How To Make Peanut Butter Balls

Great recipe for the kids to help with!
pb balls cranberry crunch 071

Peanut butter balls were a staple in our school lunchrooms. Word got around fast on the day the lunch ladies were making them and we all looked forward to the single serving we got on our trays come noon meal. Single serving for everyone but my brother.

My brother, who never once passed up a chance to be unusually cruel to me, managed to singlehandedly wrap every one of the hair netted lunch ladies around his little finger. While we all surfaced with our single peanut butter ball, Bill waltzed to his table with at least three. Alright, so maybe he wasn’t always unusually cruel. He did let me be a backup singer when he was singing Buddy Holly, but that wasn’t my point here.

This is a great snack for children and grown ups alike. They are kept in ziploc bags in the freezer and when we manage to have any (they are eaten so fast!), I often see my husband or son coming back from the freezer with a handful at a time. Full of all sorts of goodness, its one snack that will not only tide your family over until you can finish up supper, but one you can feel good about letting them have.

Ingredients are simple as can be. quick oats, peanut butter, powdered milk, and honey.
Note about honey: If you have children under the age of two, substitute corn syrup as raw honey poses health risks.
I can go into why but don’t I go off on enough tangents as it is?

Measure oats into dishpan.
I make a LOT of these at a time so I need a dishpan.
Feel free to half this recipe!

Measure out milk.

Stir to blend.

Pour in honey.

Add peanut butter

Pull out ye olde hand mixer and have a go at it

until it looks like this!

Form it into balls with your hands, compressing the balls tightly so they stick together well. Freeze peanut butter balls on waxed paper lined cookie sheets until hardened, then place in ziploc bag and return to freezer. They are ready to eat anytime!




Peanut Butter Balls
  • 2 C honey or corn syrup
  • 3 C creamy peanut butter
  • 5 C dry milk powder
  • 6 C quick oats
  1. Mix all together with hand mixer. Form into balls with hands and freeze on waxed paper lined cookie sheets until hardened. Store in freezer in ziploc bags. (Makes about 100)

If my brother shows up, only let him have one. ~grins~


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  1. Shanna says

    Umm… YUM!!! My kids and I LOVE Peanut Butter, we literally will eat it straight out of the jar! I have an old family recipe for PB balls, but it uses a lot of powdered sugar, and my kids certainly don’t need the addition of a sugar high to their daily “life is good high”! lol! We are going to be making these up soon. And will continue to make them from here on out! I’m always looking for simple, easy, nutritious snacks for my kids! Thanks again for another amazing recipe! I’m SO glad I joined your pages!!

  2. Terri go Dawgs says

    Phooey! I seem to be out of honey at the moment and I have all the ingredients except that. Guess making these for my son’s visit this weekend will have to wait till I get to the grocery store. Gonna be a great weekend of eating, boating, playing games and enjoying family being together again. Thanks for the recipe! XOX

  3. Barbara Edwards says

    OH MY GOODNESS!!!! When I saw this post it was kids get home at 3:15…I RAN to walmart and grabbed the stuff and mixed it up while my kids were doing homework. YUMMY!!!! Definitely our new fav snack! I had to halve it bc I dont have a hand mixer so had to use my kitchen aid. Luckily I didn’t clean it yet, cause I”m going to mix up more right now!

  4. Martha Olds Brooks says

    Christy, You have got to try cooking with natural peanut butter. When my kids were young, I was making Christmas Candy, they were fussing at me for using “my peanut butter” that’s what they called it. So I made one recipe with their peanut butter and one with natural peanut butter. After tasting both, they wouldn’t eat the candy made with regular peanut butter. After you try it, I will tell you how to store it.

  5. Debbie Strum says

    My brother saw this recipe and said, “Oh, I’ve made those before They’re VERY addictive!” When I asked him where he got the recipe, he said, “In my students’ handwriting book!” (he used to be a teacher) Think I’ll whip up a batch of these to ration out ~snickers~ and bring back some fun memories! Thanks Christy!

  6. jeannie stone says

    Are these okay to leave out for a few weeks.. to use on hunting trip? thinking they would be a lot cheaper than buying packaged granola bars! boys only carry backpacks during day .

  7. Kelly says

    I can’t wait to try this recipe out on the kids in our schools cafeteria. I was looking for something I could make for them that would be healthy. My Grandma made peanut butter balls with raisins and they were sooo good!

  8. says

    Wow, I’ve never had these. They look delicious and very kid-friendly. Is there anything that can be subbed for the powdered milk? I don’t normally buy it. I couldn’t believe how expensive a box of it was the last time I checked!

  9. Guynette says

    This is very simular to what I call “VBS Energy Balls”. I use maple syrup rather than honey, nonfat dry milk powder, chunk-style peanut butter, quick-cooking rolled oats, cornflakes and raisins. Great snacks for kids!!!

  10. wendyb964 says

    I’ve never heard of these! Born in NY and a true member of the Mayflower Daughters and DAR, if I were to live south of the Mason-Dixon line my ancestors would turn over in their graves. Times change, and my sons are both NASCAR engineers living in NC. Now with DIL but no grandbabies, alas, we are sharing recipes both ways. Still not a fan of bbq or fried chicken or eating with my hands (sorry), I’ve become decent with several recipes. I love your blog, faith, and sense of humor as well as the stories behind the recipes. Think I’ll try a half recipe using agave and maple syrup as neither corn syrup nor honey are favs of mine. Usually a scratch baker I’ve been making your recipes as written: hubs actually ate something that wasn’t plain meat and ‘taters. Thanks for sharing as well as encouraging me to branch out. I may never be the queen of grits but have made hybrid dishes with colllard greens and pasta!

