – so why not turn that tasty bite into the tastiest appetizer?!  Enter Peanut Butter Ball recipe!   Both Patrick and I were inhaling this Peanut Butter Ball – literally, and I’m so excited for you to faceplant too!

What is equally as exciting is how easy this Peanut Butter Ball is to make with just 6 pantry-friendly ingredients and minutes of prep, yet it looks undeniably impressive!  You will also love that everyone LOVES this Peanut Butter Ball from kids, to teenagers, to adults, to grandparents – because peanut butter + chocolate = heaven! 

In fact, I brought this Peanut Butter Ball to a pumpkin carving night, and it disappeared in minutes!  I think it’s safe to say it was a runaway hit and requested repeat.  So, if you’re a peanut butter lover, you will LOVE this Peanut Butter Ball.  If you are not a peanut butter lover, this Peanut Butter Ball will turn you into one!

showing how to serve top view of peanut butter balls recipe by scooping out the ball

Peanut butter is everything!

As we enter the season of parties, it’s time for appetizers galore, and no appetizer gets me more excited than a cheese ball – especially one made with PEANUT BUTTER! 

Peanut butter is truly one of my greatest foodie pleasures.  It’s, creamy, nutty, rich, and deeply satisfying. From breakfast to dessert and everything in between, peanut butter is a champ!  I use it in everything from smoothies and acai bowls, to protein balls and sandwiches to Thai chicken Lettuce Wraps Thai Chicken PizzaThai Chicken Satay to Mini Peanut Butter Pies, Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse and now this Peanut Butter Ball! 

Peanut butter is a wonderfully versatile, affordable ingredient that can be added to meals and snacks for a tasty, nutritious boost.  No matter how you partake in peanut butter, you’ll get eight powerful grams of protein, two grams of filling fiber and 12 grams of unsaturated fat in each two-tablespoon serving!

Now it’s your turn to spread the peanut butter love! Share your favorite peanut butter recipe in the comments with the hashtag #HowDoYouPB. Visit here for even more delicious peanut butter recipes for every occasion.

side view of easy peanut butter balls recipe

WHAT KIND OF PEANUT BUTTER SHOULD I USE?

This Peanut Butter Ball is ALL about the peanut butter, so it is important to use the right kind.

  • Use no-stir, spoonable peanut butter, meaning peanut butter you can spoon right out of the jar without having to mix the oil back in; otherwise, if you use a peanut butter in which the oil easily separates, your cheese ball itself will separate and not retain its creamy, cohesive texture.
  • Use creamy or crunchy peanut butter.  I tend to use creamy peanut butter to let all the texture shine from the coating giving way to the silky, creamy center, but a little crunch in the center would be good too – totally personal preference – or whatever you have stocked.

Peanut Butter Ball Ingredients

The Peanut Butter Ball

  • Peanut butter: as previously discussed, use a no-stir peanut butter.  Pick your favorite tasting peanut butter because it is the majority ingredient.
  • Cream cheese:  full fat please!  You can use less fat, but the taste of “less fat” and the cream cheese doesn’t mix as well.  
  • Powdered sugar:  please don’t substitute for granulated sugar, or it will taste grainy/gritty.
  • Vanilla extract: use quality extract for the best flavor.
  • Cinnamon: optional, but I love the oomph of holiday spirit it adds.

The Coating

  • Mini chocolate chips:  the texture of the mini chocolate chips is delectable and fits perfectly into the nooks and crannies between the other morsels – and they’re so cute!  That being said, you can certainly use regular size chocolate chips if that’s all you have on hand.
  • Peanut butter chips:  accentuates the peanut butter flavor with a mouth pleasing texture.
  • Butterscotch chips:  these are my secret ingredient and elevate this Peanut Butter Ball with their brown butter, caramelized sugar molasses flavor – PLEASE DON’T SKIP!    

HOW TO MAKE PEANUT BUTTER BALL

I’m so excited to show you how easy it is to make this irresistible Peanut Butter Ball.  Prepare to get giddy! 

