Vegan Chickpea Gingerbread Buckeyes

5 from 3 votes
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Vegan Chickpea Gingerbread Buckeyes are a healthy, easy holiday treat. Rich in protein and fiber, and the blind taster would never guess they contain chickpeas!

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Vegan buckeyes stacked on top of each other arranged on a blue surface.

Why You’ll Love these Vegan Buckeyes:

Let me start by asking, who doesn’t love a luscious little buckeye? Or an aromatic gingerbread cookie?

I wait ALL year to douse my life in gingerbread, which is my favorite seasonal flavor. (And why I have already made my Gingerbread Banana Bread twice, and it’s not even December yet.)

Those two desserts always seem to evoke the sweetest holiday memories.

These little treats, however, take the classic holiday flavors into epic new realms.

Both kids and adults will love these vegan Buckeyes, and they’re a great way to sneak in extra fiber.

And the best part is that you cannot taste the chickpeas one bit. Trust me, not a single blind taster would ever believe their luscious texture was attributed by beans.

They’re the perfect holiday dessert to bring to parties, cookie swaps, or office gatherings. (Especially since they’re discretely healthy!)

Simple, easy, and brimming with all the holiday feels. I hope you jump on this buckeye bandwagon with me!

Recipe Ingredients

Recipe ingredients arranged in separate bowls on a wooden serving platter with labels.
  • Chickpeas: Be sure to rinse the chickpeas really well to remove as much brine as possible. You can use the leftover canned chickpeas in salads or these Chickpea Quinoa Bowls.
  • Peanut Butter: Look for salted, creamy peanut butter with only TWO ingredients (peanuts and salt). This type of natural peanut butter blends best.
  • Powdered Sugar: A classic ingredient in buckeyes. For a lower-sugar alternative, look for Lakanto Powdered Monk Fruit Sweetener.
  • Molasses: Made from the refining of sugarcane or sugar beet juice into sugar, molasses is a MUST in any gingerbread recipe.
  • Spices: A mix of ground cinnamon and ginger lend classic gingerbread flavor.
  • Chocolate Chips: Semi-sweet, milk chocolate, or dark chocolate all work well! If making the buckeyes vegan/dairy free, look for Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips.

For a complete list of ingredients and quantities, see the recipe card below.

Step-by-Step Instructions:

Here’s the lowdown on these golden balls of bliss:

Step 1: Blend chickpeas, powdered sugar, peanut butter, molasses, and spices until creamy.

Chickpeas, peanut butter, sugar, molasses, and spices being blended until smooth in a food processor.

Step 2: Roll the dough into bite-sized balls and chill. Then, dip each ball halfway into melted chocolate.

Dough being rolled into balls, placed on parchment paper, and dipped into melted chocolate.

Step 3: Transfer each buckeye to parchment paper and refrigerate until firm.

A Buckeye candy drizzled with chocolate on a piece of parchment paper waiting to firm up.

This process is SO easy and fun, and a great way to get kids involved. The most difficult part is not eating a massive amount of dough during the process.

Recipe FAQs

What is a Buckeye Candy?

Classic Buckeyes are peanut butter balls dipped in melted chocolate. There’s a circle of peanut butter in the center left visible, which resembles the nut that grows on the Ohio buckeye tree.

How to Store Buckeye Candy:

Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 week. You can also freeze buckeyes for up to 3 months.

Vegan gingerbread buckeyes arranged on a blue surface topped with raw sugar granules.

More Healthy Dessert Recipes to Try:

If you give this recipe a try, be sure to snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth on Instagram so I can see your creations. Also, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates.

5 from 3 votes

Chickpea Gingerbread Buckeyes

Festive gingerbread buckeyes made healthier and vegan-friendly thanks to one magic ingredient – chickpeas! The blind eye would never believe these two-bite treats are packed with plant-powered protein and fiber.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 12 -14 buckeyes

Equipment

  • Food processor

Ingredients  

  • 1 cup canned chickpeas (drained, thoroughly rinsed, and patted dry)
  • 3/4 cup natural creamy peanut butter (the only two ingredients should be peanuts and salt)
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp. molasses
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (use Enjoy Life brand is making vegan/dairy free)
  • Turbinado sugar for garnish
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Instructions 

  • Place chickpeas in a food processor. Blend until finely ground, about 15 seconds. Add peanut butter, powdered sugar, molasses, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Blend for about 1 minute, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed, until ingredients form of a smooth ball of dough.
  • Roll dough into 12 to 14 balls (about 1.5 Tbsp. each), and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Chill for 15 to 20 minutes, until slightly firm.
  • Place chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in 30 second increments, stirring after each time, for about 90 to 120 seconds, until melted.
  • Dip buckeyes into chocolate and place back on parchment paper. Sprinkle Turbinado sugar overtop, if desired. (If you have any leftover melted chocolate, feel free to drizzle it over the Buckeyes.) Refrigerate for 15 minutes, or until chocolate hardens.

Notes

  • Store Buckeyes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  • You can also freeze Buckeyes for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1buckeye | Calories: 139kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 7.5g | Saturated Fat: 2.5g | Sodium: 66mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 10g

I calculate these values by hand to ensure accuracy, however expect up to a 10% variable depending on food brands.

If you love this recipe, please leave a star rating and review below!
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21 Comments

  1. Sandy Quick says:

    Did anyone have a big mess trying to roll into a ball? I think refrigerating for a few minutes then roll may be better. I had this stuff, tastes good tho, all over my hands, shirt so mine do t look pretty but.

  2. Libby says:

    5 stars
    Made these and they came out great. I snacked on them any chance I got!