    • Louise says

      reading comments is my way of ensuring that a recipe is good, but I do have to assuage your fears. I am a southerner, and there are a great many of us down here that are “true” Mayflower & DAR members, and our ancestors got down to the south as soon as they could. Nothin’ worse than an uppity Yankee! ;). Think they invented everything!

  11. says

    We made these for years using the very same recipe. I found the recipe in our local library in the University Extension Services newsletter. However, I had lost it and figured I’d check here and VOILA! there it is!

    These are so VERY addictive. We would also, from time to time, roll the finished balls in instant hot chocolate mix….. They don’t last long around here either. :)

  12. sharon says

    I made these using Sun Butter and Powder Sugar. They are great and we love them frozen!!!!

    You are right about quantity. I made half of the recipe and we still had lots! Its great that they freeze well!!!!

  13. Jodi says

    Just in case anyone wanted to know… The reason honey is not safe for those under 2 is because it CAN contain botulism spores and the little ones immune systems are not strong enough to fight the spores. Now, it is back to the kitchen to whip up some of these for my peanut butter loving kids!

  14. Heather says

    Making these today! They make a great mid-day or after-school snack. My three boys got so excited when they saw me get all the ingredients out on the counter. They started running in circles, “Mom’s making Peanut Butter balls!” I think I know their love language. 😉

  15. Sarah says

    Christy, I don’t know if you’ll even see this, but… I bought a milk glass footed bowl, like a compote in shape (at a thrift store for $1.50 so yay!), that has a border just like that one pictured with the balls.

    Do you know the pattern or maker for this design? I bought it for cranberry at Thanksgiving, but I might like some more serving pieces and/or develop a new antique hunting obsession.

  16. Loststarlucy says

    We always had these at school and I was crazy about them. The kids that didnt like them would pass them down the table to me. Not the most sanitary means of transporting food, I realize now. I would end up with 4 or 5, wrap them in a napkin, and eat them throughout the rest of the school day. I shudder to think of the calories I must have consumed on peanut butter ball day! Anyway, I’ve always wanted the recipe. Now I am excited to make them for my kids. Thank you so much!

  17. Loststarlucy says

    ……I forgot to mention that at our school it appeared that after the peanut butter balls were made they were rolled in coarsely crushed vanilla wafers, which gave it some crunch. I could do without the vanilla wafers, I just love the peanut butter!

  18. Taterbug says

    Love these – I’ve been keeping a bag in the freezer at all times since I found this recipe! They’re also great for a quick dessert – I just melt some chocolate chips in a mug and drop the (thawed) peanut butter balls in there one by one. Roll ’em around to coat, put ’em on a plate, and stick ’em in the freezer for a few minutes to let the chocolate harden. Like peanut butter cups, except healthier!

  19. Eva says

    Just a couple thoughts, pasturized honry should be safe enough, get the pure honey, not a blend or honey flavoured spread, yes they are now mixing honey with other stuff and chsrging for resl honey.
    For the powdered milk problem, I just found powdered cocoanut milk, that would certainly give a different flsvout. Do not use powdered soy if you are lsctosr intolerant,as the protien that is the root cause of lactose intolerance is present in soy milk, therefore it would be in the powder too. I said for years that soy milk made me ill just like the regular milk, and then they printed a study and it turned out I was right.
    If you have reg slow cooking oats (cheaper than quick) simply run through a food processor or blender until its chopped into smaller bits. I got that tip from Ladies Day mag many years ago, and never had ti hunt fot the quick osts.

    • says

      This was a first for me so I had to do some research because I was stumped. :) Looks like quinoa flakes are a good option. You might could just add 50% more powdered milk and leave the pats out entirely though. Let me know what you try!
      And just so you know, it took a lot of self restraint not to comment on your lovely name and make a reference to you-know-who 😉

  20. Beth Vanderpool says

    Mom called these Power Bars and they were great. She’d roll them into logs, wrap them in foil and put them in the freezer. Very easy to eat on the run. I’m glad to see this recipe again.

  21. Jane D. says

    I finally got around to making these. YUM! I’d never had them before. YUM! (Did I say that already?). I must now reserve a spot in my freezer to keep these on hand.

    Thank you for the great recipes Christy!


  1. […] This means it’s time to start gathering recipes, ingredients, cute little boxes and tags for those delicious holiday candy boxes. My goal is to attempt caramel this year. Homemade. Caramel. Made from scratch. I suggest you risk burning off your fingerprints and giving homemade caramel a whirl – it’s worth the risk. In the meantime, I have an easier, and somewhat heathier, recipe for you. My favorite Peanut Butter Balls growing up were the ones my grandmother and mother made. Peanut Butter, Powdered Sugar, Rice Krispies, all dipped in chocolate. MMM. My mouth is watering as I think of their crunchy, homemade goodness. But, sadly, as I approach the downward spiral of thirty, I must begin making wiser choices. (I’m giggling to myself now.) These peanut butter balls are BETTER; they consist of oats (HELLO whole grains), honey (heals the body!), peanut butter (use reduced fat, and it’s a healthy fat!), and nonfat powdered dry milk. I got this recipe from one of my top three favorite blogs, Southern Plate. […]

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