  • Add cream cheese to a large mixing bowl and beat using a hand mixer until very smooth and fluffy.
showing how to make peanut butter balls by mixing cream cheese until fluffy
  • Add peanut butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and cinnamon to cream cheese.
showing how to make peanut butter balls by adding peanut butter to cream cheese in a mixing bowl
  • Beat until very smooth.
showing how to make peanut butter balls by mixing peanut butter mixture until creamy
  • Drop mixture onto a large piece of plastic wrap, cover tightly and shape into a ball.  Don’t worry about the shape being perfect – you can refine it later when you coat the cheese ball.
  • Chill in the freezer for 1 ½ hours until firm enough to keep its shape.
showing how to make peanut butter balls by wrapping in plastic wrap and forming a ball
  • Add coating chips to a cutting board/parchment lined counter and give them a stir to mix them up then spread in an even layer.
showing how to make peanut butter balls by spreading out coating chips in an even layer and adding cheese ball
  • Remove cheese ball from freezer and roll in coating mixture, pressing to adhere, until evenly coated.
showing how to make peanut butter balls by pressing coating into the peanut butter ball
  • Place cheese ball on desired serving dish, cover and freeze for 30 minutes or until ready to serve.   If cheese ball has been frozen for more than an hour, you’ll need to thaw for about 30 minutes before serving. 
top view of chocolate peanut butter balls recipe

What Do I serve with Peanut Butter Ball?

Practically anything!  Just like peanut butter is addicting with many things, so is this Peanut Butter Ball recipe.  A few of my favorite dippers include:

  • graham crackers or sticks
  • cinnamon graham crackers
  • vanilla wafers
  • peanut butter cookies
  • chocolate cookies
  • chocolate chip cookies
  • Chocolate sandwich cookies
  • rice cereal bars
  • pretzels
  • apple slices

How to Soften Cream Cheese

In addition to peanut butter, cream cheese is crucial to this Peanut Butter Ball.  Your cream cheese needs to be soft enough so it can easily mix and you’re not left with specks of white BUT if it’s too soft, it will take much longer to firm up, which is only a problem if you’re in a hurry.  If you’re not under any time constraints, it is better for your cream cheese to be on the softer side.

  • Let cream cheese sit at room temperature. Slice cream cheese into cubes, and allow it to soften at room temperature for 2 hours. If not soft enough, you can combine it with the microwave method below.
  • Counter + Microwave:  This is my second preferred method as it is super quick and easy and allows the cream cheese to come to room temperature evenly. Cube cream cheese and transfer to a microwave-safe plate.  Microwave for 30 seconds then allow cream cheese to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.  This gives it a head start to soften at room temperature.  I don’t recommend just allowing the cream cheese to sit at room temperature without microwaving or it won’t become soft enough within 60 minutes.  By both microwaving and sitting, we get the best of both worlds. 
  • Water bath:  This allows the cream cheese to soften evenly throughout without the risk of “melting” it or scorching it.  To create a water bath, fill a medium bowl with hot water.  Place the sealed, packaged cream cheese in the bowl for 10 minutes to soften.  If it isn’t soft enough after 10 minutes, then dump out the hot water, refill and repeat. 
  • Microwave:  This method is if you need cream cheese NOW, but it is a little riskier because the cream cheese has the danger of scorching if overcooked –so proceed with care and caution.  Cube cream cheese and transfer to a microwave safe plate.  Microwave for 15-20 seconds, stir and microwave another 10 seconds.  Repeat until cream cheese is softened. 
chocolate peanut butter balls with a bite taken out

Tips for making Peanut Butter Ball

  • Mix well.  It is important to mix until your cream cheese and peanut butter are completely incorporated.  Unlike cheesecake, the cream cheese specs won’t melt away – so mix them away!
  • Create a bundle.  After you shape the peanut butter mixture into ball, collect the ends of the plastic wrap and hold them up and twist them together.  This helps eliminate wiggle room of a loosely packaged Peanut Butter Ball. 
  • Bowl trick.  If you’ve wondered how many cheese balls look perfectly round without a flat bottom – it is the “bowl trick.”  Place the plastic wrapped Peanut Butter Ball in a bowl so it cradles it roughly into the shape you’re looking for.  This will help it stay round.
  • Chill.  Skipping the chilling time is not an option because peanut butter by nature is soft and pliable and therefore the mixture will be completely unmanageable if not chilled first.  You will need at last 1 ½ hour freezer time.  Don’t freeze too much longer because the ball still needs to be a little soft in order for the morsels to stick.
  • Consistency.  You can control the consistency of the Peanut Butter Ball by controlling how long it sits at room temperature.  For a softer consistency, let it sit out longer, for a firmer consistency, keep it in the freezer longer.  To keep the same consistency, place it in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  • Use a serving knife.  I recommend using a butter knife or cheese knife as opposed to dipping crackers, cookies, etc. directly into the cheese ball.  A knife allows guests to add the dip directly onto their plates so everyone is not clustering around the Peanut Butter Ball AND how many of us have broken dippers in half trying to scoop directly into a cheese ball?

How Long Can It Sit Out?

This Peanut Butter Ball shouldn’t be left unrefrigerated for longer than two hours due to the dairy.  It will also continue to soften the longer it sits – still fabulous, just a softer consistency which might cause the ball to slump a bit. 

Can I make Peanut Butter Ball Ahead of Time?

Yes!  This Peanut Butter Ball can be completely assembled, covered in plastic wrap and kept in the freezer until ready to serve.  You may freeze it for up to one month.   

If you are storing the Peanut Butter Ball in the freezer longer than a couple days, tightly wrap in foil (over the plastic wrap) or place the wrapped ball inside a freezer bag and squeeze out excess air. 

When ready to serve the Peanut Butter Ball, let it sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes in order to soften. If it softens before you’re ready to serve, then place it in the refrigerator.

up close showing how to serve top view of peanut butter balls recipe by scooping out the ball

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©Carlsbad Cravings by CarlsbadCravings.com

up close of peanut butter balls recipe

Peanut Butter Ball

This Peanut Butter Ball literally takes minutes to make for an EASY, stress-free, make ahead hit for every party! It is made with peanut butter, cream cheese and sugar, whipped together then rolled in peanut butter chips, butterscotch chips and chocolate chips. You will be AMAZED at how these simple ingredients transform into the tastiest ball of YUM ever!! Serve the Peanut Butter Ball with Graham crackers, vanilla wafers, pretzels, apple slices, etc. and watch it disappear. So, if you’re looking for a scrumptious, pantry friendly, make ahead appetizer to bring to your holiday parties or get togethers - look no further than this Peanut Butter Ball!
Servings: 24 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

Peanut Butter Ball

  • 1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese softened
  • 1 1/2 cups Powdered sugar
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter not all-natural
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon optional

Coating

  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter chips
  • 1/2 cup butterscotch chips

Serving ideas

  • graham crackers
  • cinnamon graham crackers
  • vanilla wafers
  • cookies: PB chocolate chip, chocolate sandwich cookies
  • pretzels
  • apple slices

Instructions

  • Add cream cheese to a large mixing bowl and with a hand held mixer until fluffy.
  • Beat in peanut butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and cinnamon until very smooth.
  • Drop mixture onto a large piece of plastic wrap, cover tightly, and shape into a ball (shape doesn’t need to be perfect – you can refine it later after it’s chilled). Place in a freezer safe bowl (to prevent a flat bottom) and chill in the freezer for 1 ½ hours until firm enough to keep its shape.
  • Add coating chips to a cutting board/parchment lined counter and give them a stir to mix then spread in an even layer. Remove cheese ball from freezer and roll in Coating, pressing to adhere, until evenly coated.
  • Place cheese ball on desired serving dish, cover and freeze for 30 minutes or until ready to serve. If cheese ball has been frozen for more than an hour, you’ll need to thaw for about 30 minutes before serving.
  • Serve Peanut Butter Cheese Ball with graham crackers, vanilla wafers, pretzels, apple slices etc.

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2 Comments

  1. Harriet says

    This Peanut Butter Ball looks sooooo good! I am going to have to try this for the upcoming holidays. I enjoy your emails so much. Thank you for making me a part of your sweet life.

    • Jen says

      Thank YOU for your kind comment Harriet! I’m honored you’re loving my emails and recipes and I’m excited for you to try this Peanut Butter Ball! I hope you you have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

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